Did Chicago Lose Olympic Bid Due To US Passport Control?
Really, is it all that ironic that the IOC would consider our immigration and the recent crime statistics as reasons to not come here over RIO ? For me at least, I can see their point on a few issues :
1) The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate when measured against citizen head count to incarcerated or otherwise restricted status citizenry (Parole/Probation) of ANY country in the world.
2) A convicted U.S. felon can still travel internationally to other countries, yet the U.S. refuses to consider allowing another country's citizens to arrive here for what constitutes a misdemeanor or less, regardless of time passed
3) Getting back into the country as a citzen or "worse" GC or other status holder is worse than painful if singled out for secondary. I am non-white and get profiled every time I come back, despite having served and having no "reasons" to be flagged other than my last name which is clearly non-american originated.
4) While requiring a VISA or fingerprinting itself is not counter-intuitive to travel, the manner and inconsistency is. Having said that, for being touted as "the land of the free" and "a shining beacon of democracy" is ironic itself when our policies at the border (or even non-border with the TSA and Border Agents) clearly indicate that we are profiling even inside our borders. How do you explain roving road blocks for "immigration" checks just because you happen to be on a road within 100 miles of a border....
5) To host in Chicago, we'd be doing the same things we did in Atlanta. We'd be buying the homeless once again a 1-way ticket to nowhere (or anywhere but "here"), we'd be tearing down projects and displacing people/families to make way for the Olympic Village, and you can be damn sure that the average "Chicagoan" (sp?) would not be able to even get into the venues, much less afford the cost of the tickets being hosted in their own city. This happened in Atlanta where I live in 1996....
6) We just had the summit in Pittsburgh that was shameful in the way it's citizenry were treated as well as most of the peaceful demonstrators. Beatings, the use of a sound cannon and extensive use of tear gas, etc had me thinking initially this was some other country where liberty and democracy/freedom of speech was supressed.... Turns out I was right, but had the wrong country in mind, which was depressing and downright scary
The list could go on with examples, but it would be unfair to clutter the Slashdot database with further examples that are easily googled.
I do love my country and the people in it for the most part, but I'd be lying if I said I believed 95% of the hype that our Tourism Board spews out to attract visitors. I think the loss of tourism and downturn in visitors since we enacted the failed Patriot Act speaks volumes, the rest of the tidbits I shared just add further fuel to the reasons why those who would like to see us (the U.S.) just stay the hell away.
Suffice it to say in my opinion that on the one hand we have U.S. which has clearly become a very dim shadow of itself and the other hand we're trying to portray ourselves, or at least that's my impression as a U.S. Citizen.....
Feds Ask IT Execs To Throw Away Cellphones After Visiting China
For all the barking of the agencies, it's obvious they haven't encountered the treatment I and my colleagues have encountered re-entering the US from abroad only to have laptops have the data examined, and that data be copied for "further analysis" or even the laptop confiscated for an undetermined amount of time.
It's just a matter of time before other countries make the same advertisment about travel to the US.... What's the old saying (Kettle calling the Pot black).