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Stern’s reaction: All 22,000 deaths were brought about by George Bush....he is solely responsible.! “The war against terror is defeated.”

The war against terror is defeated. Right.

Other than NYC, there is no place in the U.S. that has been hurt more than D.C./Northern Virginia.

We are infested with jihadis. I have had numerous 'encounters' with them. One was actually physical. (yeah, I won.) We even managed to make the Saudi family next door miserable enough to leave. That would be the same family who disappeared for weeks after 9/11 and who thought it would be a good idea to teach their kids to torment my dog.

Bad idea.

Pissed me off. Very bad idea.

No. This war is not only military. It is cultural. And it depends on individuals - like me - who stand their ground.

Oh, btw, when the jihadis come for the Germans screaming "Death to Infidels" but Germans hear only "Death to America" until it's too late, guess what?

It's too late.

Bye

There is no penalty for insulting Uncle Sam, and there are thousands of cars burned for insulting Islam. Slam dunk decision for a coward.

@Walter E. Willis

You have indeed identified a major component of the problem.

Note to David and Ray,

Why don't you just admit it? Germans hate Americans and there is nothing you can do about it. The Cold War alliance is over and will never be revived. Russia is Germany's new ally, Putin is your new boss and Germany will do whatever it's told to do because Russia has you by the pipelines.

Germany, and others in old Europe as well, has taught me a fundamental lesson: an "ally" is just an enemy by another name.

Ruben, look at history, we were never "allies."

That's the key.

The cold war alliance was a historic anomoly.

Germans hate Americans

ruben

That statement is simply not true. *Some* Germans do indeed hate America, but not *all* do. End of story.


I deeply believe Americans have generally regarded Germans as "friends". I also believe that most Germans have regarded Americans not really as friends, but rather as "friendly allies". When Communism collapsed and the need for the alliance went away, the Germans decided that the nature of their relationship with the Americans has changed, while the Americans considered that everything stayed just the same, Well, it didn't, and now Americans discover the real feelings that Germans have for them.

I wouldn't say it's "hate", and it definitely isn't friendship. It isn't indifference either. It's some weird combination of envy and admiration, disdain and inferiority complex, repulsion and attraction and so on. Whatever it is, it's not very healthy, but there is nothing Americans can do about it. If Americans stop paying attention they are egocentric, if they get involved they are arrogant.

This conundrum would normally be solved in time, as Germany (and EU) grow up. The problem is that they have no intention to do that just yet, so they will continue to behave like a spoiled child who believes he somehow "punishes" the parents with his behavior. The child's realization that the punishment was actually inflicted on no one else but himself will probably come at a critical point in time. It's impossible to predict the future, but that's the direction events seem to be going. As it's been said by more astute observers, the next ten, twenty years will be very interesting.

To understand the German bias, you need to only look at the US media bias, and the un-American way the Democratic Party acts. They are one and the same. Basic American ideas are opposite of Socialist liberal ways. The Europeans know it and the Democratic Party knows it. That is why they demonize everything about America that is good and "right". They want to keep their power and gain more. Too bad there are so many "blind" supporters in both countries of the Socialist/Dems/Libs that think the MSM is right....

if they would only use their brains a little they would see through the

@WhatDoIKnow

I believe we have entered into a new era. In all but a few cases (Australia, Poland, Japan, Israel ...) previous assumptions about 'friendship' are obsolete, null-and-void, and up for objective re-evaluation.

I agree that the next decade will be very interesting - in a very unpleasant sense. It will require a great deal of pain for the world to re-learn the lessons of history that it now so enthusiastically denies.

I see that honeybees are the theme in the latest round of environmental hysteria. Bush must have been personally murdering the little guys one by one. SPON is already ominously muttering about the food crisis they expect will ensue once Bush has polished off the last bee. This whole bee thing is such a hoax. Until a few years ago I rented an office from a guy who was an avid beekeeper. He loved to talk about bees, and told me that most of the wild bee populations had already disappeared, mainly because of infestations of the hives with two types of mites. This was several years ago. Now, all the usual suspects are wringing their hands as if all the bees had suddenly and unexpectedly died off yesterday. I guess if you're a honeybee, you just get no respect. A regular honeybee holocaust takes place, and no one notices for a decade or so. Suddenly, some journalists notice something's happened and realize it's a gold mine for "environmentalist" posturing and anti-American propaganda. Zoom! The story takes off.

