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It is really disturbing when our media would not repert about it. I will look for articles still hoping that it is not THAT bad.

Andrea Dernbach interviewt General Angioni im Tagesspiegel:

"General Angioni, Sie haben vor 24 Jahren den Einsatz eines italienischen Kontingents geplant und geführt. Auch damals sollte eine multinationale Truppe Frieden garantieren, auch damals nach israelischen Angriffen, seinerzeit gegen Arafats Fatah. Lässt sich daraus für heute lernen?

Angioni: "Man kann vielleicht mehr aus den Unterschieden lernen. Wir, Italiener, Amerikaner, Franzosen und 100 Briten, unterstanden nicht den UN, weil die Sowjetunion dagegen ihr Veto eingelegt hatte, sondern direkt unseren Regierungen."


1. Israel ATTACKED Lebanon?

Israel denfended her people against ongoing attacks by hisbollah. Hisbollah is a terror organization which is hinding between the civilizians in Lebanon. Is it fair and correct to say: Israel attacked Lebanon? NO

2. 1982

So there was a multinational troop WITHOUT the UN. I did not know!

And second: Evil Israel attacked in 1982? That is really a short description of the situation there. Short and wrong.

Does Andrea Dernbach really not know more and better? An attack is something bad, negativ. Then there would be an aggressiv attacker and a victim who gets attacked. A terror group should not considered as a victim who got attacked by Israel. What a world view. That is too simple. No wonder that people started to hate the "attacker" Israel. They don't know it better but journalists should!

Absolutely right! Wierd isn`t it?

I was stunned when I read about this ad yesterday. I haven't actually seen it though. Has anyone seen the ad? Is there a link?

Here is another ad by an American Corporation that might interest you completely neutral observers of bias by the Liberals.

Here is the text which is especially interesting:

America stands first in nuclear defense capabilities and first in nuclear defense expenditures among industrialized countries. And it's not even close!

But America ranks only...
14th in efforts to lift children out of poverty;
18th in the percentage of children in poverty;
And last (yes, last!) in providing health insurance for all children.

That Spiegel is at it again...how do they do it?

Note from David: Since 1990, the position of the US has considerably improved, while Germany's position has declined dramatically. Check here, figure 2. In any case, the definition of poverty in international comparisons is problematic. To state that Poland and the Czech Republic outperforming Germany and the US - as is shown in figure 1 of the UNICEF study linked to above - is ridiculous.

Also, I'd be careful to quote scientific results presented on an ice cream producer site...

David, did you not like the header of the Report:

At the top of the child poverty league are Denmark and Finland with child poverty rates of less than 3 per cent. At the bottom are the United States and Mexico, with child poverty rates of more than 20 per cent

I guess not.

You find this report and the first report problematic. Which report would you not find problematic. Or, perhaps all the reports are problematic. Hmm.

Again, which one would you not find ridiculous? One you come up with? One where the US comes out having the least children living below the poverty line? But that doesn't exist....so all the reports must be problematic.

From the site I mentioned:

Just $1 billion a year would be enough to fully immunize every two-year old who has not already been vaccinated against preventable childhood disease.
$2 billion annually could provide health insurance for 1 million of America's 9 million uninsured children.
$5 billion a year would allow us to cover Head Start for every eligible child not currently enrolled in the program."

These are numbers provided by Agencies mentioned at the bottom. Its called citing, David. I had assumed you would realise this.

As for you argument about sceintific results presented on an ice cream producer site, I would bet my money that they are a lot more credible and reliable than this site. If you had cared to scroll to the bottom of the screen, it mentions:

"Thanks to our friends at the Children's Defense Fund, the Center for Defense Information, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the National Priorities Project for helping us gather the information used in this position paper."

Note from David: Don't get excited, Delphino. Just concentrate on the facts. The poverty rate is a well known unreliable statistic - not because the US is not doing well here, but because it makes countries with large income discrepancies look bad, regardless of the actual amount of poverty.

