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Visiting the USA

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Visiting the USA

neilb@uk
or, rather, not visiting the USA.

I've been to the USA on vacation a dozen or more times. Love it and love you all. Although, on every flight I've filled in that silly green card with its stupid questions: "Were you ever a member of the Nazi party?".

Last time, I filled in my details on the new Electronic System for Travel Authorization, ESTA, a couple of weeks prior and although I have to reckon it the crappiest website ever invented, it was probably easier than trying to fill the card in on an economy flight table. The questions aren't any better: "Have you ever been or are you now involved in espionage or sabotage; or in terrorist activities; or genocide; or between 1933 and 1945 were you involved, in any way, in persecutions associated with Nazi Germany or its allies?". Ah, well... That would be telling.

Now, it would seem, we have to comply with the ESTA and pay for the privilege, starting on 8th September. OK, so it's only 14 USD but - and this is where I get slightly ticked off - the charge is not to pay for the service but is intended to be used to promote US tourism.

You want ME to pay for YOUR tourist promotion? Nope. Don't we Brits (and others) contribute enough to you tourism?

Now, I could fill it in now while it's free and it's good for the next two years but my passport needs renewing and the ESTA goes with it. And so does next year's trip.

It's the principle. The USA is a rich country and I go there to spend money - lots of it - on travel, accommodation, food and entertainment. I already pay US customs $2.70, a US immigration fee of $3.50 and a US animal and plant health inspection services user fee of about $2.50 every time I travel (and I don't get anything from that).

This year, I'm driving to Rimini, in Italy, and I'll pass through seven countries and not only will it not cost me anything when I cross the borders, I won't even have to show my passport.

Neil

My erstwhile membership of the Waffen SS will probably be quite useful in Switzerland.
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    Jaqui

    you won't come to CANADA instead?
    that does it.
    not only stand gg up but ignore Canada. to boot.

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    neilb@uk

    you guys don't want to rip me off!

    :)

    I'm still going to Rimini, though. And also down to Sorrento, near Naples. I'm going to climb Vesuvius and stare down into the crater and see if it dares to explode.

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    puppybreath

    can you send us pictures before the lava gets too close?

    ;-)

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    neilb@uk

    If I can outrun the pyroclastic flow.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Don't bother trying to outrun anything take a Lappie along with a 3G USB Dongle and give us the Real Time Web Cam Feed as the ash envelopes you.

    Col ]:)

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    CharlieSpencer

    Stretch good first, and plan on about 45-60 minutes to get all the way up if you push it. It's a leisurely 90 if the tour bus isn't on a schedule and you're not in a rush.

    Sorrento is pleasant; Pompei is mandatory; Naples is a dump.

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    neilb@uk

    I will have my own car with me so no time constraints. It also means that I can pack my walking boots and poles. Barring eruptions, I should be good to go.

    Naples, we are deliberately by-passing. Sorrento is so that we can see Pompei, Vesuvius and Amalfi.

    :)

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    seanferd

    :0

    But Etna is a fantastic beast.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    I could see the glow from my hotel room in Caltagirone.

    When I left, I flew out of the airport at Catania. I was able to see it on the left as the flight headed up the coast. Very impressive.

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    neilb@uk

    because I could have got a really good hotel deal but once I'd factored in getting the car across the Strait of Messina, It didn't really seem worth the extra thousand miles.

    :)

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    AnsuGisalas

    that it wasn't in fact a hotel deal you cannot refuse...

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    that our 'fearless leaders' have any sense...

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    AnsuGisalas

    that form and that site...

    Yes, come right in, but first, answer me these questions three...
    WHAT is your name?!? Goering? Hitler? Goebbels? Hmmm?!?
    WHAT is your quest?!? Terror? Genocide? Death and Destruction? Rebuilding the Reich?!! Hmmm?!?
    WHAT is your favourite colour? Brown, maybe? Hmmm?!?

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    Ed Woychowsky

    I worked with a guy who said yes when asked if he or any member of his family ever tried to overthrow the government of the United States. Turns out that his grandfather or great-grandfather was a Confederate General.