I really don't know whether the "sudden disappearance" of bees is just a recycling of the old mite story, or some new factor is at work. I do know that anyone who trusts anything they read in the mass media about the story is nuts. The only way to find out anything even remotely approximating reality is to ask around among veteran beekeepers, or put together some hives and start raising some colonies yourself.

Helian, we're being told by our farmers that they think it's a fungus killing the bees.

FWIW

In all but a few cases (Australia, Poland, Japan, Israel ...) previous assumptions about 'friendship' are obsolete, null-and-void, and up for objective re-evaluation.

Ernest

That's exactly right. What's weird (to any sane person) is that most Germans, although they have changed their attitude towards America, are quite surprised when Americans also start questioning the nature of this relationship. Germans generally don't regard America as a friendly ally anymore, but when America ignores Germany on the political stage, America's in trouble - "how dare they ignore their best (former) ally". It's the same old trait, observable in both individuals and nations - they can dish out it but they can't take it.

A strange thing is occurring. The EU-kids were supposed to grow up in a largely predictable world, but what happens is that the world changes and grows up while the EU-kids stagnate. Being kids, they don't understand that other kids (Asia) are growing up fast, they assume they will be able to face the future without undergoing fundamental changes. The EU-kids are not insignificant and they do have an important contribution to make to the "world family", but, being kids, they overestimate themselves.

I agree that the next decade will be very interesting - in a very unpleasant sense

That's the point; it will not only be interesting, but unpleasantly interesting. In my case, with my entire family in Western and Eastern Europe, I hope to be proven wrong.

Sandi P, you are right of course: the Cold War alliance with Germany was an anomaly and conformation that the German-US alliance is over and will not be resurrected. This is entirely to my satisfaction becasue I do not want to be associated with Germans in an alliance of any sort for any reason. I say again, Germany has taught me that an ally is an enemy by anothr name.

Furthermore, Germany and the US have nothing in common. Certainly not democracy. Germany is a member of the European Union. Wherever the European Union has taken root, democracy dies. Before our very eyes, Germans and other old Europeans in the European Union, in spite of the pretense of democracy, are slowly being transformed from citizens to subjects. Germany increasingly has more in common with Russia, where people are subjects too, than with the United States. And it will therefore be more natural and more comfortable for Germans to be allied with authoritain Russia, though now subordiante to Putin's pipeline control, than to have an allaince with the hated Americans. Germany's new alliance with Putin and Russia is entirely satisfactory with me. As Germans think ill of Americans, I think ill of them. Separation and and ever wider and deeper Atlantic Ocean is clearly the way to go.

David's and Ray's blogging efforts are commendable. They are, however, completely unable to alter the German-US situation. Malte Arnsperger's article, hate filled and one of hundreds in the German press and mind, suggests as much. Malte Arnsperger is Germany.

@Pamela

I've seen the fungus hypothesis in several articles, and it could well be some such new factor is at work here. The fact is, though, that honeybees have been in trouble for a long time. Mites, fungus, bacteria, wax moths, and several other culprits have joined in the mayhem. The grouping of hundreds of hives in close proximity by major producers probably doesn't help the problem. In any case, the media is dishing up the story in time-honored fashion. The typical article has a sensational headline about the sudden disappearance or mass death of bees, and a first paragraph full of dire warnings of mass starvation, etc. As usual, if you bother to read into the article, you notice that the situation isn't quite so sensational after all. Most articles that go beyond a paragraph or two mention earlier bee population declines, descriptions of bee diseases and parasites, etc. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't read their newspapers cover to cover, and their reality is a concoction of headlines and first paragraphs.