Could you kindly explain why in the UNICEF rating (figure 1) the Czech Republik ranks number 5, together with Switzerland (!), and ahead of all (!) West European countries with the exception of the Scandinavians? And what about the fact that Poland (Poland!!!) has a better poverty rating than Japan, Australia, Canada and the UK? Hint: check the explanation to the right of the table: the poverty measurement used is a _relative_ measurement, not an _absolute_ one. Being "poor" in the US is not comparable to being "poor" in the Czech Republik or in Poland on an absolute level. Which is what really counts.

If socialist East Germany was still around, they'd probably rank in the top five of the table. OK for you?


The Unicef report defines child poverty as children born to households that are below the National Medien income.

According to the Swedisch Timbro report, The Medien income of Americans is already $20,000 more than Germans.

Parents, whose income falls below the National Medien income, qualify for the Earned Income Credit. Every American in the middle class pays approximately 24% of his or her income to the Federal Government in the form of taxes. The Earned Income Credit literally gives this 24% back to these parents who file for the credit.

I havn't seen any child poverty in my neighborhood....not even amongst illegal aliens!

As far as the ice cream makers who published this ad....The lady who diverted United flight 293 from London to Washington to an emergency landing in Boston, probably lived off these guys' icecream. She, just like Ben and Jerry, are moonbat Vermonters.

Aaah...time to dust of this list from last year that was posted here from Craig Cantoni's blog:

Debunking popular myths about the U.S.

Listed below are 15 commonly-held myths about social, economic, health and environmental conditions in the United States, followed by facts that debunk the myths. The facts have been gleaned from the Pocket World in Figures 2005, published by the The Economist magazine.

Myth # 1: The U.S. ranks low in human development.

Fact: On the Human Development Index, which measures literacy, life expectancy and income levels, the U.S. ranks above Japan, Switzerland, Denmark, Holland, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, Austria, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and 38 other countries.

Myth #2: The U.S. is uncompetitive in global markets.

Fact: The U.S. is the world's biggest exporter, twice as big as Japan and three times as big as China. It also ranks first in manufacturing output, with 80 percent more output than Japan and more than twice as much output as either China or Germany. And it is surpassed in per-capita Gross Domestic Product by only Luxembourg, Norway and Switzerland, all of which are tiny, lily-white countries. The social-welfare countries of Germany, France and Italy have a per-capita GDP that is only 66 percent, 67 percent and 57 percent, respectively, of the per-capita GDP of the U.S.

Myth #3: Because the U.S. doesn't produce enough scientists and engineers, it has lost its edge in innovation.

Fact: It ranks first on the Innovation Index, which is a measure of human resources skills, market incentive structures and the interaction between the business and scientific sectors. It also ranks first in the number of Nobel Prize winners in economics, medicine, physics and chemistry. The first-place rankings are in spite of the U.S. ranking fifth in R&D spending as a percentage of GDP and dropping to 10th place on the Index of Economic Freedom.

Myth #4: American roads are congested due to a lack of mass transit.

Fact: The U.S. ranks 42nd in the number of vehicles per kilometer of road. Germany, a country with a lot of mass transit, ranks third.

Myth #5: The U.S. is the most car-crazy country.

Fact: It ranks 12th in the number of cars per 1,000 people, surpassed by such countries as New Zealand, Luxembourg, Iceland, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Australia.

Myth #6: The U.S. has a high rate of auto accidents.

Fact: It ranks 31st in the number of people injured per miles traveled. Italy, Canada, Belgium, Israel and Germany have more injuries.

Myth #7: The U.S. ranks low in educational achievement.

Fact: Only one nation, South Korea, ranks higher than the U.S. in the percentage of the population enrolled in post-secondary education, in spite of the U.S. having a large number of immigrants from third-world countries.

Myth #8: The U.S. leads in breast cancer, lung cancer and diabetes.

Fact: It does not make the top-20 list in deaths per 100,000 people for breast cancer. The top five countries for breast cancer are Denmark, Iceland, Belgium, United Kingdom and Hungary. The U.S. ranks eighth in lung cancer, surpassed by the Netherlands, Italy, Croatia, United Kingdom, Denmark, Belgium and Hungary. And it ranks 14th in diabetes, surpassed by such countries as Canada, Spain, Italy, Greece and Singapore.

Myth #9: Americans don't read books.

