Whatever else he can be called, I do not think that Mr Obama can be called a liberal. I was having a good chat with fellow blogger Paul Marks last night and he made this point. And as if by coincidence, via Instapundit, comes this story:
“The US Department of Homeland Security is set to kickstart a controversial new pilot to scan the fingerprints of travellers departing the United States. From June, US Customs and Border Patrol will take a fingerprint scan of travellers exiting the United States from Detroit, while the US Transport Security Administration will take fingerprint scans of international travellers exiting the United States from Atlanta. The controversial plan to scan outgoing passengers — including US citizens — was allegedly hatched under the Bush Administration. An official has said it will be used in part to crack down on the US population of illegal immigrants.”
Brilliant idea (sarcasm alert). How will fingerprinting people make illegal immigration more difficult? Surely, if supposedly unwanted folk are leaving a country, they are doing that country a favour, so why make it more irksome for them to move away by fingerprinting them or by insisting on other evidence, details or whatnot? I guess greater minds than mine have an answer.
As Thaddus Tremayne noted on this blog not so long ago, our own marvellously-run administration is pondering the idea of getting all travellers from the UK to divulge their travel and accomodation plans, reasons for trips, etc. (So I guess eloping couples will have a lot of explaining to do). As he also noted, the day may not be far off when exit visas, of the sort that used to be applied in the Communist East, make a comeback. So if you want to get the hell out of the UK before it crashes into bankruptcy, rising inflation and tax, then it is probably smart to do so in the next few years, regardless of the outcome of the next General Election. Paranoid? Well, who would have thought that the very notion of detailed information requests from travellers would have been mooted a few years ago. The ratchet effect keeps going.
And by the way, for those who sneered at Dale Amon’s enthusiasm for spacefaring the other day, it is stories like this that explain why “exit” strategies such as spacefaring and sea-steading are gaining some interest from libertarians. It may sound utopian, but the general idea of “getting out” has never been more popular. And that is why I keep banging on about the attempted assaults on so-called tax havens. They are an attack on the very notion that places of refuge from governments should exist, for rich or poor alike.