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There is always this comment about health insurance. Because some people do not have health insurance does not mean they do not have health care.

Secondly there does not seem to be a lot of difference between what the french think and what many Germans think. Of course this is to be expected given how Germany considers france to be it closest ally.

I CAN'T read the entire piece - it's a subscriber-only link.

"For many in Europe, America is a dark fantasy constructed of prejudice and political bias with little if any connection to reality."

Its an effective tactic that unites Europe against a common (falsly depicted) enemy and keeps the foucs abroad and not at home.

We have always been at war with Oceania!

-- a health care system that leaves more than 40 million people without insurance is a bad system --

Having insurance and access to health care are 2 different things.

We're not dying in the streets in droves and stepping over bodies like the froggies step over dog poop in Paree.....

They don't get it, never did, never will.

5th republic v. 1st.......

I can't read the entire article either because it's subscriber-only. But I doubt that it presents anything new with respect to what I already knew.
Anti-Americanism is both similar and different from culture to culture. Bizarrely enough, there is even a Canadian anti-Americanism. The French form is one of the worst. A year or so ago I was logged on to the Forum of Liberation (a Paris daily), where they were of course discussing us. Our militarism, our aggressiveness, our overall badness. One poster actually said: what if they invade us (France)? I thought there would be a deluge of "t'es fou" (you're nuts) or at least subtle derision. Mais non. The drift of the responses was that they would defend themselves, they even brought up their force de frappe.
This is going beyond a negative ideology and right into the realm of mass psychopathology. And this in the land of Descartes.

Hmm, no health insurance?

What good is the French system when 25,000 died in a heat wave of 2003?

James
--
What good is the French system when 25,000 died in a heat wave of 2003?
-----

What good is the French health system when the authorities knowingly allowed AIDS-infected blood in the system? And get away with it.
A former Prime Minister and a member of his Cabinet were acquitted today on charges of criminal negligence and manslaughter in the deaths of hundreds of people who contracted AIDS in the mid-1980's from transfusions of tainted blood.


Altho' I think it was 'only' 15,000 they are all martyrs in the cause of bringing attention to globular worming.

Air conditioning is so American.

What? Socialists using the US as a boogie man? Really?

I've hit the point where I just chuckle when socialists talk. Their claims about being heirs to the Enlightenment just get an eye roll. They're essentially bright conspiracy theorists... If it’s not the Amis, it's either Capitalism (what is capitalism anyway.. France and Germany have money... as did the USSR.. the US has a social safety net... anyway, I digress) or Jews... they're all kind of the same thing anyway.

Ridicule might be the only weapons left… considering they make their own factoids (example: Chomsky) or even fake facts (Moore) to construct their false worldview / narratives… Because say what you will about these types, they do love to be taken seriously.

Sandy

They are not confused about health insurance and health care. They very much know the difference. They don't want to engage about their health care because it is very much below the standards of the US. Therefore they harp on insurance.

It's a shame that pretty much nobody is going to read this article because it's locked away behind a registration scheme. It would have done some good if it were available to all.

Thomass
Ridicule might be the only weapons left

I think they may have formed a circular firing squad. I'm watching Le Journal (French evening news).

Apparently, Jose Bove is going to run for president.

You just can't make this stuff up.

They just showed Chirac meeting w/Madame Pompidou at some museum opening or something.

She looks like Keith Richards mother.

What a relief.

Now I know he has one.

Now I'm watching German news. The Turkish writer who just won the Nobel has cancelled a trip to Germany because of 'security concerns'.

What's up with that?

What is a 'one euro' worker? I'm not getting this.

A4E - apparently an group that tries to place the unemployed - one of their employer clients - a hotelier ' "We use the American model. If you can do the job, fine, if you can't go some place else".

oops.

And what is it with this rabbit breeder, Karl somebody (Smolensky?) , selling rabbits to North Korea?

@Pamela: I'll do my very best.

