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Is The U.S. No Longer The Choice For Freedom?

Cliff posted about 14 years ago | from the how-much-wee-weeing-on-the-constitution-will-we-stand-for dept.

CDA 1456

Kasreyn asks: "I'm personally getting worried (OK, paranoid) due to all this stuff I'm seeing on Slashdot. It seems like corporations have no desire other than to strip us of what few remaining freedoms we have, and the government is doing nothing to check their power scramble. What I'm wondering is, just how bad IS it? Is the United States still the best choice of a place to live for safety, freedom, and quality of life? I used to be all patriotic and really I believed that...now I'm not so sure."

"I've been keeping my eye on other nations as places to live, and tallying whether they are cutting down on their citizens' freedoms, as well as whether they seem likely to be in any wars in the next 50 years... I'm personally getting tired of living in a nation where apparently no one in the capital city has read its constitution, or gives a damn. Where everyone elected to high political office breaks the oath they all take, to uphold and protect that same constitution.

I'd love to hear what my fellow Slashdotters have to say on the subject. If not the U.S., then where should I go? Please, no national biases, give me some actual info about places worth living. I'd like to get some ideas on this NOW though, so that if I decide to leave I can get out before doing so becomes a problem. (Did I mention I'm probably too paranoid about this?)"

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italy's kinda cool (1)

tmbg (83514) | about 14 years ago | (#533638)

ripe for a revolution and all...

Don't mess with me... I write code

All depends on how much money you have (5)

karld (141289) | about 14 years ago | (#533639)

to buy your own politician. It's really cheap in Latin America, expensive in the US/Europe.

Canada! (1)

MrShiny (171918) | about 14 years ago | (#533640)

What America was supposed to be!

Except a bit colder

Pack your bags... (1)

Byteme (6617) | about 14 years ago | (#533641)

...and move to Sealand [sealandgov.com] .

Slashdot (2)

Chester K (145560) | about 14 years ago | (#533642)

I'm personally getting worried (OK, paranoid) due to all this stuff I'm seeing on Slashdot

Everyone knows you shouldn't believe everything you read on Slashdot. ;)

It's just getting worse... (4)

Tassleman (66753) | about 14 years ago | (#533643)

and it's probably going to continue getting worse until more people get involved in the political process. This last election was the first time I have ever endeavoured to get involved, and with the way it turned out, it really let me down and made me lose even more faith in the system.

That, and the fact that anyone who would make good candidate material has too many skeletons in the closet that they are afraid of the media uncovering. I know that if when I was older I decided that I had what it takes to hold office I would never run because I have done some bad things in my time that I would NEVER want exposed to the world.

Are you serious? (5)

Teethgrinder (2842) | about 14 years ago | (#533644)

This is not meant inflammatory but I'm really irritated by this statement: Is the United States still the best choice of a place to live for safety, freedom, and quality of life?

Do you really mean that? What led you to believe that this ever was the case?
I really have trouble grasping this US sense of patriotism.

Seriously, I'm just curious...

Colonization (5)

Jerf (17166) | about 14 years ago | (#533645)

I would recommend pursuing a program of aggresive space colonization and then trying to live there. This suggestion is probably nearly infeasible, but it is not sarcastic. Historically speaking, governments rarely get less repressive over time, and now, the world is only a limited number of steps away from UN domination in this area, which has been strongly pro-business and anti-person.

That said, if there is a country that would be able to pull it off with little or no bloodshed, it's the US. More realistically then the previous suggestion, stay here and keep fighting the good fight. With the American system, it is possible to win, just not easy. (It's never easy under any system.)

I wanna know, too! (1)

Victor Danilchenko (18251) | about 14 years ago | (#533646)

If you find out an answer, let me know as well -- 'cuz I am worried about the same thing, especially being a bi liberal atheist would-be gun owner...


Canaduh (1)

g0at (135364) | about 14 years ago | (#533647)

...what about Canada? It's a great place to live, seems to keep scoring reasonably well in UN assessments or whatever (for quality of life and all that)... still nice and close to the States...

And it *is* a nice source of amusement to be able to read about various new American legislation every few weeks, react in horror/disgust, and then realize it doesn't apply to us. :*)

At least not yet.

Fear not - remember the election? (2)

ruebarb (114845) | about 14 years ago | (#533648)

Half the countries in the world would have started shooting each other had this election fisaco we just went thru occured there. We didn't.

We developed the Internet - and one of the best federalist governments ever developed. We still have freedom - just some mega Intellectual property issues that will be ironed out one way or the other.

- I wouldn't leave for the world,

Come to Canada! (4)

gwyrdd benyw (233417) | about 14 years ago | (#533649)

Canada's consistently been rated the best country in the world to live in [english-vancouver.com] , based on quality of life, health, citizen involvement, etc. In fact, Vancouver, my city (which has a pretty good high-tech scene to boot), is the #2 city, after Geneva.

If I left Vancouver, it is highly unlikely I'd move to the US. I'd probably make a break for Copenhagen, London, or Hamburg instead.. those Europeans are much more enlightened in the ways of what Truly Matters in Life than us North Americans.

this story sounds like a troll... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 14 years ago | (#533650)

...just a thought

Try here in England... (3)

TDScott (260197) | about 14 years ago | (#533651)

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Bill (aptly acronymed RIP) basically allows the UK government to snoop on any Internet traffic at the ISP level, with a suitable warrant from a senior police officer.

Yes, there are ways around it (PGP, create your own mailserver, sign up with overseas ISP or ZeroKnowledge), but the average Internet user will now be leaving a trail behind them that can be used in evidence against them.

Oh, and by the way - this law isn't being debated. It's been passed.

[This post may contain factual errors. Please feel free to correct them.]

What rights have been lost? (4)

maddboyy (32850) | about 14 years ago | (#533652)

Has Microsoft taken away your right to form a militia? Has Pepsi told you what religion to practice? Has Exxon tried to force you to harbor soldiers against your will? Which basic rights have the corporations take away from you? Yes, companies are suing individuals left and right over so-called intellectual property rights. However, these suits have yet to be challenged in the Supreme Court and set as precedent. To answer your question, yes, there are possible countries that are more free than the US. However, I believe you'll be hard pressed to find one. Exactly what rights are looking for?

Your concerns... (3)

11223 (201561) | about 14 years ago | (#533653)

safety, freedom, and quality of life

Saftey - is the right not to be harmed for speaking your mind.

Freedom - is the ability to be heard by people if you speak.

Quality of life - is what you make of it, if the first two don't address your concerns.

However, it's the "freedom" issue that bothers me. In any sort of a media state (like the US, but not only the US) opposing viewpoints get no recognition. If you have something different to say, you're told to go elsewhere, to find the minority who agree with you. In ages past, philosophers, thinkers, novelists, and writers all had the ability to have their works disseminated over a wide base to people who didn't already agree with the ideas. That's no longer the case when the media controls the distribution.

What this means is that every media state ends up a bit like Brave New World, i.e. banishing those who speak and think independently. Thus, there is no freedom. BNW was not the picture of a free society, despite the option of exile.

So, where's the freedom? There is none. Saftey? In the US, sure, you can get physical saftey. It's irrelevant without freedom.