Fact: The U.S. is tied with Singapore in fourth place for book sales per capita. Japan, Norway and Germany rank first, second and third, respectively. France is in 17th place.

Myth #10: American teenagers watch the most TV and drink the most alcohol.

Fact: The U.S. ranks tenth in the percentage of 15-year-old males who watch TV four or more hours a day on weekdays. Ukraine is in first place. The U.S. does not make the top-14 list in 15-year-olds who drink alcohol weekly.

Myth #11: Americans are heavy smokers and drinkers.

Fact: The U.S. does not make the top-20 list in per-capita smoking. Greece is in first place. In beer consumption, the U.S. is in 11th place; and in alcohol consumption, it doesn't make the top-23 list. The Czech Republic ranks first in beer consumption, and Luxembourg ranks first in the consumption of alcoholic drinks.

Myth #12: The U.S. leads in crime.

Fact: The top ten countries for serious assaults per 100,000 people are in rank order: Australia, Sweden, South Africa, Belgium, Ghana, Swaziland, Fiji, Jamaica, Netherlands, United States. The top ten countries for theft are: Australia, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Norway, Belgium, France, Austria, United States, Germany, Iceland.

Myth #13: The U.S. leads in defense spending.

Fact: When measured as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product, the United States does not make the top-39 list. North Korea is first, Israel is tenth, and Singapore is nineteenth. Most Arab countries are on the list, and many rank near the top. For example, Saudi Arabia is fifth, Kuwait is sixth, and Jordan is eleventh.

Myth #14: The U.S. leads in threatened species.

Fact: It is in 21st place in mammal species under threat and in 10th place in bird species under threat. Indonesia, China, India and Brazil rank in the top five in both categories.

Myth #15: The U.S. leads in sprawl and deforestation.

Fact: It ranks third in the amount of forested land and second in the amount of land under protected status. It doesn't make the top-48 list of nations with the highest rural population density.

Delphino, I suspect America could do no right in your eyes...even if it ranked as the world's best in all categories.

p.s. For those who are picky, some rankings may have changed slightly from last year. For example: The US now ranks 3rd in per capita GDP--Switzerland has fallen to 10th.

James W.

I just talked to our friend, a teacher, he has travelled to the US 5 times (holidays!) and complaint about the poor culture there, no operahouse, no theater and no restaurants! And he ensured: Even in Washington he couldn't find them. So there are no operahouses in the Death Valley, Mount Rushmore, Grand Canyon, at the beach in California and Florida and not in the National Parcs. I don't remember whereelse he went as a tourist.


Well, there is the Grand Ole Opry. Has he never been to Nashville? :-)

Apparently, he's never heard of Broadway...Carnegie Hall. Of course, as you and I both know, there are operas, theater, and good restaurants throughout the US--you just have to know where to find them. Google anybody?

I just talked to our friend, a teacher, he has travelled to the US 5 times (holidays!) and complaint about the poor culture there, no operahouse, no theater and no restaurants! And he ensured: Even in Washington he couldn't find them.

Some of this is true. New York has almost everything and is the equal of London in this respect. More than the equal of Paris, Berlin, Roma, Bruxelles, Madrid, etc. Washington DC has relatively little of haute culture, the Kennedy Center is about it. DC does have it's theatres but in common with most large cities in the US (and in Europe for that matter) lacks long-running plays and musicals. There are traveling shows and plays which spend a week or two in a city then move on to the next city. They don't advertise with billboards the way they can in London and New York because they aren't there that long. If you read the papers or even talk with the concierge of the hotel you will be able to find out what is playing.

Washington DC isn't that large an urban area, perhaps 2 million people in total. Not enough to sustain high culture; for that you need a really big city and a large tourist trade who speak your language as well. It might be more fair to compare DC with Bruxelles or perhaps Bonn rather than trying to compare it with Paris or London.

So there are no operahouses in the Death Valley, Mount Rushmore, Grand Canyon, at the beach in California and Florida and not in the National Parcs. I don't remember whereelse he went as a tourist.

I don't think there are many opera houses in the US at all outside of New York. Some are put on in other places, but opera isn't a major art form in the US like it is in Italy. If you want to see live opera you travel; to New York, London, or perhaps to Milan! Opera is probably available on DVD or cable TV. Cinema is probably the equivalent in the US.

