ROAD TO SERFDOM VS ROAD TO HELL
In Copenhagen, Hugo Chavez got a standing ovation when he said this:
â€œour revolution seeks to help all peopleâ€¦socialism, the other ghost
that is probably wandering around this room, thatâ€™s the way to save the
planet, capitalism is the road to hell....letâ€™s fight against
capitalism and make it obey us.â€
Of course, he's preaching to a bunch of the richest dictators on the planet. And they applaud because... why again? Oh, right! Because every bit of power they take from the US and other non-craphole countries is more power they can take for themselves.
Kind of like the UN - an organization we expect to be democratic and fair when it's populated by a bunch of strongarm thugs.
Yeah, sure. How they govern at home shouldn't preclude their good behavior and intentions when given power over OTHER countries. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
You know what Venezuela needs from us in the US? A coupon for Hugo to get that laser skin resurfacing. It won't shut him up, but at least we can eat without the urge to vomit whenever the news cuts to one of his ridiculous diatribes.
Posted by: airforcewife at December 18, 2009 11:24 AM (uE3SA)
It's the president of Venezuela at a global summit our president is now attending.
Was Obama standing and clapping? What were they clapping for? What Charles Krauthammer called a "shakedown: the transfer of hundreds of billions from the industrial West to the Third World to save the planet".
Because every bit of power they take from the US and other non-craphole countries is more power they can take for themselves. And the US loves to give.
"I hope more than anything you will be able to focus on the people of this country [Afghanistan]. That's what this is all about."
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Yup, it's all about the 52st state. (Iraq is the 51st. Both may be last but not least! See below.)
And they love to ask:
The tribal leaders also made a pitch for a hydroelectric dam to go along with one the U.S. built here in the 1950s. Mullen made no promises, but said he'd see what he could do.
The disastrous effects of dam-building were visible in 1949 and only became more obvious as the project grew. But camouflaged by dreams of Pashtun ascendancy and invisible American influence, HAVA [Helmand and Arghandab Valley Authority] was as resilient as modernization theory itself, able to survive repeated debunkings while shedding the blame and the memory of failure.
Proponents of a fresh nation-building venture in Afghanistan, unaware of the results of the last one, have resurrected its imaginings.
Remember "blood for oil," the anti-war mantra of the Left? "Blood not for oil" is more like it. Not only did Paul Wolfowitz's prediction that Iraq would pay for its own reconstruction with oil revenue never come true; not only did the United States never get to fill up one crummy Humvee for free; but when Iraq staged one of the biggest oil auctions in history last week, U.S. companies left empty-handed. Russia, China and Europe came out the big winners.
"Strange," said industry experts, which is one word for it. What's also shocking is Iraq's apparent willingness to denigrate the United States by showing favoritism to hostile nations (that sacrificed nothing in Iraq's war), and disregard for American interests in the war's (supposed) aftermath.
Such benefactor-abuse fits a pattern of what you might call Iraqi de-Americanization.
U.S. government reconstruction spending, of course, equals taxpayer dollars. Beyond our incredible largesse -- which (not including the astronomical cost of the war itself) comes to $53 billion, much of which is headed down the drain as Iraqis show little capacity to maintain U.S.-provided public works projects -- one market analyst told the Times, "U.S. private investors have become negligible players in Iraq." Meanwhile, Turkey, the nation that prevented U.S. troops from transiting through during the initial invasion, has become a major commercial player in Iraq. Likewise Iran, the nuke-seeking, genocide-promising nation that fomented much of the war, particularly the IED war, on U.S. forces in Iraq.
And the United States? More like an old shoe now than anything else. Which reminds me: After that Iraqi "journalist" threw his shoes at then-President Bush, The Scotsman newspaper reported that the Istanbul-based shoe manufacturer received orders from around the world, including an incredible 120,000 orders from Iraq.
What's that old Middle Eastern saying -- The shoe of my enemy's enemy is my shoe?
In Europe, the president was asked if he believed in â€œAmerican
exceptionalism,â€ and replied: â€œI believe in American exceptionalism,
just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and
the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.â€
Gee, thanks. A
simple â€œnoâ€ would have sufficed. The president of the United States is
telling us that American exceptionalism is no more than national
chauvinism, a bit of flag-waving, of no more import than the Slovenes
supporting the Slovene soccer team and the Papuans the Papuan soccer
;">I find it a bit disingenuous that one so obviously enamored of himself has problems saying something is 'exceptional' without gagging. Why would anyone bother dragging him/herself from bed in the morning if all they were shooting for was mediocre? People have probably ended it all for less. Pathetic.
Posted by: Guard Wife at April 29, 2009 09:22 AM (INo59)
GW, no one and nothing can be as exceptional as the One and Only. Certainly not America, a country his wife couldn't be proud of as an adult until last year. What a horrible place that was. But by Barack, Omerica is getting better with each day of the eOn.