Cali Boys in Berlin Fight Back!

This is a fantastically funny read for all DM readers.

JDub is an American blogger living in Berlin (um, actually, I think he's getting deported from the EU today) and he and his friend Peter have been having some crazy times there. Today's blog entry (Peter is famous) offers us a few glimpses of their lives in Berlin and some of their acqaintances:

Well, our old landlady Henni got written up in Der Spiegel for being a downshifter, a person who works less and chills out all the time. It was total bullshit though, cause Henni is an absolute nutcase. I don’t particularly care for her, as you can probably tell slightly from my last post. Anyway, a whole photo crew came to the apartment and took all kinds of pictures for the article. They even took some of Peter and Henni together. I think the idea being; hey, Henni is a downshifter, she’s sooo cool…look, she kicks it with young strapping California boys instead of working all the time. I wasn’t living here yet. Anyway, we wondered for weeks if Peter made the cut and was going to have his mug printed in the most famous magazine in all of Deutschland.

Well, lo and behold, the article came out…..and Peter Imai is in Der Spiegel. I am jealous beyond words

Enjoy.

Scroll down and read his Berlin profiles. They're a gas.

His archive is filled with hilarious entries. Trust me.

*

Am I getting this article right: Terrorism is real, and by not appeasing it President Bush made it worse, but nobody could tell how the other candidates who say that terrorism was not real would have performed in his shoes? Well, Malte Arnsperger is surreal.

JDub's blog entries on Henni, the layabout profiled in Der Spiegel, and a few other locals:

Cast of Characters II.

His main page:

JDub Blog.

*

“Furthermore, Germany and the US have nothing in common. Certainly not democracy. Germany is a member of the European Union. Wherever the European Union has taken root, democracy dies. Before our very eyes, Germans and other old Europeans in the European Union, in spite of the pretense of democracy, are slowly being transformed from citizens to subjects…”

A typical American (not to mention human) response. We notice that the “Germans” perceive us as an out-group, and we naturally respond by perceiving them as an out-group in turn. In our rush to categorize and condemn, we lump the many Germans to whom we owe gratitude and friendship in with the “evil” mass. We exaggerate the grounds for our perceived superiority.

The fact is that we have a great deal in common with Germany. After all, a very large percentage of the American population has at least some German ancestry. I suspect many of us have “German” cultural traits of which we are hardly aware. It is as extreme and erroneous to claim that democracy has “died” in Germany as it is to claim that America is an “incipient theocracy.” It seems to me that the pride Americans take in their individual rights, status as “citizens” rather than “subjects,” freedom from coddling by the “nanny state,” freedom from exorbitant taxes, etc., as factors that distinguish and make them superior to Europeans is mostly illusory. The differences that are not illusory are being quickly eroded.

The individual rights we take such pride in, for example, are being quickly surrendered to the state in the name of “security.” We condone torture, indefinite imprisonment without recourse to legal representation or remedy, and a permanent state of “war,” with all its usual historical limitations on personal freedom, as if torture, indefinite imprisonment, and loss of personal freedom will always apply only to the other guy, and never to us. We live in a land without justice where a bloated legal system controlled by lawyers who dominate all three branches of government inevitably tends to promote minor disputes into costly lawsuits that enrich the lawyers but impoverish the rest of society, not to mention the contending parties, whether they “win” or “lose.” All of us pay dearly for this brand of “justice.” Our equally bloated “health care” system currently devours 15% of our GDP, far more than in most European countries, without making us noticeably healthier. Quite the contrary, despite all the well-known anecdotes about socialized medicine. I would like to see a realistic comparison of the actual taxes paid, including state, federal, local, sales, real estate, etc., between the US and Europe.

