View from the Roof

View from the Roof: America at War with Itself

It’s Memorial Day and The War is On!  It’s America’s War on Itself!

By Gary Phillips

a-view-from-the-roof-photo-I remember when I was a kid, one of the most important days of the year was Memorial Day.  I grew up in a very small town in Northwest Minnesota.  My whole family, along with the entire community, would head out to the cemetery to honor those who died to preserve our freedoms in two world wars–at least that’s what my mother told me.

In school, we kids would make posters with red poppies on them and the store keepers would post them in the window.  If you didn’t have a wire poppy on your lapel, you were looked on as some kind of kook! I can remember the 21-gun salutes by the American Legion drill team as if they happened yesterday.   “Never forget,” the posters said.

Most days, I’m pretty calm.  Occasionally, something gets to me and I get upset.  A couple of days ago, I read a column from Mike Adams’ that really started my juices flowing.

Did You Know Walnuts are an Illegal Drug?

Mike, who lives in Vilcabamba in the south of Ecuador, wrote a column recently about how the Food and Drug Administration notified Diamond Walnut company that unless they removed a link from their website connecting to a scientific study that conclusively demonstrated that eating walnuts reduces cholesterol, they would be fined.  Furthermore, the owners of the company would be charged with fraud and could be thrown in prison.

I remember eating Diamond walnuts in my mother’s kitchen when I was a kid.  This brand has been around for a long time.  She probably even used them in some of the Memorial Day desserts she made that our family loved so much.

The FDA’s claim is that if Diamond even implies in their advertising that walnuts can reduce cholesterol, no matter the validity of the scientific report they reference, then they must be claiming that walnuts are a drug. And since Diamond has never made application to the FDA to get approval for selling a drug, then they are in violation of FDA regulations and are subject to huge fines and prison.

You see, the FDA says that only FDA-approved drugs can prevent or cure diseases.  They also say that all foods are completely inert and have no effect upon human health.

Here’s an except from the letter sent to Diamond Walnut from the FDA:

Because of these intended uses, your walnut products are drugs within the meaning of section 201 (g)(1)(B) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 321(g)(B)]. Your walnut products are also new drugs under section 201(p) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 321(p)] because they are not generally recognized as safe and effective for the above referenced conditions. Therefore, under section 505(a) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 355(a)], they may not be legally marketed with the above claims in the United States without an approved new drug application.

Additionally, your walnut products are offered for conditions that are not amenable to self-diagnosis and treatment by individuals who are not medical practitioners; therefore, adequate directions for use cannot be written so that a layperson can use these drugs safely for their intended purposes. Thus, your walnut products are also misbranded under section 502(f)(1) of the Act, in that the labeling for these drugs fails to bear adequate directions for use [21 U.S.C. § 352(f)(1)].

The Freedom to Eat What You Want is Disappearing Faster Than the Oil is Spewing from the Hole in the Gulf

Did all those soldiers who died in World War II on foreign soil to preserve our freedoms, die only to have the FDA, a United States governmental agency, take them away?

I don’t think so!  Can you believe it? I find this situation very hard to swallow, just as hard to swallow as some of the foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals that the FDA claims is good for me to imbibe.

While North Americans Doze, A Different Kind of War is Being Waged Against Us

Eventually, enough of this kind of stuff is going to come out (thanks to people like Mike Adams and others who are alert and watchful to what is really going on.)  And just maybe more people will begin to wake up. I mean, how much crap are the American people going to take before we awaken to the fact that there is a war going on and the war is not a war on terrorism being waged on a distant continent?

All that’s going on in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq is not the real war.  It’s just a diversion.  The real war is being waged against Americans by Americans. Folks, the constitution is just about gone.  The bankers and the Federal Reserve have raided the treasury and left us holding the empty piggy bank.  The country’s broke.  The good jobs have mostly been shipped overseas. We don’t produce much of value any more, not even dollar bills!

