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A few other places:

Come to California, but skip Hollywood! Instead, go to the beaches between LA and San Diego, where the surf's up. Go to Yosemite, but after a quick bus-ride in the Valley, go back-packing in the canyons above Tuolumne Meadows, where the trailheads are at 8-9000 feet (2500 to 2750 meters to non-Imperials). And be sure to make it out to the Gold Country, the heart of Red California, where cooler-than-thou leftoids fear to tread - although the bed&breakfasts are numerous. You may even see a jumping frog or two.

After leaving California, drive (don't fly) from Reno to Yellowstone, to get a little taste of just how big the US is. Be sure to stop at every gas station, because it may be 300 kilometers to the next one, and just drink in the vast openness of Nevada's high deserts. After turning north, you'll cross into Idaho, where the scenery will change drastically: the Craters of the Moon National Monument is a vast lava field with numerous cinder-cones and small inactive volcanoes scattered across the landscape. Turning north, you'll climb above Pocatello into the mountains, until you finally reach Yellowstone. Among its other numerous natural wonders is the only known lake in the Americas that drains into both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. It's just a big pond, really, but it's still interesting in a geo-weenie sort of way...

After this, turn east and head to Cody, Wyoming, home of the best cowboy museum you'll ever see. Not much of this sort of thing in Europe! Now, head SE toward Denver, where you'll go back into the Rockies for a good while, and be sure to enjoy the politically incorrect delicacy of a big, juicy steak. And after this, fly back to the East Coast, where you can mingle with all the blue-staters you'll ever want to meet.

Foo, lets not forget US 95 in Idaho from Coeur d'Alene to Payette. Then there's US 89 in Utah from I-70 to Flagstaff, AZ. beautiful view of the Grand Canyon's east side after you cross the state line.

Drive an hour to Middleburg Virginia?! Is he nuts? I don't know how long it's been since the man has been here or gone to Middleburg but it's a one hour drive only if you look at a map. Traffic here is horrendous.

But. By Metro (subway/underground) you can get to Old Town Alexandria, one of the oldest settlements in the U.S. Get off at the King St. Station. It's a bit of a hike to the original Old Town (2 miles?) down by the Potomac River but you'll see the vestiges of Colonial America. Food? I've never had a bad meal. If you do have a car, Mt. Vernon, the home of Geo. Washington is not far. There is a restaurant there that serves a colonial menu.

If you are in D.C. and want to ride horses, Rock Creek Park has stables. It's been a decade or so since I've used that stable so can't really vouch for them.

Whatever. If you've never been to the States before, all I can tell you - from personal experience with first-timers - even tho' you've been told how large this place is - first-timers are never prepared. I hosted a gentleman from the Netherlands a few weeks ago. The drive from the airport to downtown D.C. was half the east-west distance of the Netherlands. He just looked at me. "You call this spitting distance?!"

Well, yeah.

OK I actually hate it when people tell me what NOT to visit, but anyway, the Tabard Inn is excellent. Georgetown (I studied there) is a bit overrated, but I truly liked the nightlife in Adams Morgan and yes the Space museum is a must. The Spy Museum is kinda tacky but still fun. They organize some great spy tours in D.C.

But whatever you do, DON'T go to D.C. in August, you'll hate it. It's dead and stinking hot and muggy. Cherry blossom in April is fine but October is great, the Shenandoah Valley a riot of colors and you can pick your own pumkin at many farms around Germantown, Md

And if you take a couple of friends you can even stage your own demonstration in front of the White House :-)

As I read the article, I told myself that a visitor simply had to go to the Air and Space Museum. But that thought seems to have occurred to you too!

There is nothing quite like it anywhere else. Where else can you actually touch a piece of the moon? I took an English visitor to Washington, some years ago, who was very much a sullen anti-American. He wanted to do European things, such as looking at art at the National Art Gallery. There are galleries like that and better, in Europe, I told him. I tried to tell him that the real art, and triumph, of America, was displayed in the Air and Space Museum. In there we see the incredibly imaginative, and simultaneously meticulous engineering that made it possible for the unbelievably courageous airmen and explorers to change our mental map of the world, during the first half of the 20th century, and the came can-do spirit that gave us a first step into space.

As a boy in India, I had always wanted to live in Britain. I ended up coming to America, since it was easier, but did so with less than complete joy in my heart. I remember, as I prepared to leave, and old man who had walked and talked with Gandhi, told me to be happy. "You are going to a young land of unusual, but great people," he said, "They live by a rule that has made them great. Americans believe, 'The difficult we shall do today, the impossible we shall accomplish tomorrow.' Go and learn from them!" It was only a couple of decades later, when I walked through the Air and Space Museum, that I completely understood what he had meant, and my heart was lifted.