    I wonder how Homeland Security would handle that kind of answer?

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    Juanita Marquez

    Do you mean colo(u)r in the visible or invisible spectrum?

    *flip*

    You have to know these things when you are royalty, you know.

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    seanferd

    that not only will they bust you when they find out you were a member of the SS, but they can heap on additional charges for lying about it. Because that would be <i>worse</i>.

    edit: That fourteen bucks is supposed to make you really re-think your position if you are going to lie, because you'll be out that fourteen bucks as well as not getting into the U.S. (Because being out the fourteen bucks would also be worse than not getting into the U.S.)

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    So does that mean that I can't come?

    Granted they are Ducati SS's but after all the Italian Government was a German Allie and right in there with the German SS, so does that mane that anything called SS from Italy is suspect too?

    Yep I knew that there was a reason why I didn't go to the US this year and now I've remembered it. It wasn't that I was so busy but that they wanted me to fill in that silly green thing that isn't even at all "Green." :0

    But no questions about Members of the previous Japanese Air Force asking if they where ever a failed Kamikaze?

    Col :^0

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    seanferd

    Since the Japanese enemy at the time didn't have a cool buzzword name like the Nazis (whom many in the U.S. defended right up to the war).

    Besides, we nuked the crap out of Japan, and and they were mostly killing unsympathetic brown people and future Commies who don't have a huge post-war lobbying concern. And since there weren't U.S. companies aiding the enemy in the Pacific as they did for the enemy in Europe (e.g., IBM), there may be additional guilt involved for the whole Nazi thing.

    Hrm. Does Ducati USA sell the SS?
    http://www.ducatiusa.com/bikes/index.do
    Don't see a super sport for 2010. Maybe they don't like the SS designation? :0 However, the name "Hypermotard" certainly grabs my attention.

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    santeewelding

    That can only be a dog of mechanical intelligence.

    HAL: tell us it ain't so.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    I gave up following the new Duc's when God Retired and the Rubber Band Motors became the only ones used against God's wishes.

    Besides as he designed the Bevels which have a very unique sound and made a small underfunded Engine Builder into the only Successful Desmo Production Company in the world he must have been doing something right.

    But those OHC Belt Drive motors just never interested me all that much. The Trellis Frames first used on the Pantha's that where the first of the "Rubber Band Motors" didn't look or perform anywhere near as impressively as the then current MHR's.

    The need to turn the rear Cylinder hear 180 Degree's and fit a Down Draft Webber Carby certainly to me looked like a backward step and I was no where near as impressed riding one of those Rubber Band Things as the Bevels. Must be my age showing but then again God didn't like them either.

    I just wonder what would have happened to their latter Racing Ambitions if he had of still been involved with their design and styling. Their last World Championship Winning Moto GP Bike looked really nice provided you didn't remove any of the plastic on it but I just can not get motivated with their Road Bikes even since they introduced the Fuel Injection that actually works. The new stuff may appear to go faster maybe but my old Bevel SS still shows most of the rubber band things a clean pair of heals whenever I turn the taps on and wear out tires.

    Drives the Competition Crazy when they are unable to keep up with a 30 year old Duc on the race track on the very few occasions that I **** the cobwebs out of the exhaust pipes.

    But did you know who is one of the biggest maker of Marine Engines? :0

    Col

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    oldbaritone

    <i>"But did you know who is one of the biggest maker of Marine Engines?"</i>

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    But it's not the best known outside the US.

    Volvo Penta is the expected one here by most Boaties but the Ducati Marine Diesel's are also very common.

    When it comes to numbers produced Ducati is still one of the big guys in this field.

    Col

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    CharlieSpencer

    No one is still looking for Japanese war criminals in connection with the Holocaust.

    Why they think anyone they're looking for would answer 'Yes' is beyond me. "Hey, that's right, I was a guard at Auschwitz! I better put that down!"

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    seanferd

    Why would they self-identify?

    And no, no one is looking for Japanese involved with the Holocaust. That was in Europe. The Japanese did their own thing in Asia/Pacific, which doesn't have a name like the Holocaust does. The **** of Nanking is about as close as it gets to the Asian atrocities having some sort of identity, and it certainly doesn't cover all of them.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Prisoner of War Camps.

