by guest writer, Frank Szabo
This kind of thing just doesn’t happen here.
Reflecting on our Lives in the US
In the summer of 2012, our aged dog wandered over to our neighbor’s yard. We lived on an 88 acre parcel in suburban New Hampshire. Our neighbor had never met our dog. Out of concern, she called the local police. About five minutes later, our daughter showed up to reclaim our prodigal canine. The neighbor was relieved and immediately called the police back. “There’s no need to worry about it, the owners just got their dog.” “Sorry ma’am, we have to come anyway.”
Twenty or so minutes later, a squad car was pulling up my driveway; a long driveway clearly marked with “No Trespassing”. The policeman pulled right up to my house and knocked on the door. I was in my office, working, and ignored him. He left a note. He wanted to talk with me – about my unlicensed dog.
For the next month, we were harassed on almost a daily basis. I was even threatened by the local police dispatcher with arrest if I did not allow a police officer to enter my home. My wife was thrown back into fits of hysteria, remembering eerily similar treatment from Pennsylvania police regarding zoning issues and our chickens. This was New Hampshire! The “Live Free or Die State”. I guess the police weren’t aware of the state motto. The township sued me in court. If not for the fact that my dog had since died, I don’t know what they would’ve done to me.
The reason I found myself reflecting on this is because my wife and I, in light of recent events, found ourselves discussing the reasons we came to Chile.
A Cause to Reflect on our Lives in Chile
A few weeks ago, when I was on Dr. John Cobin’s internet radio show, “Red Hot Chile”, we discussed some of the recent bomb threats and whether I felt that it affected me. At the time, I had not even heard about the threats and stated that our lives had been unaffected.
The very next day, there was a bomb scare at the end of my friend’s block in upper Las Condes. Nothing came of it, but it gave us concern. Las Condes is one of the safest sections of Santiago.
A few days later, as my wife and I were just finishing lunch, we heard what sounded like a very loud explosion. At first, we did not know what to make of it. Living across from Escuela Militar (a military school), we sometimes hear them shoot guns or cannons as part of their military drills. Perhaps it was just a cannon.
Shortly thereafter, we heard the sirens and knew that it was something much more serious. As it turned out, a bomb was exploded two blocks from my apartment. Sadly, a number of people were injured, a couple of them seriously. Thank God, no one was killed.
According to news reports, the bomb was left by Chilean anarchists. Of course, who did it matters not to those who were injured.
As you might imagine, we were very concerned … about the people directly affected … about follow-up incidents … about our daughter’s trip home from school on public transportation. For us, everything worked out. Our daughter was home safe and sound and we all breathed a sigh of relief.
Last night, my wife and I attended the language exchange which we coordinate. It’s a mix of native Spanish speakers and native English speakers. I was particularly interested in hearing Chileans’ perspective on what had happened. They were all just as shocked and appalled as we were. “This kind of thing just doesn’t happen here.”
This morning, we were remembering a few of the reasons why we came to Chile in the first place. That’s why I was pondering on our beloved dog, and the terroristic harassment we endured at the hands of those who were ostensibly protecting our freedoms.
That was Then and There
A few years prior to the incident with our dog, there were reports of armed raids by federal and/or state agents, on … farms … organic farms. The farmers were held at gun-point and forced to watch as their raw milk or other such “dangerous” products were destroyed.
In the spring of 2012, heritage pig farmers in Michigan were forced by state agents – at gunpoint – to destroy their pigs. The US of A??
This trend has continued and worsened many times over. Now, police are just as prone to shoot someone’s lost dog than help locate the owner. Today, way too many SWAT and other armed raids on private Citizens results in the death or maiming of the unsuspecting, and often innocent, occupants and their families. Reports come out almost daily of random killings; by cops or crazed anti-depressant affected lunatics.
This is Now and Here
Within the first few weeks of arriving in Santiago de Chile, we witnessed the unbelievable. There was a Carabinero (the local police) changing an elderly woman’s tire for them!
Last week, my daughter came home with a note from school. Vaccines were going to be made available for the students. I simply had to sign that I did not wish my daughter to be injected with toxins. There was no special dispensation or approval necessary from a doctor or religious authority. Simple parental consent (or refusal) was all that was requested. In the good ole US of A, students are now injected without even notifying parents. Parents who protest can be thrown in jail.
In New Hampshire, I had intended to start an organic farm as a CSA. It was painfully obvious that any local bureaucrat could destroy anything that I built with the flick of a pen. In Chile, property rights are very well protected, parental rights even more so.
There are Terrorists
Bombings occurred in Boston, Oklahoma City, Waco, etc. School shootings have happened all too frequently. Sociopathic people can be found anywhere. Sociopathic and oppressive governments terrorize me a heck of a lot more than individuals.
We came to Chile because of the amazing opportunities. In my opinion, Chile is much closer to a free democratic republic than the increasingly fascist US. It is also still very responsive to its citizens. That has not changed. In fact, the bombing has intensified quite a stir against Bachelet’s semi-Socialist administration. Even the majority of the left gets upset when the reality of some socialist policies are seen for the catastrophes they are.
For my family, the bombing provided us with an opportunity to reflect, prompting us to come to several realizations. Two stand out.
Terrorism: the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.
When I think of terrorism, I think of an act of anyone to threaten the safety and freedom of another by force. In the US, the greatest threat to freedom, well-being and personal safety was always, and increasingly, from the state – in its various nefarious forms, acronyms and cronyism.
When you read of what happened recently in Chile from the “land of the free”, ponder the threats to your own personal freedoms and privacy in the form of the NSA, TSA, ATA, CIA, FBI, DEA, FDA, ATF, BLM, ETC. There are terrorists there!!
Thank God we live in Chile!
Frank Szabo is an entrepreneur who moved with his wife and daughter to Chile in 2012 – without speaking a word of Spanish. Since then, he has formed an organic farm management company, an importing service, begun to import/export organic food and wholistic medicinals, created a line of fermented, organic foods, founded AllAboutChile.com and EscapeArtist Chile, consults on general questions/issues about Chile, and is a New Hampshire notary. He can be reached at Frank@AllAboutChile.com.