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Well, I'll hand one thing to Bush.(57 posts)

Well, I'll hand one thing to Bush.Leisure
Sep 22, 2002 3:41 AM
I believe, yes in fact I do, that Bush will, if nothing else, make it through his presidency without being caught lying on anything that anyone cares about.

Just think about the long parade of lies our recent presidents have given us:

"I am not a crook."
"I forget."
"I will not raise taxes."
And of course,
"I did not have sex with that woman."

Perhaps GWB is a moral, principled man. Or maybe he just lacks the intellectual capacity to formulate passable lies so he doesn't bother trying. I'm thinking more the latter. I admit I don't like Bush as a president even if he's probably a likeable person. He'd probably be a lot of fun at parties. But I do believe that if nothing else, when he finishes his term in office, he will leave with the image that he's the most honest, morally upstanding president America has seen since...Carter.

Give me a minute while I struggle to contain my enthusiasm.
yeah- I think Bush will behave himself-C-mond
Sep 22, 2002 6:03 AM
I liked the guy immediately when he was campaigning and told the guy next to him that a specific reporter in the audience was an @sshole- It was picked up by the mic's and heard.
When questioned Bush apologized that it was overheard but never apologized for saying it.
The worst is yet to comeStarliner
Sep 22, 2002 6:59 AM
Just wait, GWB is on his way to becoming known for the phrase,

"I'm very, very sorry."

That's after he directs us into the bottomless pit of the Middle East, alienating our allies, leading to the collapse of the dollar and the sudden and surprising emergence of the Euro as the benchmark currency of the world.
an optimist, huh?DougSloan
Sep 22, 2002 4:52 PM
Why don't you define what would be success for his first 4 years. Then, let's just see whether your gloom and doom scenario works out, or whether you'll eat your words.

Doug
Hah, the Euro,TJeanloz
Sep 23, 2002 4:19 AM
The Euro, a benchmark currency, that's funny. It might be possible if Europeans decided to work more than 20 hours a week, 30 weeks a year. Despite the enormous comeback the Euro has made over the last year, it's still more than 10% below where it opened trading three years ago.
I resent that!Stampertje
Sep 23, 2002 5:40 AM
A 60-hour week is not a sign of dedication, it's a sign of inefficiency.

I must be very inefficient :(
LOL - but you make a good pointKristin
Sep 23, 2002 6:24 AM
Hello, all you snobby American's. What's makes our people seem to think that the way we do things is necessarily the only acceptable way? My good LORD! Lets give it a break, get our heads out of our butts and stop being so freakin' arrogant. If, as a nation, a people decide a standard work week should be 20 hours, and that nation decides it will live with the economic consequences of its decision; then who has the right to pronounce judegment on them? That's how they want it. Its their choice. And until we've "walked the mile", lets not judge them for it.

I'm not so sure we should be raising up our standards anyway. Sure, we American's own many fine mansions and can buy our shiny bobbles. But how much do we enjoy all of it? People who work 60 hour weeks aren't home enough to really enjoy what they've earned? Are wealthy American's ever just content? Think about that for more than 5 seconds.

I evny the Europeans. Money and wealth are not all their chalked up to be. There is a fine line between poverty and wealth. In the middle is contentment. But you must walk the wire to find it. Poverty brings misery. Wealth brings security, but with it greed and envy and the insessant wanting of more. Wealth is a bottomless pit. The key to learning true happiness is to NOT purchase that next "thing" you want so badly. And it will suck--at first--but then you learn the secret.

Sofa's are functional for more than 4 years. (The average American family will spend $9,000 on sofas between the age of 30-70.)

Cars can be driven to 100-200,000 miles

Rust isn't the end of the world

Trinkets become clutter (Really, they do. At you next yard sale, add up what you paid for everything you are selling that wasn't "necessary".)

True happiness is a stoll in the woods on a crisp autumn day

One fashionable and shoddy peice of furniture purchased in a hurry will be on the curb in 3 years.

One well made peice of furniture--planned for and saved for--will become a treasured heirloom for your great grandchildren
Opps... They're, not their...sorry. And...Kristin
Sep 23, 2002 6:35 AM
I'm writing this after a weekend of packing. I live in an 1,100 square foot space. This weekend I:

*Donated 4 boxes of unworn clothes. (I kept 5 hideous outfits from the early 90's for kids play clothes.)
*Donated a television (one of two), a box of kitchen things, 20 books, 4 book bags, and a scanner that was never plugged in.
*Threw out 6 bags of trash including 25 unworn T-Shirts (why do American's make so many T-Shirs? No one wears them.)

