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These silly allegations against USA are also true for Germany's university-grade education. See my previous comment about economy class, where professor has said, that Bush started a war in order to improve american economy…

Really, really ridiculous.

The ignorance is astounding, isn't it? That's the thing that always gets me. Some of the most intelligent people I know -- people who should know better -- are also some of the most ignorant.

It's like they're afraid the talented Germans will move en masse to America if they find out the truth.

Soloman, they WILL be moving en masse to America once the Muslim/German civil wars break out. I will be nice to them, but only if they completely swear off their hateful, socialistic Anti-Americanism.

Don't want them, all they're going to do is vote for the same failed socialistic policies they left.

Cuba would be a better choice.

Dear Medienkritik-Folks,

if you want to identify an important source of anti-american bias of German youngsters please check out this website:

http://www.bpb.de/die_bpb/

Die Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung provides a lot of publications for use in our government-run schools. Paid for with tax money this propaganda material is given away free or extremely cheap and therefore it's quite popular among teachers.

Just dig for a while and you should be able to come up with something interesting. Like this beauty:
http://www.bpb.de/publikationen/OPEX27,0,0,Die_USA_sind_anders.html

"The war against the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the war against Iraq, ... can be seen as an attempt [by the USA] to regain the ability to set the world's political agenda..."

Punishing murderers and preventing them from killing again (as they intend to do according to their own explicit statements) is not mentioned as a possible US motif. Then again, they had to use the remaining lines to mention (twice) that civil rights have been curtailed.

The author also offers a friendly conclusion: the US acted under shock after 9/11 (sort of insanity defense I guess).

I'm not sure if anyone should really be surprised by this. In many U.S. universities the same kind of one-sided, far-left pap is taught in the social sciences and inter-disciplinary "studies" departments. The real problem is that it is already filtering down to the high school and sometimes even middle school level.

@David J
"The war against the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the war against Iraq, ... can be seen as an attempt [by the USA] to regain the ability to set the world's political agenda..."

Regain? REGAIN?! You mean we lost it somewhere along the line? I missed the memo!

heh.

What I find astonishing is this apparent compulsion to denigrate Americans at the personal level, e.g., 'selfishness', 'poor social development' blah blah blah. There's a pettiness to that I find very revealing.

@nichtdhimmi
Soloman, they WILL be moving en masse to America once the Muslim/German civil wars break out.

Are you in Germany? I'm hearing from an American expat in Germany that he - and some older Germans really do expect civil war.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying myself watching Fox News cover the demonstrations in Paris.

If Chinese textbooks said as much, I'd be concerned, since China is a country of the future. Germany, though, who cares?

Anybody noticed in “Die Welt” article, the credit to the translator?

Aus dem Amerikanischen von Andrea Seibel

“Translated from American by Andrea Seibel.”

I once had some blue collar-type Germans ask me if I spoke “American.”

However, a rational, reasonably educated German should know that English is the primary language spoken in the USA. Therefore, the editors of “Die Welt” are trying to make the point:

1. That their readers are stupid and do not know that most Americans speak English.

2. That Jeff Gedman does not write English well, and instead, sent them an article in some sort of English patois, similar to “Ebonics.”

3. Or, that they think that Americans do not speak real English. Instead, they think that we speak a crude dialect, similar to the way Dutch speaking South Africans speak “Afrikaans.”

I suspect the editors are trying to make the last point.

@GeorgeM
However, a rational, reasonably educated German should know

Well, see, there ya go! Your premise is wrong.

I really hope that soon all americans wake up and see what the europeans really think about them.
Only when the germans realize that their car sales in the USA drop sharply, then you will see them come back like dogs asking "komm on, we did not really mean it!!!"
We will see how non-economy driven their foreign policy really is (see Darfur, Lybia, or any other place in the world were a big deal can be made).

Don't piss on my head & tell me it's raining. I've decided to never buy a German car again.

Nichtdimmi & Pamela: What makes you think Germans will be welcome here in the US? Although our problems are not the same order of magnitude as Europe's, we do have some similar things going on. Drastically cutting back on immigration (no matter how talented the immigrants) may be in our future, with any available spots going to relieve pressure from Central America. Of course, that could play out in many different ways.

