"I was in such a hurry to make my flight that, when going through security, I forgot to empty my pockets. I know, the cardinal sin, right?
I had a Blackberry, my wallet, a belt, and several Chilean coins jingling around in my pants, and the X-ray machine dinged like a winning slot machine. Instinctively, I prepared myself for a verbal battle with some neanderthal who would try and put his hand down my pants. Except… it didn’t happen.
In my haste, I had almost forgotten that this was Chile, a civilized place that doesn’t go out of its way to demean citizens and residents at every available opportunity. No fondling, no fear and intimidation tactics, no surprise searches, no cash-sniffing dogs, no ‘secondary screening’, no stasi on the jet bridge.
Instead, the solo security attendant simply asked if I had anything in my pockets. I pulled out my Blackberry and showed it to him, and he waved me through. I was on my plane 2-minutes later.
A few days ago, I was having a conversation with our Chief Investment Strategist Tim Staermose; he was telling me about a similar experience traveling recently to Macau via hydrofoil from Hong Kong.
During his trip, he checked his luggage, got his boarding pass, went through immigration control… all the typical sort of international travel stuff, except for one thing: there were no X-ray machines or radiating body scanners at all, and there certainly weren’t any surly border guards to fondle passengers.
As I travel frequently and spend time in so many different countries, it’s becoming clear to me that there are essentially two categories in the world– police states that are running towards George Orwell’s view of the world in 1984, and countries where you can still feel like a free human being."
Simon Black of Sovereign Man, guest post on Zero Hedge.