Tell your friend to try New York. He will find quite a bit there, in the cultural capital of the US.


None other than Placido Domingo (one of the three tennors) is director of the National Opera in Wahsington D.C. They perform at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. I am sure your friend can google to make a ticket search.

I don't think there are many opera houses in the US at all outside of New York.


"These ten concert halls are considered by many to be the best in the world. Each one, unique in history, design, and appearance, all have one thing in common: to provide the best musical experience for every listener. One of my lifetime goals is to visit each hall on this list and then some. If you have a chance, make a point to attend a concert or at least take a guided tour in one of these world best concert halls - you will never forget it!"

As you have pointed out, Don...most of the best operas, theaters, and restaurants in the US (and some of the best in the world) are concentrated in NYC. 5 of the 10 best concert halls (consensus) are located in the US.

1. The Vienna State Opera
2. Vienna Musikverein
3. The Metropolitan Opera - New York City
4. Symphony Hall - Boston
5. Sydney Opera House - Sydney, Australia
6. Vienna Konzerthaus
7. Walt Disney Concert Hall - Los Angeles
8. Avery Fisher Hall - New York City
9. Hungarian State Opera House - Budapest
10. Carnegie Hall - New York City

I think country music is a more unique and prominent representative of American culture than opera. Why fly to America for something you can experience in Vienna?

Gabi, if your friend wants to experience opera, theater, or over-priced snails :-), he should visit NYC--and he shouldn't forget his platinum card. Sounds to me like another European playing the "America has no culture" card. What and who defines culture anyway? I suppose it depends on who you're asking.

It seems the best French restaurant is not located in France. How about Yountville, California?

1. The Fat Duck Bray United Kingdom
2. El Bulli Roses Spain
3. French Laundry Yountville, Calif. United States
4. Tetsuya's Sydney Australia
5. Gordon Ramsay London United Kingdom
6. Pierre Gagnaire Paris France
7. Per Se New York United States
8. Tom Aikens London United Kingdom
9. Jean Georges New York United States
10. St John London United Kingdom

The funny thing is that I've heard Germans say several times over the years that the Brits can't cook.

In my opinion, there isn't anything that beats a good steakhouse. (drooling...slobber...slobber)

Gabi, please tell your teacher friend that I totally agree with him. We need his help to teach us some "kultur"

Here in Chicago (you know, the city in "fly-over" country) we only have the following;

1. The tiny Lyric Opera of Chicago - http://www.lyricopera.org/about/house.asp

2. Unlike Europe we have no parks to enjoy culture - http://www.millenniumpark.org/

3. We only eat hamburgers, french fries (or Pommes Frites as he would call them) and drink coke. The teacher should avoid the following places that are typical of Chicago-

a.) http://www.bin36.com/restaurant.html

b.) http://www.tizimelloul.com/ (they have an expansive soft drink list - http://www.tizimelloul.com/content/redwines.htm, http://www.tizimelloul.com/content/whitewines.htm

c.) http://www.northpondrestaurant.com/

d.) http://www.trurestaurant.com/tour/dining_room.html

e.) http://www.mkchicago.com/

What the Swedes are saying about Chicago dining - http://www.alinea-restaurant.com/pages/press/press_print/gourmet_sweden/Alinea_3-06.pdf

What the Australians are saying about Chicago - http://www.alinea-restaurant.com/pages/press/press_print/chicago_nights/chicago_nights_01.html

We here in Chicago are really tired of just eating hamburgers and wish we were more like Germany.

4. We also need better hotels like in Germany that drip of elegance and refinement -

a.) http://www.fourseasons.com/de/chicagorc/

b.) http://chicago.intercontinental.com/chiic/photo_02.html?_IATAno=99764044&refid=0

c.) http://chicago.de.peninsula.com/pch_de/photo_12.html

5. Please tell your teacher friend we also need his help with our educational system here in Chicago. Our poor kids don't know what is going on in the world.

Tell him to please look at the un-performing university we have to contend with with - http://www-news.uchicago.edu/resources/facts/ . We need him to start teaching us educationally deprived folk.