The U.S. secretary of the treasury and 200 other government mucky-mucks were just over in China kowtowing to the Communist leaders, pleading with them to change their monetary policy to keep us afloat.  China holds about a trillion and a half of U.S. government bonds. And guess what?  They pretty much call the shots now.  Is this what my mother told me our soldiers died for in WWII?

Ecuador: Land of the Free, Home of the Brave

Now, let me tell you why I like Ecuador.  I truly feel free here. People here actually pay attention to things that happen, whether it’s governmental shenanigans or double-talk or just what’s going on right under their noses.

There’s about a foot-deep hole in the sidewalk in front of the church.  I often wondered why they didn’t repair it.   I discovered at Easter that this is the hole where they place the foot of the cross on the annual Jesus crucifixion re-enactment.  The rest of the year, the hole is right there.

If I step in it and break a leg, I can’t sue anybody.  The judge would more than likely say, “You idiot, why don’t you watch where you are going?”

A couple of expats, Daniel and June, just opened a restaurant in Cotacachi.  They rented a small place, painted and fixed it up, set up a few stools and a counter and are now in the restaurant business.  And you know what?  They didn’t have to get a single permit or ask anyone if they could do it! At some point, they may have to get a sanitation inspection, but it’s not a big deal.

I can go to a shaman and get any number of medicinal herbs that he says will cure me.  It’s up to me if I want to believe it or not.  I’m pretty much in charge of my personal health, food and lifestyle in Ecuador.

And every day, a woman comes by in what looks to me to be about a 1963 Land Rover selling—horror of horrors—raw milk!

If the people don’t like what the government is doing here, they do something about it.   They let their views be known, loud and clear.  And they shut the country down until the government cries, “Uncle.”  That feels pretty good to me! Government for and by the people, not government being done to the people.

When Did Our Republic Become a Corporatocracy?

Now, we have oil pouring into the gulf, apparently because British Petroleum and the government agency in charge of permits were in bed together and the permits became a moot point.

To make matters worse, chemicals poured into the gulf waters to dissolve the oil didn’t work.  Now we have further contamination that will spread throughout the gulf, possibly ending up as far south as Ecuador. Whatever happened to a government of the people and for the people?

Oh yes, I almost forgot, the supreme court of my homeland says that corporations have the right to give as much money as they want to any candidate or political cause because they have the right of free speech, just like me.  Ha!  How long will it be before we have a corporation running for president?  The U.S. already has the best Congress money can buy.

Why Are We Ignoring the All-Too-Obvious Signs of Collapse?

I remember the old movie, “Network News,” where the protagonist, a television news anchor, shouted over the air, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

Does anybody think that U.S. citizens will ever get to that point?  I don’t think our leaders think that will ever happen.  After all, we are all so apathetic that our leaders say and do the most outrageous things, with absolutely no real response from the citizenry of the “land of the free.”  Are we so far gone that the only thing that will wake people up is the massive depression that is swooping down on the country like a raging torrent?

I guess that’s why I hear from so many people, “Help, I’ve got to get out of this country! Can you help me move to Ecuador?”

What do you think?  Post your comments.  And check out Mike Adam’s story here.  There’s a new bill being introduced in Congress that will attempt to rein in the FDA and FTC, if it’s not already too late.  It’s probably got a snowball’s chance in hell of being passed at this late date, but we can try.   Click here to read more about it, and to learn how you can participate.  The consequences if we do not act are so dire I shudder to think of what’s in store for what could be the late, great U.S. of A.

And that’s today’s View from The Roof. For those new readers, Linda and I live in a 4th floor apartment in the middle of downtown Cotacachi.  We have a bird’s eye view of everything that is happening in Cotacachi.   Hence, the name of the column.



  1. I remember back in the ’60s a friend of mine was convinced that the blacks were going to rise up and destroy America, so he bought a bunch of guns and ammo and moved into a remote cabin. Then he broke his leg in a motorcycle accident, and experienced endless paranoia until it healed. Several years later, he grew cynical about the ‘revolution’, became embarrassed to mention it, finally forgot about it and got on with his life.

