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(This diary of which I am the author was initially published at Alternet and is here with as part of the Daily Kos foreign language group republished in both German and in English.)

During President Obama's visit in Europe and especially during his televised address in London, shouldn't we ask how does the British media in particular and the European media in general view the United States? The short answer is, they think that America has gone crazy. This diary provides a review of the European press which criticizes the American weak social safety net to the point where the only logical conclusion that one may come to is that America must be insane for allowing this tragedy to befall the American working class.

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Intro: (Written by an American expat living in the European Union who holds an MBA degree).

Intro: (Geschrieben von einem ausgewanderten Amerikaner der in der Europäischen Union Lebt)

#1)
It wasn't until I left America that I started to realize how badly the American plutocrat owned media lies to the American people through its disinformation campaign.

#1)
Nicht bevor ich Amerika verliess, began ich zu erkennen, in welchem Masse die den Amerikanischen Plutokraten gehörenden Medien das Amerikanische Volk durch ihre Misinformationskampagnen belügen.

#2)
Well today for a span of at least this one Daily Kos diary, you will get to see what the American plutocrat owned media never wants you to see, and that is how Europe in particular and the world in general has come to see America as a country in decline, whose people are so badly misinformed by the media, they actually don't realize that America is the only major industrialized nation in the world that by right of law does not offer universal medical access, paid sick leave, paid maternity leave and paid annual leave.

#2)
Heute nun, für zumindest eine Spanne dieses Tagesberichtes, werden sie sehen was sie die Amerikanischen Plutokraten gehörenden Medien nie sehen lassen wollen und das ist, wie besonders Europa und die Welt im Allegemeinen, Amerika als ein Land im Niedergang sieht, dessen Bürger so schlecht durch die Medien informiert sind, dass sie tatsächlich nich realisieren, dass Amerika die einzige bedeutende Industrienation ist, die gesetzlich keinen Zugang zu universal medizinischer Versorgung, bezahlten Krankenurlaub, Mutterschutzperiode und bezahlten Arbeitsurlaub hat.

#3)
It just seems almost impossible to get that word out to the American people. Even diaries on that subject at the Daily Kos top out at just over 3,000 views. Let's please remember the purpose of the plutocrat owned commercial media isn't so much to inform us but rather to sell commercial advertising space.

#3)
Es scheint fast unmöglich diese Nachricht an das Amerikanische Volk heranzubringen. Selbst Tagesberiche über dieses Thema bringen gerade mal etwas über 3000 Daily Kos lesers. Lasst uns erinnen, dass der Zweck der Plutokraten gehörenden Medien nicht so sehr zu unserer Information dient, als dem Verkauf von Reklame.

#4)
Therefore this diary today will try to do something different. It will show you what the European media is saying about the American dream and you will be shocked!

#4)
Aus diesem Grunde will der Heutige Bericht etwas anderes versuchen. Er will ihnen zeigen was die Europäischen Medien über den Amerikanischen Traum sagen und es wird sie schockieren.

#5)
Here the British Guardian newspaper says that the so-called American middle class lifestyle for most people was fake and that was financed by three decades of a debt bubble which has now gone bust. The credit ride of working class folks living a middle class lifestyle is dead and gone. Is this article stating bluntly that it's over? The only remaining question is, will it ever come back? I mean, how long can people ride a wave of endless debt before the ride is over, all while pretending to be middle class? Is that what this British Guardian newspaper article is saying? Well, to that end I offer the quote below and a link to the full article. Please read it and decide for yourself what it says.

#5)
Hier sagt die British Guardian Zeitung dass der sogenannte Amerikanische Mittelklasse Lifestyle für die Meisten ein Swindel war und über drei Jahrzehnte hinweg durch eine Schuldenblase gestützt wurde, die nun geplatzt ist. Der Kreditritt der Arbeiterklasse, die einen Mittelklasse Lebensstil erfuhr, ist jetzt nicht mehr vorhanden. Sagt dieser Artikel dass alles vorbei ist? Bleibt nur die Frage wirder je wieder zurückkommen? Ich meine, wie lange können Menschen eine endlose Schulden welle reiten bevor der Ritt zu ende ist der laufend Mittelklasse vortäuscht. Ist es das was dieser British Guardian Zeitungs artikel sagt? Zum besseren Verstehen biete ich untenstehendes Zitat und einen Anschluss zum vollen Artikel an. Bitte lesen sie es und treffen sie ihre Entscheidung über das was sie aussagen.

#6)
(Guardian.co.uk) America's new poor: the end of the middle-class dream

America's middle class is disappearing. A lifestyle sustained for 30 years by rising debt is dissolving as the credit dries up. And the question beyond the crisis is: can it ever come back?

In the midterm elections politicians have promised to "do something" for the middle class. The kindest thing they could do is tell the truth: Americans have been living a middle-class lifestyle on working-class wages - and bridging the gap with credit.

And it's over.

In a free-market society the real middle class is always a minority: if your street has a gate and a security camera at the end of it then you are middle class. A real middle-class kid can afford a college education, not a web-based degree. The real middle-class family does not skip meals or find its automobiles trapped in the repair shop because of unpaid bills.

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#6)
(Guardian.co.uk) Amerika's neue Verarmte: Das Ende des Mittelklasse Traumes.

Amerika's Mittelklasse ist am Verschwinden. Eine über dreissig-jährige Lebensweise, durch steigende Schulden unterstützt, löst sich auf. Die Frage hinter der krise ist kann sie je zurückkommen?

In den Midterm Wahlen haben die Politiker versprochen "etwas" für die Mittelklasse zu tun. Das Beste was sie tun können ist die Wahrheit zu sagen. Amerikaner haben einen Mittelklasse Standard von einem Arbeiterklasse Einkommen gelebt, die Kluft durch Kredit überbrückt.

Es ist vorbei.

In einer freien Marktwirtschaftsgesellschaft ist die wirkliche Mittelklasse immer eine Minderheit: wenn ihre Strasse durch ein Tor geschützt ist und eine Sicherheitskamera am Ende derselben steht, dann sind sie Mittelklasse.  Ein wirkliches Mittelklassekind kann sich eine College Schulbildung leisten, nicht einen Diplom Abschluss auf internet Basis.  Die wirkliche Mittelklassefamilie lässt keine Mahlzeit aus oder findet ihr Automobil in der Garage festgehalten weil die Rechnung nicht bezahlt ist.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

#7)
This article below declares the American dream is withering away and talks about the use of food stamps in America which is growing. To which we should note that no country in the European Union uses food stamps to humiliate its poor in the grocery checkout line.

#7)
Der unten stehende Artikel erklärt den Amerikanischen Traum als verschwindend, und spricht vom wachsenden Gebrauch von Lebensmittelmarken in Amerika. Dazu sollten wir bemerken, dass kein Land in der EU lebensmittelmarken benutzt und damit seine Armen an der Kasse demutigt.

#8)
(International Business Times) - 'American Dream' withers as tent cities mushroom in promised land

By Jijo Jacob, November 21, 2010

The nation that once gloated over its ability to feed the entire world is seeing an explosion of poverty: The number of people surviving on food stamps is rising as biting unemployment refuses to abate, personal incomes have been falling while the debt bubble is inflating with each passing day and, in a more startling representation of the grim reality, tent cities are mushrooming as more and more people are pushed out of their `underwater' homes.

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#8)
(International Business Times)
Der Amerikanische Traum schwindet wahrend Zeltstadte wie Pilze im gelobten Land spriessen.

By Jijo Jacob, November 21st 2010

Die Nation, die sich einst damit brüstete die ganze Welt ernähren zu können, erlebt eine Explosion der Armut. Die Anzahl der Bürger die Mit Lebensmittelmarken überleben ist im Anstieg als bittere Arbeitslosigkeit sich weigert abzunehmen, persönliche Einkommen werden weniger während die Schuldenblase mit jedem Tag wächst und in verstärktem Masse die grimmige Realität von Zeltstädten aufzeigt, wie immer mehr Menschen zum Verlassen ihrer  finanziell "unter wasser" verschuldet Häuser gezwungen werden.

http://uk.ibtimes.com/...

#9)
Did you know that while 50 million Americans go hungry, the corporatist fatcats are paying themselves ever larger salaries? Shocked Europeans looking over seeing 50 million hungry Americans, the Europeans can't understand how America could let this happen to its own people.

#9)
Wussten sie, dass während 50 Millionen Amerikaner hungrig gehen, die Korperschafts "Fat Cats" sich selbst immer grössere Gehälter zahlen? Geschockte Europäer sehen 50 Millionen hungrige Amerikaner und können nicht verstehen wie Amerika das seinem Volk an tun kann.

#10)
(Daily Mail.co.uk) - America starves as executive pay rockets:
50MILLION people go hungry while Wall Street fatcats take home millions

By Daniel Bates, 16th November 2010

A record one in six American families went hungry last year because they did not have enough food, a shock survey has revealed.

Some 17.4 million U.S. households - 50 million people - were classified as `food insecure' which meant they regularly skipped meals even if they wanted to eat. Others went for entire days without eating and handed round smaller portion sizes to make their meagre offerings suffice.

 The news comes as it is revealed that top U.S. executives saw their pay and bonuses shoot up last year in the face of the worst recession for 80 years.

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#10)
(DailyMail.co.uk) Amerika hungert während Executiv Gehälter wie Raketen steigen.
50 Millionen Menschen hungern, mittlerweile nehmen Wall Street Fat Cats Millionen ein.

By Daniel Bates, 16th November 2010.

Rekordverdächtige eine von sechs Amerikanischen Familien ging letztes Jahr hungrig weil sie nicht genug Lebensmittel hatten, wurde durch haarsträubende Ergebnisse einer Studie bekannt.

Ca. 17.4 Millionen Haushalte - 50 Millionen Bürger - wurden als "nahrungsunsicher" klassifiziert, was bedeutet, dass sie regelmässig Mahlzeiten ausliessen obwohl sie gerne gegessen hätten.

Andere wieder gingen ganze Tage ohne zu essen oder nahmen kleinere Portionen um die dürftigen Mengen zu strecken. Die Nachricht kommt mit der Veröffentlichung, dass Gehälter und Bonuse von Spitzen Executiven in die Höhe gingen im Angesicht der schlimmsten Rezession in 80 Jahnren.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/...

#11)
The article below is from the British Guardian newspaper which asks, why do working class Americans keep electing millionaires to represent them in the Congress, and then proposes radically 'why not elect some poor working stiffs to Congress instead? At least maybe those people could identify with their lives, needs and working class values instead of electing millionaires to Congress, who cannot identify with their working class constituent's needs, because they live in the millionaire's bubble.

#11)
Der untenstehende Artikel ist von der Zeitung Britisch Guardian und fragt warum die arbeitende Bevölkerung weiterhin Millionäre als ihre Representanten in den Congress wählt und schlägt radikal vor weshalb keine Arbeiter an deren Stelle in den Congress? Zumindest könnten diese sich mit dem Leben, den Nöten und Werten ihrer Klasse identifizieren, und nicht andererseits Millionäre in den Congress wählen die sich nicht mit den problemen der aus der Arbeiterklasse bestehenden Wählerschaft identifizieren weil sie in einer Millionär's Blase leben.

#12)
(Guardian.co.uk) - US Congress aka the millionaires' club

No wonder the DC political class has a bad name - it's filthy rich. Here's a revolutionary idea: why not elect some poor people? It is one of the great moans of vast numbers of American voters: Washington politicians are just not like them. They are different. They are a breed apart, unable to understand what real life is like for tens of millions of ordinary folks.
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No wonder America's body politic can seem to be a little slow when it comes to reflecting the day-to-day concerns of many Americans. No wonder it is currently obsessed with working out a way to keep President George W Bush's tax cuts for the rich in place. No wonder it is seemingly willing to let slide vital unemployment benefits for millions of Americans who are now entering the ranks of the long-term jobless. No wonder it is keen to bail out the financial industry and keep bankers cashing their bonus cheques, even as it shrugs its shoulders at creating jobs for those outside the vaulted halls of the finance industry.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

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#12)
(Guardian.co.uk) - US Congress, also bekannt als Millionärs Club.

Es ist kein Wunder, dass die politische Klasse von D.C. einen schlechten Namen hat, sie ist unflätig reich. Hier kommt eine revolutionäre Idee: weshalb nicht ein paar arme Leute wählen? Es ist ein grosses Stöhnen bei einer Vielzahl von Amerikanischen Wählern Washington's Politiker sind nicht wie wir, sie sind anders, sie sind ein anderer Schlag, unfähig zu verstehen wie das wirkliche Leben von Millionen von Durchschnittsbürgern aussieht.
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Kein Wunder, dass Amerika's politischer körper den eindruck erweckt ein wenig langsam zu sein wenn es darum geht die Alltags-sorgen vieler Amerikaner zu reflektieren. Kein Wunder, ist er doch augenblicklich davon besessen einen Weg zu finden um President George W. Bush's Steuerleichterungen weiterzuführen. Kein Wunder, ist er doch offentsichlich willig wichtige Arbeitslosenunterstutzung für Millionen von Amerikanern dahinschlittern zu lassen, die jetzt in die Ränge der Langzeitarbeitslosen eintreten. Kein Wunder, ist er doch besorgt für die Finanzindustrie zu bürgen und es Bankers zu ermöglichen ihre Bonus Checks zu kassieren, während er seine Schultern zuckt wenn es um die Erstellung von Arbeitsplätzen für jene ausserhalb der gewolbten Hallen der Finanzindustrie geht.

#13)
Did you know that the British Telegraph newspaper says America has the least generous unemployment system? Let's consider that in Britain, their unemployment benefits never run out. Another example is in Germany, when your unemployment benefits ran out, you get unemployment assistance called HartzIV and it also never runs out.  Under HartzIV, while on unemployment, their people still get medical coverage.

Why do the unemployed all over the European Union get medical coverage and the unemployed in America don't? Why is that? More over, why isn't the mainstream American media telling you this? Because most people in America don't know this. I mean, why are you having to read about this on a blog? Is journalism in America dead?

#13)
Wussten sie dass der British Telegraph berichtet dass Amerika  das am geringsten grosszügige Arbeitslosensystem hat? Lasst uns bedenken, dass in Britain die Arbeitslosenunterstützung nicht zu Ende geht. Ein anderes Beispiel ist Deutschland, wo man, wenn die Arbeitslosenunterstützung zu Ende ist, die sogenannte Hartz IV Unterstützung erhält die auch nicht zu Ende geht. Mit Hartz IV bekommen Arbeitslose weiterhin ihre Medizinische Versicherung.

Weshalb bekommen die Arbeitslosen in der gesamten EU medizinischen Schutz und die Arbeitslosen Amerikaner nicht? Weshalb ist das so? Zusätzlich, weshalb sagen die hauptsächlichen Amerikanischen Medien ihnen das nicht? Die meisten Leute in Amerika wissen das nicht. Weshalb müssen sie davon im blog lesen? Ist Journalismus in Amerika gestorben?

#14)
(Telegraph.co.uk) America: the least generous unemployment system in the world

How is it that the American economy manages year-in-year-out to outperform its European neighbours in economic terms? There is no simple answer, of course, but this chart might hold some of the clues. It shows the comparative generosity of long-term unemployment benefits around the world - and guess who is right at the very bottom?

This is the carrot-and-stick method of galvanising your population:work hard and you can make millions; don't work and you're in real trouble. If you were after some evidence of how the US has managed to enshrine hard-working values in its citizens, this chart is probably a good place to start. And these figures matter.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/...
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#14)
(Telegraph.co.uk) Amerika, das am wenigsten generöse Arbeitslosenunterstützungsystem in der Welt.

Wie kommt es dass die Amerikanische Wirtschaft alljährlich ihre Europäischen Nachbarn in Wirtschaftsproduktion überholt? Darauf gibt es natürlich keine einfache Antwort, aber diese Liste könnte einige Tipps geben. Es zeigt vergleichsweise Generosität bei Langzeitarbeitslosenunterstützung rund um die weltund, raten sie, wer ist ganz unten?

Dieses ist die Zuckerbrot und Peitsche Methode um die Bevölkerung zu galvaniseren. Arbeitet hart und sie können Millionen erbringen, arbeitet nicht dann haben sie ein ernstes Problem. Sollten sie nach Beweis für die Methode suchen wie die US starke Arbeitsethik in seinen Bürgern gefestigt hat, die Liste ist ein guter Start und diese Zahlen bedeuten etwas.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/...

#15)
In my experience as an American expat living in the European Union, the uniform response of Europeans seems to be shock at the fact that Americans while unemployed have no medical insurance. This fact almost never appears in the American plutocrat owned media, except in very forgettable sound bites.

#15)
In meiner Erfahrung als Amerikaner der in der EU lebt, scheint der geschlossene Eindruck bei Europäern Schock zu sein über die Tatsache, dass Arbeitslose Amerikaner keine medizinische Versicherung haben. Diese Tatsache findet fast nie Aufmerksamkeit in der Amerikanischen besitzhabenden Plutokrat Media, ausser einigen, leicht zu vergessenden sound bites.

#16) The United States of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy. (TR Reid)

 Chapter 6 The European Social Model (p. 148 - 149)
The helping hand of the social model is particularly evident when a worker becomes unemployed. Americans on the unemployment rolls tend to get a monthly government check, together with help in buying food and paying heat and light bills. At some level, when his savings fall low enough, an American worker may also apply for free government-supplied health care through Medicaid. In Europe, by contrast, a worker is "made redundant"- that's the brutal British term for being laid off - will get a housing benefit, a heat and light benefit, a food benefit, a child care benefit, a monthly unemployment payment that is almost always higher than the American standard.

The European, of course, will have the same access as everybody else to the public health care system. The American system, in which you lose your health insurance when you lose your job, strikes Europeans as exactly backward. "I don't understand your approach to health," a junior minister in Sweden's health department told me once. "It seems to me that your country takes away the insurance when people most need it."

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#16) Die Vereinigten Staaten von Europa: Die neue Supermacht und das Ende Amerikanischer Vorherrschaft. (TR Reid)

Artikel 6: Das Europäische Sozialmodell (seite 148-149).
Die helfende Hand des Sozialmodells ist besonders augenscheinlich wenn ein Arbeiter seine Stelle verliert. Amerikaner auf der Arbeitslosenliste erhalten gewöhnlich einen monatlichen Unterhalt von der Regierung zusammen mit Hilfe beim Kauf von Lebensmittel und der Zahlung von Heizung und Stromkosten. An einem Punkt, dann wenn die Ersparnisse niedrig genug geworden sind, kann ein Amerikanischer Arbeiter Antrag auf freie medizinische Betreuung stellen, bekannt als Medicaid. Im Gegensatz dazu, wenn ein Arbeiter in Europa "überflüssig" geworden ist dies ist die brutale Britishe Bezeichnung für Entlassung, bekommt er sein wochengeld, Heiz und Stromkostenersatz, lebensMittelhilfe, Kinderfürsorge und monatliches Arbeitslosengeld - Zahlungen die meist höher sind als der Amerikanische Standard.

Der Europäer hat natürlich, wie jeder, den gleichen Zugang zum öffentlichen Gesundheitssystem. Das Amerikanische System, wo bei Verlust der Arbeitsstelle auch die Gesundheitsversicherung verloren geht, erscheint Europäern als "geradezu rückwärts." "Ich verstehe ihre Methode der Gesundheitsbetreuung nicht," ein junger schwedischer Minister im Schwedischen Gesundheitsministerium, erklärte mir einmal "mir scheint, dass ihr Land die Versicherung wegnimmt wenn die Leute sie am meisten brauchen."

#17)
The chart below which the Telegraph is referring to shows America ranking last in terms of unemployment benefits.

#17)
Untenstehende Liste, auf die der Telegraph sich bezieht, zeigt Amerika auf der untersten Stufe bezüglich Arbeitslosenunterstützung.

#18)
"In the United States, the figure varies from state to state, but overall a couple with two children and an income a little below average will have about 50 percent of earnings replaced by public assistance in case of unemployment. In France, the replacement ratio for the same family is 86 percent; in Britain 83 percent; in Germany 74 percent; in Sweden and the Netherlands 90 percent."
(The United States of Europe by TR Reid, 2004; page 149)

#18)
"In Amerika, die Zahlen varieren von Staat zu Staat, aber generall bekommt ein Paar mit zwei Kindern und einem etwas unter dem Durchschnitt liegenden Einkommen etwa 50 prozent des Verdienstes durch öffentliche Arbeitslosengelder bei Arbeitslosigkeit ersetzt. In Frankreich ist die Ersatzquote für die gleiche Familie 86 prozent, in Britain 83 prozent, in Deutschland 74 prozent, in Schweden und den Niederlanden 90 prozent."
(The United States of Europe, by TR Reid, 2004, page 149)

#19) Here the German magazine Der Spiegel says America is in decline.
#19) Hier das Deutsche Magazin Der Spiegel sagt: Amerika ist im Verfall.

#20)
(Spiegel) - A Superpower in Decline - Is the American Dream Over?
  The unemployment rate in the United States is at about 10 percent. But when the people who have stopped looking for work and are not registered anywhere are included, the real number is likely to be closer to 20 percent. For the first time since the Great Depression, Americans have a problem with long-term unemployment.
http://www.spiegel.de/...

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#20)
(Spiegel)
Die Arbeitslosenrate in Amerika beträgt etwa 10 prozent. Schliesst man jedoch die Menschen ein die aufgehört haben nach Arbeit zu suchen und nirgendwo registriert sind, dann ist der wirkliche Prozentsatz näher den 20 prozent. Zum erstenmal seit der Grossen Depression haben die Amerikaner ein Problem mit Langzeitarbeitslosigkeit.

(The above is my interpretation of the Spiegel quote)

#21)
Did you know that 132 million Americans have no dental insurance, whereas everyone in the European Union has access by law to some kind of dental plan. The statistic that is being widely reported in the European press is that we have 59 million medically uninsured in America. From a country that boasts 403 billionaires, this is a scandal! While we can all be proud Americans, we don't have to be proud of the inaccessibility of the US health care system. We can do better than this.

#21)
Wussten Sie dass 132 Millionen Amerikaner keine zahnärztliche Versicherung haben während jedermann in der EU gesetzlichen Anspruch auf eine Art von dental Plan hat. Die Europäische Presse berichtet weitverbreitet dass wir 59 Millionen Unversicherte in Amerika haben von einem Land das sich mit über 403 Billionaren brüstet ist dies ein Skandal. Obgleich wir alle stolz Amerikaner sein können, können wir nicht auf die Unzulänglichkeiten des Amerikanischen Gesundheitssystems stolz sein. Wir können besser!

#22) Number of Americans without Health Insurance on the Rise
Of the 59 million who don't happen to be covered with health insurance, a majority of the people happen to be suffering from a lot of chronic health conditions.