I would be surprised to find that we are really as different from the Europeans in that respect as we think we are. Our economy is not vastly more robust than that of typical European countries. True, ours has grown more rapidly than that of Europe for the past 15 years or so, but most of the difference disappears if economic growth is normalized to population growth. Our population has grown faster than Europe’s. We pay far more for education now than we did decades ago, and get less for the investment. We approve of incredibly expensive new prescription drug and other entitlement programs as if we expected the money to pay for them to grow on trees. In this and many other ways, we are handing over our future to the state at an accelerating pace. Instead of comparing ourselves with the Europeans, we need to compare ourselves to what we were 10, 50 or 100 years ago. There have certainly been many changes for the better. However, there have also been some for the worse.

In a word, we are not as different from the Europeans as we think. We are not yet quite so shackled by laws dictating what we can do, how we can do it, and when it’s allowed as the Europeans, but we’re getting there. Certainly, voting in Bush and the Republicans didn’t slow down the process. I really don’t know how we’re going to stop sliding down the slippery slope and get government off our backs. I do know that it is far more accurate to describe Americans as “subjects” now than it was 50 or 100 years ago, and that the “European” solution of ignoring ones own problems and pointing the finger at the bad guys across the Atlantic is no solution. We need to mind our own business and solve our own problems. It might do us some good, and, if so, hate and propaganda spouting Germans like Malte Ansperger might get a clue as well.

Please allow me to indulge myself by going way out on a speculative limb and propose that perhaps our "American ideals" have been more heavily influenced by the Celtic culture than the continentals. Although they have almost certainly been given short shrift in history, I wonder if their renowned love for individual freedom and adventure compared with the order and discipline of a more Roman or Germanic system has influenced the nations whose history derives from the islands of Great Britain & Ireland. English is of course a Germanic language due to the numerous tribes which came after the Romans left, but the islands were somewhat of a last outpost for the Celtic tribes who had been driven westward and westward until they ended up populating the new world, especially the Southern states. Throw in the influence of a few liberally minded (small "l' naturally) French philosophers, plus the reality of frontier life and you will end up with a markedly different attitudes and perspectives that will linger on for centuries.

As I understand it, honeybees are not native to the Americas. Europeans brought them from the Old World. Their spread across the Americas followed the Europeans. The Indians called the "English Flies", and they did not like seeing them, as it meant the whites were coming.

WhatDoIKnow:

There are many Germans who have a favorable opinion of the US. They often contribute to this blog, like mir and Gabi. I know personally that my in-laws were very skeptical about the U.S., until they came over and saw things for themselves. They left amazed. Granted, we have customs and idiosyncracies that drive the Germans nuts: we are too friendly and TV has too many commercials.

I think two things have happened to alter things. First, Post 9/11 visa requirements have intimidated many normal Germans from visiting the U.S. The fact that there are less American soldiers in Germany and the fact that trans-Atlantic visitation is down have decreased the personal contacts that Germans and Americans had during pre 9/11.

Second, the Leitkultur that was spoken about in the last thread. There were 16 million people integrated into the Federal Republic when the GDR imploded. Those unemployed communist had to go somewhere. I believe they have matriculated into the public information establishment: The media and education. Normal day Germans are fed the same litany as normal day Americans: Bush lied; U.S. deserved 9/11; New Orleans was caused by not signing Kyoto, etc. This same litany caused Americans to elect a moon-bat Congress. If Americans reluctantly gave in to this propagandizing, then why not Germans?

Pamela:

What’s up doc?

The episode where Elmer Fudd tried to hunt down Bugs inside the opera house while Wagner was being performed: a classic! Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit! It blew my poor wife's German mind.

WhatDoIKnow -

A strange thing is occurring. The EU-kids were supposed to grow up in a largely predictable world, but what happens is that the world changes and grows up while the EU-kids stagnate. Being kids, they don't understand that other kids (Asia) are growing up fast, they assume they will be able to face the future without undergoing fundamental changes. The EU-kids are not insignificant and they do have an important contribution to make to the "world family", but, being kids, they overestimate themselves.

This hits the nail on the head. When one culture imagines the others as entirely infantile, then it is undermining its own identity as a grownup. When one culture denies to recognise the equal in the others, then it is infantilising itself by cultivating a vanity that is reinforcing - and being reinforced by - such projections. I would be the last one to rule out that my culture has its infantile strains - this thread started with such an example - but this situation is not an exceptionalism, it is a common feature of the mature cultures.

