Tag Archives: election

Thank God I’m an Expat

Over 75 years ago, a dying Lou Gehrig gave his farewell speech at Yankee Stadium and immortalized the phrase

“Today..I consider myself…the luckiest man…on the face of the earth”. 

Although the words are a bit strong for my situation, I empathize. Unlike many of you, when I wake up tomorrow and take the bus, I won’t arrive at work knowing at least half my co-workers (or more) condone racism, violence and intolerance. Nor will Diane be groped, disrespected and taunted by a national leader who brags about sexual assault. I also don’t have to sit down my kids, look them in the eye and explain why the newly elected president threatens to send them away because of their religion. When we see a police officer, he’ll be the only one on the street with a gun. He’s there to protect us, not the ruling party’s political opponent from assassination threats by deplorable citizens. The Malay, Indian and Chinese citizens of my moderate Muslim host nation don’t get slurs hurled at them like Chink and “Terrorist”. And best of all, Diane and I don’t have to ponder leaving a new America destined for senseless internal violence, protectionism and trade polices certain to destroy everyone’s retirement portfolios (Of course, Trump supporters will never own a stock portfolio)

hateWhile I’ve never been so ashamed to be American, I should feel relieved that we planned on spending the next presidency in Asia anyway. Instead, my throat has a lump, my stomach is tied up in knots and I’m actually feeling a numbness that I haven’t felt since the morning of 9/11 (and we were lucky enough to be living in Calgary at that time). Uncertain why I even feel this way given that we’re pretty damn lucky to be retired and living overseas with a comfortable bank account at ages 51 and 45, helplessness engulfs my every muscle and I actually think I may cry. Literally. Diane is lucky; her personality allows her to accept things she can’t change while I ponder the consequences of a million things that might go wrong but probably won’t. Financial consequences aside, I can’t help feel sorry for the women, people of color, gays and lesbians, Muslims, Jews, Mexicans, Asians, brown-skinned people, and 49 million sane Americans that didn’t choose to place a stark raving lunatic in the most important and powerful position on the planet.

hilaryMostly I feel sorry for all of you whose grandchildren are almost certainly doomed to a planet that’s barely inhabitable. For those unfamiliar with events on other side of the planet, let me assure you that climate change is the single most important issue for every citizen of planet Earth. Here in Asia, they barely recycle, litter the seas with garbage, burn everything despite laws prohibiting open fires and every year produce the globe’s worst environmental disaster (the annual haze) in the name of profits. Yes, profits. The only thing Emperor Trump gives a shit about. And since he denies climate change, vows to bring back coal mining and wants to disband 30 years worth of clean air and environmental acts that keep your air clean, the world looks to America and the West for leadership. But I guess 52 million assholes didn’t see that little blurb about every single month this year being the warmest on record. How could they? They were busy coining the phrase “I grabbed her Pussy“. And it’s now perfectly acceptable speech for the world’s most powerful leader.

pussRecently I vowed to keep the politics off the blog because it’s about expat life, early retirement and travel. I designed to both entertain and inform. So please accept my apologies. Writing is the only way I know how to get my emotions out and the next 24 hours will need to sink in. With the U.S. markets set to open with a 700 point loss, 2008 will probably seem tame by the time January 20th gets here and I’m a bit panicky over the prospect of a large shortfall in 2030 when we’ll need to draw from the retirement portfolio we worked so hard to accumulate. But I digress. Obviously, over half of America doesn’t give a shit about anything but keeping white privilege alive. Thankfully, I’m an expat living in a tolerant nation and I’m glad to help anyone that’s bold enough to try something different. The MM2H visa is Southeast Asia’s most generous long-term retirement visa and while many Americans remain fearful of any nation where Muslims live, I assure you they are friendlier, more tolerant and better citizens than half your moron neighbors that just damaged American democracy beyond repair.

And one more thing. Good luck “moving to Canada“. I’m married to a Canadian so luckily I’m automatically eligible for instant permanent residency status (Unless Trump fucks that up also). For everyone else, I can tell you that Canada has its own problems and certainly doesn’t want an influx of refugees since they’ll no doubt wind up accepting the Syrians that America already committed to taking. And I guess that’s the end of the Trump University trial, all the sexual assault cases and ever seeing any tax returns despite the obvious conflict of interest with a president that holds financial interests in over 53 nations including Russia.