University of Chicago fact sheet:

Nobel Laureates
- 79 Nobel Prize winners have been faculty members, students, or researchers at the University
- 6 Laureates currently on the faculty

Student honors
In the past 6 years, Chicago undergraduates have won
- 8 Rhodes Scholarships
- 5 Marshall Scholarships
- 5 Truman Scholarships
- 3 Churchill Scholarships
- 2 Gates Cambridge Scholarships

Graduate students have won the most Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad fellowships of any U.S. institution for 19 consecutive years

6. I also wish that Germans would come to like our city. I know Chicago would be great if it only wasn't full of uncultured Americans. Just look at what German speakes are saying -

..."Chicago ist eine Weltstadt von unvergleichlicher Schönheit, die Besucher aus dem ganzen Land und der ganzen Welt anzieht. Die Stadt liegt am Michigan See im Herzen des Mittleren Westens und beherbergt international berühmte Sehenswürdigkeiten, Theater, bekannte Architektur, unerschöpfliche Einkaufsmöglichkeiten und unglaubliche Restaurants, wunderbare Jazz- und Bluesclubs und vieles mehr.

Chicago Besucher erleben eine wahre Explosion von kulturellen Aktivitäten, Bürgerstolz und multikulturellem Ausdruck. Von beeindruckender Architektur und weltberühmten Museen zu Parks am Seeufer und lebendigen ethnischen Vierteln bietet Chicago eine Reihe von Sehenswürdigkeiten, die Besucher immer wieder zurückkehren lassen.

Chicago ist eine Stadt, wo Einkaufen eine ernsthafte Sache ist und The Peninsula Chicago liegt ideal zwischen einigen der weltbesten Geschäfte, welche sich an der "Magnificent Mile" entlang befinden. Direkt gegenüber der Saks Fifth Avenue und Neiman Marcus liegt The Peninsula Chicago neben Tiffany & Co und American Girl Place.

Das höchste Gebäude der Vereinigten Staaten, der 110-stöckige Sears Turm, liegt in Chicago und das zweithöchste Gebäude, das John Hancock Center, kann man vom Peninsula Chicago zu Fuß erreichen.

Chicago's Navy Pier ist ein beliebtes Vergnügungszentrum mit zahlreichen Geschäften, einem IMAX Kino, Vergnügungspark und einer Eisbahn. Kunstkenner werden das Museum zeitgenössischer Kunst genießen, das mit seiner reichen Sammlung von modernen Kunstwerken die zeitgenössische Kultur durch verschiedene Medien reflektiert. Lohnenswert ist auch ein Besuch in der Kunstakademie von Chicago mit seiner unglaublichen Sammlung von Kunstwerken, die über 5,000 Jahre Kunst umfassen, zu einer der wichtigsten Galerien der Welt zählt...."


..."New York ist kosmopolitisch, Chicago uramerikanisch. Eine "Power Town", die grenzenlosen Optimismus mit erfrischendem Erfindergeist verbindet. Frank Sinatra, der beide Städte in Evergreens besungen hat, ließ nie einene Zweifel daran, wem seine Sympathie gehört: New York sei "die Stadt, die niemals schläft", Chicago aber "vibrierend" und "meine Heimatstadt".

In Chicago wurde 1885 der erste Wolkenkratzer der Welt gebaut, 1930 der erste Flipperkasten aufgestellt, 1955 der erste Big Mac gemampft. George Pullman erfand den Schlafwagen, William Wrigley den Kaugummi und Hugh Hefner den "Playboy". Hier spielte Louis Armstrong seine ersten Schallplatten ein und begann der Jazz seinen Siegeszug um den Globus. Hier entstand aus dem ländlichen Südstaaten-Blues der schwarzen Musiker wie Muddy Waters der urbane Blues, den weiße Bands in den 50er Jahren zum RocknRoll kommerzialisierten. Mick Jagger benannte seine Band nach dem Waters-Song "Rolling Stone" und gestand: "Alles, was ich spiele, habe ich vom Blues gelernt." Blues bleibt in Chicago weiterhin allgegenwärtig tags auf Straßen und Plätzen, nachts in vielen Lokalen.