Posted by: Amritas at April 29, 2009 09:50 AM (+nV09)
Rachel Lucas' encounter with British salsa reminded me of our adventure eating at a "Mexican" restaurant in Germany. And those scare quotes are definitely needed. My husband ordered something like enchiladas and it came covered in European salsa, which he tasted and then remarked, "Um, this is marinara." I'll be darned if it wasn't. Straight up marinara on top of enchiladas. Oy.
Well, it's red. It's sauce. Right?
I had to learn to make my own tortillas when we lived in New Hampshire. Some things are just that important.
Posted by: airforcewife at March 03, 2009 07:04 AM (Fb2PC)
Even though I lived within walking distance of a Taco Bell as a kid in Hawaii, I have no idea what you are talking about. It's funny ... I can spell food names, but I wouldn't recognize the actual items.
Nonetheless, I can still relate to your point. When I first visited Japan in 1986, I ate at a quasi-American fast food restaurant at the beginning and at a pizza place toward the end. I have never eaten anything Western in Japan since (except for a steak at a high class restaurant - my first host family thought I'd like it, and I did). It costs too much and tastes worse. Besides, what's the point of eating American food in Japan?
PS: I now see that you've perfectly replicated Rachel Lucas' style! I can't bear to draw deliberately shaky lines on a photo.
Posted by: Amritas at March 03, 2009 07:33 AM (+nV09)
[French Defense Minister] Morin has repeatedly said there are no plans to add to France's 2,800 soldiers [in Afghanistan], which make it the fourth-largest contributor to the operation after the United States, Britain and Germany.
"France's effort counts for more than just the number of men on the ground, first of all because they are better than the others," Morin said at a joint news conference with Petraeus after their meeting.
Spoken like a true 'murrican. The Frankistanis are meilleurrrr, and you know it!
Wait, what are the greatest of Eurabians doing assisting the oppression of the enlightened Taliban!?
My head hurts! Time to brainwash more kids, I mean, teach a class.
Posted by: kevin at February 11, 2009 11:40 AM (+nV09)
If Morin is saying that quality of the average French soldier is higher than the quality of the others, this may be a testable claim. I wonder if Morin has any evidence for it.
And I wonder what Petraeus was thinking when he heard that.
Posted by: Amritas at February 11, 2009 11:50 AM (+nV09)
"this may be a testable claim."
Yea, it's called World War II.
Posted by: tim at February 12, 2009 03:43 AM (nno0f)
Tim, I don't think I could say that to a member of the French Resistance, even if I were mumbling with my eyes to the ground.
I don't know anything about the French forces in Afghanistan. So I think it's possible that we're getting the crÃ¨me de la crÃ¨me. But is it probable? My guess is that Morin was just thoughtlessly boasting, though I really have no idea.
Posted by: Amritas at February 12, 2009 02:43 PM (Wxe3L)
All I know is that when the unit of the 101st that I was with confronted hostiles, the company of French Marines guarding our right flank broke ranks and ran. Not one word to us, not a warning. They just ran away. Later, they actually tried to pass it off as a joke. I will never forgive them and believe them cowards for the rest of my years.
Posted by: R1 at February 13, 2009 10:20 PM (p3fh8)
Oh, and the French CG ordered us to stand our ground and hold. We did. When we asked about the French Marines returning to guard our flanks, he only shrugged.
Posted by: R1 at February 13, 2009 10:23 PM (p3fh8)
I've seen that before, but it still gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes!
Posted by: Miss Ladybug at December 04, 2008 04:53 PM (zoxao)
Oh my...thank you so much for sharing that. It actually brought tears to my eyes and gave me goose bumps. Amazing...
Posted by: Stacy at December 04, 2008 06:43 PM (/fVrW)
and then there's the teeny-boppers. . . . on whatever reality TV show is currently posing for "must-see-TV"
the sublime vs. the trendy.
Funny, because tears seem to be the stamp of the sublime.
[and yes, it was funny to see the look of apprehension on the judges faces when he said "opera"!]
Posted by: prophet at December 05, 2008 03:32 AM (3GLn5)
Loved it! And I love prophet's point: "tears seem to be the stamp of the sublime."
*Ducking rocks now* Hubby has gotten me into American Idol, but I do see real artistry in a few of the contestants. Not all, by any stretch of the imagination, but I did recognize a different artistry in the latest AI winner (David Cook). Like I said, it's different from Paul Potts's talent, but still another type of artistry, appreciable in its own way... at least in my mind. :-) As to why they don't have opera singers winning, it's a pop singing competition, (unfortunately and probably *unwisely*), so they turn down the good opera singers and tell them to stick with that. It sure would liven things up if they had all sorts of competition - and I'd be interested to see how the more sublime arts fared against the teeny-bopper crowd... :-)
Posted by: kannie at December 05, 2008 11:54 AM (iT8dn)
Actually this wasn't Idol, it was Britains got talent. On the America's got talent version, there was an opera singer also and he won the $1,000,000. His name is Neal Boyd and he sang the same song, it always make everyone cry.
Posted by: rayanne at December 05, 2008 03:58 PM (l/CzG)
A quote at the NYT from election night:
Indeed, for many who had watched this campaign from afar, there was a sense that the election was not just an American affair but something that touched people around the world, whatever their origin. "I want Obama to win with 99%, like Saddam Hussein," said Hanin Abu Ayash, who works at a television station in Dubai and monitored early returns on his computer.
