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When the ship is sinking.... jump ship
November 3, 2004 4:33 PM   Subscribe

Electing to Leave - A guide to expatriating (via blogdex)
posted by sourbrew (131 comments total)

 
See also:

Canada 2.0

JesusLand
posted by mathowie at 4:35 PM on November 3, 2004


good...don't let the door hit you on the way out.
posted by Sonserae at 4:37 PM on November 3, 2004


don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Relax, people are just joking around. I seriously doubt anyone actually goes through with it.
posted by mathowie at 4:39 PM on November 3, 2004


meh if france didn't know better than to let in a stream of americans i would be there right now. Not only do the french have sensible politicians but the food and women are above par..... also the booze is cheap, really america has very little to offer in comparison its just a real bitch to get a citizenship, but yes canada is too cold and mexico too poor.
posted by sourbrew at 4:41 PM on November 3, 2004


I would do it again, not for election reasons, but because the 2 years I spent in the UK were awesome. I simply had a great time being abroad.
posted by a3matrix at 4:41 PM on November 3, 2004


amendment to above note, i know le pen is crazy but he didn't make it to office.
posted by sourbrew at 4:42 PM on November 3, 2004


good...don't let the door hit you on the way out.

if you had actually read the link, you'd know that it explains just how difficult and unrealistic leaving the country is, ass.
posted by bob sarabia at 4:43 PM on November 3, 2004


Well, that's a truly Leftist response to adversity, anyhow: give up and run away. Losers.
posted by mrmanley at 4:43 PM on November 3, 2004


Well, that's a truly Leftist response to adversity, anyhow: give up and run away. Losers.

ahhh, and the healing begins!
posted by hulette at 4:48 PM on November 3, 2004


mrmanley - i reject that statement. In todays world the idea of patriotism gets a lot of attention basically i see it this way. John Locke's social contract was flawed, why should i ratify the constitutions and laws of the US simply by being born. I see myself as a citizen of the world, i think that the main reason we have problems abroad is a direct result of the fact that conservatives and their ilk see themselves as just americans. As a result of myself seeing myself as foremost an inhabitant of this planet and not a US citizen me talking about jumping ship is like a gay man in mississippi deciding perhaps it was time to move to a more friendly state.
posted by sourbrew at 4:50 PM on November 3, 2004


hulette:

Have you been perusing the non-stop river of bile here and elsewhere for the last four years? After heaping abuse after abuse on conservatives, insulting the president with the most vile insults imaginable, you have the frigging nerve to drag out this "healing" B.S.? Fuck that, pal; you and your ilk have earned the asskicking that the conservatives are doling out today.
posted by mrmanley at 4:55 PM on November 3, 2004


word to those who are so grieve stricken over the election results that they are considering repatriating: stop with the ceaseless inane prattle and leave already.
posted by poopy at 4:58 PM on November 3, 2004


ex
posted by poopy at 5:00 PM on November 3, 2004


No. You can't come to Canada.
posted by jon_kill at 5:00 PM on November 3, 2004


Botswana. I keep telling you.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:01 PM on November 3, 2004


Perhaps the worst part about all of this for me is that i don't really think any leftist liberal, democrat, or libertarian really cares if conservative religious mores are practiced in homes or even individual communities. I don't think a single one of us cares if you force creationism on your children or outlaw abortions for your families or reject the use of stem cell research for saving your spouses.

However, you feel the need to force all of that on us too. I simply have to ask why? Is it so frightening that other people have different beliefs? why is it that the conservative right is soooo intolerant and the liberal left if it ever gets back to office such a push over in terms of legislating morality.
posted by sourbrew at 5:03 PM on November 3, 2004


No. You can't come to Canada.

Canada 2.0, you mean.
posted by bob sarabia at 5:04 PM on November 3, 2004


also poppy if you read the article you would realize the us government won't let you leave. The IRS keeps dibs on you so that it can tax you after you've left, and the state department pretty much has a blanket refusal on all requests to expatriate oneself.
posted by sourbrew at 5:05 PM on November 3, 2004


I'm down with Canada 2.0 as it means I can live in and work in the sunshine, while still getting free health care. Surely there's a referendum process for this, right?

C'mon. Join us. We'll bring doughnuts.
posted by Salmonberry at 5:10 PM on November 3, 2004


Ireland offers Citizenship by Descent, in case you have an Irish grandparent. With that you are free to get an Irish passport.

And since Ireland is a member of the European Union, you would have the right to live and work in other EU countries without the work permits that are required of foreign workers not from EU countries.

BTW, the US does not recognize dual citizenship, but Ireland doesn't care about dual citizenship, so while you will not be able to run to the Irish Embassy in D.C. and seek asylum from the law about that little misunderstanding with the baggie in your truck(the US will still consider you a US citizen despite you waving your Irish passport), at the same time you do not have to renounce your US citizenship to claim Irish citizenship by descent(as I believe Germany does require).

It's Ireland's revenge for what it believes was such tragic abuse by the English that generations of Irish were effectively driven from her fair green shores.
posted by dglynn at 5:12 PM on November 3, 2004


sourbrew:

What a load of ripe, steaming, feculent shit. Are the religious gestapo beating down your door for posting this sacrilege? Have Chimpy McBushiter's stormtroopers accosted you on the street and forced you to read from the Bible? No. It's crap, you know it's crap, and so does everyone else. But it's that kind of hyperbole that pisses so many people off at the Left -- and not just religious people. I am a conservative, but I am also an atheist and a firm believer in the modern synthesis of evolution. And yet such a person does not -- cannot -- exist in your worldview. I am a political conservative; ergo I am a stupid, blinkered Jesus freak.

It just kills me. America is still the freest and most open society in the world, and the Left knows it. And yet they cannot keep themselves from attempting the murder the very society that has nurtured them for so long.

What you have is not a political credo, sir; it is a mental illness.
posted by mrmanley at 5:12 PM on November 3, 2004


You can't come to Canada.

Do not move to Canada.
posted by sillygwailo at 5:12 PM on November 3, 2004


All the knee-jerk flapping here is disheartening. Psst... the election is over, you can actually follow the links before judging.

That Harpers piece was a fun article. Poor Kenneth Nichols O’Keefe... and his many passports.
posted by pzarquon at 5:15 PM on November 3, 2004


mrmanley - I have said nothing that suggests i do not believe such conservatives exist, however that said its pretty well documented that the us government is depriving people of the benefits of stem cell research, that we have started to roll back the teaching of evolution or at least put creationsim or so called intelligent design on a level play field.

Beyond that i don't see a problem with a conservative who is one for economic reasons or even the war in IRAQ. Beyond that im appalled, why outlaw gay marriages, why have a president who talked about it as an amendment to garner political support if there is not this sort of "religious gestapo."

In terms of them beating down my door obviously that's a bit much, but i do see the reversal of liberalized social moors in my daily life. My school situated in the south had an evangelical preacher on campus the other day who had permits and was calmly informing the women of the campus that they were whores and could expect hell. I called the police and because he had the proper paperwork they couldn't make him leave. There is something very wrong about that.
posted by sourbrew at 5:19 PM on November 3, 2004


dglynn - Thats interesting to know thanks.
posted by sourbrew at 5:22 PM on November 3, 2004


So it turns out that you're not actually free to go, huh?

/cues Lee Greenwood

I'm proud to be an American
because I *have* to be...
posted by namespan at 5:22 PM on November 3, 2004


What you have is not a political credo, sir; it is a mental illness.

Christ, what a flag-wrapped wank that was.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 5:24 PM on November 3, 2004


Well, that's a truly Leftist response to adversity, anyhow: give up and run away. Losers.

I know, I know: Godwin.

Still, if I were an American homosexual today, I'd probably feel somewhat like German Jews did in 1935. How bad does it have to get before it's okay to leave?
posted by Eamon at 5:26 PM on November 3, 2004


It just kills me. America is still the freest and most open society in the world, and the Left knows it. And yet they cannot keep themselves from attempting the murder the very society that has nurtured them for so long.