Everything Germans do, say and think is influenced by fear (ANGST). Fear of the future, fear of war, fear of unemployment. Germans (especially East Germans) feel under siege from the global economy (spearheaded by US and British economic models, which they feel undermine their ubiquitious welfare state. America-bashing is a nice little distraction from the country's problems. Let's not gloat too much, though - the East Germans have gone through a major shock and are reeling from the devastation of reunification - far harsher then the limited damage of something like 9-11. The tables could turn sooner than we think. In the 1980s West Germany outperformed the US economically. Things change fast.

An example of the casual nature of anti-Americanism: Swiss TV has a kid's show allowing children to take part in a contest through SMS. The 100s of kids who participate are listed by whatever nickname they choose.

This morning I saw one kid using the moniker "anti-US". He or she went down in the first rounnd.

Anti-Americanism is simply an accepted fact in Europe. People express their bias and dislike of Americans freely and without shame.

@Oh Eric!
Nichtdimmi & Pamela: What makes you think Germans will be welcome here in the US?

Actually, I did not address that. No need to tell me about the immigration issue in the U.S. I've been working on it for a year (lobbyist).

No more dual citizenship, Pamela.

Another 60s relic to be tossed over.

@Sandy P

The U.S doesn't formally recognize dual citizenship (i.e. the previous citizenship of naturalized citizens is not recognized). Foreign births to mixed nationality parents which automatically give U.S. and another country’s citizenship do tend to throw a monkey in that wrench, though.

I am an interested german, i used to love the american country for a long time, a long time ago. I have been to that for several times for quite a bit and still have relatives there, so probably you might gain one or another insight from my opinion.

So what do you have to say for the Bush Administration concerning Geo-political issues and how they influenced the invasion of Iraq ?
I know most of you know the term Geo-political, but a tremendous amount of your population does not, another thing that you probably would have to justify, if you just cared a little bit.

Just because the German media do actually broadcast the flaws and misinterpretations of american foreign politics doesn`t turn the facts to lies. If you don`t like german media broadcasting american idiocy in foreign
politics, cease acting accordingly, because we still have media that belong to more than two or three different persons.

Another so called fact that influences the opinion of many `well-informed` americans in this comments is the dominance of the USA concerning any single
aspect of world politics. Europe is no longer at your service, SE Asia is a region where USA lost any control they once might have had, even the Middle East ist rather in control of the USA then vice versa. Why ?

Well, what would happen if you suddenly lost a billion dollars of investions made by single arabian sheiks in your economy ? What would your Lobbyist driven politicians accept to prevent this from happening ?

Don`t misunderstand me, i still respect the USA as the oldest Democracy on the World, but this fact does not prevent you from making misintepretations
or outright mistakes all along your recent history.

If Americans are such idiots how is it that our college graduation rates are three times, per capita, than that of Germany? With a low birth rate, an anemic economy, a nonexistent military and diplomatic presence in the world, and still suffering from the acquisition of an area that makes the worst part of Appalachia look palatial, what will Germany do? It's not America that is the enemy but the Germans themselves. I fear that this 60 year experiment of state socialism has turned the nation of Germany into a modern land of Lotus Eaters. "How sweet it were, hearing the downward stream, with half shut-eyes ever to seem falling asleep in a half-dream". Tennyson

Patterson, "a nonexistent [...] diplomatic presence"
what are you talking about?!?

DukeManbert

A few facts. The U.S. has fifty states. Each state has both private and public/government collages and universities. Every school of any decent size has a program granting German degrees, requiring language, culture, history, economics. So, a low estimate would be in the US that there are well over a hundred programs. And in Germany how many American studies programs? One? Two? As someone once said, it isn’t what you don’t know that gets you in trouble, but what you think you know.

We are not, and have never been a democracy. We are a republic. Big, core, fundamental difference.

Saudis are small time. There are more billionaire employees of Microsoft than in all of Saudi Arabia. The total GDP of the Arab world, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Morocco to Iraq is less than Spain. About 500 billion USD. Google is worth about 300 billion. Anyone who wants to bail out of American investments can do so and know one will even know or care. Matter of fact, if General Motors goes kaput tomorrow, I couldn’t care less. They have been badly run for decades and it’s time for market forces to clear them from the field and let better auto companies prosper. Anyways, back to the Saudis. At one time the Saudis used to pay in cash, now they need credit. But as you know, credit with a Islamic economy is problematic. Furthermore, in the Saudi case, their national books are closed, secret, so no one knows what their finances are. We do know that oil income to population, they have dropped in half over time. Those Moslems keep having boat loads of kids, and kids are expensive and they are always looking for money so that their kids kids can have bunches of nice Islamic kids. But I don’t really want to lecture Europeans on Arab population booms, Arab development, freedoms, democracy or poverty because the Arab world is so close to Europe, and you’ve been together for so long, that frankly you Europeans really are the masters.

