Thursday, March 27, 2008

What are We Doing?

This is how I feel today. It's not snowing here in Philly, but it is cold again - though good to get some rain again finally. I have been fantasizing my spring planting over and over again. I have catalogs spread out just like this! At least, I think this blog is describing how I feel. My Finnish is way too rusty but - Kiitos!

Which makes me think of travel... but then, oddly enough, I got this in my mailbox this morning.

So, let me get this straight, the organization that makes a pretty map of all my travels throughout the world, is encouraging me to stay home with the lights out? What is this? A blackout shade a la the Blitz? [Or is it to make up for my humongous carbon footprint I've left from all my traveling??? hmmmm]

Not to be overly alarmist or anything, but what is going on in this great country of ours?!? I realize we are at war and all. But, I've been getting more and more concerned about the restrictions on Americans (and our allied friends) traveling for years now. The limits to Canada were probably the last straw for me - but I made sure we, in our little fam, all had passports. What about all those Americans who won't go through the hassle and never visit another country?

Or worse, what if we give up more freedoms, with idea that we're more secure, but really, end up broke (as a country) and no better off? These two blog posts brought it home for me:

First, from BlogHer:
"In Washington State, our gov was keen to fast track the program because we Washingtonians are always zipping up to Canada. With only 33% of Americans holding passports, border crossings dropped when the new passport regulations went in. Maybe the Canadians enjoyed having fewer Yanks swanning about Vancouver, but Washingtonians were pissed. Our local Department of Licensing site had bad news for us. If you've got a Euro-spouse (or any other non-US citizen type sidekick) they won't be granted a REAL ID, even if they're a green card holder. Pack your passport, sweetie, we're going to...Tucson? Thinking travelers devoted to freedom of movement are none too happy about the REAL ID initiative."

" The demand for ID does nothing for security while making honest Americans less free.

Every government that has imposed totalitarian rules told its populace that it was doing so to "uphold freedom" or "improve the security of the homeland" or "root out terrorists and subversives." These ends do not justify unconstitutional means. We uphold freedom by exercising it – not by restricting it. "

What she said!!!!

And second, from Boing Boing, a while back, reporting on a segment on NPR:

"We're putting up with the federal government on so many fronts, and nearly every month they come out with another hare-brained scheme ... to tell us that our life is going to be better if we just buckle under on some other kind of rule or regulation. And we usually just play along for a while. We ignore 'em for as long as we can. We try not to bring it to a head but if it comes to a head we found that it's best to tell 'em to go to Hell and run the state you wanna run your state.

Unfortunately this time around they've really got a hare-brained scheme... almost all those hijackers on 9/11 would have qualified for a Real ID."


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