And, like I said, if the first two aren't enough to you, then quality of life is what you make of it.

France is an obvious choice (1)

Microsift (223381) | about 14 years ago | (#533654)

Great food, great art, great women. What else do you want?

How can a corporation infringe on your rights? (2)

MikeM (5881) | about 14 years ago | (#533655)

How can a corporation infringe on your rights unless the government gives them that right?

I see this anti-corporate stuff on slashdot all the time and I simply don't get it. Unless the _government_ explicitly gives someone the ability to infringe on your rights, any corporation can only act just like any other individual.

Now, if you believe in positive rights (such as the right to be fed or the right to healthcare) then you are part of the problem with freedom in the US.

honestly... (3)

garcia (6573) | about 14 years ago | (#533656)

The United States (although somewhat corrupt at times) is the only place that I can actually say is stable, inexpensive, and mostly free.

I complain about the government and the assholes who tend to be in office, but for the most part it really hasn't affected me all that much yet. I would rather live here than Kosovo or Russia, etc. At least here I don't have to worry about political struggles that will completely change my way of life or even kill me.

To address your point of biases... Most people are going to tell you to live where they do b/c that is where they are comfortable living...

Just my worthless .02

It depends on the freedoms you want (4)

typical geek (261980) | about 14 years ago | (#533657)

For instance, if you want to own a gun, it's hard to beat the US.

If you wish to practice Scientology, stay away from Germany.

I hear Canada has strange porn laws, you can probably find harder porn in the US (I'm talking dead tree porn here).

If you're a woman (I know, only about 5% of Slashdot) there are a lot of countries that are less enlightened about women's rights than the US.

If you will obviously stick out as a foreigner, there are other countries you may want to stay away from.

If you desire sexual freedom, stay away from highly religious countries, like Ireland, which bans abortion and may have birth control restrictions.

Sorry this isn't more help, but you've asked a very broad question.

this Article (1)

Smitty825 (114634) | about 14 years ago | (#533658)

Article: Is the US No longer the Choice for Freedom? Score -1 Flamebait

No way (1)

aralin (107264) | about 14 years ago | (#533659)

Maybe from inside it seemed so to you and mostly due to propaganda of US media (yes, since in rest of world they ended with most of propaganda, US still keeps the high level inside for their citizens), but from outside hardly anyone thinks that. Most of european countries are more liberal and keep freedom for their citizens than US might even dream to be. And I would say that especially during last 30 years you waved goodbye to a lot from your freedoms.

If you really wanna live in liberal country, you should try Netherlands. And if there is still some patriotism left in US, then its definitely not on racional basis.

...blame canada (2)

burnitall (101330) | about 14 years ago | (#533660)

I like the fact that you seem to be having something of an epiphany about political freedoms in the supposedly 'free' west, but COME ON - how can the US claim to be a democracy with an entrenched two-party system that now seems to be sliding alramingly towards oligarchy? ( hillary, george jr., etc ). I'm canadian, and I don't think we're all that much better off - we have more political parties, but the elected members of those political parties aren't allowed to vote their own conscience - they have to toe party line.

I think too often we confuse political freedom with personal freedom. In N. America, we enjoy IMMENSE amounts of personal freedoms ( ie 'free as in beer' ) but as far as political freedom goes, it's really quite debatable.

What do you think?

Then vote LIBERTARIAN for god's sake!! (2)

isotope23 (210590) | about 14 years ago | (#533662)

Everyone here in the US seems to have this mentality of "I am OWED such and such, and if I can't get it on my own the the government should give it to me......" Not to mention the congress being in big corporations pockets. Until people wake up and realize government should only be there to ensure rights, and allow citizens to fail, or suffer the consequences of their own choices (good or bad) the country will not improve.

Too paranoid (1)

j_snare (220372) | about 14 years ago | (#533663)

I'd venture to say that you're too paranoid, at least for the time being! ;-)

America is still a great company, with an unequaled amount of freedom. I still wouldn't trade it for anything.

One of the reasons we hear a lot about stuff that can take away our freedoms, yet we're still free, is that people are always trying for more power for themselves. However, due to the way that our government is set up, it A) takes forever to get a law passed, and B) that still doesn't make it legal, since it has to pass the inspection of the courts. Plus, even if it passes inspection once, it has to continually pass inspection by pretty much everyone. Things just take time in our government. Be patient.

Personally, the fact that we are able to have this discussion says a lot to me.

We the people (the mass) are the problem (1)

Huh? (105485) | about 14 years ago | (#533664)

The root of the problem isn't that the Government isn't willing to check these companies power scrambles. IMHO the root of the problem IS that we the people (as a mass) are either stupid, misinformed, or just don't care enough to elect government officials that will keep our liberties from being slowly depleted by the likes of big business.

Not perfect but still the best (4)

levik (52444) | about 14 years ago | (#533665)

I believe that while (as is obvious to any Slashdot reader) USA is far from a perfect place to live as far as your freedom is concerned, it is still the best choice out there.

The reason is that the trend toward the dominaiton commercial interest in almost every field is a global one, and as such, no technologically advanced country is safe. If a country were to chose to push for individual freedom over the interest of large corporations, it might well find itself excluded from the technological progress that these corporations bring. As such many nations might be "scared" into giving away the pie.

The U.S. is the one country that has little to fear in this respect. For a company with a global vision, excluding the American marketplace is not an option, and therefore America is in a better position to protect the interests of its citizens.

So while it might happen that some concessions to the corporate world are made, i think that US has the best chance of any country in this battle, should they chose to undertake it.

Re:Fear not - remember the election? (1)

gwyrdd benyw (233417) | about 14 years ago | (#533666)

Half the countries in the world would have started shooting each other had this election fisaco we just went thru occured there. We didn't.

Too much effort to get off the couch... let someone else do it.

Get out of the U.S. (2)

bfree (113420) | about 14 years ago | (#533667)

I've said it before and I'll say it again, all coders should get out of the states for the reason of IP laws. I have previously promoted Europe (and hey why not my little isle of Ireland) but honestly I feel that it does not matter overly where as long as it is outside of the direct control US legal system.

I have to say though that all countries (IMHO) have taken steps which are abhorent to the rights of individuals, often through backdoors. Examples include Ireland's removals of many human rights in the case of the "War on Drugs", freedom of speech and right to property and the UKs RIP act to protect against "child pornography et al" which makes carnivore look benign (we all now they snoop but at least they aren't saying it's illegal to stop them).

I don't think (bar coders who are subjecting themselves to stupid legal requirements) people should emigrate.....just be vocal and do what you can (e.g. vote) to stop these errosions. If you think the whole population agrees with the politicians run....if the population disagrees help get them vocal.

Another USian thinking Canada (1)

B-B (169492) | about 14 years ago | (#533668)

I know I am not the only one, since I have some friends and family that have recently taken the plunge and relocating to Canada.

There was a post above about "Canada...what US was supposed to be". This is not quite an exaggeration. Please spare me the flames.

I can not find a link (perhaps someone will help here) but Canada, and not the US has had the highest standard of living for quite awhile.

The rights of citizens are more protected.

