10.04.2005

another ex-pat view

Kyle_From_Ottawa (should I link to you? are you blogging anymore?) sent me an interesting essay written by an American now living in Australia.

The writer lives in Tasmania, about as far from the United States as you can get, and he writes about visiting the US after an absence of many years. His daughter and his elderly mother still live there, but I guess that's not worth overcoming his loathing for a visit.

He writes mainly of the "security" measures he encountered traveling to and from Los Angeles.
And this thought occurs to me: if, and I say here in capital letters, IF, there were any real terrorists out there who are not CIA plants, and if they wanted to bring the USA to a virtual halt, there would be no need whatsoever to get explosives or weapons on to an aircraft. Not at all. Suppose a suicide bomber, or a mind-controlled slave, came into the international check-in area of LAX with two large suitcases packed solid with explosives surrounded by small metal bits, giant Claymore mines, and when in the midst of all those thousands of people queueing up, detonated them.

I mean, how could air transport occur if a person couldn't even take their bags into a terminal? What a waste all this illusion of security is making! If a half-assed writer from Tasmania can think up such atrocities over a beer, what could someone dedicated to creating chaos come up with?

Since these things aren't happening, maybe despite DU [depleted uranium] and all the other atrocities committed by the criminals in Washington, D.C., maybe there aren't any real terrorists out there.

With a mind spinning with thoughts like this, I got on the Qantas jet and I confess, that the moment the cabin crew closed the hatch, a palpable sense of relief went through me, as though somehow the crew had created a bit of magic, made the plane into Australian national territory while still on the ground at LAX. I was on my way home.

And I made a vow: I would not return to the USA until there had been a genuine regime change, and by that I did not mean the Democratic party.
I can relate to that sense of relief at not being part of the US anymore. I feel it daily. But I chose Toronto over, say, New Zealand, for a reason, and I'll be traveling to the US regularly. In fact, I've already booked my first trip to New York. We'll probably vacation in the US sometimes, too, as there are many national parks - and baseball parks - we've yet to visit.

Speaking of which: playoff games at 1:00, 4:00 and 8:00 today. We don't watch every game during the Division Series - there are just too many. We'll be exhausted just following both the Red Sox and Yankees series.

18 comments:

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

Yes, you can link to me. I only got an internet connection at home as of yesterday, so I should begin blogging again soon.

I also sort-of got a phone yesterday. 3 months after my original request and one no-show appointment later, they connected my house yesterday. But sadly, it seems my woes are not over, the guy couldn't get a dial tone. Argh!

L-girl said...

ARGH! What a nightmare.

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

Yes, it's been a real pain.

Because of my never ending phone issues, I switched from DSL to Cable. I've thought of going VOIP, but I'm concerned about the reliability of the service as my primary phone.

Still, using a cell phone as a local phone is getting expensive. We're using a pay-as-you-go phone, but it cost us about $70 for September.

RobfromAlberta said...

Vancouver was voted the most livable city in the world again. As if people in Lotus-Land weren't insufferable enough.

http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe/10/04/eui.survey/index.html

Toronto and Calgary also cracked the top 10.

melusina said...

I know one thing - despite all the stress involved in moving to Greece (mostly because of moving with three cats) once I stepped off the plane and breathed the Greek air, I became much less stressed than I felt in America post 9/11.

It isn't the thought of terrorist attacks as much as the thought of what a Republican like George Bush can do when unleashed. What is actually real? What should we be afraid of? The unknowns were scary.

It is nice living in a country where you aren't getting terrorist alerts, travel warnings, and all kinds of "Fear, Fear, Fear!" messages pumped into you every day. Unfortunately, it is crap like that that helped get Bush re-elected.

L-girl said...

It is nice living in a country where you aren't getting terrorist alerts, travel warnings, and all kinds of "Fear, Fear, Fear!" messages pumped into you every day.

Boy do I agree!

Unfortunately, it is crap like that that helped get Bush re-elected.

That and Diebold.

L-girl said...

Rob, thanks for the link, I'll blog on that tomorrow. My brother and sister-in-law (who posts here as mkk) are considering moving there.

L-girl said...

Because of my never ending phone issues, I switched from DSL to Cable. I've thought of going VOIP, but I'm concerned about the reliability of the service as my primary phone.