Die Stadt hat innovative "Skyscrapers", Museen von Weltruf wie das Art Institute of Chicago und sogar kilometerlange Sandstrände. Wenn sich an einem heißen Sommerwochenende Zehntausende vor der eleganten Wolkenkratzer-Skyline bräunen, kommt ein Hauch von Copacabana auf. Der Sears Tower ist mit 443 Metern Amerikas höchster Wolkenkratzer.

Andererseits gibt sich Chicago gänzlich unamerikanisch, auch fußgängerfreundlich. Der Besucher bummelt über die "Magnificent Mile", in der Tür an Tür "Bloomingdales", " Neiman Marcus", "The Gap" und "Nike Town" stehen. Er flaniert durch das "The Loop" (die Schleife) genannte Zentrum, wo eine museale Hochbahn durch die Straßenschluchten rumpelt, ein Dutzend Kippbrücken, die über den Chicago River führen, Großskulpturen von Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder und anderen die Stadt zum größten Freilichtmuseum der Welt machen. Im Grant Park entlang dem Lake Michigan trifft man Jogger, Biker und Skater, hört von Frühling bis Herbst kostenlos Konzerte von Klassik über Jazz und Blues bis Rock und steht vor dem Buckingham Fountain. Der weltgrößte Springbrunnen, der allabendlich bonbonfarben angestrahlt wird, spritzt aus 133 Düsen pro Minute 53 000 Liter Wasser 42 Meter hoch.

Chicago, nicht New York, ist die klassische Einwandererstadt, in der noch um 1900 jeder zweite Bürger im Ausland geboren war. Heute pflegen sie in "Neighborhoods" (Nachbarschaften) weiterhin Sprache, Traditionen und Feste ihrer einstigen Heimat. An der South Halsted Street liegt "Greektown", um die Devon Avenue "Little Bombay", südlich des Wicker Park "Ukrainian Village". An die inzwischen assimilierte deutsche Kolonie erinnern das Restaurant "Zu den sieben Schwaben", eine Schiller Street und eine Goethe-Statue, die den Dichterfürst als nackte griechische Gottheit zeigt."

Ok, sarcasm off.

The best defense I use when confronted with such stupidity espoused by Europeans is to say " Andere Laender, Andere Sitten".

I have many European friends that come to Chicago and the U.S. and that just want to loose themselves in American culture; e.g. from going to Cubs games at Wrigley Field, eating hot dogs, savoring the wide array of American beers (yes, we do have more then Bud Light), touring the great American freeways, driving "Big American Cars", experience Southern hospitality and etc. They understand that the US is not Europe, and that we have our own distinct culture.

Excellent defenses, people, but I think Gabi is on OUR side of this. She was just reporting something she heard from an acquaintance.

As her acquaintance demonstrated, if you come to the US with a jaundiced eye, you aren't going to see the things that make us beautiful :).

Great answers! Thank you!
Thank you, Chicago Guy!

LCM & Gabi,

I know Gabi is a true friend. I'm sure Gabi understands the sarcasm of my post and that I know she was only relaying a conversation.

I also want to qualify my sarcasm with the fact that Germany is probably one of my all time favorite travel destinations, both professionally and privately, and that I have deep respect and admiration for Germans and German culture. I’ve probably been to Germany 30-40 times.

However, I’ve come across that teacher’s “attitude” so many times from Germans “ich koennte kotzen (I learned that phrase in a pub over some beers)”. In my opinion that attitude is most prevalent in educated individuals; e.g. those people who should know better and that ram “multi-kultur” down everyone’s throat (especially US and German media).

Ironically, I have a German buddy that is a teacher. He and his wife live in Hannover. We got to know one another during college. He was an exchange student and was in one of my Poli-Sci classes. We introduced ourselves and have been friends for 14 years.

We try to get together at least once every two or three years; e.g. we go to Germany or they come to the US. We’ve traveled with them throughout Germany, Austria, France and Switzerland, and we’ve taken them down Route 66 (road-tripped from Chicago to the Grand Canyon and back), Memphis, San Francisco and Key West. Torsten brags that he has been to something like 25-30 states. Our next “big” trip is driving to Alaska.