The Persians also like to think of themselves as the only grownups in the world, and whenever one of their politicians comes up with a campaign for "dialogue" that is his underlying presumption. This is one of the symmetric factors in the controversy over the Persian nuclear ambitions, and infantile commentators here are tempted to ignore the superordinate asymmetry in how the different players deal with their treaty obligations in the international system. It may be allzumenschlich (all too human), but definitely it is a strain in they need to work on.

This situation is very similiar to the naive parents who believes their kids would grow up exactly the way they did themselves. Usually they do not, they will do so on an entirely different path, and if they´re clever they will chose one that goes astray from the naivities of the old nest, and if the parents are clever too they will let them do so without watching any of their moves. All that can be measured against each other are results. As I said, the idea of the West as a famility of cultures hits the nail on the head.

And there was some writer who said when children grow up, parents become like children. I´m quoting it from memory so I won´t put my hand into the fire for it, but if I remember correctly that was Mark Twain.

That's right. There are Germans who have a favorable opinion of the US. Several older ones of my fellow countrymen I talked to have not forgotten and will not forget what the US did for us. They don't have these ugly prejudices, but seem also unable to comprehend today's US (foreign) policy. I fear it is mostly the younger generations that don't remember the liberation and the decades after that when America paid for our freedom in blood and money. Unfortunately, our schools don't seem to teach this part of history very well. That's of course not surprising given the left-wing views of many teachers and the style of our media reports. Also, many people just can't see the threats to our security today. So they are unable to realize that a close relationship is in our very own interest.

PS: Being a supporter of President Bush and conservative viewpoints in general is even more unpopular here. But even we exist. ;-)

Mir, "Unfortunately, our schools don't seem to teach this part of history very well."

This is a situation that is extant in the rest of the world. When the next war that is fought like a war hits it will be horrible because it will be world wide and internal to the combatants who will have to clean house just to be able to confront the enemy.

@ mir
"Several older ones of my fellow countrymen I talked to have not forgotten and will not forget what the US did for us."

did they really do it for 'us', or for our ancestors?
i'd doubt that that was one of their priorities. America didn’t send soldiers to liberate the germans, they first of all came to liberate Europe from german tyranny.
democracy had to be enforced on the germans at gunpoint. that the people in western germany soon after may ‘45 adopted to the new situation and seemingly felt quite comfortable as some sort of german gemütlichkeit of former times returned might be a typical german trait, but i wouldn't say that the german society saw the allied victory in ww2 as a liberation.
the first top german politician to come up with such an idea was weisäcker in 1985. and he, although being a member of the cdu until he became president, was harshly criticized by members of his own party, by the 'vertriebenenverbände' and especially by the far right. However, i didn't hear left-wing teachers bashing him for that particular speech on may, 8th 1985.
that post-ww2 topics are hardly taught at school is, as far as i know, not particularly something to blame german leftists for. not everything fits easily into some left-right scheme.

@ lars

>> America didn’t send soldiers to liberate the germans, they first of all came to liberate Europe from german tyranny.

That's exactly right and I didn't suggest otherwise, did I? But since it WAS a liberation (although some may not have perceived it as such), they also did it for us (although that wasn't their priority). I also agree with the rest of your comment. However, I didn't mention the liberation alone, but also the fact that we lived very well under US protection for over 50 years now, and we still do. So well indeed, that most people seem to take it for granted and are unable / unwilling to recognize threats to our security anymore. It also allowed us to reduce our own spendings and become "pacifists" who let others do the dirty work and concentrates ourselves on lecturing them.

PS: Who do you think is to blame for the condition of our (history) school teachings? Is it not true that many of the teachers (and politicians) responsible are "68ers" or other left-wingers?

