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America....love it or leave it?
July 19, 2003 7:54 PM   Subscribe

America....love it or leave it?
posted by gimonca (120 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
"It's the most amazing opportunity I can imagine. To live in a society where there are different priorities in caring for your fellow citizens."

Which is ironic, given the past decade and more during which many of the mechanisms by which society cares for its fellow citizens have been consciously dismantled by both federal and provincial governments.

It's not that America's getting worse and Canada isn't - it's that America's getting worse faster.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:57 PM on July 19, 2003


I've been joking about it for years, but I'm not exactly sure how to convert these US dollars into Beaver pelts. can anyone help?

(oh, and is there much of a black market for tax-free blank cds? I'll bring a few spindles with me)
posted by shadow45 at 8:03 PM on July 19, 2003


Also, these fuckwits would serve themselves and their nation better by staying home and trying to fix what's broken, rather than just giving up and moving to where it's better. (Not of course that I've taken my own advice there, but I didn't leave Canada many years ago because it was bad, I left for adventure and travel and delicious treats.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:03 PM on July 19, 2003


two out of three ain't bad, eh?
posted by quonsar at 8:04 PM on July 19, 2003


Disgusted US citizens moving North and becoming a political influence?
The day Canada invades to the south draws ever nearer.
;-P
posted by mischief at 8:04 PM on July 19, 2003


As if one can jump across the border: "here I am, where's my job and residence!"

What's the current status of residing in Canada as an American? I understand it was in fact rather simple during the Vietnam War, but my only experience with Canadian immigration was from around 15 years ago where a Yank hadn't a chance to get in with work/living privileges, but I'm not privy to what's happening now with their visas. (I once was interested in living in Toronto where I had many friends, but could not obtain a resident visa)

I recall years ago my father and his wife desiring to relocate and live in Nova Scotia, yet the gov't said no to a resident visa unless he had minimum finances on 1 million, and/or could provide a business that would employ at least 4 Canadian citizens.

Again, it's been some time, what is the status of Canadian/American resident visas, anyone know?

I'm staying put in NYC, but I'm simply curious...
posted by bluedaniel at 8:07 PM on July 19, 2003


Maybe it's the pressure of socially conservative hispanics pushing up from the south that's making European-style liberals flee ever further north to get away from them.

Well, it will certainly work better than Californians trying to get away by moving to rural Utah, which was a hoot.
posted by kablam at 8:09 PM on July 19, 2003


It only makes sense for people to move to jurisdictions more to their liking, whatever that might be. In economics and some poli-sci, it's called Tiebout (tee-boo) sorting after the dude what thought it up.

It makes the rocket-science prediction that if you like planned growth, you're more likely to want to move to Portland than to Houston, and vice versa. What you end up with are jurisdictions with characteristics or institutions that are self-reinforcing, as people move in to (in part) partake of the governance they like.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:10 PM on July 19, 2003


Conversely, Mollie Ingebrand says some of her friends - people who share her left-of-centre views - argue that she should stay at home to battle for changes here.

"I've been there and done that," Molly said. "I don't want to stay and fight anymore. I can have that bittersweet love for my country from somewhere else."


We didn't need them anyway. When the going gets tough, the tough...move to Canada?

Serisouly, I have considered this sort of thing, but much of who I am was built on the American privilege and disconnect that many of us decry. To simply bury it away while trying to please oneself is to assume that privilege is disconnected from responsibility. And isn't that what got the US into a mess in the first place?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 8:11 PM on July 19, 2003


I dunno, stavros, you really think they're fuckwits? It's a different choice, one I can judge as you have. But there's also a case to be made for taking care of number one first. Maybe for these people Canada really is better. I mean it's a dirty job . . .
posted by divrsional at 8:11 PM on July 19, 2003


That's an interesting point, ROU, because it highlights the overbearing concept of the Country. Move to another suburb? Fine. Move to another city? Fine. Move to another state? Fine. Move to another country? You pathetic weasly traitor!

People should be as free to decide what country they want to live in, as they are to decide what street they want to live in. Instead, arbitrary limits are placed along national borders.
posted by Jimbob at 8:15 PM on July 19, 2003


I dunno, stavros, you really think they're fuckwits?

Nah, I was just being curmudgeonly. Some of them are probably very nice people, whose presence would be a great benefit to Canada. I'd just prefer to see them stay home and help to turn around the tide destruction of what's great about America, which will in turn help Canada to maintain the very things they so prise about the Great White† North.

† That's white as in snow and ice, folks, so don't get all semantic on me. Heh.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:19 PM on July 19, 2003


stavros: what would Freud say?
posted by divrsional at 8:21 PM on July 19, 2003


Again, it's been some time, what is the status of Canadian/American resident visas, anyone know?

Not easy. Probably easier than you describe because of NAFTA, but still not easy unless you're transferring from one wing of a multinational to another, or unless you already have a job offer. And having a job offer will be hard, since there are INS-or-equivalent rigamaroles to go through if you want to make an offer to a foreigner.

Note that everyone in the article is in the process of trying to move to Canada, rather than having their permanent residency worked out and just planning when and where to land. This is, probably, not a coincidence. It's also tough if you're any kind of professional, because Canada has a "Canadian experience" requirement for at least some jobs -- you're not allowed a [foo] license until you have yay much Canadian experience (and of course it's nigh on impossible to get the experience since you're unhirable without a license). Lots of engineers and so on driving cabs.

On the other hand, it's easy for me because I took the clever step of marrying a Canadian. We're in the US now, but it's still nice to know that there are alternatives out there. As an added bonus, her parents are originally British, so she's a Brit too anytime she turns in the form, which opens up the whole EU to us if the entire western hemisphere goes nuts.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:25 PM on July 19, 2003


Moving to a more symatico nation has its allure, but as a disaffected American who has lived in more progressive (Scandanavia) and more different (Japan) places, I'd have to say that the allure of ones homeland counts for a lot. There are intellectual arguments about staying and fighting vs. leaving... (and becoming morally pure?)

But I missed America. The music, the racial mix, the freedom. Home. OK, Canada might have (does have) more of these than do Sweden or Japan, but, still...if you have lived abroad for more than a month or two, you know what I'm talkin' about.
posted by kozad at 8:30 PM on July 19, 2003


"Move to Canada". As an urban resident I think I'd have to move to a particular city rather than the nebulous destination of a whole country. And honestly in choosing where to live there are far more important things than the national political content. Jobs, life style, environment, entertainment, and about 100 things before I got to "national parliament."
posted by Wood at 8:45 PM on July 19, 2003


I and my fiance will probably be making the move to Toronto ourselves within the next 5 years if things don't radically shift in the United States - we need a couple years near our families, watch her nephew grow up a bit, etc., before we go. But we've established a month to be out by, etc.

We're both concerned that this may not be soon enough, more than anything, because we're worried that continued Neo-con policies will leave the United States in such disfavor with the rest of the world that it may become impossible to leave in short order.
posted by Ryvar at 8:46 PM on July 19, 2003


America: Love It but Don't Leave It
posted by homunculus at 8:47 PM on July 19, 2003


I hear there are great restaurants in sante fe...

really i have to agree with ROU_Xenophobe in that people move to places that agree with them. I've immigrated from indianapolis to boston and then to san francisco and i'd feel just the same way about moving to sydney or london (admittedly the visa hassles make it a tad more difficult). We now live in a world were it took me 5 days of driving to end up living on the opposite side of a continent, the world just isn't that big anymore.

