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Saturday, 18 August 2007

Prospects dim for a return to the US

Each of us makes a personal evaluation of the hassles of traveling versus the benefits of a trip. I don't do any business in the US, so it was relatively easy for me to give up leisure visiting in the wake of 11th September. I still like the country, and the people, a lot, but why do they employ on immigration and security persons with the social skills of baboons? Why should I trust the judgment of someone who can't even write in cursive script and labouriously forms words in block capitals with all the skill of a six year-old? And I'm not removing my brogues for anyone. Damned impertinence. You deprive me of my hip-flask at your peril.

You will gather that the US-bound security and immigration process is one that is likely to engender anger and hostility in one such as myself. Particularly after having been deprived of a calming smoke for several hours.

Picking up a copy of 'New Scientist' on the train yesterday, I found a piece that makes the likelihood of my return to visiting the US even more remote. Homeland Security are developing a 'hostility detector' that analyses micro-expressions, gait, blood pressure, pulse and respiration rates; anyone passing a 'hostility threshold' can be pulled out for interrogation.

That would be me, I guess. Every time. Oh well.


Guthrum said...

I know the feeling ! We have the opportunity to get involved in the the rebuilding of New Orleans, however when the US Legal system can lift people from this country incarcerate them, bankrupt them and threaten them with a lifetime in jail on the suspicion of an economic crime, without too much protest from HM Government what is the point

Anonymous said...

My sympathies too. I made the decision never to go to the States until they stopped fingerprinting everyone. That was when they "only" took two index fingerprints and a webcam "photo". I got caught out once because I was in transit, and I hadn't realised that the security in the transit lounge (to get back onto the SAME plane, mark you) had nothing to do with hand baggage or anything that all other nations do to transit passengers - they wanted fingerprints. Initially I refused, until they made it plain that to refuse not only got you sent back to where you came from at your own expense, but also collected all 10 fingerprints. I came back by another route, even if it did cost me a packet!

Not only did that event confirm my intention never to visit the US again, it also turned me from a supporter of the US into someone of a much more sceptical frame of mind.