George Norris update

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Hien

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I recently got an email from George Norris...he was testifying before congress about "overcriminalization"....here is a link to an article about it...http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jul/22/innocent-criminals/

Are you aware of the Yin/Yang symbol with the two little dots of the reverse colors. The concept is the upmost positive carry the little seed of negative, and vice versa.
A scholar friend of my mom once predicted that:
-countries which have enjoyed much advance in sciences, arts, liberty, freedom, compassionate for the under dog and respecting individual right etc..such as ours will swing back to the other direction with oppression, religious extreme righteousness, intolerance, & disregarding for individual expression (you can see a glimse of what to come so far from watching political & religious figures trying to trample on the constitution, and put the country backward in forbidding research in the name of God, how lobbyists & the elite gouging the rest of the country etc.. & etc..)
-countries that was so deep in dictatorship, backward... will swing the other way to freedom, advance in all fields (watch what happens now in countries in the former communist block)
That is how the universe moves according to the ancients
If we don't watch ourselves carefully, we may evolve into a laughing stock of the world such as the nutty "NORTH KOREA"
 
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Leo Schordje

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I never agreed with George when it came to politics. He was incredlibly "pro get tough on crime". He wanted every petty criminal locked up, along with all the moderate or liberal lefties, especially anyone who questioned the reasons given for going to war in Iraq. He often published these little rants in his email newsletters. I admit that I felt a little "schaddenfreuhe" that the same Bush government that he so loudly supported ended up locking him up. I have since changed my opinion.
I do feel the article is on the mark and that over-criminalization is what George is a victim of. I do feel for him, and I hope his wife's testimony helps to slow the over criminalization of regulations. George and I do agree on one thing, enforcement by the Feds is un-even and often too heavy handed.
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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Although I have never met him personally, I have corresponded with George for so long that I consider him a good friend....despite the fact that our politics couldn't be more diametrically opposed...one thing we both agreed on is that there was no point discussing politics..neither one of us would sway the other, and there was no sense in just getting PO'd at each other. While he's still way off to the right, he does have a different perspective now...
Here's another article George sent me....http://www.heritage.org/Research/LegalIssues/lm0044.cfm
Take care, Eric
 

Hien

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Although I have never met him personally, I have corresponded with George for so long that I consider him a good friend....despite the fact that our politics couldn't be more diametrically opposed...one thing we both agreed on is that there was no point discussing politics..neither one of us would sway the other, and there was no sense in just getting PO'd at each other. While he's still way off to the right, he does have a different perspective now...
Here's another article George sent me....http://www.heritage.org/Research/LegalIssues/lm0044.cfm
Take care, Eric

I wonder if life serves the Judge the same lemon, how would he turn it into lemonade as he adviced & lectured Mr. Norris.
Until the Judge walking in Mr. Norris' shoes, he should refrain from lecture him about how to making lemonade.
Don't judges have at their discretion of how to right a terrible situation with the way they hand out the penalty.
 
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Roth

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Note a couple of things.

Apparently Arias never paid back Norris for the jail bail...

Afterward Arias became a millionnaire with the kovachii, they sold over 18000 commercial flasks at 1040USD/flask, make your calculations, with a production cost that is close to 0...

Isn't there anything disturbing somewhere ?
 

Kyle

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I'm sure the Arias familly made a lot of money becasue of thier kovachii flasks, but I think your 18000 flask estimate may have an extra zero on the end. I would even suggest that 1800 flasks is a very liberal estimate.

I have been to thier lab. It is not big enough to hold 18000 flasks, nor did they have the hood space to produce that many flasks.

And probably the most importatnt consideration, I don't think there is enough demand on this planet for that many kovachii flasks.

Kyle
 

Roth

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I'm sure the Arias familly made a lot of money becasue of thier kovachii flasks, but I think your 18000 flask estimate may have an extra zero on the end. I would even suggest that 1800 flasks is a very liberal estimate.

I have been to thier lab. It is not big enough to hold 18000 flasks, nor did they have the hood space to produce that many flasks.

And probably the most importatnt consideration, I don't think there is enough demand on this planet for that many kovachii flasks.

Kyle

1800 flasks, sorry for the typo. And not counting the hybrids, the hobby size flasks. Some large Taiwanese nurseries and Japaneses ones invested in a lot of flasks, orders of couple hundreds/nursery, been there, seen thoses...
 

Kyle

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The hobby flasks were priced significantly lower then $1040. Somewhere around $200. So 1800 x 200 is $360000. Thats a ways from $1,000,000. I still think 1800 is a very high estimate.

My contacts in Taiwan told me most growers didn't bother with kovachii. Too hot to grow.

Kyle
 
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Roth

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The hobby flasks were priced significantly lower then $1040. Somewhere around $200. So 1800 x 200 is $36000. Thats a ways from $1,000,000. I still think 1800 is a very high estimate.