Of course you end up leaving behind a place which is now more concentrate in the things you DON'T like (or don't prefer at least). Are the coasts more democratic because more democrats are raised there or because all the democrats in the middle have moved there?
posted by NGnerd at 8:49 PM on July 19, 2003


Well, I wish those people the best of luck in finding what they're looking for. I am very happy that I got the chance to move to the U.S. and hope they will feel the same way about Canada. However, there are just somethings you won't know unless you live in a place for an extended period of time, no matter how much research you do. If they're idealizing Canada as some sort of paradise I can't help but think that they're going to be at least a little bit disappointed in what they find.
posted by gyc at 8:55 PM on July 19, 2003


i've considered leaving it for sometime for canada. it isn't that i hate the u.s. but i like canada --well the places i've been and the people i've met at least.

from what i can tell immigrating to canada isn't that difficult...
posted by birdherder at 8:57 PM on July 19, 2003


Well, I'll be the first to say it.

Don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.

Asshats.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:16 PM on July 19, 2003


If it wasn't even farther to the north than I already am, and if I didn't have a decent, steady job I'm in no hurry to give up, I'd move there in a second. I still consider it an option. I was born with dual US/Canadian citizenship and figure I wouldn't have much trouble immigrating. I live in one of the most liberal spots in the country, but what's happened in the the past few years is so absurd--to some of us, at least--that jumping ship is starting to look pretty good. Yes, I understand that it's also good to stay and "fight", but sometimes that feels like playing in the string quartet on the Titanic...especially when you live in a little enclave of liberalism and there's no one around you to argue with...just that big swath of "middle America" out there somewhere that believes what it sees on Fox News. Or, while I've got the box of scare quotes out, Fox "News".
posted by uosuaq at 9:27 PM on July 19, 2003


one winter in the great white north, and all those guys'll be back before you can say "malibu barbie."
posted by crunchland at 9:39 PM on July 19, 2003


"Canada has an opportunity to define itself as a leader," Hanley said. "In some ways, it's now closer to American ideals than America is."

This is so depressingly true that I sighed out loud when I read it.

Now, back to the rest of the article.
posted by interrobang at 9:43 PM on July 19, 2003


Based on the immigration law courses I've taken (and the people I know who've been rejected by immigration canada) Americans who apply for Canadian citizenship will find it's a tad more difficult than the little bits of info you will find on public gov't sites. They certainly don't mention the financial and professional standards most US citizens are required to meet before being considered (standards that other nationalities are not held to), but most of that sort of bad news isn't revealed until well into the process. Americans have always been at the bottom of the list of desirables; not because anyone thinks they're inferior, but the gov't prefers other more diverse peoples, and officially fears the cultural dilution that may occur from living next door to a big old white conservative male of a place. Not to mention that Americans don't need safe harbour (ie: refugee status etc) the way others do.

ROU - don't feel too comfy. We send home foreign born husbands and wives all the time, often quite arbitrarily and cruelly. We've even been known to deport innocent babies and children. Big old sooprize for the ladies who think getting married and starting a family will extend their visa or get them landed immigrant status. Brrr. Yes, it can get very cold here sometimes.

On a personal note, I would think decent Americans would be brave enough to stay put and fight the good fight against all the various forms of conservatism and nationalism that are currently destroying the founding fathers' legacy and vision.
posted by zarah at 9:45 PM on July 19, 2003


All right, I read the rest of the article. I still feel the same way:

Unless there's a really sticking political scandal - and I don't really think the Uranium thing is going to cut it - we're just going to see more of the same here in America: soldiers as mercenaries for corporate-interests, the abolitions of each of the terms on the Bill of Rights under the guise of "Homeland Security", and so on.

Considering that this is a land of immigrants seeking political and religious freedoms, we might want to modify the old phrase "America: Love it or Leave It" to:

"America: Leave it ecause you loved it."
posted by interrobang at 9:52 PM on July 19, 2003


All right, I read the rest of the article. I still feel the same way:

Unless there's a really sticking political scandal - and I don't really think the Uranium thing is going to cut it - we're just going to see more of the same here in America: soldiers as mercenaries for corporate-interests, the abolitions of each of the terms on the Bill of Rights under the guise of "Homeland Security", and so on.

Considering that this is a land of immigrants seeking political and religious freedoms, we might want to modify the old phrase "America: Love it or Leave It" to:

"America: Leave it because you loved it."
posted by interrobang at 9:52 PM on July 19, 2003


whoops. I guess I deserve MeFi deportation for that.
posted by interrobang at 9:53 PM on July 19, 2003


I would love to move to British Columbia...but that's because farm/ranch land is so much less expensive than it has become in Texas, with the added bonus of cool breezes and whales. There's no affordable acreage in this country that has whales.

I can still vote in American elections even if I live in another country. You don't have to cede your citizenship to get permanent resident status. Hell, if I just keep a post office box in Houston, I'll be as much a resident of Texas as the first George Bush ever was.
posted by dejah420 at 9:58 PM on July 19, 2003


What mr_crash_davis said.
posted by Plunge at 10:06 PM on July 19, 2003


Yet Another Motto

America: I love it because you left it.
posted by Ayn Marx at 10:32 PM on July 19, 2003


What Ryvar said.

I am truly terrified of where America is headed.

I'm not being melodramatic. I really am scared. Very scared. Everyday.
posted by Ynoxas at 10:38 PM on July 19, 2003


Some holier than thou hypocrites are trying to make this "that's it! I'm moving to Canada" pantomime into a political gesture, but I'm willing to bet 9 out of 10 among them are doing it for strictly personal/financial reasons and using the political argument to dignify their real selfish, unglamorous motivations.
If we are talking about being nonconformist, why not move to Mexico, an infant, struggling democracy that openly opposed the Iraq War? Why not Cuba, whose murderous leader would promptly subscribe to the slurs against the Bush Government (not to mention the alluring appeal of the supposedly successful Cuban health system)? Because ultimately they can't do without the advantages of living in a developed country where things like liability and freedom of speech are taken for granted.
posted by 111 at 10:53 PM on July 19, 2003


111:

I think that a lot of us see the idea of moving to Canada the way we see publishing a novel, or putting out an album; very few of us are going to do it, but a lot of us want to.

Or, alternately, we see it like this:

When I was growing up, I was taught that this country was about the freedom of the press, freedom from religion, and the freedom to assemble. Our current government does not like any of those things. Can you actually support the (all caps, like DEATH STAR) USA PATRIOT act? Can you tell us why it's a good idea to monitor librarians?