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#22) Anzahl der Amerikaner ohne Krankenkassenschutz im Aufstieg.
Von den 59 Millionen die keinen Krankenversicherungsschutz haben leiden viele an einer Menge chronischer Krankheiten.

http://topnews.co.uk/...


Source: http://www.cepr.net/...

#23) After reading this quote below, ask yourself: Can America do better than this when we have 60 million people without paid sick leave?

#23) Nachdem sie untenstehenden Artikel gelesen haben fragen sie sich selbst? Kann Amerika es besser machen als 60 Millionen Bürger ohne bezahlten Krankenurlaub zu lassen?

#24)
Roughly 60 million American workers have no paid sick leave, and only a minority can draw pay if they stay home with sick children. The lack of paid leave is especially acute in this country among low-wage workers, food-service workers and part-timers, among others. Many other countries do better. According to Dr. Jody Heymann, director of the Institute for Health and Social Policy at McGill University, more than 160 countries ensure that all their citizens receive paid sick leave and more than 110 of them guarantee paid leave from the first day of illness.

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#24)
Ungefähr 60 Millionen Amerikanische Arbeiter haben keinen bezahlten Krankenurlaub, und nur eine Minderheit kann Lohn beziehen wenn sie zu Hause bei ihren kranken Kindern bleiben. Der Mangel an bezahltem Urlaub ist besonders akut in diesem Land unter Empfängern von Niedrig-löhnen, Essenbediensteten und Teilzeitarbeiten, unter anderen. Viele andere Lander machen das besser. Dr. Jody Heymann, Direktorin des Institutes für Gesundheit und Sozialpolitik der McGill Universität, zufolge, sorgen mehr als 160 Länder dafür dass alle ihre Bürger bezahlten Kranken Urlaub erhalten und mehr als 110 von ihnen garantierten bezahlten Urlaub vom ersten Tag der Krankheit.

#25)Why don't we do what they do in Britain? Bail out the unemployed by making their unemployment benefits permanent.

#25)Weshalb tun wir nicht was sie in Britanien tun? Helfen wir den Arbeitslosen in dem wir ihre Arbeitslosenversicherung permanent machen.

#26) We all know that America presently has 59 million medically uninsured Americans. Here is a British newspaper called the Daily Mail that printed an alarming headline.

#26) Wir alle wissen, dass Amerika gegenwärtig 59 Millionen medizinisch Unversicherte hat. Hier schreibt The Daily Mail, eine Britische Zeitung, eine alarmierede Schlagzeile.

#27)
(Daily Mail) One in FIVE Americans is mentally ill as rising unemployment takes its toll.

The 2009 mental health survey hints at the impact of record unemployment rates, which last year hit a 25-year high as struggling employers slashed jobs to cope with a weak economy. For many, lost employment meant loss of health insurance, leaving many of the nation's mentally ill unable to get treatment.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/...

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#27)
(Daily Mail) Einer von fünf Amerikanern ist geistig gestört während die steigende Arbeitslosigkeit ihren Tribut nimmt.

Der 2009 durchgeführte geistige Gesundheitsüberblick deutet auf den Einfluss der Rekord Arbeitslosenraten hin, die im letzten Jahr ein 25 Jähriges hoch erreichten, während geforderte Arbeitgeber Stellen kürzten um eine stagnante Wirtschaft zu bewältigen. Für viele bedeutete der Verlust der Arbeitsstelle auch Verlust der Krankenversicherung, und liess dabei viele der geistig Kranken der Nation ohne Betreuung.

#28) Michael Moore interviews Tony Benn about America's indebtedness. (Full Video Transcript Below).

#28) Michael Moore interviewed Tony Benn über Amerka's Verschuldung (Voller Video Wortlaut Untenstehend).


(Full Video Transcript)

#29) "I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world. Far more revolutionary than socialist ideas or anybody else's idea because if you have power you use it to meet the needs of you and your community. And this idea of choice which capital talks about all the time you've got to have a choice, choice depends on the freedom to choose and if you're shackled with debt you don't have the freedom to choose. People in debt become hopeless and hopeless people don't vote. They always say that that everyone should vote but I think that if the poor in Britain or the United States turned out and voted for people who represented their interests it would be a real democratic revolution; and so they don't want it to happen so keeping people hopeless and pessimistic.

See I think there are two ways in which people are controlled. First of all frighten people and secondly, demoralize them. An educated, healthy and confident nation is harder to govern, and I think there's an element in the thinking of some people; we don't want people to be educated, healthy and confident because they would get out of control. The top 1% of the world's population owns 80% of the worlds wealth its incredible that people put up with it. But their poor, their demoralized, their frightened and therefore they think perhaps the safest thing to do is to take orders and hope for the best." - Tony Benn, former British politician

----------------------------------------------------
#29) "Ich denke dass Demokratie die am meisten revolutionäre Sache der Welt ist.  Weitaus Revolutionärer als sozialistische oder irgendwelche anderen Ideen, da sie den Machtbesitz nutzen kann, um ihre Bedürfnisse und die ihrer Gemeinde zu erfüllen. Diese Idee der freien Bestimmung über welche das Kapital laufend spricht das man sie haben muss, diese freie Bestimmung hängt von der Freiheit zu wahlen ab und wenn Schulden sie fesseln, haben sie nicht die Freiheit zu wählen. Verschuldete Bürger haben keine Hoffnung und Hoffnungslose Bürger haben keine Hoffnung und Hoffnungslose Burger wählen nicht. Sie sagen immer, dass Jedermann wählen soll aber ich denke, wenn die Armen in Britain und den USA zur Wahl gingen und für Represanten stimmten die ihre Interessen vertreten, wäre das eine wirkliche demokratische Revolution; doch das wollen sich nicht geschehen lassen und so bleiben die Bürger ohne Hoffnung und Pessimistisch. Sehen Sie, ich denke dass es zwei wege gibt Bürger zu beherrschen. Erstens, den Bürgern Angst zu machen, zweitens sie zu demoralisieren.

Eine gebildete, gesunde und zuversichtliche Nation ist schwieriger zu regieren und ich denke da ist eine Denkweise in einigen Leuten: wir möchten nicht, dass Bürger gebildet, gesund und zuversichtlich sind, da sie dann ausser Kontrolle geraten würden. Die top 1 prozent der Weltbevölkerung besiren 80 prozent des Weltreichtums. Es ist unglaublich, dass die Bevölkerung das zulässt aber sie sind arm, sie sind demoralisiert, und sie sind furchtsam und denken, dass es das Scherste ist, Befehle hinzunehmen und auf das Beste zu hoffen." - Tony Benn, ehemaliger Britischer Politiker.

----------------------------------------------------------------
(This diary is dedicated to fellow kossack and friend, Racheltracks who was kind enough to give me her permission to add her email to this diary. Thank you Rachel for inspiring me to publish today's diary!)

Dear Jim:  I know you are busy and don't have all the time in the world to just write everybody, but I was a little worried since I haven't heard from you in a long time.  I hope you are okay, and, I guess you are, as evidenced by your beautiful diary of today.  It was a masterpiece.  I love your work, because even though you are obviously talented at writing, you really care and have so much compassion for those of us in America who are having hard times.  It truly comes through in your writing.

I am one who doesn't have a great life in America if you measure it in terms of independence.  I didn't work when my four children were young and then lived in Italy for ten years, so my work history isn't great.  I had to go on disability in 2000 for a leak in my heart, even though I had planned on working until retirement age.  I was 55 at the time and, after a few cost of living raises, I now get $705.00 a month.  

I have always had terrible teeth and one and a half years ago needed upper dentures.  My sister, who has more money than G-d paid for them and I'm paying her back a hundred dollars a month.  Now I've lost two bottom teeth and don't want to borrow any more money.  I make so little I'm also on Medicaid, so they will pull the rest of my bottom teeth for free and there's a cheap dental place where I can get bottoms for three hundred dollars.  That's what I'm going to do as I know a couple of people who went there and they are pretty pleased with the results.

I can attest there is no real good safety net for people in this country.  I live with my oldest daughter, and her father, who bought her house isn't excited about me being here.  He doesn't mind, but if his wife finds out she will divorce him, and he doesn't want that.  So I'm in the process of looking for a live-in nanny job.    I don't even own a car.  I had one until it died of old age and to buy a car and pay for insurance, is out of the question right now.

I am happy, though, and have a good life with lots of friends, children, grandchildren.  Just keep your little self where you are and keep on enjoying the benefits of the European Union.  If you have any ideas for diaries you'd like me to write, let me know and I'll do some research and write them.  Take care, my friend, and I hope to hear from you soon.

rachel


Please feel invited to join or follow our group. Thanks.
http://www.dailykos.com/...

Originally posted to Democrats Ramshield on Wed May 25, 2011 at 11:47 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos Foreign Language Edition Group Newsletter, Foreign Relations, Global Expats, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Moose On The Loose, I follow Michael Moore @ the Daily Kos, DKOMA, and Progressive Hippie.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (224+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim P, basquebob, Lefty Coaster, AaronInSanDiego, vahana, Socratic Method, Sean Closson, BigAlinWashSt, Translator, sceptical observer, Williston Barrett, absolute beginner, Lepanto, blueoasis, senilebiker, ask, DiegoUK, Gemina13, ZAPatty, Permanent Republican Minority, Fire bad tree pretty, HoundDog, SoCalHobbit, rodentrancher, G2geek, amk for obama, fallina7, exterris, Aranfell, triv33, MKHector, draa, Diana in NoVa, Loudoun County Dem, Matt Z, dance you monster, Fossil, AtomikNY, h bridges, gulfgal98, Bluebirder, jts327, terabthia2, rhubarb, yoduuuh do or do not, Tam in CA, envwq, DEMonrat ankle biter, Its a New Day, roses, a2nite, Preston S, Velocity, bleedingheartliberal218, Brooke In Seattle, statsone, felix qui cautus, oldliberal, concernedamerican, Sun Tzu, Cenobyte, citydem, MuskokaGord, bronte17, collardgreens, orson, Mr Horrible, atdnext, arizonablue, Flint, sentinalnode, Shockwave, jeffinfremont, msdobie, RichM, squarewheel, oldcrow, Great Lakes Liberal, Betty Pinson, LillithMc, pelagicray, Lorinda Pike, jalenth, Deward Hastings, a small quiet voice, rscopes, politik, derkar54, BlueDragon, on the cusp, Iberian, wader, high uintas, ItsSimpleSimon, TrueBlueMajority, downsouth, bitpyr8, Miggles, TracieLynn, LodinLepp, Deep Harm, clarknyc, No one gets out alive, Rogneid, peregrine kate, estreya, penguins4peace, pawtucketpat, twigg, Progressive Fury, targetdemographic, dinazina, Joe Bob, Korkenzieher, smellybeast, tea in the harbor, Tookish, fredlonsdale, Azazello, ctlrick, PBen, dotsright, Ed in Montana, paradise50, crescentdave, claude, psilocynic, hotheadCA, ReneeNY, ciaomama, moltar, The Hindsight Times, greatferm, prfb, Fonsia, Involuntary Exile, Johnathan Ivan, Turbonerd, elziax, evilhoodedcrow, vemito, Silvia Nightshade, Julie Gulden, expatjourno, cybrestrike, cotterperson, peggy, rimstalker, whenwego, Russgirl, LamontCranston, zerelda, pensivelady, lams712, tardis10, prettygirlxoxoxo, David PA, DawnN, ParkRanger, dirtfarmer, chlduvth70s, side pocket, The Dead Man, erratic, craiger, big annie, Pam from Calif, California06, calibpatriot, YucatanMan, bluehen96, reflectionsv37, niemann, elwior, Nancy on Lake Michigan, mrkvica, asterkitty, ridemybike, gwilson, millwood, girlsanger, Earth Ling, Randtntx, grannyboots, flying shams, Observerinvancouver, devis1, sricki, rdbaker43, zenox, litoralis, ProbStat, farbuska, LSmith, LeftOverAmerica, SeaTurtle, Only Needs a Beat, lettuce kucinich, JayBat, Eric0125, spooks51, bluebuckaroo, brentbent, gooderservice, Alumbrados, 3goldens, rage, belindapope, NoMoreLies, Zydekos, DaveVH, psyched, BYw, Larsstephens, Spekkio, Unbozo, halef, Yogurt721, redlum jak, Donna in Rome, Eric Nelson, boophus, jguzman17, nicolemm

    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 Wed May 25, 2011 at 11:47:09 PM PDT

    •  Rec list - I updated your tags n/t (16+ / 0-)

      "you(sic) existence arose from a popcorn fart out of nobodies ass." - A Kossack who wishes to remain anonymous.

      by senilebiker on Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:14:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  why so few on the tip jar? (10+ / 0-)

      I read this on my phone and it quickly got off the rec list. And there are more comments (91) than recommends for the tip jar(56) and very few diary recommends (63).

      Surprising such a well written and informative diary is not getting more attention.

      "The only person sure of himself is the man who wishes to leave things as they are, and he dreams of an impossibility" -George M. Wrong.

      by statsone on Thu May 26, 2011 at 07:12:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Zeitgeist? (28+ / 0-)

        I've been wondering the same thing and not only about articles on Germany but what is happening in the UK.

        These two countries represent what to do that is "right" and what to do that is "wrong" to solve our problems. They are working models... "proof of performance" and all that!

        The UK put a severe austerity plan in place and now the industrialists and conservatives who howled the loudest for it are now wringing their hands because the UK's economy and GDP are shrinking, inflation is spiking up, and so is unemployment.

        The wrong solution: Cutting Spending!

        Business chiefs who backed coalition cuts raise fears for UK economy

        Entrepreneurs and executives who supported chancellor's aggressive measures now concerned about weak growth

        Some of the UK's most prominent business leaders, including individuals who gave their personal stamp of approval to the chancellor's aggressive spending cuts, have said they have growing concerns about the state of the economy, warning of weak growth and rising inflation ahead.

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

          OECD forecast adds to UK economic gloom

            Last month, the OECD’s economic assessment cut the UK’s growth forecast for 2011 to 1.5 per cent, down from 1.7 per cent, as the economy faces “significant headwinds”, such as spending cuts and rising commodity costs.

            Which spending cuts are these? Why, they are the very cuts supported by the OECD. In its economic assessment, the OECD backed the UK’s deficit reduction plan, describing it as an “ambitious and necessary fiscal adjustment”, while not having too much to say about the social damage it would cause.

        http://www.touchstoneblog.org.uk/...

        What to do right: Protect your manufacturing base!

        In recession battle, Germany and China are winners

            excerpt:

            Most Americans, I suspect, believe we're losing manufacturing because we can't compete against cheap Chinese labor. But Germany has remained a manufacturing giant notwithstanding the rise of East Asia, making high-end products with a workforce that is more unionized and better paid than ours. German exports came to $1.1 trillion in 2009 -- roughly $125 billion more than we exported, though there are just 82 million Germans to our 310 million Americans. Germany's yearly trade balance went from a deficit of $6 billion in 1998 to a surplus of $267 billion in 2008 -- the same year the United States ran a trade deficit of $569 billion. Over those same 10 years, Germany's annual growth rate per capita exceeded ours.

            Germany has increased its edge in world-class manufacturing even as we have squandered ours because its model of capitalism is superior to our own. For one thing, its financial sector serves the larger economy, not just itself. The typical German company has a long-term relationship with a single bank -- and for the smaller manufacturers that are the backbone of the German economy, those relationships are likely with one of Germany's 431 savings banks, each of them a local institution with a municipally appointed board, that shun capital markets and invest their depositors' savings in upgrading local enterprises. By American banking standards, the savings banks are incredibly dull. But they didn't lose money in the financial panic of 2008 and have financed an industrial sector that makes ours look anemic by comparison.

            So even as Germany and China have been busily building, and selling us, high-speed trains, photovoltaic cells and lithium-ion batteries, we've spent the past decade, at the direction of our CEOs and bankers, shuttering 50,000 factories and springing credit-default swaps on an unsuspecting world. That's not to say our CEOs and bankers are conscious agents of foreign powers. But given what they've done to America, they might as well have been.


        http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

        With a few exception on DKOS, and a few minor talking head pundits, and a few good columnist and editorial writers... these two models have been largely ignored in the national dialogue.

        I personally don't get it... we seem to be stuck in an "Us versus them" or "our team vs. their team"  as if we are too stuck in partisan rhetorical battles to even begin to look at the details that might actually lead to solutions.

        Perhaps it is our Zeitgeist... but we better change it and fast!

        •  One BIG REASON. Fairness Doctrine anyone? (13+ / 0-)

          Media ownership study ordered destroyed
          Sept 14, 2006

          http://www.msnbc.msn.com/....

          “Television is altering the meaning of “being informed” by creating a species of information that might properly be called disinformation…

          Disinformation does not mean false information. It means misleading information - misplaced, irrelevant, fragmented or superficial information - information that creates the illusion of knowing something, but which in fact leads one away from knowing.”

          ‘Every last piece’ destroyed
          Adam Candeub, now a law professor at Michigan State University, said senior managers at the agency ordered that “every last piece” of the report be destroyed. “The whole project was just stopped - end of discussion,” he said. Candeub was a lawyer in the FCC’s Media Bureau at the time the report was written and communicated frequently with its authors, he said.
          •  Media Conglomerates Too! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Larsstephens

            As the consolidation of media outlets has continued we get about five men controlling the media in this country.

            That is too much consolidated influence to let any diversity of opinion or real journalism on to the national scene.

      •  Statsone please help us get the word out. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        girlsanger, Larsstephens

        We need all help we can get from people like your self.
        Please email this diary to some friends. Anything you or our other readers could do to help get the word out would be appreciated. Thanks!!

        Thanks for the kind words.  (smile)

        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 Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:46:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm willing to accept the criticism... (12+ / 0-)

      And I know it is valid.  However, Europe is not exactly demonstrating clear superiority.  London has instituted austerity measures including making education unaffordable for it's young.  France and Germany have been forcing Ireland, Portugal and Greece into removing their social safety-net, especially for the elderly.  In short, they are infected with the 'don't raise taxes on the rich' virus as well.  While agree that the situation is not as bad in Europe, they aren't immune either.

      [F]undamentalists pretty much fall under the same banner ie. "we cant control our junk" - LaFeminista

      by RichM on Thu May 26, 2011 at 07:47:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  true, they are getting worse but they started (14+ / 0-)

        in a much better place.

        america started in a terrible place, and it's getting worse.

        big badda boom : GRB 080913

        by squarewheel on Thu May 26, 2011 at 07:49:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Agree - Europe needs to do a better (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RichM, tardis10, elwior, spooks51, NoMoreLies, BYw

        job defending itself than the US did.   Maybe they can use our bad example to fight back before it is too late.

        "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou

        by ahumbleopinion on Thu May 26, 2011 at 08:13:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  but the issue would involve us (19+ / 0-)

        as so much of the financial world is controlled by the USA and its criminal financial and corporate system.

        i am traveling to Italy for the first time in July for a conference and will be seeing friends i went to grad school with.

        i  honestly don't know how i will describe what has gone wrong in the USA.

        in fact, the rest of  the world has known we are in decline for a long, long time.

        if it wasn't for caring for my 92 year old mother, i would be doing serious research into moving to Europe although i don't know how i would afford it.

        democratic ramshield did some interesting diaries about qualifying for European Union citizenship which i might through my father.

        god help us.  escaping to Europe to get away from neo-fascists instead of the other way around is what we have come to.

        i  am horrified at my nation and the world.  i fought for all 40 odd years of my adult life to make this country a better place, only to see it descend to this.

        i am getting too old and too disabled to do much more.  at least i know i have students out there who are resisting at least in their minds if they can't actively resist.

        i  never thought we would go backwards this far.

        my grief over all this knows no bounds.

        I am awaiting delivery of my new DK4 signature

        by BlueDragon on Thu May 26, 2011 at 08:25:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  i help my 91 y/o mom, too, (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrkvica, Randtntx, spooks51, 3goldens

          but i'm not thinking of leaving, even tho i'm uninsured. i am among the fortunate, but not because of anything i've ever done. i've inherited a pre-bubble house and some small investments to supplement my social security, which mama and i both are getting. otherwise it wouldn't be so good. i have no debt and no children. i've had a good life and expect to accept death with dignity when it comes. i'm ok sitting here with mom in a charming small town.

          everybody has to have social security, the kind we get at retirement, but the BIG security of being safe from those who would KILL us or let us DIE. please do not try to take on all this grief yourself. if you do, you might not take care of yourself and your mom. i've had to pull myself out of it over and over in these 11 years.

          please take care of yourself. we may not be able to take to the streets any more, but there are other things we can do if we keep our eyes open. we're going to have to do together, so we need to keep ourselves strong for when the occasion arises. we need you.

          peace.

        •  There is no escape in the English speaking world.. (0+ / 0-)

          ....because of media control. Europe, however, will have difficulty maintaining its standard of living in the long run. I think we will find, in retrospect, that the 50 years after the war was a golden era of prosperity that cannot be sustained in a world of 6 billion people.

          I didn't intend the above as a factual statement.

          by Bensdad on Thu May 26, 2011 at 12:38:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  i esacped (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          girlsanger

          5 years ago. dem ramshield is completely correct. europeans think america is nuts. trust me...

          Welcome to the empire. now run away if you can... life is not a dress rehearsal

          by johnfire on Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:26:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Not true. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grover, farbuska
        France and Germany have been forcing Ireland, Portugal and Greece into removing their social safety-net, especially for the elderly.

        What do you know about the social safety net of Greece? Tell me why a Swedish worker should keep working until 65 so that a Greek can retire at 55?

        Michael Lewis has the story of Greece.

        The retirement age for Greek jobs classified as “arduous” is as early as 55 for men and 50 for women. As this is also the moment when the state begins to shovel out generous pensions, more than 600 Greek professions somehow managed to get themselves classified as arduous: hairdressers, radio announcers, waiters, musicians, and on and on and on.

        Emphasis added.

        EU donor countries have been pouring the wages of people like me into Ireland, Portugal Greece and other recipient countries for DECADES.

        Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... --RFK

        by expatjourno on Thu May 26, 2011 at 11:47:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hairdressing and waiting tables ARE arduous. (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrkvica, Randtntx, spooks51, BYw, Larsstephens

          Not for a week. Not for a month. But by the time you're fifty-five, if you took up your profession at 20, 35 years of standing for twelve hours a day have taken effect on your body. Bad backs, bad knees, bad hips, varicose veins, foot problems....Nothing that will kill you, but they make your quality of life poor, and work you used to enjoy becomes torture.

          It is what it is. It will be what I make it.

          by Alexandra Lynch on Thu May 26, 2011 at 12:59:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Standing 12 hours a day? In what universe? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            farbuska

            In what universe do waiters and hairdressers stand 12 hours a day? Most people are on the job less than eight. Then there's lunch, breaks and gaps between customers.