The US has never been stronger in Asia. Asia in truth, never needed the US in the past, but are crazy for us now. There is this thing called Globalization which the Asians have taken to big time. Perhaps you have heard of it. The Asians need raw materials like oil, like oil from the Middle East. The Asians also make things and need markets, like the US. We like their stuff. All of this happens over a thing called ‘oceans’. Oceans are full of pirates, some so large they are called Nation States. Oddly, we have a Navy. A real big, modern navy. Matter of fact the US Navy is the worlds second largest air force. It is not only large, but good, although the worlds largest air force thinks that the Navy should just stick to varnish, tar, and port side saloons. Now, if push comes to shove, all this moving about on water could be stopped in hours. Or, we could just sort of let everyone do their thing. I don’t think the Asians would be happy with this. Think Taiwan/China but say bigger scale like China/Japan. This would make Asia very sad, and broke, and cold and hungry. This too is Geo-politics. Maybe the citizens of Europe will raise taxes and build and keep running a Navy in Asia? Naturally a Frenchman would have to be in control. I’ll pencil this Euro navy for being on station, say, in a hundred years.

Lastly, for a continent that couldn’t take on the vaunted Serbian militias, I wouldn’t quite cut the apron strings to America yet. You never know when the Estonians might get a hair across their arse and go romping to the Cote d’Azur.

"I have been to that for several times for quite a bit and still have relatives there, so probably you might gain one or another insight from my opinion."
"I know most of you know the term Geo-political, but a tremendous amount of your population does not, another thing that you probably would have to justify, if you just cared a little bit."

We don't have to justify anything to you. The Americans probably thinik they're the best when it comes to geopolitical matters because its institutions of higher education are the best in the world, and a good number of the world's elites end up studying there. Let's not even pretend that Germany's system is nearly as good, especially at the highest levels, which is PRECISELY where all of your geopolitical experts will receive their education. Germans come to learn from us, not vice versa. Where was it again that Joschka Fischer wanted to teach? Yale, Harvard? In any case it was in the USA. Please don't come here with the "ignorant american" myth. Just yesterday, I had a German girl at work complain that the english text she was reading was written by a "non-native" speaker, who was a New Zealander. Please don't act as if the majority of Germans do not get their information from the Bild Zeitung or the Express. I don't need anybody to remind me of how the majority of Germans are not capable of holding a conversation in English, despite having learned it in school for eight years. Please do not tell me there are no Nazis in your state governments, or that I did not see a frighteningly large group of them screaming out in front of my house in Cologne after the NPD were elected into power. Or that the whole "scheiss-nigger, drecksnigger" incident didn't happen at the soccer stadium just last week. Or the Kirmes I went to last year with my girlfriend, where we saw two skinheads with "no regrets" tattooed on them walking around and chatting it up merrily with all of the stand owners. Or the girl who once told me that "well, he wasn't all that bad, I mean he DID build the autobahn". Truly an enlightened Volk. And let's not even talk about how bad the German education system is below the Gymnasium level (you know, the other 60 percent). I'd hate for you to have to admit I'm right. Honestly, I don't give a rats ass if the tourism products you people consume are more exotic than those in the states, or that the number-one pastime of the Germans in their free time is to LEAVE Germany. It doesn't make you any more worldly or wise than I.

DukeManbert

I guess we can agree that the american climax of influence and raw might was reached in 1990, when the soviet union collapsed. Since that point, its constantly declining. Europe (including russia) turns away, China arises. And it can only come worse, what if some day japan realizes they start doing more buisness with china than with america?

The only region where america can actually "fight" for keeping its influence is the middle east. And even in that underdeveloped region, it doesnt fully work.
It will really be interesting to watch what they will try next.

Carl Spackler.

Priceless. Just. Priceless.

@Dave
And it can only come worse, what if some day japan realizes they start doing more buisness with china than with america?