(donning flamesuit)

They even have rudimentary healthcare. I know the USian propaganda makes light of the healthcare situation and mentions the true statement that the US has the BEST healthcare...but the US fails to cover all its citizens. If you have cancer, you want to be here...if you have the flu, you want to be in Toronto.

(takes off suit)

I say look into Canada.


At least your vote made a difference (1)

PFactor (135319) | about 14 years ago | (#533669)

(well, if you live in Florida, anyway).

It would be nice to know (2)

graybeard (114823) | about 14 years ago | (#533670)

Which freedoms are you worried about?
I know this: you are free to not enter into contracts with those big bad corporations!

it's always been this way (1)

hyperizer (123449) | about 14 years ago | (#533671)

Flame away, but the U.S. has always been a rather conservative nation. Whether it be the witch hunts for pacifists during WWI, the locking-up of Japanese citizens during WWII, or the Red Scare of the '50s and National Guard shootings of the '60s, this nation's always been a dangerous place to speak freely. Now that Bush's in office, I'm seriously considering moving to a certain liberal-minded nation up north.

Canada is the Land of the Free (2)

WillSeattle (239206) | about 14 years ago | (#533672)

After all, they have the Internet Privacy Act, rank higher in Amnesty International annual reports, have multi-party elections, and are way more advanced on rights than we are.

Sadly, they have a lousy exchange rate.

I don't have a problem. (5)

Lover's Arrival, The (267435) | about 14 years ago | (#533673)

Hi. I'm from Scotland, but I chose to come to America to live, which is the country you are planning to leave. If you have decided to base your decision to leave this country on what is reported on /., then I would say that that is a little foolhardy of you, wouldn't you agree? Slashdot, like all news vendors, is a biased site, and the only type of news for sites like this is bad news. So things may appear biased from that regard.

Also, I can't see how things would be better in other countries. Things always seem rosy from far away, but it doesn't seem like that when you get there! For example, people always talk of Holland and the EU as being free places to live these days, while ignoring the huge democratic deficit at the heart of the EU that Holland and other European countries have to confirm to.

The simple fact is that most Countries around the world have their own problems regarding freedom, and I don't see how the USA is uniquely better or worse in any area.

Speaking for myself, the things I like about America are its Constitution which safeguards certains rights. But as a European, and a Scot at that, I am a wee bit uncomfortable at the lack of a National Health Service that is government funded and the Gun laws make me nervous too, but that is only to be expected.

There are always trades and balances! :o)

Re:Slashdot (2)

EnderWiggnz (39214) | about 14 years ago | (#533674)

alright... dude...

its a commonly known fact, that when you over-user certain chemicals, such as slashdot, that sometimes paranoia results...

I mean the fact that you're hallucinating whilst on slashdot should be a sign that you need to get OFF the slashdot.... Geez you even said it yourself that you are getting paranoid to "stuff your seeing ON SLASHDOT"....

what i suggest you do, is to lay off the slashdot... it can be highly addicting, and cause hallucinations, specifically, naked, petrified Natalie Portman, links to informative articles [goatse.cx] , visions of hot gritz and bouilliabase...

My advice to you, is to lay off the slashdot for a while and reality will start piecing itself back together...


That's the idea. (1)

boinger (4618) | about 14 years ago | (#533675)

You could similarly make a company that specifically held up the rights/freedoms that you deemed worthy of protecting.

We shouldn't fool ourselves. Corporations want to wave the banner of whatever sells best and for the most. If parents scream "ban everything but whitehouse.com!" (wouldn't that be funny?) then some company will make software to do it, assuming those same screaming parents will cough up the money to cover it (or, at least, make their local library pay for it).

There are companies willing to play "fair". I always think of O'Reilly as a shining bastion in that way. But, sadly, I just now paused for a minute or so and couldn't come up with anyone else. Even seemingly angelic "organizations" like the SPCA have odd ways of doing business that make you wonder what they're in it for.

I'd much rather have the freedom to be surrounded by assholes than be where everyone's only being nice because they HAVE to. Even with all the unsavories abounding, you can always find your element. And, if you have the will, push forth with your idea of "fair" and "free". And if you're really lucky, maybe that's what you can call work everyday.

There will always be room for the next way of doing something (anything). Once some people realize what they're giving up by holding steady with the status quo, they'll convert to your (at this point hypothetical) way of doing things. And they'll tell and convince their friends...and so on.

Don't give up.

Canada (1)

Malc (1751) | about 14 years ago | (#533676)

Was the US ever the best place to live? The UN seems to like to vote Canada into that position (of course, they might be biased as the US doesn't pay its bills).

The US is a great place to live if you have money. Otherwise, it's rather lacking in health, education, freedom of speech (McCarthyism was hardly a surprise), enviroment friendliness, electricity supply, revenge and retribution obsession in the name of justice (death penalty anyone?), value of human life, racism and xenophobia, prejudiced justice system (DAs, judges, sheriffs, etc are often more concerned with re-election than real justice), ...

I know, it's one of the countries that I've lived in in my life, but I am planning on returning for a few more years as there are some other benefits for those with enough dosh.

Independent or Correlated? (1)

jim_pearson (226020) | about 14 years ago | (#533677)

I don't know... is this really the question to ask, or is there something more fundamentally-troubling going on right now:

"...safety, freedom, and quality of life..."

In some ways, I can't help but think that's like the old project-management axiom: "Projects can be cheap, fast, or right. Pick two."

There was probably a time (although it may be a myth of "the Good Old Times") when safety, freedom and quality of life (along with goodwill, common decency, self-respect and responsibility) were positively correlated, but that would seem to rely on a social consciousness in every individual, rather than today's US-pervasive, "Screw You! I [need/got/will get/lost] mine!"

But maybe that's just me?

It's not the corps I'd worry about... (2)

Art Tatum (6890) | about 14 years ago | (#533678)

I mean, corporations are pretty bad and all. What I *would* worry about, however, is the absolute ignorance of the populace. How many people are aware of the travesty that has been made of separation of powers? 10th amendment, anyone? How about the separation clause of the 1st amendment? It says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...." Seems kind of clear to me: Congress can't make laws about religion or prohibit religious practice. And yet, they constantly impair religious practice and make numerous laws concerning religion! Our tax system is out of whack, our legal system is out of control, and I just keep going on and on but I don't have time. We're in bad shape, folks.

Yours to create (1)

madmark (215966) | about 14 years ago | (#533679)

Dude. The whole point is that you're supposed to get in there and fight for what's right. Now get to it!

Bill? (1)

Spackler (223562) | about 14 years ago | (#533680)

I didn't know Bill Gates was a /. reader. Sorry Bill, but they will still be out to get you, no matter where you go.


Try Holland (1)

cardsharque (301081) | about 14 years ago | (#533681)

You pay a lot of taxes, but your rights are ensured.

Seek perspective . . . stupidity (2)

Johann (4817) | about 14 years ago | (#533682)


The posting population of Slashdot shuns control, regardless of the source (Government or Corporation). Posting opinions is one form of anti-control. Another is the lively discussions about the apparent constant erosion of U.S. civil rights.

Although it seems that Things (tm) are getting worse in the good old USA, I suggest you take a step back (from Slashdot) and read some other opinions. Do they confirm or contradict the sentiment here?

