Done with Amerika

Discussion in 'What's On Your Mind?' started by LeeAnne, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. LeeAnne

    LeeAnne Original Member

    If I was a camel, you could consider my back now officially broken.

    I'm leaving the US. For good.

    That may sound like hyperbole, but I'm telling you the truth. My husband and I have made a decision, and we are leaving. Why? Because this is NOT the America we grew up in, the one which we raised our children to believe was the greatest nation on earth, the one that my only son FIGHTS for as a soldier in the US Army.

    Over the past year, ever since my mother was abused the second time at a TSA checkpoint, we've felt real alarm as we've watched our nation deteriorate. We both voted for Obama, believing that he would bring real change. Boy do we feel duped. We're not rabid lefties - my husband actually is more of a fiscal conservative, although we're both social liberals with some libertarian leanings - we believe in civil rights, equality for all (e.g. gay marriage), a woman's right to her own body, separation of church & state (e.g. freedom both of and from religion). We believe that the fortunate should take care of the less-fortunate (there should be safety nets provided by our government, paid for by the people)...tempered by a strong belief in personal responsibility (these safety nets should not be a license for laziness or irresponsibility). We believe that all Americans have a right to health care - nobody should die from a treatable illness because they don't have enough money to pay for it. We believe in the essential dignity and worth of every human being, and we believe that our Constitution is one of the greatest documents ever written. We believe especially in government BY the people, FOR the people - for ALL of the people, not just for the wealthy (of which, by the way, we happen to belong), not just for the people in power.

    We realize that there are no easy answers to any of these things, but these are our core beliefs, and we know that it IS possible to achieve these goals. And in the past, America WAS achieving them, or at least working towards trying to achieve them...until recently.

    I don't think I need to review all of the horrific things that have been happening in our nation that have led us to want to leave. Highlights include the total destruction of the Constitution, in particular the 4th Amendment...the infiltration of the rabid religious right into government, forcing a religion we do not believe in down our throats...the war against women...the war against gays...the abuse of power by government entities like the DHS and TSA...and on and on. I know there are many in here just as concerned and upset as we are about the direction our country is headed.

    My husband and I are sailors - we met on a sailboat in 1981, and have owned boats on-and-of throughout our marriage (taking some years off to raise the kids). We have always talked about someday going cruising long-term - but it's always been something we figured we'd do after we retired, for months or even as much as a year at a time, but always as a "trip", with our home as our base. Retirement age is still a long way off - I'm about to turn 52, my husband is 54 - and the plan was to continue to work and save up for a cushy retirement. But we've decided we can't wait anymore.

    In a little less than 2 years, we are quitting our jobs and taking off on our sailboat for parts unknown. We've been fixing up our boat, taking seminars, reading books, meeting with experienced cruisers who are already doing this, and making plans...and just this week we announced to our families that we will be leaving for good in Oct. 2013. We have a basic plan for the first year or so - we'll tool around Baja and the Sea of Cortez for a while, eventually do the "puddle jump" (cross the Pacific) to head over to French Polynesia and bop around some remote islands for a while, make our way through the South Pacific to Australia, and from there...who knows. That right there will take at least a couple years.

    It's not an easy lifestyle, as you are forgoing pretty much all luxuries - but it's a way to live truly free, connected to nature, controlled by the cycles of weather and the sea rather than clocks or electronic timekeepers. It's a lot of alone time, but it's also not cut-off -- there's actually quite a strong community of long-term cruisers out there, and you do make friends, connections, networks. You also get to see how people in other parts of the world live - people who aren't striving to collect the latest electronic gadgets, but to feed their families, till their soil, catch enough fish to supply the village.

    Leaving our jobs this early means that we won't be able to do this at the same level of luxury we'd originally discussed...we won't be able to afford a bigger boat, or to fly back home very often...but to us the trade-off is worth it. Get out now, before our country goes to complete (expletive deleted). Eventually we'll have to come back, when we're too old to do that anymore, but we have a reasonable nest-egg set aside to use for that, when the time comes.

