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What an outstanding article. Excellent work, Mr. Gedmin. Hope there is plenty more where that came from.

But Germans are indeed helping!
----------------
NEW ORLEANS -- The 90 men and women sent by the German government to drain flood water from the city are among thousands of specialists now arriving to begin the cleanup process.
"If you can help and you have the opportunity to help, you should," said Jan Goerich, 29, from Speyer, Germany. "We are here to help, that is all."
The team of Germans, volunteers with Technisches Hilfswerk, a German disaster-relief organization, arrived Friday at Belle Chasse Naval Air Base with 15 pumps that can move almost 6 million gallons of water a day.
The German specialists are split into eight groups across the flooded city to pump water from such places as parking garages, sewage stations and neighborhoods.
"Our job is to get the pumping stations up and running," said Andsreas Garrecht, 35. "We have no plans to leave. We are here until it's done."

http://www.washingtontimes.com/metro/20050914-095900-2814r.htm
--------------------

Thank you Germany!

i hate to be cynical (no actually I love it) but I would rather Germany NOT help.
ALl I need is more self righteous Germans wagging their finger in my face saying.. you didn't vote for Kyoto, but we helped you anyway..
pay back the Marshall PLan first.. in cold hard cash..
then send the pumpers..

@ amiexpat

Germany finished paying off the money from the Marshall plan in 1971.

solitudinarian,
You are partly correct. The monies are now in a fund totalling about 12 billion dollars, administered by the German Government. This money is earmarked to help provide loans to low income individuals. Eichel tried to get at it a few months back, however he was not successful.
The largest portion by far of the Marshall plan is never talked about by anyone.
The exchange rate was set artificially high at 4.6 to one, thus opening the American markets to a relatively new nation. American companies flooded Germany and started employing workers and produced products earmarked for export. (Remember, after the war, there were not too many German companies left that had the cash to start anew)

While there are only slightly over 2000 American companies left at this time, the economic impact on Germany helped prop up a destroyed nation, who experienced the "Wirtschaftswunder".
Unfortunately, it didn't come with instructions.

That was part of the Marshall plan and made a much larger impact than the cash infusion at the time.

Regarding "The Bush administration doesn't care about Blacks or the poor": There was a very interesting talking points memo by Bill O'Reilly the day before yesterday. Here's the printer friendly version so you can share it with friends:

http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_story/0,3566,169347,00.html

@ amiexpat

In the interest of fair play and my perceived aim of this blog - to expose anti-American bias in the German media and, ultimately, promote normalized German-American relations - I think your cynicism is unjustified. The 90 volunteers from the Technisches Hilfwerk have an opportunity to debunk first hand the garbage being circulated by the German MSM and, upon their return to Germany, act as "multipliers".

>>pay back the Marshall PLan first.. in cold hard cash..

um, ok. But no euros, sparky...........

I recommend www.americares.org

@Quagmired..
point well taken. I waffle between cynicism and hope for the transatlantic alliance..
have posted it before but read this..

http://frum.nationalreview.com/archives/05082005.asp

I read this when I think all is hopeless.

My fear is that when people come to the US it is like a self fulfilling prophecy.. they only see what they want to see.
are you an american or german?

A custom issue?

I heard the problem was concern for Mad Cow disease, which is weird since NATO considered the armed forces ration packs safe and US soldiers ate them in Afghanistan.

So now, it's a custom issue... Jesus, what bureaucrats... Or is it concern for embarassment (Spiegel article) and "wagging the finger" Amieexpat?

Amieexpat, we paid back the Marshall money a long time ago.

from my research you are right, there are loans and you paid them back.
there were grants too.. how bout paying them back as well?
sick of your self righteous finger wagging.
just turned cynical again.. let Germany and the US part ways..

from my research you are right, there are loans and you paid them back.
there were grants too.. how bout paying them back as well?
sick of your self righteous finger wagging.
just turned cynical again.. let Germany and the US part ways..

Just a little more about the marshall plan.

............But Truman went ahead with the Marshall Plan, and over the next four years the United States provided $13.3 billion - about $90 billion in today’s dollars - in economic aid to 16 European nations.

The bulk of it went to Britain, France and Italy. Germany, which got $1.39 billion, was the fourth-largest recipient.

These days the Marshall Plan is widely revered as the wisest and most successful foreign policy initiative undertaken by any U.S. administration.