Please tell us exactly why it's a good idea for our government to monitor our every move. I'd really like to hear why someone who purports to espouse the idea that government should be small - as Reagan and both Bushes claimed they wanted it to be - would want to know what we're reading, who we're giving our money to, what we want to do with our lives, and what we want to do with our precious bodily fluids.
posted by interrobang at 11:09 PM on July 19, 2003


I'd like to pretend to be superior as a Canadian and say that yes, we are more liberal, welcome blahblahblah, and part of me does think that. However, I know that if the scenerio was reversed I would be as annoyed as many Americans. I would want Canadians to stay and fight, to make the country better.
Not to mention, as someone stated above, I hope they're not idealizing Canada...we have our issues too.
posted by aclevername at 11:11 PM on July 19, 2003


If we are talking about being nonconformist, why not move to Mexico, an infant, struggling democracy that openly opposed the Iraq War?

I know you're just trolling, and we obviously aren't "talking about being nonconformist" here, but I'll bite.

If you are thinking about expatriating for political reasons, think about Mexico. It's an exciting place right now, politically, and the "fight" there--being in its infancy and all--delivers real returns. I lived there for a while, and every day I wish I could go back. The 20 and 30somethings there are engineering their own social change, like the US in the 1960's, and they are trying to confronting the mistakes of the past.

Democracy is happening in Mexico the right way, through the organic and real emergence of civil society, a growing middle class (remember when we had one of those?), and a national press and education system that make up in ambition and purporse what they lack in infrastructure and resources. For my money, it is the most exciting place in the world right now, with the added bonus that they have 3 independence days! Not being a hegemon has its payoff, you know.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:28 PM on July 19, 2003


interrobang, those are reasonable questions, although delving too much into them would thwart the discussion. So basically it goes like this: the USA and all democracies, including those of the Third World, are fighting a war against terrorism. The USA, being at the forefront of this silent conflict, has had to resort to extreme measures to protect its citizens and look for evidence of terrorist activities.
Although I think a Democrat victory next year is extremely unlikely, I'm sure that if it happens we'll see absolutely no major differences re national security and surveillance. This is life during wartime, and moving to Canada alters nothing at all in the long run. If things turn out for the worse, Canadians will automatically identify what their interests are and quickly adopt stringent measures as well.

Ignatius no, I'm not trolling. Did you read the article?
I think Mexico's recent reforms are praiseworthy. It's a great country and I admire it, but it's still a very challenging place to live when one considers the daily comforts, the infrastructure and the solid institutions of the USA and Canada.
posted by 111 at 11:54 PM on July 19, 2003


ignatius. thanks.

Chile - for those of you who are tired of living in a country dominated by the likes of two fuckwits from texas ... is a helluva a nice place. (shhhh) sources tell me property on the unbelievably pretty north shore of lake superior in ontario is very reasonable as well.

For now - lets stay and fight the oil companies for control of our country and vis a vis world.
posted by specialk420 at 11:58 PM on July 19, 2003


America: I love it because you left it.

And there ya go mr_crash_davis. With attitudes like that, it makes it very easy to want to leave. --Oh and don't worry I won't.

Some of you Americans seriously suck. Some don't even fathom the first thing about just living with the fact there are others who don't agree with you and will vocally beg to differ.

I'm no better. But this is a country of absolutists, crazy intractable, hateful yawners.

Before this nationalistic cage match began, an American could quite readily announce their "allegiance" to a planet that could be traveled in and lived wherever you were happy should you so desire. Go back in your imaginations to the great barrage of dotcomming the hell out of our lives, as it was touted, the interconnectedness of the planet. I'd put money down on even you too fantasizing about a condo on the French Riviera or some shit. Now when the going gets tough, everybody should just be as miserable as you are in their brittle partisan shells.

You wanna know what I want? I want to colonize Mars. How's that for turning your thruster on your own country?

It's that a great many of those who populate this land have ceased dreaming. And I personally want to escape this rote environment. Not that I will or can of course. But one can still dream can they not?
posted by crasspastor at 11:58 PM on July 19, 2003


i have to agree with ROU_Xenophobe in that people move to places that agree with them

...all else equal, anyway. But usually, all else isn't equal. I wasn't thrilled about moving to D/FW, but when the choice was a nice job here and abject and total unemployment in RDU, well....

Still, the tendency seems to be strong enough to make cities noticeably different, neh?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:09 AM on July 20, 2003


The USA, being at the forefront of this silent conflict,

Silent? Has someone been silent about it? The administration never wastes an opporunity to pin their every objective on it, to exploit it to political advantage; and use it as an excuse to further plans it already had. Or did yuu miss, just for example, the load of rubbish about Iraq ties to Al Qaeda? And for that matter, for such a massive piece of legislation the "patriot" act came into existence with remarkable alacrity -- almost as if they'd already been working on it. If there's someone being silent about the war terrorism it isn't us. Whether we're actually fighting such a war or doing something else under its cover is another matter.

has had to resort to extreme measures to protect its citizens and look for evidence of terrorist activities.

Had to resort to extreme measures? Did they try ordinary measures first, the ones provided for in our laws and institutions? We don't know, do we, because they've quashed investigation. But it doesn't look like it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:14 AM on July 20, 2003


Don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.

as sad as it would be ... one wonders if there is a way we could give crash davis a look at what amerika would look like if the remaining creative, caring, smart people all left the US of A.
posted by specialk420 at 12:20 AM on July 20, 2003


interrobang, those are reasonable questions, although delving too much into them would thwart the discussion. So basically it goes like this: the USA and all democracies, including those of the Third World, are fighting a war against terrorism. The USA, being at the forefront of this silent conflict, has had to resort to extreme measures to protect its citizens and look for evidence of terrorist activities.

111-
Do you inhabit some sort of bizarro swath of space-time, a la that guy's dad in that Randy Quaid transdimensional ham radio flick a few years back?

You understand that sometimes when people [Bush, Ashcroft] say things, they don't really mean them, right? I wish Grover Nordquist would tell you to make me an omelette.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:21 AM on July 20, 2003


Heh. I'm with crasspastor, Mars would be nice. The Free State Project might be too, if it works out. But neither of them are today.

Regarding the various "stay and fix it" comments: bullshit. I'm neither rich nor a lawyer. My voice is irrelevant. That's my main complaint, actually: taxation without representation. I was already considering expatriation back in the late 90's, because I already thought we were going to hell in a bucket (DMCA being one of the many signs leading to this conclusion). The election of Generalissimo El Busho and the subsequent love fest steeled my desire. We may yet have a future, but I think our best shot is the Free State Project, and it's a long one. Meanwhile most of us are too fat and happy with Monday Night Football and a twelver of Coors Light to pull our heads out of our asses and pay attention.

If it was just me, I'd probably stay and fight the good fight. But it's not just me, I've got a family depending on me. And if I end up in the Generalissimo's gulag they end up screwed. If I thought my stay in the gulag would amount to half a hill of beans I might do it anyway, but I don't. It's the old pig/sing situation, wastes my time, annoys the pig.