Really, what exactly is the left doing to murder it? Could it be their emphasis on, you know, human rights vs say, the kind of nodding up the chain of command that gets you Abu Ghraib? Could it be their emphasis on personal liberties, like those damn lefties at the ACLU? Could it be their efforts to make economic opportunities for the poor more within reach?
posted by namespan at 5:26 PM on November 3, 2004


sourbrew: The Left would earn the sympathies of libertarians if it would stop pretending that not using federal tax dollars for stem cell research and "depriving people of the benefits of stem cell research" are even remotely equivalent.
posted by trharlan at 5:26 PM on November 3, 2004


i see what you're saying sourbrew, i'm just getting tired of all this ranting on mefi.

i'm not happy with the results of this election either, but let's face it: the world isn't going to fall into chaos, conservatives aren't little nazi's and social mores change. the U.S. - for various reasons - is in the midst of a conservative shift, but I believe that it will swing more liberal given enough time. this is natural and nothing to be overly concerned about IMO.
posted by poopy at 5:30 PM on November 3, 2004


trharlan - using federal spending dollars is obviously a hot topic because of the obvious conservative presence in america. However dear leader also prohibited the development of new strains of stem cells and that is the real hindrance to further research along those lines. While i do think the government should be paying for this research i recognize that it is a large political hurdle, i think at the very least it shouldn't be prohibiting necessary advancements in the research.
posted by sourbrew at 5:30 PM on November 3, 2004


trharlan, dude, I work at a one of the nation's largest universities, and I'd be surprised if there was single research group receiving no federal funding. The NSF, NIH, etc. are what make medical research happen.

They are equivalent, if only remotely.
posted by Eamon at 5:34 PM on November 3, 2004


sourbrew:

I find something very wrong with Marxist professors pouring soccialist drool into students ears, and making the students pay for the privilege. At least you didn't have to pay to listen to the preacher, and if you felt compelled, you could have taken up station across from him and denounced every word he said. It's called freedom of speech, and it doesn't only apply to liberals.

If my tone is strident, it's because I have been hammering on this point for years: you live in the most tolerant and open society in the history of the world. And I think you know that, deep down.

As for living with things you disagree with -- well, that's the definition of the rule of the majority. I don't like allowing the burning of the American flag. I find it absolutely repellent. And yet I understand that it is an essential component of the First Amendment.

Like it or not, religious belief is a bedrock principle of the country in which you live (and that's as true of Democrats as Republicans). I disagree with religious belief in principle, and yet I accept that the vast majority of my countrymen are religious, and that I must respect their religiosity as I expect them to respect my atheism.
posted by mrmanley at 5:34 PM on November 3, 2004


poopy - I agree the history of the US has long been marked by pendulum like swings of internal focus and external ones as well as swings towards the left or right. However our current government seems to have ceased being a bipartisan system, and Bush declaring his victory as a historic win seems to me to be a precursor to a similar approach that he undertook following his mandate from america in 2000.
posted by sourbrew at 5:35 PM on November 3, 2004


How about those of us who are considering leaving because we honestly believe that with a Bush administration in charge, economic opportunities will be better abroad, for both us and our children? I don't want to have to pay off that debt...

However dear leader also prohibited the development of new strains of stem cells and that is the real hindrance to further research along those lines.

This is not true. There's no prohibition on privately funded stem cell research.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:39 PM on November 3, 2004


mrmanley - do you really think any institution would have granted a permit for a muslim man preaching jihad, or for a satanist to preach the coming of Mr. Scratch. Somehow i doubt that a muslim man telling women that they were whores because of their impiety in the face of religious norms would be acceptable. However, the christian equivalent is highly palpable.

To my fellow students credit many of them argued with him using the bible. Underscoring perhaps one of the most frightening things about that book, any one can prove anything with it.
posted by sourbrew at 5:41 PM on November 3, 2004


Armitage Shanks:

Christ, what a flag-wrapped wank that was.

You make my point for me. Why is a gesture of patriotism, even couched as mine was, to be considered a "wank"? Is it a betrayal of the so-called "progressive cause" to be a patriot?
posted by mrmanley at 5:41 PM on November 3, 2004


Meanwhile...
posted by gimonca at 5:44 PM on November 3, 2004


mr_roboto - I believe you are right i can find no mention of a ban on private development of stem cell strands. However the federal government does refuse to let anyone participating in federal research to use any but the 60 stem cell lines that were in existance at that time, which in reality only represent about 23 actual strands.
posted by sourbrew at 5:48 PM on November 3, 2004


which in reality only represent about 23 actual strands.

22 according to this, and worse, they're contaminated. See the post before this one for more links.
posted by homunculus at 6:04 PM on November 3, 2004


Have you been perusing the non-stop river of bile here and elsewhere for the last four years? After heaping abuse after abuse on conservatives, insulting the president with the most vile insults imaginable, you have the frigging nerve to drag out this "healing" B.S.? Fuck that, pal; you and your ilk have earned the asskicking that the conservatives are doling out today.

nice one mrmanley... hostile and contentious. good to know you practice what you preach in regard to disdain for heaping abuse and vile insults.
posted by hulette at 6:15 PM on November 3, 2004


hulette:

Good! Hostile and contentious is what I was aiming for. Good to know I hit the mark! I knew that college degree would come in handy someday.....
posted by mrmanley at 6:17 PM on November 3, 2004


Zmrmanley: You make my point for me. Why is a gesture of patriotism, even couched as mine was, to be considered a "wank"? Is it a betrayal of the so-called "progressive cause" to be a patriot?

Answer these questions for me:
Why is it wrong to have serious concerns about the direction your country is going?
Why is it wrong to voice these concerns if you sincerely believe, as I do, that by speaking these concerns I am expressing love and patriotism for my country?
Why is it okay for a conservative to put a "I love my country but fear my government" bumpersticker on his pickup truck during the Clinton era, but wrong for someone living in Berkeley to put one on their Volvo during this Bush administration?

Be honest with yourself when you answer.
posted by echolalia67 at 6:24 PM on November 3, 2004


I seriously doubt 50 million people will elect to leave.

On preview: I must respect their religiosity as I expect them to respect my atheism

Mr.manley: interesting, what do you mean by mutual respect ?
posted by elpapacito at 6:28 PM on November 3, 2004


Andrew Sullivan's prescription of federalism soothes me somewhat. And I've got big-ass reasons to move to Canada -- 1) I'm already a citizen, 2) I'm gay, so I just got outlawed in half of America, and 3) I'm also both young and black, which makes me the Administration's public enemy #1.

But on that giant ugly red map of America, I see shiny fringes of blue. I see a couple of beautiful states where gay people got married this year, and at least one where it's still happening. I see a $3-billion embryonic stem-cell miracle factory funded by a ballot initiative that was essentially a big ol' "Fuck You" to a President who'd scrap science for superstition. Not far away from cities where I can walk hand in hand with the man I love and draw only smiles. I see some of the cultural touchstones of the world, places where little miniature Renaissances are happening in warehouses and lofts across a variegated city.

I love cities across the world, but this country, for now, is home, and I'm content to let red America have its dingy, suburban ghetto while I continue to celebrate my sunny, brilliant coast. I feel as buffered from the bigotry and the ignorance in Cambridge and San Francisco as I ever have abroad.

I mean, can we really run from red America, anywhere in the world with this Administration? I, for one, think my only option is to keep trying to make it obsolete, from the safety of my palm-lined liberal oasis. Anyway, I have no real desire to spend too much time in Ohio, Georgia, Arkansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Kentucky, Oklahoma or Utah, while L.A., Seattle, Austin, Boston, Williamsburg, Chicago and -- of course -- Provincetown still exist.

Besides, I know the numbers are on my side. The people being born right now and those of my generation increasingly share my values. I don't mind enduring the last gasp of American ridiculousness, as long as the Bibled-up geezers don't insist on gasping in my direction.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 6:33 PM on November 3, 2004


echolalia67:

Rhetorical questions one and all, and dishonest. Free speech doesn't mean speech without consequence or repurcussion. You are free to call Bush a fascist if you want; but I am free to call you a jerk for doing so. I can only repeat: free speech doesn't only apply to liberal speech.

Be honest with yourself when you answer.