A little-known footnote is that even though the Marshall Plan formally expired in 1952, its dollars are still hard at work Germany. Under the careful stewardship of successive German governments, the original $1.39 billion has grown into a $12 billion nest egg.

This came to light recently when Finance Minister Hans Eichel suggested that a few billion from that fund might be used to ease the government’s budget shortfall.

The German Parliament "was not amused" by Eichel’s proposal and has vowed to resist, said Sigrid Skarpelis-Sperk, a member of the parliamentary subcommittee that oversees the fund. Most of the countries that received Marshall Plan money assumed they would never be asked to repay it.

But West Germany wasn’t sure of its status, so it treated the money as a loan. In 1953, it was agreed that the Germans would repay one-third of their postwar debt to the United States.

The West German government continued to use funds from the Marshall Plan - officially known as the European Recovery Program - to make low-cost loans to German industries while repaying the United States with funds from the federal budget.

Today, deep within the bowels of a former Prussian military hospital that now serves as the Ministry of Economics and Labor, the ERP lives.

"We’re not allowed to spend this money, only to lend it. That’s the whole trick," said Hermann Faas, director of small business financing for the ERP.

amiexpat, from your link, the key point:
-----------
But people want to be proud of something. If you tell a large and mighty nation that it can never be proud of itself, the natural egotism of human beings will seek some other outlet, less wholesome than normal patriotism. Many in Germany support the unification of Europe much less as a rational response to real needs, and much more because they yearn to feel for "Europe" the loyalty and pride they cannot allow themselves to feel for their own country and their own culture. The terrible irony is that this united Europe is emerging as a much greater threat to the Atlantic Alliance and to European democracy than the Federal Republic of Germany would ever be.

------------

I will forgo my reflexive anti-EU rant. I would point out tho' that Frum notes many of the same dynamics as did Thorsten in an earlier thread.

I think, from what I've read here, that Germany has wisely husbanded the money received under the Marshall plan. Keep up the good work.

@ amiexpat

Thanks for the link to There's still hope. I've printed it out and will paste it over the moderator's face the next time I get riled up over another "unbiased" report in the German MSM.

"My fear is that when people come to the US it is like a self fulfilling prophecy.. they only see what they want to see."

Hence my comment about the folks from the THW: In 1965 our family took in an AFS student from Chile who initially had absolutely nothing favorable to say about the US. You see, Germany does not nor did not have a monopoly on the biased MSM. Guess where he is today? He's a professor at a university on the west coast of the US. Guess he changed his opinion since 1965.

"are you an american or german?"

I'm a 26 year ex-patriate "veteran" living in the "Heinerstadt"

@ disillusioned_german

Ah yes, O'Reilly's Talking Points. What he left out was the fact that the poverty rate declined every year under Clinton while it has increased every year under Bush. Nice spin but somewhat inaccurate. With that said, I don't think it's necessary to misstate facts in order to defend against the charge that Bush doesn't care about blacks. This issue is more an economic one than race, although at times race and economics are hard to separate.

Actually a very good point.

Looking at the economic growth in the two periods proves a huge clue about poverty levels.

Of course, equally one could say the way to create economic growth would be to raise taxes not lower them.

@ Mbl
People need to understand how the poverty rate is determined.
If a persons or family's income is below 50% of of the average income for it's respective country, they are officially deemed to be in Poverty.
Eample: If in country A, the average family income is $5000 per year and 80% of families are at $4000 of annual income,The USA average income is $ 40 000 and 50% are at $20 000 of income, they would rank above the USA in poverty ranking.
Of course, the person making $20 000 in the US would live much better than the $ 4000 family. This does not take into consideration the assistance this family would receive in America, such as Medicaid, foodstamps, wick, Housing assistance etc.

It seems that scientists are worried that Germany may be vulnerable to a Katrina-scale disaster after all. Here's an article from yesterday's Financial Times Deutschland about potential flooding along the northern shore.

http://www.ftd.de/rd/22343.html

Care to wager on how long it will take the German press to blame their potential "Big One" on the US?


Leserin
>>Care to wager on how long it will take the German press to blame their potential "Big One" on the US?

Didn't they do that a few years ago when Germany had floods? I don't know if you meant to be ironic, but I sometimes think irony in Europe is dead.