    Not at all nice places to be an inmate.

    Col

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    seanferd

    And remember how freaked out the U.S. was about American citizens of Japanese descent? Put them in camps, took everything away from them. Americans of German descent weren't treated like that, but who are we looking for with the $14 are-you-a-war-criminal card?

    It's all theater.

    But we do have the wonderfully romanticized <i>The Bridge on the River Kwai</i>.

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    CharlieSpencer

    That POW atrocities are in a different category from those inflicted on civilians. Or that the number of Holocaust victims was much larger. Or maybe the WWII victors tried all the Japanese war criminals they were interested in.

    Or maybe the Western powers didn't give a rat's about war crimes outside Europe? Nah...

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    oldbaritone

    There are no youngsters who served in WWII any more, from ANY side of the conflict.

    Oh, sorry - we're not allowed to profile so we mustn't look at the wrinkles or gray hair.

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    Ed Woychowsky

    Want is your response to the phrase; "There can be only one?"
    A. Huh?
    B. One want?
    C. Draw your ceremonial Waffen-issue sword and take a head.
    D. None of the above.

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    seanferd

    seriously cut down on the number of customs and immigrations agents asking any questions at all. It wouldn't surprise me that they would allow you to walk around with a 30-odd inch blade as long as you weren't crazy enough to have a 30 ounce bottle of shampoo as well.

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    bergenfx

    I completely agree how stupid this is. Revenues will probably be enough to buy a wing for a military transport carrier. Hardly worth the ill will, but then I am not the one who gets to make these value judgments.

    Bush tax cuts have pushed burdens on to states (by reducing federal revenue sharing). State elected officials don't want to antagonize voters with an income or sales tax increases, so they make creative taxes which affect the least number of people. Seems the federal govt has picked up the theme and are taxing non-voting visitors. (I know. More than you want to know about American sausage-making). I imagine also, the bean-counters set a figure that most international travelers would shrug at, not figuring for those offended in principle.

    Practically speaking, though, most European governments make out better than the US. The 15% - 18% VAT is a much larger dent than $14 plus a 5% - 8% sales tax, (in my state, 0%).

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    neilb@uk

    (much) but that they want to put the money towards promoting tourism to the US. I agree that the level is set that a family of four will "only" have to add $56 to their holiday costs and will probably pay it to take their kids to Disney but I will find somewhere else to go.

    Canada, maybe...

    :)

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    mjwx

    Ah, well... That would be telling.

    A quote from The Prisoner?

    Appropriate I guess. I've always been amused at the idea of asking, on an arrival card if I'm planning to overthrow the government. I feel like ticking yes just for the fun of it (if they find out I'm planning to do it by ticking yes on the arrival card my masterful plan will be foiled). The Australian card at least asks useful questions like "have you got any plants, animals or porn".

    As for paying for Customs services, you could just do what most countries do. Confiscate your cheap booze at the door if you've got more the 2L of it (Litres, yes a metric measurement dear Americans, you will learn to love the metric system). This is why it's always party time at the AQIS (Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service) HQ.

    Well, be seeing you.

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    AnsuGisalas

    A) Are you a person who isn't dutch?
    B) Are you without drugs?
    C) Are you without a prostitute?

    The only prohibitive one is A... that's a no-go

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    Ed Woychowsky

    Booze and soda are two things that we can get in metric. Although most Americans don't even realize that it's metric.

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    AnsuGisalas

    Them cc's ain't cubic cubits

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    Heck, even the big engines are metric; my company van doesn't have a 340 V-8, it has a 5.6 liter. And 750cc sounds a whole lot better than 45 cubic inches.

    Besides, only car people really understand engine displacement anyway.

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    oldbaritone

    so even if we have 2 full quarts, that's "less than 2 litres"

    But most Americans don't even realize it - all they know is that the pint bottle of water is now 16.9 oz, and they don't have a clue that it's 500 ml.

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    AnsuGisalas

    is hilarious!
    如此欢闹的,我可以哭

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    seanferd

    a weeping matter.