    Is it real this time? Are things about to pop? I would certainly like to get out of Amerika if for no other reason than fear of the feds, who may well turn their hired thugs (Blackwater, etc.) against the population. But I really think if they try something like that, there will be a tremendous backlash. It won’t be a civil war, it will be anarchy, perhaps French revolution style. (Interesting movie: Marat/Sade – covers a lot of these themes). No federal level elected official will be safe. The states will secede. The federal agencies will be gutted and replaced by state and local organizations as needed. Corporations will lose their rights. The wealthy will find their wealth buys them nothing except anger and hatred. Once everything has been wiped out, and enough blood has been shed, local economies will develop and slowly build, and in another 200 years or so, we’ll have to do it again unless human nature changes in the meantime.

    I have two comments about Ecuador. One is, the Ecuadoran government allowed oil companies to come in and drill for oil in a remote location with an indigenous population. Then they (the oil companies) thought they’d save a little money, perhaps a billion or so, by not containing the waste and hauling it away for proper disposal. Instead, they dumped it into the environment, ruining the rivers, streams and land, sickening and killing the population. This is the horrible downside of lax regulation. It only works when people can be trusted not to do the unthinkable. This also gives weight to the idea that ‘corporations are not people’. I would add, they are ‘money monsters’ that will go to any extreme for their ‘bottom line’. So corporations can’t be trusted and there needs to be a balance.

    The other is that if Ecuador becomes a refuge for fleeing Americans, the risk is that these Americans will want to impose their lifestyle and behaviors on the Ecuadoran people and environment. They will, in short, create a ‘little America’ within the Ecuadoran culture, and expect the people to become their paid servants, etc. They will want to accrue rights, to become elected officials, to legislate a ‘new Ecuador’. Chances are, not having gone through a real revolution, they will adhere to their American habits and customs, and soon, they will find themselves in the same culture they have fled from. At some point, this will become intolerable and there will be resistance.

    The main idea in the above is that there is a need for a balanced approach, and a sensitivity to everyone’s concerns when creating a refuge in a foreign country. The Ecuadorans have a right to expect that immigrants will not try to change their culture, but will rather try to fit into it. Not come like some big pasha with tons of money to throw around, but to expect that they will have to learn the local customs and language, and treat the locals with respect. I say this having seen how seldom this happens.

    Also, countries like Ecuador need to be wary of gigantic ‘corporatocracies’ who may well cost them more than they gain by allowing them in. I’m reminded of Henry Miller’s ‘Cosmodemoniacal Cockroach Corporation’ (the actual word is not cockroach…I didn’t want to offend). The concept of ‘multinational corporations’ I’ll save for later discussion.

    I’d like to top this off with another paranoiac scenario. If the big money bankers, the ‘illuminati’, etc., succeed in establishing a ‘new world order’ (world government), where then would be the safest place to be? Russia, perhaps? Another planet? Are you ready to receive your subcutaneous implant chip? Or as they say in the Russian novels, ‘How will it all end?’

  2. — you are beginning to sound like a bunch of sad losers—
    Let see, is sad loser norteamericano living in a beautiful country with friendly people, more value for money(than in USA) and a lifestye not available in the USA?
    –America and Americans are a great country and will prevail, only with no jobs for a lot of Americans, overtaxed businesses and so on. Also I wish it prevail somehow because my children still live there.
    –not try to change Ecuador as I have read expats try to do with there own rules and regulations.
    Ecuador survived Incas and Spanish conquistadores, it will survive wave of Norteamericanos with their concepts and rules.
    — I do have a concern about the love affair between Correa and Chavez.
    Ecuadorians are too friendly and lazy (here it is a compliment) to do Chavez regime.