The French Quarter will be open for bizness, via Instapundit:

"IT SMELLS BAD, BUT HERE ARE FEWER DEAD PEOPLE THAN WE EXPECTED (and much less that frogistan's heat wave problem): That's the gist of this post-Katrina report:


Floodwaters recede from the city's hard-hit east side, revealing neighborhoods covered in slimy, putrid muck and dotted with ruined cars and collapsed houses.


_ The body count in Louisiana climbs to 474, and it's expected to rise further as state and federal officials go about the tedious task of collecting bodies and identifying them through DNA tests. The total death toll in five states reaches 710.

(Think about it, disaster area as large as England and on the whole, so very few dead.)

_ Mayor Ray C. Nagin says the tourist-friendly French Quarter and central business district may reopen as early as Monday after the Environmental Protection Agency said the foul-smelling air in the city was not overly polluted.

_ Nagin expects about 180,000 people to return to the city within a week or two, when power and sewer systems are restored.


Overall, it seems that things aren't as bad as we feared, and the recovery is proceeding faster than we thought."

mbl:
You are wrong. During Clinton's presidency (1993 - 2001) the poverty rate increased from 259,278 (10/1993) to 281,475 (2001). These figures are according to http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/histpov/hstpov2.html

Bush hasn't fared much better though... Still, it's a myth that having a left-wing government decreases the poverty rate.

mbl:
Mea culpa! I slipped into the wrong column. Turns out you were right after all.

"the peak strength of the strongest hurricanes has not changed, and the mean maximum intensity of all hurricanes has decreased"

The study Jeffrey Gedmin is referring to is dated 1998. There is a newer 2005 study that indicates the opposite: hurricanes are becoming stronger. The different results are due to different approaches: The initial study measured the peak strength of hurricanes (and found out that it has not changed), while the newer study examined the overall amount of energy they dissipated by measuring both the time that the hurricanes lasted and theirs strengths as time passed. The result: Hurricanes are lasting longer at higher intensity than they were 30 years ago. If anyone needs a "more serious debate about global warming", then it Jeffrey Gedmin, who should stop spreading false information about hurricans not becoming stronger.

@ NotForSale:

First of all, Mr. Gedmin is quoting the UN. Secondly, he clearly stated that both Germany and the United States needed a more serious debate on global warming. The point is that there needs to be a debate. And by the way, the results of the 2005 study are by no means absolute fact and represent one analysis of the situation, just as the UN information represents one analysis of the situation. There are certain to be critics of both conclusions, and, again, there needs to be more debate on this.

That said, Mr. Gedmin was right on the mark to blast those in Germany who shamelessly exploited the Katrina tragedy to further their short-term political agendas, whether Trittin with his environmental views, or Schroeder with his big-government views, or the German media with their Schadenfreude. The time for politics and lecturing and Besserwisserei was not the last few weeks. But of course Schroeder and Trittin couldn't resist scoring some easy pre-election points with their anti-American base of support.

-- The result: Hurricanes are lasting longer at higher intensity than they were 30 years ago.--

AND we're in the pattern from the 1940s and 1950s, my dad remembered once he heard that but most of us weren't around then. They should be heading up the Atlantic seaboard for the next few years. More of them.

It's they cycle of things, the Atlantic and Pacific are doing what they do.

Ray,

I dare say your comments will not make any impression at all on people who follow the line of Not For Sale seems to take.

It is interesting that those who worship at the alter of the green religion seem to latch on to ever possible study that support their cause. While at the same time discounting or refusing to allow any counter studies to be considered.

First of all the study was not conducted in 2005 as some would like you to believe. It was released for publication in January 2005. Secondly the writer is in fact taking great liberty to paraphrase just what Dr Emanuel actually said. Here are some of his comments in a most recent interview.

GELLERMAN: Well, meteorology's about the prediction business. Looking forward, what do you see happening?

EMANUEL: Certainly I think most of my colleagues would join me in saying the next ten years are going to be a rough ride in the Atlantic, even forgetting about global warming because of these natural cycles. We're in an upswing and this isn't rocket science, we just look at the past record and extrapolate it into the future. We're in an upswing, it's bound to last another five or ten years. And if we have levels of hurricane activity that we had in the 1940s and 50s we're in trouble.
Now, what has everybody in my profession so concerned – and we've been concerned for decades – is the confluence of a huge upsurge in the coastal population with a natural upswing in the number of storms in the Atlantic. And maybe global warming, you know, if you wait long enough will also start to show up in those statistics.

GELLERMAN: So global warming right now you don't think is having an influence? Or it is having an influence?

