Persona non grata in the United States of America

I’m just trying to come to terms with what can only be described as one of the single largest fusterclucks I have ever experienced in my 45 years on this planet. Even with a day to digest what happened, I really can’t get my head around the magnitude of the absurdity, nor just how significant the long-term impacts may end up being. Upon a little reading and thinking back 27 years, it’s entirely possible that bad luck, a mispoken word or two, and complete honesty on my part, has rendered me inadmissible to the U.S. I should note at the outset that I have traveled to the U.S. several times a year throughout most of my life without so much as a sideways look.

I have provided a couple pieces of information below from a paralegal business web site that assists inadmissibles to obtain waivers. It’s a comprehensive page that essentially agrees with and summarizes information I’ve found in various locations.

An expensive shopping trip

Saturday morning we headed down to the Seattle outlets to do a day of shopping. We were planning to save the big shopping for our time in Hawaii, which was to start two weeks today, but is now going to be canceled thanks to Saturday’s events. After two hours in the lineup at the border, our turn came to answer the obligatory questions regarding our reason for traveling to the US, where we were from and whatever else the border guard felt like asking.

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A reversable food crisis

The biggest problem with the current food crisis is not that it exists, but that it never should have happened in the first place and can definitely be reversed. And it’s not just the wrong-headed rush to create biofuels, but the products our food system produces the most of (and how it produces them), which exacerbate the reduced availability of crops to directly feed people.

Biofuel

When you consider that the 25% of US corn crops currently used to produce ethanol will rise to over 30% next year, and is mandated by George Bush to double present levels by 2015, there would seem to be no relief on the horizon. As the flavour of the day, Corn’s price is going up and farmers are beginning to convert other crops to corn in order to cash in. It’s an answer to high oil prices, but it hardly seems the right one. We use roughly the energy we produce in making biofuel, and there are environmental impacts to that production, too.

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