I've never had DSL, but cable modem is fantastic. From what I hear about DSL, most people are happier w/ cable.

Re VOIP, you do need reliable cable - and you need a backup. If you have a cell phone for emergencies, and a decent cable connection, you should be fine. I really like it.

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

I've never had DSL, but cable modem is fantastic. From what I hear about DSL, most people are happier w/ cable.

I've switched between the two before. I never found them to be much different.

What I really enjoy now though is having a wireless router. In the apartment, I never bothered. But the room in the house where the main computer is doesn't have a cable outlet, and I have a wireless enabled company laptop as well, so I went out and bought one.

L-girl said...

I've switched between the two before. I never found them to be much different.

Oh, interesting.

What I really enjoy now though is having a wireless router.

Wireless is great. We have Allan's laptop connected with the wireless router. We're having all kinds of trouble getting the signal into the basement where his office is - the router is in my office on the 2nd floor.

We've tried two different pieces of equipment that were supposed to extend the range - neither worked, we had to return both.

Now Allan ordered something else, we're waiting for it to be delivered. Meanwhile he's using his laptop in the living room.

How's your house other than the internet and phone troubles?

SouthernAlbertaPeter said...

DSL and Cable in Canada are very comparable, in some areas DSL is better, in others Cable. It really is hit and miss. In the US DSL has very big problems because of the way the phone network developed (multiple carriers, lots of interconnects).

I generally prefer DSL where I am, but that is just because Shaw treated me like sh*t!.

L-girl said...

In the US DSL has very big problems because of the way the phone network developed

That explains my impression that cable is so much better than DSL.

I hated Time Warner, and I'm sure I'll hate Rogers eventually! So I don't like being so dependent on the cable company. But I am.

Expat Traveler said...

Every time I exited the US, I felt such a relief off my shoulders. When I touched down in Switzerland, it was such a great and secure feeling. You get treated better too!

I think it's purely the fact that television outside the US is NOT completely censored to scare/fear and misinform the public. Once I lived in a foreign country I found out the REAL news for once. I truely feel sorry for people who never get really informed.

Totally agree with L-girl!

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

The house is great other than that, especially having your own laundry facility and having a dishwasher. There was a minor gas leak at the fireplace, which was immediately repaired, but no other problems with the house itself. We have one blind left to put up, but I think we'll hire someone for that. It's a two storey window, and too much trouble to put up ourselves. Having a lawn, even a tiny one like ours, is way better than a balconey.

I'll be glad though when they finish the construction of the block across from us. They start work at 7, and waking up to the noise is unpleasant.

L-girl said...

especially having your own laundry facility and having a dishwasher.

I am loving that too!

I think we'll hire someone for that. It's a two storey window, and too much trouble to put up ourselves.

Not to mention dangerous.

We are in the midst of replacing old ugly light fixtures. Quite an adventure.

Having a lawn, even a tiny one like ours, is way better than a balconey.

I am so enjoying my lawn too! We didn't have any outdoor space in NYC and I really missed it.

I'll be glad though when they finish the construction of the block across from us. They start work at 7, and waking up to the noise is unpleasant.

What a coincidence - same here, only we get to hear it all day. A house around the corner from us, whose backyard borders are, is having an addition built. I think it's a whole 2nd and 3rd story. Quite a racket, right outside my office window.

L-girl said...

Oh, meant to say, glad you are enjoying your new house. :)

teflonjedi said...

Vancouver was voted the most livable city in the world again. As if people in Lotus-Land weren't insufferable enough.

Yup, I'm proud to be insufferably proud...and I don't live there any more! I get home as often as I can, though.

Anonymous said...

Hey L-Girl
ALPF

Further to the liveable city story

http://store.eiu.com/index.asp?layout=pr_story&press_id=660001866&ref=pr_list

Here one part that is interesting...

Canada betters neighbour
With low crime, little threat from instability or terrorism and a highly developed infrastructure, Canada has the most liveable destinations in the world. With a rating of just 1% (as a result of a small threat from petty crime) Vancouver is the highest ranked city of all 127 surveyed. A further two Canadian cities (Montreal and Toronto) feature in the top five with ratings of just 3%. All 4 cities surveyed score well in all respects.