My contacts in Taiwan told me most growers didn't bother with kovachii. Too hot to grow.

Kyle

It is not quite correct, there is a grower that has over a thousand near blooming size kovachii right now in Taiwan, and another one that got couple hundreds wild ones, perfectly well cultivated...

The hobby flasks were around 400-500US, and I am talking about some people that I know personnally and who bought some hundreds flasks each, commercial size... One of the operation is recorded even in the CITES database - Taiwan did not ask for CITES for flasks, but Japan did, over 200+ commercial flasks. We are already at 200.000USD+...
 
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nikv

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The hobby flasks were priced significantly lower then $1040. Somewhere around $200. So 1800 x 200 is $36000. Thats a ways from $1,000,000. I still think 1800 is a very high estimate.
You missed a zero. That would be 360,000.
 

Kyle

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Thanks Nikv, my mistake.

Sander, we will have to agree to disagree. I agree that Peruflora did very well financially with kovachii, but I think your numbers are way to generous. I don't think we will ever know for sure.

Kyle
 

Roth

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http://www.unep-wcmc.org/citestrade/trade.cfm

My japanese friend is here with his 337 flasks of paph kovachii at 800USD discounted price... It still makes a good 264000USD paid to Arias. Japaneses were thinking it would be a big deal with kovachii.

The taiwaneses did not want CITES for flasks, so they are not listed, but I can provide photos of the greenhouse with the kovachii seedlings.

All ofthoses things will be released to the market as blooming size plants within the next 2 years. Why they are not yet on the market? Because a select kovachii in bloom with paperwork sell for over 1000USD in Taiwan right now... There will be a huge flood of the market with thoses "rare kovachii"...

Second, Peruflora website listed the buyers, to 140 in 2005, then 200 in 2006, then they stopped to list. Trust me, they did more than half a million US guaranteed...


PS I past the official CITES database record for kovachii flasks in 2005- the only flasks that ever got a CITES anywhere in the world... Not including Taiwan as I said previously. Later, from 2006, the INRENA would issue sparsely, if at all, CITES for kovachii flasks, so the proper counting is very difficult, except if the buyer asked specifically to get a CITES, like the Japaneses...

In 2005, according to Manolo and my knowledge, mostly commercial flasks were sold...


2005 1 Phragmipedium spp. CA PE 30 FLA cultures T D
2005 1 Phragmipedium spp. FR PE 70 FLA cultures T D
2005 1 Phragmipedium spp. GB PE 45 FLA cultures T D
2005 1 Phragmipedium spp. RU PE 10 FLA cultures T D
2005 1 Phragmipedium spp. TW PE 12 FLA cultures T D
2005 1 Phragmipedium spp. US PE 62 FLA cultures T D
2005 1 Phragmipedium spp. ZA PE 42 FLA cultures T D

275 flasks, mostly commercial ones. Make your calculations about the 2005 income ALONE, excluding Taiwan, who bought flasks like crazy.

One Taiwanese forced Peruflora to make a CITES, because the only place where they were commercial quantities of wild collected Kovachii outside of Peru and Ecuador was Taiwan... I have never seen kovachii collected plants sold in Europe so far, nor Russia, nor Japan... It is all a fake story to raise the price, but that's not the point here...

Of course, it bring again the question how the hell 5 motherplants can give so many flasks... The second question, why Arias did not return at least part of the bail money to Norris...
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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George asked me to forward this message to the list...here it is-

Hi Eric,

Thanks for defending me and making others on the chat line aware of the latest developments.

I can not post on there but would like to respond to the message below.....maybe you can post it for me.

Manuel never paid me anything because he didn't owe me. We posted bond for his release to the tune of $200,000 but Manuel paid his fine and the courts have dropped it for now. The gov't has a lien filed in the wrong county but they haven't seen fit to do anything.

Manuel has not become a millionaire with the Kovachii. Many of his flasks arrived broken in Europe for a show and he hardly made expenses. His sales have slowed and while he lives well, his nursery business is suffering. He is selling more cut flowers in Lima than plants internationall

Manuel is over 75 and has lost the use of his arms to a degenerative nerve problem in his neck and shoulders. His family has to feed him his meals. He is unable to work but still oversees his son Manolo is running the business. He has somewheres about 2 million plants registered with the Peruvian gov't. and has their care and quite a few workers costing good sums of money with very little sales.

This only bothers me because I am losing a man who has been a good friend for over 25 years. I am distressed for his wife and 2 sons and all they are going through. Manuel owes me nothing and we remain in touch and good friends.

Please don't let rumors spread about him or me or this whole unfortunate situation. See the Congressional hearing and learn what actually happened. The Heritage Foundation run by Ed Meese (former atty general) and the ACLU have taken up the fight to keep others from having the same fate as us.