I can't wait until SPON writes up its take on the French elections. Nicholas Sarkozy ran on a platform of respect for the U.S. and adapting U.S. ideas to shrink the welfare state. Interesting how that will affect the SPD/Greens crowd.

Sarkozy even did an election speech denouncing the 68ers. Stern posted it, if anybody is interested.

Is it just me, or is Germany now isolated in the world when it comes to blatant anti-Americanism? Granted, the British left rants through the Guardian, but Blair is basically pro-American. Germany's northern and eastern neighbors, Denmark, the Czech Republic and Poland, are all in the pro-American camp....and now France. What's up with this?

Mir, re: "Also, many people just can't see the threats to our security today. So they are unable to realize that a close relationship is in our very own interest."

It's you and Gabi that make me think there might be hope still. Just when I'm wondering if it would be better to just drop a cruise missile on the next anti-American demonstration because we have nothing left to lose... we already have the reputation that we're out to "destroy the known world", so if they don't love us they may as well fear us!... one of you comes foreward and says something that makes sense :).

I honestly believe that you're right about this, that Germans... and Europeans in general... have been under US protection for so long they've forgotten how to analyze a threat. I suspect that under all the anti-US conversation is the belief that if anything serious goes wrong, the US will be there to protect.

Now I'm worried that we WON'T be there if Europe continues to trash our relationship. I know a LOT of Americans who would just say, "Forget it! Europe is not our problem any more!"

Now I'm swinging back the OTHER way! And you're responsible for it :).

Thanks again!

Thanks for your nice words, LC Mamapajamas. You know, the amount of Anti-Americanism in my country is so ugly that I can't blame any American for not wanting to pay for our security anymore. I guess the stability of Europe is (still) somehow in your interest as well. But if the American people some day decides that our stupidity isn't worth American blood and treasure anymore, then the only ones to blame will be we. Many times I've told my countrymen (in real life and on the internet) how important the relationship with our friends is - in OUR VERY OWN interest. Everyone should be able to read the writings on the wall about future conflicts and problems now, even without our media who are distorting facts and spreading misinformation. But so many people still just don't get it.

Not all of my countrymen are hostile to the US though. And several people with anti-American attitudes I've met do have a functioning moral compass. Many (of course by far not all) are just mislead by misinformation, prejudices and lies spread by politicians and media. That leads them to condemn the US, while if they would know the facts they would never do it. The same has to be said about Israel by the way. It's quite difficult to convince these people though because the propaganda of course never ceases.

I don't think however that the US should restrain from doing what's right and necessary just because old Europe doesn't agree. With that, I don't mean Iraq in particular, because from what we know now, it might prove to have been the wrong decision. What I mean is that there's probably nothing that America can do to make old Europe (at least a big part of it) "love" her anyway - apart from giving up her values and surrendering to our enemies, what hopefully will never ever happen. Therefore, you should do what's necessary for your security (that doesn't necessarily mean violent solutions, of course). If Europe comes to its senses, then we will help you. Unfortunately, you may be better off when you don't count on it.

Thanks, Mir :).

I think the thing that bothers Americans most is the anti-American demonstrations. I was, of course, being facetious when I commented about dropping a cruise missile into the middle of the demonstrations, but it occurs to me that if we were 1/10th as bad as the demonstrators claim we are, that is what we WOULD do.

In fact, they seem to have no fear of us at all. Why would that be if they really believed their own rhetoric?

Why are they not demonstrating against the human rights violations in Sharia-ruled nations? Answer: They would probably be attacked by Muslim extremists. And I mean REALLY attacked. Therefore, they know demonstrating against that would be dangerous.

However, they are secure in the fact that the US believes that they have an absolute right to demonstrate their beliefs, thereby disproving their beliefs that we've somehow gone "Nazi".

That dichotomy puzzles me to no end. Would you do me the favor of asking an anti-American about this... about why they think we are so dangerous, but have no fear of us?

Mir... an addendum to the above question:

What I really mean is, ask the anti-American to wonder why the ORGANIZERS of anti-American demonstrations have no fear of US reaction to their demonstrations. Getting them to doubt their leaders by pointing out the illogic of their position could go a long way toward stopping this nonsense.