There is an implicit assumption that I won't be honest? I had four Bush/Cheney lawn signs destroyed over the past month -- presumably by right-thinking advocates of the Left who felt that my speech somehow offended the commonweal. I see far more suppression of speech coming out of the Left these days than the Right: this book gives an interesting insight into that particular problem.
posted by mrmanley at 6:33 PM on November 3, 2004


(Oh, but if I develop any near-term plans to have children, my new home is Vancouver.)
posted by grrarrgh00 at 6:40 PM on November 3, 2004


Hey manley, if you expect your atheism to be respected I hope you don't live in Texas.
posted by zaack at 6:41 PM on November 3, 2004


elpapacito:

What do you mean by mutual respect?

It means accepting that religious people (including Muslims, as many on my side of the political divide should remember) are not mindless theological automatons. For most people on the earth, religious faith is a central tenet in their lives. It limns both their lives and the lives of their families. It is the thread that weaves the society together. And this is very true in America -- more so in small towns than in cities, but even in so Godless a place as L.A., you can hardly go four blocks without going past a church, synagogue, temple, or mosque.

I am an atheist, but I must accept that my atheism, like the faith of my friends, is not falsifiable and is thus not a scientific tenet: it's just something I believe to be true. I cannot prove there isn't a God; therefore I must give respect to my fellow citizens who believe that there is.

We live in a democratic republic among people who are overwhelmingly Christian (to greater or lesser degrees). It would be strange if our society didn't reflect this. To say that it is bad or wrong completely misses the whole point of our system of government.
posted by mrmanley at 6:41 PM on November 3, 2004


mrmanley - I would agree that liberal approaches to free speech concerning sexual discrimination and others are perhaps a bit high handed. Still the secret service has shown up at bloggers houses for making discriminating comments about the president. I think both sides are guilty of the same thing, I think that you however have launched a straw man attack to avoid answering echolalia67's question about the bumper sticker. Why is it that conservatives tolerate no criticism of bush while democrats were forced to endure straw man attacks on clinton for his extra marital affairs which were in reality was none of our business anyway.
posted by sourbrew at 6:45 PM on November 3, 2004


xnay on the were in the statement "which were in reality was none"


i get excited.
posted by sourbrew at 6:51 PM on November 3, 2004


Thanks for coming back now that Bush has been re-elected mrmanley. It's nice to see your unique brand of illogic once again (dis)grace the (virtual) pages of metafilter.
posted by The God Complex at 6:53 PM on November 3, 2004


(If someone feels that I'm hogging the thread, please say so and I'll shut up for awhile.)

sourbrew:

Conservatives have tolerated immense amounts of criticism, most of it directed at the President. I'm sure you're just as familiar as I am with the endless refrains of "fascist", "nazi", "BusHitler", and a thousand other insults. And this has been going on for four years. In that time, I've seen a lot of conservatives get mad and respond in kind (as I'm doing now), but never have I seen actual suppression of speech. Oh, I've heard about it plenty from Leftists who have claimed censorship or intimidation; but it usually turns out to be nothing.

Consider: I can go to Amazon right now and buy a book about the assassination of George W. Bush. I presume that the author is not only a free man, but was handsomely remunerated for his scholarly efforts. That sure doesn't sound like crushing of dissent to me.

But if you take simple disagreement to be a form of indimidation, you'd better grow a thicker skin.
posted by mrmanley at 6:53 PM on November 3, 2004


oh please if anti bush sentiment were anywhere near as high as you portray it some democrat in congress would have had the balls to start an impeachment hearing against bush for halliburton, iraq, the cia operative etc... etc.... but clinton getting a little pole polishing was way over the top.
posted by sourbrew at 6:56 PM on November 3, 2004


that said im withdrawing from all further discussion about politics, mrmanley feel free to get your last jabs in. Anyone else i would love to talk about the article if anyone has any opinions.
posted by sourbrew at 7:02 PM on November 3, 2004


poppy if you read the article you would realize the us government won't let you leave. The IRS keeps dibs on you so that it can tax you after you've left

That's not true in any meaningful way. Yes, the US does insist that citizens living abroad file income tax forms. But there's a very healthy exclusion -- unless you're quite well off, you won't owe the US anything, you'll just be filing a form showing you owe nothing. It's there to stop rich people from acquiring a citizenship-of-convenience from, say, a Caribbean country just to avoid taxes.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:08 PM on November 3, 2004


Why is a gesture of patriotism, even couched as mine was, to be considered a "wank"?

Having the audacity to complain about hyperbole from the Left, while at the same time accusing them of trying to "murder" the country for daring to disagree with (and be horrified by) a religious extremist agenda, is one big fat steaming wank. Combining it with typical USA #1 drivel (in what sense exactly is the US "more free" than, say, Australia or the Netherlands?) is a big fat steaming wank with a heaping side of self-satisified arrogance.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:11 PM on November 3, 2004


The IRS’s interest in the subject is, of course, purely financial; since 1996, the agency has tracked ex-Americans in the hopes of recouping tax revenue, which in some cases may be owed for up to ten years after a person leaves the country.

rou_xenophobe - from the article
posted by sourbrew at 7:14 PM on November 3, 2004


BTW, the US does not recognize dual citizenship

That's also not true in any useful way.

The US doesn't care if you hold other citizenships. There's nothing they can do about it in any case -- how can they affect who the UK or Canada or whoever considers a citizen? Short of going to war, but doing starting the War About How Britain BETTER NOT Consider Grignr Asswipe A Citizen Any More seems unlikely even for the current administration.

If you hold US citizenship and other citizenships, the US will only deal with you as a US citizen. That's all that "does not recognize" means. Lots of US citizens are dual or multiple nationals.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:16 PM on November 3, 2004


sourbrew: that's the part that deals with rich bastards skipping out to avoid paying their taxes here. It won't apply to normal people.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:17 PM on November 3, 2004


Free speech doesn't mean speech without consequence or repurcussion.

Oh, you're applying the Bill O'Reilly principle of free speech, I see. Nice one. It has nothing to do with what I asked you, however. For all of your posturing about how intolerant the Left is, you fail to recognize that the coarsening of political discourse in the last 10 years started with the "get Bill Clinton" party you all threw.

Now back to my questions. Trust me, they're not meant to be retorical. I want you to tell me why you think lefties, including me, are traitors.
posted by echolalia67 at 7:23 PM on November 3, 2004


wow, catfight thread!
posted by dig_duggler at 7:31 PM on November 3, 2004


echolalia67:

I see that you have the usual Leftist interpretation of "free speech", which is to say: only speech that you agree with. The so-called "coarsening of political dialog" that you bemoan has been a facet of American politics from the get-go; just look at some of the stuff Whigs wrote about Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, or that Alexander Hamilton's political opponents wrote about him. Political invective is nothing new; in fact, most of today's stuff is pretty tame.

I don't know you, so I don't call you a traitor. I know many people who have cars with liberal notions expressed on bumper stickers and window clings; I do not regard them as evil or even misguided. We simply disagree, and that's where I leave it.

But I do consider demagogues like Michael Moore to be traitors. Their activities give hope and comfort to our enemies, and work to weaken our own forces. This is the very definition of being a traitor: to betray your own people. If we lived in a just universe, Moore would be sitting in a prison cell right now. (And don't bother writing long screeds telling me what a fabulous documentarian he is. You have your view, I have mine.)
posted by mrmanley at 7:32 PM on November 3, 2004


mrmanley: fair enough , you can't prove there is no God, neither others can prove there is a God ..because as just noted, unfalsifiable belief systems are not scientific by Karl Popper falsifiability standard. Unfortunately it is possible that some people could make a likewise unfalsifiable statement like "people that don't believe are not believers" (a tautology) and another statement like "unbelievers freedom that conflicts with ours is to be restricted in order to enlarge our restricted freedom"..and so on. Better keep an eye on them, as as far as I read on Wiki Popper principle does not provide a way to distinguish meaningful statements from meaningless ones
posted by elpapacito at 7:37 PM on November 3, 2004


I see that you have the usual Leftist interpretation of "free speech", which is to say: only speech that you agree with.
...
If we lived in a just universe, Moore would be sitting in a prison cell right now.