    Anyway, just wanted to share this. It seems like the people in this forum would *get it* - many of the reasons you all come here, are the reasons we're leaving. There were some "final straws" - my mother's horrific treatment at TSA checkpoints, my own sexual assault at LAX in July, my friend Gina's recent TSA assault (also at LAX). And things outside of my own personal experiences: the government's heavy-handed responses to the Occupy movement, the heavily-financed war against gays (I will never NEVER understand why anyone would want to deny a loving couple the right to marry each other - that is just hatred and bigotry at its worst), horrific things happening to women's rights (the ongoing assault on women’s health and freedom that would deny millions of women access to affordable contraception and life-saving cancer screenings and cut nutritional support for millions of newborn babies, and that's only the beginning). And the stories just don't end. Rape victims getting arrested for declining to be groped. Grannies getting strip-searched and abused at TSA checkpoints.

    This might seem like an extreme reaction, but we don't think so. And we are fortunate to have the means and the ability to do this. I daresay more would, if they could. Well, we can...and we are.
  2. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    I understand what you are saying, I myself saw this incident, and I'm in the crowd in this video. The witnesses in the video are telling it like it is, although I only saw the woman being dragged away along the pavement by the hair, not the pepper spray which knocked her to the ground:

    Our nation, or at least its government, is drunk. But it may become sober later. It's very encouraging for example, that there has been a political uprising in Wisconsin, and that the Occupy people have taken to the streets. Whether one agrees with the politics in whole, in part, or not at all, it is a measure of the remaining strength of the people that they, or at least some of them, are able to do so. And we see, for example, in Los Angeles and New York, the full power of the state to evict people who are committing the awful crime of camping -- which I take as a testament to the power of protest.
    KrazyKat, Doober and Lisa Simeone like this.
  3. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    Good luck. You aren't alone in making such a decision: the number of ex patriated Americans is skyrocketing. I'd suggest some country in the british commonwealth ultimately might be a good place to settle (australia? canada?) simply because of their Common Law heritage, which our country used to be based on. I think many more have considered/are considering your option.

    I think there will ultimately be zones of greater and lesser freedom within the US as things continue to balkanize. Already there is a marked difference in personal freedom and freedom from government between states, some of them in tolerable weather zones (see People accustomed to freedom tend to want to keep it. We're seriously considering such a move...
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.
  4. DeafBlonde

    DeafBlonde Original Member

    LeeAnne, I can understand how you feel. I am also ashamed of what our country has become (and I am a right-winger)! But please, LeeAnne, I beg you to reconsider your decision to leave America. If you leave then the "terrorists" will have won. (P.S. By "terrorists" I mean the military industrial machine called our government.)
    TravelnMedic and KrazyKat like this.
  5. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    Life is short. I'm 50 too. If we spend the rest of our lives fighting these filthy fascists, we loose everything that makes life worthwhile. Taking ourselves to better parts of the world and preparing our children to do the same is wise. Remember that many Jews escaped Germany before the internments began. They were gutsy folks. America isn't so much a place as it is a frame of mind. We can take what's best of America with us and live in liberty somewhere where liberty is still practiced.

    Let's face it, our kind really aren't welcome here. We're dwindling, the fascists and their chumps are expanding in size almost exponentially. All the fascists and their chumps want from us is our tax dollars, our property and our life savings. They will never hear our point of view. The power the fascists have gained and handouts their chumps hunger for are like crack. People don't wean themselves off crack- they remain addicts to the end.
    LeeAnne and KrazyKat like this.
  6. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    Lawless government forced me from my job, continued retaliation impairs my ability to work in my profession. My home and possessions remaining are eyed as booty to steal because someone can.
    I sail too. Need any mates? It's better than living in my car.:td:
  7. RadioGirl

    RadioGirl Original Member

    Let me know when! :)
  8. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    There are many people who value liberty, human rights as once understood in this country, basic common human decency, like the OathKeepers, Sheriff Richard Mack, the 10 Amendment folks. There are a LOT of these folks. They need to come together in sympathetic states instead of living spread around. I think that will gradually happen, and you can use the lever of state government to retain freedoms in that state or set of states. I notice that Oregon, which ranks about 7 or 8th on the freedom scale of states, with lower numbers being better, had both of its senators vote AGAINST the wretched Defense Act just passed by the US Senate.