That museum houses some of the things that made the American difference! The machines, and more importantly, the Americans who built and used them,to explore the world, and to establish mail and travel routes helped to make the last century The American Century. Open minded Europeans should not fail to go there. Whilst there, they should try to see To Fly, at the IMAC theater. That unforgettable film, too, celebrates this wonderful land.

Sorry to disturb you with more nonsense about the US. I guess Bush did not make this law, so Mr. Lachmann complains about the US system as a whole.

"Schon nach den Terroranschlägen vom 11. September 2001 hatten die USA mehr als 700 Muslime verhaftet und im Durchschnitt 80 Tage lang ohne jede Angabe von Gründen oder Beweisen für irgendeine Straftat inhaftiert. Das hat mit rechtsstaatlichen Verhältnissen nichts mehr zu tun."

Günther Lachmann in Welt am Sonntag

http://www.wams.de/data/2005/07/10/743861.html?s=1


80 days in prison without an arrest warrant means there is against constitutional state (kein Rechtsstaat).

So only Germany's laws are good and right and fair for Mr. Lachmann.

I wonder how it is in other countries. Recently I read about 90 days somewhere else. I don't remember where.


If you visit the DC area, take the time to visit the National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA. It's 25 miles West of the city; take the bus from the Air and Space Museum in DC, or drive it (I-66 West to Rt. 28 North). They have a SR-71 Blackbird, the Shuttle prototype Enterprise, all sorts of historic airplanes, gliders, and the B-29 Enola Gay (sadly, with a plexiglass shield between it and the view point).

See some of the monuments. Visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the mall. Then, go to the nearby Lincoln Memorial. Take the time to read the Gettysburg Address and his Second Inaugeral Address. Stop complaining about Americans being too religious.

Go to a Nationals baseball game at RFK stadium. Eat first: the food is poor. However, the team is surprisingly good, and the atmosphere is great. Or, go to a minor league game at Bowie, Fredrick, or Dale City. As Jacques Barzun wrote, “Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball, the rules and realities of the game.”

Visit one of the nearby Civil War battlefields. Manassas is 30 miles west of DC, Antietam 70 miles Northwest, Fredricksburg, Spotsylvania, and the Wilderness are about 55 miles South, and Gettysburg makes for a great day trip. I know Europe has its battlefields. Take the time to understand how the US was shaped by its struggles.

Visit the countryside. Head East from Gettysburg and tour the Amish region of Pennsylvania. America was built by immigrants; your country provided us with much. Then wonder why they had to leave Germany.

Go to one of the service bands' free concerts. The Marine Band is wonderful.

Head west of DC and tour Skyline Drive along the Shenandoah National Forest. Reserve a room in one of their lodges. Drive slowly; watch out for deer. Then, go to a bluegrass concert, perhaps in Galax. Go to an local auto race track. It won't be Formula One, or as I call it, “Formula 0.3.” It will be fun.

Do go to New York. Wander through Central Park, so beloved by New Yorkers that when the city had a subway line go under the southeastern corner, they were forced to treat it as an archeological dig and replace everything vsisble on the surface the way it was. Go window-shopping on Fifth Avenue during the Christmas season. Take the Staten Island Ferry, New York's cheapest date. Walk to Brooklyn on the grand promenade of the Brooklyn Bridge, the most beautiful of bridges. Take the train to the (incredibly tacky) Coney Island. Get a hot dog and fries at the original Nathan's. In the summer, spend a day at Jones Beach on Long Island. You'll need to drive; public transportation is lacking. Do visit the American Museum of Natural History and the Rose Planetarium. Visit Ground Zero. Then, as you wander through the city, look at the memorials at the firehouses. Three hundred forty-three firemen died that day, including the 71-year-old Deputy Fire Commissioner, the Chief of Uniformed Firemen, and the Department Chaplain. They saved thousands of people. Then wonder why the US isn't just seeking vengence.

Tour New England in fall, Kansas farmland in summer, and the Grand Canyon in spring. Have Maine lobster, Texas chili, and fresh sweet corn.

Remember, there is no such thing as typical America, and there is no such man as the typical American man. We will always surprise you, if you let us.

Amen to Dilip Balamore :). I've been to the National Air and Space Museum and can verify the feelings it engenders :).

And for anyone who is planning a trip to Florida (Disney, anyone? LOL!) make the time to see the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. And take a look at the NASA web site to try to co-ordinate a visit timed to a launch. It doesn't matter what kind of launch... a space shuttle would be primo, but even an insignificant satellite launch is a stirring sight that you will never forget. Even a little Delta-V rocket can make the ground shudder for miles! And the fire trail can be seen a good long distance away.

