So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Friday, October 19, 2012
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.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.