I gather Econ 101 is not taught in German schools.

Wealth is not a zero sum game, doofus.

@klops1; Fair question. Germany heads not one international body, it's not a permanent member of the Security Council, and it doesn't even have a sphere of influence, ie. the French Union. It does not have its own central bank anymore and thus has very little weight in the world's economy. The last time Germany acted on behalf of its own interests was Mogadishu in 1977. Even then the German commandos were flown there by a NATO aircraft, which was surprise, surprise made in Long Beach, CA. Germany has only 5 divisions of which only one is combat ready according to NATO doctrine, it has a fleet of destroyers and frigates and thus is not a blue water navy(which could be very embarassing if a German-flagged ship is hijacked and the US or Britain has to be called in to help). It's air force is still flying leaky MIG-29's and 60's era Phantoms(where is the spiffy new EFA which was supposed operational by 1998?). If Germans think either their country or the world is a mess then do something about. Modernize your military, fix your colleges, let loose your corporations, exert local influence, even the Poles and the Baltic nations would rather have Germany as a friend and RELIABLE ally then have to play pattycakes with Russia. Or the Germans could continue shouting inanities from the sidelines about how they would do things differently if only they had the power.

Thanks guys (Pat and that T_R guy) for these GREAT comments. As a German citizen I almost cannot stand my country's attitude toward the US and the world. This arrogant behavior of our people and our politicians gets me mad! Well again, thanks. Hope some of our folks read your comments.

DukeManbert: Might as well pile on...

I want to care about Europe, really I do. The day France implements Sharia law in fact, rather than just defacto in some neighborhoods, will be a sad day. The day Germany's collapsing economy enters 3rd world status, will also be a sad day. Europe has never been at USA's "service". You invaded your neighbors, commited genocide on various populations, and we stopped you, and protected you from the USSR for decades as you rebuilt your society and eventually rejoined with your eastern part. Similarly, Iraq invaded Kuwait and Iran, commited genocide (on a smaller scale), supported terrorists, had numberous WMD programs, did not keep to the terms of the cease-fire, and we stopped them, and are similarly protecting them as they build a decent society.

Contrast this with Germany's vindictive history. Well, Germany does have a proud history in many respects. But it is people like you who make me pessimistic about your future. No, I do not consider myself particularly 'well-informed', but it is obvious to me that I am far better informed than are you.

@ T_R
> Germans come to learn from us, not vice versa. Where was it again that Joschka Fischer wanted to teach? Yale, Harvard? In any case it was in the USA.

The example you give doesn't exactly seem to strengthen your argument :-(

> Please do not tell me there are no Nazis in your state governments

You'll surely be able to name a few then :-)

@ Pat Patterson
> It does not have its own central bank anymore
This could be interesting reading for you ;-)

Note from David: There can be no doubt that the role of the German Bundesbank within the ESCB- resp. ECB-system is greatly reduced. For all practical purposes, Germany does no longer have an independent national central bank with influence on interest rates and money supply. Check the statute of the ESCB resp. ECB:
14.3. The national central banks are an integral part of the ESCB and shall act in accordance with the guidelines and
instructions of the ECB. The Governing Council shall take the necessary steps to ensure compliance with the guidelines and
instructions of the ECB, and shall require that any necessary information be given to it.

Case closed.

@Martina; Thanks for the link, my question would be to ask if you had read it yourself? The Bundesbank carries out the monetary and fiscal policies of the ECB, which policies are set by the Governing Council and the Executive Council. This is quite a step away from when the Bundesbank set policies for Germany. My original comment would probably have to be amended to state that Germany does not have its own "independent" central bank. So in essence the Italians, the Greeks, the French, the Belgians etc., all have a say in Germany monetary and fiscal policy. Yikes!

@ Martina,

Joschka Fisher could have sought a good teaching position at Yale. Yale claims both George Bushes, John Kerry and both Clintons among their graduates.

Yale has now admitted Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi as a new undergraduate student. If the name is familiar, he used to be Taliban leader Mullah Omar's foreign minister and minister of information.

Hashemi has been admitted , beating out highly qualified American and foreign students for the opportunity to study at Yale. Hashemi has the equivalent in Germany of graduating the 6 te Klasse in the Volksschule, (for American readers...think Jethro Bodine...sixth grade education).