. . .

The most interesting part of the debate is the fact that Corporations seem to want to us to exchange our liberties for capitalism. I am not sure why there is a dichotomy between liberty and capitalism. Further, it is laughable that Corporations seek to impose liberty limitations on the purchasing Americans at the expense of their own personal liberties.

People like to complain about how their privacy has been invaded, yet continue to work for and purchase from the Corporations that try to erode their libery. Maybe it's me and my arrogant attitude, but the majority of folks that I know do not care that their liberties probably are eroding. They only seem to care about how much money they can make while doing as little work as possible. Are these people legitimately stupid? or just not clued in?

"Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life."

Live anywhere else? (2)

ZBM-2 (185783) | about 14 years ago | (#533683)

Just curious,have you lived in any other countries? I've been stationed overseas twice,plus one deployment,and I still look forward to coming home. The US may not be perfect,but overall I still think we have the best deal going.

Here's a suggestion:instead of moving out and giving up,why not try to improve things? Do you vote? Have you encouraged other people to? Instead of jumping ship,how about becoming more politically active and try to inact some positive changes. The whole reason our rights are slipping away is because of apathy/inaction on the part of the people.

No position to say (1)

big_cat79 (156695) | about 14 years ago | (#533684)

I'm not in a position to say the US is the best having never lived anywhere but there. Every country has its disadvantages. My uncle lives in Germany and complains of high taxes. I mean outrageously high. A $100 per TV tax. Income tax of around ~50% or more. The list goes on. From what I have read, other European countries are similiar. To each his own, but I feel no one can really say one country is better than another without having actually lived in both places.

A little bit of an over reaction there. (1)

OS24Ever (245667) | about 14 years ago | (#533685)

I would say that the US is still the most 'open' of contries economically. The government isn't as involved in our daily lives as most news reports would lead you to think. Companies have been collecting information on you for years. If you've ever answered a Publisher's Clearing House advertisement in the last 15 years they know who you are. I have done some computing work for large colleciton companies and you'd be amazed the way they find you. Computers have made it somewhat faster, but they still use time told methods that have always been around. Publisher's Clearing House is just a clearing house for your mailing address & interests. They sell these large databases on the open market every month or so, companies buy them, data mine them, and then track you down. I've seen systems where you type in a persons name, and it comes back with every adress on file, who owned the home, if it had a mortgage who holds the mortgage, who your neighbors were, who owned those homes, and on and on. At what point do you make collection of basic information illegal?

Re:Are you serious? (1)

Pahroza (24427) | about 14 years ago | (#533686)

How is this different than the sense of patriotism that anyone feels for his or her country?

If you're worried about wars (1)

humantraffic (220145) | about 14 years ago | (#533687)

Don't come to the UK as we usually get into them at least two years b4 the yanks arrive.

Declaration of Independence (1)

nlabadie (64769) | about 14 years ago | (#533688)

This seems more and more to apply to the government today...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

Use your head. (1)

Monkey_Business (233623) | about 14 years ago | (#533689)

I absolutely hate stories like this. The problem is that is approaches the problem as if there is some Utopian country out there and it's just a matter of getting away from the big bad USA and all your problems will be solved. Nothing could be further from the truth.

All countries have their pluses...and all countries have their minuses. Web forums, such as this, delight in pointing out the problems of the US, and the declaration of "I'm seriously thinking of leaving the US." is heard time and time again.

Do you seriously think that life is all wine and roses elsewhere? Australia is forcing ISPs to block content from their people, slashdot has posted numerous stories concerning British libel cases, where ISPs are forced to remove offensive material. Canada has taxes on recordable media...the list goes on and on.

The point of my rant is not that the US is #1 in any of these categories, but that this "grass is always greener" attitude is not going to get you very far in life.

There has to be a better place (1)

DaPimp (180387) | about 14 years ago | (#533690)

I've been thinking the same thing, for a very long time. As a teen I began thinking this way. I was an exchange student in high school to Switzerland and that really made me want to leave the US. Not a day goes by that I don't think about leaving, and if I had the proper oppurtunity I would be out of here the same day.

The current trends towards privacy violation and the general culture in the US just gets worse and worse every day. 1984 isn't too far away I'm afraid, and most of us either don't care, or don't know what to do about it. I'm not even so sure there is any way to stop the trend towards complete corporate rule of America anymore. A very large number of my friends are from outside of the US, and most of them do not think the US is the greatest place in the world. Even my friends from "less developed" countries think they were better off at home, both socially, and financially. I also get the consensus that America is far from the most free country on earth. A look towards the social scenes of northern Europe can confirm this.

I'm sure I'll get flamed for my "anti-American" opinion, but I challenge all of you to wake up, look around a little bit, and do some comparisons. Is America REALLY that great, or has years of cultural brainwashing just convinced you so? Is there something we can do about it, or should those of us who value our freedom and privacy start relocating?

Correction: You want LESS freedom, not more (2)

VAXman (96870) | about 14 years ago | (#533691)

It seems like corporations have no desire other than to strip us of what few remaining freedoms we have, and the government is doing nothing to check their power scramble.

What right does the government have to infringe on the rights of private corporations? You want the government to get bigger and bigger, more and more restrictive of rights, and have the ability to direct all business.

This means you want less freedom, not more. You want the government to get bigger and and more restrictive.

In a completely free government, corporations would be bigger and more powerful than they are now (no antritrust law, for example). By definition, only government (and not private corporations) has the ability to restrict rights.

When it affects the "right" people (2)

ellingtp (198719) | about 14 years ago | (#533692)

The general public will stand for a loss of freedom as long as its for someone else. The majority of voting Americans are between 35-55, this age group really has little concept of what an mp3 is, what linux is, thinks the internet is just hackers and porn, never heard of Free Software, browse the web via AOL, etc. There are exceptions of course, many in this age group are bright and visible contributers to an online society, but I would estimate 70 percent of voters dont care about online interests. Where the laws will change is when they start encrouching in areas that affect them. The danger that they are not yet aware of is some of the precidences being set in laws that were made this year. I still feel confident that will time these will be judged to be unconstitional and eventually overturned. Secondly feel enourgaged that a Republican President is in the house, as crippled and uncertain as this might be traditionally those that give more expect more, i.e democrats normally have pushed an agenda of the government "caring" for the people, as in welfare, social security, government run health care, emissions testing, etc...while this is all great (if you dont mind the taxes to pay for them), if you arent careful this makes a more and more powerful government that has the power to legislate away your rights. While I didnt vote for Mr. Bush I feel confident that the recent trend will slow and possible reverse especially if Bush gets to appoint 2 supreme court justices.

Depends on your personal tradeoffs (5)

MemRaven (39601) | about 14 years ago | (#533693)

So there are plenty of micro countries where you might have more freedom (look for where they're doing money laundering/anonymous transactions). The issue is whether you're interested in the same standard of living as you're getting in the US.

If you're really interested in keeping the same standard of living as you're getting in the US, you've only got a few choices, namely the EU, the US, Canada, and a few countries in Asia (Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan notably).

For Asia, you're dealing with a situation which might seem like it offers more things like privacy, but have much less open political processes (like Singapore) which might actually reduce your overall level of freedom.