For us though, the choice is New Zealand, not Canada. Much nicer climate, closer to that of our native California. Waiting on FBI clearances for the visas at the moment, but it's more than just a "gee, that'd be nice" kind of thing. And it's been coming on for about ten years now. Target date for departure was 1 September but it looks like we'll be off by a couple of weeks.
posted by ehintz at 12:30 AM on July 20, 2003


George, Ignatius, I'm moving then. To bed, I mean, not to Canada. For your entertainment, and in order to prove that I do take views not necessarily my own into account, here's some critical assessments on the inherently fragile nature of civil liberties by the Talking Heads (from 1979!) and Fred Reed (both of whom I still admire nevertheless).
posted by 111 at 12:57 AM on July 20, 2003


America, love it or fight to change it

Fucking pussies!
posted by delmoi at 1:05 AM on July 20, 2003


The day Canada invades to the south draws ever nearer.

Closer than you may think. All in good fun of course *looks away, whistling*...
posted by holycola at 1:10 AM on July 20, 2003


Hmmm.

1) Canada never had the level of free speech and other rights that we're all (rightfully) afraid the PATRIOT act and other measures are chipping away at. To cite trivial and not-so-trivial examples, you can't legally import lesbian bondage porn, watch US-based satellite TV services that don't meet minimum Canadian content guidelines (i.e. all of them), or report on certain court cases in the media (even if you are not a party to them or reporting anything you saw in court). Bush et al may be riding roughshod over the Constitution, but at least we have some chance that the Supreme Court will smack them with it someday.

2) If the US isn't providing enough social services for the poor, and Canada is, how are middle-class college-educated folks going to help anything by moving to Canada? It certainly doesn't improve the lot of the poor folks here. Do you get to stop caring if you no longer live here? Wow, I bow to your moral superiority!

3) The Chretien administration is a corrupt autocractic kleptocracy too, you just don't hear about that as much in US media.

4) If any of you seriously think the US Gov't is going to send you to an actual literal gulag, then you are petty delusional. Yes, there's lame stuff going on here, but it's not even in teh same league as Soviet Russia.
posted by maciej at 1:13 AM on July 20, 2003


The only trouble is that for every politically motivated move from the US to Canada there'll be 4 or 5 financially-motivated ones in the other direction.

Our smartest engineers and creative types all leave, and in return we get a few political malcontents.

Yay.
posted by Space Coyote at 1:17 AM on July 20, 2003


3) The Chretien administration is a corrupt autocractic kleptocracy too, you just don't hear about that as much in US media

Huh? No really, is there something behind these words besides simply "all politicians lie" rhetoric? The only thing the current government suffers from is the ineptitude of the opposition parties. And the official opposition's adoption of US-style smear politics isn't winning them any points either.

As for 'kleptocracy', the nice thing about Canada is that if the money was flowing somewhere we'd be able to see where. It's not the military or defense contractors. The state of our equipment can tell you that. It isn't into any individual's pockets, Chretien got raked over the coals for selling a share in a golf course.

We also don't have an electoral mechanism that is so archaic in its many levels of supposed checks and balances that curruption of the voting process can be so complete without being absolutely transparent.
posted by Space Coyote at 1:42 AM on July 20, 2003


Rick: Don't you sometimes wonder if it's worth all this? I mean, what you're fighting for.
Laszlo: You might as well question why we breathe. If you stop breathing, we'll die. If we stop fighting our enemies, the world will die.
Rick: And what of it? It'll be out of its misery.
Laszlo: Do you know how you sound, Mr. Blaine? Like a man who's trying to convince himself of something he doesn't believe in his heart. Each of us has a destiny - for good or for evil.
Rick: I get the point.
Laszlo: I wonder if you do. I wonder if you know that you're trying to escape from yourself, and that you'll never succeed.

-- Casablanca, 1942
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:43 AM on July 20, 2003


But I missed America. The music, the racial mix, the freedom. Home...if you have lived abroad for more than a month or two, you know what I'm talkin' about.

I never expected to become an expat and I didn't do so for political reasons. But after nearly two years abroad, I keep hoping I'm going to miss it. I look forward to my visits home, I really do...and then after I've been back in the US only a few hours, I'm already looking forward to leaving again. I find the political and social climate to be truly frightening.
posted by Tholian at 1:45 AM on July 20, 2003


what 111 would  be saying if matt haughey came out and said bush sucked:

"Hi Matt, yeah, I remember the surreal USA PATRIOT act, and that iraq war, it truly sucked. It must be hard work running a site as dynamic and successful as MetaFilter. Anyway, people look up to you all the time, so your words and actions are welcome as usual."
posted by quonsar at 2:26 AM on July 20, 2003


I look forward to my visits home, I really do...and then after I've been back in the US only a few hours, I'm already looking forward to leaving again.

Likewise, I don't really anticipate ever going back to Canada, unless it's to retire in a log cabin somewhere. Not because it's frightening (although things are changing, and not for the better in most of the ways that count) but because the rest of the world is such an interesting place, and I haven't got all that much time left.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:27 AM on July 20, 2003


I disagree about the idea that leaving the US means you're quitting the fight to change things there. I left to move to Europe (which isn't perfect but is my home of choice for many reasons), and I feel that I'm still fighting for change in a different way. For example:

I am gainfully employed and paying a lot of taxes to my new government, thereby increasing their economic power compared to that of the US. I never felt comfortable paying taxes in the US and having my money go mostly to programs I didn't believe in. Now I have taxation with representation of my interests, for the most part, on a global scale.

I still keep my right to vote in US elections, and I do vote by absentee ballot.

I also communicate with my friends in the US and abroad about the differences between our countries, both good and bad on each side. Keeping these lines of communciation open in my own small way may do some kind of good, as I have connections through family and friends with some very conservative members of the US population. I have relatively high freedom of speech and have published some news stories about political activities without having to worry about being censored.

I'm not sure I could do as much to further my political beliefs in the US as I can do outside of it. Does that justify my choice to live in another country? Do I even need to justify it? I'd like to think that I made a personal decision based on many factors and I don't go around self-righteously saying I moved because I disagree with current US politics. I just dispute the idea that because I disagree I don't have the right to leave.
posted by hazyjane at 2:31 AM on July 20, 2003


(you can't) watch US-based satellite TV services that don't meet minimum Canadian content guidelines (i.e. all of them)

Err, I think the actual reason for that is that the American channels don't have the broadcast rights for Canada. So Sci-fi can't broadcast old reruns of Battlestar Galactica in Canada because someone else (Global, most likely) owns the rights to do so.

I'll certainly agree that most of the Global channels (I can't find anything that will admit to what they are at the moment -- Space, Cartoon, Comedy, anyway) seem like vaguely lame, half-assed imitations of their south-of-the-border counterparts, and that the can-con that gets added into discovery and foodtv is a bit silly.

But muchmusic is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much better than mtv that it makes up for all that. Imagine, actually showing music videos... who'dathunkit?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:17 AM on July 20, 2003


Fanciful and childish, of course, but imagine that transplanting ourselves was as easy as it should be, that it could be accomplished without turbulence, that we could just poof ourselves, lives intact, to any country at all. I wonder how many of us would wind up were we are, and how many of us would wind up somewhere very else.

I'd be all over the fuckin' map. And I'd probably die, in search of another flavor, en route.
posted by Opus Dark at 3:21 AM on July 20, 2003


Re: satellite broadcasts: The penalties for stealing satellite signals in the US for an individual are at least as harsh as those in Canada, if you're caught.

