Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving, the War on Terror, and the American Traveler

The four-day Thanksgiving weekend is a big day for traveling, if you're an American. Travel inside the United States hasn't been affected much by the 9/11 reality check, but what's needed for travel to other countries is changing.

The last time I went to Canada, decades ago, crossing the border was no more than an opportunity to stop for a few minutes, have a short chat about why I was crossing the border, and what I had in the car.

Now, things aren't quite so easy. The U.S. Department of State Consular Information Sheet for Canada shows requirements that are tighter than I remember. I'm not going to try to sort out what's written there, but it looks like Americans need some sort of photo ID to get back into America. And, the Canadian Embassy has a few words on the subject, too. I see that, starting January 31, 2008, the U.S. government will require documents for people coming in from Canada.

I'm not upset by any of this. Even in this small town, I've had to show documentation to prove I am who I say I am (that drier's license is a handy document).

I'm not happy, either. The open Canadian-American border was something to be proud of.

Population density being what it is up here though, in practice the border is still open.

Providing that someone is willing to walk in, or take an ATV.

And then, be prepared to
  • Survive in the lake country of Northern Minnesota
    (wonderful place: but underdeveloped and swampy)
  • Trek across North Dakota or Montana
  • Or have a go at cross-country mountain climbing further west

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.