He did once tell me that when he came to the US as an exchange student he never in his wildest dreams would have thought that he would fall so much in love with America and her people; e.g. he had come with all of the prejudices he learned from TV, teachers and etc.

I guess the moral of the story is that we each appreciate our respective cultures without prejudice.

Chicago Guy,

After 9/11 we often askrd ourselfes if our friends are real friends but we always decided to go on and go on whatever they say. The children of our friends all went to the US! But the parents never changed their mind even when the children loved the US. We realized that telling them some or more facts does not bother them. It is deep in their mind and they want to feel that way: superior. There is a kind of arrogance or better: not enough self confidence. We are avoiding discussions now.

Chicago Guy... "I guess the moral of the story is that we each appreciate our respective cultures without prejudice."

That's the way to do it :). That's the only way to "see" America: Get on the highway and see what needs to be seen as you go, meet people along the way, end up where you end up.

Back in the mid-'70s, after my Granny died, I decided that my mother needed a long vacation. I took a month off of work, and Mom was already on leave of absence from her job for taking care of her mother during her long illness, so we just got into the car and went to Memphis (from Florida) to visit some friends. Our friends there showed us around Memphis and that area of Tennessee (beautiful country!), and then we decided that since we were this far along, we might as well go up to South Dakota to see the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore. So we did. At each destination, we poked around, did the tourist thing AND did whatever the locals did, and then decided on the next destination. After three weeks of bumming around the country, we ended up at the Grand Canyon. We were ready to go home by then, and came back straight through the southern tier of states... Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, for yet another great tour, and took our time at that, too :D. And Mom was a new woman when we got home.

It was the best vacation I've ever had. My memories of that trip will stay with me till the day I die. We ate steaks in Wyoming that overflowed huge platters, had jambalaya and gumbo in Louisiana, genuine Tex-Mex in Texas, and you name it, not to mention the places we saw. As of now, the only states where I haven't spent considerable time (enough to get a feel for life there) are those on the west coast.

LCM, you’re so right.

Whenever phone each other, funny stories always come up about our long three week road trip to the Grand Canyon and back. That trip too was filled with so many memories that will last us a lifetime.

From them wanting to eat at every greasy spoon along the way, to the ladies sitting in the back seat chattering while sharing a big jar of my mom’s homemade butter pickles, accidentally knocking it over and having the contents spill all over the floorboard. We smelled butter pickles for almost 2,500+ miles even after all of our attempts to get rid of it. We all laughed so hard that our stomachs hurt. BTW, mom’s butter pickles have to be included in every “care package” we send them.

However, our trips through Europe have also had its moments resembling the Three Stooges. From Torsten giving the wrong arrival date for our hotel reservations where we arrived two days “early” for our ski holiday in Kitzbühel and of course all hotels were booked solid, to me trying to get into the wrong car (identical to Torsten’s) at a gas station in France, to my better half being unable to find our passports at the German/Swiss border and not noticing it until we had a line of cars behind us. The Swiss border guards pulled us out of the line, we ended up having to pull everything out of the car to find them and eventually found them in her make-up bag (don’t ask). Now picture all the luggage being torn apart next to the car and people thinking we were drug-smugglers or something. Although we laughed really hard about our mishaps, Torsten’s wife now makes all reservations when they are the travel guides and I now carry our passports whenever we travel outside the US. ;)

As I mentioned, our next really “big” trip will be a four week road-trip from Chicago to Seattle, then up to Alaska, then back across Canada. We are all excited already and look forward to further strengthen our friendship and cross-cultural bonds.

We know they really enjoy real “Americana” when they visit the US, and they know when we visit Germany we really enjoy quaint old cafes, small town pubs, castles and that sense of “gemuetlichkeit” that the Germans have perfected; e.g. each being something that can’t be found or replicated in our respective countries or cultures.

Actually, in terms of physical, manufactured exports, Germany is the largest exporter in the World.

James W. None of your "myths" address child poverty. Doesn't really surprise me.

" havn't seen any child poverty in my neighborhood....not even amongst illegal aliens!"

Firstly, yeah, right. I have seen plenty with my own eyes. Secondly, perhaps this counts as proof in Republican eyes, but anyone with half a brain knows this means nothing, even if it were true.