Sweet merciful Jesus. I mean, that just makes me froth at the mouth and want to smash something.
There are two versions of American exceptionalism. American-American exceptionalism is Â“weÂ’re richer because weÂ’re better.Â” European-American exceptionalism is Â“youÂ’re better because youÂ’re richer.Â” Both sides agree on exceptionalism, and just see different causes and implications. The Europeans expect us, on account of our wealth, to live up to (their) ideals, while we think that our wealth ought to prove to them that our ideals are better than theirs.
Me loves Post-election Sarah...had I known an Obama election would lead to so much grokking I might have supported Obama...
That reminds me of a college literature class I took...and we were discussing, either Dubliners or Ulysses or some other James Joyce work. And the prof read a sentence outloud and looked around the classroom and said: "now what do you think of the writing of that sentence?" Nobody said anything...and seeing as no one wanted to risk losing face, I risked a guess: "oh, it's just perfect...perfect composition"....or something like that. And the prof said: "YES!" I thought it was just a stupid sentence, but could see this is what the prof thought...but right now, right this moment, I am feeling a little of what he felt with this:
"Sweet merciful Jesus. I mean, that just makes me froth at the mouth and want to smash something."
We too want Omerica to be exceptional. The Axis of Good has been missing a member since 2003. Dear Leader Kim Jong Il is suffering from loneliness. Cheer him up! Ahmadinejad is waiting with open arms.
Here is some gOOd news that should please Comrade Hanin Abu Ayash: Our Leader did win 95% ... of the African-American vote. A small percentage of Thomas Sowells still refused to vOte for the Only ChOice, but we hope they can change.
Posted by: kevin at November 08, 2008 01:05 PM (gpO+N)
OH NO HE DI-UHNT
Somebody send Sarkozy a copy of Basic Economics or Capitalism and Freedom. Apparently he needs a good economics lesson:
The idea of an all-powerful market without any rules and any political intervention is mad. Self-regulation is finished. Laissez faire is finished. The all-powerful market that is always right is finished.
I just keep reading that paragraph, open-mouthed at its stupidity. Or, as LT Nixon recently quoted, "What you just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I've ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."
What is sooo mind-boggling to me about this, is that the current crisis is because of interference and attempts of regulation in the free-market. And now that it back-fired they are saying it was because of the greed and "lawlessness" of the free market. Huh?
I am less mind-boggled by the fact that they are saying it (I expect no less from the socialist-leaning crowd); I am far more mind-boggled by the fact that for some reason, the people seem to be buying it.
Posted by: Emily at October 02, 2008 12:20 PM (jAos7)
For another thing, statistics show that Europeans are not nearly as well traveled in America as Americans are in Europe. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, some 11.4 million Europeans visited the United States in 2007, which is roughly 2.5 percent of the European population. (By contrast, a record 13.3 million Americans visited Europe in 2007, or roughly 5 percent of the U.S. population.) The lack of firsthand knowledge of the United States is arguably the biggest reason why ordinary Europeans cannot discern fact from fiction when it comes to America.
From the comments section: "Some of my most heated conversations were with people who claimed to know everything about the U.S. even though they never came here. For example, did you know the U.S. has 52 states?" Ha, I had the exact same discussion in Sweden. A guy insisted that Puerto Rico was a state and refused to listen to me when I said it is not.
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CITIZEN OF THE WORLD
In order to keep my eyeballs off the computer screen, I have been listening to Hugh Hewitt clips. But that's a bad idea because it just makes me come up with stuff I want to blog about.
I was listening to Dean Barnett and James Lileks talk about Obama's "citizen of the world" line.
I now puff my chest up and say that I was at the vanguard of this line of thought, having blogged about it two and a half years ago. (And getting exactly zero comments on the post, she adds, lest you think she really does hold herself in such esteem.)
Some commenter said yesterday that America's far left is Europe's moderate. I thought of that today in passing while reading Broca's Brain. I think people look at the world quite differently depending on how they classify themselves. If you think of yourself as an American, you see the world differently than if you think of yourself as a Global Citizen, as it seems most Europeans do. And if you think of yourself as a citizen of the universe, as Sagan does, you look at issues completely differently. Thus when Sagan talks of global warming, he thinks all humans should work together to prevent Earth's habitat from being like Mars. When an American talks about it, he typically thinks about what is best for the US first. I think the label you give yourself says a lot about how you deal with The Issues.
I agree with Lileks that when Obama calls himself "a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world," the emphasis is on the latter. And that it lacks any real sort of meaning and downplays his Americanness.
Really, there's nothing that turns me off quite as fast as when someone downplays his Americanness.
I am not a Citizen of the World. I live on this planet, but I am an American citizen. I don't really recognize this entity that Obama calls "the world," some sort of collective of human beings who all want the same things: peace, love, and kumbaya. I don't think that exists. I believe that human life patterns the Animal Planet channel, where each species vies for position and does what it takes to stay alive and get ahead. We accept that in the animal kingdom, but for some reason we think humans should all want to share and be humble. I wish we could accurately see human beings the way we accurately see marine life during Shark Week.