When I lived in Orlando years back, I used to stand out in my yard every time there was a launch at a good time (not interfering with my college classes), and it didn't matter what kind of a launch. The fire trail could be seen clearly even in the brightest sunlight, and night launches were spectacular. In the darkness you would see a sudden, momentary glow on the horizon, then you would see this little thing like someone holding one of those Bic cigarette lighters at arms length rising from beyond the trees. Cape Canaveral is about 50 miles from Orlando.

There's also a fascinating visitor's center there that regularly changes the displays, so you can go back and see new things at another time. The last time I was there, there was a Saturn V rocket... the workhorse used to lift the Apollo capsules... lying sideways on the ground. The diameter of the thing was the height of a 5-story building! The length was 365 feet, or about 111 meters, when standing upright the height of a 30-story building. It was incredible to see.

Will you people just STOP IT!!! I'm getting homesick!

That's it! I'm being taxed so damned much that I can't afford a plane ticket. So, I'll build a raft!

Its not just Europe (including nations which took part in the War: Spain, Italy) where public opinion of America is not faring well, but almost all of Latin America too, and most of S. Korea thinks Bush's reelection is negative for world security.

Why dont you see it as a compliment:
Germans always tend to dislike their most powerful threats -
But this does not have to go on forever, just look at our attitude towards russia today (compared to that in the 1980s).

My own university (Regensburg) is working closely together with the lomonossow university of moscow -> that proves how relations can develop between formerly bitter foes.

As soon as america stops invading other countries and accepts the world as it is, there will be no more reason for europeans to hate you.

The myth about European anti-Americanism "running deep" seems to be a pet theory of American conservatives.
Fact is: The PEW report Gedmin talks about shows a steep decline in approval ratings for America in 2002/2003. For Germany it was something like a drop from 70% down to 35%.
And this drop is obviously due to Bush and the Iraq war. Or does somebody have a better explanation?


As for the rest of you, I second James W.: Just stop it, willya ;-) ! If I hear one more mouth-watering story about vacation in America, I´m going to contact AI. I´m sure they have the appropriate word for this kind of behavior...

@Zyme...

That's utter garbage and so hypocritical.

Germany is free today BECAUSE it was invaded! Japan is free today BECAUSE it was invaded. Perhaps we should have just accepted the world the way it was? One can only speculate what the European world would look like if we had just told Europe to go pound sand.

I thought the Europeans were supposed to be more educated than everyone else? You are hardly showing that so-called superior intellect.

Secondly, I lived in Germany in the late 90s, they hated us then too.

Lastly, the saddest thing is that Americans by and large could care less what happens to Germany now. Ask the average American about Germany and they'll likely reply, "Oh, yea. Germany, what ever happened to 'em?" The only Americans that pay attention to Germany are the ones who have some tie to it.

It's difficult to take a country seriously when it has leeched off of you for 60 years, doesn't have the moxy or ability to protect itself or anything else, and then spits in your face.

I wonder, if Germany suffered as London did in the last few days, would America be so helpful? Perhaps, but probably because of who we are, not because of any lingering sense of friendship.

Do you people actually believe Americans care if you like us or not?

It is difficult for me to find anyone who does.

Actually it would probably be helpful in the world we live in today if Americans displayed the same attitude toward many of the nations who so dislike America.

This would give some real balance.

Surely for those who dislike America so much this is a rather boring topic.

I would think none of them would want to visit or live in such a place.

What we need is for someone to write something about Moscow or Paris. Those are places real Germans like.

I'd say for a period of about 45 years, Germany made the right foreign policy decision: unambiguous attachment to the West. Since re-unification, it's back to normal, making all the wrong foreign policy decisions.

"Germany is free today BECAUSE it was invaded! Japan is free today BECAUSE it was invaded. Perhaps we should have just accepted the world the way it was?"

From what my grandparents told me.. they had a good living before they were "liberated" - maybe you underestimate the following:
For a german, having a great standart of living is by far more important than having those typical rights that come with democracy.
Thats why the enemies of the republic gain support when there is an economical decline - the only reason for most germans to stick with this system is the economical wealth and peace that came with it. As soon as this wealth is gone, there s no more reason to keep it up.

The reason why people wanted to prevent such a war to happen again was because they lost so many relatives in it.
If we had won, nobody would regret what had happened.

"Perhaps we should have just accepted the world the way it was?"

Seriously you cant expect a german to feel scared by such a statement.
Besides, i could apply for governor of paris then, sounds good to me :)

"Secondly, I lived in Germany in the late 90s, they hated us then too."

America already was the only remaining superpower in the late 90s..

"I wonder, if Germany suffered as London did in the last few days, would America be so helpful?"

