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Old 12-08-07, 10:31 AM   #1
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Political Science

stapfam's post about the shopping trip prompted me to wax political about "leaving the country" --which is not so easy to do in the US. Many of us in the heartland could go a thousand miles in just about any direction and not leave the country. And most probably don't even have passports. So,... I might want to go to:

Canada: clearly our best friends (and anybody who says otherwise is itching for a fight).

Mexico: they love us but can't say it publicly for fear of deportation (I support full amnesty, but usually have to duck after saying that).

UK: wish I could summer in the west country. I do enjoy it over there.

France: definitely misunderstood by the typical heartland redneck (we all have elements of this) largely for their vocal stance against US invasion tendencies. Personally I'd consider them our oldest friend. Only a dear friend can presume to criticize and offer to be a "conscience"

Other foreign cities/countries I'd consider visiting... Dubai, Germany, anything on the Mediterranian, Bermuda, Australia (most definitely), New Zealand, New York, Detroit, ...

So where else have you travelled and connected with people??
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Old 12-08-07, 10:37 AM   #2
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Iceland was very interesting and since I visited it in February, in between living in California and Arkansas, I took inspiration from the bicyclists there and how actively they rode in the cold and snow.


I have to agree with you about France. Without France, we would still be a colony of Great Britain. Americans seem to forget that. France paid heavily for their support of the American colonies. The drain on their resources was enough that it eventually triggered their own revolution.

Freedom Fries should be called French Fries to honor their sacrifice for our freedom.
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Old 12-08-07, 11:10 AM   #3
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Having worked in France- I can assure you that the French and their way of life- are fantastic. But only if they accept you. There are a great number of predudices in France from the authorities and the people. Drive through Normandy on the backroads in a British- And I dare say an American car and in one village you will be waved at- The next it will be bricks thrown at you. Stems from after D Day when no nonsense was allowed from the "Invading" Troops. As the troops went through- If a village helped the invaders- they were assisted by the invaders. If the Germans were holed up- the village was decimated to get rid of the Germans. That predudice still existed 10 years ago and is the same right through France. The years passing will get rid of this- but the last time the English upset the French was at the Battle of Waterloo. The French never mention it- because they never refer to it themselves. They will hold a grudge for generations- Just like the Mafia.
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Old 12-08-07, 11:55 AM   #4
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Canada: clearly our best friends (and anybody who says otherwise is itching for a fight).

Mexico: they love us but can't say it publicly for fear of deportation (I support full amnesty, but usually have to duck after saying that).
How much time have you spent in Canada?

It would be easy to support full amnesty in Illinois. Now, imagine a civil war in southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, and south Texas in about forty years or so (and one need only look at other countries to see a possible consequence). Nothing is ever in the national news about the drug war raging in Nuevo Laredo and sometimes Laredo....as we speak.

Do you support more and more people just breaking our laws, not paying income taxes, and using the infrastructure of the American economy?

Feel free to move this to P&R.
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Old 12-08-07, 01:42 PM   #5
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Freedom Fries should be called French Fries to honor their sacrifice for our freedom.
I think WWI and WWII more than settled that debt.
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Old 12-08-07, 02:01 PM   #6
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France: definitely misunderstood by the typical heartland redneck (we all have elements of this) largely for their vocal stance against US invasion tendencies. Personally I'd consider them our oldest friend. Only a dear friend can presume to criticize and offer to be a "conscience"
Well said, thanks. We, French, also owe a lot to Americans. D-Day restored our freedom.
Only real friends will step up to try to stop you from doing a big mistake, others will take the cash and laugh.
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Old 12-08-07, 03:12 PM   #7
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How much time have you spent in Canada?

It would be easy to support full amnesty in Illinois. Now, imagine a civil war in southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, and south Texas in about forty years or so (and one need only look at other countries to see a possible consequence). Nothing is ever in the national news about the drug war raging in Nuevo Laredo and sometimes Laredo....as we speak.

Do you support more and more people just breaking our laws, not paying income taxes, and using the infrastructure of the American economy?