I am thankful to be a citizen of the greatest country on this planet. I wish Obama were too, instead of relegating it to second fiddle behind meaningless "We Are the World" tripe.
This is where we completely disagree. I am a citizen of the world, and very fortunate to be an American citizen, too. And even MORE fortunate to be a Southerner.
Now get away from your computer screen!
Posted by: Sis B at July 28, 2008 07:36 AM (/2ehL)
I will also respectfully disagree. When I say I am a citizen of the world that does not mean it plays down my pride for being an American. What it means for me is that I enjoy visiting other countries, and the way I like to do that is to immerse myself and/or embrace the culture as much as I can. I want to know the people and the country as more than just a tourist who stays in luxury resorts (although that is QUITE nice on occassion). I also regard people's rights to live and practice their religion in a way they see fit as long as it doesn't harm other people. Now, that's obviously a very general statement so don't jump on it. Its a simple sentence for a complicated idea. The part about religion is where my husband and I disagree intensely and its just a conversation we can't have.
That doesn't mean that I don't regard people for what they are or countries for that they are. I tend to agree with the realist theory of international politics - every state does what is in it's own best interest. We will never see a time without conflict. We will never see a megapower, in other words, one organization or person leading the countries of the world. And frankly I don't want to see that. Its hard enough to keep Americans happy, God knows what it would take to keep every nation in the world happy.
Maybe this is an argument of semantics or different understandings of a pretty general phrase.
Sara, I think maybe we are reading the phrase differently. I am not sure I understand at all what you mean about religion, because it seems to me that you are expecting me to be intolerant of various religions, a vibe I really don't think I've given off anywhere on this blog. But as to the other point, I have lived in three different countries, speak two other languages (including the one Obama says we have to speak in order not to be boorish), etc, but that's not what I thought he meant. I thought he was appealing to a Global Community that needs to Work Together for Hope and Change. As in some sort of body of communal values and ideals that the whole world shares. I personally don't think that exists.
And Sis B, you are just a hippie. HAHAHA.
Posted by: Sarah at July 28, 2008 10:44 AM (TWet1)
First, I never insinutate or accuse. If I was ever thinking you were religiously intolerant I would have come out and said so. Or likely, since that is rude, counter productive and a bit hypocritical in and of itself I would have said nothing. Big believer in "if you don't have something nice to say". I was merely giving my top general ideas of what I believe to define that phrase. I also made the point to say "in a way they see fit as long as it doesn't harm other people" because of extrmists who are ruining their own countries and would love to destroy others.
As to your second comment, I believe I addressed that in saying that I believe in the Realist Theory. I assume you know what I was referring to, but if not let me know and I will explain farther. Maybe I should have been more clear with saying directly that I am in agreement with you that such a compromise or as you said " As in some sort of body of communal values and ideals that the whole world shares. I personally don't think that exists." I agree. So there.
None of that was accusations, and yes, I know that like me you've lived around the world and speak different languages. It is also a passion of mine. I certainly wasn't belittling you or calling you simple. Just explaining my point of view.
As far as Obama goes, which was your point afterall, I believe he might be trying to only clear up many a conservative's fear that he would ignore international relations in the same way Clinton did. I know that my father definitely thinks as much. I think his concern is not for a Global Community to get together and work together, but to try and restore trust in America and improve international relations. Any president would be wise to try and at least attain more allies to face a common enemy. It is my guess that that's the point he's trying to make.
Although, in my opinion and world tour is a bit presumptuous. It has put a bit of a sour taste in my mouth much the way Hillary assuming she'd get the nomination did. At this time, it is about convincing Americans he is the right man for the job, not the rest of the world.
I just wanted to say that I really like the analogy of human life patterning the Animal Planet channel. I have thought something to that effect for a while now, and it seems a little strange to me that some people believe that all humans have some innate selflessness that makes them want to work for the benefit of the entire world, whether or not it benefits their own species/nationality/tribe, etc.
I think that on the whole, humans tend to be fairly selfish creatures, and it will be eternally impossible to convince them all to work for the good of the world when it means giving up their own personal/national goals and comforts. I think that believing in the possibility of a united world of peace and harmony is about as realistic as believing in the tooth fairy.
That said, I agree with Sara's last 2 paragraphs in her comment above. I think he's trying to say that he cares about diplomacy, etc., but I really don't think that this was the right time to do it, or the right way. It just makes him look (a) cocky and presumptive, as if he's already won, (b) as if his priorities are in the wrong order and he cares more about the international community than America, and (c) it does sort of give the impression that he's running for Europe's vote as much as for our own. That adds to the presumption bit, and makes me just the slightest bit uncomfortable as to his aspirations for leadership. In another day and age, Obama's vast ambition might have made him an imperialist or a dictator. In this day and age, he's a globalist.