I will sell on ebay:
*An excercise bike I used 5 times
*A synthesizer I play 100 times over 15 years
*A freezer used for two months, then stored for 2 years
I'm not passing judgement,TJeanloz
Sep 23, 2002 6:46 AM
I'm not saying it's right or wrong, I'm just saying that as long as the European work ethic doesn't change (and the American ethic also remains constant), the European economy has no chance of beating the American one. And if they're O.K. with that (which, apparently they are) good for them.
Americans - deduct the time you spend here from work...jose_Tex_mex
Sep 23, 2002 7:48 AM
... and you will probably work the same number of hours a European does :-)
On the surface Americans may appear to have a higher standard of living. However, I do believe the Euro's have a better quality of life.
In America the dream is to own a home. The country with the highest % of people owning a second home is France. They get something like 8 weeks off every year and work less hours per week. Lesson learned - work harder not smarter.
Deduct all those items my fellow Americans are paying off on their credit card and the leased cars and where does that leave our standard?
Also, calculate the true amount you spend paying taxes and you will find that in the US many of us are taxed to the 50% and even 60% that we laugh at in Europe - at least they get something for their money.
Finally, many unemployed Euro's are far better off than the working poor of America.
There's a reason why our country is suffering from an overweight epedemic and out of control medications - unhappiness. We are overworked and ever stressed. I honestly believe we are made to deal with so much crap during the day that the last thing we want to thing about when we get home is politics and gov't. Thus, the weenies can do what they want when they want and most of us are just too apathetic to care.
Just my rant...
BTW - my car has nearly 1/4 of a million miles...
LOL - That means I work...gulp...Kristin
Sep 23, 2002 8:26 AM
10 hours a week. I'm ready to go. Who else wants to move to Europe? I'd be gone yesterday except that they decorate with such hideous, drab colours.
Hold on just a second there!Matno
Sep 23, 2002 12:53 PM
You said: If, as a nation, a people decide a standard work week should be 20 hours, and that nation decides it will live with the economic consequences of its decision; then who has the right to pronounce judegment on them? That's how they want it. Its their choice. And until we've "walked the mile", lets not judge them for it.

I've got a good reason to judge them for it: Try going to a U.N. meeting where those same countries are adamantly demanding that the United States "should" financially support the United Nations (which we do, to the tune of 80% of the total UN budget) even though the U.S. gets absolutely NOTHING out of the UN. (And I do mean nothing in every sense of the word). Those people have such a screwed up idea of what they "deserve" that it has long since ceased to be funny. I actually listened to an NGO from the Netherlands lobbying for a "Basic Living Allotment" for every person in the world. It was a "guaranteed annual income" of approximately $30,000 usd that would be paid for out of "existing reserves" or, if absolutely necessary, through taxation. This is an extreme example, to be sure, but it's not that far from what many people actually believe! Put that on a governmental level and just about everybody believes that the U.S. somehow "owes" them support. Time to get real here. The reason American's sound "arrogant" is because we have the most successful economic system in the world. "Envy the Europeans"? No thanks. I lived in Europe for almost 3 years and the difference is astounding. (Which isn't to say that I didn't love my time there, but it was such a relief to get back to the "land of the free"). Granted, Europeans like to look down on Americans for their lack of culture, but that is quickly being equalized (I'm not proud of the "media" that we export, but everyone else seems to gobble it up while condemning it at the same time).

Woosh! That was a mouthful. Just remember what Winston Churchill once said: "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of misery."
Are you serious? What IS the avg European workweek? nmscottfree
Sep 23, 2002 7:52 AM
Netherlands: 36 hours (I believe)Stampertje
Sep 23, 2002 9:12 AM
A week of study stands for 40 hours. Most people I know put in more time than that - they're either graduate students, who are the slaves of the scientific community, or teachers, who need to prepare for their lessons. The big difference is in the number of holidays - for me it adds up to 36 a year, plus nationally observed holidays like Christmas and Queen's Day. That's seven weeks off :)
UK something silly likeEager Beagle
Sep 23, 2002 10:45 AM
44 hours - and that's an average including part timers. It's ludicrus, as is demonstated by our awful productivity rates. Doctors and lawyers (me) bump it up by doing 60+ hours weeks most weeks.

Silly, just silly...
Value of Euro meaningless...jose_Tex_mex
Sep 23, 2002 1:10 PM
I am no foreign currency expert. However, I do know the US has "allowed" a historically weak dollar in recent years. Just because the dollar does not match up to the Euro does not mean a whole lot for the states of the respective economies.