The inability for DirecTV to sell dishes in Canada with the same signal as the states is held up as an example of American freedom while the individuals are still restricted from owning a device to decode the waves being beamed through their houses as if this were normal.
posted by Space Coyote at 3:33 AM on July 20, 2003


I'm surprised nobody has said this yet:
"America - love it or give it back."
posted by spazzm at 3:54 AM on July 20, 2003


Also, these fuckwits would serve themselves and their nation better by staying home and trying to fix what's broken, rather than just giving up and moving to where it's better.

That's the underlying assumption of all the nutty ultra-nationalist comments in this thread, and it's just patently wrong. It might (arguably) serve the nation better, but it almost certainly wouldn't serve themselves better. And, in any case, everyone should be entitled to decide what is in their own best interest.

Voting with your feet has a long and effective tradition.

It's humbling to see how successful brainwashing can be on human beings.
posted by rushmc at 4:35 AM on July 20, 2003


yeah ehintz, I'm with you. Everyone's going to Canada. It's just not indie rock anymore. NZ is the place to go now.



(NB: I'm not making fun of you here, ehintz. Congratulations on getting closer to your goal.)
posted by tss at 4:54 AM on July 20, 2003


I'm trying to parse out what you're saying there, rushmc, and not having much success.

1) Nutty ultra-nationalism has as an underlying assumption that it's better to fight injustice than run away? What?

2) Fighting the perversion of democracy by corporatism (to choose an example) serves your nation, but 'almost certainly' doesn't avail oneself of any benefit? Huh?

It's humbling to see how successful brainwashing can be on human beings.

I don't even know what you're talking about here, other than to assume it's some kind of oblique ad hominem.

Voting with one's feet has a long tradition, certainly, but although I'd argue how 'effective' it is, I find it hard to do so unless you reveal what criteria you might be applying to judge that effectiveness.

Really, the root of my comment you quoted is that many of Canucks (even us expatriates) just don't want more Americans here. Bring us Pakistanis and Vietnamese, Nigerians and Salvadorans, whoever, sure.

zarah said it well, upthread : "Americans have always been at the bottom of the list of desirables; not because anyone thinks they're inferior, but the gov't prefers other more diverse peoples, and officially fears the cultural dilution that may occur from living next door to a big old white conservative male of a place. Not to mention that Americans don't need safe harbour (ie: refugee status etc) the way others do."

So, well, thanks for asking, guys, really, it's quite the compliment, but.... maybe you oughta just sleep in the Dubyapedic bed you made. Learn yerself a lesson or two.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:57 AM on July 20, 2003


- 'of'
- 'here' + 'there'

posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:01 AM on July 20, 2003


What hairyjane said, for the most part.

When I left the States (before the era of the Shrub), I didn't get homesick. When I leave Rome, I get homesick. Simple. I have found a place for myself that I call "home" and mean it, warts and all.

This does not mean I consider myself less American.*

So I do basically what hairyjane does, with the added bonus that my work involves lots of backpacking tourists of all ages that I get to talk to and debate with. And being here give me a different perspective(s) on the actions of my country's government (any administration), which I like. The more perspectives I can get, the better I am able to form an opinion of my own.

I won't let the door hit me in the ass on my way out, thank you very much, as an open doorway facilitates communication. Shut the door and I'll just be forced to turn the volume knob up to 10.

*Though I really had to do a bit of soul searching on that recently. And eventually came to the same conclusion. Self link and slow free hosting. You've been warned
posted by romakimmy at 5:39 AM on July 20, 2003


In passing: many Americans fled to Canada to avoid Viet Nam draft. The Canadians dispised them at first. Then, later on, the Canadians seemed to feel that this was an infusion of people with ideals and that it was good for the country. Of the many who did move to Canada, most chose not to return (the US had said Come Back, all forgiven)...They went. They liked. They made new lives: all benefitted.
posted by Postroad at 6:15 AM on July 20, 2003


all benefitted.

How did the US itself benefit, out of curiousity?
posted by Space Coyote at 6:39 AM on July 20, 2003


I hear canadians have good pot. Will they let me use that as a reason on the residency papers?
posted by angry modem at 6:49 AM on July 20, 2003


I'm Canadian, and my partner is American. He came here for graduate school and we fell in love about 5 years ago. Last year, after a process that took 18 months and thousands of dollars, he was granted landed immigrant status based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds - that is to say, based on the Canadian government's respect for our relationship. He wanted to stay with me, and I couldn't have made the move South in the same way. Despite my education and employability, I would have gone into the green card lottery. My point here is that the move North, for some Americans, isn't a "vanity option" - it's done because the policies of the American government deny them the ability to make decisions on an equal basis. They are denied the same options that other Americans have.

The following is from 'the horse's mouth': Does he like it here? Yes, perhaps even more than the U.S., though he wishes we had the option of living in his home country. Is it different? Yes, though no American can really feel foreign here for long. Does it feel good to have left the States and GW behind? No: the U.S. is so powerful and its policies affect the world so strongly, Americans abroad will continue to be as angry and disaffected as if they stayed at home. Does he feel that he has abrogated his responsibility to make the U.S. a better place, by leaving? No: he feels that the U.S. abrogated its responsibility to give him equal treatment under the law; he will return home to vote, and he continues to influence his friends and family (and elected officials and media) and will continue to do so until Ashcroft has him extradited and thrown in jail as a foreign combatant/sodomite. Is he bitter? No, he likes both countries, but is profoundly disappointed at the naivete of many Americans, and their cavalier attitude towards electing qualified leaders. Still, he likes and misses the people he grew up around. And he's from the Midwest...
posted by stonerose at 8:02 AM on July 20, 2003


I'm trying to parse out what you're saying there, rushmc, and not having much success.

Your reply makes no sense whatsoever to me, either (no, seriously...perhaps I'm just tired), and I'm not motivated to fight it out to reach some level of mutual understanding, which probably wouldn't advance the discussion in any case, so gonna just pass on this.

maybe you oughta just sleep in the Dubyapedic bed you made. Learn yerself a lesson or two.

Speak for yerself, ye-traitor-who-has-abandoned-his-homeland...many of us didn't make this bed.
posted by rushmc at 8:12 AM on July 20, 2003


I have lived and travelled all over the world during my time - and all i can say is that other places often seem far better than they actually are. we have a tendency to romanticise other places, a perception which rarely becomes reality.

I'm not saying Canada isnt a great place to live - it most certainly is! But as the ad slogan goes - ' there's no place like homebase'
posted by carfilhiot at 8:50 AM on July 20, 2003


...but imagine that transplanting ourselves was as easy as it should be, that it could be accomplished without turbulence, that we could just poof ourselves, lives intact, to any country at all...

amen, opus!

and stonerose, maybe I should go north for a little husband-hunting? : >

many of us who are gay and lesbian here in the US have been looking at Canada with renewed and profound respect and attention lately...i'm sure some of us will end up being the latest in a long line of americans seeking "the american dream" a little further north than we expected...
posted by amberglow at 8:52 AM on July 20, 2003


tss: Thanks. It's been a long term interest, but it's moving closer to reality...

maciej: Tell that to the boys at gitmo. Or the mid-easterners rounded up by the INS and held with no trial nor reason (other than being mideastern in origin). This administration already runs a gulag (though I suppose gitmo is more comfortable than Siberia). Yes, for the moment, as a WASP, I'm unlikely to get sent there. But the fact that we can even run a gulag is scary. Add on top that once you're labeled with the T tag they can play these games like "enemy combatant" and poof go your civil rights. And the vast majority of the population doesn't give a rats ass, just keeps waving the flag and shouting USA. And for the coup de gras, mix in a flavoring of PATRIOT, wherein the big T is defined by among other things, "influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion". By that definition, the protests I helped organize to "coerce" the DOJ to drop the charges against Dmitry Sklyarov could be twisted to put me in the T camp. Once there, getting out is damn near impossible.