Keep it up, this is comedy gold.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:37 PM on November 3, 2004


I'm not thinking of leaving America (although I find the life of the expat a romantic notion.) No, I'm more worried about continuing to live in New York City.

Let's face it. During the election, we all learned that 95% of our cargo holds and ships aren't getting inspected. All it would take is one nuke in a ship in New York harbor going boom and it's all over.

But now, Kerry's out, despite overwhelming support in NY. So you think Bush is going to do anything to increase those port inspections? I don't think so. He probably sees us as a bunch of God-hating, traitorous sodomites.

So I see a strong chance for a terrorist attack soon, most likely in a city that overwhelmingly didn't vote for Bush. The biggest irony? Bush's approval rating would rise 40 points by a terrorist attack. It's not even in his best interest to prevent one!

This is what keeps me up at night. I doubt I'll ever get motivated enough to move - I love the city too much. But it's incredibly unfair.
posted by fungible at 7:38 PM on November 3, 2004


But I do consider demagogues like Michael Moore to be traitors. Their activities give hope and comfort to our enemies, and work to weaken our own forces. This is the very definition of being a traitor: to betray your own people. If we lived in a just universe, Moore would be sitting in a prison cell right now. (And don't bother writing long screeds telling me what a fabulous documentarian he is. You have your view, I have mine.)


I was going to stay out of this, but how? You can make the argument that any criticism of our government/society etc. weakens us and emboldens our enemies. But that's a slippery, slippery slope b/c where do you draw the line?
posted by dig_duggler at 7:40 PM on November 3, 2004


Armitage Shanks:

Keep it up, this is comedy gold.

I get good yucks off your natterings too, Armitage. But alas, I must away, for us old guys need a good night's sleep before a long day's work.
posted by mrmanley at 7:42 PM on November 3, 2004


Also, I just gotta add it. Saying a filmmaker who has broken no laws belongs in a jail cell is a pretty stupid thing to say.
posted by dig_duggler at 7:46 PM on November 3, 2004


Actually "the argument that any criticism of our government/society etc. weakens us and emboldens our enemies." is not only idiotic and simple-minded, by dangerous to the point of totalitarianism.... Stupid argument for stupid people, Beneath comment contempt and consideration. GAD i hope you people have better than that,....

"Your either with is or......" (then comes the Jackboots).
"Wear a Kerry shirt after the"bush Oaths or hell even before...." (then comes the Jackboots).
"disagree with MY war plan will you...." (then comes the Jackboots)

If you can't see that then America is a lost cause...

On a lighter note, I hear The Swedes are pretty good (freedom wise) and Denmark.... I dont here the Norwegians Complaining about Terrorism or disinfranchisement much either...
Tasmania seem a bit calm too. With Bush running things I think thats about all the countries that are A: Safe and B: allowing amercans to stay for a while.

I could be wrong....
posted by Elim at 8:02 PM on November 3, 2004


Exit polls clearly showed this thread going well. What went wrong?
posted by dhartung at 8:05 PM on November 3, 2004


good one dhartung
posted by dig_duggler at 8:41 PM on November 3, 2004


But I do consider demagogues like Michael Moore to be traitors. Their activities give hope and comfort to our enemies, and work to weaken our own forces.

Personally I think that people who directly bring material comfort to the enemy, and enrich themselves by doing so, betray the nation not once but twice.

Why don't you have a look into Halliburton's operations in Iran and pre-war Iraq... then realize that the guy who was in charge of those shady operations is now a heartbeat away from the Presidency, and will continue to be for the next four years.
posted by clevershark at 8:42 PM on November 3, 2004


but yes canada is too cold

Well, I don't know where you are in the states, but here in Vancouver, the temperature's dropped (significantly) below zero maybe 10 days in the last three years and I don't even own a winter jacket or boots. Snow? On the mountains maybe (it's quite pretty actually), but I never thought of it as cold (compared to, say, North Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois, and so on...)
posted by sharpener at 8:49 PM on November 3, 2004


What gets me is that mrmanley's chosen candidate won. That means that more people think like him than think like, well, people that don't eat babies.
posted by bonaldi at 8:53 PM on November 3, 2004


But I do consider demagogues like Michael Moore to be traitors. Their activities give hope and comfort to our enemies, and work to weaken our own forces.

Do you also consider demagogues like Limbaugh and Hannity to be traitors? Or are their lies and distortions OK because they make Americans (especially "conservative" Americans) feel good about themselves?

Technically I'm a socially conservative religious believer, but seriously, half the reason why I can't call myself "conservative" has a lot to do with who the so-called conservatives choose as their mouthpieces and pundits. That and the fact that where I live, they're so terrified that Michael Moore might be allowed to speak that they literally filed lawsuits to try to stop him from speaking at a local college. Apparently, mrgrimm, you'd fit in with this crowd just fine, and that's kindof sad.
posted by weston at 8:55 PM on November 3, 2004


And regarding this:

Consider: I can go to Amazon right now and buy a book about the assassination of George W. Bush. I presume that the author is not only a free man

It appears to be fiction rather than advocacy, which sortof takes the bite off the idea that this even qualifies as dissent to which anyone would respond.
posted by weston at 9:01 PM on November 3, 2004


mrmanley, not mr grimm...
posted by weston at 9:02 PM on November 3, 2004


Marry an American!
posted by muckster at 9:44 PM on November 3, 2004


mrmanley: People may starting taking you seriously when you can put together a rational argument. Just a tip.
posted by Vidiot at 9:46 PM on November 3, 2004


err...may start taking you serioiusly, not "starting."
posted by Vidiot at 9:47 PM on November 3, 2004


I think there are a couple of issues here, I may believe that lots of intellectual, cultural and financial trade between nations is a good idea, but my home and community is located in a very specific spot, and with a small number of people who I don't wish to see come to harm. I don't know what are the critical issues that might be politically important in Beijing. However I do have the knowledge, background, tools, and will to work on problems in my hometown.

I have serious problems with the theme being expressed here and in other places that seems to be quite a bit different from the more admirable idea that one might start off living in the country for business and living there for pleasure.

One of the things that bothers me is that there seems to be a myth, primarily propagated by the election Red vs. blue maps, that we are a nation with radically different ideologies bounded by geography. The Red vs. blue election maps are horribly misleading. California has almost as many Bush voters as the entire Rocky mountain range. In almost all of the Red states, Kerry managed to get a pretty hefty minority. This notion that you can drive across state lines and suddenly be in a completely different world is a fallacy promoted by a particularly stupid and lame graphic. With the exception of the District of Columbia, pretty much all states are varying shades of purple.

The other big problem is that, I am not a particularly sociable, but I can't imagine adopting this attitude of profound contempt for one's neighbors that seem to go along with a lot of these wannabe expatriates. I can sit down with people with a very different political philosophy and still reach some general form of respectful disagreement by acknowledging that we both want healthy communities. I have hard time with people to show contempt for their communities even when I agree with their political philosophy.

And probably the last issue why this really bothers me is that it seems like these wannabe expatriates are basically looking for a safe place to play the fiddle while the United States burns around the ears of everybody else. Perhaps I am just a silly nationalist, but there are things and people that I am very attached to, could not transport to another country, and that I feel are worth fighting for. So I really can't applaud, pat the expatriates on the back, or offer much in the way of support for something that I see as an escapist fantasy.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:32 PM on November 3, 2004


Whoops, that should be "wannabe expatriates" in the last sentence there. I think that people who have the opportunity to work in another country should grab the opportunity with both hands. I'm talking about a very specific rationale for leaving the country that I find to be sort of a problem.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:39 PM on November 3, 2004


From zaack's link:
The Texas Constitution
Article 1 - BILL OF RIGHTS
Section 4 - RELIGIOUS TESTS
No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.

How does that sit with free speech and freedom of religion, mrmanley (and all you other constitutionalists)?
posted by dash_slot- at 10:58 PM on November 3, 2004


mrmanley, what was it about the phrase " ...that the coarsening of political discourse in the last 10 years" that you don't get?