EMANUEL: No, if you look at the global record of hurricane activity, you do see a pronounced upward trend that began in the 1970s, which is very highly correlated with an upward trend in the tropical ocean temperature. And the people who study tropical ocean temperatures believe that this recent upward trend is mostly a consequence of global warming, and that's why we're worried that we're now seeing a global warming signal in hurricanes. But the big near-term problem is demographic and natural.

Here is a direct paragraph from the actual publication.

The above discussion suggests that only part of the observed
increase in tropical cyclone power dissipation is directly due to
increased SSTs; the rest can only be explained by changes in
other factors known to influence hurricane intensity, such as
vertical wind shear. (SST) surface temperature

So even Dr EMANUEL will not say what Not For Sale and his kind are willing to accept as fact. I should also point this study is based once again on modeling. So the model used and the variables used have a direct results on the outcome.

Ray, I very much agree if Germany is going to be the world leader in environmental protect then a discussion with the US is desirable. I think it is one of many topic, which need to be discussed. Unlike the majority of Germans I however do not feel it is the most important topic.

How any of this is relevant, to the original topic unless Not For Sale actually believe that the US got what it deserved is beyond me.


Not For Sale: "The study Jeffrey Gedmin is referring to is dated 1998. There is a newer 2005 study that indicates the opposite: hurricanes are becoming stronger. The different results are due to different approaches: The initial study measured the peak strength of hurricanes (and found out that it has not changed), while the newer study examined the overall amount of energy they dissipated by measuring both the time that the hurricanes lasted and theirs strengths as time passed."

Uh... the WORST hurricane that has ever struck the US, an unnamed storm that entered Galveston, Texas in 1900, and was considered the worst storm in US history.

On this link,

Refugees in Baton Rouge, La, who live in the area where the levee was breeched, have been telling a local radio station that the levee was struck by a barge that had broken loose from its moorings drifting in the area of the breech. They saw the barge out there, heard several muffled bangs, saw the barge right at the levee, and then the water started pouring in. If this proves out, it was an accident, not an effect of the storm. The US national and the international news media hasn't picked up this story yet, but it's been around for more than a week. Makes me wonder why they're ignoring it, being that this could prove that the flooding was an accident and therefore NO ONE's fault (on the other hand, that could be EXACTLY why they're ignoring the story!).

So the barge story isn't established as true or not? So what? Virtually 90% of the crap going around about New Orleans has no "proof" to back it up, and at least the barge story has the virtue of numerous eye witnesses, as well as being a highly plausible story.

Now... back to your contention that hurricanes have somehow increased in ferocity...

Uh... no, they haven't. They have increased in monetary damages because of the amount of building on the coastlines, and decreased in loss of life because of the excellent satellite storm tracking now available.

The EXPERTS on tropical cyclones say that these things occur in 30-40 year cycles. The "environmetal experts" so popular with the news media are suspicious in that they have an agenda: If nothing else, they have massive government grants at stake, and if they're proven wrong, they lose their income.

But for "experts" to make the claim that "global warming" is causing more storms at greater ferocity is not only specious, but illogical in light of other information available from history. The LAST warming period we had, the Medieval Maximum (or "Medieval Warm Period"), which was much more acute than the current one, was distinct for it's LACK of seriously destructive weather.

Ooops... sorry, forgot to close my link with the " :O.

This is how that last message should read. PIMF!

Not For Sale: "The study Jeffrey Gedmin is referring to is dated 1998. There is a newer 2005 study that indicates the opposite: hurricanes are becoming stronger. The different results are due to different approaches: The initial study measured the peak strength of hurricanes (and found out that it has not changed), while the newer study examined the overall amount of energy they dissipated by measuring both the time that the hurricanes lasted and theirs strengths as time passed."

Uh... the WORST hurricane that has ever struck the US, an unnamed storm that entered Galveston, Texas in 1900, was considered the worst storm in US history.

On this link, here please note that 9 of the top 10 worst hurricanes don't even have names! The US Weather Bureau did not start naming tropical cyclones until 1953. Katrina is almost certain to join the "top three" in that list, but it now appears that the flooding in New Orleans wasn't caused by the storm itself.

