Roatan’s Beauty, Truth & Wisdom

Off Island Perspective – October & November


America’s baby boomers are filing for bankruptcy at alarmingly increasing rates. Three times more people over 65 were forced into bankruptcy in 2016 than in 1991. In 2016 3.6 people per 1,000 filed for bankruptcy in the 65 to 74 age bracket. Their average debt was only $17,000, but they had few options to get out of their financial situation. These baby boomers are in distress with declining income, rising healthcare costs, and mounting debt.


After the first solar powered aircraft circumnavigated the globe in 2016, several electric airplane manufacturers began production. One of the biggest in this small but growing and disruptive industry is Pipistrel, a Slovenian airplane manufacturer that in 2011 launched Taurus G4, the first electric four-seat aircraft. These electric aircraft are cheaper to construct, cheaper to operate, and the chassis is subjected to less vibrations and noise. With battery energy density rising by as much as 8 percent per year, the batteries hold increasing amount of energy per kilo. Pipistrel’s Alpha Electro two-seater costs $130,000 and can fly for about an hour.


In 1971 Bhutan dropped Gross National Product as the principal way to measure the county’s progress and embraced GNH – Gross National Happiness, an index that measures the spiritual, social, physical and environmental comfort of its citizens. The UN got in the game of defining happiness and is issuing its own list of happy countries based on GDP, life expectancy and social support. This year’s top rank went to Finland and Bhutan came in at 97th place. Bhutan, a homogenous Himalayan kingdom with strong culture has been quite content loosing the GDP race since it was adopted as a standard in 1944. While 70% of Bhutanese live without electricity and quarter of the population makes it on $1.25 a day, people seem quite content with life there and haven’t pleaded for asylum in Europe.


To recuperate from the stress and tedium of living in Germany, the government is paying for refugees to take paid vacations back home: Iraq, Syria, Libya, Bangladesh, wherever. While the refugees supposedly “felt unsafe in their own counties” they feel safe to go back there on a jet airline courtesy of German taxpayers for a three week vacations. There have been close to 2 million asylum seekers in Germany since 2012. And the country has a foreign population of 10 million.


Israel received its fifth nuclear cruise missile armed Dolphin-class submarine, ‘Rahav’, courtesy of Germany. Israeli nuclear armed subs have operated in the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean and in 2013 launched cruise ship missiles again the Syrian port of Latakia. West Germany and France have funded the Israeli nuclear defense program since the 1960s. Israel has 300-400 nuclear warheads and, like India, Pakistan, and South Sudan never signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The US has given $234 billion to Israel despite a 1961 US ban of aid to countries engaged in clandestine nuclear programs.

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