Politics are nasty - duh. However, the last 10 years the discourse has been an increasingly vicious game of tit for tat and quite frankly, I really hate to see so many people on my side turn into the left's equivalent of Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh. As for Michael Moore being a traitor, if he is one then the aforementioned pundits are too. What, you don't think that fanning the flames of an increasingly extreme political polarization of America gives aid and comfort to the enemy? Or does it only count as treason if someone on the left is doing it?
posted by echolalia67 at 11:33 PM on November 3, 2004


KJS: It's not the state lines that count. It's the county lines.
Look here.
You'll notice that there are an awful lot of counties that are 70 and 80 percent Republican.
The trends are towards more division, not less. When a state has enough 80% Republican communities, they start passing laws to drive out people like you. The majority of the American people have shown that they approve. It saddens me that I face less discrimination in a notoriously xenophobic country like Japan, than a black NYer would face in Montana.

Lastly, I am an actual expatriate, not a wannabe. My escapism was not fantasy. My wife and son left for health reasons after 9/11, and I stayed behind long enough to see GWB try to screw NY out of emergency funds and watched firehouses close, even before the economy really tanked.

I would like to come back, and if I could see some evidence that it was still possible to make a difference, it would make my decision easier. Why don't you give me some examples of your successes in fighting the radical right in the U.S. over the last 4 years, to inspire me?
posted by bashos_frog at 11:36 PM on November 3, 2004


I renounced my US citizenship in Hong Kong in the early 90's in favor of citizenship of a country that doesn't officially exist: Taiwan. Unfortunately, the draft letter I got soon afterwards was all too real.
posted by Poagao at 11:44 PM on November 3, 2004


if one more right wing rhetorical brute gives me another earful about WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE LEFT, I'm going to detonate an m80 inside of someone.

in other news, I'd love to move to another country but it's just not economically possible. and after another 4 years of bush, it'll probably be even less of a possibility. the bummers just keep compounding!

and I don't see why y'all get so huffy about people wanting to expatriate either. you guys HATE liberals! why wouldn't you want to be rid of us? and chew on this: wouldn't it make more financial sense to send us to whatever socialist nightmare we want to live in, like canada or germany, instead of spending millions in campaigning every few years? a few thousand bucks and you lose one less opposition voter. what do you say?
posted by mcsweetie at 11:46 PM on November 3, 2004


mcsweetie: If they sent you away, whose taxes would subsidize their farms? Whose kids would die in their wars?
posted by bashos_frog at 11:54 PM on November 3, 2004


BuBye now!
posted by HTuttle at 12:14 AM on November 4, 2004


To add a bit to what ROU_Xenophobe was saying - the IRS allows you $80,000 of foreign income before you are taxed on it. The US also has tax treaties with many other countries such that the tax you pay to the second country is deducted from the tax you have to pay to the US.

ROU_Xenophobe said: The US doesn't care if you hold other citizenships. There's nothing they can do about it in any case -- how can they affect who the UK or Canada or whoever considers a citizen?

The point is moot, but the US could do something if they did care, like some countries. Malaysia for example does not allow dual citizenships, and they will oblige you to renounce your original citizenship as part of the process of getting the new one. If you acquired dual citizenship through birth, you could maintain without their knowledge until you travel between your two nations. At that point, it will be detected due to incomplete stampage. By law, you have to enter and leave the US on your US passport if you are a citizen, and you have to enter and leave Malaysia on a Malaysian passport if you are a citizen. If, purely as a mental exercise, you want to figure a way around that bind, I'd appreciate you emailing me your idea...
posted by BinGregory at 2:07 AM on November 4, 2004


BinGregory:
From what I hear, Canada recognizes dual citizenship, so you can enter and leave Canada as either a US or Canadian citizen.
This renders the US position moot.
Also, IIRC, US citizens didn't even need passports for Canada, at least while driving there - a drivers license was enough. This may have changed post 9/11.

Malaysia is a problem, because they don't recognize dual citizenship, as Canada does.
posted by bashos_frog at 2:14 AM on November 4, 2004


"It just kills me. America is still the freest and most open society in the world, and the Left knows it. And yet they cannot keep themselves from attempting the murder the very society that has nurtured them for so long."

"We" (and such a polarizing term, is it not? It feels like "we" and "them" have to take arms to protect ourselves from this.. verbal onslaught) only want to keep it that way.
posted by Keyser Soze at 2:17 AM on November 4, 2004


That way in reference to America being the frrest and most open society in the world. Excuse me, I write better after a few beers.
posted by Keyser Soze at 2:18 AM on November 4, 2004


This idea that you're a traitor if you choose to live in another country is very perplexing to the rest of the world. A lot of my friends (I'm British) are planning to go and live in Spain, France, Italy, Australia and elsewhere. Similarly a lot of people from those countries come here to live. It's considered a lifestyle choice.
posted by Summer at 3:13 AM on November 4, 2004


MrManley, why do you Love America so?
posted by fullerine at 3:32 AM on November 4, 2004


Hey! the right wing balloons are full of air now, aren't they?

Yeah! If you haven't been anywhere else, your village is the most open and free society in the fucking universe. Wake up, please.

Also, stop planning to go. Soon, if you don't agree, you will be kicked out.
posted by acrobat at 4:08 AM on November 4, 2004


What a load of ripe, steaming, feculent shit.

More evidence of the truly amazing capacity for blindness to the log in thine own eye....
posted by lodurr at 4:41 AM on November 4, 2004


Soon, if you don't agree, you will be kicked out.

A dose of realism, if you don't mind -- not directed at you, necessarily, but at the arbitrary idea that we are/aren't entering an era of the police state in America:

It's true, no religious police are breaking down our doors, our phones aren't being tapped, our right to free speech is not being abrogated on a wholesale basis. I'd bet $20 that no one posting on this thread so far will be detained without a warrant in the next year or two.

And it's also true that any genuine conservative would immediately concede that all those points are irrelevant.

The point is not that they will, but that they can. (And, hey, under the rules of the PATRIOT act, you could be legally barred from telling anyone about it. Cool, huh?) They have a means of control, and as people come to understand that it exists, the actual exercise of freedom of speech and action is discouraged -- in SCOTUS language, that's known as the "chilling effect."

And BTW, I have just about zero sympathy for libertarian/anarchist "nobody's forcing you to be a wimp" crap. (Sometimes more bluntly formulated as something like "The only think a free man can be forced to do is die.") So don't bother. It's a silly argument, and anyone who ever bothers to look even trivially at their own actions in the world should know that.

What we're in for is a gradual erosion of civil liberties and separation of powers. For example, I have no doubt that it will become effectively lawful in the US to use expression of religious faith as a criterion in evaluating job applicants for state positions, and probably also federal positions. There will officially be no appearance of impropriety if a manager holds bible study meetings on office time.

Meanwhile, moralistic legislation will continue apace, but it won't be evenly enforced -- instead, it will tend to be used as a hammer to strike at anyone momentarily defined as unsavory. Think about it: The more laws there are on the books, the more likely a cop can find one that you're breaking. ("I'm gonna nail you for picking your feet in Poughkeepsie." -- Popeye Doyle) That's basic Conservatism, BTW. And having been raised by big-C, Jim Buckley Conservatives, I know a bit about Conservatism.

Anyway, all this is going to happen gradually and to few enough people that the mass of Americans not only won't notice, but won't care. To which many people will probably respond, "well, then, those freedoms must not have been that important in the first place."

Well, they were important to me. And they're important to anyone who actually might want to change how things are done in America. Of course, if you always believe that everythign American is ergo good, then you never want to change anything. But if you believe anything different -- you fight for civil liberties. You fight for them, or you're a steaming hypocrite.
posted by lodurr at 5:03 AM on November 4, 2004


I'd love to know how declaring that America is the freest society in the world is compatible up with wanting Michael Moore thrown in prison for making a documentary critical of the President.
posted by salmacis at 5:04 AM on November 4, 2004


If we lived in a just universe, Moore would be sitting in a prison cell right now.

And you would be burning in JesusLand hell.
posted by nofundy at 5:04 AM on November 4, 2004


... why do you Love America so?

Love is Hate. Freedom is Bondage. Choice is Slavery.

E.g.: We ought all be free to say what we will. So long as it is something we all agree with. And so long as we never point that out about ourselves...
posted by lodurr at 5:15 AM on November 4, 2004


bashos frog: Also, IIRC, US citizens didn't even need passports for Canada, at least while driving there - a drivers license was enough. This may have changed post 9/11.