Posted by: Emily at July 29, 2008 08:23 AM (jAos7)
THEY'VE HATED US FOR MORE THAN FIVE YEARS
Betsy Newmark quotes Michael Gerson today about anti-Americanism and how it's not all Bush's fault. It certainly is not. I lived in France in 1998-99, and lots of people hated Americans; French, Swiss, Croatian, Norwegian, Canadian, Swedish, and Russian students hated us alike. The Croatian student hated us because of Bill Clinton, because his family was in danger during the air strikes in 1999. And that wasn't unilateral cowboy tactics; that was NATO. I also lived in Sweden in the summer of 2001, before 9/11. People hated Americans, namely for Kyoto that summer. I blogged about the riots in Goteborg during the EU summit, in which protesters carried paper mache Bush puppets and chanted "Go home, Bush." This was before 9/11, before Iraq, before any of these lame excuses that we hear these days about why Europe hates us. They just do. They have for a very long time. Iraq was just the frosting on the cake.
Victor Davis Hanson rips on Europe in an interview:
JF: What is it that makes the U.S. and Europe so different from each other? From the outside, the two are often perceived as a monolithic unit: the West. Does this unity really exist, or are we talking about two separate worlds? Do you think the alliance between the U.S. and Europe is made to last, or is it no more than an illusion?
VDH: We have a common legacy, as the elections in France and Germany remind us. And we coalesce when faced by a common illiberal enemy Â— whether against the Soviet empire or radical Islam.
But after the fall of the Soviet Union, you diverged onto a secularized, affluent, leisured, socialist, and pacifist path, where in the pride and arrogance of the Enlightenment you were convinced you could make heaven on earth Â— and would demonize as retrograde anyone who begged to differ.
Now you are living with the results of your arrogance: while you brand the U.S. illiberal, it grows its population, diversifies and assimilates, and offers economic opportunity and jobs; although, for a time youÂ’ve become wealthy Â— given your lack of defense spending, commercial unity, and protectionism Â— but only up to a point: soon the bill comes due as you age, face a demographic crisis, become imprisoned by secular appetites and ever growing entitlements. Once one insists on an equality of result, not one of mere opportunity, then, as Plato warned, there is no logical end to what the government will think up and the people will demand.
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WHO DOES THIS?
On the monorail on the way home from the Pajamas Media party last night, I ran into a large family from England. The grandfather was left without a seat near the family, so he came and sat by me. We chatted and joked about Las Vegas and differences he had noted between the US and England and also Canada, where he lives now. And then he said something that he thought the US was a nice country, and then he did that speaking-out-of-the-side-of-his-mouth fake whisper thing and said something like, "We aren't really so fond of that president of yours, but other than that it's a good country." Then he went on to say how the rest of his family was happy to get rid of Blair since he was in bed with Bush.
I mean, really, who does this? Who thinks it's appropriate to insult the leader of a country in the first five minutes of meeting someone from that nation? I would never dream of doing this if I met a foreigner, and especially not in his country! I hated every aspect of living in France, and still I would never start bashing the country to a Frenchman I just met. It took me three years to tell my French relatives that I had a horrible experience in their country. Telling someone you just me is just so rude it's beyond my understanding.
I didn't even bother saying anything back to this man. Overall he was nice and I didn't want to make the conversation any more uncomfortable than it already felt. Plus, if you hate Bush so much that you have to mention it during a discussion of how interesting it is that you get free drinks in American casinos, then you're beyond hope for anything I could say.
But honestly, all I could think about was, who does this?
Sadly, lots of people. I told my husband this story this morning and rhetorically asked who does this, and he said, "Well, Americans have taught this man that this is acceptable behavior." When Kirstin Dunst says she'd kill Bush and Michael Moore says our country is the worst, then foreigners think that all Americans talk like this. We have taught the world that it's OK to bash us.
Posted by: annika at November 10, 2007 11:23 PM (sDQZR)
Bush sucks ass. It's only natural that the Englishman, being intelligent, would want to inform you that he's aware that Bush is an idiot.
Posted by: Lee Atwater at November 11, 2007 03:55 PM (+LSNx)
It's sad that we are our own worst enemies in many ways.
Posted by: Nicole at November 12, 2007 08:12 AM (ehPS5)
Yesterday I read "The dezinformatsiya war" at the Braden Files (http://braden.weblogger.com/), including the intriguing remark "I learned that international respect for America is directly proportional to America's own respect for its president."
Too often I have remained silent upon hearing remarks that make my blood boil. I don't like confrontation, and I don't want to be the lone voice of disagreement in a group. I am trying to learn the art of disagreement in a polite, friendly manner. It feels rude to contradict someone, especially a stranger. But it is the silence of people like us in the face of such remarks that enables that behaviour.
Your post resonated with me. Thank you.
Posted by: hiraethin at November 12, 2007 10:49 PM (0ovhL)
Please forgive the old bastard. He mistook you for the average American who shares his frustration with our President.
But please don't mistake this criticism of Bush with bashing "us".
Bush is not us. He's our employee, though both you and he seem to have forgotten that.