For the EU, while you'll get more chance to protect your privacy (the EU is much more forward thinking than the US when it comes to individual rights), many EU countries offer MUCH less than the US when it comes to the conventional US perspective on personal freedom (higher taxes, more government regulation, bizantine regulation on things the US takes for granted [like shop opening hours in Germany and the lack of a Bill of Rights in the UK]). So while you might get some things, you give up others in return.

So it depends on what your personal tradeoff is. If you're most concerned with fighting your perceived corporatism, you want to leave. If you're mostly interested in your personal liberty, you probably want to stay.

I can't really comment that much on Canada....can someone else fill in the gaps?

But the entire question is completely moot, as national standards have completely removed your ability to emigrate to anywhere which is a developed economy (while you can LEAVE the US pretty easily, you can't go TO anywhere else). So you're pretty much stuck here regardless.

uphold the constitution and corporations (1)

Stalcair (116043) | about 14 years ago | (#533694)

corporations are groups of PEOPLE. Therefore if they wrong us they are held just as accountable as an individual would be. The government will not make this better... at least a big government. Judicially, yes, the government is an answer to what happens. If I shoot you, I am tried, if found guilty I am taken off the street in order to prevent me from doing it again. If a corporation does something wrong, they merely pay off a politician. They don't do this with soft money, hard money, etc. It is just the old familiar under the table bribe. The "campaign finance reform" is doomed to failure both because it ignores the problem and focuses on the symptom, but also because it sets up a legal system of what is acceptable money, with all its loopholes and exploits.

Don't elect politicians who destroy the constitution (especially if they are then labled 'Defenders' of said Constitution.

When people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called 'the People's Stick'. -Bakunin
Defang corporations of their power over citizens, vote to reduce government

Re:Are you serious? (4)

Blue Neon Head (45388) | about 14 years ago | (#533695)

This is not meant inflammatory but I'm really irritated by this statement: Is the United States still the best choice of a place to live for safety, freedom, and quality of life?

Do you really mean that? What led you to believe that this ever was the case?

What led you to believe that it wasn't? In which nation would you prefer to have spent time in before WWII? Americans enjoyed a higher standard of living, higher per capita income, and more freedom than most Europeans did, with the added bonus that we weren't ravaged by war every decade or so. However bizarre this "US sense of patriotism" may be, and however much stupidity may manifest itself here, it's hardly jinogistic to say that, in general, Americans have had it better than most.

Re:It's just getting worse... (1)

Spoke (6112) | about 14 years ago | (#533696)

Don't you realize? EVERYONE has skeletons in their closet. Some people just have more/or less of them. I don't know anyone who hasn't done at least one thing which would be embarassing on a national level.

The system DOES WORK. The problem is that the majority of people are "happy enough" with the way things are that they don't get involved. When things get bad, the people will speak up (unless they've all been brainwashed by then! ;-)

we the people means, well... (1)

eon(36.0) (232174) | about 14 years ago | (#533697)

...that 'we the people' hold the responsibility for running this nation. We delegate some of that responsibility to a cadre of politicians and civil servants, but in the end we must answer to ourselves.

There exists no other nation on earth where the people are given this much power, and it is up to us to each make our voice heard. Yes, it's work to get involved, it takes away from other fun activities, but would you really rather live in a nation where you never have the chance at all?

The new Senate is being sworn in today. Get to know who these Senators are, keep their feet to the fire, continually remind them that they hold their jobs because we say they can, and that we will revoke that privilege if they abuse it.

Sincerely, Kathryn Aegis

America The (Not So) Free... (1)

mrzer0 (216241) | about 14 years ago | (#533698)

America was bought and sold long ago to those with the most money. Not everyone seemed to realize that until the Internet boom. As with all forms of media, the people in power need to represent what's in your best interest. How do they know what's in YOUR best interest? Well, by being in power of course. I know it's not necessarily any better, but I'm moving to Canada. If only to experience a different type of system. Country-wide Health Care, Prime Ministers, etc. etc. My thoughts may come off random and stupid, but what I can I say, I'm at work with another 4 projects going on =\

I leave you now with lyrics from a Propagandhi song:

You can vote however the fuck you want,
but power still calls all the shots, and believe it or not
even if (real) Democracy broke lose,
they'd just make the economy scream
until we vote responsibly

Re:Are you serious? (3)

Sloppy (14984) | about 14 years ago | (#533699)

What led you to believe that this ever was the case?

The Bill of Rights, and numerous historical court cases where those laws were upheld. Especially when we're young and in school, we're taught that the government actually obeys these laws most of the time. It takes a few years for exposure to counterexamples, and disillusionment, to sink in.


Re:Are you serious? (5)

Art Tatum (6890) | about 14 years ago | (#533700)

The work done at the Continental Congress was spectacular. When you consider the beauty of the Constitution and the government it outlines, it really is awe-inspiring. It's a great piece of political design. This is what the patriotism is about. Unfortunately, it wasn't long before the system fell apart.

Re:France is an obvious choice (2)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about 14 years ago | (#533701)

So it's no different to the US then?

Depends, what freedoms do you want? (2)

bluGill (862) | about 14 years ago | (#533702)

Every country gives you some freedoms, that others don't give. Some countries in Africa where nomads are the largest faction give you the most freedom, but at the expense of many things you take for granted. Assuming you aren't willing to live without them (Like , you have to take some compromise.

If you want the freedom to drink when you are under 21, most of is better, likewise for many drugs.

If you want to own guns, then the US has the most freedom here.

If you want to be assured to will have food and shelter even if you don't work, Sweden is the most free, but they have in their own way limits on freedom. One is taxes, you don't have to work in Sweden, but if you want to buy something (Other then food and shelter) you have to pay for it, and that normally means work. Work means they take at least 60% of your money in taxes. (In the US it is about 40%)

Vote libratarian. I don't need freedom to look at porn because my religion prohibits me anyway - but I need freedom of religion. Joe down the road loves his guns, but doesn't care about religion or the press. Alone we are divided, I oppose porn, but if I'm willing to allow you to have your vice, and you allow me mine, togather we are a large force.

Don't forget that in the US your vote is counted. Get involved, make sure there is no election fraud in your distrcit (even if it is to your favor!). Alone we lose freedom, togather we stand up for everyone in a force that the corruption in DC cannot hope to match.

The Paradox of Free Society (2)

EXTomar (78739) | about 14 years ago | (#533703)

One of the paradoxes of a free society is the fact that it is free enough to destroy itself. The alternative isn't very applealing if you think about it.

The great thing about this place is that if you really do believe things are wrong we have the tools to fix it. This also means that if you oppenent doesn't want you to fix them then they have every right to stop you from accomplishing their goals. You can't have "free for the good(me) guys but not for the evil(other) guys". How do you determine "evil(other) guys"? To have anything less would be problematic.

Slashdot just like other place tends to grab the senasational topics and hold on to them. I'm not saying it there aren't problems out there. There will always be problems in any culture. I really don't believe things are horribly wrong and studies have shown that if you aren't afluently rich open soceities like the US are the best places to be.

