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Author Topic: The Land of the Free  (Read 586 times)

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Online Omega1982

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The Land of the Free
« on: August 05, 2016, 10:15:41 AM »
I have lived in America my entire life, but it is becoming obvious that immigration officials are friendlier and more professional in Europe and Russia than in my own homeland.  I have been treated a bit rudely upon arriving back in the states and I have mentioned this to some friends and relatives that have encountered the same harsh treatment.  It was said in the news in late June here that all Americans that have traveled to Turkey (180.000 thus far in 2016) will be placed on some sort of black list. 

On the other hand I have been to Russia three times, and have always been treated extremely well.  I even encountered a young attractive immigration officer in Moscow this summer. 

So the question is America really the land of the free?  If not, when and why did this change? 

Online AvHdB

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Re: The Land of the Free
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2016, 10:51:53 AM »
I would call it the lobster effect. They start happy in the container and remain that way as the water warms up. I always enjoy the claws first. Having said that I have found the officers at the three ports of entry in the US during numerous passings to be cordial and professional.

At Kiev and L'viv I also have found the officers professional. In Paris at CDG an officer from ? Algeria exaimined my passport for a while and than called a supervisor he also looked carefully at al the stamps and pages. I finally asked what was the problem and the supervisor explained that the additional pages that had been added were duplicate and there was no endorsement from The State Department. In fact at the US consulate when they exaimined the passport they admitted that it was 'deficient'

I can not say that of the officer Adulah who wanted to know how I got my name at Schiphol. I told him it was none of his business, it was 7:30 am and with a screaming child behind me for some seven hours I was not amused. The supervisor behind him took my passport examined and stamped it. They stopped the next person from approaching. I guess (hope) there was some explanation of how to be professional.

NB: grammar change post Markje comment.
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Online Markje

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Re: The Land of the Free
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2016, 10:55:55 AM »
I would call it the lobster effect. They start happy in the container and remain that way as the water warms up. Having said that I have found the officers at the three ports of entry in the US during numerous passings to be cordial and professional.

I can not say that of the officer Adulah who wanted to know how I got my name at Schiphol. I told him it was none of his business, it was 7:30 am and with a screaming child behind me for some seven hours I was not amused. The supervisor took my passport examined and stamped it. They stopped the next person from approaching. I guess (hope) there was some explanation of how to be professional.
Schiphol sucks, I avoid it when I can.
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Online andrewfi

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How does one know one is on a watch list?
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2016, 11:20:10 AM »
 :party0031:
How does one know when one is being watched?

Is it when one gets hauled off a transatlantic flight before departure for enhanced identification?

Is it when one gets stopped for interview whenever one enters one's home country?

Is it when a Special Branch representative is waiting for one at the UK border?

Is it when told by the UK Border Agency that use of the electronic border gates is not ever going to be appropriate for one?

Is it when stopped on exit from one Schengen country and before entry to the next Schengen country?

Freedom is an invented construct that, in truth, is only the leeway allowed because closer examination of one is more trouble than it it worth to the powers that be.

So, I guess the answer is that there is no such thing as freedom but that the US state has developed a greater interest in the activities of its subjects than hitherto. That's not unique to the USA but is common in many places.

An American friend once told me that, in his opinion, based upon his living there, that Russia had more personal freedom than the US because the state was not very interested in the minutiae of the people's lives. I think that's likely still at least as true today as it was then.

"For what else is the life of man but a kind of play in which men in various costumes perform until the director motions them offstage?" -Erasmus

Online Markje

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Re: The Land of the Free
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2016, 11:42:11 AM »
In my opinion to answer Omega's question:

- It started at 9/11, it got worse with the implementation of the patriot act.

The land of the free let the terrorists win, not because they were conquered, but because america has become afraid of them.

So afraid in fact, that they start to significantly impact your basic god-given rights as stated in the Constitution of America.

The patriot act being the prime example of how -not- to run a country that is supposed to be lawful.
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Re: The Land of the Free
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2016, 02:19:13 PM »
It was said in the news in late June here that all Americans that have traveled to Turkey (180.000 thus far in 2016) will be placed on some sort of black list. 