Feel free to move this to P&R.
As a southern Californian living less than 50 miles north of the border, I have to concur. Easterners and midwesterners simply do not understand the magnitude of the problem and the sheer numbers of people involved in this "quiet invasion." Of course, Mexico has precisely the same problem we do, with invasion across its southern borders. The problem will continue until the Mexican government gets a handle on the corruption of its politicians and police force; dropping Napoleonic law in favor of English common law, and a rising activist middle class, won't hurt, either.
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Old 12-08-07, 03:27 PM   #8
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Earlier in my career I lived in Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Singapore for about 6 years. During this time, I traveled over much of South and East Asia. I then did a 1 year stint in England. My wife and I have taken our kids on vacations to Belize, Mexico, and several European countries. I still enjoy travel and may look for an overseas job again in the next few years to lead me up to retirement.

Although I have enjoyed the adventure of travel in various countries and meeting different people, there is no place to live like the USA. For convenience of lifestyle, recreational opportunities, cost of living, security, etc... I may move away again, but I'll be back.

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Old 12-08-07, 03:32 PM   #9
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Travelled to the following countries--mostly by bike--and loved them all.

Greece
Italy (Including the separate "nations" of The Vatican and San Marino)
Austria
Switzerland
Lichtenstein
France
the UK
Ireland
Belgium
Netherland
Luxumbourg
Germany
Denmark
Sweden
Canada
Mexico

With an open mind and an open heart and a willingness to learn a few phrases in the native language, you're likely to have a grand time in any number of places, even my native state of New Jersey.
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Old 12-08-07, 03:37 PM   #10
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I've been to Europe and South Africa (which was beautiful and fascinating). I'd like to visit Chile and Argentina and Brazil and Peru, not to mention Australia and New Zealand, China, Japan, and Turkey and Greece. Been to Iceland as well. I love Canada and wouldn't mind living there at all except for the snow. I've also been to Texas, but that's so foreign I didn't understand most of it.
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Old 12-08-07, 03:39 PM   #11
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A couple of countries I visited (not biked) where I found locals (outside of the tourist/hotel industry) to be outstanding and truly friendly: Ireland and Greece.
As Jet Travis said a little effort to blend and not act as a spoiled bratty dollar loaded tourist makes a heck of a difference any place you go... even in France.
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Old 12-08-07, 06:48 PM   #12
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I've been to New York and California. I came close to moving to Canada about 35 years ago.
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Old 12-08-07, 07:00 PM   #13
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I came close to moving to Canada about 35 years ago.
+1. Sometimes I wish I would have. I should like to see the Canadian Rockies and
West Coast.
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Old 12-08-07, 07:03 PM   #14
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Do you support more and more people just breaking our laws, not paying income taxes, and using the infrastructure of the American economy?
Being a statistician, I've looked at some of the studies on illegal aliens. While there are a number of claims by the anti-immigration groups, most of those cite dubious statistics. Of the studies that I've seen which appear to be more credible, the statistics indicate that A) Illegal aliens commit fewer crimes than does the general US public (once you remove all arrests due to their illegal status), and B) they pay more in taxes than what they receive in benefits - by a rather wide margin. And this grows extremely large when one factors in the labor savings by US businesses which use immigrant labor.

The whole topic is a fascinating one on which to study the numbers.

Another fun number is to try to calculate the cost of deporting all of the illegal aliens. The cost would be incredibly high. For example, if the government purchased 1000 buses and then rounded up all of the illegal aliens into detention centers, and if each bus could take 40 people plus some possesions, then each bus would need to make 300 trips to take everyone back. That would take about 2 years to pull off and in the meantime, the cost to feed and house millions of people would be astronomical, if you could even find the facilities to hold them in. For if you emptied the entire state of Utah and used every house & building in the state, it wouldn't be enough to house them.
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Old 12-08-07, 07:10 PM   #15
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I've been to Canada four times and Mexico once, although all four times barely crossed the border. I parked my car in Del Rio, Texas and walked into Mexico, staying for about 6 hours. My trips to Canada were to Vancouver for a day, Victoria for 6 hours, the Canadian side of Niagara Falls for 3 hours, and three days in Montreal.