Posted by: toadvynyn at November 13, 2007 06:15 PM (PpJk7)
This 72 year old Vet (101st Airborne) & Agnostic Atheist Activest says: I see some of the Clueless Clods of the Loonly Left have posted here.
Their comments show the only thing which exceeds their immense ignorance of the facts is their astronomical arrogance in thinking they have a
There were more than sufficent facts proving the Iraq War is both fully justified and a necessary part of our war on terror before we liberated Iraq. Now, with the captured evidence and statments from former Iraqi officals, there is even more proof.
(Anyone who disagrees with that is either: A. Ignorant of the facts. or B. Too lazy to learn the facts. or C. Too stupid to be able to comprehend simple little things like facts.)
All these anti war troglodytes prove is
that if ignorance is bliss, they must be
in a constant state of ecstasy!
Neil C. Reinhardt
Yep, I saw this in action. When I was in my French language class, a Hungarian, a Czech, and I did an expose on McDonald's. We went around our French town and interviewed folks about their thoughts on McDonald's. Naturally, they all thought it was a despicable place with disgusting food. And naturally there was always a line out the door and onto the sidewalk.
What I thought was especially interesting was that the Hungarian and the Czech didn't really get the concept of the difference between fast food and restaurant food. I had to explain to them that Americans do indeed eat at McDonald's, but we don't consider it Fine Dining. We actually do have sit-down restaurants that we eat at. For them in their home countries, the price of McDonald's was the same as the price at a sit-down place, so the distinction was lost on them. They thought we considered McDonald's the same thing as a fancy restaurant. So at least I can say that I dispelled one misconception during my year in France: I taught a Hungarian and a Czech that McDonald's is not classy.
Of course, this is coming from the girl who ate at Steak n Shake for her senior prom...
I've decided fancy dinners are not always the best dinners. I met my husband for the first time at a steak and shake. And although I do enjoy going out once in a while all dressed up, it's just way more fun to go to steak and shake and color with crayons on the menu. I do believe this is the redneck northern girl coming out in me.
Posted by: Josie at July 11, 2007 04:35 PM (zVz85)
I don't what this says about me, but my husband always calls me his "cheap date." Steak n Shake is just about heaven on earth for me.
I am so excited about Sarkozy's win in France yesterday. I loved this roundup of photos and ideas at Publius Pundit. But despite the surge of energy I felt yesterday, PowerLine left me feeling nervous today:
The U.S. has now seen the leadership of both France and Germany pass to figures who believe, as a general matter, that American power is a force for good in the world, and not something that needs persistently to be constrained. Let's hope that in 2009 the U.S. still has a leader who concurs.
Oh yeah, crap. Please let us weather 2008.
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I heard this story on the radio yesterday -- that British swans were turning pink and some American scientists found a cure -- and what struck me and made me laugh is that the swans on the Thames river belong to the Queen, because apparently in the 12th century the Crown claimed ownership. Ha! Royalty is so weird.
I'm reminded of my Swedish class; our teacher used to organize these debates about social issues, and they were always a lot of fun. But I'll never forget the time she tried to divide the class to argue for and against having a royal family. No one could think of a single reason to argue for it! So we ended up as a class debating the teacher. We kept asking her how a people who are so intense about equality and lagom could be content to pay up to 60% of their income in taxes while another family got a free ride. You see this dress Victoria is wearing? You paid for it! Our teacher clearly didn't understand our protestations, saying that Swedes liked the royals and thought it was a good tradition. But she didn't get any takers among the Americans to argue for royalty.
THE VOICE OF GOD SOUNDS REMARKABLY LIKE EVERY OTHER EUROPEAN
I think the Pope should've chosen his words more carefully when he said on Easter that "nothing positive comes from Iraq." Tell that to the women Uday raped, the children who were released from prison, and the girls who are going to school for the first time. Noel of Cold Fury reminds us that the Pope was once a forced member of the Hitler Youth; maybe he'd do well to remember what American sacrifice can achieve. Michael Novak thinks that the Pope is having a hard time transcending his European outlook on the world, and writes:
The Coalition forces cannot oblige Iraq to form a successful, patient, slowly maturing democracy. But the Coaliltion forces are giving the people of Iraq the chance to do so Â— a rare and precious chance in the Arab world of the last one hundred years. Maybe the vision will not succeed. But do not say that the vision itself was not positive. It was, indeed, noble, and carried out with much self-sacrifice, heroism, and devotion to others. Many Coalition forces willingly laid down their lives for the liberty and human rights of people who had earlier been strangers to them. Do not, dear European friends, contemn nor trivialize these generous sacrifices.
Man this reminds me of a story that my fiances priest told me (I think to butter up the atheist in me): he said that a priest friend of his was in Rome and met Prince Phillip (the Queen's hubs) at a gathering honoring the visit of the queen to Rome. And Prince Phillip asked the priest what he was doing in Rome, and the priest said he was working on some Vatican conference about marriage. And so Prince Phillip apparently replied in true Prince Phillip foot in mouth fashion: "No offense, but what do a bunch of guys who have never f**ked a woman, know about marriage?"
So my fiance's priest only said "effed", but I thought it was fabulous...really buttered me up to having the Catholic marrigae.