            Moreover, sitting at a DESK is bad for your back. Does that mean everyone who has a desk job should get to retire at 55? THINKING is arduous. gets harder as you get older.

            Sorry, I'm not willing to work an extra 10 years to help pay the pensions of 55-year-old Greek waiters. Nor should Swedish waiters have to work an extra 10 years to pay for the pensions of 55-year-old Greek waiters. SIX HUNDRED Greek professions are classified as "arduous."

            I call bullshit.

            Someone has to pay for this stuff. Ireland, Portugal and Greece have been subsidized by the rest of us in the donor countries long enough. They can pay for their own social safety net. In the case of the Greeks, they can start by enforcing their own tax laws. From the same article:

            The scale of Greek tax cheating was at least as incredible as its scope: an estimated two-thirds of Greek doctors reported incomes under 12,000 euros a year—which meant, because incomes below that amount weren’t taxable, that even plastic surgeons making millions a year paid no tax at all. The problem wasn’t the law—there was a law on the books that made it a jailable offense to cheat the government out of more than 150,000 euros—but its enforcement. “If the law was enforced,” the tax collector said, “every doctor in Greece would be in jail.” I laughed, and he gave me a stare. “I am completely serious.” One reason no one is ever prosecuted—apart from the fact that prosecution would seem arbitrary, as everyone is doing it—is that the Greek courts take up to 15 years to resolve tax cases. “The one who does not want to pay, and who gets caught, just goes to court,” he says. Somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of the activity in the Greek economy that might be subject to the income tax goes officially unrecorded, he says, compared with an average of about 18 percent in the rest of Europe.

            Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... --RFK

            by expatjourno on Thu May 26, 2011 at 03:12:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You should really educate yourself (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              spooks51, BYw, Larsstephens

              because what you're posting is nothing but pure BS.

              http://www.eurotrib.com/...

              You'll find that actual retirement in Greece is HIGHER than in Germany, and that Greeks work longer hours. This is all according to the ECB. The actual retirement age is 65. So, no matter what professions are given earlier ages, the actual average is much higher.

              The tax story is a total crock too when you look at Eurostat tax revenues for Greece. They are at 40-45% GDP, which outs them above Germany in terms of tax collection. Remember, high evasion of high rates equals more revenue than low evasion of low rates.

              I laugh at all the fun with stats that are bandied about by people at the expense of other countries. For instance, now we hear that Greek civil servants retire with pensions that pay 90% of salary, while in Germany the number is 50%. Left out of that is the fact that Greek civil servants average 7k a year in salary while German civil servants average 37k!

              And should Americans be incensed at Germans for covering up to $30 billion of your bank losses? After all, Germans have a much better social safety net than the USA, and yet Americans are funding your losses to the tune of more $$$ than you forwarded to Greece. Which is unexpected when you consider that, after WW1, the USA learned a valuable lesson. If you insist on austerity lessons for Germany, if you force them to pay an unpayable debt, bad things can happen. And that's why the USA came up with a positively Keynesian plan to help Germany with the Marshall Plan after WW2, something that Germany appears to have totally forgotten.

              There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

              by upstate NY on Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:37:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  None of your stats are meaningful. (0+ / 0-)

                Given the size of the underground economy, the tax rates you cite are a crock. Look at what doctors declare as income.

                Same with working hours. Why would ANYONE believe statistics from the Greeks? I marked the important parts in bold just so apologists like you wouldn't miss them

                Go read Michael Lewis's article. You are the one who needs an education.

                In just the past decade the wage bill of the Greek public sector has doubled, in real terms—and that number doesn’t take into account the bribes collected by public officials. The average government job pays almost three times the average private-sector job. The national railroad has annual revenues of 100 million euros against an annual wage bill of 400 million, plus 300 million euros in other expenses. The average state railroad employee earns 65,000 euros a year.

                The Greeks, with the help of Goldman Sachs, cooked the books to get into the euro. Their corruption is finally biting them in the ass. Boo-hoo.

                PS: I'm not German or living in Germany.

                Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... --RFK

                by expatjourno on Fri May 27, 2011 at 02:22:38 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Bunch of bullshit again (0+ / 0-)

                  To say that stats from the OECD or Eurostat are bullshit while your unsourced stats are right is to live in total disregard of facts.

                  Here are some real facts:

                  http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/...

                  Under annual gov't finance, click on the globe next to total government revenue. Those are the numbers for the last ten years. When you place them alongside expenditures, you'll see Greece's deficits. They correlate exactly with the numbers the IMF and EU are operating under today.

                  I didn't mention tax rates. I wrote about tax revenues. Apparently, you don't understand how Eurostat works. You don't understand that they conduct audits.

                  Lewis is wrong in so many ways he should be embarrassed. The average gov't worker in Greece earns 7k a year in salary. His ranting is preposterous.

                  As for Greeks entering the Euro by cooking the books with Goldman, you're wrong there too. The Goldman deal happened AFTER Greece entered the euro.

                  Here's something else. The vast majority of countries in the zone did not qualify for the euro. The vast majority of euro countries did deals like the one with Goldman--including Germany. Except Germany did a $50 billion deal, not Greece's $1 billion currency swap. Not to mention that the rules Greece supposedly violated were changed after Germany itself violated the 3% deficit rule when its economy was the first to get into the 7% range. The rules were changed after Germany violated the rules.

                  There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                  by upstate NY on Fri May 27, 2011 at 05:46:50 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You're deluded. n/t (0+ / 0-)

                    Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... --RFK

                    by expatjourno on Fri May 27, 2011 at 07:17:33 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Last refuge (0+ / 0-)

                      when you can't address the facts I've linked to ...

                      ... is to say the other person is deluded.

                      When confronted with facts, run.

                      There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                      by upstate NY on Fri May 27, 2011 at 10:54:16 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Eurostat statistics prove you are lying. (0+ / 0-)

                        Or utterly clueless when it comes to reading charts and tables.

                        Right fucking here.

                        Those statistics, from your precious Eurostat, back up what I a say downthread about deficits and taxation. Your numbers are coming out of your ass.

                        OECD says I'm right, Eurosta says I'm right. But I guess your ASS says you are right. Go figure.

                        Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... --RFK

                        by expatjourno on Sat May 28, 2011 at 12:50:49 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  OECD: Germany's tax rate is higher as % of GDP. (0+ / 0-)

                Has been since 1965. According to the OECD, it was 37% for Germany and 29% for Greece in 2009. It was 27% for Ireland and 35% for Portugal (2008).

                And 46% for us in Sweden.

                So fuck the Greeks, Irish and Portuguese. As a Swedish taxpayer, I'm tired of paying for their party.

                Whether the figures include Greece's enormous underground economy (doctors earning EUR12,000/year, for example), I don't know. But I do know that you are deeply misinformed, if not lying outright.

                Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... --RFK

                by expatjourno on Fri May 27, 2011 at 09:36:05 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  First off, that's not tax rate (0+ / 0-)

                  It's tax revenue.

                  Secondly, Eurostat shows different numbers.

                  I just gave you the Eurostat link.

                  But you Europeans can go back to obliterating one another in wars as you like to do since your attitude is FUCK THEM.

                  Even as the biggest economy has absolutely no compunction in taking American money to cover the gigantic holes in its banking sector while providing more social services than the American citizens receive. That's called hypocrisy.

                  There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                  by upstate NY on Fri May 27, 2011 at 11:01:25 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  And in your statistics, I'm STILL right. (0+ / 0-)

                    Do you know how to read a table? According to the chart YOU LINKED TO, German taxes equal 43.3% of GDP. In Greece, the figure is 39.1%. Ireland, 34.6%. Portugal 41.5%. In Sweden, it's 52.7%.

                    And for the euro area, it's 44.5%. There is no reason that more highly taxed countries should bail out less highly taxed countries.

                    As for TARP, it's a red herring in this.

                    Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... --RFK

                    by expatjourno on Fri May 27, 2011 at 11:44:51 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Why is TARP a red herring? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      expatjourno

                      All I hear about is that people who get lesser social services should not be plugging the debts of people who get more?

                      Isn't that your argument? TARP refutes that point.

                      as for Greece's tax, you only looked at last year? That's it? What about over the last decade? If your thesis is that low Greek taxes have gotten into this mess, then how come the Greeks have been collecting the European average over the last 10 years? That refutes your thesis.

                      We know the Greeks had less in revenues collected last year, they were in a recession!! Every country had less to take in. The USA is running a 11% account deficit. We too took in less, but in Greece they had a 5% recession. They actually cut expenditures by 10%, but the economic output dropped so much because of austerity that their deficit was only reduced from 15% to 10%.

                      There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                      by upstate NY on Fri May 27, 2011 at 11:54:11 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Wrong, wrong, wrong. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        upstate NY
                        as for Greece's tax, you only looked at last year? That's it? What about over the last decade? If your thesis is that low Greek taxes have gotten into this mess, then how come the Greeks have been collecting the European average over the last 10 years? That refutes your thesis.

                        German taxes have been a higher % of GDP than Greece's every year since 1965, which is as far as the OECD stats I found go. The difference is in double figures in many years.

                        You really do need to learn how to read a chart.

                        I read your Greece/U.S. diary, though, and I have to say that I agree with practically all of it. Certainly everything that has to do with the role of the banks, corrupt officials and stimulus vs austerity. And I admire Stiglitz very much.

                        NONE of that TARP stuff should have happened. I argued at the time in favor of the way Sweden handled a similar banking crisis, which I saw first hand, since I was living here then. I certainly don't think Greek taxi drivers should be suffering to bail out the Masters of the Universe, which is what the bail-outs are really about. But I don't think taxpayers in any other countries should bail them out either.

                        Personally, I think Greece should have just left the euro. Or just defaulted, like Argentina. The euro is a bad idea for a lot of countries. I couldn't vote in the Swedish euro referendum at the time, but I could now, and my vote would be against it if it comes up.

                        Why can't I comment in that diary, by the way? Sad that it only got five comments. It was a great piece of work overall. That was a candidate for the rescue rangers if there ever was one.  And it's at least possible that I'm wrong about some things.

                        Unlikely, but possible. ;-)

                        Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... --RFK

                        by expatjourno on Fri May 27, 2011 at 12:30:30 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Well, I agree with your comment here (0+ / 0-)

                          Obviously I can't address the OECD stuff since I was looking at Eurostat. The Eurostat link I gave you shows different numbers for tax revenue. And those numbers also jibe with IMF reports as well the numbers at the EU. While they are not presented as a chart

                          If you read the Greek diary, then you know that I said Greek tax evasion is a problem, but not nearly the problem that got them into this mess. A reverse of that problem to European evasion rates would yield only a few more billion. And Lewis' information is totally anecdotal. yes the train conductor might get paid a lot--but one wonders about his training! It seems to me you you can't cherrypick occupations and say, look at the train engineer who earns more than the average German! Some people get paid more! The important thing to look at is the average pay of public sector workers, the average tax collection.

                          The Eurostat figures show Greece at higher levels of tax revenues over the decade. I have asked people that know better than me why OECD differs from the official European numbers so much. Again, I don't think tax revenues are a problem. When people speak of Greek tax evasion, they are really talking about income tax evasion.

                          But Greece's tax collection breaks down like so: 8-9% GDP for income, 13% for social program tax (such as pensions), 5% corporate tax, 15% for VATs and such. So, if we're talking about income tax evasion, it should be mentioned that this does not constitute the bulk of Greek tax collection.

                          I'm not sure how to answer you about TARP. You say it shouldn't have happened. But it did. One can also say that the asset inflation in peripheral countries shouldn't have happened, but it did. The point is, people do transfer their wealth to other countries.

                          Don't you think it's odd that in a diary criticizing the USA for the disparity between the rich and poor, the lack of social programs, you are arguing that there should be no transfers between richer Europe and poorer Europe. If that's the European way, then how is it better than in America, where fully 50% of my taxpayer dollar is transferred out of my state to a poorer state that receives $2 for every $1 it pays in? The USA is a massive wealth transfer market economy.

                          LITTLE UPDATE: I went into the OECD tables and much of their info is totally off. Look up gov't deficit rates under economics, and the numbers are off by a mile. According to their sourcing, they have an economics wing that chiefly receives data from national ministries. This differs from Eurostat since Eurostat conducts audits to come up with their numbers. Indeed, the prevailing assumptions dealing with the debt in all the periphery countries come from Eurostat.

                          There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                          by upstate NY on Fri May 27, 2011 at 01:01:25 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I looked at your Eurostat figures. (0+ / 0-)

                            As I said:

                            According to the chart YOU LINKED TO, German taxes equal 43.3% of GDP. In Greece, the figure is 39.1%. Ireland, 34.6%. Portugal 41.5%. In Sweden, it's 52.7%.

                            And for the euro area, it's 44.5%.

                            The Eurostat chart is right here. Germany taxes more than Greece every single year for the past 10 years. And there's nothing wrong with the OECD figures. They track the Eurostat figures quite closely the absolute numbers are different but the gap between Germany and Greece is quite similar.

                            Don't you think it's odd that in a diary criticizing the USA for the disparity between the rich and poor, the lack of social programs, you are arguing that there should be no transfers between richer Europe and poorer Europe.

                            Nothing odd about it. Different countries, different legal systems, different taxation, etc, etc, etc. And don't distort what I said. I did not say there should be "no" transfers, only that there have been damn well enough. Swedish taxpayers are getting a very raw deal. A well-run, honest society with extremely low levels of corruption is subsidizing dishonest, corrupt societies. I'm tired of paying for phantom cows thanks to the agricultural policies. Tired of working to pay public and private sector criminals in places like Greece. Or France, for that matter. Meanwhile, our farmers get screwed.
                            If that's the European way, then how is it better than in America, where fully 50% of my taxpayer dollar is transferred out of my state to a poorer state that receives $2 for every $1 it pays in? The USA is a massive wealth transfer market economy.

                            As a former Californian I am in fact outraged that the red states are such parasites. They won't invest in their own people or infrastructure, they get all holier than thou about personal responsibility while taking money from states like New York and California. Fuck them, too.

                            At least in the U.S.'s case it's the same country, so there is an argument to be made in favor. But not in Europe. It's ridiculous.

                            TARP was the largest financial crime in human history. It was larceny. Period. There were other ways of solving the crisis. Greece shouldn't play along and neither should other countries's taxpayers be paying Greece to play along.

                            Your argument is that Greece's financial problems are caused by the banks. Fine. Maybe so. That's still no justification for bailing out the banks via funneling MY money to Greece so it can pay off its gambling debts to the bankers. Fuck the bankers. Greece should pull an Argentina and tell the banks they aren't paying, instead of having taxpayers all over Europe pay Greece's creditors off for them.

                            The Greeks, Irish, Portuguese made their beds. They can lie in them. Or tell the banks to take a flying leap.

                            Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... --RFK

                            by expatjourno on Fri May 27, 2011 at 02:37:58 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  OECD is completely and totally wrong (0+ / 0-)

                            I mean, on so many of those charts they are wrong. The tax to GDP is wrong, the budget deficits are all wrong, not sure where they are getting their figures.

                            That being said, Greece is at 40-41% on average. But you need to look inside the numbers. For instance, German workers are compensated 1.35 trillion a year. Greeks are compensated 80 billion. On a per capita basis, that means: Greeks earn 7.2k a year while Germans earn 16.5k a year. When you consider that the price of goods is similar in both countries, the fact that Greece is within 2 or 3% points of the German tax rate practically equalizes it. In the USA, these kinds of discrepancies between states means that the state with the lower per capita GDP% is not going to pay anywhere near 40%-41% of its GDP in tax revenue. But in Europe, this isn't the case.

                            As for the rest of it, the European transfer budget, the development fund, is tiny. It's less than 2%. In 60 years,  the German taxpayer has given 23 billion in TOTAL to Greece. That's not much if you really want an economic union.

                            What are we talking about here anyway? Aren't we talking about how the USA does things versus Europe? Isn't this the scope of the discussion?

                            You say TARP was a disgrace and many agree--but not the German leadership. What happened when KfW gave Lehman $300 million right before Lehman's collapse (like, within the hour)? The German politicians wanted the money back. You say these banks should collapse. Well, these were German Landesbanks. They were federal banks. Look up what KfW does. Are you saying the German gov't should have eaten the $30 billion they lost? If so, then why didn't they?

                            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                            by upstate NY on Fri May 27, 2011 at 03:02:14 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  OECD figures are almost IDENTICAL... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...to Eurostat. Go follow the links. YOUR OWN LINK. Here is the EUROSTAT chart AGAIN, which gives almost the same numbers as OECD. Both show a gap between Germany and Greece, with Germany's government revenues a greater % of GDP than Greece's.

                            Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... --RFK

                            by expatjourno on Fri May 27, 2011 at 03:06:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Almost the same numbers? (0+ / 0-)

                            UH, your OECD numbers show 29% Greek tax to GDP in 2009. Eurostat shows 39%.

                            OECD shows 7% Greed debt to GDP. Eurostat shows 15%.

                            They are about as far apart as anyone could possibly imagine.

                            The difference between 7% and 15% is immense!

                            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                            by upstate NY on Fri May 27, 2011 at 05:15:01 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Both charts show that Germany taxes more. (0+ / 0-)

                            First of all according to your precious Eurostat figures here, Germany's tax revenues as a % of GDP are higher than Greece's every single year back to 2000. In 2009, the gap waa only one percentage point, but the gap is back up to three percentage points in 2010. And in previous years it is much higher.

                            Second, in the OECD figures here, Germany's tax revenues as a % of GDP are higher than Greece's every single year back to 2002. There's another chart that goes all the way back to 1965 that shows the same thing, but I'm not bothering to look it up again.

                            As I have said REPEATEDLY, the absolute numbers differ. But the fact remains that the German tax revenues as a % of GDP are higher than Greece's in every single year for which we have data available no matter which source we use. Again, there is no reason Germans should have to pay higher taxes to send money to Greeks so that they can pay lower taxes.

                            Since you don't link to any of your charts, I'm not going to respond to any of your other statements.

                            Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... --RFK

                            by expatjourno on Fri May 27, 2011 at 10:09:40 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Quite frankly, the answer is more than (0+ / 0-)

                            bizarre. In your link, the OECD #s are a full 10% off from the actuality that the IMF/EU/ECB program is running under. Why in the world would you trust numbers like that?

                            Secondly, you say I didn't provide you a link when the numbers are easily available right next to the link you gave.

                            Check here:

                            http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/...

                            The difference between the deficit numbers at Eurostat and the OECD is immense. The OECD clearly doesn't have the wherewithal to track these numbers.

                            The OECD also has the Greeks far and away as the hardest-working Europeans but the numbers don't quite track to the everyday reality of life (I'm not saying they aren't the hardest-working, only that the numbers have them working for most of the day.

                            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                            by upstate NY on Sat May 28, 2011 at 11:01:36 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

        •  Your numbers are not true. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JayBat, RichM, BYw, Larsstephens

          I don't know why Michael Lewis is a sloppy researcher, but the fact is, Greeks retire LATER than Germans.

          There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

          by upstate NY on Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:39:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting assortment of facts. (7+ / 0-)

        England has many programs for the elderly, and their educational system specializes after the eighth grade, when they go to vocational or prep school.

        Of course England as well as Europe are infected! The global nature of the fraud is part of what made it possible. Furthermore, they are now finally being investigated -- globally, as well.

        Frankly, I don't see this diary as criticism. It's consciousness-raising pure and simple. The people -- and that includes Kossacks -- NEED to have our eyes opened and KEPT open. Americans are being propagandized exactly as the diarist describes by the corporations via their interlocking boards of directors.

        There's my little assortment of facts.

        •  ande Europeans are not propagandized? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Larsstephens

          They are. Read Spiegel. Read Bild.

          An American here, aged 42 years, have spent 9 of them living in European countries (four different ones).

          There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

          by upstate NY on Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:41:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Eine kurze Frage (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Anak, Caipirinha

      Your German is much better than mine, which is why I'm asking the question...I thought adjectives, even when referring to nationalities, weren't normally capitalized. I'd have written "britisch" or "amerikanisch", and you capitalized both words. I know there was talk awhile back of discontinuing the practice of capitalizing all nouns; were the rules changed regarding capitalization of languages or nationalities? What's the rule now?

      Vielen Dank....

      The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

      by Korkenzieher on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:25:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's cause (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Korkenzieher

        his German is not very good. Keep doing what you are doing and do not imitate him!

        Y'en a pas un sur cent et pourtant ils existent / La plupart Espagnols allez savoir pourquoi / Faut croire qu'en Espagne on ne les comprend pas / Les anarchistes -- Leo Ferré

        by Anak on Thu May 26, 2011 at 10:33:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Loved the Bi-Lingual version. (7+ / 0-)

      My knowledge of German has really slipped over the years, but maybe I should do one now and then in English/Spanish.  

      Your diaries and comparison are always instructive!  And it isn't just Europe that thinks the USA is crazy.  

      I was in Mexico when Katrina hit.  People were SHOCKED to their soles.  They had always looked up to the USA and thought that was such a wonderful country.... then they saw the people drowning and no help in New Orleans.

      They have universal health care as well and don't understand how our "rich country" could have people who cannot see a doctor.

      Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

      by YucatanMan on Thu May 26, 2011 at 12:48:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My signature is not a joke, but actually (46+ / 0-)

    a sound and true analysis of the situation in the US with its "plutocrat-controlled" Media Central.

    Seriously, if we don't start with the thing that constructs this artificial political reality, this false narrative designed to keep us divided and conquered; to prevent ordinary people from having meaningful say in our governance; to distract and to suppress...

    Well, we've really done as close to nothing as we can. Might win a tussle here and there, might put out a brushfire now and then, but in the meantime the class war is being lost, the town is burning down.

    Therefore:


    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Thu May 26, 2011 at 12:02:32 AM PDT

  •  America is still the greatest country on Earth (39+ / 0-)

    (to be filthy rich in).

    Just ask Donald Trump or David and Charles Koch!

    Where else can a couple of billionaire brothers still  bankroll an AstroTurf political movement that dominates the national discourse and corporate owned media?

    Where else can greedy corporations and the uber-wealthy control the Legislature and Supreme Court and Executive Branch no matter what political party wins the election?

    America has the best government money can buy. So there!

    Plutocracy too long tolerated leaves democracy on the auction block, subject to the highest bidder ~ Bill Moyers

    by Lefty Coaster on Thu May 26, 2011 at 12:20:59 AM PDT

    •  Lefty Coaster interesting post! (6+ / 0-)

      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 Thu May 26, 2011 at 02:24:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I just spent 5 of the last 7 weeks in Europe (8+ / 0-)

        Plutocracy too long tolerated leaves democracy on the auction block, subject to the highest bidder ~ Bill Moyers

        by Lefty Coaster on Thu May 26, 2011 at 02:27:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lefty Coaster please tell a bit more! (5+ / 0-)

          How did you find Europe?