Yeah, I grew up in Detroit. We used to cross the Ambassador Bridge to Windsor a lot. The Independence Day fireworks are nicer from there for one thing. You could go just on a DL, like you say. Minors in the car didn't require any ID at all. It most certainly has changed though. Immediately following 9/11 it was a mess. The lines waiting to cross the bridge even slowed traffic on the freeway leading to it. To be honest, I never crossed after 9/11, but even in the years before that I would always go with passport since my wife is a Green Card holder. It was just much easier that way.

But, back to what you said, are you positive that a dual US-Canadian citizen can enter Canada with a US passport, not showing his Canadian one? I know Canada allows dual citizenship, but so does the US, and the US will definitely not allow you to do that. I mean, they may have a hard time catching you, but it is technically illegal.
posted by BinGregory at 5:19 AM on November 4, 2004


bashos_frog: You'll notice that there are an awful lot of counties that are 70 and 80 percent Republican.
The trends are towards more division, not less. When a state has enough 80% Republican communities, they start passing laws to drive out people like you.


Are looking at the same map? I am seeing a lot more pale blue than dark blue. The county map is still misleading because it is normed by geography rather than population. There are a couple of other factors involved. There is an interesting trend trend of voting more liberal in local and state elections than in the federal elections. I have noticed that state politics tends to be quite a bit more moderate and sane than federal politics. If you are not on the ground, you can't tell what is going on from a really bad political map. And from what I see on mefi, quite a few people from large cities both have no idea what the ground looks like, and are unwilling to see anything that does not justify their pet view.

My escapism was not fantasy.

Yes it is. You get to sit on your hands and crow about it's all burning down while doing a lot of running around in place from a safe distance.

I would like to come back, and if I could see some evidence that it was still possible to make a difference, it would make my decision easier. Why don't you give me some examples of your successes in fighting the radical right in the U.S. over the last 4 years, to inspire me?

I'm not your monkey. I'm also not your google, your shrink, or your fucking cheerleader.

And the issue is not to that you are living overseas. We need Americans living overseas. We need to have an international community. The issue is that I have heard nothing but contempt from political expatriates and wannabe expatriates, not only for American conservatives, but for American liberals who are attempting to change the things that you are bitching about. I have been called foolish, a "trained seal", and an idiot for believing that there are people, places, and culture in the United States that are worth fighting for. The issue is that you have chosen to style yourself as some sort of grand suffering political refugee, demonstrating a profound lack of prospective. The issue is that not only do you live overseas, that there seems to be this demand that we validate and celebrate your contempt-driven desire for a different citizenship.

Sorry, not today. By all means, do what you think is best for the people you love. Just quit taking a public dump on my choice to do what I think is best for the people I love.

Summer: This idea that you're a traitor if you choose to live in another country is very perplexing to the rest of the world. A lot of my friends (I'm British) are planning to go and live in Spain, France, Italy, Australia and elsewhere. Similarly a lot of people from those countries come here to live. It's considered a lifestyle choice.

Which again, the issue is not in choosing to live in another country. I have the opportunity to work with people from many other countries, and I have honestly never heard the profound contempt for people who don't choose the same lifestyle, as I am hearing this week from actual and wannabe political expatriates. I have also had the opportunity to know actual religious and political refugees. And while America is not particularly perfect, none of the more of the opinion that the United States is all that badly off.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:57 AM on November 4, 2004


KirkJobSluder: you make an interesting point about the voting within blue and red states, but I may have at least a partial explanation. As we all know the presidential campaigns have become very sophisticated in that they target states and even counties with particular messages, messages that vary according to the demographic. Kerry did this and of course Bush did this during these elections.
This means that the message that the president was sending to conservatives in California and New York was very different than the message sent to conservatives in the "real" red states. I imagine that appealing to fundamentalist christian values of Republicans on the coasts would be much less effective than appealing to their greed for tax cuts or their fear of an unseen terrorist enemy.

Perhaps a better way to judge the differences between states is to see who they elect to Congress. Alan Keyes was demolished in Illinois, despite the fact that their are millions of republicans in Illinois, largely because he's a religious nutjob (in their eyes). While South Carolinians have no problem electing a Demint to the Senate although because he said that gays and single pregnant women should be prohibited from teaching in schools. Try running on that platform in NY. Or how about Oklahoma voting into the Senate "death to the abortionists" Tom Coburn? How would that play in California? Would he even get 5% of the Republican vote? Of course people vote Republican for many reasons, and it's always dicey to make broad generalizations about such a diverse group, but I think it's safe to say that the focus of Bush's message was and will be quite different for Republicans in Blue and Red states.
posted by sic at 6:00 AM on November 4, 2004


Eamon: Still, if I were an American homosexual today, I'd probably feel somewhat like German Jews did in 1935. How bad does it have to get before it's okay to leave?

How bad? I'd say the "bad enough that the least intelligent, most manipulated, most economically ruinous President since Herbert Hoover gets relected because the Christian Fundamentalists believe against all reason and evidence that he can keep their sons safe from the homerseckshuls. The sons that make it back alive from the Quagmire of Death caused by that President's venity war, of course."

Well, I am an American homosexual today - We're the new Evil Empire! The ills of all that plagues America are carried about on our pock-marked, AIDS-infected, selfish, Apocalypse-taunting backs! - and if I cared enough what one lone voice of stereotypical wingnuttery spewed forth on some anonymous Internet discussion forum, I might say something like:
FUCK YOU MRMANLEY AND THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS, INTOLERANT, SPAWN OF HYPOCRITICAL SHITBAGS YOU RODE IN WITH. YOU AND YOUR ILK ARE NOT WORTH THE TIME AND ATTENTION IT TAKES TO DRAG ONESELF DOWN TO YOUR SCUM-SUCKING, PSEUDO-CHRISTIAN LEVEL. IF THERE WERE A "JESUS," HE'D BE ROLLING IN HIS TOMB AT YOUR MOVEMENTS PERVERSION OF ALL HE HELD DEAR...
That is if I cared enough what one lone voice of stereotypical wingnuttery spewed forth on some anonymous Internet discussion forum...

Which, obviously, I don't.

Gotta run, don't want to be late for my appointment with the British Consulate...
posted by JollyWanker at 6:10 AM on November 4, 2004


America is still the freest and most open society in the world, and the Left knows it

This is a meme that was blatantly untrue even before the Patriot act, held, in most part, by those Americans that hadn't travelled much, and citizens of the third world who learned about the West through TV and the movies.

Now, it's simply ridiculous.

Also, off topic - but regarding mrmanley's un-falsifiability of atheist belief, let me also point out that non-belief in a parallel un-reachable universe where creatures which look uncannily like Mickey Mouse spend their lives worshipping an idol which is the spitting image of GWB, while speaking in a language that sounds exactly like Swahili but whose words have different meanings altogether, is similarly unfalsifiable. However in this case, while technically belief and non-belief are equally unfalsifiable, one would be hard pressed to deem them ontologically equiprobable... or equally justified.
posted by talos at 6:23 AM on November 4, 2004


sic: While South Carolinians have no problem electing a Demint to the Senate although because he said that gays and single pregnant women should be prohibited from teaching in schools.

Well, again, I don't think you can say that DeMint proves that liberals are an endagered species in SC. DeMint won a 54% victory with an incumbent advantage in a large chunk of the State (he had a seat in the House) against an inexperienced candidate. SC has also has two Dems in the House of Representatives.

Coburn also reveals quite a bit of vote-splitting by moderates. While Bush carried the state by 66%, Coburn only got 53%. Keyes was a last-minute ringer who charged into the race in the wake of a sex scandal.

Certainly, there are cultural differences involved but the red/blue state distinction is highly problematic. Are Nevada and Ohio bad because they went red this election?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:29 AM on November 4, 2004


This notion that you can drive across state lines and suddenly be in a completely different world is a fallacy promoted by a particularly stupid and lame graphic.

Uh, not in my experience. I drive a VW bus, have long hair, and am a law abiding citizen. No drugs, don't even drink or smoke. I have been pulled over for no reason and harassed more times than I can count in red states. So much so that any time I am out of the city I stiffen up when a police car is going the same direction.