We have a quite famous actor and entertainer. His name is Harald Schmidt and he has his own TV show. I wouldn't really call him anti-American. In an interview however, he was asked if he would make jokes about Islam. His answer was: "No, that could lead to kaboom in front of my kitchen. Better criticise Bush, that's not dangerous". Of course people know the US isn't a threat to our peace and security. But for several reasons, they want to make themselves believe it.

1) A good conscience is always nice. Best if you can get it cheap and easy.

2) They know they - we - have no influence on the bad guys in the world. That leads to some kind of helplessness in the face of today's threats to our security. But with their protests they do have a certain influence on our leaders. I guess that's why they project responsibility on them: Bush provoked the terrorists, our friendship with the US provokes them as well, etc: See, we can stop it.

3) Some people are even foolish enough to believe they can impress the Islamic terrorists by giving in to their demands. Appeasement is their solution. America is evil because she hinders progress for this kind of "peace" negotiations.

3) This is the most common answer to your question: "Well, you know, we aren't anti-American. America is on our side and we need it, but we don't like how it acts. The evil Republicans are responsible for this and that (etc.) and we want to have the other America back" (as if they hadn't said the same before Bush). Basically, they want the US to Europeanize her (foreign) policy and everything would be alright.

4) Of course, there are also those who are driven by pure hatred against America and what it stands for. Socialists can't accept the US has won the cold war and made the manifestation of their political ideology vanish into the trash can of history. Some of the masterminds behind today's Anti-Americanism fall into this category.

Number 5) would be: Too much people just don't think for themselves anymore, they let others do it for them.

Thank you, Mir :). Your comment goes a long way towards explaining a lot.

One of the things that completely puzzles me, however, is the notion that Republicans are somehow "evil". A lot of people in the world seem to relate Republicans to Nazis, and I don't understand the connection. There is simply no resemblance whatsoever. Democrats more closely resemble Nazis with their intent to draw more and more power toward a central government. Republicans tend to be more 10th Amendment oriented, wanting the individual states to take over more responsibility. This is the complete antithesis of Nazis and other totalitarians, who rely on central govenment authority.


That's not so difficult to explain, really. In Germany, everything that's politically "right" is somehow suspect. Nobody with aspirations in one of the major parties calls himself "right", because that's generally too much identified with the Nazi ideology. Worse, even the word conservative has to many some kind of "old-fashioned" ring. You don't hear it that often. Everyone wants to be in the middle anyway. It goes without saying that parts of our media and (left-wing) politicians do their best to 1) have the word "right" keep this meaning and 2) apply it to pretty much all of their relevant political opponents - for example, the evil Republicans. What's more, people do identify the current US foreign policy as a Republican one. To a certain extent (!), they are of course right. If they only would understand that with its flaws it's still better than all the Democrats can offer - that's only my opinion of course. About US domestic policy: Do many people know much about it, about what Republicans (or Democrats anyway) stand for? Simple answer: No.

Mir, thanks again for the eye-opening remarks :). I'm learning a lot from you.

But it makes me wonder if anyone who has made a study of Medieval European History has noted the similiarites between socialism and the Feudal land lord system. Everybody (all us peasants) worked a piece of land owned by the local lord or grew cattle or sheep or whatever, took the products of our labor to the lord, and after the lord took his "cut" for our military protection, etc, he redistributed the remainder among us. This stopped working when us peasants discovered that we could do better if we traded among ourselves and cut out the local lord, who then solved that "black market" problem by introducing taxes that had to be paid no matter what. Thus the free-market economy that had once existed in the ancient world resurfaced... as it always does because it is the natural order of business flow.

Marxism and it's thinly disguised cousins is nothing more than the Feudal land lord system with the lords replaced by the "intellectual elites". And, as it always does, the free market "black market" variation always pops up to spoil the Utopia, as it did everyplace communism or socialism has been tried. The only economically sound enterprise in the old USSR was its black market.

