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View Diary: German Spiegel: "Notes on the Decline of a Great Nation" (317 comments)

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  •  I know you are sincere Democrats Ramshield (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but dang a mule, when did Germany become a paragon of virtue?  What's that biblical phrase about removing the splinter from your own eye before you put a stick in someone else's?  Sumptin like that.

    I have many memories of being in Germany including riding on a bus to visit Dachau.  I wept and placed flowers there.  What really struck me were the Germans who looked up as the bus approached then immediately ducked their heads, one would presume in shame.  I know that is well past now but still Germany is ootching and scootching the EU into austerity which is NOT working, at all.

    Just a few thoughts... respectfully submitted.

    Andy's two-timin' tail run off wiff mah sig line!

    by nannyboz on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 01:30:30 PM PST

    •  Why blame Germany for what a German Mag wrote (5+ / 0-)

      I'm sure you don't blame America for what some American magazine writes.

      I agree with you on Germany's push for austerity.  We are going to fall into the same crap when we push for deficit reductions at this time.

      I know that is well past now but still Germany is ootching and scootching the EU into austerity which is NOT working, at all.
      •  Not blaming a German magazine. I am, however, (0+ / 0-)

        tired of the meme presented here that Germany is oh so much better than the US.  Just my .02.

        Andy's two-timin' tail run off wiff mah sig line!

        by nannyboz on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:14:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  maybe it is, in some ways? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          niemann, The Marti, high uintas, twigg

          Me I don't know, but I am not raising the point....

          If you thought that possible, what would you do about it?  If Germany did some things right where the US was wrong, what would you do?

        •  anyone who has actually LIVED and (7+ / 0-)

          WORKED over there (whether in Germany, France, or any of the "northerly" countries in Europe) for any extended period of time, not just vacationed or visited--will necessarily be struck by the way a functioning, capitalist democracy actually works. For an American, the comparison is probably especially hard to take precisely because the contrasts are so striking--tragically so.

          I get a little tired of Dem Ramschield's "shame on you, Americans, why cant you just do as the Germans-do" diaries, too--especially since I don't see the diarist actually DOING anything to effect the kind of changes that might make us "catch up" to Germany.

          But I do know the feeling of living and working in the German system and how it just seems so tragic that the US can't do the same with regard to health care, the environment, labor laws, the "social safety net", the infrastructure, and yes, even MULTICULTURALISM and tolerance (my experience in Germany is that it is overall much more tolerant of diversity and uniqueness than the US; there are racist assholes everywhere in the world--starting to get the feeling there are more of them here in the US than anywhere else in the world).

          Maybe Dem Ramschield can start working on some sort of Marshall Plan for the US or something. (snark? who me?)

          •  To grumpelstillchen - Thanks for the post (7+ / 0-)

            A recent Harvard study showed that 45,000 Americans die (preventable deaths) every year, just because they don't have access to health insurance. I think we can all be proud Americans but we don't have to proud of the broken American social safety net. There we can, must and should do better. America deserves nothing else except our best efforts.

            This is an important national conversation to have. My hope is this diary will act as a humble discussion starter. Thank you for your support.

            (Reuters) - Nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year -- one every 12 minutes -- in large part because they lack health insurance and can not get good care, Harvard Medical School researchers found

            sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

            by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:36:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hmm. What you may be experiencing (11+ / 0-)

              in this diary is "DR/Spiegel-fatigue". Most readers of this blog actually know a lot of what you are trying to introduce to the "national discussion", and may feel a bit put off, especially on the heels of an election where there were a lot of folks on this blog who were pounding the pavement, manning the phones and doing the real hard work of "democracy" in a country that has become increasingly LESS democratic as years have passed.

              There are probably not many Kossacks who don't share your criticism of the US, and probably not many who don't know that there are better models in Europe.

              In a sense, by presenting this material at DKos, you're preaching to the choir.

              I was an expat for a long time. And to this day I bitch about the same shit you talk about on this blog--it is VERY annoying to return to the US after living in a functional capitalist democracy. My life sure as hell would have been easier if I'd stayed in Europe. But I didn't.
              And part of why I didn't was that I am committed to doing what I can to improve this country, based in part on insights I gained from a decade spent living and working abroad.

              So call me Mother Theresa, I dunno.

              I'd like to see you and other expats use the privileges and benefits you enjoy to effect more than "discussion".

              Maybe the Marshall Plan idea wasn't just snark.