This never has happened to me in a Blue state. So much so that when I am in those states, or Canada, it doesn't even occur to me to worry that I will be harassed. FWIW, Kansas is the worst state I have been to in this regard, with Utah being a close second.

So, in my experience red and blue states most assuredly do have different attitudes toward people that don't fit within society's norms.
posted by jester69 at 6:30 AM on November 4, 2004


Talos, I think that many Americans equate freedom with "economic" freedom, which is still dubious, but one has to admit that it's probably easier to start a business in the US than in say Spain or Greece. As far as social freedom, I'd say that the US is no longer even in the top 10. The Netherlands is probably number 1 followed by various European States. Spain has just changed it's Civil Code to allow for same sex marriages (all hail Zapatero!) and the Euthanasia debate is not far off.

I also whole-heartedly agree with you about the unfalsibility argument that I've heard so often from religous people. It seems to me to be as intellectually dishonest as intelligent design theory.
posted by sic at 6:33 AM on November 4, 2004


You can run but you can't hide.

Problems in America will come to a head and trigger world war anyway, and - unless you're living in Tierra Del Fuego - they'll still hit you.

Think about it for a bit.
posted by troutfishing at 6:36 AM on November 4, 2004


I'm not your monkey. I'm also not your google, your shrink, or your fucking cheerleader.

In other words, not a single fucking thing. You talk a good game, but you've been too holed up in your ivory tower to see how the real world works, or to have any real impact. All your vociferous effort, and nothing to show for it Money, mouth, and never the twain shall meet.

I wish I had the luxury of hiding out in school for nine years, but I'm trying to support a wife and child on a single salary, so I have to deal with a few more real-world obstacles and difficult choices.

Like where to send my kid to school next year.

Over here, he won't be taught creationism, or pray before class. But it breaks my heart that he won't learn much about civil rights, cultural diversity, creative thinking, or any of the other values that used to be associated with America. Do I come back to America, and add running for school board to an already difficult schedule? Maybe. Or maybe, I just say fuck it, being Japanese isn't so bad, and maybe by the time he gets to high school things will have bottomed out and started to rebound in the U.S.
posted by bashos_frog at 6:40 AM on November 4, 2004


KirkJobSluder: one would have to do a detailed sociological study to really prove or disprove this notion, but on the face of it there seem to be cultural tendencies that are quite different in blue and red states. jester69's experience is anecdotal by itself, but if a sociologist were able to prove that a real bias exists...

I think the fact that Demint was an incumbent reinforces my original point, doesn't it? As far as the Dem representatives of SC, I would have to see what kind of Dems they are. Are they Zell Miller democrats? Or Hillary Clinton democrats? The point I was trying to make is that a candidate like Coburn would probably have fared little better than Alan Keyes in Illinois (especially against liberal superstar Obama) despite a large republican base in that state, while it's debatable whether or not Keyes would have done so poorly in a state like SC with his anti-homosexual message. Of course he's also black, which probably would have hurt him in some red states.
posted by sic at 6:43 AM on November 4, 2004


KJS: I have been called foolish, a "trained seal", and an idiot for believing that there are people, places, and culture in the United States that are worth fighting for.

Kirk, I'm sorry you get that. It didn't come from me, or from any of my friends who fantasize about getting out of America. Personally, I admire your spirit; you talk the way I was raised to think.

But when I see things like this election, I just find it so hard to shake the feeling that this isn't my country anymore -- that the people who run the country have nothing but contempt for what I was raised to think of as its most cherished ideals, and the people who elect them have nothing stronger than indifference. I find myself feeling hollow, and thinking: Well, it's their party. What am I still doing here?

But then I put on my visualization cap, and think about what it would be like to actually take the steps to ex-patriate. It would be a long process. It would be like a long, rough divorce, from someone I deep down still love, but who I have become convinced feels nothing but contempt for me. I know I could go through with it. I'm not sure there'd be much left of me once I did. And I know that "America" wouldn't care.
posted by lodurr at 6:46 AM on November 4, 2004


Don't forget, as KJS pointed out, that Bush was only narrowly victorious in the states that he carried. Most states went right down to the wire -- we're talking winning by <5% here.
posted by Vidiot at 7:08 AM on November 4, 2004


pray before class
In the U.S, there is prayer in public school?
posted by thomcatspike at 7:12 AM on November 4, 2004


the people who run the country have nothing but contempt for what I was raised to think of as its most cherished ideals, and the people who elect them have nothing stronger than indifference.

I think the people who elect them also have contempt for those ideals. Much as KJS would like to pretend things are close across the country, the truth is Bush got an overwhelming majority of the popular vote in the red states - more than 55%, 61% in Texas. The numbers for Kerry are the same in the blue states.

There are two separate countries in America, they are moving apart, not coming together, and there is little any group can do to change the dynamics. The best thing for liberals in the red states to do for themselves is to move to blue states. And this makes the division even worse in the long run.

It is sad, and it probably won't happen in my lifetime, but there will come a day when war breaks out between the Dominion of Lands Under Christ, and the United States of Blue America.
posted by bashos_frog at 7:12 AM on November 4, 2004


Victor Klemperer wished he'd left the country.
posted by muckster at 7:13 AM on November 4, 2004


In the U.S, there is prayer in public school?

There was not long ago, and there soon will be again.
posted by bashos_frog at 7:13 AM on November 4, 2004


As an Australian watching from outside America the most striking thing about this election is the apparent division which has been created within America. The sheer strength of feeling and anger between the right and left over there is frightening and I believe it is going to worsen, how long before this manifests itself into discrimination and violence ? One wonders whether Bin Laden is sitting somewhere watching all of you attacking each other with a smile on his face ?
posted by rafterman at 7:35 AM on November 4, 2004


jester69: *shrug* As someone with 10 year experience as a long-haired femmy guy in a red state. I think you must be unlucky, or there must be something about VW busses. The only time I've been harassed by police was when a shopkeeper (Central or South Asian in ethnicity BTW) thought I lifted something.

bashos_frog: In other words, not a single fucking thing. You talk a good game, but you've been too holed up in your ivory tower to see how the real world works, or to have any real impact. All your vociferous effort, and nothing to show for it Money, mouth, and never the twain shall meet.

That's funny. You are the one who seems to think that sitting in a meeting of Democrats thousands of miles away and throwing an occasional $50 at the problem seems to be "activism." When was the last time you attended a city council meeting? When was the last time you picked up the phone or actually wrote a letter about an issue? When was the last time you actually sat down and listened? I stood up in a city council meeting that was moved to the church of my birth and outed myself in front of 500 people to get a gay rights resolution passed. I've sat in front of classrooms with hundreds of people to talk about what gay rights means to me as an out bisexual man. I've built first houses for people in my community. I've taken my dollars every week to local businessess with fair employment practices. I've engaged in civil disscussion with hundreds of people from all ends of the political spectrum and witnessed incremental changes in attitude.

So of course, I fully expect that you will demonstrate the same contempt for these little victories that you have been demonstrating all along for people who care about their communities back here.

I wish I had the luxury of hiding out in school for nine years, but I'm trying to support a wife and child on a single salary, so I have to deal with a few more real-world obstacles and difficult choices.

You have some pretty warped perception about how my life is like. I work for my education. I work to fund my wife's education. I have worked in hourly jobs from food service to tech support to security. The hours my wife and I work are limited so that we don't have health insurance. I was extremely lucky to have had the luxury of insurance when I was diagnosed with cancer, and I'm still burried under a mound of medical debt. I have worked alongside the people you shower with contempt, and they don't diserve it.

You face real-world obstacles and difficult choices. Welcome to the club. For perhaps the 6th time in this discussion. If you want to live in a different country because that is the best choice for you and your family, that is wonderful. That is great. Go for it. Just stop this bullshit of showing contempt for those of us who try to make our communities better.

Over here, he won't be taught creationism, or pray before class. But it breaks my heart that he won't learn much about civil rights, cultural diversity, creative thinking, or any of the other values that used to be associated with America.

