GUALFIN, ARGENTINA – It took us 24 hours to get here…
…during which time your editor drove 350 miles (mostly on dirt roads)… got stuck in the desert… took a long walk by starlight… and was wanted by the police…
We will tell the story as it happened…
March or Die
There is a certain romance to walking along in the dark.
But Elizabeth and I had already been hiking for an hour and a half… and the romance had been dropped in a rut.
So deep were the crevasses, and so many rocks were in the road, that we held hands to avoid falling in one, too.
We knew that if either of us twisted an ankle or broke a leg, he would be left for dead.
“March or Die,” we reminded Elizabeth of the motto of the French Foreign Legion, which seemed appropriate under the circumstances.
Behind us was the truck, immobilized in deep sand. In front of us was the 25 miles we estimated that stood between us and our destination… almost all of it uphill.
“At least there is enough light to see the road,” said Elizabeth.
She was looking at the half-full part of the glass. It was not a “road” at all, but a bare track through the desert. Barely visible at all, at times it disappeared completely.
Occasionally, we used our cellphones to light the way. But we were careful to preserve our batteries: If ever we got a signal, we would need them.
“Oh, c’mon. Cheer up,” she continued. “Nothing is really wrong. We’re lucky. We’re having a nice walk by starlight. We’ll come back for the truck tomorrow.”
The lucky part was that she was such a good sport about it.
Some women may have been tempted to look at the other half of the glass – the part that had an eight-hour ordeal in the middle of the night in front of them.
On Sunday morning, Sergio, our local man on the ground, had left a Volkswagen Amarok truck for us in a parking garage in the city of Salta.
The key was in it. But so was a lot of trash.
“He should have at least cleaned it before giving it back to us,” Elizabeth commented, annoyed.
There was an empty beer bottle in the front seat. The CB radio was missing. And the windshield was cracked.
“I’m really rather disappointed in Sergio,” she went on. “He should have fixed these things.”
But the truck ran well… at least for the first 350 miles. Then the road turned to sand. We put the truck in four-wheel drive. But the gears had been changed…
Instead of the 4×4 settings – low and high – we recalled, it had only “off road” mode. And in “off road” mode, the Volkswagen didn’t have the power or control it needed to get through the deep sand.
“Damn, why did he change the transmission without saying anything to me?” we complained, not expecting an answer.
It was now dark. We had not seen a house or another vehicle for two hours. Most likely, there wouldn’t be another truck passing for days. There was no phone signal.
What to do?
We suited up and headed out…
Where’s the Party?
After the aforementioned hour and a half picking our way through the desert, we had worked our way down to the river valley.
There were faint lights farther downriver. A small settlement was tucked along the riverbank where a neighbor grows grapes.
It was in the wrong direction, but perhaps we could find someone there who could give us a ride up the valley to our farm.
But by the time we got there, the lights had gone out. It was pitch dark. We walked along the middle of the dusty road trying to make out shapes.
We were looking for automobiles or trucks. There was no point in going up to a house and knocking on the door, waking the inhabitants; if they had no car, they couldn’t help us.
A dark figure appeared in the middle of the road stumbling toward us.
“Hola!” we called out.
It was a young man.
We explained our situation and asked if anyone in the village had a car.
“No,” he said.
We were going to pursue the conversation, but we realized that he was so drunk, he could barely stand. He was swinging a liquor bottle from his hand and looked as though he might fall over at any moment.
“Okay… sin problema… We’ll just continue walking.”
A few minutes later, another dark figure appeared. Again, it was a young man. And again, he was completely drunk.
He was in a jolly mood and suggested that he might be able to take us up on his motorcycle.
Again, we thanked him and kept walking.
“Where are these drunks coming from?” Elizabeth wondered. “Where’s the party?”
We were in a tiny settlement of no more than five houses.
There was no noise. No light. Nothing.
Then, after a few more minutes of walking, a pair of headlights appeared.
We flagged down the car, for this would surely be the last one that would pass by this night.
Here in the middle of nowhere… in the middle of the night… was a taxi cab.
He had just delivered the foreman of the nearby vineyard to his home and was on his way back to the village of Molinos, about an hour away.
We explained our situation to the taxi driver – how we were on our way to Gualfin when we got stuck in the sand up in the desert.
“Could you run us up to Gualfin?” we asked him.
“Where is it?”
“At the end of the valley.”
“How long will it take to get there?”
“About 45 minutes.”
“No… I’m sorry. But that road is too dangerous at night. Unless you know it really well, you could get stuck. And then what would I do?”
“Don’t worry about that,” we reassured him. “I know the road well. We’ve been coming here for 10 years.”
“You’ve been here for 10 years?”
“Yes… off and on.”
“And you know all the roads well?”
“Yes… very well.”
“Then how come you got stuck in the sand?”
There was no good answer.
The contradiction could not be easily resolved… and certainly not to the taxi driver’s satisfaction.
So instead of going up to the ranch, we rode with him down to Molinos.
“Man… you are so lucky that I came along when I did,” the driver insisted several times. “Otherwise, you’d have to walk all night.”