For example, the Irish Punt - historically (99.9% of the time, even after seperation from the Pound) it has been worth more than the dollar. Does this imply the Irish economy is stronger than the US - I think not.
Depends what you mean by "stronger"Eager Beagle
Sep 24, 2002 12:35 AM
The Irish ecomony had rocketed in growth terms over the past 10 years or so - far more vigorously than the US (and most other) economies. Way ahead of the European average. Concequently, the average income and standard of living have also risen strongly - again, ahead of the US.

However, whether it's sustainable is another matter. And I haven't tried buying things with Punts in other parts of the world, but I would suspect that they would not enjoy the same level of success as the $ though :)
Depends what you mean by "stronger"jose_Tex_mex
Sep 24, 2002 1:06 PM
Go back 10, 20, 30 or more years and you will see the Punt was even stronger - I know of a time when it was $4 even $7 to the Punt. My point is that a strong currency is not directly related to a strong economy.

I am not sure of the standard of living or the avg income in Ireland. I do know that the ratio between the median cost of a home and the median income displays the greatest difference in Europe. Thus, if you work in Ireland it's going to be a while before you can payoff the house you bought.
This is trueEager Beagle
Sep 25, 2002 12:34 AM
The UK currently is a prime example - the £ is so stong that exports are suffering badly. Actually it probably is a sign of a short term strong economy, but one that, if the nation has a balance of trade defecit, has to deflate?

I didn't know that - where did you find that info? I suspect though that it may be a queston of "averages" - there are still a lot of very cheap properties in rural areas, but prices in the boom areas (Dublin in particular of course) have gone totally statospheric. I ask because I have always though it would be a very nice place to have a small bolt-hole.

I thought things here in the UK were bad enough, with the average mortgage being 25-30 years, and more and more people finding that their chosen repayment vehicles (typically endowlments) are not going to finance the final purchase. Hard to believe that it could be much more silly anywhere else...
It's funny listening to Americans talk about Europe....Eager Beagle
Sep 24, 2002 12:56 AM
I like America. I worked there, visit, and have some friends who have emigrated there. Blah blah blah. But let's get a couple of things straight here please.

1) Europe isn't a country. Or one land mass. Or one governmental system. There is an extrordinary variety of people, govenmental systems, political and econimic appraoaches, cultures, religions, fiscal regiemes, military structures, laws and legal systems and so forth. So some of these sweeping genralisations are as worthless as they are amusing.

2) Im my experience, most Europeans don't look down on Americans for a lack of culture/history or the like. What they do tend to wonder is:

a) What they hell is their forign policy all about (besides oil), especially re Israel and the Middle East?

b) Why do they spend so much on the Armed Services and weapons of war when they have such a poor healthcare regieme at home?

c) Why will the US government not sign up to treaties that are designed to save the world from global warming?

d) Why is America so violent when it's so wealthy?

Just a bit of European prespective there...
A few trite reponses;TJeanloz
Sep 24, 2002 6:23 AM
Keep in mind that I'm a dual national; maintaining both American and Swiss citizenship, but here are the American answers to your questions:

A) America cares about Israel because it has a large, vocal, and politically powerful Jewish lobby that cares about Israel. And the system is such that by definition, anything a large group of people care about, the Government cares about.

B) We spend so much on defense because we need to bail out you defensless dweebs who spent all of your money on healthcare. How many wars are we fighting that our in former European colonies (ie instigated by a European power and left to simmer)? How many times have we had to bail out European countries?

C) We won't sign up for treaties because they tend to have the cards stacked against us (even if it's our own fault) and we are powerful enough that we don't have to.

D) America is really not more violent than anywhere else I've ever lived (including France and Switzerland); you just see more of it on the news, and more importantly, on dramatic television (ie the Sopranos). If I were in Europe, and saw American TV, I would wonder what the problem was as well.
Ditto.Eager Beagle
Sep 24, 2002 6:32 AM
A) We know. Rhetorical question.

B) How many indeed - please explain. Perhaps you'd like to fit Vietman into that context? And while you are at it, perhaps you like to distinguish the invites from the gatecrashes?

C) Thanks for caring about the planet. Typical "where's the self interest - us v them" attitude/analysis.

D) Suggest you check your facts - look at the murder per capita figures, especially for the cities. Are you really trying to pretend that that for example, Spain is as violent as the US?
Ditto.TJeanloz
Sep 24, 2002 7:00 AM
B) Starting with: World War I; World War II; Vietnam (an abandoned French colony); Gulf War (Britain); Bosnia and Herzogovenia (where we were criticized for being "too late"- way to go European neighbors); Afghanistan in the 1980s (Britain); Afghanistan in the 2000s (Russia).