Do I think it's likely to happen? I dunno. But I don't think I'm being terribly delusional to say that it *could* happen. It already did to a whole mess of poor bastards whose only crime was trying to escape the mideast and build a new life here.

Meanwhile, I can cash out on my house in the east SF bay area, go to NZ, and purchase coastal property in an area which has sufficient industry to provide opportunities to continue my career. Hell, I'd be tempted to do it even without the nationalistic insanity, but throw that in the mix and it's a no brainer. I'd be stupid to stay.
posted by ehintz at 8:57 AM on July 20, 2003


ehintz:
You're right on the gulag point: yeah, we won't hear the word "gulag," but for that matter, do the corporatist war-profiteers in power call themselves fascists? No, but if it quacks like a fascist...

The War on Terrorism is beyond bizarre. It is a war against a word. The last time we did this, our obsession with an evil word led us as a nation to prosecution of the beliefs that: killing labor organizers in Central America was an important part of protecting the US, having a sexual affinity for one's own gender is tied to a belief that American wealth must be redistributed through violence, and that a tiny island off of Florida stands between us an eternal peace on Earth.

The T-word is alrady having its meaning subverted. And that was the fucking point.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:08 AM on July 20, 2003


Here's a typically sober right-wing assessment of a previous 'threat to emigrate as a political protest.'
posted by stonerose at 9:44 AM on July 20, 2003


Stonerose: Americans abroad will continue to be as angry and disaffected as if they stayed at home.

If anything, I feel more angry and disaffected than I did at home.
posted by Tholian at 10:21 AM on July 20, 2003


I don't care what anyone thinks. Fight the good fight yah yah yah. Sorry. Someone said they aren't a cashie lawyer and therefore their voice is null. I agree. We have a president that got into office through pixie dust.
I have never felt at home in 'home'. I am from upstate NY originally, and I live WNY, which wants desperately to be Canada in many ways. I have said it before here, and I will say it again, one only needs to look at Niagara Falls NY and Niagara Falls, Ontario to know that, warts and all, the Big Red Leaf looks better and better.
Although, I have a trip to Australia/NZ planned for a year or so from now, and I have been told by my husband's very good friend from Sydney that I will never want to leave.
ehintz- I want a full report on NZ from you.
posted by oflinkey at 10:35 AM on July 20, 2003


Despite my education and employability, I would have gone into the green card lottery

Strictly speaking, Canadians aren't (usually) eligible for the lottery. The green card lottery is really the diversity lottery, and is used to make it easier to get into the US from countries that don't historically send many people here.

You'd be coming here, if you did, on some boring-normal work visa, with the usual chance to shoot for a green card later.

Is it different? Yes, though no American can really feel foreign here for long

I think I could. But then I could feel foreign for a good while in, say, Ohio.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:27 AM on July 20, 2003


one only needs to look at Niagara Falls NY and Niagara Falls, Ontario to know that, warts and all, the Big Red Leaf looks better and better

That will depend strongly on your feelings towards wax museums.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:27 AM on July 20, 2003


That will depend strongly on your feelings towards wax museums.

Snork! :-) As someone who grew up in Niagara Falls, Ont., though, I have to reinforce what oflinkey said: Niagara Falls, New York is now a scary, decrepit, shell of a town with streets full of boarded-up houses - it's really alarming to drive through...let alone stop in.
/derail
posted by stonerose at 11:46 AM on July 20, 2003


"In some ways, it's now closer to American ideals than America is."

Except when it comes to free speech.

Also, these fuckwits would serve themselves and their nation better by staying home and trying to fix what's broken, rather than just giving up and moving to where it's better. (Not of course that I've taken my own advice there, but I didn't leave Canada many years ago because it was bad, I left for adventure and travel and delicious treats.)

I agree...the U.S. needs to be fixed not abandoned. (i.e. recent political trends in the U.S. need to reversed or stopped)
posted by Bag Man at 12:06 PM on July 20, 2003


Except when it comes to free speech.

I'm sorry, Bag Man. What am I not allowed to say up here in Canada? Speak up - I can't hear you over the sound of jackboots coming to quiz you on your reading habits.
posted by stonerose at 12:38 PM on July 20, 2003


Except when it comes to free speech.

Just don't go to a library and read someone else's exercise of free speech else you get a visit from the FBI.
posted by Space Coyote at 12:39 PM on July 20, 2003


BagMan-I'm open to suggestions. I've voted in every election since 1988. I've marched the streets in protest of various bits of insanity. And all this time, it's gotten worse, not better. The very few times I've seen victories it's been from lawyers or cash-endowed persons. I am neither. Frankly, we have the best government money can buy. Problem is, I don't have money so I'm SOL. Again, it's taxation without representation, the same bitch the founding fathers had with Britain. On an emotional level I do hope that somehow it gets turned around, I just don't see any way to do it when the vast majority don't seem to give a damn about fundamental things like the constitution or bill of rights if it conflicts with their illusion of safety or their personal convenience.

Maybe Free State will work out and bring enlightenment. But I dunno, even if (and it's a decent sized if IMHO) FSP flies I'm not entirely sure the rest of the country will wise up. You can lead a horse to water...
posted by ehintz at 12:57 PM on July 20, 2003


stay and fix america?

um....why?
posted by mcsweetie at 1:02 PM on July 20, 2003


111 - Interesting that you should post the lyrics to "Life During Wartime." Robert Christgau was disappointed that the Talking Heads put that song on the same album as obviously satirical paranoid fantasies like "Air" ("some people say not to worry about the air/ some people never had experience with air") and "Animals" ("animals want to change my life/ I will ignore animals' advice"). He felt that it trivialized the civil liberties issues in the song. But I've always thought that it put the concerns in their proper perspective.
posted by transona5 at 1:38 PM on July 20, 2003


Kudos to ehintz for acting on his beliefs. Do you plan to renounce your US citizenship or keep it?
posted by Hieronymous Coward at 3:51 PM on July 20, 2003


"And there ya go mr_crash_davis. With attitudes like that, it makes it very easy to want to leave. --Oh and don't worry I won't."

crasspastor, I couldn't give two shits whether you (or anyone else) stays or leaves. It's the "public Metafilter farewell" that irks me. Do these people expect the whole nation to stand at the border gnashing our teeth and rending our garments over our "loss"?

And please, next time you quote something someone else said, don't attribute it to me.