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    neilb@uk

    Our pints are a full-bodied 20oz so 500ml glasses of beer are less than we are used to. Luckily, pubs still serve pints.

    We are resisting metrication in every way possible. The idea, put forward a few years ago, to move us to Kilometeres, was quickly shelved when the PTB realised that it would cost billions and not really achieve anything at all.

    :)

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    Ed Woychowsky

    My British friend can drink me under the table because he's had more practice. I've only been doing 16 oz. curls!

    Boy, am I a slacker!

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    A friend of mine brought some pint glasses back from his assignment to England. He was sorely disappointed to find out it took almost two 12-oz. bottles of beer to fill those "pint" glasses....

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    CharlieSpencer

    Seriously, many state and local governments find ways to milk tourists for tax purposes. Many areas charge hotel taxes; obviously only out-of-towners (-countriers) pay those. Don't European countries do the same?

    You've been paying for our tourism promotion all along. This time it's just more in your face.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Charges people to come to and leave AU. Even it's own people have to pay for the privilege to leave the country and return for a holiday.

    Could be the reason that the Current Federal Pollies don't like the Boat People they are not paying the Arrival Tax so they are not welcome.

    Those who fly in and then disappear as Illegal Immigrants at least Pay their Arrival Tax so they are acceptable and don't rate any Red Neck Style Complaints. What I find funny about both the current Political Party Leaders when they go on about the Immigrant Problem as they perceive it, they both fail to mention that they came here as $10.00 Poms all those years ago. On a Boat. :^0

    Col

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    seanferd

    Hey, they need some way to pay for the school chaplaincy.

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    maecuff

    And I was going to have a party in your honor. We'd goosestep around the back yard. Maybe have a barbeque..

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Who is it that you where planing on Barbecuing?

    Col ]:)

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    neilb@uk

    Woo! I thought it, but didn't post it!

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    And

    maecuff

    i thought i was being subtle.

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    neilb@uk

    depends on your audience...

    :)

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    maecuff

    is that.

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    Jaqui

    plural right?
    not a singular who.

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    jck

    But, you're not alone.

    To renew my passport went from $75 to $110.

    That's 6 pints of beer difference!

    Damn American bureaucrats.

    BTW, got any jobs over there yet? lol

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    neilb@uk

    They've got to get money from anywhere that they can. You, me...

    :)

    No jobs, sorry. We're being outsourced in February. Not too sure what is going to happen.

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    AV .

    Who in their right mind would answer yes to any of those questions?

    Welcome to the the country that nickels and dimes you to death. If you live here, you're used to that, but that is no way to promote tourism!

    Still, Italy is beautiful. Good choice, Neil. Have lots of good food and wine and an excellent time.

    AV

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    NexS

    Who?
    I know who!

    A very honest Al-Qaeda terrorist.

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    AnsuGisalas

    If you check yes, you'll wake up next in guantanamo. Waterboarding is free, and every hour is happy hour.

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    Jaqui

    you won't come to CANADA instead?
    that does it.
    not only stand gg up but ignore Canada. to boot.

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    neilb@uk

    you guys don't want to rip me off!

    :)

    I'm still going to Rimini, though. And also down to Sorrento, near Naples. I'm going to climb Vesuvius and stare down into the crater and see if it dares to explode.

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    puppybreath

    can you send us pictures before the lava gets too close?

    ;-)

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    neilb@uk

    If I can outrun the pyroclastic flow.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Don't bother trying to outrun anything take a Lappie along with a 3G USB Dongle and give us the Real Time Web Cam Feed as the ash envelopes you.

    Col ]:)

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    CharlieSpencer

    Stretch good first, and plan on about 45-60 minutes to get all the way up if you push it. It's a leisurely 90 if the tour bus isn't on a schedule and you're not in a rush.

    Sorrento is pleasant; Pompei is mandatory; Naples is a dump.

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    neilb@uk

    I will have my own car with me so no time constraints. It also means that I can pack my walking boots and poles. Barring eruptions, I should be good to go.

    Naples, we are deliberately by-passing. Sorrento is so that we can see Pompei, Vesuvius and Amalfi.

