Thursday, May 29, 2014

Countries waiving visa requirements are generally progressive on gay rights

While I was in the air the past weekend, I noticed Delta’s route maps, and a list of countries participating in the (90 day) Visa Waiver Program. 
No countries in Africa (not even South Africa) and only four in Asia (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and, interestingly, Singapore) are on the list Philippines is not).  It’s natural to expect that Russia and China aren’t there, but indeed sad. (Nor are any former Soviet republics except for the three Baltic states)  That shows how committed their political leadership is to opposing “western values”, despite the obvious embracement of capitalism, when it works.
As for my own international travels, Poland is as far as I’ve gotten (to see Auschwitz).  Going to China would be like visiting another planet, but Russia seems dangerous to me (I wonder if I could even get a visa, once they did a Google background check on me, anyway).  It seems that politicians in these countries behave as if they really have something to hide and fear, from journalists, even amateurs.  (Greenwald seems to be getting into Russia OK to meet with Snowden, however.) 
Delta, by the way, has some controversial routes.  Who would fly non-stop from Atlanta to Lagos, Nigeria?  

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