"...one wonders if there is a way we could give crash davis a look at what amerika would look like if the remaining creative, caring, smart people all left the US of A."

specialk420, one wonders what makes you think that the people who are leaving are all creative, caring, and smart?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:28 PM on July 20, 2003


Please don't feed the 111 or squeeze the quonsar.
posted by signal at 5:08 PM on July 20, 2003


what makes you think that the people who are leaving are all creative, caring, and smart?

just a guess buddy.
posted by specialk420 at 5:34 PM on July 20, 2003


Heiro: Dunno. Too far ahead to say. We're going in on a visitor visa good for 1 year, converting to a work permit with a job offer (should be easy as a sysadmin, lotsa work for us down there). After 2 years we can convert to residency, and citizenship would obviously come after residency. So at a minimum we're talking 3 years down the line here before I have to make a decision. Ask me again then... ;-) Frankly, I'd prefer to keep the US status, at least for the moment, but if things keep going the direction they are and everything down under works out I may feel differently then. But personally I would want to spend a few years living in the new environment before I would feel comfortable with making a decision. Honestly I'd prefer to do dual citizenship but the US doesn't seem to want to allow me that (though they allow it to folks coming here with foreign citizenship, go figure).
posted by ehintz at 6:06 PM on July 20, 2003


I couldn't give two shits whether you (or anyone else) stays or leaves.

I guess this is the motto engraved on the coin of the dysfunctional realm that is Crashdavistan?
posted by stonerose at 6:19 PM on July 20, 2003


" guess this is the motto engraved on the coin of the dysfunctional realm that is Crashdavistan?"

No, that would be "Lex clavatoris designati rescindenda est."
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:49 PM on July 20, 2003


>It's the "public Metafilter farewell" that irks me. Do these people expect the whole nation to stand at the border gnashing our teeth and rending our garments over our "loss"?

Actually, they may be just doing what our diplomat in Greece did by resigning ( and how many others?). Not only are they are quitters, but the act of quitting could be seen as part of a healthy fight in a democracy. I'm sure a lot of people are suddenly curious why so many people resigned from the Bush administration and why some are praising "America Light." (to borrow a term from the simpsons) X amount of quitters is probably a very good thing when all is said and done.

I seriously doubt they're doing this for the attention and we have no obligation to praise how well they live up to their ethics, but that fact that it is happening is something in an event in itself.
posted by skallas at 7:28 PM on July 20, 2003


stay and fix america?

um....why?


- mcsweetie

what makes you think that the people who are leaving are all creative, caring, and smart?

just a guess buddy.


- specialk420

Mmm, laziness, solipsism and egomania. Well miss those qualities a lot. Have fun, kids. Well miss ya. Good lord specialk420, that "I'm right and you're wrong and anybody who disagrees one iota is a facist moron" attitude that makes me believe that the Bush bashers are as bad as Bush.

Please. We've had bad presidents before. We just need a real candidate to run against him is all. Jeez, grow a spine.
posted by jonmc at 7:30 PM on July 20, 2003


Tell that to the boys at gitmo.

Gitmo is not a gulag by any stretch of the imagination. It is a prison camp. And we could argue about the things wrong with it. But it is not a place to imprison internal political dissidents, it is not a place of starvation and forced labor under brutal conditions in incredibly harsh weather. It does not have a massive death toll. And people have been released! The only way you got released from a real gulag is in a body bag. Calling gitmo a gulag waters down the real meaning of the word. It's like calling an unwanted kiss "rape".

Or the mid-easterners rounded up by the INS and held with no trial nor reason (other than being mideastern in origin).

I agree that detaining people indefinitely without trial is deeply wrong (both being held by the INS and the ridiculous "unlawful combatant" and "military tribunal" scam). It is clearly immoral and unconstitutional. I am presonally horrified by it and I am ready to vote against Bush on that basis alone, even though I hate all the Democratic candidates so far. But even so, I would not call it equivalent to a gulag. I also think it's unlikely US citizens (especiall white natural-born citizens) are at little risk of being subjected to this treatment.

It does have shades of totalitarianism though and we need to put a stop to it right away.
posted by maciej at 7:59 PM on July 20, 2003


Mmm, laziness, solipsism and egomania.

who are we talking about again?
posted by mcsweetie at 8:42 PM on July 20, 2003


I'd prefer to do dual citizenship but the US doesn't seem to want to allow me that (though they allow it to folks coming here with foreign citizenship, go figure).

They'd allow it for you, too. You retain US citizenship unless you explicitly revoke it yourself (or perform a variety of unlikely acts, mostly involving being in a foreign military that's attacking the US).

The US might not have any explicit provisions for dual nationality, but they're entirely happy to keep dealing with you as a citizen of the US while Wherever deals with you as their citizen.

About the only downside to retaining US citizenship, apart from possible embarrassment, is that you'll still have to deal with the IRS. They won't actually be taxing you unless you're, well, rich, but they'll want to see forms showing that you didn't become rich that year. That, and it could conceivably make it harder to get classified clearances in your new country, if you think you'd need to do that.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:49 PM on July 20, 2003


maciej, the fact that Guantanamo does not meet the classic historical criteria by which we recognize the gulag does not mean it's something America should want on its conscience.

I thought the point of America was that it differed from totalitarian states in principle, not in degree.
posted by adamgreenfield at 8:50 PM on July 20, 2003


ROU:
Section 349 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, states that U.S. citizens are subject to loss of citizenship if they perform certain acts voluntarily and with the intention to relinquish U.S. citizenship. Briefly stated, these acts include: (1) obtaining naturalization in a foreign state (Sec. 349 (a) (1) INA);"

The way I read it sounds like they won't let you, but maybe the key is the "intention to relinquish" bit. Dunno. Admittedly, I'd guess it's like the don't ask don't tell thing if my interpretation is correct... Anyway, long ways down the line before I'll need to worry about it.
posted by ehintz at 9:06 PM on July 20, 2003


I think that things have been much worse in America and we somehow survived. For example, during the early years of the 20th century, the postal service was given the ability to deny bulk postage to periodicals that posed a "security risk". Copy had to be submitted to the postmaster in advance of publication (this, more than anything else, established English as a de facto standard.) I don't think that things are nearly as bad as the 50s or early 60s either.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:28 PM on July 20, 2003


The way I read it sounds like they won't let you, but maybe the key is the "intention to relinquish" bit

It is. Further down the same page:

As already noted, the actions listed above can cause loss of U.S. citizenship only if performed voluntarily and with the intention of relinquishing U.S. citizenship. The Department has a uniform administrative standard of evidence based on the premise that U.S. citizens intend to retain United States citizenship when they obtain naturalization in a foreign state, subscribe to routine declarations of allegiance to a foreign state, or accept non-policy level employment with a foreign government.

and

Dual nationality can also occur when a person is naturalized in a foreign state without intending to relinquish U.S. nationality
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:33 PM on July 20, 2003


Is it just me or does "gitmo" reak of newspeak-type familiarity with a language we shouldn't become accepting of?
posted by Space Coyote at 10:37 PM on July 20, 2003


it's not just you, no.
posted by t r a c y at 10:57 PM on July 20, 2003


Also, these fuckwits would serve themselves and their nation better by staying home and trying to fix what's broken...