Great observation! Funny, the Dems are actually touting this comment by the Pope -- not that they listen to his opinion on other matters... Like life issues.
Posted by: Nancy at April 11, 2007 11:41 AM (8i2KG)
fuck the pope.
and in addition, fuck american involvement in iraq. it's bullshit to think that anything america does with its army in iraq will come to any good for any muslim woman there.
It's. About. The. Oil. Period.
Posted by: Will at April 11, 2007 10:55 PM (soQkB)
I was listening to Neil Boortz on the radio the other day, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about something he said. He was talking about speed limits, and apparently he's a big proponent of not having any. He says
The next time you're driving on an expressway keep track of the number of times you have to change what you're doing on the road because of a fast driver. How many times do you have to change your speed or your lane because someone is driving faster than you are? Now remember ... we're talking just speed. You may have to slow down because someone swerves into your lane .. but how many times do you have to change your speed or anything else about your driving technique simply because someone goes by driving ten or twenty miles per hour faster than you are.
Ahhh .. but how many times do you have to change what you're doing because of a slower driver? You're doing the speed limit in one of the left lanes, and suddenly you're behind a minivan going 10mph slower than you are. You have to (1) slow down, and (2) change lanes. Then you (3) speed up and then (4) change back into your travel lane after you've gone around the bluehair. The slowing down and lane often creates a ripple effect though the other drivers on the road. One of them may be caught off guard .. and a crash ensues.
Someone called in to the show and said that he drives an old VW bus and that he typically goes about 65 because his car can't handle higher speeds. Boortz told him that he has no business being on the expressway then, and he should stick to two-lane highways.
I've lived in a country with no speed limits. That doesn't really solve the problem. What Boortz apparently really wants is speed minimums. In Germany you could drive as fast as your wheels could take you, but there was still a steady stream of Dutch campers in the right hand lane going 65. So if I wanted to maintain a speed of, say, 80, I was constantly weaving in and out of campers going 65 and Audis going 95. I think I did more lane-changing and swerving in Germany than I do here in the US. Eliminating the speed limit in Germany didn't eliminate slow drivers; it just made the disparity even bigger. What Boortz appears to want is no upper limits paired with enforceable minimums. I'm not sure how we can force people to avoid expressways as they drive across the US.
German driving reminds me of French handwriting. When I lived in France, I was amazed that every French person seems to have the same handwriting. Apparently their handwriting training is strict, and they get graded on handwriting far longer than American kids do. I was even told they handwrite their job applications so employers can do handwriting analysis to find out their habits and tendencies. That's intense. So with the strict emphasis on following the rules of writing, they all end up with very similar penmanship. Same with German driving: the rules of the road are higher stakes than ours are since folks think nothing of driving 95 mph. Germans learn the rules and are much more likely to follow them. The traffic might be going pretty fast, but surprises and bonehead behavior is less likely.
Americans drive like their handwriting: everyone's got different rules going on. I think stricter adherence to the rules regarding lane changes and so forth is more important than speeds. You'll still have the pokey folks going 60 mph in the right lane, but at least they'll stay there!
Incidentally, I don't speed here in the US. I was comfortable driving 80 mph in Germany, but what I'm not comfortable with is getting a ticket. I set the cruise directly on the speed limit and get passed by nearly every car and semi out there. So folks are already speeding, regardless of what the signs say. Following the rules of the road will do more to prevent accidents than speeds do. Boortz says as much on his website, but he was focusing a lot on speeds on his radio show, which didn't sit right with me.
Actually, getting people to get off their damn cell phones would be a big step in the right direction. The first rule of driving is to Pay Attention...
I never talk on my cell while I drive. Its too distracting. You know, I often wonder, when I see just about everyone talking & driving "who are they talking to? and what is so important that you need to talk and drive, talk & shop (at grocery store, Target, just about anywhere). I mean, cant it wait until you are home?
Posted by: keri at January 18, 2007 07:45 AM (LBYUf)
I think it's reasonable to talk on the phone while driving (I do it frequently) as long as you NEVER forget that your number one priority is driving the car safely. The people on the road who are dangerous, quite simply, are the ones who lose sight of that essential fact.
Banning the use of cell phones while driving does not prevent other sources of distraction (radio, children, scenery, etc) from grabbing the attention of drivers who allow themselves to be distracted, and the logic of "because some act irresponsibly when doing X, we should ban everyone from doing X" leads down a dangerously repressive political road--one which is profoundly destructive of the individual competence necessary to sustain a democracy.
I agree with Sarah that the rules of the road which determine relative positioning, especially those regarding lane usage or spacing in adverse weather conditions, are more important than speed regulations in preventing accidents. Evidently, however, I am also more comfortable "expanding" the freeway speed limits somewhat...
Fast, but not aggressive! It works for me.
Posted by: Piercello at January 18, 2007 09:55 AM (kXpf/)
Piercello: Cell phone talking maybe isn't always causation -- because sometimes folks are just bad drivers, phone or not -- but think of all the times you've noticed correlation! I'm never surprised when someone who does something completely dangerous on the road has a phone in hand.