A one-Euro job is something that was created in an attempt to get long-term unemployed people accustomed to working again. Certain "jobs" were created by the government, and people receiving unemployment benefits have the opportunity to work at these jobs and thereby get an additional 1 Euro for every hour worked in addition to the benefits mentioned. In addition to the "beer money," the workers are supposed to get the satisfaction of a job well done and the necessary increase in self-esteem and self-confidence to make a difference when trying to get back into the real labour market, where they are ulimately supposed to land, theoretically. These jobs created by the goverment are NOT supposed to compete with the "real" labour market, i.e. they are only supposed to do things that no one or no company would do in the first place. Hmmm. Now, that is the theory. Like so many theories, especially those dreamt up by socialists, things change where the rubber meets the road.
What has happened is this: Goverment agencies themselves have consistently broken their own rules! Communties which are strapped for cash have simply cancelled all of their gardening, custodial or litter collection contracts, and have sent their very own 1-Euro workforces out there to do those jobs which were previously done by real labourers paying real taxes, etc. Result? Check. Those companies lost their contracts, therefore they laid off their workers, who are now also unemployed! Now they, too, have the chance to do the same job they were doing before, but for 1 Euro instead of a real wage.
If this idea spreads (and there is every danger that it will), the goverment will soon be able to poison the labour market in more and more different areas, and soon, everyone will be working for the government for 1 Euro per hour. Workers' Paradise, we are coming!

@ Scout

Your description sounds as if the government had found a tricky way to enslave the population :)
These 1-Euro-Workers are only doing very simple kind of jobs with no qualification needed. We can pass on these jobs to unemployed ones, otherwise only foreigners would do it. While I recall a political discussion about using 1-Euro-Workers as kind of an "escort" of public transportation in an anti-terror effort, right now they only do the gardening and stuff.

As an American, I feel complimented.

To paraphrase FrnakJ,What's the best part about being an American? When people talk about how 'the man' is keeping them down, you know they're talking about you."

Scout, I just fell off my chair laughing. If we're lucky, maybe the French will pick it up. Royal has been quoted as saying "Capitalists must be [made to be] afraid" and her stud puppy Hollande as saying "I don't like rich people."

So what's up with the minumum wage idea?

Well I sure hope those who have the 1 euro jobs get to enjoy the beniftis of the 35 hour work week.

Posted by: Pamela | February 01, 2007 at 01:14 AM
"I think they may have formed a circular firing squad. I'm watching Le Journal (French evening news).
Apparently, Jose Bove is going to run for president.
You just can't make this stuff up."

Yeah, it’s been going on for years... Their policies are not based on reason ergo, feedback / reason does not serve as a motivator to change them when they don't work.. It’s all about opposing the other.. the 'right', the Americans, Jews, Capitalism, et cetera... In the end, European culture may be destroyed by, of all things; the hand of the empirical transcendental doublet… and its tendency to produce personality types which require shadows, others, enemies, or windmills to tilt against…

You guys have a real problem staying on-topic, don't you?
OK, so we can't access the whole article. But it does stir up thoughts of the Franco-American relationship (what's left of it). To this end, I'd like to point out an excellent and important article by Andre' Glucksmann in Le Monde http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0,36-860988,0.html
It's in French (his splendid, distinctive French). In it Andre' throws his support to Sarkozy and explains his reasoning. He touches on a subject that is dear to my heart, the current inadequacy of the traditional left-right division (I, too, am a leftist, always have been).
A few highlights for the Frenchless:
Sarkozy rompt clairement avec cette droite habituee' a cacher son vide derriere de grands concepts pontifiants. (Sarkozy clearly breaks with a Right wing which is used to hiding its emptiness behind high-falutin' concepts).
La gauche officielle se croit moralement infallible et mentalement intouchable. (The official Left thinks that it is morally infallible and mentally untouchable).
Voter n'est pas entrer en religion, c'est opter pour le projet le plus proche de ses convictions. (To vote does not entail a religious choice, it entails choosing the project which is closest to one's convictions).
There is at least one lucid Frenchman.

