Here's why I would never live in the States!
In response to a question about what happens to people who refuse to go along with government surveillance requests, John Gilmore offers a case study in what everyone is talking about.
We know what happened in the case of ***** before 9/11. They contacted the CEO/Chairman asking to wiretap all the customers. After he consulted with Legal, he refused. As a result, NSA canceled a bunch of unrelated billion dollar contracts that ***** was the top bidder for. And then the Department of Justice targeted him and prosecuted him and put him in prison for insider trading -- on the theory that he knew of anticipated income from secret programs that ***** was planning for the government, while the public didn't because it was classified and he couldn't legally tell them, and then he bought or sold ***** stock knowing those things.You combine this with the uber-surveillance allegedly being undertaken by the NSA and other governmental agencies and you've got a system for more or less automatically accusing any US citizen of a felony if they don't like the cut of your jib!
This CEO's name is Joseph P. Nacchio and TODAY he's still serving a trumped-up 6-year federal prison sentence today for quietly refusing an NSA demand to massively wiretap his customers.
From Quora Digest:
To be born in any western nation is a proportionally lucky thing when you consider the state of most of the world. The Swiss keep a reasonably clean country. Italy loves its food. France loves its art and culture. England loves its history and culinary fusion. Holland loves its open society and freedoms. Norway and Sweden love their societal tolerance.
Well, Canada has all of those as well.
Our history is not as deep as England's, our art not as embedded as the France, our country isn't quite as clean as Switzerland, and so on... but we have enough of each to make this an amazing place to live.
We are a northern version of the United States except with European sensibilities. What Canada does better than anyone in the world is diversity. The two most diverse and ethnically mixed cities in the world are in Canada (Toronto and Vancouver, respectively). What makes us Canadian is a set of shared values. Hey, true, not everyone buys into those values, but the old guard is dying out and each new generation brings more diversity and more open attitudes.
I love to travel outside of the country and I love to see and learn new peoples and cultures. It is, however, indescribable how it feels to be coming back home. Whether it's crossing the border back into Canada by car, or being in a plane as it descends into Vancouver, and seeing that incredibly beautiful city set against an amazing natural backdrop that makes me emotional.
Canada may not be anywhere near the most exciting places to live (and remember, it's "exciting" to live in Baghdad and Mogadishu, but exciting is not always a good thing) and it is certainly not for everyone. If you can't handle a cold winter (or a wet winter if you live in Vancouver/Victoria) then you won't be happy here.
Toronto isn't New York, Vancouver isn't San Francisco and Calgary isn't Houston, and Montreal isn't Paris. But we consider that a good thing. We're not trying to be anyone else. We're happy being Canadian.
So how does it feel living in Canada? The word I would use is "joy."