When the Yale president was asked why Hashemi was admitted to Yale despite his lack of academic experience, the Yale president replied indignantly, "We couldn't let Harvard accept him!"

Mr. Hashemi has avoided interviews with the press since arriving on campus. He has refused to renounce his ties to the Taliban or militant Islam.

To read more on Hashemi: http://www.opinionjournal.com/diary/?id=110008127

I am surprised that German universities were caught napping when Hashemi was applying for colleges. Certainly, he would have felt at home at Berlin's Freie Universitaet or at U. Heidelberg.

On the serious side, many Connecticut residents and Yale alumni are mailing plastic painted fingernails to the President of Yale in protest of Hashemi's admission into Yale. If you recall, the Taliban condemned women who wore makeup or painted their toe and finger nails. The Taliban typically would punish these wayward women by ripping off their fingernails from their fingers. I understand that thousands of fingernails have been mailed to the Yale president’s office.

DukeManbert said: "...because we still have media that belong to more than two or three different persons."

I'm not sure what you are trying to imply here. Perhaps you are erroneously trying to imply that the media in the US is controlled by only 2 or 3 people. Clearly, that couldn't be farther from the truth.

And, in the US, you'll never find any media companies partially owned by a major political party, like you find in Germany. In fact, as far as I know, with the well-known exception of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), no commercial media companies in the US are even supported by tax-payer, or government, money (yeah, I know, "government" money is really just taxpayer money), unlike in Germany. And, of course, we all know what government funding has turned the CPB into -- just look at who gets upset anytime Congress considers cutting the CPB's budget.

DukeManbert said: "...because we still have media that belong to more than two or three different persons."

You mean Bertelsmann and Springer?

BTW: Your site won't let me comment when I'm using Opera. I can sign in fine, but it won't accept comments. I've even set TypeKey up to accept all third-party cookies. Is anybody else having this problem?

I don't wonder that what the Germans "know" about the US is wrong. Look at the US media. Anybody who believes what they read in the papers or sees on TV is a fool:

Latest example of NY Times caught lying:
"An article on Feb. 9 about the military's recruitment of Hispanics referred incompletely to the belief of some critics that Hispanics in the Iraq war and blacks in the Vietnam War accounted for a disproportionate number of casualties. Statistics do not support the belief. Hispanics, who are about 14 percent of the population, accounted for about 11 percent of the military deaths in Iraq through Dec. 3, 2005. About 12.5 percent of the military dead in Vietnam were African-Americans, who made up about 13. 5 percent of the general population during the war years. The error was pointed out in an e-mail in February; the correction was delayed for research after a lapse at The Times." [emphasis added]

After they were caught, the Times buried this correction - one that completely invalidates the original story. No news here folks, move along.

or the one about Bush "leaking" contents of the National Intelligence Estimate via Scooter Libby. Let's ignore the fact that the President has absolute authority to declassify any government document and call it a leak. Because we won't miss the opportunity to slam a Republican.

If you don't search out facts from multiple sources, weigh the evidence for both sides, and make an informed decision, you're going to be misled. I'm an American living in the US and English is my native language. The best we can hope for is that some Germans will be skeptical about what they read. After all, if things are so bad, why is our economy growing so fast for so long? We must be doing something right.

Hey, MarkD, any chance you could provide some links to the NYTimes stuff about the Hispanics. I was having a conversation with someone the other day about this very topic (they must have read about it in the NYTimes). When they laid the line about "Hispanics sent to the front lines = racism" on me, I thought it sounded far-fetched. I'd like to show this person that it was just plain wrong.

@Pat Patterson said: "@klops1; Fair question. Germany heads not one international body, it's not a permanent member of the Security Council, and it doesn't even have a sphere of influence..."

Perhaps this is a small part of the reason why. Here's the kind of "firepower" the Europeans throw at international problems:

http://www.europarl.eu.int/members/expert/alphaOrder/view.do?id=28234&language=EN

Note the first line of her responsibilities: Chairwoman, Delegation for relations with Iran

Note her extensive Curriculum vitae.

Is this the best the EU has to offer in this regard?

Lord help us.

Scott,

There is a cable news station in New England called New England Cable News Network, (NECNN).

All of the tired, old, liberal anchormen (no women to date), that work the Boston television stations eventually end up at NECNN. These old liberal work horses are let go by the Boston stations whenever the rateings are down and when their presense get long in the tooth. They seem to pop up at NECNN for a late second career.

