----- Original Message ----- 
From: "D P Ingram" <[log in to unmask]>
> On 5 maj 2007, at 05.33, Steven C. Barr(x) wrote:
> > is effectively part of Milwaukee...), leaving only the problem of
> > the new anti-terrorist policies of the US, and a change in the
> I know the list isn't the place for this, and maybe the A part of the  
> ARSC justifies it being in America, but I am aware of quite a few  
> Europeans who have resolutely refused to go to the U.S. for business  
> or pleasure due to the knee jerk security reactions that have  
> developed in the land in the past few years.   Mind you, I understand  
> that it can often be quite horrible for Americans "returning home" as  
> well when they experience the kind, generous welcome of the Border  
> Guards.  Even before September 11, the idiocy that was greeting  
> visitors was quite unwelcome.
> I can recommend a visit to Finland :) Come and visit the real home of  
> Father Christmas and hold the next ARSC away day.
Oddly enough, in about a gazillion crossings of the US/Canada border...
as a resident of first one and then the other...I only had problems on
two or three occasions!

The first involved me driving a borrowed car...and discovering, at the
border, that I didn't have a key to the trunk! All ended well when the
drug-sniffing dogs failed to find any...

Second time I was riding on the Toronto-Chicago VIA/Amtrak train.
I was carrying a small zipper bag (which I had used for several
years) containing my harmonicas. On noting my long hair and beard,
as well as my admitting I was a part-time musician, it was deemed
necessary to be VERY thorough in the search of my baggage. The
customs agents even scratched up a sample of the detritus that had
accumulated at the bottom of this "carry bag," and dropped that in
a test tube of some unknown reagent...which started to turn red!
This apparently indicated that the detritus included cannabinoid
substances. After some consulting, apparently the agents decided
it wasn't worth the effort to charge me with having smuggled
.0000001 ounce of pot into the USA, so I was freed to reboard
the train...just in time!

The person for whom I felt very sorry was an elderly woman who
was traveling on a Polish passport...spoke NO English...and, it
seems, had something wrong with her documents...! She WASN'T
freed in time to reboard the train...and I have often wondered
if she was ever sent on to her relatives (I assume) who were
waiting for "Baba" to arrive in Chicago...! As well, she had
lived several decades in a land where any sort of contact with
law-enforcement authorities usually meant a trip to a fearsome
correctional facility...

Steven C. Barr