  3. Gary, thank you so much for your great insights. I was very pleased to have met you and your lovely wife while in EC. Since I would have to rely only on my social security, which will be a thing of the past soon, I worry about making it in the beautifuf country of EC . I’m probably not the only person with this problem. Just a thought I wanted to share. Keep the info coming. Best regards. Garland

  4. Come on guys you are beginning to sound like a bunch of sad losers that are looking for justification for the decision you made to move. I agree with most of your stuff about American apathy and the take over of the country by multi nationals but I do not think Arnagedon is at hand.
    I love Ecuador and hope to retire there for the right reasons, it is a beautiful country with friendly people and offers value for money and a lifestye not available in the USA.
    America and Americans are a great country and will prevail.
    Be careful you do not try to change Ecuador as I have read expats try to do with there own rules and regulations.

  5. Heather McConnell says:

    Right on, Gary. It’s time to escape and not waste a second wishing things were going to be different. In emails to friends in the US (I live outside Vilcabamba), I see they are angered by my trying to awaken them. So, they must see it happening when it gets there and all I can do is wish them the best. That part is rather painful for most expats here who have loved ones back in the States. To me, moving away from support of that disaster is a form of patriotism, though few see it is almost the last protest available after the Patriot Act went into effect. I am literally afraid to live in the US and must be content to love it from a distance now.

  6. Jo Ellard says:

    You are all right! YOU are ALL RIGHT!
    My Father emigrated here in 1926 for all the right reasons, from a GB in turmoil. He made it from rags to riches by hard work and perseverance! He married Mom, who’s Grand parents emigrated here in 1870 from Germany, after Grandpa had an argument with his next-door neighbor and best friend – the Kaiser. They all fought the wars for freedom and they all ran their own businesses and lived the American dream. Today they all roll in their graves. Everything they lived and fought for is literally and figuratively gone. The family business, still run by my cousin, is so over taxed and strapped for freedom by legislation, that it has been literally out of profit for a while, and soon will be out of business.
    It is truly a shame – The USA used to be a really nice place to live. Raw milk and all. Now, it seems we are being gmo’d into degenerative disease and FDA and military control. Corporations are favored. I used to think if I was a corporation I could survive….silly me. In the USA it is MONEY and money alone which buys FREEDOM. The press is even owned – LINK is the ONLY independent reporting agent still functioning. Honest reporters are either fired or loose their jobs; when they dare to state the truth in a matter, contrary to station policy and political leanings. Everyone is in everyone elses pockets and bedrooms.
    We have our passports, maybe we’ll see you in Cotacatchi.
    Peace to all! JO

  7. I’m applying for the Pensiado program in Panama. But I wish everyone in Ecuador the best. The US is going to crash. I am of the Austrian school of economics and can guarantee there will be Civil Anarchy if not Revolution. Very wise decision to get out or at least have a Country to flee to. The coming Civil War will be ugly,prolonged,savage,and grim.

  8. Fred Reinhardt says:

    Hi there Gary,

    I must say, this article “America at war with itself ,”
    is so true. I am an expat from South Africa who absolute adores Texas and the US, and have lived here for 24 years.
    However, in this time I have seen a fragmentation of our constitution.

    We are allowing things to take place by government who making laws faster than they can get a chance to read amendments and chiseling at the constitution- more laws and restrictions. Tea parties and town hall meetings just fall on deaf ears and rife corruption that goes unnoticed as it is above the radar for the little man to be involved.

    He works more than 50 weeks of the year to keep his family clothed and fed.
    Scared to take time off as this could jeopardize his job, even for a vacation.

    As for immigration laws- what is that?
    People are flooding over the borders and setting up shacks leading up to squatter camps, crime and drug running, as well as insurgents from countries at war with America.

    This is really putting a huge strain on public services.
    Health care and social security are at risk of collapsing. Where is it possible just to walk in to a country without a police background check and documentation?
    Mexico has some very strict immigration laws like all other countries.

    I saw this comming in South Aftrica well before their independence.
    To-day they have a very strong communist influence causing much concern to the30 % who pay tax .

    Freedom of choice – like the lady who sells raw milk and the chance to open a restaurant without all the silly laws that are made to collect taxes.
    There is nothing nicer than fresh farm milk. If a restaurant does not get customers due to service and a menu with food that is not up to standard, then it will fail.

    To sum up the situation – fire the congress and senate and start all over. Get the real true Americans in the driving seat .

