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Friday, October 19, 2012

US travel



One of the wonderful things about living in the US is the freedom to travel. There’s more distance between states than Europe has between countries. The country spans the continent and has a wide variety of climates and terrain. Maybe that’s one reason US citizens tend not to have passports; there’s so much to see without leaving the country.

Travel used to be free and open in the US, but that’s changing fast. The TSA has made air and other forms of public transportation a nightmare. It would take a lot for me to fly again. All my will power would be needed to not punch those TSA goons in the nose. How some people put up with the violations of personal space and privacy is beyond me.

I’ve been stopped by the border patrol, many miles away from the border. They were checking to see if I was a US citizen. They were polite enough, but had about a half dozen men in combat gear as backup. The world has seen this sort of thing before: Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, and Communist China.

Then there are all the cameras on the road. You can be all alone on an empty road and get a ticket in the mail because you didn’t come to quite a full stop at a stop sign. It happened to my dad in Florida just before he came to New Hampshire for a visit. When he got back, there was the ticket in the mail. On the ticket was a warning that if not paid on time a warrant would be issued for his arrest. What if he’d stayed in New Hampshire another few weeks? He’s have been a wanted criminal.

Infrastructure is falling apart. Roads go bad. Bridge failure once rerouted me many miles out of my way. There are tunnels my wife won’t let me drive through. I thought she was overly concerned, but then someone died in one of those tunnels from parts of the roof collapsing.

Travel services are going away. It’s not too noticeable on the major roads yet. It’s really bad on the secondary roads. Restaurants and gas stations are gone. Over and over again my lovely wife and I have tried to go back to places we once stopped at, only to find they’ve been closed. Businesses come and go, but there was nothing nearby to replace them. The area had just given up on travelers. Even on the major highways, rest areas have been closed.

So far it’s been a slow gradual decline. My concern is that it wouldn’t take all that much to eliminate free and easy travel in the United States. These things feed on each other. Put in more checkpoints. Raise the price of fuel. People travel less so less road tax is paid. The roads stop getting maintained. Bridges fail. Eventually, long distance travel becomes rare because it’s not worth the hassle, expense, and danger.

-Sixbears

20 comments:

  1. That's the way "they" want it my friend!

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    1. You know, eventually people will realize that "land of the free" requires free movement.

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  2. Scary horrible stuff Sixbears... it's also stuff we've been well warned about... it's also stuff we've chosen to ignore... and now we find out, to our peril... it's too late to do anything about it... Big Brother is well and truely here to stay...

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    1. Big Brother has feet of clay. I really don't think a police state can truly take hold over the long run. They aren't any fun.

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    2. They are certainly trying... e.g. "show us your papers" laws profiling minorities, the so-called "patriot act" throwing civil liberties to the wind, para-military customs guards with assault rifles at the Canadian border (good grief, it is only Canada after all).

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    3. They've set up the machinery and now they are trying to get it up and running. Time to throw a bit of sand in the gears.

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  3. Succinct!

    My family and I are currently traveling papers-free. Next step is to replace the DMV tags with personal tags. It's not without a lot of learning. Makes one feel I highly recommend anyone who feels burdened by "government" and "big brother" to watch all of Dean Clifford's videos.

    What's life without a challenge? Bring on the police state! I'll stay ahead via self-education, learning new ways, and realizing who I am (and, more importantly, who I am not!). You said it - it is not sustainable.

    George Carlin said something akin to "The world is a freak show and, living in this country, I have a front-row seat."

    What exciting times we live in.

    Meanwhile, my chickens are up to 8 eggs a day.

    BriarPatch

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    1. Should be "Makes one feel incredibly free. I highly recommend.."

      Technology. Allowing me to make mistakes quickly and efficiently.

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    2. I've got ways of reducing my hassles, but I'm not going to talk about all of them.

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  4. I rarely leave the house for all those reasons. It's just not worth it. And now I can't hit the water for a little freedom either...

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    1. Don't let that run in on the water stop you from looking for freedom.

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  5. We are losing our freedom a little more each day.

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    Replies
    1. True, but I've faith that more and more people are waking up.

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  6. The interstate system has rest areas every 80 miles or so.In a few years they will be TSA check points.The secondary roads old hiways use to have a lot to offer but your right most have nothing but falling in store frounts.Never in history have slaves been able to travel freeley so it will be again.What would or grandfathers have thought let alone our founding fathers of US.

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    1. We travel the back roads a lot and things have really taken a nose dive in the last 10 -12 years or so.

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  7. The adventure of going on a road trip is all but gone!

    In my younger days, I would load up my truck and take off without ever having a specific destination in mind! Can't do that anymore!

    Glad I at least have those memories!

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    1. I still do -only now I make sure I have enough waste veggie on board to make it back. Can't afford to buy much fuel.

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  8. You made some great points Sixbears, the Blue Highways support for travelers is fading quickly. Its a pity - some of those restaurants have fantastic eats, and the adventure of eating there vs. nationwide burger joints is well worth the stop. I travel highways and Interstates when I HAVE to make time, but vacations are for relaxing and the lure of the Blue Highway makes up for the extra time.

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    1. We tend to avoid the chain restaurants, so we've searched out the back roads. Where else can you get regional cooking? Sadly, there are fewer of those places all the time.

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  9. Very coincidentally after just reading your post I ended up traveling north on I-5 over into Washington State about a hundred plus miles, and lo and behold, two of the few rest areas were closed down... I do not travel as much any more, as I no longer have an automobile, but I was rather less than thrilled to see how very much degradation has happened in the last few years.

    You always have cogent if disturbing things to say. If I was making the choice nowadays, I'd not have settled in the big city, but since here I am, there are chickens in the yard and as soon as health allows, garden beds...

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