It was great to step out of my local world and into a slightly different one. I find that the United States has become a Totalitarian death trap. Not that anywhere else is much better, but Switzerland and Germany were different enough to make me see the reality that I live in with some added clarity.
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin FranklinSince the trip was bracketed with air travel, I will start there. Airport security procedures are insanely stupid and useless. There is no way any of it makes anyone safer, ever. The term "Homeland Security" gives me chills. The only tasks that a real Department of Homeland Security should have is protecting ancient burial grounds and the remains of ancient villages. The only good kind of airport security is good engineering, maintenance and training for the pilots and crew so we can get from place to place without crashing. The idea that there should be "security dance" we all have to do to prove we are all docile passengers makes we die inside every time I fly.
In my utopian vision of life a person would never be required to sign for anything or prove their own existence. Just being a being is good enough, the rest is just unnecessary bureaucracy. Of course we should respect the right of bureaucrats to do what then enjoy, but as with all things they should not be allowed to force their personal perversions on others.
Basically I am completely against anything that draws an artificial line between people. The idea of borders is a sad and painfully lingering remnant of the undead monarchies of the past. When the US-Mexico Border Fence became the hot topic I saw it as a sure sign that something is wrong and whoever is in charge needs a hug.
"That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn." - Talmud, Shabbat 31a, the "Great Principle"I cannot believe that any individual can be truly evil and at the same time that any group of people can be truly good. The worst form of evil is acting towards others as if they are in one group and you are in another and therefore you don't have to act towards them as if they are not the same as you.
The scariest extension of that problem is the idea, that should be fought at all costs, that the laws do not apply to the law makers or enforcers. If you have to break a law to enforce a law then something is fundamentally wrong with the law and the enforcement policies. Example of a minor thing: police speeding to catch a speeder. Example of a major thing: killing someone because they killed someone.
When looking back across human history I see lots of violence and I just don't understand how we could have been like that. But looking at how we are today I can see that little has changed. Here's hoping that we all can say:
"Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better" ~ Émile Coué de Châtaigneraie