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I need to join in, are there any of those German anti-American handbooks, in english? Uh, why is everyone staring at me? :)

An article in a "Illustrierte" (newspapers when you wait for a doctor):

"Mein Kind und ich leben von 24 € am Tag" is the headline.

And then: "Sandra weiß: "Hätten wir Verhältnisse wie in Amerika, müsste ich wohl richtig ums Überleben kämpfen."

The article is about Hartz IV and what life costs in Germany. Her conclusion is, that she has enough to live. Only luxury is not possible.

So, what does she know about America that she KNOWS it would be worse there? And why does she compare it to the US?

It looks like as it is already common to compare everything here to the "shitty" situation in America. So, be happy with Hartz IV! In the US it is even more worse!

???

Someone from Europe once asked me what I thought America did better than any other country.

I said thats easy, We know how to fail better than any other culture in the world. In almost any other country, failure marks the end of a career and is to be avoided at all cost. In America, its not only expected that you will fail, but it is considered honorable to have tried, to have taken a risk, to have gone beyond your grasp to try to achieve.

People in America have several careers throught their life. Several Presidents have been utter failures at everything before the entered into politics( Grant, Truman, etc...). This would simply not be allowed in most of the world. In America, it is not just allowed, its celebrated.

The only people that Americans are suspicious of are people who say that they have never failed. It means one of two things, either they are a liar, or that they have never challenged themselves and are too "play it safe" for anyones good.

America is not perfect, but it is also never satisfied with the status quo as "good enough", even when it is. America is an ongoing project of self improvement. It is a very dynamic society that is under constant revision and change.

We are a pragmatic people who believe that "what works" is often more important than tradition for traditions sake.

It is important to remember that while America is the place where man first flew, what most people forget is that it was accomplished, not by learned college professors working with expensive government funding, but two high school educated bicycle mechanics from Dayton Ohio. No one told them to do it, there was no government edict, they just thought it up and did it on their own. No one told them they couldnt not do it. What is also important to remember, is over the history of our country , their story is hardly unique. Even today, the worlds largest market for "home built aircraft" is the United States. Nowhere else in the world can you find such a high concentration of people who just think they can do such things and have a government that also stays out of their way and lets them.

America is the first country in history to figure out that the 'Human Resource' is the greatest source of natural wealth that a country can have, not as property to be controlled, but people set free to seek their own wealth can and will build wealth for all. Two kids named Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs once sat in their parents garage in San Jose and soldered motherboards for what they called a "Home Computer". Trillions of dollars later and thousands and thousands of careers for people around the world, everyone has one. Bill gates - College dropout, look at him now. Do you think if he had been born just a few miles further north in Canada that it would have turned out the same?

Hardly. Bill Gates had to fail several times before the Microsoft thing came together. Im glad he failed. Im also glad he picked himself up and got back to work.


My advice for Europe? Set your people free, let them fail now and then, its good for them. It helps them find out what they are truly passionate for. Let them find for themselves what works and what doesnt. Stop trying to make everything so safe. You'll be glad you did.

Gabi,
For those unemployed or on welfare it is harder (worse) in America. They like it, and believe it is suppose to be, that way.
Conversely if you are motivated and entrepeneurial it is much easier (better) in America. They like that and believe it is suppose to be that way too.

I know people that have been unemployed for the entire 5+ years I have lived in Germany. There is nothing physically wrong with them, they just feel and say that on the dole, they "make enough to live" too. They also drive BMWs and vacation in the Seychelles or America for 30 days every year. Last year they brought back great photos from my hometown in Florida.
What a wonderful life! If only we all could live so carefree and unencumbered by such inconveniences as . . . work, and paying our own way. The only question those working for a living have to ask themselves is, how long do they want to pay for it? How long will they be able to afford it?

I see a distinct parallel in this individual slice of European attitude and their national/ EU attitude. If you can get money, or your security, for free . . . go for it!

In the U.S.A. that is known as a "Ghetto attitude." It is why the U.S. doesn't fear the EU. Ultimately Europe will be hoist on it's own economic and political petard, as they begin to pick up the not inconsiderable tab for their own defense and, because they refuse to see the reality of the horrible demographics looming in front of them.
The real challenge to the U.S.A. will be to contain the damage, and not allow it to become world wide - for a third time.