That's great. He won't here either. That's really funny because I've spent the last 4 years helping good teachers and administrators do their job. I've helped administrators get a feel for diversity in schools. I work on a project to help students learn about civil rights, cultural diversity and creative thinking. While you worry about whether these things are going to be taught in education, I'm involved in actually helping to teach it.

So by all means, take another big stinking dump on people who care about their communities. Continue to do it and pretend that you are doing something useful to bring about this "rebound" that would tease you back. It seems to be about all you CAN do from Japan.

Balkanization and civil war are not inevetable.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:40 AM on November 4, 2004


Balkanization and civil war are not inevetable.

Unfortunately, they are not impossible either.

KirkJobSluder, I admire your determination and practical spirit but I just have a sinking feeling that we will be fighting a losing battle defending a liberal agenda in most red states. In the last 24 years there has been an implacable consverative tendency in the majority of states (around 30 of them) while there has been an equally growing liberal tendency in about 10-15 of them (on the coasts, mostly). Again, I do not speak without come reservation, but I can't imagine that you don't or haven't perceived these ideological shifts.

Do you mind telling me what state you live in? I'm just curious.
posted by sic at 7:54 AM on November 4, 2004


mathowie: Relax, people are just joking around. I seriously doubt anyone actually goes through with it.

At least a few Americans are acting on their convictions. I'm friends with two who have left American for Canada in the last 4 years. One thru marriage (they could have lived either place the Canadian was already working the the US) and one thru sitting on a huge pile of money.

Both have stated their reason for leaving was that they were afraid for the direction the US was heading.
posted by Mitheral at 8:06 AM on November 4, 2004


I imagine leaving is just not a practical option for most of those who feel strongly enough to do so (myself included). Taking that fact as a given, it’s time to consider what other options are open. My short-term solutions have included a news and politics blackout on our TV/radio, a steady flow of beer and an indulgence in escapist video games and movies. I figure if I insulate myself enough, I can pretend this election never happened.

Meanwhile, I’m cultivating a very nice garden of rage that I plan on harvesting productively over the coming four years to make sure this doesn’t happen again and to fight for whatever rights this government attempts to trample on next. My first child is on the way. There is no greater motivation or inspiration than that.

I did get out the vote work on Election Day here in Ohio. I was surrounded by people from all over the country who came to this battleground state at their own expense to work their asses off for Kerry. These people did not disappear in wisps of smoke on November 3. That thought is comforting to me.
posted by Otis at 8:21 AM on November 4, 2004


sic: I think that on some issues, Republicans have been forced to become more liberal as time goes on.

For example, 40 years ago, NYC. The police regularly raided gay bars and published the names of patrons to humiliate them. Now, I hear stories from teens who came out of the closet in rural high schools and survived. For that matter, 40 years ago, it was a crime in the state of New York to put on a stage production that mentioned homosexuality.

It is worth looking over Bush and Cheney's comments in regards to gay marriage carefully. Marriage is the last stand in regards to gay rights for the Republican party. They've ceeded the ground in regards considering gay sex a legal and moral crime worthy of action.

Lets take a look at segregation. "Red state" schools in the South are currently much better integrated than "blue state" schools in the north or California. Informal segregation in the form of verbal harassment may be more common in the south, but in the north, segregation is institutional and economically embedded.

The fact that we are even talking about evolution as a campaign issue is a sign of progress. We have transformed from a default of creationism to a default of evolution. It is in the National Science Standards and now creationists are fighting an uphill battle forcing them to shift to "Intelligent Design."

Progress is happening. Somtimes it is useful to look back over the last 50 years to see how much the political landscape has changed.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:27 AM on November 4, 2004


Talos, I think that many Americans equate freedom with "economic" freedom
...in which case China ain't that bad...

But even by the insane criteria of the wingnuts of the American "Heritage Foundation", the US is tied at seventh place...
[Note that in that demented listing Estonia is freer than the Netherlands and the freedom loving Sheikhs of Bahrein and the United Arab Emirates are higher than Norway, Italy and Spain, while Kuwait is, by that measure freer than Freedom (I mean France)...]

Oh and BTW, the people that feel like most wanting to leave the US: the whole fucking world needs you in your country. There are over 100 million potential voters out there who didn't bother to vote. You want a progressive landslide? Involve them.
Sure it isn't easy. The price of freedom is eternal *involvement* (and vigilance).
posted by talos at 8:37 AM on November 4, 2004


We have transformed from a default of creationism to a default of evolution.

I'm really not sure where you get that. Evolution was the default from sometime in the 40s until the late 90s. Intelligent Design is not fighting an uphill battle; it's taught at college level as science. Children graduating from HS (at least, here in NY state) know significantly less science than they did when I graduated in '81.

Aside: The common retort to concerns about Intelligent Design, etc., is that they're self defeating -- that they'll die out as we fail to produce generations of scientists. That response assumes at least two flawed premises: That proper science won't be taught at all (it will, and the people who'd become good scientists will continue to find it where it's taught); and that technological innovation somehow requires a scientific worldview (it doesn't, at all).
posted by lodurr at 9:27 AM on November 4, 2004


lodurr: I'm really not sure where you get that. Evolution was the default from sometime in the 40s until the late 90s. Intelligent Design is not fighting an uphill battle; it's taught at college level as science. Children graduating from HS (at least, here in NY state) know significantly less science than they did when I graduated in '81.

ID in college: There are some from bible colleges, one page lists three. Another list has some broken links but the three I could link to were philosophy teaching the debate. The decline in science scores by public high school students probably are not due to creationism or ID because there has not been much success in getting either into the curriculum.

The gay marriage thing is interesting to me because the issue seems to shift depending on whether you use the magic "m" word. Most of the Bush voters I know don't have a problem with Adam and Steve getting a mortgage, getting insurance and having medical and legal powers of attorney. "Don't ask, don't tell" seems to be the running philosophy of many conservatives in regards to public life. You can introduce Americans to a construct that looks, smells, and acts like marriage, and they will be for it 2 to 1. But if you call it a marriage, then everyone gets defensive.

Polls leading up to the election listed 5-10% as undecided up to election day. The predictions for Kerry were partly based on an assumption about how the undecideds would "break."
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:43 AM on November 4, 2004


I stood up in a city council meeting that was moved to the church of my birth and outed myself in front of 500 people to get a gay rights resolution passed. I've sat in front of classrooms with hundreds of people to talk about what gay rights means to me as an out bisexual man. I've built first houses for people in my community. I've taken my dollars every week to local businessess with fair employment practices. I've engaged in civil disscussion with hundreds of people from all ends of the political spectrum and witnessed incremental changes in attitude.

I have the utmost respect for these accomplishments. No sarcasm, no contempt. You are doing good in the world.

You have some pretty warped perception about how my life is like....
Just stop this bullshit of showing contempt for those of us who try to make our communities better....
So by all means, take another big stinking dump on people who care about their communities....


The warped perceptions run both ways, apparently. I don't have contempt for you, or for your efforts. And I am not trying take a dump on them. I am filled with rage at the people who elected Bush, and it's showing in my tone. But I highly respect anyone working in/on education (a thankless job in the US, at the best of times). Even if I feel you are tilting at windmills.

I do what I can from here, and that includes phone calls and letters, but I don't pretend that I am having any kind of influence on anything. The problem is that it seems like it is getting harder to have an influence within the US as well.

Balkanization has already happened - and the majority of Americans welcome it, and voted for it.

Civil war is not inevitable, but I fear it is not unlikely either.

observation:
"Red state" schools in the South are currently much better integrated than "blue state" schools in the north or California. Informal segregation in the form of verbal harassment may be more common in the south, but in the north, segregation is institutional and economically embedded.

Not in my experience. I grew up in the neighborhood that was cast as Archie Bunker's hometown, and there were 22 languages spoken at my grammar school. Friendships there extended across all races. I visited a few years ago, and it had not changed that much, except for a wider range of minorities.

If there is hope in America, it is in the places where the blue counties are strong, and tolerance is bred in the schools.
posted by bashos_frog at 2:55 PM on November 4, 2004


Here is KirkJoBSluder's purple states map.

Still not entirely convinced though.
posted by sic at 11:18 PM on November 4, 2004


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