I guess not, but then again - who cares?

@ Zyme

I know that some under Nazi rule did have pretty good lives. They were generally higher ups in Nazi party. So, what did your grandparents actually do at the time?

Perhaps you are right about "standards of living." I am not German and I value my freedom over socialist groupthink.

"Seriously you cant expect a german to feel scared by such a statement."
Ahh, well, ok. I didn't realize that pondering the difference in the world that a successful Hitler might entail as a threat, makes no sense to me. Perhaps you should explain what you mean.

My comment was to illustrate the illogic of your statement. If America had not intervened in Europe's wars (I, II and Kosovo), the world would certainly be a different place.

"Besides, i could apply for governor of paris then, sounds good to me :)" Actually you already sound like Le Pen.

"America already was the only remaining superpower in the late 90s."
Ahh, so now we have the real reason. You are jealous of American power and influence. Luckily, when I lived in Germany, the only folks I met that hated America were those socialist/communists that were pissed that the Soviet "nirvana" died a pretty pathetic death.

Actually, there is a real answer to your woes on this issue. Become competitive in the world. Stop choaking your people and businesses with unbearable taxes and an unaffordable welfare system. Take the money you save and actually develop a military that matters. Hell, even the French who are in the same stagnate boat that Germany is in has a respectable military. Their Special Ops and airforce are actually quite good.

"I wonder, if Germany suffered as London did in the last few days, would America be so helpful? I guess not, but then again - who cares?"

Ahh, now you get it! Well done. That's the point I was making. I don't know how many Americans really would care enough to commit time, resources and manpower to help as we are in London.

Now, I am not you. I do actually care about what happens to the average German. I have too many friends there and I don't want to wake up one morning and find out that some sick twist jihadi hurt them. I am afraid that if that were to occur, I would look around at my countrymen and women and see them shrug their shoulders and say, "So what?"

We would help, of course. We always do. That's who we are and what we do. But in all honesty, I am not convinced the public would support much else beyond anything more than profunctory assistance.

The way things are going now, support for anything even related to Germany will die out because of inattentiveness and lack of respect rather than actual animous.

As you said... it will be because of indifference. That is already happening.

I second and third all comments about the Air and Space museum in DC. Skip the Smithsonian - skip the National Gallery unless you have a huge interest in American art (it has a superlative collection of that). If you have time hit the Natural Science museum - you won't see a better one in Europe. But it's not unique like Air and Space is.

If you want to see a Civil War battleground - take the time and visit Gettysburg. It's far better than any of the others.

But what's really special about the US is outside of any city. It's the scenery. If you're on the East Coast go see the Outer Banks of North Carolina or the Smoky Mountain Scenic Highway in Virginia and North Carolina. If in New York get out and see the Poconos Mountains in Pennsylvania, driving through the Deleware Water Gap on the way.

If on the West Coast take a trip with the Green Tortoise Bus Company. Take any of their trips and see incredible things. Cheap too. Based out of San Francisco but they run coast to coast trips which you can board in New York. Check them out.

"I know that some under Nazi rule did have pretty good lives. They were generally higher ups in Nazi party. So, what did your grandparents actually do at the time?"

They were ordinary people living in the countryside of Bavaria - all they got from the third Reich was a few russians, a frenchman and a polish woman to support them at work on their farmlands.
The only ones that had no good lives where the enemys of the government.. my grandparents were none of these.

"I am not German and I value my freedom over socialist groupthink."

Ouch - you ll hardly find socialist groupthink anywhere outside east germany today.. what we value above our "freedom" as you say is our INDIVIDUAL wealth status. Socialist groupthink is in fact no goal in western germany and also decreasing in eastern germany.

" "Seriously you cant expect a german to feel scared by such a statement."
Ahh, well, ok. I didn't realize that pondering the difference in the world that a successful Hitler might entail as a threat, makes no sense to me. Perhaps you should explain what you mean."

Sorry for my unprecise speaking: I wanted to point out that you cant scare a real german saying "Perhaps we should have just accepted the world the way it was? One can only speculate what the European world would look like if we had just told Europe to go pound sand." for a simple reason:
If america had just stood by, we would have had one less enemy.

Thats nothing to be sad about :)

" "Besides, i could apply for governor of paris then, sounds good to me :)" Actually you already sound like Le Pen."

And you got no sense of german humor..

" "America already was the only remaining superpower in the late 90s."
Ahh, so now we have the real reason. You are jealous of American power and influence."

I wouldnt say we are jealous - i d rather say due to its influence, america is another mountain to climb.

"Actually, there is a real answer to your woes on this issue. Become competitive in the world."

Thats why our products do sell that nicely right?