Tyranno

Genius = "They are all morons, but the difference is that America can and should ignore the dinner guests. They pose no threat. Especially not an intellectual one. The philosophy of “damn you if you do, damn you if you don’t” is not worthy of serious contemplation. Insularly isolationist or intensely imperial, America is castigated for both, often by the same people."

Fantastic piece. Perfect complement to one of the same vein by Bruce Bawer:

http://www.hudsonreview.com/BawerSp04.html

This is so spot on! I linked to the article and asked my reader to please check out Medienkritick's comments section. You all are great! Even those I disagree with.

Good points, Frank.

My advice for Europe? Set your people free, let them fail now and then, its good for them

EU won't listen to advices like that. The course EU has taken is towards more control, not less. Chiraq's words towards the East European countries supporting the US were - "they missed the opportunity to shut up". Recently the EU head office said to Poland and Letuania they were "trojan horses" of the Americans, meaning of course they were bad. Why? Because the two countries dared to get involved in the elections in Ukraine, which were manipulated by KGB/Putin.

The EU didn't care that the elections weren't even close to fair. They only know that support for democracy comes close to the US policies and is therefore to be avoided. If the people of an oppressed country seek democracy, they shouldn't look towards the EU. The ones that should look towards the EU are dictators looking for legitimacy.

The EU starts to look more and more like communism. Great in theory, but disastrous in real life.

This is a little off topic but compare this misleading SPON article with this one.

It doesn't matter what the United States of America does. Damned if we do, damned if we don't. The world expects the U.S. to solve all of the problems that exist or arise. If we act without the approval of the UN, we are criminals. If we don't act with the approval of the UN we are criminals.

The world has lost its ability to take of itself with all the charity being handed out by the UN, of which the U.S. pays most of the bills. However, the U.S. is the target of every piddling SOB with a grudge.

What is the solution to this conundrum? I wish I knew, then I could go fishing more often instead of working for a living in Germany, which is something a few Germans I have met don't want to do (work that is). They enjoy living off the teat of social welfare and are shameless about it.

So be it, it is their country that is spiraling into the deep pit of darkness. It is incredible that the German people will not even acknowledge that they have economic and social welfare problems, let alone try and fix them. Their meager attempts such as HartzIV, are a start, but harsher measures are needed and will be a bitter pill for the Germans to swallow. I hope that they wake up soon and smell the coffee.

Some peoples know impossibility and usually don't.
Some peoples don't know impossibility and often do.

Several weeks ago I read this article in the European Edition of the WSJ. It is a bit long to post but I felt it to be an interesting assessment by someone who was at one time in a leadership position within the EU. It appears Mr Cox nailed it but what he is saying goes into the too hard to do box for most nations in the EU.

Europe's Future Is Freedom
By PAT COX
January 20, 2005

I believe that the root cause of Europe's lack of dynamism lies not in its procedures, although these can and should be greatly reformed, but rather in its core beliefs. More specifically, it lies in our unwillingness to acknowledge the contemporary failure of the postwar experiment in high-tax, regulation-intensive, dependency-inducing welfarism and the success of free-market liberal reforms in the U.S. in the 1980s and elsewhere in the 1990s

Mr. Cox is the former president of the European Parliament

I'd like to remind on some events and rethorics of 2001 regarding Afganistan. It is very interested introspective.

...once upon a time there was Afganistan...

About 20,000 protest in Germany

BERLIN, 13.10.2001 — A Coca-Cola billboard towers over the plaza outside the Berlin City Hall where thousands of protesters gathered Saturday before heading to a giant anti-war rally several blocks away. To the protesters — many from the German Socialist, Communist and Green parties — the sign and the war in Afghanistan symbolize America´s overwhelming power, its ability to use military might to impose its economic and social will on poorer and weaker nations.

"The American tradition is just to go in and bomb everything," said Konrad Engelschall, 27, a writer and philosopher from Berlin. "The future of the world is not the American way of life."

The subsequent anti-war rally, which appeared to exceed 20,000 people, filled Gendarmenmarkt, a large square in front of Berlin´s main concert hall, and spilled out onto surrounding streets for several blocks in every direction. At least 30 pacifist and anti-globalization groups participated in the demonstration against the U.S. military strikes on Afghanistan.