It's as good as it ever was (2)

OlympicSponsor (236309) | about 14 years ago | (#533704)

Let's keep in mind that Civil Rights (in capitals), while provided for in the Constitution, were never really enforced all that much until the mid- to late-60's. Also keep in mind that politicians are almost always older than 40 and frequently older than 60--making them pre-Civil Rights-era. Just think of the McCarthy era in the 1950's and THEN ask yourself whether freedoms are greater or lesser nowadays.

Also remember that politicians aren't the last word. Joe Lawmaker can pass any law he can get enough votes for....but they are still subject to judgement by the Judicial Branch. There's been a lot of talk about how the Judicial Branch in general and the Supreme Court in particular has been compromised by the election controversy, but on the whole I think the system (the *Judicial* system) works well.

That's not to say I counsel complacence. Don't just sit around saying "it's pretty good, I think I'll stay". The Judicial Branch is passive by design. It can only rule on cases that are brought to it. So go out, find an unjust law and challenge it! Think of it as removing bugs from the legal system.
MailOne [openone.com]

Use the right tool (country) for a job (attitude) (2)

he-sk (103163) | about 14 years ago | (#533705)

It all depends where you put your emphasis on.

I'm from Germany, but I lived for one year in the US when I was sixteen years old. (Which is, by incident, only four years ago.)

What amazed me the most was how strongly you restrict the freedom of your children. E.g. curfew in major cities, drinking age being 21, whole school policies like lav passes. You get my drift. Being from Germany these restrictions where extremely hard to put up with.

OTOH, some people might find it troubling (sp?) how some forms of speech are limited here in Germany, e.g. hate speech, denial of the holocaust, personal insults (= libel?), etc. I don't really have a problem with these restrictions, but I expect very libetarian people to cry out loud at these restrictions.

So it all depends, which freedoms you value most. You will definatelly not be able to enjoy all freedoms one can imagine to the fullest, because, after all, you have to live in some society. And given that no two people are alike, you will run into problems at one point which can only be solved by restricting your freedoms in some way.

Re:It's just getting worse... (1)

PFactor (135319) | about 14 years ago | (#533706)

Dogcatcher is pretty respectable :P

Seriously, though, I said your VOTE counts, not your ability/desire to run for office.

Re:It's just getting worse... (4)

pallex (126468) | about 14 years ago | (#533707)

"made me lose even more faith in the system. "

The system is (almost) perfect. Vote for who you want. The person with the most votes gets in. Its a little skewed by the electoral college system, but still its only out by a few %. This time the difference in number of votes is inside that margin of error, but on the whole that doesnt happen.

What i hear people complaining about is that the `wrong` person got in. Well, thats a `fault` of the people voting. I dont like anyone thats been voted in in the states for the last 30 odd years.

It`d be nice if people went `wait a minute, i dont like (for example) the `war on drugs`, lets vote for someone who`ll dump it and spend the money saved on free health insurance`. As soon as they do, the war on drugs will go away.

But imagine a perfect (in your eyes) system. Wouldnt it still suck if people voted for morons? An uncrackable system is no use if people use `guest/guest` for their id/password. You wouldnt blame the system then, so why do so now?

Corporatism is transnational (3)

sgendler (237727) | about 14 years ago | (#533708)

The whole point of all of the global economic organizations and treaties is to provide market protection to the large transnational corporations. Any time a member country passes legislation giving preferential treatment to small or local businesses, the WTO turns around and levies fines and/or trade sanctions, or the world bank restricts devlopment funds until the restrictions are removed. If you think you can escape the large transnationals just by hiding behind a border, you have another think coming.

Every country may not be quite a bad as ours, but they are all heading that direction, and it is only a matter of time. I guess you could move to Cuba! At least right now, in the US, citizens have some rights and protection from the authorities, even if certain forces are constantly lobbying to reduce our rights and freedoms. I would still rather live in a place where the press is free to report what they want, even if the press is almost entirely dominated by corporate interests, and where cops have to at least call a judge before breaking down my door to confiscate my belongings.

I certainly wouldn't mind if my tax dollars went to services that I actually felt I needed, but then I wouldn't have to spend my after tax dollars on the very consumables I should have subsidized by my government, and that might cut into corporate profits. God forbid I should spend a couple dollars a day on public transport, rather than $20,000+ dollars on a car plus maintenance, insurance, and petroleum costs (and pollution). But that's just my opinion. Ask this question again in 4 years, and we will see just how bad our new friend in the white house has made things.

Was it ever? (2)

SpinyNorman (33776) | about 14 years ago | (#533709)

I'm originally from England, and moved to the States about 15 years ago. From what I'd seen and read I believed the US had a frontier spirit of freedom and essentially unfettered capitalism/entrepreneurism, but this notion was dashed very quickly after I came here.

Compared to England, the US has a zillion restrictions on individual freedoms that everyone takes for granted and doesn't question. I guess most countries are the same, but US citizens (which I am now myself) do seem much more naieve in that they seem to believe their country compares favorably in this regard when IMO it does not.

Is it still ? (1)

Eivind (15695) | about 14 years ago | (#533710)

"Is the United States still the best choice of a place to live for safety, freedom, and quality of life? "

What makes you believe this was ever the case in the first place ? The UN publishes a "quality of life" ranking from time to time, you migth want to read up on it. (hint: the US is not first now, and never was) Admittedly this is nessecarily subjective. But a little less cockiness from some US people would be good. Also see the recent Kuro5hin.org article on the same subject.

Ireland (1)

nut (19435) | about 14 years ago | (#533711)

I just visited Ireland for Christmas (my sister-in-law is Irish) and they seem to get a lot of things right. Over the past few years they have been steadily <i>removing</i> certain taxes, and reducing others (Ireland used to have a large black market economy, but people are declaring more and more as the taxes get less onerous.) They also have a history of rebellion against all forms of authority, mostly due to having been ruled for some periods in their history by their neighbours the English.<br>
A story related to me when I was there was of a barrier placed across a street to stop commuter traffic using it as shortcut. (Ireland's economy has been booming over the past 10 - 15 years, largely because of a strong IT industry, and population growth plus lots of new cars has put a strain on their roads.) Each time it was put up someone would go down with their jeep and pull it out again. That kind of attitude is one of the best safeguards against tyranny. Governments enforce stupid laws because it becomes easy to do so. If it's difficult to enforce laws they will concentrate on the ones that matter.

Live in the US ? Doh ! (1)

GTM (4337) | about 14 years ago | (#533712)

Who says the US has ever been the best place for safety, freedom, and quality of life ???

For freedom, you may choose the Netherlands.
For safety, move to Monaco (omnipresent police, security cameras everywhere).
For quality of life... The obvious choice is France of course. :) Best food, beautiful country.

Re:France is an obvious choice (1)

pallex (126468) | about 14 years ago | (#533713)


Solution: 3 Words (2)

kevlar (13509) | about 14 years ago | (#533714)

Campaign Finance Reform.

Go write a check to John McCain for $100 or whatever you can afford. He's the only politician I truly believe wants to use the system to fix the system. After all, thats the only way this stuff will be remedied.

We need more individuals funding campaigns, and less corporations and soft money, etc.

complaining (1)

rattdot (125708) | about 14 years ago | (#533715)

While I believe we all have a moral obligation to subvert The Man and his minions, I find this brand of unfocused paranoia and societal FUD a bit frustrating.