          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 Thu May 26, 2011 at 02:31:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Let's stop hyping Europe please (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sirkarl, nklein

            Yes our healthcare system is better and religion is way less pervasive in politics but that's about it. Every european still grows up with a part of them longing to come to the US.

            •  Untrue (6+ / 0-)

              It's very easy to look at the numbers of migrants from Europe to the USA. Continent sending the lower numbers migrants to USA = Europe

              I personally no in fact several Europeans that having  a chance through employment to relocate to the USA n d have rejected it.

            •  That's about it??? You didn't even mention (7+ / 0-)

              the superior investment in infrastructure.  Right now Europe is building / upgrading a high speed rail from the tip of Gibraltar (Algeciras) along the southern Spanish coastal cities all the way to Nice, France.  Just that one project probably exceeds all US high speed rail investment by a factor of 5-10.

              Sure, Europe and especially Spain has some deep problems.  The on-going 15-M demonstrations in the Puerta del Sol indicate this.  But on the other hand at least demonstrations that happen there get aired by the media and force those in power to take notice.  So when it comes to improving or fixing broken systems, Europe has the edge over the US.

              Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

              by Miggles on Thu May 26, 2011 at 08:52:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Took a photo of the existing and planned AVE (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BYw, Miggles, Larsstephens

                expansion map in the Valencia station two months ago. In 2000 I used the one AVE line from Madrid to Seville. I knew of the Madrid-Barcelona line.

                I sort of keep up (like AVE even better than TGV) but had not realized there was hourly service between Valencia and Madrid with lines headed to Cartagena and up toward Barcelona. Nine years and a whole new network, ultimately to connect with SNCF and TGV.

                The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

                by pelagicray on Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:50:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yep. Old Europe and 3rd World countries are (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Larsstephens, senilebiker, pelagicray

                  leaving us in the dust when it comes to infrastructure.  But psst, don't say that here because some will get bent out of shape and accuse us of America bashing!

                  Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

                  by Miggles on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:04:03 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Not just on the "big projects" either. Engineering (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Miggles

                    design and behind the curtain maintenance features built into new systems seem to often be way ahead. I have watched and followed some projects here in my area and been surprised that new work is already being built like the old work in that regard. Short term thinking is part of the problem. In federal contracting there was a catch phrase about sound up front work: "pay me now or pay me later" with the implication of later being lots more.

                    The new Dulles Metro extension is hostage to that crap now. Virginia politicians, particularly Republicans, are fighting the expense of an integrated underground station. They want the cheaper above ground station some distance from the terminal. Save now, pay later as engineering shows both better passenger service (here we go again with a "broken" interface) and long term maintenance issues with a fully exposed elevated rail and above ground terminal. It is like these people like to build broken, poorly integrated stuff.

                    I broke into muttered profanity a couple of months ago on Barcelona's underground system. Here in Washington lost tourists are not uncommon. We have posters showing a graphic of the system, very old "technology" that, and signs in the stations. What station you are approaching involves knowing the poster's information and catching the one or two station signs during a stop--and making sense of the often muttered announcement in various dialects and mumbling of the engineer. Why did I curse?

                    I noticed that. With a similar graphic in every station at regular intervals down the walls, not just once or twice, combined with big name signs. I was thinking of how many fewer wandering, lost tourists we might have by not depending on forty or thousand year old technology.

                    All the bus systems had something similar. I suspect the things were controlled by a proximity system and in Valencia I suspected GPS. TVs switched from ads and public service announcements to a moving graphic of the bus on the street with previous and next stop shown.

                    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

                    by pelagicray on Fri May 27, 2011 at 06:05:21 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yes, this is a peeve of mine. Why in America (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      pelagicray

                      do we always build our airports far away from our train stations???  We just don't get it.  Or we end up connecting things by dumb shuttle bus systems because we were too cheap to properly design and build an integrated network in the first place.

                      Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

                      by Miggles on Fri May 27, 2011 at 06:47:34 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  It flatly enrages me. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Miggles

                        I first ran into an integrated system in Japan back in the late 1960s. Since then integration has been something I observe. We are into the idiot class on that. I hear the excuse of "private enterprise" vs. "government systems" all the time. Most of those systems are not fully government. What those governments apparently do is to enforce interface design.

                        A fundamental engineering principle is that to have freedom in design of disparate systems, often by disparate parties, is interface control. We see that on every wall of our homes. A three pronged plug allows a wide variety of private companies to design electrical products that work rather than sit there unable to connect. If we carried "freedom" to the point of "any outlet" and "any plug" you want we'd have national collapse.

                        We have that on transport systems. We do not control our connectivity interface and suffer inefficiency, travel delays and sometimes just chaos as a result. The cost in "fixing," AKA "jury rigging" and workarounds, and users dealing with "bloody stumps of interfaces" in transport is tremendous.

                        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

                        by pelagicray on Fri May 27, 2011 at 07:15:51 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  You're right about trains (0+ / 0-)

                Europe is ahead of us when it comes to trains... That's mostly because oil is 2 to 3 times more expensive than in the US. Europe's roads are crumbling, badly! On top of that in France for example you have to pay to use  the highway. But let's not forget (and waaay to many europeans do) that they just basically don't have armies, their army is ours. They almost exclusively rely on us and don't have defense budgets... And to get back to trains, in France you have about a 50% of your train getting cancelled due to incessant strikes for anything. In my country of origin, Belgium, roads are crumbling, unemployment is widespread in the southern french half of the country, there is a huge debt and taxes are in another universe as those in the US. Europe has the worst, most disgusting history of any other continent, yet they moralize the world (especially Israel for domestic political reasons) knowing full well they can run their mouths off cause the US is right behind them when they get into trouble. Europe has an unhealthy love-hate relationship to the US. We love to hate you and proclame ourselves morally superior to you yet we rely on the US for our survival and secretly are in awe with this great and unique (and of course flawed i know) country that is the US.
                One thing that has changed recently is thx to our amazing president european politicians have pretty much walked away from America-bashing... for now.

            •  There are more things (western)europe is better in (7+ / 0-)

              -Social security nets are much better.
              -It is much easier/cheaper to atain a quality university degree (I'm studying history in one of the most prestigious universities for that subject in all Germany, but because I come from a lower middle class family I get Bafög, which means I get around 600 euro every month from the state untill i finish university and only have o repay half of it, and only have to start doing that 5 years after i have my degree, and at 0 interest. This allows me to focus on my studies and allows me to lead a life without worrying about debt for the rest of my life)
              - The barbarian Death Penalty is not used.
              -The parlamentary system allows for a much broader and accurate represantation of the view of the People (see germany, where the Green Party now has its first "gouverner").
              -People have much more Vacation time, while productivity is still very good.
              -Unions play a much more important role in public life(though that has sadly been deminishing  over the last few decades, but it is still much better than in the US).
              -Germany in specific is trying to get out of Nuclear Energy
              -and much more.

              Now this is not to say that Europe (or more specifically Germany (since I am most familiar with my home country)) is some kind of Utopia. In comparision with the US it might sometimes seem like it, but there are many problems people here have to deal with as well. As someone who is quite left of the mainstream here in Germany, I can tell you there are still many things to fix, and conservatives to fight against, but to deny that western Europe is a much nicer place to live in for  anyone who belongs to the working class up to the middle class is to deny Reality.

              "We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

              by Mudderway on Thu May 26, 2011 at 11:53:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes the Belgians loooooove their parliementary (0+ / 0-)

                system. Belgium has no government since june of 2010. And yes most of what you say is specific to Germany. But what's really great in Germany is the autobahn without speed limits! :D But I'm afraid you're getting and are gonna get dragged down by the EU as a whole...

            •  If you believe that I've got this bridge up in (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BYw

              Brooklyn . . .

              That may apply in parts of formerly Soviet Bloc countries. It has not applied in Western Europe for generations!

              That said, lots do want to visit for tourism, particularly since we are now a cheap country. Tell you a dirty little secret too. Lots of South Americans that once had that urge are looking to Europe instead now--even for tourism.

              The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

              by pelagicray on Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:14:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, did you forget "walkable cities", or (5+ / 0-)

              "efficient mass transit", or "effective food inspections", or about two dozen other things?

              I've been to Europe and extensively south of the US border for a long period of time.  

              I did not find everyone longing to live in the USA.  What I found were people who admire the principles that the nation is supposed to stand for.  But over the past 12 years or so, they've increasingly seen reality depart from the ideals.

              JFK gave a good speech and put it into action: going to the moon, establishing the peace corps, etc.

              Obama gives a good or even great speech (not as great as JFK or RFK, in my opinion), but then surrenders on his principles (well, not sure if he has principles, but on what he said in his speech).   People see that back-walking very clearly overseas.  He's lost some of his luster by his own actions.

              Let me be clear:  NOT by being defeated while standing up and fighting for his actions, but simply by stepping back from his proposals.  It is covered and it is very obvious from an overseas media perspective.

              But back to your premise:  yes, there are occasional people who think the USA is so fabulous and would love to live there.  There are millions upon millions who enjoy their families, friends, jobs and benefits of their own nations and would never dream of moving to the USA.

              Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

              by YucatanMan on Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:24:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  It was a bike trip & I did a photo diary on part (6+ / 0-)

            Plutocracy too long tolerated leaves democracy on the auction block, subject to the highest bidder ~ Bill Moyers

            by Lefty Coaster on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:53:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  what's interesting to me is the "hard working" (13+ / 0-)

      meme.

      if you get sick and go bankrupt, it's because you didn't work hard enough.

      when your job gets shipped overseas and you can't find another one, you aren't working hard enough.

      if you are not a millionaire, it's because you didn't work hard enough.

      the republican propaganda is that there is no such thing as bad luck, or bad policy, it's always a personal failing.  No matter what bad thing happens to you, you don't need any help , as long as you work hard enough.

      The Cult of Ayn Rand.

      big badda boom : GRB 080913

      by squarewheel on Thu May 26, 2011 at 07:51:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Goes back to "Protestant work ethic". (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        girlsanger, farbuska, 3goldens

        Without the whole doctrine of the Catholic Church to make people feel guilty (and thus obedient), Protestants had to come up with something else.

        "Work hard" or feel guilty was the solution.  Totally false construct, as your examples illustrate, but there it is.

        It is deeper and more fundamental than Ayn Rand. The USA was founded by people who pretty much believed that how hard you work determines your success in life.  Of course, when everyone had the change to own land and natural resources, it was somewhat more valid.  (and of course, much of their "success" came at the expense of killing off indigenous inhabitants and stealing their wealth -- nice "values" there!)

        Today, when people all live in big cities and the system is rigged towards the rich against the middle class and poor, the Protestant work ethic is nothing more than a relic.  It only serves the richest people in the land.  Too bad so many working people believe it.

        Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

        by YucatanMan on Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:28:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Bastion of (11+ / 0-)

      democracy greed?

      Over the last two decades I have been increasingly thinking along those lines as I have observed several nations in Europe and the changes there over forty years along with one that is going from "developing" to "developed" perhaps even faster than we are headed to where they were forty years ago.

      That extends even to the sacrosanct superpower military status even as our economy hollows out--the Russia House analogy of the Soviet knight dead inside his armor accurately picturing the USSR in its last days. U.S. power as guarding the wall inhabited by the world's looting class? Why is Murdoch, and others of his sort, here instead in their native land?

      There we have another myth of the "American" boosters with rose colored shades. "Everyone wants to come here!" If you notice the immigrants held up as examples tend to be:

       * Filthy rich robber barons fleeing places where there are not so many legal and powerful nation protections as they find here

       * Ambitious people from the third or second world (Some of them are going elsewhere now.)

       * Religious minorities, Christian for the most part, leaving places where being such is not held in great respect

      Thus you find Murdoch and such, Latinos, Indians, Pakistanis, and many others here for the dollar--not "freedom"--and, well, notice that almost every church in some areas have signs in Korean.

      You do not find widespread desire of Western Europeans to migrate here. You do not see the more well off "Latinos, Indians, Pakistanis, and many others" desperate to get here permanently. You do not see the mainstream cultural groups of many of the nations such as Korea flocking here to settle. Sure, exceptions will be found (I know a few personally), but in general those seeking our shores permanently have mercenary motives or are of an underdog cultural group.

      Our legal structure and culture put the cart of personal acquisition and even outright greed far ahead of the horse of public good and thus come the rich. We are still an economy with liberal borrowing compared to many where an ambitious person willing to risk and work very hard stands a better chance than in the developing nation from which they came. We are far more socially tolerant of minority religions, even full Kook, than many cultures where such practices, though protected and legal, put you into a class we might reserve for people believing personal hygiene a sin.

      Then we have the travel myth. I can't count the times I've heard "I've been overseas and it is way better here" and then dug into where. Oh, a fenced resort in Jamaica and they took a "dangerous" escorted tour out into the land. Central America. "Ever been to Western Europe?" The answer is almost always no and often with a disparaging comment.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Thu May 26, 2011 at 08:33:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So true! (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YucatanMan, mrkvica, girlsanger, farbuska, BYw

      Once again I'm pleased to say I'm an expat! We left Hawaii about a month ago on our sailboat and am now sitting at anchor in the beautiful atoll of Manihi in the Tuamotus of French Polynesia.

      One of the most pleasant things about cruising is the interesting people you meet. And only a month into our most current adventure, I had the pleasure of sharing a political discussion(I can't help myself!) with a wonderful French couple here in the anchorage who sailed to French Polynesia 25 years ago and never left. The 3 hour conversation we had together was little different than one I might have with any Kossack on this site.

      We discussed health care, the US media, politicians, Iraq and Afghanistan, unemployment, education and just about every other issue of importance we discuss here daily. The discussion was warm, interactive and, from my perspective, refreshing.

      Like most others I've met in the past from Europe and other countries, they view our media as nothing more than propaganda. They believe the American people are intentionally being manipulated to fear anything foreign and they believe this is why Americans as a whole are so willing to support insane wars that have nothing to do with the security of the United States.

      They believe our health care system is one that any thinking human being would find disgraceful. To use his words, "Health care and the well being of fellow citizens is the foundation of what makes a civilization." Truer words never spoken, unless of course, you happen to live in the United States.

      They asked over and over again, "Why does the American public put up with this?" and followed that up with, "If the government in France tried to do the things politicians regularly do in the United States, we would be in the streets and burn the country to the ground, if that's what it took to stop it." Why we put up with it is a very difficult question to answer, but I believe it all goes back to the manipulation of fear used by politicians and the media to control us. Effectively, we are afraid to stand up for ourselves.

      We discussed the recent SCOTUS Citizens United ruling. They were unaware of this but were truly shocked to learn that corporations could contribute and finance political contributions without limit. They informed me that France forbids corporations from contributing anything towards the political process and then asked, "How can you have a fair system of elections if corporations can contribute unlimited amounts of money to political campaigns?" It wasn't too difficult to come up with an answer for this one. The simple answer, "you can't!"

      So here I sit in paradise, in country where I do not have to worry about health care because, as a visitor to this wonderful country, I have the same health care as the rest of the residents of the country. Not only do they believe their citizens deserve universal health care, but that is also extended to visitors. It costs me a whopping 40 cents to buy a freshly baked baguette thanks to subsidies of the French government. Meat and other essentials for a good diet are also subsidized by the government. Apparently, the French don't believe anyone should go hungry.

      Over and over again, our new friends would look at us in somewhat amazement and said repeatedly, "I cannot believe I'm having this conversation with an American." I tried to assure them that there were many more in the US who believe the way we do. I'm not sure they really believed me.

      It took just 3 hours to make some new friends for life. They own a restaurant in Papeete and we'll be headed there for dinner when we arrive. I look forward to many more conversations with them as we continue to discuss politics and world affairs. It's a conversation that's easy to have with people in other countries. I only wish it were as easy to have discussions like this with our political rivals on the right. If we could, we might be able to make the US a better country to live in.

      Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

      by reflectionsv37 on Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:01:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Very poignant. (22+ / 0-)

      I think class warfare is a term that the right has co-opted to demonize the working class and unions. It's good to see Kossacks (and liberals in general) taking the term back to its proper use--what the obscenely rich are trying to impose upon those without power within our system. Thanks DR, for providing this important third-party perspective. Nice job.

    Breathe. If you can, you ain't dead yet.

    by Socratic Method on Thu May 26, 2011 at 12:37:43 AM PDT

  •  "The top 1% of the world's population owns (22+ / 0-)

    80% of the world's wealth." (#29), kinda indicates it ain't just Americans who are insane.  I think the primary difference is all of our tax money goes to our imperial military so there isn't any for social services or dental plans.  Which I guess does make Americans more insanerer than others.  At least at this point in human history.

    S.A.W. 2011 STOP ALL WARS "The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Thu May 26, 2011 at 12:40:56 AM PDT

  •  Sehr gut! (6+ / 0-)

    I like an opportunity to exercise my German a bit.

    Guten Nacht,

    Der Herr Dockor

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me over and over, then either I really love you blindly or I am a Republican.

    by Translator on Thu May 26, 2011 at 12:46:40 AM PDT

  •  What America needs is a healthy dose of, yes wait (22+ / 0-)

    for it, socialism! - at least in the restrained form heralded by the New Deal.

    But even the word, let alone the reality, is absolutely anathema to the filthy rich who totally control our government. The result is that America is rapidly becoming a true anomaly for a supposed advanced and developed (aka "first world") country: a country with an increasingly "third world" working and middle class increasingly exploited by an ever smaller financial elite.

    And the way things are going, it's going to get worse.

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:01:55 AM PDT

    •  To Lepanto thanks (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave, Great Lakes Liberal

      For the great post. If your time allows please tell us more and how you feel and why!

      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 Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:40:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the reason that socialism has a bad rap is (9+ / 0-)

      because the republicans managed to convince everybody that socialism exists only as a top-down controlled economy.

      IOW, they've convinced people that countries like Sweden, Denmark and Germany don't exist.

      big badda boom : GRB 080913

      by squarewheel on Thu May 26, 2011 at 07:52:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Look at the TP/gop agenda and you will see: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      evergreen2, Mnemosyne, BYw

      They are against things that define a first world nation--except military might.

      They are for things that define a less developed nation.

      Go to almost any set of characteristics of "first world" and "not first world"; any set on "developed" vice "undeveloped" and make a table. Plot what the TP/gop supports and attacks on that table.

      The TP/gop and their fellow travelers (to use an old term) are the engines pulling us from first and developed toward precisely what we used to consider well beneath us. I have begun to increasingly suspect their exceptional focus on military might may have something to do with a protective wall around a refuge of robber barons far more than "protecting democracy." After all, the originals built fortresses and hired men at arms to protect themselves from those they preyed upon at home and traveling through.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Thu May 26, 2011 at 08:42:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I second all of what DR says. (33+ / 0-)

    Following US politics closely from the other side of the Atlantic, I usually just shake my head at the debates and actions of the politicians, and the absolute nonsense that they spout. It defies all logic and common sense.

    If you just look at today's news you will read things like

    "We don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem"

    Whereas the problem is that you have less revenue than spending, and therefore you have two sides of the equation for action.

    Issues such as climate change denial make no sense. You can see the North Pole ice cap melting, and the glaciers disappearing. Even the oil companies now admit that peakoil is upon us, but American politicians (particulalry the repubs) refuse to take any meaningful action to head off this apocalypse.

    Instead, the US is focussed on how long the Earth has been here, 6000 years or 4 billion years, foetal rights, gun rights , stem cell technologies etc.

    From Europe, the idea of ostriches with their heads in the sand comes to mind.

    The US empire is now locked in behind the walls of its self built Alamo, with everyone scrabbling for the best place to hold out.

    "you(sic) existence arose from a popcorn fart out of nobodies ass." - A Kossack who wishes to remain anonymous.

    by senilebiker on Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:04:24 AM PDT

    •  Uncool. I don't attack your country's politics. . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rich in PA, 43north

      What are you in the UK?  So you don't mind that you are spied on in every single public place ala 1984?  Or how about that your government just cut major elements of your social safety-net, while we are still maintaining ours?

      Are you in France?  How are your civil liberties, because in my country people can still wear what they want.  Or how do you like have a major presidential candidate as an alleged rapist?

      My point is that this diary and your comment is nothing, but attack on some of the most negative elements of our politics.  While we have fucked up politics, they are our politics! Constructive ciriticism is one thing, but this diary and your comments are rude and uncool from a friend.  

      "Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

      by nklein on Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:45:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why should I stay silent on your politics when (26+ / 0-)

        1) your use of carbon fuels (25% of the world's oil for 5% of the world's population) is destroying the environment that my kids will be forced to live in.

        2) Your open gun laws allow people to buy as many guns as they want, and then smuggle them into our countries.

        3) Your foreign policy wrt to Iraq and Afghanistan drags everyone else into the conflict and makes our countries less safe.

        4) Your Patriot act means that the CIA/NSA is monitoring my communications.

        5) When your government imposes conditions on our airlines, which menas that all my flights are being logged by NSA.

        6) When your government tries to have access to my intra European transactions via SWIFT.

        You want me to keep out of your politics, then keep out of my back yard.

        And before you say it, yes you can take your troops home, they are not defending us, but your empire

        "you(sic) existence arose from a popcorn fart out of nobodies ass." - A Kossack who wishes to remain anonymous.

        by senilebiker on Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:31:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh wait, you want our troops out, but not our (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pozzo, nklein

          filthy rich American businesses? Can't do one without the other.

          I'm a woman of color, who grew up in the north (Detroit, Michigan)

          by Boris Badenov on Thu May 26, 2011 at 05:54:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Since when is Wall Street known for altruism? (11+ / 0-)

            and what do you understand about the global economy?

            Us Companies are active in Europe for the same reason European companies are active in the US, driven by profit. If there were no markets or no cost advantage, they would be gone in a New York minute.

            And if as you imply that the US military has bases in Europe to protect the assets of US companies, then you are very up front about US imperialism.

            Wasn't that the reason the Englsih troops were in the America in 1700's to look after the interests of the British companies, or the reason the English army was in India to protect the interests of the East India Company?

            "you(sic) existence arose from a popcorn fart out of nobodies ass." - A Kossack who wishes to remain anonymous.

            by senilebiker on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:13:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  US military bases are in Europe because the great (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sirkarl, Pozzo

              nation of Germany decided they'd carpet bomb the place,  commit genocide, and then when they were done the Soviets wanted a turn.  

              Easy to forget that little detail, isn't it.   Get off your high horse.  

              John McCain promised to follow Bin Laden to the gates of hell. Well, Senator... We're waiting!

              by Beelzebud on Thu May 26, 2011 at 08:18:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hiler died in 1945, Berlin wall came down in 1989 (9+ / 0-)

                The US presence in Europe has nothing to do with WWII, as when Germany was defeated they were a threat to no-one.