Luckily, I’m an expat and as promised, I’ll soon be posting all the experiences we just had in Cambodia. Wishing to close out with something positive, I’d like to reiterate that here in Penang, xenophobia is nonexistent, hatred is unheard of and misogyny is not tolerated so I’d invite you to try life outside America. If you want to escape a nation hopelessly divided and filled with hatred, come join us. Malaysia will be happy to take you.

malaysia

Thanks to everyone for letting me express my profound sadness and cheers from Penang, Malaysia.

Why it Matters to Expats

Always considering political topics off-limits in my little expat blog about retiring early overseas thanks to an unexpected layoff, lately I’ve reconsidered my stance. Knowing the first sentence may send you away, allow me a few paragraphs to explain why I believe the U.S. Presidential election affects expats every bit as much as those living on American soil. Having already lived 80% of one bad presidency on Canadian soil, Diane and I returned to the USA seven years into a George W Bush presidency and found a completely changed nation that we barely recognized despite following all the post 9/11 events from the fear campaign to the Iraq War from the comforts of the Great White Friendly Neighbor Next Door. Eventually accepting a changed world of TSA agents, racial profiling, unstoppable illegal immigration from our Latin American neighbors and right-wing racist attitudes towards everything Muslim, we figured leaving for Southeast Asia would put enough distance between us and the homeland to negate any negative concerns of the New America.

fascismSadly mistaken, the almost inevitable reality of a Donald Trump presidential nomination makes Dubya look like a pussy and everything he did and stood for pales in comparison to a dangerously scary tyrant dead set on rewriting American democracy to mimic World War II Era Europe. Aside from the obvious ignorant comments that mainstream media’s laughed off for the last seven months, Trump threatens every American around the world especially those calling a Muslim dominated nation home. (despite Malaysia’s record as the world’s most peaceful Muslim nation). Examples of the danger? Assuming Trump gets his way, it’s only a matter of time until Diane and I wind of on a Homeland Security watch list that subjects us to unconstitutional scrutiny should we ever decide to step foot in America again. Financially speaking, imagine an American economy that deports tens of thousands of workers doing jobs Americans feel are below them. Watch what happens when the rednecks that voted for “making America great again” wind up working the fields, Indian tech workers and other educated professionals all over the world get denied entry (because they look like Muslims) and expats around the world feel the brunt of a collapsing U.S. dollar and run away inflation.

If this sounds like conspiracy theory crap to you, you’re not alone. I thought so too. So to back up my arguments, I’ve posted a link below to the best article I’ve seen yet to help spread the word that’s written by a veteran journalist with better writing skills than me. Explaining in politically scientific but simple terms, David Brooks of The New York Times answers the question all us expats hear these days as we travel around the world (“Why does America support Trump”?).

whiteNobody saw Hitler as a real threat until it was too late and while we pray Trump won’t go as far as murder, what’s to stop him from making Asians and Jews or African-Americans the next group of “undesirables“? And don’t kid yourself by justifying that “there’s no suicide bomber Jews or Asians”. You’d be missing the point. Trump is a white elitist supported by every hate group in the USA including the Ku Klux Klan, skinheads, anti-black contingency and those that somehow feel Mexicans “stole all the jobs”. He’s the worst extension of a Bush policy that’s instilled a permanent sense of misguided patriotism and fear of terrorism into most Americans. Imagine ally after ally isolating themselves from America and closing their doors to would-be expats.

tradeWorse than that, America gets about 80% of its fruit and veggies from everywhere else thanks to government subsidies of corn favoring lobbyists and big industry. Expats understand why self-sufficient nations like Ecuador, Vietnam, Thailand and Chile are the bread baskets of America despite the unhealthy Cargill products sold to obese Americans (mostly Trump supporters) at Wal-Mart. Nations will slowly begin imposing trade restrictions and protectionist policies that hurt all Americans. And what’s after that? Using some false military action and hollow threats that will somehow be blamed on the Muslim world to force nations filled with those Trump loathes the most into sending all their food to a racist nation with a closed-door policy. Not a pretty picture for your grandchildren.

With Texas’ hundreds of electoral votes “conveniently” included in Super Tuesday, I’d implore anyone reading to please digest the article below. If you’re not American, blast it all over social media and maybe, just maybe, a miracle will somehow deny an ignorant electorate an opportunity to make the biggest mistake of this century.

Please click this link if you care about the future

Hoping this is the last word on the issue (at least on this blog), thanks for understanding and I promise the next post will be something related to our expat life in Penang.

Cheers from peaceful Malaysia