When, since the War of 1812, has Europe come to the actual and helpful defense of the United States?

D) I concede that murder per capita figures are higher in the United States than in most of Europe (Hungary and N. Ireland are higher). But murder does not a crime rate make, and petty crime is, in my experience (though I can't find viable statistical evidence) is far worse in France, Italy, and Spain.
Eh?Eager Beagle
Sep 24, 2002 7:25 AM
B) Sorry - I don't see your "defenceless dweebs" in there anywhere?

"Afghanistan in the 1980s (Britain)" - please explain?

Since when has Russian been in Europe exactly?

Never - why would we need to/when were we asked to?

D) Well, I have to say that your comments on European working hours tell us all we need to know about your experience of Europe...
Eh?TJeanloz
Sep 24, 2002 7:34 AM
You're right, I'll ignore the fact that Europe sat idly by while Hitler killed 6 million (I suppose you tried to fight back- good job) appeasement worked wonders, didn't it. And while people were being butchered in Bosnia and Herzogovenia, kudos again. I'm very glad that the United States doesn't take foreign policy advice from Europe.

In American schools, Russia has always been the eastern edge of Europe, with the Ural Mountains as the divisor between Asia and Europe. But guess what, it doesn't really matter to us- Americans differentiate in two ways: the United States, and the Rest of the World.

You wouldn't need to help us, precisely because we spend so much on defense so that we don't need your help. But don't criticize us for defending ourselves (and you), and then say: we'd like to help, but you never seem to need us.
Amazing...Eager Beagle
Sep 24, 2002 7:56 AM
One hears a stunningly, appauling, ignorant unbalanced rant like that -

"Europe sat idly by while Hitler killed 6 million" -

and yet one recalls people asking after the atrocity of September 11 last year "why do the hate us?".

See if you can work out the connection?

I hope you have the sense and decency not to come out with that disgusing rubbish when you are face to face with Europeans who lost loved ones during the war.

I genuinely feel sorry for you.
Amazing...TJeanloz
Sep 24, 2002 8:06 AM
Do you deny the policy of appeasment? Did it not happen? Did Hitler not successfully invade and control most of Europe? Did the United States not liberate Europe from his grasp, and then proceed to donate millions of dollars to rebuild the Continent? What part of my history have I punted on?

What, exactly, did Europe do to save itself in 1935-1945?

I don't wonder why people hate the United States- I know why they hate us. The interesting thing here, is that, despite my caveat in the first post, refuse to acknowledge that I'm speaking as a European as well as an American; I grew up mostly in France and Switzerland, and I think the European attitude is pathetic.
Sometimes it's just not worthEager Beagle
Sep 24, 2002 8:12 AM
trying to have mature debate with someone.

You are one of those people.

Perhaps one day I'll have the pleasure of meeting you and explaining to your tiny ignornat mind how many of my family were killed the war defending themselves and the rest of Europe.

Then, just perhaps, you'll muster the decency to have a little moderation and humility.
I empathize,TJeanloz
Sep 24, 2002 8:59 AM
Maybe someday we could compare notes about how many people in our families were killed defending Europe. None of mine were American- I'm not saying that Europe didn't try to defend itself; I'm just pointing out that they left themselves incapable of successfully doing so.

I am embarrassed for Europe, who have an enormous entitlement and inferiority complex regarding the United States. Europeans sit on the sidelines and tell the U.S. how to do things, and then criticize when the U.S. acts, and also criticize when the U.S. doesn't act. Europe was critical of the U.S. not going into Rwanda, and is also critical of the U.S. mission to Somalia- the United States realizes that it can't win the hearts and minds of Europe, so it has stopped trying to.
Gulf War?Kristin
Sep 24, 2002 7:50 AM
Are you really making a claim that we weren't involved in the Gulf War? Has your social studies class not reached to the 20th Century yet?

