The following is a scenario, based upon Lew Rockwell’s point that libertarianism has successfully headed off a lot of potential statism.
!sent: JAN 03 07 1610 EST
Dear Mom and Dad,
This E-mail is to let you know that I’m coming home early. My vacation in the United States has been cut off, thanks to me being ejected. Thankfully, the guard in the Detroit impoundment centre is a fellow Catholic, so he let me inform you though this channel. I hope you read it before you see me back in Toronto.
Before either of you get upset, I want you to know that I was only ejected, not formally deported; they have a "three strikes and you’re out" policy. I have two more chances before I’m banned for life from entering the United States. The Domestic Tranquility officer who authorized my ejection informed me of that.
The funny thing is, it was all over a borrowed book, one I got from the university library. It didn’t look subversive; it didn’t even look deviant. It was an economics textbook — one bound in kelly green, and published by the Volcker Institute or something like that. It was called Man, Economy and State, and it veered from discussing a ham sandwich to Robinson Crusoe in its less theoretical moments. I have to say that there was no way I could have seen it coming.
To be fair, the border inspector agreed with me on that point. He told me to go to a Windsor post office and mail it back to home, and to remember to return it on or before the due date. He also showed me that its ISBN number was one listed in the registry of the Book Depository Act of 1964 as being under eminent domain, and subject to confiscation. Admittedly, I had forgotten that there was a later amendment to the Act that made possession of an extant copy a kind of quasi-crime, for which the penalty was abandoning it to the government. That wasn’t where I got stopped; it happened later.
I really don’t know what got me flagged. When I went back, after mailing the book, I had to go through the usual medical inspection. Like most smokers in our parts nowadays, I hardly indulge; chain smokers don’t get let in. Not since tobacco was made an illicit substance in the U.S. in 1994. I remember reading about how the United States government was cautious about it: denying federal funding to any institution that permitted smoking in the late ’70s; making smoking a court-marital offense a year or so after the Universal Selective Service Act of 1990; and, once the "target population" was weaned down, banning it entirely. I remember the U.S.S. Act because, shortly after I emerged into Detroit, someone asked me why I didn’t act booted. I should have worn a Canadian flag on my coat, perhaps, but the fellow who buttonholed me was satisfied with my verbal declaration. He even left me with this friendly advice: "You seem like a smart kid. If you ever want to relocate, remember this question: u2018if you’re so smart, why aren’t you in government?’ We can always use another Galbraith."
I didn’t smoke for several hours beforehand, so the breathalyzing equipment must have been sensitive enough to pick up a residuum of carbon monoxide in my lungs. There’s no way that the urine test would have picked up anything, and the idea that my DNA contained something suspicious is ludicrous. I never believed those commie rumors; they’re just propaganda put out by the U.S.S.R.
Of course, I wasn’t stupid enough to use the u2018f’-word. As we all know, it has been standard policy since the mid-1980s, when the United States is called u2018fascist’, for any loyal American to hit back: "so what if we are, commie?" I think the State Department came up with that one. Whoever did so was shrewd indeed, as the U.S.S.R is still confined to its turf behind the Iron Curtain. The seeds they planted in the Third World never really grew since about 1986 or so. Not for the last twenty years.
The United States really is at the forefront of the techno-modern revolution still, despite the Soviets’ claims to the contrary. Their personal terminal, all of it invented by salaried professionals, is the quickest one anywhere. The U.S. still leads the world in mainframe production, too. I can attest to the level of computerization, even if it is doleful testimony indeed. The U.S. has gotten Canada beat in genomics, too, and its concern for citizens’ health is obvious; they’re no longer mere drug-chasers.
"Professional:" that’s the best way to describe the average American. They are officious, but in a professional way. They sent the refractory hogs to Canada, I note wryly. There doesn’t seem to be a soul who merely minds his or her business. Didn’t that Rothbard fellow wind up in Toronto? I know that Ayn Rand’s followers sort-of split between Manitoba and the Greater Toronto Area after her death in 1966. Even this Canadian remembers that she was, or might as well have been, the one who pushed the U.S. government into enacting the Book Depository Act, through insisting that her 1964 offering be called The Fascist New Frontier. Of course, it did her no good. Officially, she died as a result of chain-smoking, amphetamine abuse, and apoplexy.
Believe it or not, even the welfare cases are professional, in their own way. I saw one, and noted his disinterest to the things of the world. He seemed like a Baptist, but these days, any fellow Christian is easy to identify with. He told me that life in the projects is subject to weekly apartment inspection, as done by the National Service contingent of the U.S.S. inductees. He amusedly noted that, if you fail to clean your rooms for two weeks, you get a "whitey Divine" in to clean them for you! Of course, this free service isn’t exactly either, as you’re noted down as irresponsible by a "college Tom" (his words.) Which is fair enough, I suppose; had the government not instituted that policy, Urban Renewal would have turned into a flat failure, not the success that it is.
[I’ve just been tapped on the shoulder by the guard, who told that I’ve apologized enough. He did let me finish with a brief note about how I got in here.]
The Domestic Tranquility officer who picked me up and brought me here was a big fellow — must have been 190 cm tall. He had one of those mouths with no width to it, and his blue eyes were small in his skull, but clear. He had an air about him that suggested he found it a big mystery why anyone would disobey the government, unless they were ignorant or stupid. He was good enough to peg me as an ignoramus; he was professional about it. He was, though, built like a mesomorph, and his legs were like tree trunks. Along the way, we passed one of Detroit’s insane asylums. I noted it myself; he didn’t point it out to me.
He told me that the ejection procedure, which he himself authorized, was merely administrative, and that no harm would come to me. So, except for that first strike, I have a clean slate. No need to send me off to the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange to become a gold trader yet! He also assured me that I wouldn’t be especially hassled at the border anymore; his selective service had been patrol duty on the "World’s Longest Defended Border." So, he knows what he’s talking about. Chances are, he pegged me as a young gold analyst type anyway, as someone not fit for the civil service, unlike my "Ottawa Uncle." I was adroit enough to give him a roughly accurate all-Canadian quote for the metal: $1020 or so an ounce.
I have to end this now. I’ll also spend some time dawdling in Windsor, and along the way, so as to make sure you read this before you see me. I need some time to soak up some Canadian laxity for man’s failings. Thank you for your patience.
Your Not-Quite-Subversive Son.
Daniel M. Ryan [send him mail] is a Canadian whose reach has long exceeded his grasp. He’s currently wearing out his thumb with pen and paper.