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View Diary: Are we on the verge of another 1848 or 1917? (283 comments)

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  •  As usual, right on target. There are advantages to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, Major Tom, Cassandra77

    being aware of other nations and other forms of participation and response.

    I spend stretches overseas, observing the USA from afar, then returning to see it up close, but with different glasses. Your observations about the USA are very much on target.

    It's a shame most Americans are not more worldly, in the meaning of understanding the differences between nations and social responses to government actions.

    "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

    by YucatanMan on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 08:48:55 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  I always give a pass (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YucatanMan, Cassandra77, AoT

      to Americans who do not travel abroad.

      Everything is "long-haul" from here, and expensive. It is costing us near $3000 to send our daughter to Ireland for a week with her school band.

      But there are Congressmen and Senators who do not travel abroad either. They do not take the trouble to inform themselves of other options, or learn to open their eyes to possibilities.

      Not only do they not avail themselves of opportunities they can afford, they are proud that they do not.

      This attitude is damaging to our national interest, and I'd solve it by making a law that said that if Congress votes for military action overseas, then 25% of Congress has to go on active service with them.

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

      Who is twigg?

      by twigg on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 08:58:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mexico has a vastly different attitude toward (6+ / 0-)

        government and millions visit there every year. But they don't speak the language and don't follow politics.

        Canada, especially prior to the current govt of Cons, has had vastly different attitudes toward government as well.  Having some Canadian friends in the USA frequently illustrated that at shared meals or drinks.

        Maybe I'm harder on "my people" but even trying to educate themselves about the rest of the world would help. And even when "there" in another country, we generally don't care a whit about understanding social attitudes and politics.

        Living there, dealing with the government, extended contact with local people and their perceptions of government or social mores, you get a whole different viewpoint.

        I was actually in Mexico during the Katrina disaster. The first day after, the newspapers proclaimed that nothing much had happened (as they did in the USA to a great extent).  But then the TV footage started rolling in while we were still reading the "All OK" newspaper.

        The shock of people was palpable everywhere and I was often stopped and questioned.  There was no shock about the flooding itself, but the lack of response of the government. How could the most powerful nation on earth simply stand by and not act with haste to help their own people? As the days went on, the attitude became more one of disgust than of shock. Mexico sent a military ship to lend assistance which arrived off the coast before Bush had gotten his ass in gear and noticed that a major American city was under water.

        I guess I'm rattling on, but I guess I'm not so willing to give people a pass for not trying to understand their relationship with the rest of the world.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:12:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your points are well made. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          YucatanMan, NearlyNormal, mkor7

          However, I don't consider a trip to Cancun as "visiting Mexico" :)

          It is easier for Europeans to visit many different countries, and as a result those people have extensive contact with each other ... Not just through vacations, but school and cultural exchange programs, etc.

          For example, most cities in the UK are "Twinned" with at least one city abroad, and school students, local officials and all sorts of people meet and mix regularly.

          I can leave my home in NE Oklahoma and drive 830 miles to South Padre Island, TX. Along the way I get to see Oklahoma, and Texas.

          In England, I could leave home, drive 830 miles, and be in Rome having traveled through England, France, Switzerland and Italy.

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

          Who is twigg?

          by twigg on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:27:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  US cities also have overseas "sister cities," but (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            twigg

            we generally only use those for commerce or politicians political purposes.  It's sad, but the interchange of people and ideas is much more limited here.

            Just for grins, I looked up Dallas, TX sister cities:

            Sister cities:

                Brno, Czech Republic
                Kolkata,West Bengal, India
                Dijon, France
                Monterrey, Mexico
                Riga, Latvia
                Saratov, Russia
                Taipei, Taiwan
                Recife, Brazil

            Friendship cities:

                Sendai, Japan
                Tianjin, People's Republic of China
                Qingdao, People's Republic of China
                Dalian, People's Republic of China
                Nanjing, People's Republic of China
                Trujillo, Peru
                Taguig City, Philippines

            Yet your average Dallas resident couldn't tell you squat about any of those. Sad.

            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

            by YucatanMan on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:40:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  people in England often told me . . . (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ice Blue, twigg, YucatanMan

            "The difference between the US and UK is that in the US, you think 200 years is a long time, and in the UK, we think 200 miles is a long distance".

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 11:19:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

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