    The US Federal government has become the monster many of the founders had feared it would become. It is no longer responsive to the people in the states, but senators and representatives alike have been co-opted by powerful national interests and they vote against the interest of the people. Recent polls show that nearly 80% of the people feel their government is no longer listening to them.
  9. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    Yep, I know there are a lot of decent Americans left. We could all end up together in North Dakota, trying to execute subsistance farming in a massive internment camp. Not in America, we say. I used to be sure this would never happen in America. I'm not so sure. Janet Napolitano has convinced me by her broad definition of a "terrorist organization" that all of us are "terrorists" to Obama's fascist regime. (The previous regime was no better, the current GOP front-runners strike me as worse.) The Senate's passage of the National Defense Authorization Act has convinced me that hundreds, then thousands, then tens of thousands of us could disappear one by one. No one would dare ask where we've gone.

    I'm not afraid, but I'm increasingly watchful. The U.S. is going in the wrong direction. If the country continues to creep toward fascism, we will have a natural parting of the ways. If the majority of Americans wish to live in abject servitude to a fascist government, then I support their right to do so. I just hope I'm able to slip out the door before things get dicey.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  10. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Can you say what kind of sailing craft you will be embarking on?
  11. LeeAnne

    LeeAnne Original Member

    Well it's gonna be a while ;). We're not even leaving for another two years, and then it will probably take us a couple of years before we get all the way to Australia.

    Right now we have an Islander Freeport 36, which is a fine vessel and several of them have cruised around the world. We've been fixing her up, and have plans to do a number of short cruises on her (up to a month) before we actually depart, to increase our skills. But we're hoping we'll be able to work things out financially to be able to upgrade to a 40-42 ft sailboat before we head out for good...that's part of our two-year plan. We're doing research now, and making plans to go to some boat shows and conventions to see if we can find just the perfect boat for us.
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.
  12. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    I'm finally reading "It Can't Happen Here" by Sinclair Lewis. Been on my list for a long time.
  13. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Nice craft. I entertained buying a live aboard when I retired from the Navy but with kids to raise it wasn't practical. Now I am landlocked and age is catching up with the two of us.

    Was looking at some pictures on google and saw this. Sure looks like it could be you. 006.jpg
  14. LeeAnne

    LeeAnne Original Member

    Lisa, I'll put that on my reading list. Lately I've taken to reading a lot of books about WWII Germany, both pre-war and during the war. I'm trying to gain some understanding of how the regular citizens of Germany allowed that to happen in their country. For example, here's a few books I just finished:

    In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin, by Larson, Erik
    Melting Point, by Collins, Roger
    Auschwitz, by Nyiszli, Miklos

    It's important to understand that, while some cultural and societal differences existed, the citizens of pre-Nazi Germany were just normal people, like us - trying to live their lives, raise families, hold down jobs, during challenging economic times. They were humans, just like us. I guarantee you there was no difference between them and us...I guarantee you that Joe Schmoe raising his family in pre-war Germany never would have thought that his own government would be rounding up innocent people by the millions and murdering them. That would have been as unfathomable to them then, as it is to us today. But it HAPPENED.

    After reading these books, I no longer hold any illusions that horrific, indescribable, unimaginable things can't happen here, in my own country, today. They are happening already. We as a species HAVE NOT EVOLVED. We are the same species that produced Hitler and all of those monsters. And we continue to produce monsters (some of whom happen to post here on this forum).
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  15. LeeAnne

    LeeAnne Original Member

    Um....uh....ya. That's me on the left, at Anacapa Island, with an old friend whom we took out with us for a day sail. :cool:
  16. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    LeeAnne, I second this 100 percent. That's what I've been trying to get across, over and over, every time I bring up Philip Zimbardo, Stanley Milgram, Solomon Asch. Or, indeed, Josef Mengele, which pisses people off, but tough. The point is precisely that we are all human and therefore all potentially subject to the same nasty impulses and actions. People have to get this through their heads, instead of constantly trumpeting how "special" we are.

    By the way, Erik Larson is a friend. Great writer.
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.
  17. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    Sounds great!
    To think we allowed this to happen without any pretense of populism, all that was necessary were the terrorist events, (problems with the official stories of those events notwithstanding).
  18. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

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