    :)

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    seanferd

    :0

    But Etna is a fantastic beast.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    I could see the glow from my hotel room in Caltagirone.

    When I left, I flew out of the airport at Catania. I was able to see it on the left as the flight headed up the coast. Very impressive.

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    neilb@uk

    because I could have got a really good hotel deal but once I'd factored in getting the car across the Strait of Messina, It didn't really seem worth the extra thousand miles.

    :)

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    AnsuGisalas

    that it wasn't in fact a hotel deal you cannot refuse...

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    that our 'fearless leaders' have any sense...

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    AnsuGisalas

    that form and that site...

    Yes, come right in, but first, answer me these questions three...
    WHAT is your name?!? Goering? Hitler? Goebbels? Hmmm?!?
    WHAT is your quest?!? Terror? Genocide? Death and Destruction? Rebuilding the Reich?!! Hmmm?!?
    WHAT is your favourite colour? Brown, maybe? Hmmm?!?

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    Ed Woychowsky

    I worked with a guy who said yes when asked if he or any member of his family ever tried to overthrow the government of the United States. Turns out that his grandfather or great-grandfather was a Confederate General.

    I wonder how Homeland Security would handle that kind of answer?

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    Juanita Marquez

    Do you mean colo(u)r in the visible or invisible spectrum?

    *flip*

    You have to know these things when you are royalty, you know.

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    seanferd

    that not only will they bust you when they find out you were a member of the SS, but they can heap on additional charges for lying about it. Because that would be <i>worse</i>.

    edit: That fourteen bucks is supposed to make you really re-think your position if you are going to lie, because you'll be out that fourteen bucks as well as not getting into the U.S. (Because being out the fourteen bucks would also be worse than not getting into the U.S.)

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    So does that mean that I can't come?

    Granted they are Ducati SS's but after all the Italian Government was a German Allie and right in there with the German SS, so does that mane that anything called SS from Italy is suspect too?

    Yep I knew that there was a reason why I didn't go to the US this year and now I've remembered it. It wasn't that I was so busy but that they wanted me to fill in that silly green thing that isn't even at all "Green." :0

    But no questions about Members of the previous Japanese Air Force asking if they where ever a failed Kamikaze?

    Col :^0

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    seanferd

    Since the Japanese enemy at the time didn't have a cool buzzword name like the Nazis (whom many in the U.S. defended right up to the war).

    Besides, we nuked the crap out of Japan, and and they were mostly killing unsympathetic brown people and future Commies who don't have a huge post-war lobbying concern. And since there weren't U.S. companies aiding the enemy in the Pacific as they did for the enemy in Europe (e.g., IBM), there may be additional guilt involved for the whole Nazi thing.

    Hrm. Does Ducati USA sell the SS?
    http://www.ducatiusa.com/bikes/index.do
    Don't see a super sport for 2010. Maybe they don't like the SS designation? :0 However, the name "Hypermotard" certainly grabs my attention.

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    santeewelding

    That can only be a dog of mechanical intelligence.

    HAL: tell us it ain't so.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    I gave up following the new Duc's when God Retired and the Rubber Band Motors became the only ones used against God's wishes.

    Besides as he designed the Bevels which have a very unique sound and made a small underfunded Engine Builder into the only Successful Desmo Production Company in the world he must have been doing something right.

    But those OHC Belt Drive motors just never interested me all that much. The Trellis Frames first used on the Pantha's that where the first of the "Rubber Band Motors" didn't look or perform anywhere near as impressively as the then current MHR's.

    The need to turn the rear Cylinder hear 180 Degree's and fit a Down Draft Webber Carby certainly to me looked like a backward step and I was no where near as impressed riding one of those Rubber Band Things as the Bevels. Must be my age showing but then again God didn't like them either.

    I just wonder what would have happened to their latter Racing Ambitions if he had of still been involved with their design and styling. Their last World Championship Winning Moto GP Bike looked really nice provided you didn't remove any of the plastic on it but I just can not get motivated with their Road Bikes even since they introduced the Fuel Injection that actually works. The new stuff may appear to go faster maybe but my old Bevel SS still shows most of the rubber band things a clean pair of heals whenever I turn the taps on and wear out tires.

