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A Public Response to a Not-Published Comment

January 12th, 2009

readYesterday, I Blogged about the proposed changes to the immigration law.

Today, I received a comment from one of the companies here in Costa Rica that assists people in establishing legal residency. The first half of his email pretty much tells stuff about him and a bit about his company. Pretty much like SPAMing through commenting.  Almost the entire second half is built around this comment:

I take personal offense to the paragraph that reads; “One online source put the panic into a lot of folks by warning that it appears this law would be retroactive and affect all Rentistas and Pensionados at renewal… a truly stupid statement designed only to cause panic as Sala IV (the constitutional court) has never permitted that sort of thing.  Again, panic sells!”

The writer of the article is truly misinformed and it is equally clear that he or she has never bothered to read the language of the proposed law.

Odd he would take “personal offense”… but to move on…  as my readers probably know, I could not let THAT stand unanswered, so here for all to read (and comment upon)  is my reply:

Me: I read with some amusement your comment to my Blog (not published).  It is clear you have an issue reading English, and I find your attempt to drum up residency business by posting your personal and business information to be disingenuous at best.  However, I will publicly respond briefly to a couple of your comments however.

I have no issue with those who are pro-active in this matter.  I have a STRONG issue about those who, somewhat like the Brothers problem of some years past, try to sew panic when panic is not what is needed and in fact is not even remotely necessary.

You state:

“If the writer had taken the time to read Article 263 – Transitorio II, the second sentence, he or she would have known that the new language is intended to apply the law retroactively at the time the resident renews the carnet.”

Your presumptuousness is remarkable and your ability to read is clearly faulty. First, of course I read it… in fact, I acknowledged it…   but I did not CARE if it was in the proposed law because

  1. It may well be removed before passage and
  2. Even if it is not, Sala IV will overturn it on appeal.

I have read the many other online articles, including your web site, and not one mentioned that it is almost 100% SURE that that part of the law will be eliminated or ruled valid. So why was it stated?  As I said, panic sells… whether residency web sites or newspapers. THAT is low class behavior and nothing more than preying on people’s fears.

“Yet, the writer criticizes those who are concerned enough to really take a proactive stance on behalf of their clients.”

Ummm… and just where did I critize anything other than inaccuracy?

“Sir or madam, perhaps you should take the time to learn about the subject matter you write before calling others “stupid.””

You say I called someone “Stupid”. Huh?  Where? I also find it kind of amazing that again, you presume I know nothing. In any case, let’s review exactly what I wrote.

The word “stupid” was used twice (and correctly!):

stupid #1:

“One online source put the panic into a lot of folks be warning that it appears this law would be retroactive and affect all Rentistas  and Pensionados at renewal… a truly stupid statement designed only to cause panic as Sala IV (the constitutional court) has never permitted that sort of thing.”

It was a stupid and needlessly provocative statement as it did not contain the all the facts.

Did you READ that? If one is going to write about the retroactive portion of the proposed law, the LEAST they can do is to make 100% clear that they state clearly that even if it IS passed, Sala IV has never permitted it before and is VERY unlikely to allow it now! That means it will not happen… and to NOT say that means that someone is just trying to  needlessly scare the bejesus out of a bunch of people, often older people! THAT sir, is not acceptable. Even your web site should have made that clear. It did not.

stupid #2:

“Calm down… send emails if you wish but make them sound intelligent and well thought out.  As you can’t vote regardless of  residency, using an aggressive or threatening tone is not only stupid, it makes you sound like… well…  a Gringo… NOT a good thing in general.”

I am not calling anyone stupid, but again, you seem to have reading issues. I am telling people to write and contact if they wish, but don’t be rude as THAT behavior is counterproductive and STUPID. Ticos are scrupulously polite and offending them is not the way to approach an issue

You write this comment:

“My intension (sic) is not to cause panic for financial gain,…”

LOL!  Of COURSE it is!

The more you get your name and your company’s name in front of either current or potential Costa Rica  residents, the more chance you have of landing new residency business! I have no problem with that! You are providing a service and need to market that service. What I do NOT like, (nor permit on my Blog) is the wholesale panic approach.