One local conservative talk radio personality likened NECNN as the old liberal anchorman bone yard.

The EU parliment is kind of the NECNN for old leftest politicians. Whenever a local MP gets beaten by a conservative, they seem to run again for the European Parliment.

I have a notion that your example, Frauline Beer, dental office receptionist, probably peaked at her career as a Green Party politician in her native Schleswig Holstein. An old activist like her can get a second wind as a European Member of Parliment.

To further characterize bloggers as "buyable" purveyors of "gossip" and "acidic commentary" reflects little more than a cheap attempt to smear new media.

He knows which side his bread is buttered on, and it's not the blog side.

@DoktorNo - Ask that professor to explain in any detail how a war improves the economy. I'm still looking for someone who can, and if a professor of economics can't but still says it's true, maybe he shouldn't be a professor of economics.

@DukeManbert -
I know most of you know the term Geo-political, but a tremendous amount of your population does not, another thing that you probably would have to justify

Why do I have to justify the misapprehensions of your bigotry? I say I don't.

Well, what would happen if you suddenly lost a billion dollars of investions made by single arabian sheiks in your economy ?

You mean from our 11 trillion dollar (and growing around 4%) economy? Sorry, I can't tell you, I'm as incapable of doing the math as you are. But I have an excuse - I'm a fat, lazy, stupid American. But tell me - what would happen if you suddenly lost several billion dollars of economic input made by a single American military in your economy? Whoopsie, there goes your theory. Sorry.

@Carl Spackler -
We are not, and have never been a democracy. We are a republic. Big, core, fundamental difference.

I think there is some imprecision here. The two are not alternative states ala Sid Meier's "Civilization". Our system employs representative democracy, but it is still a democracy. We elect more officials here than most places in the world, including Germany. "Republic" just means that we don't have a monarch - North Korea and Iran are republics too, but their governments don't look much like ours.

I think the difference that you may have meant to point out is that between a direct democracy, like that of say Native Americans or ancient Greeks, and the representative democracy in our federal republic. Federation is not necessarily a feature of a republic, and the federal system (electoral college included) often appears to be overlooked by the people that I think you addressed the comment to.

@Dave - You're writing off Africa. It's not hard to do - we've never been very engaged there, for fear of stepping on the colonial powers' toes. However, the British have disengaged, and the French - well, frankly, why should we give a damn about their toes. No part of Africa seems to have the explosive growth of recent China, or even be on the cusp of it - but name an African state that wouldn't like to have it, or couldn't do with a little globalization. More engagement in Africa makes sense in the GWOT as well.

@Pamela -
Wealth is not a zero sum game, doofus.

If your entire continent's currency was tied to the Rothschilds' gold standard, and the prevailing popular <strike>economic</strike> ideological theories were those of Marx, that wouldn't be nearly so obvious. Bless America one extra time today.

Oops - I meant to post the first response in that comment into the "Attack Journalism" thread. Sorry.

Duke Manbert wrote: "If you don`t like german media broadcasting american idiocy in foreign
politics, cease acting accordingly"

You seem to have missed the point (which recurs again and again in this blog) that many German educators and journalists tell lies about America. Or do you feel that we do not have the right to complain about those lies unless we change our politics to suit you?

"because we still have media that belong to more than two or three different persons."

Either you have no clue about America, or you prefer to tell lies yourself.

Doug: I couldn't agree more strongly with your characterization of America as, fundamentally, a democracy. Or your characterization of what a republic is. Or your changing the subject to one aspect of America's government, the Federal system.

A republic is, fundamentally, one that guarantees that the power of government remains with the people. Similarly, our consititution explicitly recognizes that our rights are granted not by the government, even though we allow the exercise of some power by the government (at various levels, and by various branches).

The Judicial branch is in no way democratic. The Senate and the Electoral College were not initially either, though they have become so. As for state governments, all that is explicitly required is for the form of gov't to be a "republic". Not a democracy, a republic. Take the ancient Roman republic as an example, they had separation of powers similar to the US's.

The fact that some of the US's institutions have democratic workings, does not make the overall form of government a democracy.