Refugees in Baton Rouge, La, who live in the area where the levee was breeched, have been telling a local radio station that the levee was struck by a barge that had broken loose from its moorings drifting in the area of the breech. They saw the barge out there, heard several muffled bangs, saw the barge right at the levee, and then the water started pouring in. If this proves out, it was an accident, not an effect of the storm. The US national and the international news media hasn't picked up this story yet, but it's been around for more than a week. Makes me wonder why they're ignoring it, being that this could prove that the flooding was an accident and therefore NO ONE's fault (on the other hand, that could be EXACTLY why they're ignoring the story!).

So the barge story isn't established as true or not? So what? Virtually 90% of the crap going around about New Orleans has no "proof" to back it up, and at least the barge story has the virtue of numerous eye witnesses, as well as being a highly plausible story.

Now... back to your contention that hurricanes have somehow increased in ferocity...

Uh... no, they haven't. They have increased in monetary damages because of the amount of building on the coastlines, and decreased in loss of life because of the excellent satellite storm tracking now available.

But for "experts" to make the claim that "global warming" is causing more storms at greater ferocity is not only specious, but illogical in light of other information available from history. The LAST warming period we had, the Medieval Maximum (or "Medieval Warm Period") was distinct for it's LACK of seriously destructive weather.


And getting back on topic, it is ineresting to note this: "Most Germans simply assume that America is rich and doesn't need the help and yet others obviously view America with disdain and have simply chosen not to help."

I would think that the former comment, although the latter is true, would be the majority opinion in Germany. The US IS a rich nation.

Funny that doesn't come out when the German media writes about how awful our economy is, huh?

@Raq "First of all, Mr. Gedmin is quoting the UN"

Oh, is he? You mean, the same UN who said, that the Iraq war was illegal. It must be true then. Situs inversus totalis!

Speaking of hurricanes, I notice SPIEGEL is flogging another piece of global warming disinformation to further traumatize its already hysterical readers. It appears some of the usual suspects have published a paper in "Science" claiming to "document" an increase in global hurricane intensity since 1975. They disingenuously fob off the starting date of 1975 as coinciding with the start of the "satellite era." What's that you say? You've read the "Skeptical Environmentalist," and are, perhaps, a little overly paranoid about sensational claims of environmental degradation? You think maybe we should take a quick look at any anomalies that might have occurred at the start of the "satellite era?" Me too.

I just took a quick look at some of the data cited by the source from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Reading the report for 1975 we find, "1975 saw a sharp decrease in tropical cyclone activity from last season." and "Three of these, Nina, Elsa and June, became super typhoons with maximum winds exceeding 130 knots." Reading further in the 1972 report we find, "The fourteen year (1959-1972) average for super typhoons is six."

Nothing odd about the starting date 1975! N-o-o-o-o! It's just the start of the "satellite era." The BS just keeps rolling, doesn't it? In a word, my friends, I highly recommend reading the "Skeptical Environmentalist" before you take any "scientific studies" of global warming at face value, especially if they're cited in SPIEGEL.

Of course, as usual SPIEGEL can't resist adding its own little embellishments here and there. For example, in the SPIEGEL article we read, "Und zwischen 1970 und 2004 sei die Oberflächentemperatur der Ozeane in der tropischen Zone um fast ein Grad Celsius gestiegen." However, the actual paper reads, "Tropical oceans have been warming by approximately 0.5 degree C between 1970 and 2004." Hey, 0.5 is almost one, right? What's a little factor of two among friends? We'll just call it, "false, but accurate."

The UN did not say the war in Iraq was illegal. The Germans did. You are not the UN. I for one will do all within my power to insure you never are member of the UNSC.

I am however prepared to give you the current US seat if the US will leave the UN and the UN leaves the US.

I have always thought Paris or Berlin would be a wonderful place for it.

actually one could argue the Iraq war had MORE legitimation than the Kosovo Krieg.

@Joe "Oh, is he? You mean, the same UN who said, that the Iraq war was illegal. It must be true then. Situs inversus totalis!"

What Joe said.

And to add to what Joe said, the UN actually had an office set up in Iraq after the invasion... until the terrorists bombed it. Then they cut and ran, running their "Iraq Monitoring" from Malta! Or did you conveniently forget about that show of heroic fortitude?

GREAT organization, that.

Actually you might view this as the collective mindset of the Germans. It is selective reality. In another generation, Germans will believe they were not only the victims of WWII but in fact were attacked first by the Jews and later by the Americans.

For me personally this does not cause much of a problem. It will however cause problems both for the Germans and the other Europeans.

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