                The US presence in Europe from 45 to 89 was all about the US self interest, and in keeping the Soviets away from waht is now the EU. America's interest in this, who would be the most powerful country in the world if the Soviets had overtaken Western Europe in say the seventies or the 80's?

                As of today the EU is a greater economic power than the US - GDP $17 trillion vs $14 trillion, with Russia worth another couple of trillion.

                By the way, if you want to spend your tax dollars supporting our economies by locating your military here, that's fine with me. But if you took them home tomorrow, we wouldn't lose any sleep.

                "you(sic) existence arose from a popcorn fart out of nobodies ass." - A Kossack who wishes to remain anonymous.

                by senilebiker on Thu May 26, 2011 at 08:34:59 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  a threat to no one (0+ / 0-)

                  a large number of European Jews might take issue with this one.

                  •  1945 Germany was a wasteland (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Democrats Ramshield

                    and their army was totally defeated. They were no longer a threat to anyone

                    I live in the Ruhr in Germany, and most of the cities around here are 90% post war built.

                    I once in the 80's travelled with some Americans in Dusseldorf who made the following inane comment.

                    " Gee, these guys must have some real money, all of the bridges over the Rhein are new"

                    "you(sic) existence arose from a popcorn fart out of nobodies ass." - A Kossack who wishes to remain anonymous.

                    by senilebiker on Fri May 27, 2011 at 12:07:17 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  To senilebiker wow that was a really great post! (0+ / 0-)

                      What you have said is very true. Thanks for sharing that!!

                      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 Fri May 27, 2011 at 01:29:44 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Hitler died, WWII ended, Soviets are gone. (5+ / 0-)

                Living in the present is a good thing.

                "All we are saying is give peace a chance" - John Lennon -7.50, -8.51

                by Rogneid on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:01:35 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Trust me, if it were up to me, we'd be gone. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  senilebiker, Pozzo, nklein

                  I'm just pointing out the reason we ended up there.   Pretending we got bases in Europe to "protect our corporations" is absurd.

                  John McCain promised to follow Bin Laden to the gates of hell. Well, Senator... We're waiting!

                  by Beelzebud on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:10:17 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  um, you might want to (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mrkvica, BYw

                    do a little more reading on the subject

                    Pretending we got bases in Europe to "protect our corporations" is absurd.

                    The corporate tie-in with the military is not something that happened just in the last 10 or even 40 years.

                    Amount of federal money to National Public Radio in 2010: $2,700,000 / Amount to Jerry Falwell's Liberty University: $446,000,000 / Source -- Harper's Index, June 2011

                    by Mnemosyne on Thu May 26, 2011 at 11:15:58 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  of course (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  nklein, Beelzebud

                  as recently as 1999 the US military presence was taking the lead in stopping genocide. In Europe. Again. When Europeans didn't show a lot of interest in stopping it. But it was "All about the oil", right?

              •  Yawn....... n/t (0+ / 0-)

                Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

                by YucatanMan on Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:31:28 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Well said. It would be one thing if America (5+ / 0-)

          were an isolated nation with no diplomacy or trade, say like the way North Korea has some insular and repressive social policies.  But America does tons of shit that causes buttloads of collateral damage across the world.  Take just one example like all the guns we are exporting to Mexico.  Should Mexicans not be allowed to criticize our insane (lack of) gun laws that are fueling tens of thousands of deaths every year in Mexico's drug wars?

          Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

          by Miggles on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:03:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, the Mexicans should criticize their own (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pozzo

            government for being so damn corrupt and turning a blindeye to their own lax gun laws. Among other things.

             Just sayin.

            I'm a woman of color, who grew up in the north (Detroit, Michigan)

            by Boris Badenov on Thu May 26, 2011 at 11:03:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wow, how many ways can you be mistaken in (6+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              grover, farbuska, 43north, BYw, Miggles, girlsanger

              one sentence?

              Of course, when you lump an entire country together and describe them all in the same way....

              Calderon is only president because of the corruption of the Bush machine that was invited in to steal the election the same way he stole 2000 (Florida) and 2004 (Ohio).

              Lax gun laws?  In Mexico?  Maybe inefficient enforcement, but lax?  NO way.  You can get years in prison for just having ammunition in your possession.  And I don't mean in your pockets.  A shotgun shell from hunting may have rolled to a hidden corner of your car trunk, but if it is discovered by customs or a police inspection or a military roadblock, you literally go to prison for years. For one shell or cartridge.

              There is only ONE place in the entire nation where private citizens are allowed to buy weapons: an Army base in Mexico City. You have to go through applications, interviews, approvals, recommendations, and finally, after a long complex process, you MAY be allowed to travel to Mexico City to select ONE and only ONE weapon from a limited group of non-automatic pistols or rifles / shotguns.  ONE.

              Meanwhile, the ATF is watching, recording serial numbers and monitoring the transport of literally THOUSANDS of heavy weapons and automatic weapons into Mexico -- and doing NOTHING.  Not reporting the smugglers to the Mexican authorities. Not arresting the traffickers -- all drug cartel employees -- in the USA.  Just monitoring.

              The whole thing came to light when a Border Patrol officer was shot to death and a disgusted ATF guy leaked the whole program to the press.  Why did he leak?  Some of the weapons that had been monitored going into Mexico (recorded serial numbers) were found at the scene of the Border Patrol officer killed.  In other words, ATF inaction was directly responsible for the death of a US law enforcement officer.  That outraged enough people that we learned of the stupidity of the ATF.

              People who live in glass houses (like the USA) shouldn't criticize others (Mexico) for the exact same sins.

              Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

              by YucatanMan on Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:56:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  He's right. Until ATF started letting American (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                farbuska, nklein, YucatanMan, BYw, Miggles

                guns -- and we're not talking hunting rifles here -- get purchased in the USA and walk straight into Mexico, I always felt safe there, pretty much everywhere. Of course, I took precautions and there were  some cities I would have my guard up. But I felt Mexico overall was safe -- as an American woman. Tourists were pretty much considered off limits (except by pickpockets of course, but they're thwarted easily enough) by everyone because we brought money into the region.

                I won't go there right now. It's too violent and mor important, unpredictable.  Innocents are being mowed down, dozens at a time, with those American guns on ATF's registries.

                Shame on us. People are being executed. Tourists are staying away. Even cruise lines have cancelled their Mexico destinations (and resort towns used to be the safest of all). So those guns are directly impacting the economy too.

                Then we stand back and tsk-tsk that Mexico doesn't take care of and provide jobs for its own people.

                © grover. My sockpuppet is a furry blue muppet.

                by grover on Thu May 26, 2011 at 03:53:12 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Cruise lines have cancelled their Pacific Coast (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Miggles, senilebiker

                  cruises.  The Gulf of Mexico cruises to Progreso, Cozumel, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, etc, are still taking place regularly.  In fact, some vessels have been shifted to the Gulf to take up some of the slack from the cancellation of the west coast cruises.

                  The Yucatan peninsula has been relatively safe from the cartel wars.  The State of Yucatan has a strong, honest, local police force.  Quintana Roo's may not be so non-corrupt, but everyone, as you say, knows that money flows from tourism, so tourists and vacationers are hands off.

                  Many areas of Mexico are low in crime.  The State of Yucatan has a lower crime rate per 100,000 than Wyoming.

                  Most every city in the USA has higher crime rates than all of Mexico except for the border states and cities.

                  Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

                  by YucatanMan on Thu May 26, 2011 at 08:06:34 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Thanks for posting that. I also read the other (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    YucatanMan

                    day about how cruise lines are shutting down the LA to Mexico routes and redeploying ships to other parts of the world.

                    In my case I am thinking of attending a Spanish language school in Puebla, Mexico this summer.  Despite all the terrible things that the State Department web site warns of about Mexico, plenty of people are posting trip reports about great experiences in Mexico.

                    Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

                    by Miggles on Thu May 26, 2011 at 08:52:52 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Puebla is relatively violence free. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Miggles

                      Much less violence than in the border states.

                      Here's an article on the particularly dangerous areas. Puebla is not mentioned:  http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/...

                      Here's another one showing that not all of Mexico is violent. In fact, businesses are increasing their investments in Mexico:
                      http://www.businessweek.com/...

                      Each day, 9,000 managers cross the Rio Grande without incident from their homes in El Paso to the Juárez plants [in Ciudad Juarez, the country’s most violent city.] Travel to Monterrey, Guadalajara, Mexicali, and Querétaro, where Whirlpool, Honeywell International, and Lenovo have been expanding, and you’ll think that talk of Mexico as a “failed state” seems absurd.

                      As well as USA Today:
                      http://www.usatoday.com/...

                      •The state with the lowest murder rate is Yucatán, the Gulf of Mexico state known for its beaches and Mayan ruins. Its murder rate of 2 per 100,000 was comparable to Wyoming and Montana.

                      •Washington, D.C.'s murder rate is nearly quadruple that of the Mexican capital, Mexico City. Washington's murder rate was 31.4 per 100,000 people in 2008; Mexico City's rate in 2009 was 8.

                       It's actually 1.7 -- they rounded off.

                      And USA Today again:
                      http://travel.usatoday.com/...

                      The San Francisco Chronicle recently named the five safest Mexican states for travelers, based on per-capita drug-related homicides. The stats are from the Mexican government's official database of drug-related deaths, which it released in January. The states are Tlaxcala, Yucatán, Puebla, Queretaro, and Baja California Sur.

                      Plus the San Francisco Chronicle:
                      http://www.sfgate.com/...

                      3) Puebla (1.85): It's the home of both mole poblano and chiles en nogada, the ambrosial national dish made of poblano chiles filled with spicy meat and fruit, smothered in a walnut cream sauce and topped with pomegranate seeds. What more is there to say? Well, perhaps that it is also home to the twin volcanoes Iztaccíhuatl and Popocatépetl, site of the battle commemorated by Cinco de Mayo, home of Talavera pottery, 2,600 historic buildings, a wealth of archaeological sites, and virtually nonstop festivals originating in five distinct prehispanic cultures.

                      Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

                      by YucatanMan on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:30:42 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Thanks YM. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    YucatanMan

                    I was told that all cruises originating in San Diego had pulled out, and I know that at least some of those are the Acapulco routes, although quite a few are Baja California destinations as well. Appears it depends on the cruise lines. I usually travel via foot and local bus, so I don't exactly follow the cruise line industry carefully. So if cruises are still going into the gulf (from LA, I guess?) that's great news.

                    © grover. My sockpuppet is a furry blue muppet.

                    by grover on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:09:50 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Cruises in the Gulf originate in Houston, (0+ / 0-)

                      Galveston, maybe New Orleans, and Florida cities.

                      Very few (maybe along Baja) are operating on the west coast now.

                      Progreso on the Yucatan peninsula has seen a big increase in the number of ships stopping - from a couple a week, to almost one every day now. Sometimes more than one.

                      Doesn't sound like a lot - one per day - but when the cruise ship empties out and raises your city population by 20%, that's a big deal!

                      Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

                      by YucatanMan on Sat May 28, 2011 at 12:45:55 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

        •  800 plus bases, 700 billion a year... (7+ / 0-)

          and the Soviet Union collapsed...20 years ago?

          Afghanistan is a 100 billion a year and has been ongoing warfare for 10 years.  OBL is dead,  after living six years at least in Pakistan and the US plays war games in the Afghhan countryside?  Why?

          These are wars of opportunity.

          Opportunity to test and expend new munitions devices, punch a ticket for a service ribbon and promotion. The war is needed to justify the bloat in the military.  Not to solve a pressing problem for America

          1/2 of 1% of the population (in military or defense related services)demanding 20% of the resources and more. what do we get for that 20%?  We get a:

          Private military, more expensive than regular comissioned and non commissioned service members.

          A huge complex that feeds on itself and creates new problems with ever more expensive fixes.  A popularization of Arabs,  Muslims,   Iranians, Asians  and many others as "possible" enemies to be protected against and even premptively attacked now to avoid a  supposed attack in the future from THEM.

          Americans bought into that preemptiove war in Iraq just as stupidly as Germany and Japan did prior to WW 2. They reelected GW Bush.  

          Now the house of credit cards and financial misdealings and scams and Ponzi schemes and lies about fair wages and where American living standards are have tumbled and crashed.  We are on pause before yet another great drop in the standard of living. Because the powers that be don't want genuine social investment or infrastructure rebuild or relaunch of a decent, not predatory health care system.

          The thugs and tools of the plutocrats fight tooth and nail to savage us and cut us every day.

               It is not that we will somehow "get more and better Democrats " in office in 18 months that will solve this.
          . A surge to identify and pushback the liars and cheats that are shilling for the very same people profiting from this ongoing agony.

                Then that roar of a movement will propell some into electoral power with a fierce wind at their back instead of a blizzard of corporate cash and expert smokescreen generators.

          cast away illusions, prepare for struggle

          by Pete Rock on Thu May 26, 2011 at 11:53:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  short form: we need an "American Spring" like (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            YucatanMan, farbuska, 3goldens, BYw

            the Arab Spring aimed at OUR dictators and plutocrats.
            A non violent mass movement to identify, isolate, shame and bring down those standing on our necks before any electoral contest will mean anything.

            cast away illusions, prepare for struggle

            by Pete Rock on Thu May 26, 2011 at 11:58:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  700,000,000,000 / 312,000,000 Approx Americans (0+ / 0-)

            equals $2244 per person including babies A YEAR. For my current family configuration that comes to $4487. I would be glad to see that go for infrastructure, single payer or schools. It says a lot about priorities.

            Fear is the Mind Killer

            by boophus on Sun May 29, 2011 at 03:40:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  What nklein said, 100%. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nklein

        These diaries rub me the wrong way and I'm tired of saying why.  

        It's better to curse the darkness than light a candle. --Whoever invented blogs, c.1996

        by Rich in PA on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:05:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Wow, so thin skinned! If we Americans can't (8+ / 0-)

        take the criticism, then how will we ever stand up to the terrorists?  I'm a proud American (always proud like Cindy McCain!), and let me tell you, the political system in the US is fucked up in many ways and at many levels.  There is no need to attack others bringing that same message just because they happen not to be on US soil.

        Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

        by Miggles on Thu May 26, 2011 at 08:58:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  True enough. . . (0+ / 0-)

          We have fucked up politics, but they are our politics.  I don't research the fucked-up European politics go onto European blogs and relate how they fucking up.  I would request the same courtesy from the Europeans.

          "Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

          by nklein on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:25:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why not? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Miggles

            If you think they are making mistakes talk to them about it. Maybe they will correct things, or maybe they will correct your mistaken ideas. Either way a good conversation happens and somebody learns.

          •  This makes zero sense. What is this? Ostrich (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            senilebiker

            head in the sand day?  As progressives, which by definition includes open-minded, we should always be looking at the good and the bad here and abroad and be willing to accept fair compliments and criticisms.  Otherwise we become insular and lose our diversity.  

            Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

            by Miggles on Thu May 26, 2011 at 08:57:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Embarrassing ignorance (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pozzo
      Instead, the US is focussed on how long the Earth has been here, 6000 years or 4 billion years, foetal rights, gun rights , stem cell technologies etc.

      None of these issues are in serious discussion in current Washington politics.

      The things that Americans are currently discussing are largely the legitimate political issues, mainly how to balance Gov. debt/deficits/revenue with spending for our safety net.

      •  Maybe you should check out the stream of (8+ / 0-)

        bills that are being regularly promoted in the US House of Representatives, to say nothing of the various state houses.  The over-arching theme is that the GOP is still waging war against women, minorities, gays, and taxes while doing nothing to balance budgets or jobs.

        Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

        by Miggles on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:05:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You must have missed the news (8+ / 0-)

        creationism, foetal rights, gun rights and stem cells which have all been the focus of legislation in some of the State assemblies over the last couple of months. I also should have added the threat of Sharia law, DOMA, DADT etc etc etc

        As some have often asked, where are the jobs Boner?

        Just check out what the House has been discussing since January.

        And serious politicians in Washington are discussing how to give millionaires more tax breaks on the back of reductions in food stamps and medicare.

        "you(sic) existence arose from a popcorn fart out of nobodies ass." - A Kossack who wishes to remain anonymous.

        by senilebiker on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:06:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've seen it. (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          senilebiker, YucatanMan, mrkvica, farbuska, BYw

          The (Republican majority) Minnesota Legislature managed to adjourn without passing a budget. They will be called into a special session to figure out how to, you know, finance the government.

          Meanwhile, during the regular session the Republicans found time to debate:

          - Outlawing abortions after 20 weeks gestation
          - A 'stand your ground', i.e.: shoot first, ask questions later, loosening of gun laws
          - a voter ID bill (i.e.: make it harder for people who vote for Dems to cast a ballot)
          - an amendment to the state Constitution to ban gay marriage

          So yeah, there has been a real laser-like focus on spending and the budget.

          Let's face it though, the Teahadist legislators were destined to overplay their hand from the day they were sworn in. They can't help themselves. Many of them may find themselves one-term wonders, so they have to vote on their right-wing wish list items while they still can.

          Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

          by Joe Bob on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:36:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Check your premise: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nklein, Rich in PA

    We should care about what Europeans think of us -- why?

    •  Sony Betamax thinking. (22+ / 0-)

      You need to compare your product with the competition in order to survive. If your product  is inferior, and you don't examine what the people really want, it will linger on the shelves, and your business model will fail.

      Same thing with 8 track tapes.

      "you(sic) existence arose from a popcorn fart out of nobodies ass." - A Kossack who wishes to remain anonymous.

      by senilebiker on Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:24:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  senilebiker great post! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        high uintas, YucatanMan, BYw

        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 Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:26:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  While we should care what Europeans think, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pozzo

        we don't have to take shit from the Europeans.  There's no reason for the diarist to just go off and criticize our politics.  I'm sure I can find a lot about German politics that I find despicable.

        "Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

        by nklein on Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:47:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually DR is a US citizen. (25+ / 0-)

          so he is as entitled as you to crticise your government.

          As to why you should care, the reason is you might learn something. Not to examine how other systems work is sticking your head in the sand.

          "you(sic) existence arose from a popcorn fart out of nobodies ass." - A Kossack who wishes to remain anonymous.

          by senilebiker on Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:57:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  To senilebiker very well said!! (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rogneid, YucatanMan, mrkvica, BYw

            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 Thu May 26, 2011 at 02:13:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Fair enough on the right to criticize (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pozzo

            yet this is another example of America-bashing from Europe while not recognizing the myriad of problems in your own politics.

            "Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

            by nklein on Thu May 26, 2011 at 02:26:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We do recognise our own problems (7+ / 0-)

              but we don't tend to express them on a US centric blog, as it would be an inappropriate audience, and highly unlikely to result in any useful change.

              You can always go to sites like Eurotribune and complain about |Europeans there.

              "you(sic) existence arose from a popcorn fart out of nobodies ass." - A Kossack who wishes to remain anonymous.

              by senilebiker on Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:02:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's my complaint. . . (0+ / 0-)

                You're coming on to a website concerned with my country's politics and you are criticizing us without any type of constructive way to help us get to where we all want to go.  

                I don't go onto Eurotribune and shell out a list of all the problems in your country with no constructive criticism.  I would like the same common courtesy.

                "Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

                by nklein on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:27:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Sorry, but this post demonstrates how insular we (10+ / 0-)

              Americans are.  Do you ever read an overseas news service such as the BBC or those of other countries (if you speak their language)?  How is it we always talk about freedom and democracy but are never aware of stuff going on overseas?  The news stories in Europe are chock full of serious domestic issues being faced there as well as some loud backlashes by the public against austerity policies.  Nothing in Ramshield's posts have ever suggested that Europe is some absolute panacea with lollipops and unicorns.  However, regardless of the depth of the recession in Europe, at least they have a safety net for the working and middle classes, to say nothing of seniors.  That's a much better starting point for turning around an economic / political policy than what we've got here in the US.  On the bright side, at least our citizenry are finally reminding the GOP that some safety net (Medicare) does matter.  Maybe that will grow over time.

              Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

              by Miggles on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:14:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  One of the reasons for Germany's recovery (8+ / 0-)

                and the shallowness of the recession was the policy of allowing companies to go on short time working with workers having some of the hole in their pay made up by government payments - a kind of part time unemployment.

                This had two very beneficial results.

                1) Consumption did not fall as far or as fast as in the US, resulting in higher level of domestic demand.

                2) Companies could weather the storm without resorting to layoffs, and when the wind changed, they still had their skilled workforce ready to crank up production.

                "you(sic) existence arose from a popcorn fart out of nobodies ass." - A Kossack who wishes to remain anonymous.

                by senilebiker on Thu May 26, 2011 at 10:46:49 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Spain about two months ago surprised me. (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  YucatanMan, mrkvica, farbuska, Alumbrados, BYw

                  Love the place, particularly with memories of Franco and having machine pistol muzzles in my face at a Guardia Civil checkpoint a couple of times making a beautiful land a bit grim. I'd expected to be saddened again with the problems that economy is having.

                  I was to an extent. The pleasantly surprising thing was the degree to which infrastructure and restoration projects seemed to be continuing. Oh yeah, on the coast there were some big resorts sitting half built and apparently abandoned. All in all there seemed to be more infrastructure and restoration projects running there than I see here in the Washington metro area. How well systems, particularly transport, functioned despite economic issues was also a pleasure. My most frequent "problem" was that the primitive magnetic stripe (Are we the last users of that ancient technology on Earth?) on my credit and ATM cards required extra steps, including human intervention.  Most of all, yes there was concern and even anger. I did not see evidence of "let's return to Franco" or even milder throwback movements.

                  The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

                  by pelagicray on Thu May 26, 2011 at 12:49:58 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  An excellent policy. . . (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  senilebiker

                  That's what I wanted.  Not a list of our problems, but something constructive.

                  "Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

                  by nklein on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:29:33 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I've been advocating something similar for over 2 (0+ / 0-)

                  years... a shorter workweek so more can work. Except the making up the difference idea... good one. Porbably better then the humiliating and stupid unemployment games played here.

                  Fear is the Mind Killer

                  by boophus on Sun May 29, 2011 at 03:45:54 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  just remember about 8 to 10% of DK readers (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pelagicray, mrkvica, BYw

            are basically hostile to most if not all the ideas posed here by Democrats, liberals progressives. Whenever any subject gains some traction and holds up some genuine shortcomings  of the predatory system, the termites and apologists come crying and whining out of the basement or the crazy attic.

            The hostility is a mark that you have hit a nerve. somebody's living, even if it is parasitic or directly picking the pockets of unknowing citizens will generate some argument from them.

            cast away illusions, prepare for struggle

            by Pete Rock on Thu May 26, 2011 at 12:06:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  To nklein - Ok tell us (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrkvica, girlsanger
          I'm sure I can find a lot about German politics that I find despicable.

          Ok tell us what do you find despicable?