David, you didn't really address the issue the company is trying to shed light onto, which is all the things that could be improved, if the US would spent only a little less (in terms of its current spending) on certain military hobbies.

I take the freedom to add one more myth to the list above.

Myth # 16 American workers need 2 jobs to survive.

The assumption behind this is: the majority of American workers is paid so poorly, that they can not afford their living costs.
As the institue for Economy in Cologne has shown, this is not true. In fact just 5% of american workers have a second job. And this job is not, unlike anti-americans always tell a full-time job, but a smaller job like babysitting or help in math. There are also people in America who have actually 2 full-time jobs. But these are just ,2%.

Interesting is also, what people say, why they have a second job. The majority answers not because the cost of living would be two high, but they want some extras(Olaf Gersemann).

In top of the countries, where most people have a second job scores denmark(IW-Koeln.de)

@Chicago Guy

Are you sure about the 79 Nobel-Prize winners from UoC. I mean Chicago is(!) great, but I still have trouble to beleive that.

Coming back to the headline. I suppose the actors are probably too bad for European television. Never forget. A good actor is defined by his political statements.

@ Phil.

The information below is from the University of Chicago website (http://www-news.uchicago.edu/resources/nobel/). If you follow the link you can see the complete list.


"University of Chicago Nobel Laureates

An extraordinary number of Nobel Laureates have been faculty members, students or researchers at the University of Chicago at some point in their careers. Some of the laureates whose work is closely associated with the University of Chicago are Milton Friedman (Economic Sciences, 1986), Subramanyan Chandrasekhar (Physics, 1983), Saul Bellow (Literature, 1976), Charles Huggins (Physiology or Medicine, 1966), and Willard Libby (Chemistry, 1960).

In addition to these Laureates, Alexei Abrikosov of Argonne National Laboratory (which has been operated by the University of Chicago for the U.S. Department of Energy since the laboratory was established in 1946) shared the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics "for pioneering contributions to the theory of superconductors and superfluids."

The University of Chicago's first Nobel Laureate was Albert A. Michelson. The first American to win the Nobel Prize in any of the sciences, Michelson was recognized in 1907 for his measurements of the speed of light. Robert A. Millikan (Physics, 1923), did both of his prize-winning experiments on campus in the Ryerson Laboratory.

Of the 79 laureates who have Chicago ties, 27 have won in Physics, 23 in Economic Sciences, 15 in Chemistry, 11 in Physiology or Medicine, and three in Literature.

Six Laureates are currently members of the faculty:

James Heckman, a Professor in Economics and Public Policy, studies methodologies used to measure the impact of social programs, such as minimum-wage legislation and anti-discrimination law. He shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for work on analyzing selective samples.

Robert Lucas, a Professor in Economics who received his A.B. and Ph.D. from the University, was cited as “the economist who has had the greatest influence on macroeconomic research since 1970.” His work has shown that people’s rational decisions about their own economic welfare can change the expected results of government policies.

Robert Fogel, a Professor in the Graduate School of Business, shared the award for applying economics and statistics to the study of history. In his work on slavery in the United States, Fogel has argued that the market would not have ended slavery, as it remained a profitable and efficient system for slave owners.

Gary Becker, a Professor in Economics, was recognized for extending microeconomic analysis to a wide range of human behavior, such as interactions within a family. He also developed the idea that for companies, education and training are investments as much as new equipment.
Ronald Coase, a Professor in Economics, won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences partly for work he had done in the 1930s, in which he introduced a new concept–transaction costs–to explain why firms exist.

James Cronin, a Professor in Physics, shared the award for discovering violations of fundamental symmetry principles in the decay of neutral K-mesons. In 1994, Cronin won a Quantrell Award for his superlative undergraduate teaching.

Other University of Chicago Nobel Laureates include Enrico Fermi (Physics, 1938), George Stigler (Economic Sciences, 1982), James Dewey Watson (Physiology or Medicine, 1962), Maria Goeppert-Mayer (Physics, 1963), Merton Miller (Economic Sciences, 1990), Robert Mulliken (Chemistry, 1966), and George Beadle (Physiology or Medicine, 1958)".

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