"Take the money you save and actually develop a military that matters."

To do what? To take europe again?
We prefer doing buisness with foreign countries - no matter what kind of government they have.

"I don't know how many Americans really would care enough to commit time, resources and manpower to help as we are in London."

And my point is: we wouldnt care about how much manpower, time or ressources you deliever :)

"I have too many friends there and I don't want to wake up one morning and find out that some sick twist jihadi hurt them."

Why would they want to hurt us? We are cooperating economically with their homelands instead of threatening / invading them. So i guess these jihadis will rather concentrate on america instead.

"I would think none of them would want to visit or live in such a place."

You would think so Joe, but oddly enough I know of some who while in Germany slam the hell out of the US and Americans, yet regularly visit the US on vacations and whatnot(not including Roland Emerich) - one not so much visits but MOVED to the US. One is a staunch lefty (but also claims to be a devout Christian???) whom voted Greens, tried to organise her work place to protest against the US. Another worked in the US a short time for German company then goes back to Germany to tell other Germans (including my wife) how incredibly stupid Americans are, apparently he has some sort of love of retards as last I heard he actually moved to the US.

@fucher
>>And this drop is obviously due to Bush and the Iraq war. Or does somebody have a better explanation?

I. cannot. believe. I. have. to. post. this. again.

"A genealogy of anti-Americanism". James. W. Ceaser, prof. Political Science, Univ. Virginia. It is a precis of his book "Reconstructing Americaa".

http://www.thepublicinterest.com/archives/2003summer/article1.html
-----------------------------
The poet Nikolaus Lenau, sometimes referred to as the "German Byron," provided the classic summary of the anti-American thought of the romantics: "With the expression Bodenlosigkeit [rootlessness] I think I am able to indicate the general character of all American institutions; what we call Fatherland is here only a property insurance scheme." In other words, there was no real community in America, no real volk. America's culture "had in no sense come up organically from within." There was only a dull materialism: "The American knows nothing; he seeks nothing but money; he has no ideas." Then came Lenau's haunting image, reminiscent of Pauw's picture of America: "the true land of the end, the outer edge of man."

Even America's vaunted freedom was seen by many romantics as an illusion. American society was the very picture of a deadening conformity. The great romantic poet Heinrich Heine gave expression to this sentiment: "Sometimes it comes to my mind/To sail to America/To that pig-pen of Freedom/Inhabited by boors living in equality." America, as Heine put it in his prose writing, was a "gigantic prison of freedom," where the "most extensive of all tyrannies, that of the masses, exercises its crude authority."

[snip]

The individual most responsible for elaborating a complete theory of race was Arthur de Gobineau, known today as the father of racialist thinking. Gobineau's one- thousand-page opus, Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races, focused on the fate of the Aryans, whom he considered the purest and highest of all the races. His account was deeply pessimistic, as he argued that the Aryans were allowing themselves to be bred out of existence in Europe. America became an important focus of his analysis since, as he explained, many at the time championed America as the Great White Hope, the nation in which the Aryans (Anglo-Saxons and Nordics) would reinvigorate their stock and reassert their rightful dominance in the world. In this view, while America's formal principle was democracy, its real constitution was that of Anglo-Saxon racial hegemony. But Gobineau was convinced that this hope was illusory. The universalistic idea of natural equality in America was in fact promoting a democracy of blood, in which the very idea of "race," which was meant to be a term of distinction, was vanishing. Europe was dumping its "garbage" races into America, and these had already begun to mix with the Anglo-Saxons.

With notable perspicacity, Gobineau foresaw the Tiger Woods phenomenon. The natural result of the democratic idea, he argued, was amalgamation. America was creating a new "race" of man, the last race, the human race - which was no race at all. Gobineau modeled his system on Hegel's philosophy of history, substituting blood for Spirit as the active motor of historical movement. The elimination of race marked the end of history. It presented - and here one could, in his view, see America's future - a lamentable spectacle of creatures of the "greatest mediocrity in all fields: mediocrity of physical strength, mediocrity of beauty, mediocrity of intellectual capacities - we could almost say nothingness."
----------------------

I've left out anything about the French, which every history I've read credit with starting the whole thing before the U.S. even existed.

Studying history is a good thing. Some posters here should try it.


SIS,

Yes I am aware this is true for a few Germans. But you must realize this is just a very small group. Most Germans feel closer to those nations they admire and respect and think much like this do and hold the same values. This is why Russia and China and france are more liked than the US.

For the examples you provided, it would be safe to assume that socalism is actually a mental disorder. The longer you are exposed to it the worse it becomes and the effects are unpredictable.

This I think goes a long way in explaining why Germans have such difficulty in making choices and when making those choices they chose the wrong one the majority of time even when they have good information to base a decision on.