          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 Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:15:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think Germany is a fantastic country (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            senilebiker, nklein

            What it's accomplished on every front (and economics si the least of it) since 1945 is without parallel in human history.  There's nobody I'd rather be lectured to than a modern German.  I think the point is that I don't really want to be lectured to by anyone.

            It's better to curse the darkness than light a candle. --Whoever invented blogs, c.1996

            by Rich in PA on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:07:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  To Rich in PA - Does that include the Tea Party? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Miggles

              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 Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:10:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't understand the question. (0+ / 0-)

                Assuming it's a real question.  

                It's better to curse the darkness than light a candle. --Whoever invented blogs, c.1996

                by Rich in PA on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:15:21 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Rich in PA - Please read (0+ / 0-)

                  Well assuming that you are a progressive, don't we all get lectured by the Tea Party all the time?

                  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 Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:36:05 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Are you making my point, or yours? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    nklein

                    I don't pay any attention to the Tea Partiers--or, more specifically, I don't pay any more attention to them than is necessary for me to analyze them.  Lots of people try to lecture to me; some of them I ignore because there's no chance their ideas will win me over, others I ignore because I already am in substantial agreement with them and frankly I have no idea why they keep trying to lecture me, except as an assertion that they're so wonderful.

                    It's better to curse the darkness than light a candle. --Whoever invented blogs, c.1996

                    by Rich in PA on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:45:38 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  In a nutshell you define America's problem: (7+ / 0-)

                      We don't pay attention.

                      That's why instead of adopting a Canadian or Swiss or German model for health care reform, we got the shit sandwich known as the ACA.  At least it is a move in the right direction, but it probably won't be fixed for 20 years, and there are far better models with successful track records out there that we should have seriously considered rather than going the untested and "uniquely American" way.

                      Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

                      by Miggles on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:18:46 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  To Miggles well said bravo! (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        BYw

                        Thanks for the great 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 Thu May 26, 2011 at 11:20:31 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  How is that what he said? (0+ / 0-)

                        He said we know all the problems DR laid out in his diary.  What he objects to and I do as well is DR constantly bringing up these problems as if he's telling us somethign we don't know.  We know the problems in our politics.  We are battling to reform them.  Why is a new listing of these problems by a transplanted American Rec List worthy?

                        "Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

                        by nklein on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:33:07 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

            •  fair! (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mrkvica, BYw, senilebiker, girlsanger

              actually I am a German, and also an expat. living long-since outside my home country, as DR (diary author) lives outside his, and inside mine :)

              floating around like that, one gets to realize that policies and mindsets deserve to be criticized and it matters not so much by whom from where, as long as the criticism is at least a little bit justified. and, ... there can be little doubt that the US as-a-whole is highly criticizable.

              Germany too, but it really is a different caliber.

              Acorda Maria Bonita / Levanta vai fazer o café / Que o dia já vem raiando / E a polícia já está de pé

              by marsanges on Thu May 26, 2011 at 11:45:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  This is actually the main problem (7+ / 0-)

          No criticism allowed U S A U S A

          •  Did I say that? (0+ / 0-)

            No.  I said I don't Europeans coming here and complaining about our problems without any constructive means to improve them.

            "Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

            by nklein on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:33:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Looks like we agree. (0+ / 0-)

        We compare and examine the realities.  We don't give a shit about what they think of us.

        •  Reality is that we pay more (9+ / 0-)

          for health care- 18% of GDP compared to less than 10% in the Euro Community. The US even spends more government money per capita on health care than the UK which has universal free single payer health care. You never read that in the US press. Of course part of the reason is Dems shy away from arguments that require relentless explanation over time and instead triangulate themselves into defeat as in 2010.

          Cities are good for the environment

          by citydem on Thu May 26, 2011 at 07:50:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not sure I like that comparison (0+ / 0-)

        Betamax was regarded as a top notch technology that was in most ways superior to VHS.  It failed because more people bought VHS and made VHS the industry standard, true, but the reason that happened when Betamax and VHS were still in realistic competition was a combination of licensing politics and consumer whim.

        •  Consumer whim, or market decision? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cybrestrike

          Betamax  was a good technology and hung in there in professional usage for a long time.

          For the public, they wanted something cheaper and smaller, so VHS one out. Same argument for 8 track vs Cassette

          "you(sic) existence arose from a popcorn fart out of nobodies ass." - A Kossack who wishes to remain anonymous.

          by senilebiker on Thu May 26, 2011 at 08:39:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It was Sony corporate policy and licensing (0+ / 0-)

            that played a role. VHS tapes were an hour as opposed to 50 min Beta tapes...Sony wanted to do it all itself, VHS licensed many other makers, it won out.

            several non technical reasons actually pushed the VHS market ahead of the Beta market.

            IF Sony had been more strategic and expanded their co producers and extended the tape sizes as well as other things, they could have won that battle.

            Apple was a tiny presence for many many years because they refused to allow for a multiplicity of manufacturing (and popularizing) of their product, their Apple and Macs

            Lucky they didn't follow Sony's  Betamax example very closely.

            cast away illusions, prepare for struggle

            by Pete Rock on Thu May 26, 2011 at 12:15:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Ok, if that's the case, can you explain why (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pozzo

        Europe never thought of the internet first? Or landed a man on the moon? Or produced a product better than Apple or developed a software company better than Microsoft? Or for that matter, developed an automobile industry that is consistently the number one auto manufacturer in the world?

        And just one other thing, how come the European Health Ministries never have enough money to fund their own medical research? I mean, every medical study I've read was funded mostly by our US goverment and/or our universities? As a nurse, that bothers me quite a bit.

        I'm a woman of color, who grew up in the north (Detroit, Michigan)

        by Boris Badenov on Thu May 26, 2011 at 11:31:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you need to do a Google search (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BYw, senilebiker

          of German inventions.

        •  Oh I think the Europeans invented a couple (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Democrats Ramshield

          Like the jet engine, peniccilin, MRI machines, the automobile, telephone, trains etcetc.

          As for car industries, we have BMW, Mercedes, Peugeot, Citroen, Renault, Fiat, Volkswagen. Also did you know that all your Nascar single seaters are made in England?

          Software, well we have SAP, which along with Oracle dominates ERP systems worldwide, and I believe Nokia is the leading producer of phones world wide.

          And yes, we do medical research in Europe too. An example is the development of IVF which originated in the UK.

          As for fundmanetal research, how about CERN, and the Hadron Collider, while funds are being pulled from Fermi labs.

          "you(sic) existence arose from a popcorn fart out of nobodies ass." - A Kossack who wishes to remain anonymous.

          by senilebiker on Fri May 27, 2011 at 12:26:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  To bluegrass50 - you're right (5+ / 0-)

        That's exactly right. We can learn a lot from Europe.

        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 Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:42:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's not the point. (0+ / 0-)

        We look at and examine and adopt their stuff if we want.

        We do not give a shit what they think about us.

        •  Speak for yourself. (9+ / 0-)

          Frankly, I care very much about how we are perceived in the world. If you want to return to the Monroe Doctrine, knock yourself out. For me, the world is getting smaller by the day and it's time we opened ourselves up to learning something new from those that have been at it a hell of a lot longer than we have.

          I can just about forgive the Brits for starting our revolutionary war and burning DC to the ground during the war of 1812 for giving us Led Zeppelin.

          by Pager on Thu May 26, 2011 at 07:45:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Increasingly they do not. See my earlier (8+ / 0-)

          comment.

          One of the striking things to me in recent travels (last decade) covering areas I've known for over forty years is just how much "U.S." is vanishing from sight. Further, little to none of that seems particularly directed at objecting to our policies as some here seem to think. Sure, among our "activists" mirror images elsewhere there is some of that. Among the general population? Irrelevance is the best description.

          Our technology is far less visible now, actually often invisible, compared to European and Asian. My credit card "has difficulties" and the number has to be hand entered sometimes, though the nice little portable scanners every waiter seems to have work nicely for the most part. Why? My technology is 1960s and everywhere else is "the chip" right down to the transit fare cards.

          While I see magazines in German, French, The Queen's English and others I have to hunt down a U.S. paper or periodical. Once they were in my face even in smaller cities in Brazil. I now can find those others all over in the same place. Why? Flight frequency between Europe and Brazil is much more and there are now even large vacation cottage colonies on the coast near Recife.

          Irrelevance is predominant. Much of the world is moving right along, bumpy, jerky in some places, but moving right along largely without us. That has implications in our economy.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:16:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  anyone who cares about America (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrkvica, BYw

          would listen to those who do better on societal measures and try to learn from them.  You are making a ludicrous distinction that has no usefulness.

          •  I'll try to make this simpler one more time. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pozzo

            Learn their ways: Yes.

            Study their ways: Yes.

            Get their ideas on how to improve: Yes.

            Worried whether they might not like or respect us:  Completely worthless waste of time; something a person with no self-esteem might flush their time down the toilet doing.

            Understand the difference?

            •  well now that you have actually (0+ / 0-)

              stated it clearly, albeit in a very snotty and condescending way, I can see your point.

              •  My apologies. (0+ / 0-)

                I was getting a little impatient because I felt that I was repeating myself all over the thread.

                •  I didn't see all those other comments (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  dov12348, BYw

                  but I still have a question.  The way I see it if Europeans have a negative opinion it is likely based in fact.  My point is that one way to start the learning process is to listen to what other people say.  I think if our view is "don't listen because we don't care" then we will have a harder time seeing what is good in Europe or elsewhere.  You can clearly see what is better in Europe but for many other people that is not so clear, so listening to voices outside the US can be a good starting place.  

                  •  I absolutely agree with that. (0+ / 0-)

                    If it's constructive and not condescending.

                    But we never worry if they might disrespect us.  Self-respect is the only goal there.

                    •  I can't blame Europeans for (0+ / 0-)

                      occassionally seeming or sounding condescending.  After all the level of political discourse in America is shockingly bad and disconnected from reality.  And our social policies are basically barbaric compared to theirs.

                      But most of all Europeans have listened to a steady stream of condescending nonsense and vitriol from Americans for many years.  I feel their frustration with a country that was once a leader, a country that has regressed so very far in the last 30 years.  

    •  Increasingly Europeans and others don't "think of (6+ / 0-)

      us" that much. Further, if you look at quite a few world trade patterns, beyond our consumer addiction to China, you may find case after case in which that means trade is passing us right by.

      Just one really small and insignificant data point. I asked in a little market in which I used to buy some special items that I acquired a taste for in travels why they vanished. The answer was not, as I expected, some FDA problem or other U.S. regulatory issue. It was "They can make more money exporting to Europe and Asia and our supplier can't get those now."

      Sit in the castle saying why should we care. The world and nature will pass you--and me since I'm inside too--by. Forty years ago overseas, particularly in South America, U.S. business travelers were all over. As I sat and waited flights in third tier cities I'd see briefcases and hear U.S. English. I returned here to "technologically advanced; first world" from nice but less advanced places. Now? Flight after flight in one country, now rapidly moving into first world, where the U.S. presence was everywhere and a grand total of one U.S. business traveler. EU and Singapore and China? All over. I arrive here from Spain, a country with some real problems at the moment, and find I am arriving at a less technologically sophisticated  airport and transportation system. My credit card is old technology. My Metro card is old technology.

      Sit here and be defensive. The world will pass us by regardless.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Thu May 26, 2011 at 08:59:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Didn't you or someone else already write this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nklein, Subterranean, FiredUpInCA

    diary a couple weeks ago?

    I recall a diary that essentially copy/pasted from Der Speigal, with the exact same talking points, same rhetoric, and same or similar enumeration of America's "failings".  Why post it again?

    •  Also, this diary is written under the premise (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nklein, FiredUpInCA

      that the "European" perspective on all things is correct by default.  That's not the case.  Europe has a fine safety net, a more robust one than the US has, but Europe has many problems of its own, such as the rise of neo-Naziism, to the point where neo-Nazi parties actually in seats in the European Parlaiment.  They can mock the US and others for their shortcomings, but they have problems of their own to deal with, problems that aren't going away, but are getting worse by the year.

      Lastly, some right winger could easily write an article about how Americans think Europe is "insane".  Such an article would be based on American arrogance, "exceptionalism, sneering, and gloating, just as this diary is based on European arrogance, "exceptionalism", sneering, and gloating.

      •  Neo naziism? (20+ / 0-)

        What we call Neo nazi's you call the right wing of  the republican party.

        Policies of these neo nazi's are stopping immigration, deporting foreigners, denying benefits to immigrants, stronger policing enforcement etc.

        Sounds like Arizona to me.

        "you(sic) existence arose from a popcorn fart out of nobodies ass." - A Kossack who wishes to remain anonymous.

        by senilebiker on Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:28:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  To senilebiker well said!! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          oldliberal, BYw

          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 Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:32:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Geert Wilders at CPAC (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            scottdc, mrkvica, BYw

            Probably the most well known racist neo nazi leader in Europe, who was banned from entering the Uk, spoke at side seminar in CPAC this year guest of Frank Gaffney and Pamela Gellar.

            Mr.  Wilders spoke to the CPAC-attendees (as did Robert Spencer and Andy Bostom.) and the crowd roared with admiration and respect for Mr. Wilders.  Only Rush Limbaugh seemed to bring the crowd to such an emotional peak.

            "you(sic) existence arose from a popcorn fart out of nobodies ass." - A Kossack who wishes to remain anonymous.

            by senilebiker on Thu May 26, 2011 at 05:24:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  No Ameircan politician can win on this platform (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FiredUpInCA
          The party plays down the atrocities of the Nazis and campaigned on an avowedly racist, anti-immigrant, anti-EU platform.

          As person with Republican freinds I take offense at the idea that this is what you think American politicians are like.  Racist probably, but no suburban Republican would vote for that platform.

          "Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

          by nklein on Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:55:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Jan Brewer and Arizona. (8+ / 0-)

            racist, anti immigrant, anti- federal.

            Sure no-one can get elected on that platform.

            Adam West - kick out Muslims? Not elected?

            John McCain - Just build the danged fence _ alright he didn't get elected President, but he is a senator.

            "you(sic) existence arose from a popcorn fart out of nobodies ass." - A Kossack who wishes to remain anonymous.

            by senilebiker on Thu May 26, 2011 at 02:01:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Did they deny the holocaust? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FiredUpInCA

              As racist as SB 1070 is, it is no where near the platform of the British Nationa Party

              We are 100 per cent racist".

              If you want to get into it, we can really get into the racist, anti-immigrant policies of Europe (like forcing Turkey to apologize for the Armenian genocide, while I never heard any such requirement for the membership of Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and so on for the Holocaust. Don't tell me that doesn't have something to do with the fact that Turkey is a Muslim nation.)  

              While I agree that Turkey should apologize for the Armenian genocide, it seems a little hypocritical that there was not a similiar requirement for those other European nations.

              Or how about the fact that you guys wanted to start the Libyan war due to fears of African immigrants?  Or that NATO allowed nearly 1000 African migrants die off the coast of Italy and Malta?

              Like I said don't criticize us and we won't criticize you.

              "Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

              by nklein on Thu May 26, 2011 at 02:20:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Is that the litmus test? (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cybrestrike, mrkvica, BYw
                Did they deny the holocaust?

                So if you are racist, you set up Koncentrations lager in the Arizona desert.

                Arpaio set up a "Tent City" as an extension of the Maricopa County Jail.[31] Arpaio has described Tent City as a concentration camp.[32] Tent City is located in a yard next to a more permanent structure containing toilets, showers, and an area for meals.[33] It has become notable particularly because of Phoenix's extreme temperatures.

                Source WIKI.

                as long as you don't deny the holocaust this is not neonazi.

                Maybe the difference is that in Arizona, the persecuted are Hispanics who tend to be Christian/Catholic.

                "you(sic) existence arose from a popcorn fart out of nobodies ass." - A Kossack who wishes to remain anonymous.

                by senilebiker on Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:41:11 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Nklein please tell us more! (0+ / 0-)

            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 Thu May 26, 2011 at 02:14:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is the second time. . . (0+ / 0-)

              you posted that.  If you disagree with me say it and if you don't mind back up your opinion so I can show you where you are wrong, but this sarcastic response is beneath this forum.

              "Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

              by nklein on Thu May 26, 2011 at 02:28:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Apples to apples. (11+ / 0-)
            The party plays down the atrocities of the Nazis and campaigned on an avowedly racist, anti-immigrant, anti-EU platform.

            Europeans deal with neo-Nazis after having lived under Nazi governance not all that long ago.  What would be an historical parallel in the US?  The US did not have the Nazis in power but we did have slaveholders in power, and we do -- today -- elect representatives who dismiss the atrocities of the Confederacy and the Jim Crow Era.

            Everyone has the right to judge everyone else, and Democrats Ramshield as an American has every right to challenge his nation's leadership and citizenry to examine just what it is that we are putting up with.  If you object to what he is saying, offer counterarguments, not attempts to stifle the conversation.

        •  Actually, we might call that of the mainstream (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          senilebiker, BYw

          of the Republican Party!  There have been a few well publicized, recent incidents that reflect this.

          Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

          by Miggles on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:22:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Anti EU platform is equivalent to tenthers (0+ / 0-)

            or from today's think progress

            That’s the nature of federalism, and democracy. There are a lot of things that go on in this country that I don’t agree with. There are certain things other states do that I don’t agree with. But I believe in the right of the people in a state to pursue policies which they think are in their best interests, and then try them out.

            Who was this, some extremist outcast on the far right of the teaparty? no it was Mittens.

            "you(sic) existence arose from a popcorn fart out of nobodies ass." - A Kossack who wishes to remain anonymous.

            by senilebiker on Thu May 26, 2011 at 10:40:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I refer to true neo-Nazis, like the "British Nat'l (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FiredUpInCA

          Party" (BNP), which won seats to the EU parlaiment, and is an honest-to-goodness neo-Nazi party.  It's been denounced by Britain's Labour, Conservative, and Liberal parties, yet continues to gather support among the white lower classes in the UK.

          •  The unfortunate consequences of proportional (0+ / 0-)

            representation. Even a minority party can get a couple of seats.

            In the UK parlaiment which is first past the post, they have never won a seat.

            In some local elections, also first past the post, they have won a few seats, but they lost a significant proportion of those oin the last election.

            As for avowedly neo nazi, that was based on the quote of one person in their leadership in the early 90's, since when they try to hide their fascist rhetoric. I am sure I could find a quote of some Rebuplican candidate who fesses up to being a racist.

            "you(sic) existence arose from a popcorn fart out of nobodies ass." - A Kossack who wishes to remain anonymous.

            by senilebiker on Fri May 27, 2011 at 12:34:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Escamillo this must be a joke. Right? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrkvica, farbuska, BYw

        You don't think we can learn  anything form the E.U.??

        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 Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:29:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Neo-Nazi talking point is total BS. Those (6+ / 0-)

        guys add up to maybe 0.5 to 3.0% of the voting populace.  Compare that to the insane right wing hear in the US that still garners 30-40% of the vote!  Ramshield didn't even touch on this aspect of the insanity in America where far-right talking points are aired regularly, accepted, (and sometimes repeated by progressives on dailykos) even though they are way to the right extreme of mainstream world thought.

        Also, bringing up Neo-Nazi as a counterpoint to whenever something positive is said about Germany is on the verge of thread-jacking.  If you really have a problem with Neo-Nazis and have researched it beyond than just lobbing it as a bomb in a comment, why not write a diary on it?

        Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

        by Miggles on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:27:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Escamillo doesn't support us! (0+ / 0-)

      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 Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:30:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  More concrete reasons (14+ / 0-)

    1. No universal health care.
    2. No decent public transport.
    3. No decent rail system.
    4. No decent interurban buses (!).
    5. Easy purchase of pistols.
    6. No vacations.
    7. Few national holidays (not the same as #6!).
    8. Inadequate protections for workers.
    9. No right to strike.
    10. Non-proportional electoral system.
    11. No representation in the Congress for residents in the nation's capital.
    12. Death penalty.
    13. Half a trillion dollars on the military ...

    •  We invented the right to strike. . . (0+ / 0-)

      Are you crazy?  We still have the right to strike.  And we wouldn't have to spend so much on our military if you guys would pick up the tab for NATO.  But you would rather have us pay for it all.  No worries, just don't try to criticize for our faults when yours are glaring too.

      "Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

      by nklein on Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:57:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  why do (10+ / 0-)

        you feel criticism of the indefensible US social service network and it's endless punishment of the poor is a bad thing?  Criticism is a responsible thing.

        "never trust a rich man when he offers you a truce"

        by KibbutzAmiad on Thu May 26, 2011 at 05:11:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not responsible when its just complaining. (0+ / 0-)

          I could write a diary of a list of many more problems in our politics than DR wrote/  I'm a progressive.  I got into politics wanting to change the multitude of things I see wrong in this country.  But I didn't get into politics to hear only bashing the country from a transplanted American with no proposals to fix it.

          "Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

          by nklein on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:38:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Who invented the right to strike? (11+ / 0-)
        on 14 November 1152 BC, the artisans of the Royal Necropolis at Deir el-Medina organized the first known strike or workers' uprising in recorded history

        Was this before or after the Bill of Rights?

        In 1917, the Mexican Constitution was the first national constitution that constitutionally guaranteed the right to strike

        Must have been for the illegals in the US!

        Source Wiki

        "you(sic) existence arose from a popcorn fart out of nobodies ass." - A Kossack who wishes to remain anonymous.

        by senilebiker on Thu May 26, 2011 at 07:50:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Who are "we" and "us"? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        evergreen2, mrkvica, farbuska, BYw

        I was born in the deep South.

        Everything else you say is nonsense too. The "right to strike" was not invented in the US. Moreover there is no "right to strike" in the US the way there is in much of Europe - where it is a constitutionally protected right like the right to free speech.

        The US's gross expenditures on military have far more to do with Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, etc. than they have to do with NATO.

        Defensive nationalism is a stupid defense against criticism.

        In any case, the list is a summary of why Europeans think Americans are crazy, not a claim that they are always right.

        •  The list is the problem. . . (0+ / 0-)

          Americans do not go onto European blogs and complain about us.  I don't see why we should recommend a diary from Europe describing how we are crazy.  I don't mind constructive criticism from Europe.  I mind that this guy is saying is just calling people "crazy" because of ridiculousness in our politics.  I'm sure I can do the same thing with Europe if I wanted to take the time.  Would that be appropriate?  Would it be constructive?

          "Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

          by nklein on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:44:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "Us" and "them" (0+ / 0-)

            Where the criticism comes from has nothing to do with its validity.

            Even if the criticism is not valid, perhaps some folks need to better understand how dimly the US is perceived even in the most friendly places, and to try to understand why even the most friendly observers think the US is crazy.

            •  It does indeed. (0+ / 0-)

              If I came up to you and told you that "you are an evil person who is destroying the world" would you greet me with open arms.  The diarist should establish his credentials as person that is not just badmouthing for the sake of badmouthing.  The evidence from his previous diaries is that this is just badmouthing.