Thanks, George
 
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Roth

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George asked me to forward this message to the list...here it is-

Manuel never paid me anything because he didn't owe me. We posted bond for his release to the tune of $200,000 but Manuel paid his fine and the courts have dropped it for now. The gov't has a lien filed in the wrong county but they haven't seen fit to do anything.

Very interesting

http://www.heritage.org/Research/LegalIssues/lm0044.cfm

The story quoted is a bit different

Neither Norris nor his wife knows how they will face retirement with all of their savings used to pay legal expenses. Arias's bond hangs over their heads as well, and the government has said that it will seek to enforce it. That threat keeps Kathy up at nights. She doesn't know what else they could give up, other than the house, or how they could possibly come up with the $175,000 still owed.

This is a quote from the Heritage foundation, paper published the 27th of July 2009... So they should not dramatize the things excessively then...


Manuel has not become a millionaire with the Kovachii. Many of his flasks arrived broken in Europe for a show and he hardly made expenses. His sales have slowed and while he lives well, his nursery business is suffering. He is selling more cut flowers in Lima than plants internationall

It is not exactly the correct story. Manuel Arias claimed suddenly that the flasks arrived broken, I will explain why. So far only a few flasks were broken, to save the remaining of the flasks that effectively entered...

When he arrived to the Charles de Gaulle Airport, in France, the flasks were on the way to Dijon exhibition. Once he arrived to the exhibition, he learned that the tax to pay, import tax, was ca 18% of the value, which was enormous. After a first trial to explain that the flasks were 10.40US- and not 1040, rejected by the customs who eventually got before a pricelist, he declared "most" of the flasks as broken. Despite this, he filled up ALL the preorders he had to deliver, and had some extra flasks to sell even. The best proof was his website where all the buyers were listed, including all the EU ones... And at 1040us/flask, he surely made more than the "expenses"

Let's do some maths...

* A TC Lab in Peru would cost, let's say to be generous, 80.000USD to get something state of the art. In Malaysia, there are labs that have been built from scratch, 10 laminar flow hoods, air cond rooms, etc... for 35.000USD. Been there, done that..

* The workers, let's say they are very greedy, and want 10US/flask they replate - most likely 10US/ 2 days of work, which means about 50 flasks if the worker is OK... - but keep the figures high.

* The media, let's say 5 US/flask, which is completely astronomical - I run my lab with the best possible formulations, EU chemicals Rectapur, Normapur... and I am around the 1US/flask...

The kovachii - free as they were collected with the permit

Make the calculations for even 500 commercial flasks- far less than the 1800 kovachii pure commercial flasks produced.

500 x 1000 = 500.000 USD... Income

Let's see the "costs", that would be realistic figures in Japan only, and even so...

Cost of the state of the art lab - sure not like the one in Peru, as I happen to set up labs and know the correct prices with top quality equipments = 80.000 USD

Greedy workers who wants 10 US/flask, the total replate 500 flasks x 10US = 5000 USD

Gold-containing tissue culture media 500 flasks x 5US = 2500USD

Profit = 500.000 USD income - 87500USD all costs including lab building and equipment, add some margins = 400.500 USD

Hardly made expenses ? :D :D :D

Well, give me that 400.000 USD for my expenses, and we'll discuss later. Sometimes people should think with their brain a little bit before telling nonsense. Arias family became millionnaires with that kovachii story, period.

No need to be shy or hide, it was extremely good marketing, with those bullshit stories of "forbidden to resell the seedlings coming from our flasks for 2 years", the CITES, the scares, the seed supplies, the stories of extinction - there are still kovachii in the wild, do not worry, and plenty. Only there is no market amongst professionnal, far too dangerous, and the price is too high...

Latest offer for kovachii came in a few months ago, they tried to contact one nursery in Taiwan again to offer 1000 fresh jungle plants, shipped through a neighbor country, at USD30/plant... So it is not "rare" if they make such an offer. But no one would touch it because the kovachii is the subprime of the orchid world... Put a lot of money on the table, loose everything in a blink.

kovachii has been the most profitable orchid species ever.

That's an estimate only for 500 flasks, far from the 900 flasks from the CITES database, and very far from the 1800 produced flasks... I will get the phyto database, to return the quantities exactly exported and type of flasks.

What I think about that kovachii story ? It is the worst scam ever made in the orchid world, period. From a plant that has very showy flowers, but is not really rare in the wild, a complete scheme has been made, lives ruined...

A false reputation of rarity allowed a few chosen ones to make massive amounts of money, far beyond anything predictible.

The future of kovachii ? Like my Japanese friend who bought the 300+ flasks, most of the buyers of those flasks should hurry up like crazy to sell their plants, because kovachii will be worth nothing very soon, maximum 2 years.

Already in Germany, people start to sell kovachii blooming size for 60-80e, and when the Taiwanese will have to get rid of their thousands of seed-grown plants, there will be no market for kovachii for a while.
 
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