    Drives the Competition Crazy when they are unable to keep up with a 30 year old Duc on the race track on the very few occasions that I **** the cobwebs out of the exhaust pipes.

    But did you know who is one of the biggest maker of Marine Engines? :0

    Col

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    oldbaritone

    <i>"But did you know who is one of the biggest maker of Marine Engines?"</i>

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    But it's not the best known outside the US.

    Volvo Penta is the expected one here by most Boaties but the Ducati Marine Diesel's are also very common.

    When it comes to numbers produced Ducati is still one of the big guys in this field.

    Col

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    CharlieSpencer

    No one is still looking for Japanese war criminals in connection with the Holocaust.

    Why they think anyone they're looking for would answer 'Yes' is beyond me. "Hey, that's right, I was a guard at Auschwitz! I better put that down!"

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    seanferd

    Why would they self-identify?

    And no, no one is looking for Japanese involved with the Holocaust. That was in Europe. The Japanese did their own thing in Asia/Pacific, which doesn't have a name like the Holocaust does. The **** of Nanking is about as close as it gets to the Asian atrocities having some sort of identity, and it certainly doesn't cover all of them.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Prisoner of War Camps.

    Not at all nice places to be an inmate.

    Col

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    seanferd

    And remember how freaked out the U.S. was about American citizens of Japanese descent? Put them in camps, took everything away from them. Americans of German descent weren't treated like that, but who are we looking for with the $14 are-you-a-war-criminal card?

    It's all theater.

    But we do have the wonderfully romanticized <i>The Bridge on the River Kwai</i>.

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    CharlieSpencer

    That POW atrocities are in a different category from those inflicted on civilians. Or that the number of Holocaust victims was much larger. Or maybe the WWII victors tried all the Japanese war criminals they were interested in.

    Or maybe the Western powers didn't give a rat's about war crimes outside Europe? Nah...

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    oldbaritone

    There are no youngsters who served in WWII any more, from ANY side of the conflict.

    Oh, sorry - we're not allowed to profile so we mustn't look at the wrinkles or gray hair.

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    Ed Woychowsky

    Want is your response to the phrase; "There can be only one?"
    A. Huh?
    B. One want?
    C. Draw your ceremonial Waffen-issue sword and take a head.
    D. None of the above.

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    seanferd

    seriously cut down on the number of customs and immigrations agents asking any questions at all. It wouldn't surprise me that they would allow you to walk around with a 30-odd inch blade as long as you weren't crazy enough to have a 30 ounce bottle of shampoo as well.

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    bergenfx

    I completely agree how stupid this is. Revenues will probably be enough to buy a wing for a military transport carrier. Hardly worth the ill will, but then I am not the one who gets to make these value judgments.

    Bush tax cuts have pushed burdens on to states (by reducing federal revenue sharing). State elected officials don't want to antagonize voters with an income or sales tax increases, so they make creative taxes which affect the least number of people. Seems the federal govt has picked up the theme and are taxing non-voting visitors. (I know. More than you want to know about American sausage-making). I imagine also, the bean-counters set a figure that most international travelers would shrug at, not figuring for those offended in principle.

    Practically speaking, though, most European governments make out better than the US. The 15% - 18% VAT is a much larger dent than $14 plus a 5% - 8% sales tax, (in my state, 0%).

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    neilb@uk

    (much) but that they want to put the money towards promoting tourism to the US. I agree that the level is set that a family of four will "only" have to add $56 to their holiday costs and will probably pay it to take their kids to Disney but I will find somewhere else to go.

    Canada, maybe...

    :)

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    mjwx

    Ah, well... That would be telling.

    A quote from The Prisoner?

    Appropriate I guess. I've always been amused at the idea of asking, on an arrival card if I'm planning to overthrow the government. I feel like ticking yes just for the fun of it (if they find out I'm planning to do it by ticking yes on the arrival card my masterful plan will be foiled). The Australian card at least asks useful questions like "have you got any plants, animals or porn".