@ Thomass

"It’s all about opposing the other.. the 'right', the Americans, Jews, Capitalism, et cetera... In the end, European culture may be destroyed by, of all things; the hand of the empirical transcendental doublet… and its tendency to produce personality types which require shadows, others, enemies, or windmills to tilt against…"

Actually the history of hunting black sheep goes back far beyond these examples. While the romans made the christians responsible for any misdevelopment in the empire and suppressed the jews in palestina some 2000 years ago, Europe started to initiate cruisades against the muslims once it was christianized and made the jews responsible for misdevelopments within its societies some 1000 years ago. Witches have been burned and heretics tortured to death in the following centuries. In the religious war of 30 years in the 17th century, about one half of the german population got killed.
Minorities were nearly extinct in the 20th century.

Did this destroy our culture? What makes you believe it will suddenly be different this time?

"Their policies are not based on reason ergo, feedback / reason does not serve as a motivator to change them when they don't work.. It’s all about opposing the other"

I disagree: Creating black sheep might not seem reasonable at first. But it frees the european societies of responsibility for misdevelopments and increases collective motivation by involving emotions. It unites entire peoples. A psychological analysis would be very interesting, as this proceeding seems to be a vital base of our development.

Gunter: "Your description sounds as if the government had found a tricky way to enslave the population :)"

Uhh, Gunter.... they have already done that anyway. Or haven't you noticed the significant difference between the "Brutto" and the "Netto" on your Gehaltsnachweis? And haven't you added up what the government takes additionally from that pittance of what remains of your paycheck? I'm talking about VAT, fuel tax, energy tax, property tax, TV tax, Kfz tax, and so on and so on. Add it up! It's not at all unusual here to give 75% of your paycheck to the government!
But why stop there? Why settle for 75% of the paychecks, when you can *ahem* control the means of production? And thereby just pay 1 Euro / hour to the new serfs?
..."right now they only do the gardening and stuff."
My point exactly. In the past, that "gardening and stuff" was done by workers who were receiving a proper wage and working for real companies, not the government. As a rule, when the government starts tinkering around with the labour market, it can't get better, and chances are in fact that it will get much worse. Germans still believe that the government creates jobs. Unfortunately, in some cases, that's true, but they are the wrong kind of jobs: Bureaucrats, politicians, various other Sesselfurzer, people on the dole and 1-Euro workers. Great. :-(
As you said Pamela, we can hope the French pick up on it. And with that, we're back on topic!

Pamela, here's my take on the minimum wage discussion in Germany, heavily laced with my personal opinions.
At the moment, Germany does not have a univeral minimum wage law. This may come as a surprise in a country which otherwise is so overregulated and which takes pride in being called a "SOCIAL" market economy. It surprises me as well. On the other hand, they do have a sort of maximum wage law. It is not permitted to earn over 400 Euros per month without registering your work with the authorities and paying all the appropriate taxes and "contributions" to the so-called social so-called insurance schemes.
But back to minimum wage: There is a de facto minimum wage which has been introduced for only some trades. For example, in construction. This was done to combat a flood of foreign workers on sub-contracts who were being paid a fraction of the going rate working in Germany on German construction projects. Despite these efforts, it is difficult to find a lot of Germans working in construction these days, even after the introduction of the minimum wage. It hasn't helped. Nevertheless, what's good for the goose is good for the gander, and the representatives of other trades and especially the unions hope that minimum wages will protect them from the cheap imported labour and save their memberships and ergo their influence. A union without members is after all not particularly powerful.
A number of politician, particularly on the right, have criticised the plans and maintain that a minimum wage would be a job killer. I think they are ALL wrong. A minimum wage is _not_ going to stop imported labour, and a minimum wage would also not be the number one job killer in Germany -- they have much more efficient ways of killing jobs, for example, by treating businesses and entrepreneurs as the enemy who deserve to be taxed out of existence to support Father State. Bottom line: A storm in a teacup.