And this is how the UN defines Europe:

Eastern Europe:
Belarus
Bulgaria
Czech Republic
Hungary
Poland
Republic of Moldova
Romania
Russian Federation
Slovakia
Ukraine

Southern Europe:
Albania
Andorra
Bosnia Herzegovina
Croatia
Gibraltar
Greece
Holy See
Italy
Malta
Portugal
San Marino
Slovenia
Spain
The former Yugoslav Rep. of Macedonia
Yugoslavia

Western Europe:
Austria
Belgium
France
Germany
Liechtenstein
Luxembourg
Monaco
Netherlands
Switzerland

Northern Europe:
Denmark
Estonia
Faeroe Islands
Finland
Iceland
Ireland
Latvia
Lithuania
Norway
Sweden
United Kingdom
How could I make that claim?TJeanloz
Sep 24, 2002 8:00 AM
I make the claim that we're fixing problems in the Middle East that were set in motion by Britain's partitioning of land that they controlled. Historically, none of the countries that make up the middle east existed as we now know them, and Britain had an awful lot to do with the situation that presently exists- including the Israeli mess.

I see the U.N. agrees that the Russian Federation is in Europe.
T - Line up the threads...I was responding to the BeagleKristin
Sep 24, 2002 8:54 AM
not to you. As the posts read, you claimed that we were in the Gulf War -- which was not entirely our conflict -- and Beagle responded by claiming we weren't involved. I was responded to HIS post. We're in agreement here.
They don't line up, but anyway..Eager Beagle
Sep 24, 2002 9:09 AM
I didn't mention the Gulf War?

I shall treat your snyde studies remark to the response it deserves.
UmKristin
Sep 24, 2002 9:18 AM
You said, "B) Sorry - I don't see your "defenceless dweebs" in there anywhere? "

In response to the TJeanloz's coments, "B) Starting with: World War I; World War II; Vietnam (an abandoned French colony); Gulf War (Britain); Bosnia and Herzogovenia (where we were criticized for being "too late"- way to go European neighbors); Afghanistan in the 1980s (Britain); Afghanistan in the 2000s (Russia)."

Perhaps you just read T's post too quickly. Though this whole conversation has been a bit conveluted.
What I meant wasEager Beagle
Sep 24, 2002 9:27 AM
I don't see how the US involvement in the Gulf makes Europe "defenseless dweebs".

Not least as Europe wasn't defending itself - it hadn't been threatened or invaded - and "Europe" wasn't fighting. Further, the only reason anyone, especially I would suggest, the US and Britain, was involved at all was because of oil.

Perhaps I ought to have just thrown around a few childish insults and catchphrases and I could have been on the same level?
there's another point of viewMJ
Sep 24, 2002 9:44 AM
which is that America's isolationaist position before and immedeately after WW1 led to both WW1 and WW2 - it was after all a world war - plus in most European eyes the US came three years late to both wars anyways...

Vietnam was cold war fantasy and rests exclusively at the US doostep

Gulf War was oil war necessity - understandable from a practical point of view

Afghanistan 1980's - Russia 2000's - er, you're pretty far off base here - I don't think the UK had been involved in Afghanistan for well over 100 years when the Russkies invaded - though the helpful US contribution of funding and arming Osama & Co duringthe 1980's does seem to be a unique American contribution to the region (as do Rumsfeld's meetings with Saddam in 1983)

Bosnia - Europe screwed up on that big time - nobody here has the stomach for sorting out a civil war - notably nice time of entry for the US - after the combatants had lost most of their will (and ability) to fight - but you do get points for showing up at all

Europe came to the aid of the US in Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War and most recently in Afghanistan - (I think the UK sent both their planes in each event - plus some soldiers to be regular friendly fire targets) - plus most of Europe (even Schroder's Deutschland) is likely to come on board with the right sales pitch from 'Dubya' for Iraq II - after all Tony Blair is the best US diplomat going

you lose hands down on the crime stats - for starters look at the number of people locked up in the US and perhaps the inherent racism engendered in the system - also the laughable US "drug war" - you know the laws of supply and demand - you're an economist aren't you do the math...

oh yeah - about the Swiss where do we begin? what about when Europe was butchering itself during WW1, WW2 or any of the other occassions you mentioned? we could talk about Swiss complicity in the Holocaust - at least the rest of Europe was overrun and defeated by the Nazi's
Why does America have a problem with drugs?Kristin
Sep 24, 2002 10:05 AM
MJ I can't believe I agree with you, but I do. But I still think the crime rates are hard to compare. When you just throw up the statistics, it sounds as if its dangerous to just step off a plane onto American soil. Most of us are as untouched by crime as anyone else in the world. Its not really scary to live here--accept perhaps driving on the interstates.