              "Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

              by nklein on Thu May 26, 2011 at 11:07:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Not if you are a public employee! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrkvica, farbuska, BYw

        and God help you if you strike in a right to work state because the government will help the employer basically replace everybody and deny you unemployment.

        That's why the labor movement in America has allen on hard times, because the government has been helping dismantle labor priotections and benifits since 1948 and the ratio of represented and protected workers to at will and vulnerable workers hasn't been as high in  a hundred years.

        cast away illusions, prepare for struggle

        by Pete Rock on Thu May 26, 2011 at 12:26:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Europe's not looking too hot either . . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LillithMc, Pozzo

    Three countries in the European Union have already been bailed out.  And Euro has declined significantly against the dollar.  

    I agree with the sentiments that we have huge problems in income differences and other areas, but I hate America-bashing especially from Europe whose able to pay for such a safety-net since they don't have to fund a military.

    "Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

    by nklein on Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:36:46 AM PDT

    •  To Nklein please tell us more! (0+ / 0-)

      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 Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:38:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Euro declined against the dollar?????? (7+ / 0-)

      compared to when?

      Todays rate is 1.417, compared to a rate of 1.17 at launch.

      In addition to the other issues, you can also thank GW for effectively devaluing the dollar.

      "you(sic) existence arose from a popcorn fart out of nobodies ass." - A Kossack who wishes to remain anonymous.

      by senilebiker on Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:49:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is this sufficient decline? (0+ / 0-)

        Euro is tumbling this week due to the European debt problems.  Please don't try to tell us how to run our government and we won't do the same to you.  It's called self-determination.  

        "Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

        by nklein on Thu May 26, 2011 at 02:02:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What nonsense is this? (10+ / 0-)

          You now measure the success of the Euro, maybe a 100 year project on the basis of one weeks speculative tradeing.

          Take a look at the five year graph and get a sense of proportion.  Currencies fluctuate all the time, but you need to look at a long term trend to work out who is weakening and who is strengtheing.

          "you(sic) existence arose from a popcorn fart out of nobodies ass." - A Kossack who wishes to remain anonymous.

          by senilebiker on Thu May 26, 2011 at 03:51:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  To senilebiker - Very well said (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Fossil, senilebiker, pelagicray, BYw

            The truth is the Euro is much stronger than it was a decade ago and you're right, you have to take a long term view on currency stability. Nklein can't see that because he has himself wrapped up in the flag too tightly. Anything that calls for reform is "anti-American" in his mind. That's too bad because we have a lot that we can learn from the success of the European social safety net.

            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 Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:00:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Bwahahaha - short term thinking (11+ / 0-)

          Working at a site in Italy a couple of weeks ago it was immediately evident to me just how much the Euro has increased since my last trip to Western Europe.

          To support America when it fails to provide the necessities of life to its citizens is degenerate, and pointing to currency fluctuations to damn a society that chooses to afford a modicum of security to all seems especially disingenuous.

          Distrust of authority should be the first civic duty. - Norman Douglas

          by Fossil on Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:46:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Quit before you make a complete fool of yourself. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          senilebiker, theano, farbuska, BYw

          I have my own graph based on personal experience. I first met the Euro in April of 2002. My dollar bought €1.12. The next year it got me a whole €0.93 and in April of 2011 I got a whopping €0.68 for my dollar.

          One of my little regrets is that if, on that first meeting, I'd converted my savings certificates to €100 bills and stuffed my suitcase and then mattress I'd have probably done almost as well as with those certificates at the interest rates over the intervening years. Every $1,000 would have bought €1,118.83 at the exact rate the day I flew out in 2002.

          Sitting under my mattress and converting them back last month would have brought me $1.4601 for every one of those Euros. If I just did the APR right that is about 3% and that is not bad in comparison with U.S. savings accounts over the same period. How is that for the truly lousy investment policy of mattress stuffing?

          Since I did not make the right financial move in 2002 I have at least quit converting whatever cash I have in the departure areas before flying back. Hell, if the debt ceiling fiasco triggers a few oil sheiks or Asians to dump dollars I may have some real money as pocket change.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:42:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  senilebiker makes a good point! (0+ / 0-)

        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 Thu May 26, 2011 at 02:15:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You're talking about the euro falling (14+ / 0-)

      which is fine but the dollar has fallen way more. That's symptomatic of the policies the US has been following for over a decade and is the mechanism which is sending the US a mesage that we have lived beyond our means and need to start producing things the world wants in order to pay our debts.

      However, I'm wondering why you are using the exchange rate as some sort of standard or measure of economic welfare. I'm thinking that actual policies that affect actual people (universal health and dental care, unemployment benefits that don't run out etc) are far more valuable and relevant to most working people's lives than the exchange rate. And the problem is that other countries have that and we don't. Don't you agree?

      •  Fire bad tree pretty well said! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fire bad tree pretty, BYw

        Thanks for your support!

        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 Thu May 26, 2011 at 03:01:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  i do agree on the exchange rate. . . (0+ / 0-)

        What I reject is the rampant anti-Americanism in this diary.  This isn't a criticism of the problems in this country and an attempt to find a solution.  That's what this forum is about, but that's what this diary is about.  It is a list of problems in our country from a transplanted American.  It's not constructive and I think it is in bad taste for Europeans to be so haughty when there are a number of problems in Europe.

        "Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

        by nklein on Thu May 26, 2011 at 03:14:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  nklein what about the problems in the U.S.? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KibbutzAmiad

          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 Thu May 26, 2011 at 03:47:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  To nklein -Pls tone down the anti-American crybaby (17+ / 0-)

          You know, honestly, where do you people come from? I am really serious about this. Let's talk about what really is anti-American.

          People like yourself who don't support unions and a European style social safety net are anti-American in my book. When America is the only major industrialized nation in the world that doesn't provide paid maternity by right of law, that's anti-American. That's anti-working class family values. When you have 59 million people who are not medically insured, that is anti-American. That is anti-working class. That is class warfare.

          When you have 132 million people without access to dental care, that is anti-American. When 60 million Americans don't have access to paid sick leave by right of law, that is anti-American. That is anti-working class. That is class warfare.

          So go wrap yourself in the flag if you must but please tone down the anti-American cry baby whine. For the rest of us here, we don't support Wall Street, we support Main Street USA. We support pro family working class values and that's the name of that tune.

          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 Thu May 26, 2011 at 03:57:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  False patriotism by nklein is amazing. (8+ / 0-)

            Of course people like them cannot tolerate owning up to the failings of our nation's governance because it creates cognitive dissonance  when reality butts heads with their mythology of an exceptional and wealthy America.

            No wonder politicians find it easy to convince Americans to vote against their own self interest.

            Distrust of authority should be the first civic duty. - Norman Douglas

            by Fossil on Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:52:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well said. I find it surprising that even (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              theano, mrkvica, farbuska, BYw

              progressive Americans are so guilty of wearing the rose colored glasses when it really comes down to looking at the hard facts of how and why things are broken.  We're supposed to be a reality based community!

              Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

              by Miggles on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:32:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That is when I get angry at myself. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Miggles, mrkvica, BYw

                For denying things until faced with the truth.  I get angry at myself, then accept it and finally figure out what to do.

                Distrust of authority should be the first civic duty. - Norman Douglas

                by Fossil on Thu May 26, 2011 at 10:11:41 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Did I reject any of those criticisms? (0+ / 0-)

                  No.  My complaint is the tone and the nature of the diary.  I find it stupid to list America's problems like this as if he is informing us of something.  Does he or do you really think that Americans don't know about the differences in safety-net between the U.S. and Europe?

                  "Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

                  by nklein on Thu May 26, 2011 at 07:02:57 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  When reality hits those with head buried in sand (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tardis10, mrkvica, farbuska, Randtntx, BYw

              tend to leave them there--bodiless.

              Those that see these observations as "anti American" and react like this are pretty much either the clueless or the stuck pig screaming. The decline I see over almost fifty years of traveling is deeply saddening. Not because other countries are catching up. It is because we are not keeping up.

              Most frightening to me is the degree to which outside some computer and military technology we are looking more like what I used to see overseas in comparison to us when I return here now. It has now gone far from the "gadgets" and flash that made me think Tokyo in the sixties was a glitzy place with neat consumer things. It is deep into infrastructure, often invisible. Back when I first met the Euro the best internet I could get some twenty-two miles from the Washington Monument was DSL and that was expensive and iffy depending on distance from a telephone exchange. I was too far. There I was in a little hotel in Venice, not a big tourist one that I avoid like the plague, off a side alley noticing the blazing speed as our host pulled some information for me. Yep, fiber optic. Special markers, fiber optic cable area, all over the lagoon. There was a new cottage industry out on some of the islands: high tech, work at home, design and other such endeavors were cropping up. Half a decade later our street was getting that capability.

              The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

              by pelagicray on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:57:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I for one do not see this diary as anti-American. (6+ / 0-)

            I think this whole argument that it is is detracting from the actual subject of the diary, which is the decline of the middle class in America as opposed to the rise of the media-controlling uber-class. But then I think America is still strong enough to endure some thoughtful critisim without needing any flag waving from me.

          •  You don't support anything (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nklein

            You don't live in the US, and the extent of your interest appears to be condescending diaries listing the same problems we are all aware of over and over and over and over and over again.

            In the end, you don't really accomplish anything other than letting us know that Europeans think their grass is greener, which got old after your first hundred or so diaries on the subject.

          •  Do you know me? (0+ / 0-)

            Have you met me before?  Do you know what I have done in my life or what policy positions on all those issues are?

            The answer is no.  Was I anti-union when I was in a union (IATSE)?  Was I against paid family leave when I have fought for it in over a dozen campaigns working and volunteering for Democratic candidates?

            The answer is once again no.

            What I reject from the this diary and I continually reject is your listing a shitload of problems we have and so callously saying that "we in Europe are so much better."

            Your countries are suffering from dramatic debt that is affecting the Euro and the Euro Zone.  You have avowed racists running around in your politics.  Your politics are filled with anti-immigrant politicians and policies.

            So once again, don't criticize us without adimitting that you have major problems too.
               

            "Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

            by nklein on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:02:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  it's not (7+ / 0-)

          Anti-Americanism.  It's opposed to the endless attacks on working class people and the poor that American policy institutionalizes.

          Rather than chants of "USA! USA!" it points out facts Americans would rather not think about -such as how much of Europe does an infinitely superior job in providing necessities for it's citizenry.

          "never trust a rich man when he offers you a truce"

          by KibbutzAmiad on Thu May 26, 2011 at 05:13:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's not what it is (0+ / 0-)

            It is a listing of the problems in American politics from an American exile.  If he/she wants to fix it, come join us who are on the ground working to fix it.

            "Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

            by nklein on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:04:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  It's rampant American studied ignorance on trial (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrkvica, farbuska

          We need anti Americanism not of the John Boehnor, Paul Ryan type but of a new New Deal /Bernie Sanders type.

          For a start. We have a lethal "Americanism" that keeps people stupid and even voting to cut off their feet instead of helping to walk over to something better.

          Does it sting for our friends to point out the obvious?

          Maybe, but if you want to get it fixed and not simply put some balm on your bruised ego you would agree that a profound ignorance and confirmation of cherished myth bias is our biggest handicap.

          I am not jealous or irritated with Europeans.

          They have been around a thousand years longer then we have and have endured thru some terrible ups and downs.

          We should have the mindset to be brutally honest with ourselves, fear no criticism, but act on any worthwhile suggestion or example.

          how many morons in the republican Party, and some Blue dogs are beating the drums for more and more cuts because they are imbeciles and ignoramuses when it comes to real economics and how things are in this world in real life among nation states and international business?  And they get nearly all the air time???

          cast away illusions, prepare for struggle

          by Pete Rock on Thu May 26, 2011 at 12:39:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Love your Buffy reference handle! n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fire bad tree pretty

        "But much to my surprise when I opened my eyes I was the victim of the great compromise." John Prine

        by high uintas on Thu May 26, 2011 at 08:49:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  another reason why Europe thinks we're insane (11+ / 0-)
      I hate America-bashing especially from Europe whose able to pay for such a safety-net since they don't have to fund a military.

      Oh, European nations have militaries, all right. They just don't have one nation that has a more expensive military than the rest of the world combined.

      Yup, foreign policy is somewhat OT, but it does also affect the economic metrics of the USA and Europe.

      •  American myths about the military (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrkvica, farbuska, BYw

        1) America spends all that money to protect the rest of the world, who aren't asking to be protected.

        2) America needs to stay in Europe to protect them from the communists - in North Korea

        3) USA declared war on Germany to save the Europeans from Naziism - only Germany declared war on the US  after Pearl Harbour.

        4) Without the USA, Britain would have been invaded by Hitler, - he tried and gave it a pass in 1940. If anyone saved the Uk from invasion it was Stalin who sponged up so much of the German military resources with 20 million cannon fodder.

        As for the economic cost, your total military expenditures as you say are at least as much as the next 25 biggest military countries in the world.

        "you(sic) existence arose from a popcorn fart out of nobodies ass." - A Kossack who wishes to remain anonymous.

        by senilebiker on Thu May 26, 2011 at 07:59:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The US military, then and now (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          senilebiker, evergreen2, Pete Rock, nklein, BYw

          Objecting to the present state of the US does not mean that this country did not accomplish great things two or three generations ago. Britain certainly could not have stood alone indefinitely against Hitler and was increasingly cut off from food and other supplies by the time Hitler was diverted by dreams of conquering Russia.  And FDR initiated US military aid to the UK in March 1941, at the same  time Hitler was readying his  attack on the USSR. US aid to Stalin, via arctic ports and through Iran, made a major contribution to the destruction of Nazi armies in the East - altho it was certainly Russian lives that ultimately paid for the Nazi defeat.

          And the US military presence in Europe after 1945 did make possible the emergence of the great civilization of the EU. First by hampering Soviet schemes, but also by relieving French and British fears of a new German militarism, which were quite real into the 1950s. (See Tony Judt's Postwar on this)

          The current planet-wide US military system evolved out of this history, but nothing we have done since 1989 has been comparable to our role during WW II and subsequent decades. Now the whole military apparatus more closely resembles the old British or French empires, and is a comparable drag on our own economic and social development.

          If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one would remain in the ranks. -Frederick the Great

          by Valatius on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:28:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  and another great achievement of the US military (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            senilebiker, nklein

            And of course we defeated Japanese fascism single-handedly, which ultimately made possible the emergence of Asia as an economic powerhouse. Not that this means we still need to keep troops in Korea, Okinawa and elsewhere.

            If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one would remain in the ranks. -Frederick the Great

            by Valatius on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:35:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  And yet when we closed bases in Germany. . . (0+ / 0-)

          there was resistance.  Shocking!

          Some lawmakers in Germany and some in the United States have criticized the redeployment plan. They point out that the Army has a huge investment in Germany -- PXs, commissaries, schools and barracks.

          "Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

          by nklein on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:17:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Then why did you need us in Bosnia? (0+ / 0-)

        If you guys had the militiaries that would be able to protect your interests and values, then why did you need us for several years to solve your genocidal crisis in Bosni?

        "Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

        by nklein on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:09:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yawn. Then write a diary on Europe's (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica, farbuska, BYw

      problems.  That's still no defense for America having a horrendous safety net and middle/working class policy.  Comparison with places that are doing it right is the first best step to fixing it here.

      Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

      by Miggles on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:30:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for bringing us this heads up on our (7+ / 0-)

    decline Democrats Ramschield.

    It will give us something to talk about in the unemployment line this morning.

    Danke Schoen (is that right?)

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Thu May 26, 2011 at 02:53:50 AM PDT

  •  I Want to See (0+ / 0-)

    50,000 new homeless kids in American every year.

    Find me fast on Daily Kos by following me.

    by bink on Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:09:41 AM PDT

  •  I think Democrats Ramshield is simply trying to (19+ / 0-)

    raise awareness on the issue of the American social safety net being inadequate compared to that of the Europeans.  He's not bashing the USA--he's simply pointing out the facts.

    The point is, most Americans have no idea how badly off they are because we do not have a responsible journalism class.  All we get are irrelevant titbits about Charlie Sheen, Lindsey Lohan, etc., surely the most uninteresting, least newsworthy humans on this planet.

    Nklein does make a good point that Europe can afford to put more benefits in place because it doesn't have to foot the bill for NATO.  Now that the Cold War is over, the USA should stop footing the bill for NATO and concentrate on making life better for its own citizens.  However, because of our incredibly corrupt political system--which involves two-year-long, multibillion dollar political campaigns--this isn't going to happen.

    If we limited campaigning to three months before the election and IF the networks would limit political ads to 60 seconds and make them free, political campaigns would be a lot less expensive.  The need to raise billions would disappear.  And if we had instant runoff voting, it would be a lot more fair.

    But that's in Utopia, I'm afraid.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:44:37 AM PDT

    •  Diana in NoVa - you're right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Betty Pinson

      American politics is a millionaire's club (soon to be a billionaire's club).

      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 Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:51:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But DR is telling it, repeatedly... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pager

      ...to people who (a) already know, and (b) are working to change things.  Given all that, my view is that that DR's diaries are condescending and unconstructive.

      It's better to curse the darkness than light a candle. --Whoever invented blogs, c.1996

      by Rich in PA on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:20:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The diary works fine for me. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rich in PA

        The condescension in the comments from the author is sort of causing me to rapidly tune out.

        I can just about forgive the Brits for starting our revolutionary war and burning DC to the ground during the war of 1812 for giving us Led Zeppelin.

        by Pager on Thu May 26, 2011 at 07:48:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fine for me as well. This story needs to keep (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Diana in NoVa, mrkvica, farbuska, Randtntx, BYw

          on being told an retold so that it can eventually sink in.  How many thousands of times do you think Obama gave the same stump speech between 2006 and 2008?  If we learn one thing from the Republicans, it should be that the more you repeat something, the more it will be accepted.  And to add, at least we have the truth on our side unlike all the memes that the GOP have been putting successfully forward for years.

          Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

          by Miggles on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:35:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Come up with something better. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrkvica, farbuska, Alumbrados, BYw

        Better example, better tactics.

        "Elect more democrats". ? We have done that since  2003 and where has it gotten us?

        It is not quantity but quality.  How do we truly improve the quality?   That is so tough when you are in a bubble that America is fine, a tweak or two will clean it or make it the best.

        And most people are POORLY informed or resigned to it not making a difference.  i.e., the under 50% voting as a standard these past many years.

        The Netanyahu arse slobbering excitement by BOTH parties in his Repub invite to Congress schmooze was a horrible low point in many ways for"Our elected representatives". (my quotation marks). I am ashamed to give them any respect they haven't earned.

        cast away illusions, prepare for struggle

        by Pete Rock on Thu May 26, 2011 at 12:51:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have posted this comment before (15+ / 0-)

    This diary series is valuable for the very reason that we are not getting this information from our own press.  We have been lead to believe that we are the greatest country in the world. It is called Amercian Exceptionalism and it has made us blind to our failings as a society. We are rapidly falling behind the rest of the developed world in taking care of our own people.  And we seemed to be trying to turn the clock even further backwards. We do NOT have to be that way and should be pushing for changes that will bring us a better quality of life.

    More tax cuts would be gluttony in a time of starvation. That is not America. That is a nation about to be plundered, and a people laid to waste. - Charles Blow

    by gulfgal98 on Thu May 26, 2011 at 05:11:25 AM PDT

  •  I understand why you alternate paragraphs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miggles

    between English and German, but for this reader, it really disrupts the flow. Just so you know.

    "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk." --Ian McDonald

    by Geenius at Wrok on Thu May 26, 2011 at 05:32:03 AM PDT

    •  Yeah, it's probably a weakness in the (0+ / 0-)

      technology of dkos4.  A better way to me would be to present a left pane in language #1 and the right in language #2.  That's what I have been doing (with my own codes and other sources) for my learning of Spanish for the past 6 months.  Anyways, one potential work around would be to present the English in bold, or the German in italics.  I'm not a diary writer, but I do believe that the text can be colored differently as well.  Maybe color the German dark blue or green and keep the English black?  Maybe these points have already been raised in diaries related to the foreign language group here at dkos.

      Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

      by Miggles on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:39:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  While I support the policy objectives (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rich in PA, Tchrldy, Beelzebud

    endorsed by this diary, and agree that the power of corporations and wealthy elites is a huge obstruction to progress in the US...

    The European media has portrayed America as a nation of  barbarians practically since its birth, and has been heralding our decline since the day we first became powerful enough for anyone to care about the subject.  And while I realize that Euro media hew to much higher standards of journalism than those in the US - i.e., any at all - there is a huge fallacy in treating them as if they don't have an agenda and a particular perspective.

    Slavery was abolished in Europe long before the US Civil War, and women's suffrage was granted in European democracies well before the US.  Historically, Europe has moved ahead of us wherever rational, enlightened policy has conflicted with the backward or discordant sentiments of the mob, but by the same token that political rationalism spawned totalitarian governments the people were powerless to reform or displace without massive external assistance.

    And even with proportionally representative parliaments, rigorous health care, progressive taxation, tons of paid vacation time, and relatively healthy attitudes and lifestyles, their governments still managed to nearly go bankrupt in the same general catastrophe as ours.  Their elected leaders - even from Socialist parties - still preach austerity and incite the public wrath with attacks on social programs.

    So let's be realistic about Europe.  It is not a Worker's Paradise.  People accept tradeoffs in exchange for all the great things they have, many of which Americans would love to also make, but some not so much.  We American liberals cherish small business entrepreneurship as much as we would protect the employees of Big Business, and Europe doesn't necessarily have the same love of the Small Guy with the Big Idea.  

    They think we're crazy for placing such emphasis on something that is pretty unusual, and we probably are, but everything we have has come from that deliberate stupidity.  We oppose the GOP not only because they keep people from having good jobs, but because their slavish relationship to huge corporations stops people from pursuing new ideas: Sucks up the oxygen from innovative businesses that could make someone of otherwise modest means rich, and benefit the whole world in the process.  

    There is no European Dream, because it is formulated entirely on the maintenance and incremental improvement of what they have already achieved.  The point of the American Dream is that it is a dream - something unlikely, and difficult, and fraught with peril, yet pursued with boldness and a desire to discover what is possible rather than settling down.  Perhaps we are stupid, perhaps we are crazy.  And for that, Europeans who are honest about their own cultural limitations will always be grateful - as grateful as we are for their rationalism and maturity, and what partial inheritance of it we can claim.

    The conundrum of stable democracy: Reform requires the consent of the corrupt.

    by Troubadour on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:46:08 AM PDT

    •  That was fantastic--thank you! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Troubadour

      The irony here is that for all of the hand-wringing about ill-conceived American Exceptionalism, DR and friends don't seem to grasp the hard nut of exceptionalism: that countries aren't generic, but rather are the expressions of their respective histories.  The idea of taking today's EU policies and values and transplanting them into the US wholesale is as naive as the neoconservative idea of making the rest of the world just like the US.  The fact that it's an infinitely more humane set of policies and values doesn't make it any less naive.  (At least the neoconservatives have brute force at their disposal, in support of their naive vision!)