    As for paying for Customs services, you could just do what most countries do. Confiscate your cheap booze at the door if you've got more the 2L of it (Litres, yes a metric measurement dear Americans, you will learn to love the metric system). This is why it's always party time at the AQIS (Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service) HQ.

    Well, be seeing you.

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    AnsuGisalas

    A) Are you a person who isn't dutch?
    B) Are you without drugs?
    C) Are you without a prostitute?

    The only prohibitive one is A... that's a no-go

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    Ed Woychowsky

    Booze and soda are two things that we can get in metric. Although most Americans don't even realize that it's metric.

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    AnsuGisalas

    Them cc's ain't cubic cubits

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    Heck, even the big engines are metric; my company van doesn't have a 340 V-8, it has a 5.6 liter. And 750cc sounds a whole lot better than 45 cubic inches.

    Besides, only car people really understand engine displacement anyway.

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    oldbaritone

    so even if we have 2 full quarts, that's "less than 2 litres"

    But most Americans don't even realize it - all they know is that the pint bottle of water is now 16.9 oz, and they don't have a clue that it's 500 ml.

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    AnsuGisalas

    is hilarious!
    如此欢闹的,我可以哭

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    seanferd

    a weeping matter.

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    neilb@uk

    Our pints are a full-bodied 20oz so 500ml glasses of beer are less than we are used to. Luckily, pubs still serve pints.

    We are resisting metrication in every way possible. The idea, put forward a few years ago, to move us to Kilometeres, was quickly shelved when the PTB realised that it would cost billions and not really achieve anything at all.

    :)

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    Ed Woychowsky

    My British friend can drink me under the table because he's had more practice. I've only been doing 16 oz. curls!

    Boy, am I a slacker!

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    A friend of mine brought some pint glasses back from his assignment to England. He was sorely disappointed to find out it took almost two 12-oz. bottles of beer to fill those "pint" glasses....

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    CharlieSpencer

    Seriously, many state and local governments find ways to milk tourists for tax purposes. Many areas charge hotel taxes; obviously only out-of-towners (-countriers) pay those. Don't European countries do the same?

    You've been paying for our tourism promotion all along. This time it's just more in your face.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Charges people to come to and leave AU. Even it's own people have to pay for the privilege to leave the country and return for a holiday.

    Could be the reason that the Current Federal Pollies don't like the Boat People they are not paying the Arrival Tax so they are not welcome.

    Those who fly in and then disappear as Illegal Immigrants at least Pay their Arrival Tax so they are acceptable and don't rate any Red Neck Style Complaints. What I find funny about both the current Political Party Leaders when they go on about the Immigrant Problem as they perceive it, they both fail to mention that they came here as $10.00 Poms all those years ago. On a Boat. :^0

    Col

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    seanferd

    Hey, they need some way to pay for the school chaplaincy.

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    maecuff

    And I was going to have a party in your honor. We'd goosestep around the back yard. Maybe have a barbeque..

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Who is it that you where planing on Barbecuing?

    Col ]:)

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    neilb@uk

    Woo! I thought it, but didn't post it!

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    And

    maecuff

    i thought i was being subtle.

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    neilb@uk

    depends on your audience...

    :)

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    maecuff

    is that.

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    Jaqui

    plural right?
    not a singular who.

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    jck

    But, you're not alone.

    To renew my passport went from $75 to $110.

    That's 6 pints of beer difference!

    Damn American bureaucrats.

    BTW, got any jobs over there yet? lol

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    neilb@uk

    They've got to get money from anywhere that they can. You, me...

    :)

    No jobs, sorry. We're being outsourced in February. Not too sure what is going to happen.

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    AV .

    Who in their right mind would answer yes to any of those questions?

    Welcome to the the country that nickels and dimes you to death. If you live here, you're used to that, but that is no way to promote tourism!

    Still, Italy is beautiful. Good choice, Neil. Have lots of good food and wine and an excellent time.

    AV

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    NexS

    Who?
    I know who!

    A very honest Al-Qaeda terrorist.

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    AnsuGisalas

    If you check yes, you'll wake up next in guantanamo. Waterboarding is free, and every hour is happy hour.