I'd love to see a good discussion on how America's drug problems became so bad. I think that it does contribute to making our country look bad. But most of us don't even use drugs? Do we? Perhaps we do and I'm just niave. So why is our drug problem so out of control? Is it:

A) Location
B) Politics
C) Our freedom and openness
E) Unhappy people
D) Other
E) All of the above
drugsMJ
Sep 25, 2002 12:41 AM
I think alot of people in America do drugs - drugs, er, I have heard, can be very enjoyable like alcohol - particularly if your life is blighted for any number of reasons - recreational drugs are just that - recreational - like riding a bike in many ways - that's not to make light of the very serious problems and consequences that drugs also leave (most) societies with - you live in Chicago you know what I am talking about

the drug problem is out of control because Americans have alot of money to spend on drugs (and the military apparently) and there's alot of demand - do you think Colombian drug lords would be shipping crates of coke to the states if no one bought any?

drugs are everywhere in the world - and to make the somewhat obvious point alcohol and tobacco are greater killers and far more destructive (financially, emotionally, physically) than any illegal drug bar crack and some of the synthetic amphetamines (even heroin is not destructive when pure)

the drug problem is out of control because of the current treatment and approach to the problem in the US (did you see Traffic?) - you wanna deal with the problem? - take the crime element out of it; treat it like the social problem it is; use drug treatment programmes; free needle exchanges; supply clean drugs via doctors and social workers who monitor addicts and enable addicts to continue making contributions to society rather than locking them up and leaving a permanent stain on their life; open up an out that does not result in an addict being forced into criminal activity

most crime is related to drugs - in an experiment here in the UK when heroin was prescribed in a particular city (Widnes for anybody who is interested) the crime rate dropped to almost nil, the sickness and overdosing that is normally associated with heroin disappeared as the supplies were clean - drug dealers moved on as heroin (and now crack) is the blue chip dependable product unlike X, marijuana, acid and other recreational drugs

you and other US posters who say they aren't affected by the appalling violent crime stats are probably white, middle class, non-drug users - that doesn't mean the problem doesn't exist - it means you are in many ways insulated from the violence
Yes, the typical European POV..TJeanloz
Sep 24, 2002 10:07 AM
Yes, there is always the typical European point of view, which is that no blame can ever be placed on Europe, and the United States has it within its control to do everything right, all the time. Europeans would think that we came into the war three years too late- of course it's our fault for not bailing them out earlier.

I never have made the claim that the Swiss are blameless for complicity during WWII. It was an embarrassing moment in our history, that, I will point out, we are paying retribution for right now. However, I do believe that Swiss attitudes, which I am intimately familiar with, are quite similar to other common western European attitudes, and I draw some conclusions as such.

My real problem is that Europeans want to have a voice in international matters, and complain when they don't, but in recent history have not put their money (or, rather, military) where their mouth is. And the United States isn't going to do the world's dirty work; it's going to do its own dirty work.
Do you know what?Eager Beagle
Sep 24, 2002 10:14 AM
I really think that you just aren't capable of getting it are you?

Let me try this. You do not know what the "typical European point of view" is. That is bacause it doesn't exist.

Have a look at Kristen's list. Are you really so staggeringly arrogant that you claim to know what the "typical view" of that diverse collection of nations adn peoples is?

Surely even you can understand this one - can't you?
Absolutely,TJeanloz
Sep 24, 2002 10:25 AM
I absolutely agree, 100%, I understand that there is no typical European point of view. I thought we were discussing (per your original post) questions about how Europeans tend to view America, and I gave the flipside: how Americans tend to view Europe. An important point that many people fail to see is the extreme diversity of the United States. We don't have a singular point of view. We have cities that are denser than any European city, and rural areas more sparse than any in Europe. We have no official language, and certainly no official point of view.

I thought we were speaking in gross generality- otherwise it would be just as foolish to generalize about America as it is to generalize about Europe, or anywhere else.

Do you really think that Bush has widespread support for his foreign policy in the US? The first rule about American politics is that nobody has widespread support for anything.
So you are just trolling then?Eager Beagle
Sep 24, 2002 10:31 AM
"Yes, there is always the typical European point of view"

"I'll ignore the fact that Europe sat idly by while Hitler killed 6 million "

"I'm not saying that Europe didn't try to defend itself"

"think the European attitude is pathetic."

"am embarrassed for Europe, who have an enormous entitlement and inferiority complex regarding the United States. Europeans sit on the sidelines and tell the U.S. how to do things, and then criticize when the U.S. acts, and also criticize when the U.S. doesn't act. Europe was critical of the U.S. not going into Rwanda, and is also critical of the U.S. mission to Somalia- the United States realizes that it can't win the hearts and minds of Europe"

Either that or you are very stupid.
I'll take very stupid...TJeanloz
Sep 24, 2002 10:44 AM
I thought you asked for the perspective of some Americans, and I gave them to you. It would be next to impossible for me to write a disclaimer before and after every statement, so that there was no possible confusion. I couldn't possibly pretend to represent all Americans, or all Europeans, and I have to assume that you're smart enough to know that I couldn't even try to.