Would love to spend a couple of weeks in Canada. And maybe spent a January at a warm Mexican beach.
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Old 12-08-07, 07:11 PM   #16
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A couple of countries I visited (not biked) where I found locals (outside of the tourist/hotel industry) to be outstanding and truly friendly: Ireland and Greece.
As Jet Travis said a little effort to blend and not act as a spoiled bratty dollar loaded tourist makes a heck of a difference any place you go... even in France.

I Did not mention the Americans- but there is a feeling that All americans are Loud- Obese and Loaded here in the UK. I know it isn't wholly true as it is only those from San Diego that are like that- but it is a stypo- typical impression that the English have of Americans.

Now if you want predudice- Look at any nation. I had severe problems with one person I had to deal with in France for years. I spoke French with a Flandres accent- and this person thought I was Belgian. He gave me a lot of grief- until someone told him I was English. He had nothing against me- but as he Thought I was belgian- he just did not make anything easy for me.
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Old 12-08-07, 07:18 PM   #17
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A) Illegal aliens commit fewer crimes than does the general US public (once you remove all arrests due to their illegal status), I'm not saying most are not law abiding. They obviously are and they want a better life for themselves. All qualities to be admired. But they could possiblly be more "law abiding" to stay off the radar scope.

B) they pay more in taxes than what they receive in benefits - by a rather wide margin. And this grows extremely large when one factors in the labor savings by US businesses which use immigrant labor. Who among us does not? And please, tell me which tax they pay other than sales tax. They sure don't pay income tax or property taxes, which is by far the bulk of the tax burden. And they don't pay sales tax on larger ticket items...because they don't buy them. This is no rationale for people to break our laws.

The whole topic is a fascinating one on which to study the numbers.

Another fun number is to try to calculate the cost of deporting all of the illegal aliens. The cost would be incredibly high. For example, if the government purchased 1000 buses and then rounded up all of the illegal aliens into detention centers, and if each bus could take 40 people plus some possesions, then each bus would need to make 300 trips to take everyone back. That would take about 2 years to pull off and in the meantime, the cost to feed and house millions of people would be astronomical, if you could even find the facilities to hold them in. For if you emptied the entire state of Utah and used every house & building in the state, it wouldn't be enough to house them. You can't put a price on illegality or lawlessness, which is what this is. The logic for this is akin to calculating the cost of, say, fighting World War II. If you're more worried about your money than about the stability of your country, there is a problem. How about put them in tents in the Arizona desert and feed them balogna sandwiches and see how long it takes for them to want to go home? That would certainly cut down on the cost. Forget the buses, make them walk back across.
Illegal is illegal. Try to live in Mexico illegally and see what happens.
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Old 12-08-07, 07:23 PM   #18
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As a southern Californian living less than 50 miles north of the border, I have to concur. Easterners and midwesterners simply do not understand the magnitude of the problem and the sheer numbers of people involved in this "quiet invasion." Of course, Mexico has precisely the same problem we do, with invasion across its southern borders. The problem will continue until the Mexican government gets a handle on the corruption of its politicians and police force; dropping Napoleonic law in favor of English common law, and a rising activist middle class, won't hurt, either.
+1 on this. Mexico has been blessed with some of the greatest natural resources on the planet, plus two oceans for trade. What a shame.
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Old 12-08-07, 07:36 PM   #19
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I ran an international electric power development company for several years and traveled extensively plus vacations. Velodiva and I biked in Mexico and Italy and both were great experiences. Here is a list of countries and some representative cities. Everyone is so unique it is very hard to pick favorites.