              •  Thank you! You spoke eloquently about what I (3+ / 0-)

                poorly tried to say.  I am one who phone banked, donated, TRIED.  Along about now I'm damned near tired of everyone.  Especially a German publication with a freaking holier than thou attitude preaching to whomever (as was pointed out to me above, they didn't publish it for me).

                Guess I need PreparationH for my case of the "redass".

                Andy's two-timin' tail run off wiff mah sig line!

                by nannyboz on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 03:14:47 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  And what might this involve? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Pluto, lostinamerica
                I'd like to see you and other expats use the privileges and benefits you enjoy to effect more than "discussion".

                What could they do, any more than the rest of us, other than effect discussion?  A huge proportion of what we do here at DailyKos is discuss things -- bringing up subjects and keeping them alive and in view by discussing them.

                Why should expatriots have any more power than any of us here in the U.S. to do more than write and discuss?

                I think DR is providing us a huge service here by letting us know how others in the world see us behind our back.  I know it is enlightening for me.  

                That in itself can be a very powerful thing ... and he doesn't have to do it.  He could just sit back and say, "I've got things good here, so the hell with the rest of you."

                •  they don't necessarily have more power, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  but what they do have is more leisure, more job security. Uh, let's see, does health care count for anything? All these things make taking bold political action a bit easier--starting with, gee, you don't have to worry about losing your damn job because you took a day off work to protest, or phone bank, or feed the poor.

                  I'm glad it's enlightening for you. It's not new to me. Been there, done that.

                  And that's why I know about the perks--the extra leisure time, the 13th month's salary (bonus), the 6 weeks paid vacation, the health care, the roads that don't fuck up your shock absorbers, the power that doesn't go out (because the cables are buried).

                  I think expats in Europe would have a better shot at getting UN intervention in some of the more serious issues we face--not least of all ELECTIONS.

                  My point was that most folks in these parts (i.e. DKos) are already having these discussions. The people who need to GET this are the 47+ % who voted for Romney, most of them against their own interests.

                  Now, the person who can get this in those folks heads? That person should be up for the Nobel Prize--in just about any category!

              •  rec X 1000 (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I Travel out of the country every year, speak two languages (Spanish and English) Ive spent 4 years outside the country in military and civilian capacities.  I'd have to think  a long time to tell you how many countries Ive been to, th last time I  got my passport renewed, there were 11 countries stamped on there, some like France and Chile 3 times
                Ive been to Europe, more thn once and more then twice. Its a nice place, fabulous in parts of it and well worth seeing
                but I have no desire at all to live there. Personally, I'd rather live in Chile if I couldn't live in Oregon and for the same reason: I like open spaces.

                Its always  interesting to see what others have to say about us. Gee, they sure don't make us sound very nice. Probably hundreds of thousands of people, maybe millions of people all over the world are trying to get here now. I hope they read these diaries in time and change their goal for Germany

                Happy just to be alive

                by exlrrp on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 06:16:13 AM PST

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    •  I'm really sorry (10+ / 0-)

      But you feel Germany should've ceased to exist after WWII or something? That every person, including young children, should shrink away from any non-German person and hide their face in shame, 67 years later?

      I'm not German, but what I do know about them at the moment is that their history has left deep marks that the country seems to do a heck of a lot to help heal and it is practically law to drill what happened into every citizen from a very young age to prevent history from repeating itself. But good ol' Hiroshima and Nagasaki-bombing, constantly-killing-hundreds-of-thousands-civilians-in-pointless-wars-since-WWII 'merica gets to be all proud and glorious. It's sad.

      Don't get me wrong. My own country was invaded by the Germans, my Granddad fought his way out of two camps. He still didn't go around blabbing about how a fascist regime that could've happened in lots of places made Germany the devil forevermore.

      About austerity - I'm adamantly against it as well and oppose Germany's positions. Austerity and a lack of social security might be normal in the US, but the EU is a different kind of beast altogether.

      •  Germany actually LEARNED something (11+ / 0-)

        from its genocidal history. Here in the US, we glorify it, or deny it, or pretend it was an "accident."

        And ALL of us suffer the consequences as a result, some (i.e. the victims of said genocide) more than others (the descendants of the perpetrators). but we all suffer from the aftereffects of genocide. It's the nature of the beast--and Germany is a good example we could draw upon for insights on that score.

        It is precisely this DENIAL that prevents us from healing. The fact that we don't/won't/can't heal allows all the ancillary (after) effects of our genocidal history to keep us in a steady downward spiral of decline.

        But, naw, we got nuthin' to learn from those racist Nazis over there, right? Riiiiight.


