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  • hardie karges 10:01 pm on December 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , passport   

    Tribes Without Passports, People without States 


    No Turkish coffee in Istanbul–looking for Red Bull, instead…

    Borders and passports are a recent phenomenon, you know. It’s only been barely more than a hundred years since borders have been closed and sealed. Governments, of course, have existed much longer, but free movement was generally allowed across borders, probably because labor has generally been a scarce resource for most of human history.

    Governments used to want immigrants! One effect of the modern system is that it denies tribalism a place, because many tribes lie across borders. Some of the best examples are the Quechua-speakers in six countries, some twenty million Kurds in four or more, the Tibetans in China and the Mons of Southeast Asia, all great nations in the history of the world, but left without a modern state to represent them.

    These are tensions inherent in the modern system. Since endless divisions are not necessarily practical, increased unification may be the only answer, so former Yugoslav states get their independence only to give some of it up willingly to a European Union, in this scenario.

    Certainly everyone could have a state if the designation were largely meaningless and merely an administrative division. This is what the US was in theory, before the Civil War negated it. The world is not ready for a true United Nations, but it might be ready for ten or twelve cooperative blocs as opposed to two or three.

  • hardie karges 7:20 pm on November 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , passport,   

    Travel Alert: Black Saturday for Passports, No More Added Pages 

    Trail of Tears, Smudges on  Pages

    Trail of Tears, Smudges on Pages

    If you are a veteran inveterate traveler, then listen up and listen up good. The US State Department has announced that it will no longer be adding those 24-page passport inserts that stiffen up our credentials like Viagra and provide many nights of enjoyment, reminiscing over remote borders and intransigent a$$holes with badges on their lapels and our passports in their grubby mitts. So now you’ve got to replace the whole thing when it starts getting full—yuk. At least there is the option of an XXL size with 52 pages instead of the usual 28, but still… you’ve got until the end of this year to add more pages until they discontinue the service, but even that’s not free, like it used to be… bummer…

  • hardie karges 9:53 pm on November 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , passport, ,   

    TRAVEL ALERT: INDIA SURRENDERS! (Visa-runners exhale now) 

    No, mercenaries have not overrun the Chinese lines, and there are no boys from the Mersey or the Thames or the Thyme.  No bombs have been launched; no shots have been fired.  No casualties have been reported; the hospitals are not full.  And if any negotiations have taken place, it’s been within tourist (and drinking) circles, not political ones.  You see, we’re not talking about normal society here.  We’re talking about an alien life form—visa runners.

    US passport: Visa runner broke my heart

    US passport: Visa runner broke my heart

    For those of you who don’t know what a ‘visa-runner’ is (all ex-pats do) we’re talking about the practice of some expats—residents in a foreign country—of simply crossing the nearest border to renew their visas and/or time allowances in such country rather than going through the time-consuming and finance-consuming but requisite paperwork that the law strictly requires and which is normally associated with such residence.  Oftentimes it is simply easier to add another thirty days… until hell freezes over.

    Hell froze over in India in 2013.  (More …)

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