As for the person you know who thinks Americans are stupid, I can see why he would want to come and live here. It would have to be to feed his own ego as he would feel superior to all those around him.

As for the Green organizer, I am sure she also feels the need and in a way the pull to come to the US. Her's would be to save the world. What better way than to go into the hell of that place called America and fight to educate all of those stupid people.

So with more and more Germans coming to America to save us from ourselves and bring their own form of "social justice", I can only say we should all be thankful that there Germans still like that in Germany.


Zyme, I don't give a rat's rear end about how good your grandparents had it during Hitler's reign. Most *humans* were just a teeny bit put out by the ethnic cleansing and the rampant invasions of neighboring countries. So perhaps Germans (who are of the appropriate ethnic group, and of course not gay) would have been happier had the US not invaded, but that's just too damned bad.

Talk about shallow, materialstic and self-absorbed.

@Niko

"You. Confuse. Causality. With. Correlation."

I asked for a BETTER explanation.
Sure, it´s possible that a lot of people simply started to dislike the US around 2002/2003 for no reason, or because some butterfly beat his wings in Uganda.
Or that Bush started the Iraq war BECAUSE there was such a drop in US popularity.

I just don´t think these are very good explanations.

"The key is ... pretense"

Of course, we can never rule out that the people lied.
But- dito.


@Pamela

99/00 78% of all Germans have "a favorable view" of the US.
2003, the figure is down to 45%.

I don´t think that Lenau or Gobineau are the reason for that.
(Btw, I must admit that I´ve never even heard of the "German Byron". Maybe Ceaser overestimates Lenau´s influence in Germany)

BTW... there is nothing to see or do in Atlanta. The same for most of Georgia.

Waste of time.

fucher
>> Maybe Ceaser overestimates Lenau´s influence in Germany)

Maybe you overestimate the value of a German education. Start reading.

Pamela,

That was unkind. For Germans, there is nothing wrong with their education system.

Just look at the number of German universities that are ranked in the world's top 100.

That is an accomplishment to be proud of or for Germans to be proud of.

Don't you think?

@Pamela

Whatever. I notice you still haven´t provided an explanation for the huge drop of US popularity around 2002/2003.

Joe, I just posted this over on another thread, but I'm afraid the educational system is not what most Germans think it is. Yes, I have a vested interest in this, as my 3 children attend a nearby Gymnasium and my wife teaches at a different one. To rehash excerpts from the "German Mediocracy" thread:

I assume you're talking about that fabulous German education that scored in the bottom third in the last two PISA studies? Even lower than the US? I assume you're talking about that fabulous German univerisity education that foreign students are ignoring in droves because they prefer English-language degrees so they can have a head start in actually applying their skills to REAL markets and earning money? Or degree names that actually mean something with internationally understandable terms (BA, MS, etc)?
... It's still possible to get a good education in Germany, but you really have to try, and the chances have been decreasing with each passing year. The GEW people will make sure any school child is properly indoctrinated with the standard left-wing drivel and love for mediocrity. The university system will make further progress in squashing any independent thinking and innovation that could potentially challenge the credentials or authority of tenured professors. The Germans love to believe the myth that their education system is so much better than the American. The US system has its troubles and challenges as well, but it is nowhere near as bad as the Germans paint it. And the system that most Germans think they have hasn't existed for 40 years. And guess what: The highly-educated Germans that leave the country are in many cases leaving and staying and not contirbuting a cent to keeping the bloated German social system afloat. That's not what I call a successful export product.

So in sum, Pamula's comment, whilst shockingly direct, was not necessarily inaccurate. By several metrics, a student is better off in the US. BTW, where did you see that ranking of universities? Do you have a link? I'm interested...

fucher
>>I notice you still haven´t provided an explanation for the huge drop of US popularity around 2002/2003.
Sorry for the delay, I was called away briefly.
I do not doubt the increase in anti-Americanism over the time period you cite is due to the unpopularity of the manner in which the Bush admin has conducted the WOT (I hate that term, btw - so inept).

But you are missing the point. Read the article. Anti-americanism has been part the of cultural mileau in Europe since the 17th century. Little of it is grounded in anything that could reasonably be termed empirical analysis. There was a huge increase when Reagan put Pershing missles in Europe. Then, there was no discernable discussion of what he was responding to - just more nonsense about 'American imperialism' blah blah blah. Anti-americanism is as much a part of the European meme as beer is of the German. And there is one more thing that I would like to point out. It's been touched on in other threads but never integrated as I would have liked. Anti-americanism in Europe is NEVER about policy issues. You can have serious, substantive policy issues with the U.S. and not be anti-American. Note in the blurbs I pasted; there is a cultural revulsion. And many times on this blog, Americans have noted the self-gratifying ease with which Germans insult Americans to their faces. Hell, Dave and Ray posted a whole thread about a German so-called diplomat who invited an American journalist and his wife to his house, apparently for the sole purpose of insulting them.