        •  Incredibly well put. (7+ / 0-)

          This black-and-white thinking (us = good, them = foe unless "ally") and the continuous glorifying of all things military, the blind jingoism and patriotism, not being able to shut up about being "the most Exceptional country in the history of the world" and of being number one or dominating the globe, the fear-mongering... Those are actually signs that, in history, have almost always equated to a lead-up to fascism or demise as many sociologists and historians have pointed out.

          This pervasive denial you talk about is indeed frightening and if the US doesn't change gears sooner rather than later... I don't even want to think about it. America is in need of a wave of renewed social conscience, an increased awareness of the appalling things that are happening and of a focused goal of creating a serious social contract worthy of the 21st Century instead of clinging to the time when the US was first formed. It is desperately in need of a sort second Enlightenment, if you like.

          We can only hope (and keep supporting progressive values with all of our faculties, of course).

          •  I agree. Spend most of my time fearing (6+ / 0-)

            it 'taint gonna happen, but the fact that so many folks actually came out to vote was encouraging.

            In many ways, I think that, for all its faults, Obama's presidency is actually helping to trigger that kind of renewed social conscience/consciousness--in the long term, that benefit will probably outweigh some of the less-than-progressive policies/stances he is forced by his position to support.

            Let us hope.

        •  Yup (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          grumpelstillchen, twigg

          (R's) take those tired memes and shove 'em, Denise Velez Oliver, 11/7/2012.

          by a2nite on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 06:10:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Oh for the love of Mike. n/t (0+ / 0-)

        Andy's two-timin' tail run off wiff mah sig line!

        by nannyboz on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 03:18:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I have no idea how one could "respectfully" (12+ / 0-)

      submit a comment about present day Germany by bringing up Nazi history. Germans know what happened in their past and they've chosen to learn from their own history. I don't think I need to bring up our history.

      What I would like to bring up is a couple of interesting factoids like the fact that Germany has 23 times more solar power per capita than the United States. Link. Or how about the fact that Germany's healthcare spending percent of the GDP is 11.6% and ours is 17.4%, Link.

      We could learn from them, but we as a country refuse to.

      "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

      by high uintas on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 03:43:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  To high uintas - Great post (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        high uintas, The Marti, twigg

        Thanks for your support. You're right on the money, I couldn't agree more with what you said in your thoughtful post.

        sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

        by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 03:45:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I would just love to see our country (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Marti, a2nite, Pluto, twigg, flowerfarmer

          unleash it's competitive spirit in trying to best Germany and some of the other enlightened countries in efficient use of renewable energy and infrastructure and healthcare and education instead of just trying to yell "We're Number One" louder. sigh

          "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

          by high uintas on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 03:53:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I brought it up "respectfully" because it still (0+ / 0-)

        exists, these many years later.  I don't create their realism but have experienced it.  It isn't about solar power, GDP, or health care.  Lovely on the Germans for their successes there.  They are still, and should be, chagrined about the treatment they afforded Jews and others not long ago.

        I will end there as this discussion is ill fated.  Watch Germany... watch the leadership closely in the not distant future.   Part of Merkel's austerity program harms those who are not German.  History will repeat itself.

        Andy's two-timin' tail run off wiff mah sig line!

        by nannyboz on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 03:53:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They feel much worse about it (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pluto, twigg, flowerfarmer

          than we do about what we did to the Native Americans and the African slaves, IMO.

          You can't be saying that they will go all Nazi again when you say "history will repeat itself", right? Plz tell me you weren't saying that! The Germans I know are horrified by what their country did, oh and btw they really don't like dear Angela Merkel either.

          "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

          by high uintas on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 05:06:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Have you some evidence (2+ / 0-)

          for this outrageous claim?

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          by twigg on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 11:03:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Meh (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          high uintas, twigg, Gentle Giant

          I can see Buchenwald from my house

          Actually, no, there are a couple of buildings in the way: the Greek restaurant across the street and the Bauhaus University, but I was just up there the night before last to let my labrador run without a leash a bit

          There are more extremist right wingers in the US than in Germany per capita.  There are far more Eric Rudolf's than NSU members.  The only political danger comes from the FDP "Liberals" who have fallen on their face the last two years.  I expect the SPD to take the reigns in the next elections

          I am familiar with the political system here as I have been an active member of Die Linke since 2005 when it was still the PDS

          However, as for chagrined, I'll let my wife know she should be - and for good measure, my daughter as well when she is born in January - sins are genetic, y'know

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