On the whole, I stand by many of my statements, I am embarrassed for those Europeans who want only to blame the US for the World's problems (if you are not in this group, I am not embarrassed for you), I think that attitude is pathetic, I maintain that Europe was not able to defend itself in 1939-1945- and I think the evidence supports this.
So let's just clarify then..Eager Beagle
Sep 24, 2002 10:51 AM
on whose behalf you were speaking when you wrote this particular gem?

"I'll ignore the fact that Europe sat idly by while Hitler killed 6 million "

Or is that one that you'd prefer not to "stand by"?
Dude, who's trolling??Kristin
Sep 24, 2002 11:06 AM
It would be less confusing to ride technical downhill on crystal meth than to continue this conversation with you. You turn the tables with every breath. I've never known TJeanloz to troll, and he's been here longer than I have. I should have not taken your bait. But now that I've got free from your hook and will swim off to some better place. Adios...no, I mean au revoir.
Nope - doesn't work - try harder.Eager Beagle
Sep 24, 2002 11:12 AM
Though I think you may have been reading and writing on crystal meth.

Nasty isn't it? One of your pals writes something (a few things actually) staggering offensive to millions and millions of people, and someone picks them up on it and asks them to justify it.

Then they can't do it.

Shall I tell you what the answer is. This may be difficult.

The answer is to apologise. Say "I was wrong. Those people did not just sit idly by while 6 million jews were murdured. They gave their lives in droves to stop Hitler".

But I guess that would just take too much bravery.

Sad.
I stand by,TJeanloz
Sep 24, 2002 11:30 AM
Again, I ask, which European nation offensively attacked Germany when the holocaust was known.

Europe has blood on its hands, nobody tried to stop what Hitler was doing in his country- they were only concerned with defending their own territory. 6 years after the establishment of the first concentration camp, Germany invades Czechoslovakia, the Poland; did anybody successfully come to their defense? Anybody?

Europe sat by while this happened. Worried too much about their own defense than genocide in neighboring countries.

Do you deny that Switzerland sat idly by? Or Sweden? Or German citizens for that matter? What did they do to stop it, and are they not Europeans?

You can't honestly believe that I meant that EVERY single European sat on his hands during World War II; because I couldn't possibly have implied that every American did not. But certainly, Europe did not do enough to prevent what happened.
I was speaking with an American friend last nightEager Beagle
Sep 25, 2002 12:08 AM
Who made an interesting point on reading your bile. I think I have it word for word:

"That's the beauty of our country - ignorant dumbcr@p @asholes like that can shoot that cr@p in public all day long, and no-one wants to stop them. No-one cares that they have no idea what they are talking about, just so long as they have the right to say it".

So I suppose in that respect at least, you are a shining example of what is best about America.
I was ignoring that fact...TJeanloz
Sep 24, 2002 11:10 AM
But since you bring it up. I'd say that it is a common American viewpoint that we had to come in and stop the holocaust because Europe couldn't handle its own business. Let's look at it though- which European country attacked Germany to stop the genocide? My native Switzerland did not, we were pathetic and neutral. Sweden did not. Which European nation did anything more than (badly) try to defend its own territory?

I'm not saying this viewpoint is 100% correct- because I know it not to be- but it is certainly a relatively common belief in the United States.
No.Eager Beagle
Sep 24, 2002 11:15 AM
You can't wriggle out of it like that - that's not what you wrote.

What you wrote must be about one of the most offensive and ignorant views I have seen in a long, long while.

See my reply to Kristen.
Yes, the typical European POV..MJ
Sep 25, 2002 12:57 AM
I think Europe as a collective whole and as independent nations has made a series of mistakes - I agree if you wanna complain about stuff you have to make a contribution and put your money and your military where your mouth is - the same people here who complain about US inactivity in a subject are often the same people who complain about US activity on a similar subject

but if you want to hold the mantle as the world's saviour there's more required than marching in with the military mon frere - ounce of prevention pound of cure etc. - you gotta be pretty freaking thick to think that people prefer US military action to a more considered and earlier engagement...

the embarassing point in Swiss history was only admitted in the past few years after overwhelming evidence forced private and public interests to admit complicity - even then only under legal duress - that is more shameful than complicity in the first place - FWIW - I have spent considerable time in Switzerland (a beautiful nation of shop keepers) and I find the attitude markedly different from other surrounding Euro nations

I think the Euro perspective as Mr Beagle mentioned above is that it appears that the US is more interested in sorting out problems abroad than the huge domestic problems - why does the US have a military budget larger than the next 9 largest military budgets combined when health care/poverty/penal system is in its' current state?