He was right. We encountered no other cars along the way.
In Molinos, we went to the only hotel in town, the Hacienda, and arrived just before they barred the door for the night.
Again, we were lucky. We know the staff at the hotel, who found a room for us and prepared a plate of cold cuts served with a bottle of wine from the vineyard where we had been rescued.
“This has been an excellent adventure,” Elizabeth concluded.
Thus fortified, we turned in for the night… but not before alerting Sergio, via email, about what had happened.
“He’ll get the message in the morning,” we laid out the plan to Elizabeth.
“He’ll contact Gustavo [our ranch foreman] by radio. He’ll probably be here before we get up. Then we’ll go and pull the truck out of the sand.”
“Well, you should say something to Sergio about that truck. He really should have been more careful.”
We were about to compose another note on the subject… when we got another message from Sergio.
“Bill, you took the wrong truck from the garage. The police are looking for you.”
Further Reading: Today, Bill shares more pictures from his adventures in Argentina.
The view as Bill prepares to hike through the desert
Snowcapped mountains in the early morning
The Deep State Exposed – Part II
BY PORTER STANSBERRY, FOUNDER, STANSBERRY RESEARCH
Editor’s Note: Continuing his three-part series about the secret civil war between Donald Trump and the Deep State (catch up on Part I here), Bill’s longtime friend and business partner Porter Stansberry reveals what the CIA isn’t telling you.
I met the Metropolitan Man about a year ago. He reached out to me through a mutual friend – one of the best young hedge fund managers in New York.
He asked me to join him for dinner at the Metropolitan Club in New York, one of the most elite clubs in the United States.
(Legendary banker J.P. Morgan founded the club. It’s where billionaire investor Warren Buffett held his 50th birthday party.
And it sits at the southeast corner of Central Park, across from the Plaza Hotel, with a great vista of Columbus Circle.)
At the time, the Metropolitan Man was forecasting correctly that the world’s central bankers and their negative-interest-rate policy were failing… and that they would soon trigger a global run out of paper money and into gold.
Over the next several months, gold and gold stocks soared (as you may remember).
A few days ago, the Metropolitan Man asked to see me again…
He wanted to talk about something he had never seen before in all his years working in the government.
For the first time ever, a codeword-level secret was leaked to the press. Nothing this sensitive has ever been leaked before – ever.
What the CIA Isn’t Telling You
Among senior leaders in D.C., it is widely believed that the director of the CIA himself was responsible for the codeword leak. And the rumor is that this information was then passed to the press through New York Senator Chuck Schumer’s office.
What was leaked?
A codeword secret briefing the CIA produced about a meeting in Trump Tower last December between a Russian ambassador and two senior Trump administration officials – Jared Kushner and Michael Flynn.
When Flynn lied about the meeting to the White House staff, he was fired. But the deeper question is: How did the CIA know about the meeting? How did it know how long the meeting lasted? How did it know exactly what was discussed? And how did that information end up in the hands of a New York Times reporter?
This backstory explains how Trump knows the CIA was spying on Trump Tower.
And the counternarratives – Trump’s claim that Obama was spying on him and the Democrats’ claim that Trump is in league with Russia – are the beginning of a serious war. A civil war inside the Deep State itself.
Reading the newspapers won’t explain how this war is being fought…
They will never publish a clear explanation of the battle lines – or even who is fighting or why. But the outcome of these battles is likely to determine the fate of our economy for the next several decades.
Tomorrow, I’ll explain why… and tell you what this fight is really about…
— Porter Stansberry
Editor’s Note: Tomorrow, Porter will also reveal what he’s calling “a milestone in our history.” It’ll affect who gets elected for the next half dozen elections… It’ll change how much you pay for food, gas, clothes, and shoes… And it’ll create a flood of new wealth. But you won’t read about it in a free essay or see it in an online presentation.
The only way to find out about this “economic bombshell” is to dial in to tomorrow’s live conference call at 8 p.m. ET. To learn more – including how you can attend – read on here.
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Today, readers respond to last Friday’s Diary, “The Empire Needs an Emperor.” Is America an empire? And is Donald Trump the man to lead it?
I value, enjoy & look forward to your insightful, bold and entertaining commentary. I believe Trump will not challenge the Deep State to a degree that would place in jeopardy his life, his family or his business interests.
Only someone with the solid backing of at least 90 % of the populace would be able to successfully challenge the entrenched, extremely powerful and completely corrupt governing establishment. Trump, of course, does not even come close to having such support.
– P. Gasperini
In 1928, we elected a businessman as President, and we got Smoot-Hawley, and the Great Depression. In 2016, we elected a businessman as President, and…
– C. Burton
Your analysis of Trump and our current political factions is spot on.
Where I have some reservation is I don’t think the goal of the U.S. was to become an empire, just like I don’t think a promiscuous man intends on becoming a father. The cronies in the Deep State do want their money to continue to flow in their direction.
However, just like the licentious man, the attitude becomes, we have the equipment, we better use it or lose it.
– J. Panek
In Case You Missed It…
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