    I would be down in Ecuador like a robbers dog if my wife understood the pressures we are in for, as fixed income retirees.
    Hard work and ingenuity never fails, I know I was there. A nice way to have a challenge in a new country.

  9. Fortunately, there are many Americans expressing their discontent with all the governmental fraud going on now in the US. The Tea Party movement and all the spin-offs of that organization protest peacefully at every possible opportunity. The traditional media plays their activities down, reduces crowd numbers, or call them kooks. Although the gov isn’t playing by the books, conservative US protesters are.

    Americans as a group are trusting, naive, and slow to believe the worst of a situation, plus who can really emotionally deal with the extent of the coming disaster ? I know that I believe there will be chaos and collapse in our country but I am in a very small minority of citizens. Most Americans are either poorly informed or just can’t bear to see what I see ahead for the US and the world. I believe that both the US and Europe will implode and that South America and Central America are in geographic locations that may allow escaping the worst of it. A plus for Ecuador is that EC is not at all dependent on the US and no longer receiving $$ Billions in aid after having thrown out the US military base. I do have a concern about the love affair between Correa and Chavez, however.

    The previous poster’s suggestion of an online business is right on, until there’s no online. The US gov has instituted legislation to curtail and control internet activity. They are also in the process of passing another stimulus bill that will “close tax loopholes.” Can’t help to think that expats will be among those who are affected by this legislation. Sigh.

    I believe that Americans who choose to survive the coming events should leave the country. I believe that getting citizenship from another country may be a good idea, although having legal residencies elsewhere is also wise.

    I know that everything is always evolving perfectly so I know that however catastrophic the situation becomes in the US and elsewhere, it will be the powerful cleansing necessary to re-establish peace and harmony to the planet and its people. Every action or inaction(which is still an action) has an equal and opposite reaction and what we’re experiencing now in our world is a reaction to citizens who were much more involved with deciding which TV or car to buy than watching the government GROW.

    Cleansing is needed and I believe that after the “trouble” ahead, the remaining population will remember what really matters, real communities will be forged, governments will fail and new governments dedicated to serving the good of the people will be formed. Or a meteor will hit the Earth and none of this other stuff will matter one whit :-).

    The only thing we really have is today and the only thing that matters is living each day we have in a place we choose and in the way we choose and having some hope of continuity. For those of us who see the handwriting on the wall and who feel choked by burgeoning governmental growth and power, having the opportunity to live each day as we choose may best be done outside the US.

  10. As some know already, I’m Canadian. I moved to EC to escape the miserable winters there.

    While living in Cotacachi, I met an American woman from North Carolina. We ended up marrying (hey, 9 months as the only residents in a development will do that to you!). She moved here because she saw the writing on the American wall two years ago.

    And now we’re preparing for the worst. She has all the documentation that will allow her kids to enter EC on her permanent visa. We’re starting to purchase silver and gold. We even went so far as to start a new website about silver and gold. Click on the link at the top of the comment if you want to learn more about Au and Ag.

    When I moved here, things were rough, but they’re not nearly as rough as they will be in the next year or two. Most of the experts say this is the calm eye of the hurricane, with the worst yet to come.

    The best thing you can do is have your passport current, for at least a couple of years of travel available to you. Then pack a “go bag” (it might be a suitcase). This is for getting out of the country fast. And have as much cash (or even better, some silver coins or rounds) on hand as you can possibly keep aside.

    That may be the only way that you get out of the country if the fan starts spraying manure.

    And look into starting some type of portable business, one that can continue to bring in money (even if it brings in less once things fall apart). The best type is a web-based business, the essence of portability.

    In other words, prepare yourself. I don’t wish the coming collapse on anyone, but since it’s almost a foregone conclusion, you need a plan on how to get out. Once you have that plan, figure out how you can live somewhere like EC.

    Maybe you can share an apartment with another “refugee.” Maybe someone will let you stay in return for working in the food garden. And maybe those of us already here need to start investigating how to prepare for the flood of people escaping the US, and even Europe.