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January 18, 2006



Back in 2004, my sister from Maine told me a story about an incident there--an elderly man, who was a French-speaking Canadian with very limited English, was in the habit of coming down to Maine every Sunday to have dinner with his sister. He was in the habit of doing this with no more than his driver's license, and was picked up, under our post-2001 border provisions, and held for a few weeks, without benefit of counsel or contact with the outside world, because the Border people (who were recently transferred to that post) couldn't communicate with him, and he, being old, stubborn, cranky, and probably half-deaf as well, wasn't very impressed with them--he'd been going through that crossing every Sunday for beaucoup years, why did he need special papers? Of course, it wouldn't have been that hard for them to have checked him out with the local Canadian authorities, if they felt they needed to detain him briefly--but they didn't--they held him and held him and held him. Needless to say, the case caused a lot of bad feeling along both sides of the border, as people there live "on both sides", so to speak--lots of people have family on both sides, or run errands on both sides, and so on. There are places in Canada, near the Montana border, where Havre may be the nearest place to do shopping with much selection; this is the case all along the border. It doesn't do much for good relations, and makes us look like more and more of a pure police state. "His papers were not in order."

Yeah, it's national ID time.


Not that it matters, but I found your site in the course of tracking an internet meme, a quote by Teresa Nielsen Haydent, "I deeply resent the way this administration makes me feel like a nutbar conspiracy theorist."

Just thought it was interesting that use a similiar line.

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