Turkish Visas or entry/exit stamps are viewed with suspicion because nearly all the foreign fighters in Syria travel through Turkey.  At one extreme a woman was pulled from a flight recently because see was reading a book on Syrian art (in Arabic).  At the other, Europe accepted 2 million+ Syrian refugees without any background checks - Duh!!!


Online Gipsy

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Re: How does one know one is on a watch list?
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2016, 05:15:59 PM »
:party0031:
How does one know when one is being watched?

Is it when one gets hauled off a transatlantic flight before departure for enhanced identification?

Is it when one gets stopped for interview whenever one enters one's home country?

Is it when a Special Branch representative is waiting for one at the UK border?

Is it when told by the UK Border Agency that use of the electronic border gates is not ever going to be appropriate for one?

Is it when stopped on exit from one Schengen country and before entry to the next Schengen country?

Freedom is an invented construct that, in truth, is only the leeway allowed because closer examination of one is more trouble than it it worth to the powers that be.

So, I guess the answer is that there is no such thing as freedom but that the US state has developed a greater interest in the activities of its subjects than hitherto. That's not unique to the USA but is common in many places.

An American friend once told me that, in his opinion, based upon his living there, that Russia had more personal freedom than the US because the state was not very interested in the minutiae of the people's lives. I think that's likely still at least as true today as it was then.

This site is watched....

Online Gipsy

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Re: The Land of the Free
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2016, 05:16:43 PM »
I would call it the lobster effect. They start happy in the container and remain that way as the water warms up. Having said that I have found the officers at the three ports of entry in the US during numerous passings to be cordial and professional.

I can not say that of the officer Adulah who wanted to know how I got my name at Schiphol. I told him it was none of his business, it was 7:30 am and with a screaming child behind me for some seven hours I was not amused. The supervisor took my passport examined and stamped it. They stopped the next person from approaching. I guess (hope) there was some explanation of how to be professional.
Schiphol sucks, I avoid it when I can.

Has cost me several bags...... :sick0012:

Online andrewfi

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Re: How does one know one is on a watch list?
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2016, 06:06:19 PM »

This site is watched....

Well, stop bloody watching me!
All of those points above have happened to me.

I don't need a biometric passport to enter the UK. I will always be stopped.

"For what else is the life of man but a kind of play in which men in various costumes perform until the director motions them offstage?" -Erasmus

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Re: How does one know one is on a watch list?
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2016, 07:09:27 PM »

This site is watched....

Well, stop bloody watching me!
All of those points above have happened to me.

I don't need a biometric passport to enter the UK. I will always be stopped.

Naturally you will be stopped, as you have not an innocent face like me and you live most of the time.... near Russia!  :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Next time you travel to UK, take with you a nice looking female companion, to keep an eye on your health and weight, promise to show her (your) Big Ben, hold her hand and smile to the Immigration officer and vouala.... no problems.  :laugh:

Joking apart, last time we visited Rodina, it was my wife in trouble when returning home, where me had my passport stamped, without questions or stamped boarding card from the OVIR in UFA and went to the departure land in less than 1 minute.

Poor Hanna was interrogated by a fat blond female Karova, for over 15 minutes and was asked too many questions, like:

Why you are going to the UK? ... Because I live there.

Why do you live there? ............Because I am married to a British citizen,

When you married  him? .......... June 2008.

What did you do before getting married? .... I was a teacher of Physics and Mathematics.

How much money do you have on you? .... I have no money... only credit cards.

and this went on and on and on.

Hanna hates me creating trouble with officials and when she saw me approaching..... she signaled me not to go there.

Just for your info, when we visited the visa center in London, I was given a new printed Boarding Card to fill, So I did it on my computer to avoid any hasle. In Moscow they stamped the card and went through in 2 minutes.

Hanna phoned OVIR in ufa and checked the opening times and next morning we went there to register. We found the door open but no officers around and the lone officer in the door, told us they are closed. Of course, I got angry and showed him the sign on the door, that was saying they are open. then he took my passport and boarding card, to return after few minutes telling us that my boarding card was not accepted and I should have the old to which I replied in English.... very "politely" and told my wife to follow me and they can f....off.

