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This is only a short diary to introduce myself a little bit. Since there is nothing newsworthy in this diary, I hope that by posting at this early hour, I will not disturb more important diaries that will be posted later in the day.

Had I registered in this site the first time I visited it, I would have had a very low user ID. If I am to believe comments I regularly read here, it is something that matters ;)

The truth is that I have been visiting this site more or less regularly for many years.  Only recently did I register and started commenting here.

The reason why I haven't registered and posted earlier, is because I was not too sure it was the right thing for me to do: I am not an US citizen, and somehow, I feel like I am intruding in a place where I do not belong.

However, I have noticed that I am not the only non-US American  to be posting here. Also, since I am interested in US politics, and since I regularly visit, I decided a couple of months ago to sign up so that I can move out of lurkdom.

Augustin is my real name. I am a French citizen, living in the democratic Republic of China with my wife (a ROC citizen) and our 4 cats (whose names I shall not reveal to respect their privacy).

So, how did I come to become interested in American politics?

I have been an expatriate since 1992. I have lived in Germany, Poland, and then 4 years in the UK before moving to Taiwan.

In the mid 1990s, when I started using the internet, I couldn't find much content in French. When I searched for content in French, I would often find Canadian web sites. Canada was at that time much more advanced in terms of connectivity and was better at promoting francophony on the web than France was. Since then, France have made huge strides and has nothing to envy to any other country in terms of internet connectivity.  But I digress.

My point is that I started using the internet while I was in Birmingham, England. For that reason and because there was so little content in French at that time, I picked up the habit of searching and visiting English language web sites only.

I am an activist at heart and have progressive ideas. When I arrived in Taiwan in 1997, I felt isolated from other like-minded people (also partly because of my limited Chinese writing ability - which prevented me from connecting online with like-minded Taiwanese, since there were none in my immediate neighbourhood). The web was a kind of life line for me, where I could find other people with similar interests. Those of you who live isolated in the country side, in the Bible Belt, or in some heavily right wing districts will understand the feeling. Most of the time, my interests led me to discover US American web sites, including this one.

So I kept informing myself about US politics to a ridiculous point at some stage where I knew more about what was going on in the US than what was happening in France or even in Taiwan. I certainly know many times more about US politics than the average US citizen: I know the names of 3rd party candidates in the 2004 election and have watched 2 or 3 of the Cobb-Badnarik debates (in addition of course to the Bush-Kerry debates).

I have privately and truthfully said to some American friends that I feel American at heart. In truth, I feel more like a world citizen. I believe that is good for the US, is good for the world and is good for France and any other country (I'll have an opportunity to develop this theme in an upcoming diary).

I cannot help feeling like an illegal immigrant (even though I have never set foot on US soil), meddling with things that are none of my business... but here I am.

One of my purposes of posting here, is also to connect with like minded activists and take matters into our own hands so that the USA, Taiwan, France, and any other country become better places to live. We are all part of the Human race. We all live on the same Mothership: planet Earth.

Bonjour tout le monde. I am looking forward to knowing some of you better.

Originally posted to augustin on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:29 AM PDT.

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