      It's better to curse the darkness than light a candle. --Whoever invented blogs, c.1996

      by Rich in PA on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:51:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've had conversations with people (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rich in PA, Tchrldy, Beelzebud, pelagicray

        who have lived and worked in Europe in "working class" capacities rather than in "elite" professions, and their impressions of it are usually more realistic than the latter - especially if they live somewhere other than a capital city.  

        They love the health care, the public transit, and the lifestyle - those things seem to be universally beloved by people who spend any time in Europe - but they're sometimes shocked by things they were led to expect the opposite about: Routine racism, sexism, resistance to individual initiative, extremely parochial cultural attitudes, closed social circles, opaque governance, general contempt for reformers, etc.  

        Sometimes I've seen that reflected in diaries here.  I don't recall who wrote it, but I remember someone posted a diary about living in Greece, and complained bitterly about how everyone treated him because he wasn't Orthodox Christian - how they pressured him to convert, and came to see his failure to do so as some kind of insult to them.

        Basically, European politics is relatively conservative and aristocratic, but the American left fetishizes it because it provides services.  It doesn't impress Europeans that we belittle their problems as the mild complaints of a utopian society - in fact, I'd bet they find it insulting.  They don't riot in the streets because they think their "utopia" would become slightly less comfortable - they face real threats to their basic livelihoods.

        The conundrum of stable democracy: Reform requires the consent of the corrupt.

        by Troubadour on Thu May 26, 2011 at 07:44:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, particularly in "parochial" areas what you (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tardis10, farbuska

          describe can be accurate. Europe does not escape the exact parallel we see here between New York City and Hattiesburg.

          There is definitely more difficulty in opening up a small business. Then look at many of the "small businesses" I find in my area--a well off, "progressive" and "advanced" one. Some are downright fly by night and some, without fixed address and profitable for a time, downright scams. There is more regulatory structure, sometimes too confining, in Europe that does protect the customer from that kind of crap.

          Europe is not the absolute utopia some would make of it. It does seem to be addressing many of its problems, as do some recently rather backward other nations, much better than we are here.

          We have a political class whipping an ill informed population with "Number one" crap and chauvinism instead of addressing pressing problems on dozens of fronts. If we cannot change that we will be left as a backwater. Ignoring or being defensive, an almost "illiterate, poor and proud of it" attitude will ensure that fate.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Thu May 26, 2011 at 10:11:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The key statement is incrementalism (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Betty Pinson, tardis10, mrkvica, farbuska, BYw
        There is no European Dream, because it is formulated entirely on the maintenance and incremental improvement of what they have already achieved

        Actually there is a European dream - it is the dream of no borders, no wars, no poverty, and a right for a safe, healthy and relatively prosperous life for all. The European dream means that together we work to bring the poorer countries up to the standard of the richer sountries - think Romania, former East Germany. This is achieved by giving the poorer countries a helping hands, via loans, infrastrucutre support, free mobility of labour etc

        In good times we try to achieve this by letting the poorer grow faster, and the theory is the richer they become, the more they will contribute to the overall European economy.

        In bad times, like the last couple of years, when Europe suffered from the Wall Street created recession, there are not the same surpluses, so bailout outs cost the richer countries real money, not just a share of their growth, which is why there is so much debate at the moment.

        As for American exceptionalism, I would advise you to use that term sparingly if you ever visit Europe. Simply put, it implies that you think you are superior, and that is a very fast way to spoil a dinner party.

        "you(sic) existence arose from a popcorn fart out of nobodies ass." - A Kossack who wishes to remain anonymous.

        by senilebiker on Thu May 26, 2011 at 08:13:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm I the only one who (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Beelzebud

    doesn't care what Europeans think of us or our system?

    All the calls for and FDR president and this fool imprisoned his own citizens. Obama's gonna go down as one of the greatest Presidents in history.

    by mim5677 on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:48:31 AM PDT

    •  You and maybe the teabaggers I guess. For me, (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theano, big annie, mrkvica, farbuska, BYw

      I am always open to criticism because the first step in fixing something is to be up front and open and identify and accept the problem.  Sorry for sounding like I'm quoting from a 12 step program, but it seems like a bunch of us Americans are still in denial.

      Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

      by Miggles on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:43:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Doesn't seem like (0+ / 0-)

        you'd be willing to accept criticism from a teabagger...

        It doesn't make much sense that you would say that to me if you are only willing to take it from people you agree with anyway...European criticism is better than teabagger criticism?  

        Your statement is confusing.

        Jussayin'

        All the calls for and FDR president and this fool imprisoned his own citizens. Obama's gonna go down as one of the greatest Presidents in history.

        by mim5677 on Thu May 26, 2011 at 10:09:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Huh? Talking about accepting teabaggers is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BYw

          up there with complaints that we have to be tolerant of others bigotry.  But anyways, if the teabaggers were actually presenting facts, then those would be worth debating.  Instead, teabaggers are all about racism, denial, homophobia, and selfishness.  Compare that with constructive criticisms from Europe that our safety net could use a hell of a lot of improving, especially when other countries got it right starting about 60 years ago.

          Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

          by Miggles on Thu May 26, 2011 at 12:01:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think you just disqualified yourself (0+ / 0-)

            from having any issues with what I said.

            All the calls for and FDR president and this fool imprisoned his own citizens. Obama's gonna go down as one of the greatest Presidents in history.

            by mim5677 on Thu May 26, 2011 at 12:08:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Tipped and rec'ed for the title...answer (8+ / 0-)

    because we are. We have been poisoned by the evil conservative movement. We hate each other and are fighting over moldy crumbs.

    The evil rich continue their conquest of us by buying and owning everything including us.

    "We the people" were are and continue to be sold out in a leveraged buyout for peanuts.

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:52:33 AM PDT

    •  To a2nite - Wow (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      senilebiker, big annie

      What an excellent comment! Thanks for so much for posting that. That post really added value to our discussion here. If you get a chance, please consider expanding on your post, as I'm sure it would make interesting reading for us here.

      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 Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:57:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for your comment DR but I feel like I (0+ / 0-)

        am preaching to the choir here. Looks like at least some of my fellow Ohioans have awoken to the nonsense that has been happening.

        I understand why people don't vote or otherwise engage. It has been a long term psychological war against regular American people especially by getting some of us to vote for the evil rich only and for others to completely give up their citizenship except that they may pay some taxes from their work.

        Too many people have sold out because the oppressor (the evil rich) holds most of the good cards. The problem is the founding fathers excluded too many people in actual fact even though the preamble (that and the first amendment) are the only things they got right.

        1789 We the (people) evil rich exclusively.
        2011 We the (people) evil rich exclusively.

        Very sad and I wished that I spoke another language so that I could leave, but then again, my sister and I are trying to start a new business so that we can create jobs since the evil rich DON'T (except for their minions the evil R's and corrrupted D's). Oh yeah right, I am black and racism is alive and well everywhere.

        Sorry extended rant, gotta go now.

        Excellent post.

        The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

        by a2nite on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:48:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Something also not mentioned (13+ / 0-)

    Not everyone qualifies for benefits just because they are poor.

    The hoops one must jump through in this country to get even a minimum of assistance are just stupid and cruel.

    I'm so tired of reading news stories and comments on blogs that insist anyone who is poor can draw welfare, get health care through Medicaid, and can get plenty of food with SNAP.

    No. We can't.

    Medicaid doesn't automatically qualify one because of lack of income in many states. Despite the fact that I have had zero income for the last four years, I am not eligible for any benefits except a little less than $100 a month for food stamps -- which I do not get because there are people more destitute than I am who need them worse.

    Our country should be collectively ashamed of the tattered social safety net we have for the people in this land. But we aren't. Too many people still looking out only for #1.

    It lets me know that I should have tried to emigrate to Europe many years ago.

    I'm tired of being seen as a drain on resources and a waste of money. We need jobs in this country, and we need a group of politicians who are genuinely interested in taking care of the citizens here, and not only concerned about lining their own pockets at the expense of everyone else, or fighting resource wars in foreign lands.

    Excellent diary. Tipped and rec'd.

    Now, can we do something about this debacle?

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Thu May 26, 2011 at 07:08:35 AM PDT

    •  Brooke In Seattle (0+ / 0-)

      Wow. Thanks for your really thoughtful well written remarks. I really appreciated being able to read your 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 Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:34:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My German is rusty-- so help me-- when (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Anak

    I read the diary title I thought "shouldn't it be 'Warum glaubt Europa dass Amerika verrueckt geworden sei'?"

    But then I thought, nah, Democrats Ramshield is over there and knows better than I.  So can you tell me?  Was my first reaction at least a correct possible German sentence bubbling up to my mind from the depths of the past?

    :-)

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Thu May 26, 2011 at 07:19:37 AM PDT

    •  Why Europe believes that America is insane (0+ / 0-)

      Its a translation of the diary title.

      "you(sic) existence arose from a popcorn fart out of nobodies ass." - A Kossack who wishes to remain anonymous.

      by senilebiker on Thu May 26, 2011 at 08:16:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, you're right... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Anak, concernedamerican

      ...a diary DR posted a couple of weeks ago elicited a lot of suggestions for improvement and critiques of his German grammar (not his points, which as always are excellent) and you will find plenty of German errors in this post as well.

      •  cdu4ever (0+ / 0-)

        Are you actually a supporter of the CDU party in germany? I'm quite surprised to see such a name here. :D
        Anyways I would translate the titel like this: Warum Europäer glauben, dass wir (Amerikaner) verrückt sind.
        Capitalizing is of course most likely wrong, because I spend my youth growing up in both the US and Germany, and have never really learned when what words are capitalized or not. When writing english i often mix in the german rules and vice-versa... but yeah im good at translating, just when to capitalize is something I will probably never learn.

        "We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

        by Mudderway on Thu May 26, 2011 at 01:18:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Amerikan Insanity Is Manifested As: (6+ / 0-)

    borrowing trillions from China to hand over to billionaires and millionaires in the form of "tax cuts for the rich"

    borrowing trillions from China to fight illegal undeclared wars instead of financing them the usual way by taxing the rich (since they won't allow their sons to be killed in combat thereby forcing the poor to do the actual fighting)

    giving the world's richest Fortune 500 multi-national oil companies that enjoy obscene record profits in the tens of billions of dollars quarterly taxpayer subsidies totalling $21 billion dollars

    capping taxable income for Social Security at $106,000.00 when it should have no cap

    hiring a serial tax cheat (Tim Geithner) to be Treasury Secretary and head of the IRS

    allowing the richest Americans and corporations to hide massive amounts of taxable wealth in offshore tax havens without fear of criminal prosecution for tax evasion

    spending obscene amounts of money on the military and warmongering

    giving corporations personhood and the right to anonymously donate unlimited amounts of money to politicians

    etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc

  •  For some reason, americans have got (7+ / 0-)

    it in their heads that they're all "rugged individualists" from the Wild West, slinging their guns and eschewing 'dirty socialism.' It's the John Wayne theme--you're tough, you go it alone, and you don't want no damned federal gov'ment messin' in your business. Okay, that's simplistic, but the great mass of americans are pretty simple. So am I, but I for one don't see socialism as a dirty word nor do I worship at the shrine of capitalism. But then, I'm no millionaire controlling american media, either.

  •  Great sermon, but you're preaching (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sentinalnode

    to the choir. It's we who need to get out and spread the word to everyone we meet.

    Money=speech; every dollar has a right to be heard. The Supremes

    by orson on Thu May 26, 2011 at 07:40:15 AM PDT

  •  What a poor excuse for a diary (4+ / 2-)
    Recommended by:
    Anak, lams712, zapus, Pozzo
    Hidden by:
    ammasdarling, Miggles

    Here we are, Krugman inveighing against the German plutocrats who insist on Austrian economics and ridicule Obama's preference for stimulus, and we still see diaries about how pure countries are that are run by Austrian economics. Meanwhile, Greece burns under the German thumb.

    Did the diary ask why Germans have a later retirement age than Americans? What is the social value in that? Americans have better retirement.

    Did the diary mention that Telegraph and Spiegel especially are bought and sold neolib instruments?

    Come'on!

    There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

    by upstate NY on Thu May 26, 2011 at 07:53:50 AM PDT

  •  I have been thinking long and hard (5+ / 0-)

    about going expat with my wife and daughter if the political climate in this country moves any more to the right.

    We are not too far away from this being a very scary place, indeed.

    •  Great Lakes Liberal - please read (0+ / 0-)

      Speaking as an expat, I say come on in! The water is just fine. As you're interested in becoming an expat, I've invited you to our Global Expats group. If anyone else is interested in joining, please send us a message. Here's a link to the group.

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      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 Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:15:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  American Exceptionalism, writ large nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10

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

    by twigg on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:07:39 AM PDT

  •  News flash!!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miggles, mrkvica, Democrats Ramshield

    It ain't only Europe that thinks the USA is batshit insane.
    I've studied US history closely for a long time, and really, there's nothing new under the sun.
    The oligarchy was busting union heads 100 years ago, and they're still doing it. It's always been dog eat dog, no quarter given, and nothing's changed.
    The US is built on a fabricated weave of jingoistic lies & myths. combined with genocide (natives), illegal invasions (Puerto Rico, Hawaii, etc.), rape of the environment (gulf oil leak, etc., etc.), outright theft (Texas), and the unending worship and glorification of violence, greed, war and killing.
    Doesn't get much lower, and I've left a helluva lot of things out.
    Have fun!!

  •  I've heard Republicans accuse Dems (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ammasdarling, tardis10, mrkvica, farbuska

    of trying to make the US like a Western European country ... like that's a bad thing.  These people know nothing of Western Europe.

  •  Before we indulge in too much envy of Europe, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pozzo

    let's wait and see how the EU weathers the current crisis. There's no denying that the EU, at least its original members, have been providing a far better standard of life than has the US, but it remains to be seen how deeply Euro governments will cut into their own safety nets in coming years. The pressure for "austerity" budgets is taking hold everywhere and like the US, Euro nations have been outsourcing their own manufacturing to Asia for decades, and may no longer have the economic strength to sustain their lavish safety nets.

    If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one would remain in the ranks. -Frederick the Great

    by Valatius on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:43:57 AM PDT

    •  Disagree. There is no reason to "wait and see" to (5+ / 0-)

      do what works in Europe over here in the US right now.  That is the tragedy of the health care reform that we passed in 2009.  It could have been so much better if we based it on working models.

      Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

      by Miggles on Thu May 26, 2011 at 09:46:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  this is actually over (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, senilebiker

      but it will take a while before it becomes public knowledge. Germany doesnt lose jobs anymore to Asia. That rate has dropped to zero several years ago. In fact, Germany´s economy now is situated better than even before the crisis, with lower joblessness than at the peak of the pre recession boom. That is an absolute exception among traditional industrialised nations. Problem is that that seeming success goes to the detriment of the wider Europe, which actually nowadays loses jobs to Germany (and not to China). that is a new situation which is harshly destabilising Europe and not at all realized yet by many.

      Acorda Maria Bonita / Levanta vai fazer o café / Que o dia já vem raiando / E a polícia já está de pé

      by marsanges on Thu May 26, 2011 at 11:22:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why the 1% has nothing to fear: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrkvica, 3goldens

    Because a large segment of those who should oppose their agenda still have religious like faith in our Royal Family, who in turn have given JP Morgan the Chief of Staff position in the White House.

    Yeah.  Wall Street must be trembling.

    But on the other hand, the pictures of our Royal Family's European Vacation are absolutely beautiful!

    The only thing more breathtaking than an Obama photo diary is the continued spectacle of Wall Street thugs and corporations liquidating the middle class to the Soundtrack of the Clap Louder crowd.

    Obama gave JP Morgan the Chief of Staff office in the WH. Obama's commitment to transparency is now beyond question.

    by Johnathan Ivan on Thu May 26, 2011 at 10:57:51 AM PDT

  •  by the way (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrkvica, farbuska

    yeah, America is insane. We do think that. Its self destructive. It will bite you and everyone knows it.

    In a move described as "disastrous" by conservationists, [Brazil´s] congress backed a bill relaxing laws on the deforestation of hilltops and the amount of vegetation farmers must preserve. The law also offers partial amnesties for fines levied against landowners who have illegally destroyed tracts of rainforest. The legislation, which must still be passed by the Brazillian Senate and approved by President Dilma Rousseff, aims to help owners of smaller farms and ranches compete with under-regulated rivals in countries such as the USA and Argentina.

    Race to the bottom in environmental standards, precipitated by a bottom set by the US. Be proud of it Americans, while you still can pretend some magic will save you from the ecological ruin of the planet that you bring about.

    Acorda Maria Bonita / Levanta vai fazer o café / Que o dia já vem raiando / E a polícia já está de pé

    by marsanges on Thu May 26, 2011 at 11:31:27 AM PDT

  •  Irony of #21: the Brits can now joke... (0+ / 0-)

    about American's teeth lacking in dentistry.

  •  Do you happen to know (0+ / 0-)

    how the British and European press has received President and Mrs. Obama?  We here nothing here unless it is to ridicule them.

    This treatment in the US press must strike them (Brits & Europeans) as maliciously partisan  and racistly motivated.

    The Obamas are a brilliant, elegant couple who are personally VERY likeable.

  •  Funny, was thinking of moving overseas (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens

    While Dubya was in power, just to get away from the puppet and the hypocrites pulling his strings.

    Too bad that while we now have a President we can feel proud of, things are still so bad. There is a lot of good about our country, but not enough to keep me from thinking of leaving my beloved valley home in seach of someplace with better healthcare, unemployment benefits, and where I won't have to work until I'm 90 because we can't afford for me to retire.

    "Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?" "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to" ~ Lewis Carroll

    by SisTwo on Thu May 26, 2011 at 02:17:24 PM PDT

  •  It's a great time to be an Oligarch! (0+ / 0-)

    As long as you don't care about the future of the planet of course.

    But then if you don't care about your fellow countrymen or humans generally, why the fuck would you care about the planet?

    “The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking, and thus we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.” – Einstein (1946)

    by Earth Ling on Thu May 26, 2011 at 02:59:08 PM PDT

  •  How does this help us with forwarding our agenda? (0+ / 0-)

    No offense, but don't we already know these things? I don't need Europe to validate what I already see and experience every day.

    Europe has it's own issues to worry about beyond just the PIGS. I admire their social safety net, but Europe must deal with it's own darkness and ugliness.

    I ask again, how does this help us persuade and organize the voters we need to elect the political representatives needed to advance our agenda? Am I missing something here?

    "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." ...Bertrand Russell

    by sebastianguy99 on Thu May 26, 2011 at 03:22:51 PM PDT

  •  I enjoy the diary's bilingual nature... (0+ / 0-)

    and most of what you have written having lived in Europe myself. I would suggest for future diaries of this nature not to alternate between English and German. Instead post the whole diary in English and then the whole thing in German without alternating. I found that a bit distracting and I think it would read much better in both languages that way.

  •  As always, a superb summation of our cultural (0+ / 0-)

    insanity. We're going to pull ourselves up from our boot straps so we can give even bigger tax cuts to billionaires because that's what America was founded on and what the Founding Fathers--direct representatives of God himself--would want.

    Radio Free Moscow -- A Blue Beacon in the Red State of Idaho -8.5219, -2.0592

    by brentbent on Thu May 26, 2011 at 05:13:52 PM PDT

  •  Diary's off the rec list so I'll presume (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Democrats Ramshield

    to suggest a formatting change for the future. If you like this, more or less, I can give you the coding, and a link to the different background colors you could have instead.

    After previewing it seems to lose a little bit in the comments as opposed to a diary, where I worked this out. In the diary width there is a space around the body so it doesn't crash into the border frames. Naturally, the tables run wider, so the depth is less. So allow for that.

    A cleverer chap or chip (feminine?) could tell you how to make each column a different color.

    And I just like green, it could be yellow or any color. And for some reason, I can't get rid of the space between the last line here and the table.









    English
    German
    Intro:
    Written by an American expat living in the European Union who holds an MBA degree.
    Intro:
    Geschrieben von einem ausgewanderten Amerikaner der in der Europäischen Union Lebt

    It wasn't until I left America that I started to realize how badly the American plutocrat owned media lies to the American people through its disinformation campaign.

    Well today for a span of at least this one Daily Kos diary, you will get to see what the American plutocrat owned media never wants you to see, and that is how Europe in particular and the world in general has come to see America as a country in decline, whose people are so badly misinformed by the media, they actually don't realize that America is the only major industrialized nation in the world that by right of law does not offer universal medical access, paid sick leave, paid maternity leave and paid annual leave.

    It just seems almost impossible to get that word out to the American people. Even diaries on that subject at the Daily Kos top out at just over 3,000 views. Let's please remember the purpose of the plutocrat owned commercial media isn't so much to inform us but rather to sell commercial advertising space.


    Nicht bevor ich Amerika verliess, began ich zu erkennen, in welchem Masse die den Amerikanischen Plutokraten gehörenden Medien das Amerikanische Volk durch ihre Misinformationskampagnen belügen.

    Heute nun, für zumindest eine Spanne dieses Tagesberichtes, werden sie sehen was sie die Amerikanischen Plutokraten gehörenden Medien nie sehen lassen wollen und das ist, wie besonders Europa und die Welt im Allegemeinen, Amerika als ein Land im Niedergang sieht, dessen Bürger so schlecht durch die Medien informiert sind, dass sie tatsächlich nich realisieren, dass Amerika die einzige bedeutende Industrienation ist, die gesetzlich keinen Zugang zu universal medizinischer Versorgung, bezahlten Krankenurlaub, Mutterschutzperiode und bezahlten Arbeitsurlaub hat.

    Es scheint fast unmöglich diese Nachricht an das Amerikanische Volk heranzubringen. Selbst Tagesberiche über dieses Thema bringen gerade mal etwas über 3000 Daily Kos lesers. Lasst uns erinnen, dass der Zweck der Plutokraten gehörenden Medien nicht so sehr zu unserer Information dient, als dem Verkauf von Reklame.


    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Thu May 26, 2011 at 10:05:49 PM PDT

    •  To Jim P - Quick question (0+ / 0-)

      Could you please send me the source code of how you did it? You can click on my profile to send me a message or you can send me an email at: democratsramshield@yahoo.com

      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 Fri May 27, 2011 at 02:50:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I tried the internal messaging at DKos (0+ / 0-)

        and stupidly sent it to someone else.

        Anyway, that's okay, because though it previewed as the text of the coding, when I hit 'send' it rendered the HTML.

        Look for an email soon from jp_thomas.


        Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

        by Jim P on Fri May 27, 2011 at 10:27:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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