"... her stud puppy Hollande as saying 'I don't like rich people.'"

LOL! I'm amazed by the moral bankruptcy of a person who says he "likes" someone based on the amount of money he or she has. Hollande has what it takes to be a great political commissar of the "old school" Soviet type.

---Europe started to initiate cruisades against the muslims once it was christianized and made the jews responsible for misdevelopments within its societies some 1000 years ago. ---


?????????????????????????????????????????????????


Initiate? Oh, I don't think so, they came out of the Arabian peninsula swords a-waving and slashing, we didn't go in.

90% defensive. And Charles Martel might have a different view.

The German media's anti-Americanism is absolutely irresponsible. Spiegel Online should be called "Prejudice Online". (Btw, Der Spiegel was equally prejudice in its reporting about East Germany in the early 90's.)

I don't know what Gunter does for a living, but I sure as hell hope it isn't teaching history.

@Gunter

"While the romans made the christians responsible for any misdevelopment in the empire and suppressed the jews in palestina some 2000 years ago, Europe started to initiate cruisades against the muslims once it was christianized and made the jews responsible for misdevelopments within its societies some 1000 years ago."

Your simple knowledge of history leaves alot to be desired.

@Gunter

And then I read the second half of your post.

"Creating black sheep might not seem reasonable at first. But it frees the european societies of responsibility for misdevelopments and increases collective motivation by involving emotions. It unites entire peoples. A psychological analysis would be very interesting, as this proceeding seems to be a vital base of our development."

Emotions are no substitute for rational thought. I do believe this little experiment of "creating black sheep" was attempted less the a century ago at a national level to "free the society from misdevelopments and motivate through emotion rhetoric."

Socialism never dies queitly, just morphs into the next train wreck about to happen. Enjoy the peace while it lasts.

@ Buckeye Abroad

"Your simple knowledge of history leaves alot to be desired."

So you expect others to write novels when the essence can also be presented in a shortened way?

@Gunter

"So you expect others to write novels when the essence can also be presented in a shortened way?"

The premise of your post was false, but I think it was due to your lack of historical knowledge-- if you had any, you wouldn't post such bumper-sticker trash as supposed historical fact.

I don't expect you to post historical novels, just read those with factual sources and sound dispositions. Opinions based on facts and sound theory can always be rationally discussed-- hollywood tripe and agenda leaden articles are lies to be painfully eraticated by those who absorb and/or believe them.

Gunter:

Why They Hate - Brigitte Gabriel

The Truth About Mo, robert Spencer

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam

Those on your coffee table should start some interesting conversations, and you might learn a thing or three.

@ Buckeye Abroad

Hmmm, which premise do you refer to? I have learned the roman language for 5 years when I was at school. Of course you forget much of it in the years afterwards, yet I don´t think you forget too much regarding its society and culture.

Gunter is the perfect example of when arrogance and ignorance collide.

--So you expect others to write novels when the essence can also be presented in a shortened way?--

The "essence" was wrong. That's our point.

Posted by: Gunter | February 01, 2007 at 08:05 PM

"Actually the history of hunting black sheep goes back far beyond these examples......

Did this destroy our culture? What makes you believe it will suddenly be different this time?"

A: I can't even agree that each of these examples was a 'hunt the black sheep' exercise (please, I'm Hungarian American; don't try to snow me about the Crusades).
B: The examples I might agree with (witches) have clear differences with the modern witch hunt. I can find no examples of talk of conspiracies to dominate the world by a group pre French Revolution (and when your dealing with a group this 'devious' there is only one defense...). I think something changed around then in the mindset or thinking of people.
C: Previous examples of black sheep type hunting didn't result in coping mechanisms that were self destructive. Hunting a witch was not multiculturalism.. for example. But now, if the false concept of the 'other' is a nationalist and racist, absurd and self destructive policies have to be instituted to create a self image that is different... with no feed back mechanisms in place to admit it is not working... ditto economic issues…

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