So, when I speak of anti-Americanism, I am not referring to policy differences or popularity figures that may rise and fall with them. I'm referring to an utlimately irrational pathology used - as far as I can tell at this point - for the self-aggrandizement of a self-image that is sorely lacking - and to manufacture a cultural consensus about the cultural identity.

I think most of Gedmin's vacation ideas suck. But perhaps that's because I've already done them all. Enjoy the countryside, horseback ride, baseball games. Bah! I did that the first thirty years of my life.

I did laugh at this, however: Visit Fort McHenry, a key site in America's 1812 war with Britain.

"Key site": Har! For non-Americans: Fort McHenry is the site of the original Star-Spangled Banner. The author of the poem, Francis Scott Key (geddit?), was detained by the British as their fleet was shelling the fort. Toward morning the shelling stopped, and Key feared that the fort had been taken. There was no way to know, though, until sunrise, when he could see which flag was flying over it. When he saw that the American flag was still flying, he was inspired to write the poem.

If I recall correctly, they have the origin SSB still there at Fort McHenry [hmmm, several sources say it's in the Smithsonian]. It's enormous, though very worn and torn and faded now. Better not go, if you're an anti-American. You'll get all that sloppy patriotism all over you. Ick!

@ scout
looking at the top 100 worldwide rankings there are 48 in the USA
Munich ranks 51, Heidelberg 64, Freiburg 88 and Bonn 99

Academic rankings of World Universities - 2004
http://ed.sjtu.edu.cn/ranking.htm

Scout,

I do not find shocking your comments but then I am not German. I dare say there are alot of things Germans believe that do not exist.

It is like their current state of decline. They do not believe so why even discuss it.

I just read the latest UN report, The Human Development Index (HDI), published annually by the UN. This ranks nations according to their citizens' quality of life rather than strictly by a nation's traditional economic figures.

Found it interesting the US is only at number 8. Oh the other hand Germany is at number 19. Once again beating Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece. Good thing there is a Italy, Portugal and Greece.

You can find a listing of the top 100 universities at.

http://ed.sjtu.edu.cn/rank/2004/top500(1-100).htm

A second source is.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,591-1343946,00.html

But education systems must meet the needs of their citizens. It is apparent the current system in Germany is more than doing that.

If it is working why change it? I think this is pretty much the attitude of most Germans about a lot of things. It works let it alone.

Germany once again beats Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy.

Good thing we are talking about universities and not soccer. If we were then Germaany is a bit hard pressed to beat Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy.

Good lord! Read the actual U.N. stats. The live expectancy in Zimbabwe is 33.9.
http://hdr.undp.org/reports/global/2004/
Scroll down and click on Human Development Indicators

Pamela,

Well if the "root causes" of terror were all the things the progressives would like for us to believe and address, then all terrorists would be black.

Yes it is a bit sad to look at those rankings.

Joe
>> then all terrorists would be black.

And female! Heh.

Gotta run, back later. Hate mail to the usual address.

I watched the segment with Antje Vollmer from the ZDF (German TV) show "Berlin Mitte". She did not only say that Polish troops were brought to Iraq in order to weaken the Pope's home country, she also suggested that the sexual abuse scandal involving the catholic church in the U.S. was orchestrated by the Americans in order to punish the Pope! Go figure...

Bernd

"Lastly, the saddest thing is that Americans by and large could care less what happens to Germany now. Ask the average American about Germany and they'll likely reply, "Oh, yea. Germany, what ever happened to 'em?" The only Americans that pay attention to Germany are the ones who have some tie to it."

well its the same with most germans about the usa, we dont care! This here used to be a german website and look how few germans write their comments, because they just dont fricking care what you americans think!

@Pamela

I think I get your point, I just don´t agree.
Of course there has always been anti-Americanism in Germany. But there is also a long history of anti-Frenchism, anti-Britishim, anti-Austrianism, anti-Polishism, ...
It would be a very easy task to come up with historic "prove" that Germans have always hated any country in Europe.
On the other hand, it would be very easy to come up with a logical explanation of why in 2000 78% of Germans had a favorable view of the US according to the PEW report.
Therefore I think that these historical musings are fun, but are pretty useless.

