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Feb. 6th, 2007 @ 03:47 pm Political Climate...
I have developed a non-interest in politics in the last few years, simply because of the political climate in the USA. I needed to take a backseat for a while, and just let the world go spinning by. It did. I rode in that backseat for so long, I was unaware that Tony Blair is soon to resign his office. It is mainly to do with the cash-for-honours scam going on in England. Apparently, seats in the House of Lords were sold for political donations. There have been arrests in conection with this. There are Scottish/Welsh elections in May. After that Blair is supposed to go public about his resignation date. It is probably going to be in early July sometime. That will leave Gordon Brown as the new prime minister. Gordon Brown is very outspoken about his anti-Iraq stance. There will be definite friction and distance between Bush and Brown after July. Rumour has it that all British troops will leave Iraq by December 2007 under Gordon Brown's leadership.

We also have a new leader in the Tory Party. The new leader is David Cameron. Michael Howard went back to Folkestone. He is to stand down at the next election. The one point in his favour though, is he stood up to the Bush Administration. The White House hates him, because he accused Tony Blair of lying about the legality of the Iraq War. Karl Rove wrote to one of Howard's aides - when he was still Tory leader - telling him (Howard) not to bother visiting Bush at the White House. Both Conservatives, but world's apart. Howard would not congratulate Bush on his 2004 re-election. Howard said recently that he failed as a leader because he was not a good enough actor - he said that Gordon Brown was the same. Gordon Brown is very fiery. It should make for explosive fireworks, come July.

I think that once investigations into this administration get underway, it will make Watergate look like a picnic in the park. It all begins with Libby. He has publicly stated that he will not take the rap for Karl Rove. And that is how it all begins, my friends.

When all is said and done, there is a hell of a lot of political changes in both the USA and the UK right now. There will probably be dramatic changes on the US/UK front. Lapdog Tony will be gone, and things will be vastly different. I still hold on to my prediction about Bush, though. I believe he will be taken kicking and screaming on January 2008. He has a very unbalanced soul.

It is just six months - on the nose - before I can apply for citizenship now. The question is, do I want to pay out $675 to become a citizen. It is something I am going to have to think seriously about. I want to have input into the next presidential election, but I don't want to get screwed doing it. Maybe I should look at it this way: many people will get screwed with me. They are all thinking about it this way: we will pay far more money for the same incompetent service.
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From:am0
Date:February 7th, 2007 04:50 am (UTC)

Cost of Citizenship

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You have indicated that $675 is a big chunk to pay out for something that has been reduced in value, or at least not increased in value. You should consider it a bargain when compared to the cost of not becoming a citizen.

Incompetent civil service has been with us since the founding of Ur about seven thousand years ago, at the end of the neolithic. It will doubtless continue to be around much longer than you and I. Civil servants don't get their positions based on talent, skill or dedication. Quite the contrary. A few might get their positions despite being talented, skilled or dedicated, but most rise in proportion to the thickness of the brown coating on their noses.

People are getting dumber. It is an evolutionary strategy: when survival is easy, the idiots don't get weeded out fast enough and the population in general suffers. Think of the Darwin Awards.

The situation today is remarkably similar to the Nixon Watergate days: a president re-elected by a landslide vote suddenly became public enemy number one for doing something stupid. Or like Clinton's last term: a president re-elected by a good margin suddenly faced impeachment hearings for doing something stupid. And Bush is always doing something stupid.

The next president, whether it's Obama or the other Clinton, will doubtless walk into the same situation with eyes wide open and brain in neutral.

And if you held onto your money and just sat on the sidelines, you wouldn't enjoy the comedy as much as if you had voted for (or against) the goat being sacrificed.
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From:grioghair
Date:February 7th, 2007 10:08 pm (UTC)

Re: Cost of Citizenship

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Was that a nay or yay for citizenship? I will probably still become a citizen, I'm just annoyed at these hikes. Someome said something quite revealing the other day: no politician would take up the issue of immigration fee hikes, because all of their clients are non-voters. So, that is a non-starter. Fee increases normally follow a standard pattern. The one saving grace in all of this is once through citizenship I will never have to deal with that government department ever again. I don't know what the new cost of green card renewal is, but I will be saving that - and whatever it goes up to ever afterwards - every ten years.
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From:am0
Date:February 8th, 2007 03:35 am (UTC)

Re: Cost of Citizenship

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Well, you can't expect me to make your decision for you, can you?

I started by saying citizenship was still a bargain, even at the highly inflated new price, and ended by saying you would probably regret it if you didn't go ahead and get the citizenship. I think that's a pretty clear recommendation in favor of getting it.

The standard pattern for fee increases is that they always happen. They will continue to happen even if the increased fees start to send people away from the country or endanger the lives of most people living here.

And your "one saving grace" is an illusion. All government departments are pretty much the same, with brain-dead, clueless clerks running things, ignoring guidelines, rules and laws written by brain-dead, clueless Congress-critters, with muddle management behaving as if they were somehow in charge. Just wait until you have to deal with Medicare!
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From:grioghair
Date:February 7th, 2007 11:29 pm (UTC)

Re: Cost of Citizenship

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Green card renewal will be $290, if the fee increase is approved - which it probably will be. I think I would prefer to gain citizenship. If I don't apply in August, I will definitely apply before the renewal date - which will be 2014. Hell, now I think about it that is way in the future. It might be difficult to raise that money by August, so I might delay it a little. I will just have to see. Would it be advantageous for me to pay off the bank loan quicker, or just make the payments as per the agreement?
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From:mezamashii
Date:February 10th, 2007 05:31 pm (UTC)
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Citizenship?! Dude! Come to Canada instead! I'm moving to Edmonton in about 3 weeks!
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From:grioghair
Date:January 15th, 2008 08:33 pm (UTC)
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I was just reading back on these blogs from...damn, almost a year ago now. I had pretty much abandoned this site, but remembered you were/had moved to Canada. We are thinking about that now - seriously thinking about it. Mainly because we are anticipating another republican win - but mainly because of the healthcare system in this country. It may happen. How difficult/easy a transition is this? I assume you are permanent by now. Can you send some feedback my way.
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From:mezamashii
Date:January 15th, 2008 08:46 pm (UTC)
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I'll prepare a blog entry on this issue for tomorrow & send you the link when it is done. I'll email to the address on your profile my email addy if you have specific questions.
*wave*
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From:grioghair
Date:January 16th, 2008 01:42 am (UTC)
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I'll check that out when you post it. I'll email to. There are specific questions that I don't want posted across the Net. The main criterion is who is going to win the next election. Three years of republican rule is going to drag this country even further down into the quagmire. Why Canada, you may ask...and not England? Too many social issues in England. It looks like we will be going further north. I think I am ready.
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From:grioghair
Date:January 16th, 2008 01:45 am (UTC)
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Typo...I actually meant three terms of republican rule, not three years.