People WANT to be in control of their lives, IMHO, and I believe that a part of socialism's attraction is a misplaced belief that putting the government in control takes the means of production out of the hands of the "companies" that people have been led to believe are "evil". Businesses are neutral... only people can be evil, and some businessmen most definitely are. But not, by any stretch of the imagination, all of them. Most of them tend to be rather disturbingly morality-neutral.

Not all government-sponsored enterprises can be regarded as "evil", either. However, I tend to distrust placing too much power into the hands of government because governments tend to grow hidebound bureaucracies after a time, and the bigger the country, the more Gordion Knot-like the red tape gets. Like my Feudal ancestors, I believe that I can trust the government to handle military matters and the mail and such, but leave me to make my own decisions about the rest of my life.

And, in the meantime, whenever I hear socialists describe their views as "progressive", I just laugh in their faces and call them Feudalists. :D

It's a matter of fact that we now have high taxes and a high dependance on the state. You can't take only one of those away without creating an impossible chaos. Changing both at the same time (which would be the only realistic way) is not going through with the electorate either. People want an influential state: Forbid this, tax that. If it's because of their true own will or because our elites tell them (and be assured they do), is hard to say. In this regard, there will just keep to be a fundamental difference between Europe and America (if it were the only differences, we could consider ourselves lucky). As I see it, Americans who disagree with this European way generally don't lecture us about it. Old Europeans on the other hand can't stop blabbing about all the shortcomings of the system our friends on the other side of the pond have.

Bashar al-Assad is a "Republican" too, and so was Saddam Hussein. Maybe that´s why the left was so avid to preserve him.

Franzis... Saddam Hussein was a Ba'athist, a party that can be traced directly back to the Nazis. Not a theory... fact.

LOL-- sorry Franzis... I just spotted what you are talking about :D.

Mir, it would be extremely difficult to unravel the Gordion Knot, as it stands now.

One of the reasons the US balks at socialized medicine is because we've already seen what it would look like in a country as big as the US... through our military veterans' Veteran's Administration Medical System. The VA has a nice, neat listing of possible ailments, neatly numbered, and if what's wrong with you doesn't have a number to fit into the neat form slot for it, you aren't sick. It literally takes an act of the Supreme Court to force the VA to recognize a previously unknown illness (Agent Orange Syndrom, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, etc). That's how socialized medicine would work here, and the VA is the reason we resist it... the ability of a G-5 clerk typist more concerned about breaking rules than helping the vets to diagnose your illness instead of the doctors. They're also inconsistant... some VA hospitals are great and some are absolutely horrendous. ALL of them are bureaucratic nightmares. I'm a disabled vet... been there, done that, etc., claimed my malady was cured to get the hell out of it, actually dumping a 50% disability pension to get out of the VA system. Then I went to a private doctor to get real help.

But it's the system we have for military veterans, and it will take a massive effort to correct the problems. The VA went from "famous" to "infamous" during the cases that went through the Supreme Court to get Agent Orange Syndrome recognized as a military-related illness.

The VA USED to be the best medical system in the US. However, it took only 20 years to get from an innovative system that actually developed the standard treatments used for stroke victims by researching with head-injured soldiers to something that is so hide-bound it's hideous.

And it's how socialized medicine would work... or NOT work... in the US. The country is just too big to deal with it in a reasonable way.

One of the oddities of the US is that the Democrats want to adopt the medical system used in Canada. Meanwhile, we have Canadians coming across our borders for medical procedures they can't get in Canada. If I were a Canadian, I would not be alive today. I survived cancer, and if I had been in Canada, the emergency room doctor who was trying to find out why I was having chest pains would not have been able to order a CT-scan on a whim as mine did. That CT-scan is the reason my cancer was found early enough to cure it. The wait for CT-scans in Canada is at the "months" level. I had a 5-minute wait.

Thank God you could be cured in time.

Thank you, Mir :). I have a chronic cough from the radiation damage, but better that than a casket! The cough is a mere nuisance.

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