I don´t think that the "There has always been anti-Americanism in Germany" - statement is very useful.
Even in notoriously US-friendly nations like GB or Canada the US achieved at normal times "only" approval ratings around 80%. That means that there were still 20% who didn´t like the US very much. So, of course one could say with some right that there is a deeply rooted anti-Americanism in GB or Canada. But it would be somewhat hypocritical.

fucher, fair enough. We can respectfully agree to disagree. Except for one thing on which we most certainly agree:
>> But there is also a long history of anti-Frenchism

Same here!

fucher,

What Pamela is telling you is true and is very important in understanding the current environment.

There are today some very huge differences on how this anti-Americism had grown and become so wide spread in your nation.

Prior to most recently it was more or less confined to the extreme left and to the extreme right. There is a long history of this and if you desire for me to furnish you links I shall be more than happy to do so.

For the most part the generations who currently are your elites come from a period of radicalization. I believe you call them 68’ers.

These elites are now in power in all areas of the German society. They have for whatever reason decided to use America as the source of all-evil. This has been presented to the larger German public by your education system, your political system and by the media.

What has been done is to use propaganda to create the opinions that now exist in Germany.

Before you jump to deny this is true, then you must come up with another believable reason. This site is in fact all about the propaganda being fed the German people.

If you still want to deny this, then accept this too as a fact because you will have proven it. What you will prove is that during the 30’s and 40’s all Germans were in fact Nazis, be they card carrying party members or not. Your grandparents were just as guilty of sending people to the gas chamber as those who were there and fully supported all the actions of the Third Reich.

I personally do not believe that nor do I want to believe that.

So if you do not accept that public opinion can be and is in fact being manipulated then you accept that all Germans were in fact Nazis and you yourself come from that gene. It is a gene that requires Germans to feel the need to hate someone. I use that expression because it seems to be a word that is often used by Germans…. “hate”. If that is true, then it will be only a matter of time before Germany is at war with someone.

-> Joe
" It is a gene that requires Germans to feel the need to hate someone. I use that expression because it seems to be a word that is often used by Germans…. “hate”. If that is true, then it will be only a matter of time before Germany is at war with someone. "

I would say thats 100% correct.
That hate is in fact quite useful, since it stimulates us to do better than those we despise.

Those 68ers have interrupted our typical militarism, but i think it will return with the generation after them coming to power (which is my own generation).
Its a process though, which will last decades rather than overnight.

"For the most part the generations who currently are your elites come from a period of radicalization. I believe you call them 68’ers."

I dont really understand why you call them radicals - they always claimed to take responsibility for what happened in the last Reich and therefor tried to stay small where the Reich wanted to do grand.
My own generation doesnt feel responsible for what happened in the past anymore and gives a f*** about what happens to isreal today (-> no more reason to support them). Once in charge, we wont have any reason to stay "small" anymore.

So i would understand it if you called this generation radical in comparison to those 68ers - but then again you probably dont know any german of my generation, so its not your fault.

Zyme said, "all they got from the third Reich was a few russians, a frenchman and a polish woman to support them at work on their farmlands."

That's all? Germany was looting and enslaving as much of Europe as they could to support their German Socialist welfare state. Your grandparents were slave owners.

Zyme
>>I dont really understand why you call them radicals
Baeder-Meinhoff (I hope I spelled that correctly, apologies if not). An analogy in America is if the Weather Underground - say Bernadette Dorn - became Sec'y State.

>>My own generation doesnt feel responsible for what happened in the past anymore

Nor should you. That whole idea is ludicrous. I don't feel responsible for slavery. But we both do have responsibilities in our own societies - to see to it that it never happens again.

And finally:
>>That hate is in fact quite useful, since it stimulates us to do better than those we despise

Nihilism. The engine of European progress. Zyme, you are doomed.

@Joe
>> and you yourself come from that gene.

I didn't know cultural/political orientations could be encoded in DNA. Darwin is dead, Lamarck lives!

Really, that is totally uncalled for.

fuchur,

I was wondering if, perhaps, the rise in anti-American sentiment might have been the result of some German sense of shame, for your government's having been caught in the oil-for-palaces scandal, undermining the sanctions used to keep a monster in check? Americans did what had to be done -- what, ultimately, is probably the right thing, at much risk to our economy and to our citizen soldiers' personal safety -- and then we have the audacity to keep rubbing your noses in it, Every. Single. Day. Could it not be the same resentment a regular schoolboy has for the goody-two-shoes teacher's pet?


As to visiting places in the US, I invite you all to take a tour on a paddle boat cruise up or down the Mississippi River (there are several good ones, from all points between La Crosse, Wisconsin and New Orleans). Come sit, walk, or ride a bike by the shores of the Great Lakes (I favor Lake Michigan, but then, I'm Chicago-born, so I'm biased). Just remember not to do the lakeshore in winter, unless you really like bitter cold and high winds.

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