Which "freedoms" you are losing, and what "power" is being stripped away by the evil corporations you mention? What precise facets of the government and society have you itching to expatriate? Be specific. Give examples from your own life.

And once you answer those questions, I'd like you to answer this one: what could/should be done differently? Provide a solution. Complaints without solutions are only slighty better than useless...

Enough bullshit about corporations and freedom (1)

Moonwick (6444) | about 14 years ago | (#533716)

Enough bullshit about how corporations are taking away your freedoms. Corporations only have the power that we as a society give them. The real fear is the power that our government has in restricting our freedoms. Does gun control ring a bell?

Nothing is quite as frightening as giving our government more power. If you think corporations abuse the power we've given them, you haven't seen the power of government.

Not "Mother England"... (1)

JuddMaltin (15539) | about 14 years ago | (#533717)

I've had many of the same feelings as you, dear poster. And I thought about going to England.

However, I soon learned that there is no constitutional protection of speech in England.

While "The Guardian" and other are allowed to do very serious investigative reporting on a lot of issues, they are watched keenly by the government and are not allowed to pubish much information very important to citizens interested in their freedom.

And heck, isn't the NSA listening post, "Echelon" there?

Other suggestions?

Call me old fashioned, but..... (2)

syrupMatt (248267) | about 14 years ago | (#533718)

I still reccomed the U.S.

The fact that we here on Slashdot (and about 100000000 other places) bitch and moan about the United States and its problems proves just how great and strong our nation still is. While it may seem to be in the grips of political, social, and economic apathy, there is still an undercurrent of respect and desire to achieve a base of freedoms which is either unavailable or unattainable elswhere in the world.

Does the United States, its governement and corporate structure, have problems? Of course. Unfortunately, we do not have the luxury of living in a perfect Utopia. The problems of the U.S. are the problems of human beings as a whole, they are a reflection on our attitudes and actions towards one another on a scale of history. However, moving from place to place, in an attempt to avoid dealing with the human issues that could topple a country, isnt really the answer. By moving once things get tough, you would essentially be running from a greater responsiblity to help make your country a place that YOU can believe in again.

Remember, when this country was founded by some revolutionary crazies a few hundred years ago, popular support was with the British. Most people could care less about any vague notions about future governments, just as long as they had peace and entertainment. It was up to the men (and women) who believed in something greater and better to move the minds of the masses, and effect the change that freed us from the rule of a dictator (which, no matter what others say, IMHO still have not regressed to).

Constant pundancy and demonstration. These are things that can actually change a government, and it has been proven time and time again, in country after country (no matter how naive it sounds). The more desperate the situation, the louder you should raise your voice. That is why the founders of the country included those rights in our constitution, and why they must continue to be practiced, even in the fact of governmental ignorance of our basic rights as Americans (yet another thing to change).

I still believe in the basic ideals of freedom and equality this country was founded on. Were grevious mistakes made along the way, rights taken and people slandered without hope or cause? Yes. Again, we are, unfortunately, human and governed by nothing more than flawed human beings. However, to negate the idea of a good government because of the flaws of humans is a mistake.

Dont give up on the U.S. just yet. Not when it most needs your help.

I really hope that doesn't fall under the realm of national bias (it might, and i apologize). I was just trying to address your disillusionment in the U.S.

Re:Are you serious? (5)

Tackhead (54550) | about 14 years ago | (#533719)

> Is the United States still the best choice of a place to live for safety, freedom, and quality of life?

Safety, freedom, quality of life. Choose any two.

Re:Are you serious? (5)

matman (71405) | about 14 years ago | (#533720)

Canada's not too bad - although I can't really compare it to other countries...

Here, even child pornography has been found to be protected under free speech laws. That's kind of nutty, but it shows that we're serious about free speech, even if we have to take the bad with the good.

The only major invasions that we've had (that I'm aware of), were the Americans trying to take the country; apparently Canada is their 'manifest destiny' or something like that.

Got Freedom? (1)

Packratt (257218) | about 14 years ago | (#533721)

Well, if you have the money you too can buy your freedom!

You say you don't like a law that prevents you from taking advantage of employees? Well get a few lobbyists and give them wads of cash and you too can buy your own law! (please check the changes to IT professionals and overtime laws if you doubt me. Why are only IT pros exempt?)

Want to shut someone up who says what they think of you or your company? Hire a gaggle of lawyers and sue their pants off, if they are poor they won't even be able to afford the court costs!

What's that, you say you want to get a polititian in your back pocket? Just contribute to the polititian's campaign of your choice, that will get anything you want done real quick if you have a few mill to help him buy the election.

Hmm... What makes me think that the founding fathers never intended the US to become "for the money and by the money"? Is anyplace better? Probably not, even though I don't know this first hand. Anywhere that there is a government there is corruption, and where there is corruption there is a lack of freedom.

Oh, and a happy new year to all...

There will always be an "underground" (1)

Rungler (256436) | about 14 years ago | (#533722)

I just read about Yahoo implementing software in its auction area to filter out "hate material" [nytimes.com] . And while I'm not a big fan of censorship, Yahoo is company, not a government institution or anything similar, so we can't complain too much.

The fact is, not matter how bad Yahoo or any existing site gets with regard to censorship, we can always create our own new site. Just like in the ongoing crackers versus security warfare ensures that there is never a truly secure system, the opponents to free speech will never be able to keep anyone completely silent.

If you don't like hateful speech, then respond to it, don't silence it. Many oppressed groups flourish because having an enemy unites them. The answer to false, ignorant, hateful ideas, is MORE FREE SPEECH, not less. Respond to ideas that you don't like and everyone will learn. If hate mongers choose not to listen or behave irrationally, let them. They will look like fools, not martyrs.

We are already slaves to corporations... (1)

highfreq (124862) | about 14 years ago | (#533723)

Through our dependence upon their products. They are just tightening the leash.

Re:Colonization (2)

remande (31154) | about 14 years ago | (#533724)

The one thing is that space-based life is probably going to be mucho expensive. Remember, you have to pack everything with you, and it still takes a lot of fuel to get anything up there.

A cheaper solution might be colonizing the ocean surface or ocean floor. The surface has to deal with weather, the floor has to deal with pressure, but you have access to raw materials and the geek's best friend, cheap sushi!.

The disadvantage is that other countries already have weapons designed to destroy such facilities, so you have to invest in an armed force and/or treaties. In space, people have yet to mass-produce the weapons that can take out a station.

Best choice? (1)

csbruce (39509) | about 14 years ago | (#533725)

Is the United States still the best choice of a place to live for safety, freedom, and quality of life?

*Still* the best choice?? God, no! I wasn't aware that America has ever been a good choice for safety or quality of life. Maybe freedom in the most abstract sense and certainly as a good place to be extremely wealthy.

It sounds like you want to be moving north of the border. Unbeknownst to most Americans or Canadians, the lower 4/5 of Canadians have a higher standard of living than lower 4/5 of Americans. America is a great place to live if you're a millionaire.

Violent crime is quite rare up here. You might have to check you beloved guns at the border, though.