This is a far cry from the typical European parliamentary democracy, with their fractured political parties, which don't require voters to make the hard choices we do here in the US. But it does seem to allow extra-governmental bureaucracies to grow up and appropriate power for themsevles. Sadly.

I realize that basic knowledge of American civics is not a strong point among Europeans, but please don't perpetuate such nonsense.

...just to add a little bit, because I can't help myself, heh.

The electoral college is not one of those democratic institutions. It is a winner take all system, on a state by state basis. It also gives disproportionate representation to smaller states. The result? People realize that voting for a 10% party gets them nothing. They have to make the hard choices, and vote for someone who has a chance to win 50% of the vote. Instead of, as in Europe, voting for whoever they like best, and allowing the elites to work out the compromises. And the extra votes for small states helps keep a little balance between the city and the country.

@Carl Spackler

"Matter of fact, if General Motors goes kaput tomorrow, I couldn’t care less."

Well if GM were in France they woulg give it $50 billion to avert immediate bankruptcy. Fortunately nobody is proposing that in the US except maybe in Michigan.

I think if GM goes bust something very similar will happen to it as happened to Nissan when Renault bought a majority interest (for peanuts) a few years ago. Major breakup and restructuring, foreign subsidiaries sold off for what they will bring, etc. A purge of certain existing obligations. Unfortunately GM will have to go bankrupt before that can happen. It's the only way to make all the stakeholders come to the discussion table in good faith, not excluding GM retirees. The benefits are just to burdensome.

The other thing that needs to happen is for GM to cut bait on some of it's old brands. The only ones that mean anything anymore are Chevy and maybe Cadillac as a specialty brand. There will always be a market for a pimp-mobile as long as there are pimps!

@Carl

A few facts. <...> Every school of any decent size has a program granting German degrees, requiring language, culture, history, economics. So, a low estimate would be in the US that there are well over a hundred programs. And in Germany how many American studies programs? One? Two? As someone once said, it isn’t what you don’t know that gets you in trouble, but what you think you know.

I'm a little skeptical about the value of such programs - particularly for learning language skills. I think many US citizens have a lot of knowledge of Germany. Much more so than Germans have of the US.

I think it comes from other sources than the German programs. Many more Americans visit Germany than Germans visit Americans, and from a wide range of social classes. The military sent lots of soldiers to Germany for 60 year or more. There are the students who go study there for a year. Mormon missionaries go to Germany. And there are many Americans with German ethnic heritage who visit Germany regularly. I knew a lady who visited Germany at least 6 times though she wasn't rich. She was actually of Scottish-American heritage herself but had been married to a German-American and learned to love the country.

The fact is that most of us in the US come from some kind of European heritage and that draws us back as tourists. Tourism doesn't necessarily teach you the deep truths about a country but it is far better than not visiting at all - which is what most Europeans do vis the US.

@Dave

I guess we can agree that the american climax of influence and raw might was reached in 1990, when the soviet union collapsed. Since that point, its constantly declining. Europe (including russia) turns away, China arises. And it can only come worse, what if some day japan realizes they start doing more buisness with china than with america?

How interesting. Perhaps true, perhaps not. Personally I think the zenith of US influence and power was with the collapse of the Third Reich in 1945.

The zenith of German influence and power? That would be during Kaiser Bill's time - the Second Reich. Around 1899 or 1900 before the Entente Cordiale and before the Russians started getting uppity after losing the Russian-Franco War. Germany was the foremost military power in the world in those days and a contender for economic leadership (the US being Germany's only serious rival). Germany was also a thought leader well into the 30's when Hitler began destroying the intellectual treasure that was Central European civilization.

It's been all downhill for Germany for more than a century. The legacy of Goethe and Bismark completely squandered till the point that Germany is just a mid-sized European country these days - and by no means the most important. France and arguably the UK are more influential on the world stage today.

I think the obvious conclusion is that from a Germanic historical basis the US was and IS a nightmare. The worst nightmare Germans like Neitzche could ever imagine!

Posted by: Don | April 10, 2006 at 11:17 PM

>It's been all downhill for Germany for more than a century. The >legacy of Goethe and Bismark completely squandered till the point
>that Germany is just a mid-sized European country these days - and
>by no means the most important. France and arguably the UK are more >influential on the world stage today.

So? What is it to you, then? Except as a way of neener-neenering? Whether or not Germany is "important" is relatively irrelevant, at least to me.

Jörg

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