I know I'd rather have health care than a military that can fight cold war style war, large manpower on two plus fronts - who exactly is the enemy - who exactly is going to attack you which would require such resources?

it's naive to think that US dirty work isn't the world's dirty work too
Information about international crime statiticsKristin
Sep 24, 2002 7:38 AM
I would be shocked if you knew any actual murder figures for say: London, Chicago, New York, Dublin, Tirana, Paris, Munich and Istanbul. But even if you did, would the numbers you know really prove anything?? The UN isn't even sure yet how to compare crime rates for nations that differ drastically in the way the gather and measure crime statistics.

Browse These Links:
http://www.uncjin.org/Special/c2.html
http://www.criminology.fsu.edu/transcrime/week3.htm

I tried to pull up the crime rates from the UN Demographics Yearbook, but its like finding a needle in a haystack. Perhaps someone else (with better search skills) can locate the crime data.
http://unstats.un.org/unsd/databases.htm

As a hint... Estonia published this statistical European info from the yearbook:
http://www.undp.ee/nhdr00/en/2.3.html
Indeed.Eager Beagle
Sep 24, 2002 8:27 AM
My point was not any form of "we are safer than you", but simply to make the point that I have heard lots of Europeans (and others) ask that question in absolute terms.

Perhaps it's because it seems easier to understand why poorer countries are violent for all the obvious reasons, but it is less easy to see why there is such a proliferation of crime/guns/drugs when a nation has such wealth.

Actually it's a question that is being asked more and more here in the UK, as we seem to be heading in the same direction, and have gangs of money, but a poor spread of it (we still have shocking child poverty levels even by the government's own benchmarks).
Well you must understand that its the "Nation" that has wealth, not the people.Kristin
Sep 24, 2002 9:14 AM
Yes some people have vast wealth. But we have large pockets of vast poverty as well--mostly pooled in our major cities. Our nation overall is wealthy, but among individuals, it varies greatly. And generalizations made by Europeans about America are about as accurate as generalizations made by Americans about Europe.

So claim, if you like, that the United States is a wealthy nation. But don't deduct that American's are wealthy people as a result. Yes, we may earn more than people in other western nations (France, Spain, England); but we also pay more for a chicken, and a peice of furniture, housing and healthcare. Besides that, we are slaves to the rampant materialism that drives the economic machine. If we stopped buying and selling all this crap we peddle, America would change considerably. We would lose our "wealthy" status among the nations of the world. I'm a white-collar/blue-collar, middle-class American. White collar, middle class Americans are the largest people group in the country. And crime within this group is fairly low. Its the poverty in our cities, gang activity and drug trafficing that drives our murder rates up.
I wasn't makingEager Beagle
Sep 24, 2002 9:24 AM
generalisations aboiut the USA as I am well aware of the extremely limited value of them - just reporting what the "word on the street" is here in my experience - see the original post.

My point was that, other than some very old stand-up comedy routines, I haven't ever heard people mocking Americans for lack of history/culture. I simply dared to mention some of the questons that you do hear asked. I can see that some folk are hyper-sensitive about this. Fine.

What is clear from all this is that it's appparently forbidden to raise any issue re the US without getting responses from some quarters consisting of personal attacks and no end of replies trying to tell me, as a European, what I and all the others think. It's as tedious as it is inaccurate.
You raised a point that didn't seem well thought outKristin
Sep 24, 2002 9:51 AM
I'm not allowed to respond to that? No one in the world can truly compare murder rates among the nations. The way this statistical data is collected is too inconsistent from one place to the next. You claim that our murder rate per capita is higher than any place in Europe. I'm just drawing that statement into question. I don't think its founded. Did I do something wrong?

I am sorry about the personal insult. That was a low blow. Your post seemed to read as if you were saying that we were the dweebs and weren't involved in any of the conflicts that were mentioned.
What are you talking about?Eager Beagle
Sep 24, 2002 9:58 AM
I have not claimed anywhere that you per capita murder rate is higher than anywhere in Europe. Simple as that - I haven't. In fact, I haven't "claimed" anything - I have simply passed on some common comments from over here in "Europe" - don't keep shooting the messenger.

Please read my original post - the bit that begins "in my experience".

Thank you for the apology.

Re the "dweebs" - well, it doesn't say that.