As for freedom, Americans have more freedom in theory, at least when not talking in the context of Americans being 0wn3d by corporations. There's less corporate dominance in Canada. But I am concerned about Intellectual Property laws spilling across the border under Bush.

Of course, we do pay more in direct and indirect taxes (though not as much more as most people would think) and the weather is colder (okay, a lot colder here in Ottawa).

Re:Correction: You want LESS freedom, not more (1)

gwyrdd benyw (233417) | about 14 years ago | (#533726)

What right does the government have to infringe on the rights of private corporations?

Nothing else is large enough to be able to stop corporations. Indeed, national governments are not large enough, as transnationals now wield more power, and are able to crush whole economies at their whim by moving factories and other plants, or by pulling out investment at key times, triggering currency collapses (witness the Asian currency crisis of 1998).

The government is you. If you don't like the government, get involved and make it how you want it to be. Obviously you cannot do a lot on your own, but it's a damn sight better than doing nothing. Government corruption is a clear sign of citizen apathy - in every nation where participation is higher, the quality of governance improves.

USA (2)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | about 14 years ago | (#533727)

For years...no decades people in the US have whined about how the Corporations are running everything and takine our rights away.

I'm 27, I still have my Right to Bare Arms, my Right of Free Speech, My Right to Record stuff on my Replay TV and my Right to Download P0rn on my G3.

I've been all over the World, and I'm pretty up to date on Geo-political issues, and IMHO there isn't a more free Democratic-Republic on Earth.

Corporations are not evil. They are just there. Attempting to do what is right for thier shareholders and employees.

To answer your question. It's not that bad. /. just has alot of Chicken Little's screaming the sky is falling all the time.

If you think the US is bad...I suggest you go out and read up on...Oh. Nazi Germany, Czarist or Communist Russia, most of Central and Southern Africa. North Korea or Communist China...Places where there really are no rights.

It's always been like this. (1)

kavi_3 (5872) | about 14 years ago | (#533728)

People on Slashdot act as if somehow things are getting worse and worse. Any look at history will show in many ways things are better now then in the past. For instance, take a look at the power that the robber barons had over the government, both local and federal. J.P. Morgan used to manipulate the stock market for is own personal gain. Other used to sent the police to kill union strikers. In terms of class turmoil the current troubles pale in comparrision to the past.

That said, people do need to become more politcally involved. The reasons the unions where able to get the power they have now was because they worked within the political arena. Something people in this day and age seem to be too lazy to do, other then complain about it.

Re:Canada! (2)

Neter (56934) | about 14 years ago | (#533729)

It's becoming that. There was an article on CNN a few months back about what would happen if Canada were to be annexed by the US (after a successful Quebec separation). It was pretty interesting. Saying things like "The US has already designed the flag to represent 51 states... with canada being the 51st".

Pretty scarry.

Canada is very similar to the US (I travel back and forth from Ottawa regularly) However, there are some subtle differences. Personally, I feel these differences make if very worth while. For example:

SSN (we call it SIN) is protected by LAW.
Privacy is protected by LAW.
Lower tax rates have just been implemented (George W. is just talking about doing this now..)
No unreasonalbe search and seizure.
etc etc.

Re:Are you serious? (1)

NineNine (235196) | about 14 years ago | (#533730)

Oh, that's easy. Live in the US. Travel or live for a short time anywhere else in the world. You'll understand this really quickly.

new political party? (1)

astral360 (10085) | about 14 years ago | (#533731)

America is a country without an identity, unfortunately. If our politicians don't seem to have a personality, it's because the people don't seem to be very opinionated about anything. Perhaps what America really needs is a political party that actually has active members of society in it, not bureaucrats scratching each other's backs.

What's the deal with the deification of Kennedy? (1)

dave-fu (86011) | about 14 years ago | (#533732)

Adulterous president (think Marilyn Monroe) with a 9th-rate foreign policy to boot (think Vietnam/Bay of Pigs/almost getting us into a nuclear war).
Taking one to the dome was the best thing he could have ever done; if he hadn't gotten shot, we'd be looking down on him farther than we do Nixon. Who, Watergate aside, wasn't all that bad of a president...

Corporations get freedom too! (1)

carlivar (119811) | about 14 years ago | (#533733)

Don't you realize that there IS still freedom because our government gives corporations the freedom to do things you don't like!

Your attitude seems to be "Individuals should have their freedom protected for them (rather than doing it themselves). Corporations are the ones who shouldn't get freedom, the government should control them."

Here's the thing: freedom is not something that can be applied in whatever way is convenient. It has to be universal.

Don't like what a corporation is doing? You always have a choice. You don't have to support them.

Are you disgusted with the apathy of consumers? For instance, people that buy from Home Depot even though they are a contributor to the destruction of rainforests? Do something about it! Hand out leaflets outside of Home Depot! Don't shop there! Be an intelligent consumer who makes choices based on what you believe, and urge others to do so as well. Don't just whine about how the government needs to put corporations in check. What next? Get rid of corporations all together and put them under state control? Hmmm... seems to me that communism doesn't work. Where do you draw the line?


p.s. If you really believe in freedom, vote Libertarian [lp.org] (sorry, shameless political plug).

Re:Another USian thinking Canada (1)

bluesninja (192161) | about 14 years ago | (#533734)

As a Canadian, I agree with the above post. Unfortunately, Canada has a US-as-big-brother complex in that we always imitate American trends. The relative conservatism of our government mirrors the United States almost exactly, except with about a four-year lag.

In four years, we will elect a conservative government (mirroring the election of GWB) -- looking at Canadian politics, I'd call this extremely likely. Our current leader will be pretty much cashed out, and the Stockwell Day (conservative) cult of personality will continue to grow.

We just follow the American political trends around. So I wouldn't look here for freedom. I'd recommend the Netherlands.

And besides, we let in all your hippies during Nam. Never Again! :)


Re:Declaration of Independence (1)

crm0922 (50203) | about 14 years ago | (#533735)

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.


This is part of what makes the US great. Let's hope we don't forget what we did this for...government will always drift toward tyranny, kinda like how a dog will eat so much it dies...


Try living somewhere else for awhile (1)

RattRigg (4253) | about 14 years ago | (#533736)

The only way you can ask that question is if youve never lived anywhere else. It aint perfect but its better then the alternatives.

Re:honestly... (1)

Pahroza (24427) | about 14 years ago | (#533737)

Mostly free? What's this about mostly free? Last time I checked, the more money you make the more money you give the government. And what do you get in return? Free education beyond highschool? Nope. Free healthcare? Nope. A good retirement check? No on that count as well. As far as stability goes, I need to echo what someone else said. The only reason there's any stability in the US is that most (not all) people are too lazy to do anything about their situation. Jobless? Just go to the unemployment office. Not getting enough money on your EBT card? Have another baby, it's easier than getting a job, afterall. If more people in the US actually wrote the people who passed legislation, or refused to re-elect those who pass based on the kickbacks they got, things might actually change. WRITE the companies whose policies you disagree with. Do it on paper, do it frequently. Eventually they'll get the picture. I don't think the american public at large will be moved, or motivated to do anything about its situation until things get worse. MUCH worse.
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