After many years here, I have seen innumerable proposed laws come and go. Should this one be ignored?  Of course not!  BUT as my Post said clearly… do NOT panic. Send the emails and state your opinion, but do not make wholesale changes in your (residency) plans because of it.  I have received over 15 emails from people who canceled plans for moving here based on various online groups and newspapers. THAT sir, is truly sad! In fact, it has likely done YOU more harm than good. I also told people what they NEED to hear and that is that the retroactive part has almost NO chance of affecting anyone.. something YOU should have made clear on your web site. THAT would have been responsible and had you done so, I likely would have placed a link to your site so people could follow up intelligently and calmly.

Finally, you asked what has the writer (that would be me) done?

“Again, what has the writer of the article done for his clients?”

Pretty odd question as I do not HAVE clients. I have readers who want the truth.  I try to provide it.   This Blog is not a business!  Sheesh!

However… let’s see what I did…or did not do!

I did NOT panic back in November nor did I Blog about this earth shattering crisis! My readers value my opinion and many rely upon it… so I did nothing.  I waited, met with a couple of knowledgeable people, and still did not Blog. I saw no reason to even comment on this law as it was over-covered everywhere else. I finally decided to Blog about it yesterday as I had received a lot of email asking for my thoughts and a lot more emails telling me that people were deciding whether to move here at all.  My post yesterday was to tell people 4 things:

  1. Don’t panic
  2. Send emails to to the legislators if they want and
  3. Be pleasant and logical if you do write and
  4. I told them where they could find sample emails and email addresses.

Sounds perfectly reasonable to me! That is what I did and I think I did the correct thing.

I did NOT tell my readers (as one online source did) that (paraphrased) ‘it is likely that the legislators will pass this before they dismiss for Christmas break’. HUH? I have NEVER heard of Costa Rica passing ANY law in a month nor has anyone I asked. That article alone caused needless commotion.

Sir, I am not going to publish your comment as it is not only faulty, it contains your business profile and links to your residency web site which to me is nothing less than SPAMing.

I would suggest your re-read my Post thoroughly, this time for content.

As always, responsible comments are encouraged.

6 Responses to “A Public Response to a Not-Published Comment”

  1. Jay Willette on January 13, 2009 10:19 am

    Unscrupulous people ‘prey’ upon others, but seldom, in my experience do any ‘praying’… and

    “readers value my opinion and many (reply).. upon it”
    perhaps some do reply, but more likely, they rely upon it..

    Sorry, but I have big problems with poorly proofed copy.. only Jay Brodel seems to be able to get away with even more egregious editorial blundering; actually the very worst I have ever seen in a commercial enterprise.. and most of it completely avoidable.. JW

  2. Tim on January 13, 2009 11:22 am

    You are 100% correct! I was both in a hurry and in a crummy mood… both not good when one should be proofing. My apologizes! Corrections made.

  3. Richard Noah on January 13, 2009 11:30 am

    hmmm… all weirdness aside, does anyone know the bottom line, for sure ???

    I am hoping to retire in CR in 2 years at 985 per month (gov pension)
    I really hope THAT rule stays as is…


  4. Vidagringo on January 13, 2009 3:17 pm

    I have been told by many long time residents that nothing gets done very rapidly in Costa Rica. I think I will take their sage advice!

  5. Chuck on January 17, 2009 11:33 pm

    Thanks for this and the “Much Ado…” posts, Tim. I think your “don’t panic” message sums it up. Fortunately, I’m not in a position where I need to worry about how the proposed changes might affect me–I plan to be here in California for some time. But as retirement age approaches, it’s something interesting to watch.


    P.S. I’m glad I got to see La Paz Waterfall Gardens on my trip to CR last July (and especially glad I didn’t go earlier this month!). I saw some more earthquake photos online–what a tragedy. Time to go find a good web site that’s accepting donations.

  6. Flora Reia on May 13, 2009 5:38 pm

    Thank you. You are an angel.