From that statement I think I can safely assume you've never lived in Amurrica for any amount of time, Stavros. Do your time in Hell before you condemn others to live there forever, eh ;-) Personally, I've planned on expatriating somwhere else for as long as I can remember. Someday I'm sure I will.
posted by Shane at 5:31 AM on July 21, 2003


I can safely assume you've never lived in Amurrica for any amount of time, Stavros.

Had about a week of vaguely-recollected wild kicks in Hollywood with a punk-rock grrl-pal and her friends about 10 years back, on my way to Mexico. Does that count?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:14 AM on July 21, 2003


Had about a week of vaguely-recollected wild kicks in Hollywood with a punk-rock grrl-pal and her friends about 10 years back, on my way to Mexico. Does that count?

Heh, no, that's the good stuff... Anything that ends with the phrase "...on the way to Mexico" has a high probability of being the good stuff, unless you were "...on the way to Mexico" tied up in the back of a van with soaped windows and a driver speaking Spanish, the only words of which you understood were "puta" and "gringo" ;-)
posted by Shane at 6:36 AM on July 21, 2003


Better yet, just go live in a border town, like Detroit or Buffalo. Then you can go over and partake in what makes Canada the great country it is -- smoke a Cuban cigar, drink if you're 19, get a lap dance from a bottomless dancer, smoke a joint, drink some Brador.

In all seriousness, there are thousands and thousands of people who are hoping and praying for the opportunity to live in the United States. If someone wants to move to another country, good luck -- we're happy to replace you with someone who wants to live in this country (warts and all).
posted by pardonyou? at 6:44 AM on July 21, 2003


Better yet, just go live in a border town, like Detroit or Buffalo.

Yeah, you're right, Rochester-->Toronto (Coffeeshops/Bookshops/Books I couldn't find in the States before the intarweb)-->Return with Case of Molson was my schtick for a while back in the mid '80s. I've never seen an elk up North yet, though.

Sure, anyone can always be replaced by someone more appreciative. No biggy. We're all shuffled and sifted till we (hopefully) end up where we belong. Nothing personal. I'm sincerely grateful for many of the people I've known and the experience I've gained here. And America has some intensely beautiful land, although it's slowly being exploited (like everywhere else.) Aren't we all supposed to be Global Citizens eventually, anyway? There are still far too many countries I haven't seen.
posted by Shane at 7:06 AM on July 21, 2003


What romakimmy said, for the most part.

When I moved to Canada some years back, I didn't consider it to be for political reasons, simply that Canada felt more like home than the States did. The relationship between culture, politics, and general attitude is intertwined, though, so you could say it's all part of the big picture. I actually find myself more politically involved up here, involved with the attempts to prevent the dismantling of social policies that Stavros mentioned way up there (though I do still vote in US elections).

I'm not sure how to respond to those Americans who are glad to see us go except to say - bah. It's my life. And stavros, I wonder if your "fuckwits" comment has more to do with your stated desire to keep us Americans out rather than an interest in having us "stay home and try to fix what's broken." Despite your comments, your compatriots have actually been quite welcoming. Perhaps you should check in with them more often.

In short, I will always be American, and Canada my home.

ps- the beer's better here, too.
posted by transient at 8:01 AM on July 21, 2003


I'm sorry, Bag Man. What am I not allowed to say up here in Canada?

The US courts have stuck down any anti-porn laws that are similar to ones that were enacted in Canada more than then years ago.

As a lefty I do like what is going in my country, but I will not join in the rounds of US bashing because the political winds of my leaders blow against.

Speak up - I can't hear you over the sound of jackboots coming to quiz you on your reading habits.

I abhor what happened to that man. However, that man suffered no criminal sanction, but in Canada (under other circumstances) and many other "liberal democracies" this man might be in jail or suffer heavy fines. That man also may have lawsuit against the FBI (I know of none if that man were in Canada). I also point to some of Italy's or the UK’s anti-speech laws. (also well document on MIFI). As a left I decry anti-speech measures everywhere, but I cannot simply only decry the US because it is currently fashionable to do so. I also give credit were credit is due, so three cheers for the sixth circuit (that’s in the US) recently striking downs laws such as COPA. As a lefty I decry the US, but as a free thinker I give the US credit and decry Canada (How can do this, is Canada is not the US it pure [meaning the US so evil nothing it can do is right or just]) for Canada's history of state sponsored censorship.
posted by Bag Man at 8:40 PM on July 21, 2003


Space Coyote,

The same comment to you...learn the laws of your country, so you may change them...I think Canada should get rid of it's anti-speech laws, I hope do to. BTW, no such law exist here in the US...and see above...and please no troll...one question what 1983 right does Canada have? The man from the Georgia has them and I hope uses them against the FBI, not everything in the US is evil, really. I hope to change what is bad adout the US, I hope all of you do, but I also respect what is good, I all you do too

P.S. "buying" democracy is problem in every country that elects people, just ask Italy (perhaps currecty worse that the US in that respect...look who is Italy PM.)
posted by Bag Man at 8:59 PM on July 21, 2003


currecty ...currently
posted by Bag Man at 9:00 PM on July 21, 2003


And stavros, I wonder if your "fuckwits" comment has more to do with your stated desire to keep us Americans out rather than an interest in having us "stay home and try to fix what's broken."

I hate having to repeat myself, so I won't. Thank me later.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:48 PM on July 21, 2003


Yep, I read that. I guess I was trying to parse a statement like "I'd just prefer to see them stay home and help to turn around the tide destruction of what's great about America" with "many of Canucks (even us expatriates) just don't want more Americans here." The latter statement makes me question your real reasons for wanting us to stay home.

Have you ever experienced anti-Western racism in your travels? Did you think "Hmm... they're right. I should have stayed out of their country?"
posted by transient at 5:59 AM on July 22, 2003


I'm going to open up a shop, just a small roadside stand really, to sell Poo on Mefi for people to fling. Subtle Disguised Poo, Blatant Obnoxious Poo, Smarmy Poo with Fake Apology Poo attached...

Poo for All Occasions.

I will be rich.

Get'cher Poo Here. It's Cheap.

(This comment may have been a form of Poo itself, but it certainly wasn't directed at transient, or at anyone in particular.)
posted by Shane at 7:19 AM on July 22, 2003


Last month Rush Limbaugh said on the air: “The prescription drug benefit to Medicare will cost $400 billion over ten years. The tax rate to support this is just frightening. Costa Rica is starting to look real good about now.” Still waiting for the outcry over his anti-Americanism.
posted by Daze at 8:11 AM on July 22, 2003


Seems to me that telling someone they should stay in their own country and fix problems is roughly equivalent to telling someone he or she should stay in an abusive marriage. Some people stay where they are and try to make things better. Some people go in search of a better place and make their contributions in that better place. And no one has the right to judge either way. We're all living on one planet, and the only people who have to account for their actions are the ones who are creating more problems than they solve.
posted by orange swan at 8:52 AM on July 22, 2003


Nicely said, orange swan.
posted by rushmc at 2:35 PM on July 23, 2003


Good one, OS.
posted by signal at 4:25 PM on July 23, 2003


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