Business
England - had an office in London and sort of spoke the language
Netherlands - Amsterdam one of my favorite cities
Finland - Helsinki numerous times and cross country skied in Lapland north of the arctic circle
France - Strasbourg
Switzerland - Zurich
Japan - Tokyo
Hong Kong - had and office pre and post British rule
Thailand - Bankok and played a lot of golf at the Thai country club
Indonesia - Jakarta
Taiwan
Vietnam - Hanoi and Ho Chin Minh
Bangladesh - Dhaka and Khulna
Pakistan - Karachi
Macao
Sinapore
Brazil - RIo and Sao Paulo
Columbia
Ecuador - La Paz, Cochabambua and Santa Cruz and appeared on national television to sign a contract
Panama
Costa Rica
Honduras
Mexico
Jamaica

Vacation
Canada
Mexico - Cabo and others too numerous to count
France - Paris, Nice, Cannes, San Tropes and St Paul de Vance and dined at Moulin de Mougin
Spain - Madrid
Corsica
Denmark
Monaco - drove the high road from Nice to Monaco and gambled at the casino
Italy - Rome, Venice, Capri, Sicily, Amalphi Coast, Chianti and Elba
Germany - Frankfort
Czech Republic - Prague
Belgium
Scotland
Wales - met Velodiva's pen pal of 40 years
Tahiti

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Old 12-08-07, 08:03 PM   #20
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From the SF Bay area I've only been to 2 foreign countries:
Florence, Italy
New York, New York

I liked them both a ton. Florence had more bikes and great art. The people were also easier to understand. But New York was way way cool too.
I'd highly recommend both.
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Old 12-08-07, 08:12 PM   #21
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Ukraine -- most hate Communism and almost all hated the old Soviet Union. They want to be like the warmongering Americans, or at least have some of their money. They also think Hillary Clinton is a crook, no matter what they think of her politics.

Romania -- they hate totalitarianism with a passion, and would shoot Ceausescu again if he were to return from the dead. They absolutely love Americans. One church I visited over there sent us $127 after 911, which probably collectively represented a week's wage of the whole congregation.

Why you libs want to adopt some of the policies of these countries prior to 1989 is beyond me.
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Old 12-08-07, 08:15 PM   #22
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Immigration has been a plus for this nation since its inception, and it remains a tremendous benefit. The immigrants, legal or otherwise, help our economy and benefit our nation in many ways. I vividly remember my grandmother telling me about growing up speaking German in Iowa and how she and her family assimilated into the U.S. Now, the hispanics cause passing, local problems in some locations, but generally are a tremendous plus for us. The xenophobia promoted by the media and some politicians disgusts me.
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Old 12-08-07, 08:29 PM   #23
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There is no use in discussing options that we all know will never happen. Like catching 12M illegal aliens, making them live in tents, eating bologna sandwiches, as they all walk back to Mexico. Odds are that there will never be a big roundup of illegal aliens and that the illegal alien population in the USA will continue to increase. If I were a betting man, that's what I would bet on.

As to the total economic impact, there are a lot of confusing numbers bandied about. It is easy to find the negative stories, less so the ones that paint a more neutral or positive picture.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=5312900
http://www.auditor.leg.state.mn.us/P...oimpactsum.htm
http://www.newsweek.com/id/72735

It is certainly hard to get a handle on it. Which is a bit surprising to me, given the magnitude of the situation. I would expect a lot more in the way of official, well-funded studies than what I've seen.
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Old 12-08-07, 08:48 PM   #24
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Visited in the south part of England. The people were absolutely great, although I could hardly understand a word they said. The sites were beautiful. We got to see a bit of London. The food, except for some fish and chips in downtown London, was absolutely horrid. Have been to Canada a few times. It's pretty nice, and you can get Cuban cigars there. Spent a week in Honduras on a mission trip. The people there were very friendly and hard working. We were in the mountains building a medical clinic. The countryside was outstanding. Oh, and you can get Cuban cigars there, as well. Other foreign countries I've visited... Wisconsin.

As to illegal aliens and amnesty, I'm strongly against each, and I'll hold my tongue.
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Old 12-08-07, 08:50 PM   #25
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Why you libs want to adopt some of the policies of these countries prior to 1989 is beyond me.
Who are these "libs" and what are these outdated Ukrainian and Romanian policies they want to adopt?
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