"It´s the biggest demonstration we´ve had. We will get a new peace movement in Germany," said Hans-Christian Stroebele, a member of Germany´s parliament representing the Green Party. "We stand with America, but we don´t stand with this war."

Many of the people at the rally said they are convinced the United States was not seeking justice for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Instead, they said the strikes on Afghanistan that resumed Saturday after a lull in deference to the Muslim holy day on Friday, are an excuse to seize economic and political control of a country that could be a critical bridge between Middle Eastern oil and western industry.

"We criticize this war from Bush because this war is against liberation movements," said Angelika Trendelenburg, 44, a nurse and member of the Marxist Leninist Party. "We think that the terrorists should get justice, but not with these attacks against Afghanistan. It´s an imperialistic war."

Lydia Reumund, 23, a student from Leipzig, carried a banner that said in German: "Is that your globalization? Wealth for us, bombs for others?"

"War is the same as terrorism," Reumund said. "Politicians who make war, like Bush and the Europeans, don´t seem to realize the danger of this, that the violence spirals. It is clear that terrorism must be undermined. But this can only be done by understanding the underlying reasons for terrorism. It is the great inequality, socially and economically, between the poor and the rich."

Reumund and others blame U.S. foreign policy for sowing the seeds that led to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. The U.S. government, she said, built the Taliban, the hardline Islamic militia that now controls most of Afghanistan, to fight against the Soviet Union. Some of the former mujahaddin guerrillas who defeated the Soviets in the 1979-89 war later allied themselves with the Taliban as it rose to power in Afghanistan in the mid-1990s. Among them: Osama bin Laden, chief suspect in the Sept. 11 attacks.

"The reason why these terrorist groups are coming up is American policy," said Ceren Turkmen, 20, a student who traveled to the rally from Munster. She pointed to the embargo against Iraq, which she said hurts "only the people, not the powerful." Baghdad claims U.N. sanctions imposed in 1991 after the Gulf War have caused thousands in Iraq to die due to a lack of food and medicine.

"America wants the money and the oil," said Turkmen, who finds it difficult to believe that the U.S. government did not know about the terrorist attacks beforehand. She theorized a conspiracy between the U.S. government and the terrorists. "America needed a new enemy."

Franziska Schubarth, 25, a student who grew up in East Germany, carried a sign that said, "50 years of ‘humanitarian interventions´ by the United States: Vietnam, Cuba, Guatemala, Grenada, Haiti, Hiroshima." She said she was disappointed in German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder for standing with the USA. "We´re the bloodhounds of America. We´re too dependent on America. We should think for ourselves," she said.

She added that she doesn´t trust the information coming from the U.S. media. "What we see now on CNN is propaganda," she said. "We just see (Secretary of State Colin) Powell or (Secretary of Defense Donald) Rumsfeld telling us what to think."

Ultimately, the war will not end the violence, said Ronny Weise, 24, a student and web designer from Berlin. "The reaction doesn´t make sense. It´s not a modern reaction. It´s a Middle Ages response," Weise said. "The vicious circle of violence has to be broken."

Franziska Schubarth, 25, a student who grew up in East Germany, carried a sign that said, "50 years of ‘humanitarian interventions´ by the United States: Vietnam, Cuba, Guatemala, Grenada, Haiti, Hiroshima."

I remember reading about this woman, and thinking she'd forgotten one: Berlin, 1948.

(Of course, that was longer than fifty years ago, but so was Hiroshima. Then again, growing up in East Germany, she probably thought that was an imperialist American intervention too.)

Her sign is typical of the puerile reasoning of the anti-war protestors, who would class Grenada or Haiti with WWII.

It is clearly not safe to ignore the morons of europe who have made anti-americanism their hobby

These people are leading a economic and political ( but not military ) bloc of some 350M people

The opinion makers in the euro media are firmly in the camp of supporting just about any autocratic regime as long as it is anti-american in outlook

The danger is that such a view props up the remaining dictators and allows them cover

We'll see what happens in Europe in the next 20+ years - I am glad I looked around now before they take the cannons to Notre Dame ala the Bamyan Bhudda's of Afghnistan

America is another name for opportunity.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

I wonder how many of these people have ever wandered upon the thought that perhaps it is they, and not Americans, who have been brainwashed.

Can you imagine the mentality of someone in this day and age--and from Germany no less!--who belongs to a marxist-leninist party?

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