Wife started panicking, thinking he understood..... but he told her.. come back tomorrow without the Agglitsiani! I Never went back.

So Andrew don't forget to smile..... and speak nicely to them, while holding hands with your companion!

 ;D
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Offline Manny

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Re: The Land of the Free
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2016, 09:36:40 PM »
but it is becoming obvious that immigration officials are friendlier and more professional in Europe and Russia than in my own homeland.  I have been treated a bit rudely upon arriving back in the states and I have mentioned this to some friends and relatives that have encountered the same harsh treatment.

I have had good and bad in the US. Gormless fat blokes yelling about who must stand behind what line, or crowing about an address on an immigration card telling me I will be a "vagrant" if I haven't yet decided what hotel I may stay in that night, and threatening me with non-entry. British sarcasm and humour don't work there; nor does the suggestion of common sense in response to stupidity. But that said, sometimes I have drifted in with a laugh and a joke with the guy and a polite welcome.

I have had both extremes in Russia from angry Baba pretending not to speak English and daft "officials" harassing wifey for "fines" to flirty women telling me how Russian I look. A few choice tweets (and an email) got the issues we once had at Samara resolved and wifey VIP treatment bypassing security entirely on her journey home.  :)

The worst experience we had was at Liverpool Airport (documented here). Following my complaint, they basically closed ranks and dismissed my complaint. But it never happened again there.

If I see a situation developing (which doesn't happen often), I am not shy to quietly ask if I can write their name down and mention we run a large "travel" forum, and I write the odd op-ed for [insert effective title depending on location] and offer them the keywords to Google to verify that. That usually works faster than anything to close silliness down in a heartbeat.  :chuckle:

But I think wherever you go, it depends on what side of bed the operative got out of that morning, how your face fits and if one of you is having a bad day. A bloke who argues with his wife over breakfast, whose car engine just blew up or has a big credit card bill that month is always going to be more antsy than the bloke whose day started with a blow job, who just won £50 on a scratchcard or whose kid got a glowing school report yesterday. People are people.
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Offline Steveboy

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Re: The Land of the Free
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2016, 09:55:03 PM »
A long time back I entered the Uk with my wife and after the immigration officer who happened to be Asian questioned her the usual stuff about her visa , how long she was staying bla bla he then took my passport to check and asked me how long I was staying in the Uk..

You cannot imagine how much I had to hold myself back from smacking him one there and then on the spot, but the question came as such a surprise I was a little shocked and didn't really want to cause a problem.

When we arrived at my parents my old man went bloody crazy and said I should of made a formal complaint there and then.. I wish I did !! But as I said I was more taken back than anything.

Dam Country stinks!! Cant wait to own my own private Island away from it all.. :travel:

Online Wiz

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Re: The Land of the Free
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2016, 10:59:33 PM »

Dam Country stinks!! Cant wait to own my own private Island away from it all.. :travel:

here are some cheap Greek islands for you to start planning ... or dreaming!

http://www.privateislandsonline.com/islands/stroggilo-island

 ;D
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Offline Steveboy

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Re: The Land of the Free
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2016, 11:08:29 PM »

Dam Country stinks!! Cant wait to own my own private Island away from it all.. :travel:

here are some cheap Greek islands for you to start planning ... or dreaming!

http://www.privateislandsonline.com/islands/stroggilo-island

 ;D

Just what I need..something in International waters really so no bugger is telling me what to do or not do..





Online andrewfi

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Re: The Land of the Free
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2016, 09:57:49 AM »

Dam Country stinks!! Cant wait to own my own private Island away from it all.. :travel:

here are some cheap Greek islands for you to start planning ... or dreaming!

http://www.privateislandsonline.com/islands/stroggilo-island

 ;D

Just what I need..something in International waters really so no bugger is telling me what to do or not do..

That doesn't work so well for Cyprus or the Philippines - or many others. There's always some neighbour who wants what you have.

"For what else is the life of man but a kind of play in which men in various costumes perform until the director motions them offstage?" -Erasmus