Posted by: Sarah at January 18, 2007 10:00 AM (BP8jf)
Certainly! It's just that we have to be careful about the choice of remedy, from a policy point of view. I have also seen lots of dangerous, reckless, and otherwise situationally unaware driving that DIDN'T involve cell phones. I've actually gotten to the point where I am rarely -surprised- by the actions of other drivers, although I am frequently aggravated (usually mildly) whenever I run across inconsiderate or incompetent driving (occasionally it's me, although I work hard on that!). Of course, for years I have been driving more than 30k miles per year...
I think we need to stress what to do (drive safely and courteously) rather than regulate through an expanding list of things not to do. It's a much more efficient way of doing business, and has the added bonus of focusing peoples' minds on what they are doing, not what they aren't.
Posted by: Piercello at January 18, 2007 12:28 PM (kXpf/)
Oh how I can relate! I obey the speed limits here in the states because 1) getting to my destination 10 minutes earlier isn't worth a $150 speeding ticket and 2) it's much easier to stop or avoid a bad situation going 65 than it is going 95...the latter will almost always get you killed. I agree that speed limits are good, if all they do is keep a few people on the road afraid of hefty tickets going a reasonable speed. I do miss the German road rules. Slow people in the right, passers in the left...when done passing, back to the right. I am certainly classified as a "slow" driver and it STILL irritates me when another slow driver chooses to putz along in the right-hand lane and then clog traffic in both lanes. It's hard to get good gas mileage when, although you're only going 65, you're constantly braking and speeding up to accomodate these people!
Posted by: Nicole at January 20, 2007 08:16 AM (8QLUb)
The real problem with speed limits is that you have "virtuous" people driving on the road. They are going the speed limit and you damned well better do it too! So they move to the inside lane and block faster traffic... because they have appointed themselves as traffic arbiters.
That's where the "speed limit" becomes a detraction. Because there is always someone who likes that inside lane and either has no concept that they are blocking traffic or they are trying to control traffic.
Out in the mid-west there is a minimum speed limit for interstate highways... it's 45mph. If you can't go at least that fast, you don't belong on a highway! I don't see that on the east coast and I see people on highways up here going 30mph!!! How dangerous is that when you have people whipping down the road at 65+ mph.
Then there's the fact that many people in the northeast never learned how to drive properly - like coming to a dead stop on highway entrance ramps... that kind of thing. It's a scary world up here - I thought Chicago was bad until I moved out here. Yikes!
But it's a large country and rules of the road that make sense out in the mid-west and west are dangerous on the east coast with its cramped narrow roads. Speed limits, or lack thereof, should be a state by state issue - not national. Someone from Massachusetts, who has never driven from say St. Louis to South Dakota, has zero concept of what that trip is like, so why should they have a say in how the roads are set up for driving?
Posted by: Teresa at January 20, 2007 10:20 AM (gsbs5)
Argh. I could care less about how fast or slow anyone goes. But for Christ's sake, if you are going 40 mph on the freeway, stay the hell in the right lane (instead of setting your cruise while driving in the left lane and looking at the 12 cars behind you thinking, why don't they just pass me on the right?) That is one thing I'll never get used to in the states. It literally makes me crazy. And they wonder why people have road rage.
Posted by: Erin at January 24, 2007 05:28 PM (k2EL+)
I thought of something I really miss about being in USAREUR.
Yes, I actually said that sentence; I can't believe it either. But it came to me in a revelation while I stood in the grocery store with cow blood all over my hands: I really miss the vacuum-packed meat. What is the deal with going to the store and getting covered in chicken and beef juice? This plastic-wrap-over-styrofoam doesn't work, people! It leaks! Which is gross and slightly dangerous. It's not healthy to be walking around covered in raw chicken, right? I hate that. I miss the days of clean packs of meat in the commissary in Germany.
CaliValleyGirl is back in L.A. after living nine years in Germany. And she just took a trip to another planet: Alabama. You must go read her post before you keep reading mine. Go on, git.
I went to college in rural Missouri, population 17,000. Interestingly enough, we had a pretty big foreign exchange community. And I had this exact conversation with a French exchange student. He was dismayed that our town in Missouri never showed any foreign films in the local movie theater, because the locals would benefit from learning about other countries. Our local movie theater had three screens. Three. I tried to explain to him that his idea was not a very sound business move for a rural movie theater, but he insisted that everyone in France is educated about the United States, so we should educate ourselves about France.
I asked him why he didn't study abroad in Finland. He got a little puzzled and said that he didn't really know anything about Finland. Well, don't they have a culture that's worth learning about? Why wasn't he interested in learning about Finland? If he wants rural Missourians to learn all about France, then shouldn't he spend some time learning about Finland? Of course it's a silly juxtaposition, but it made the point that Finland is out of his experience. Learning about Finland might be interesting in and of itself, but it does nothing to really affect his daily life or his future. He was in the US to learn English in order to hopefully get ahead in the business world. What would it help him to learn about Finland, or a rural Missourian to see a French film? Not much in a practical sense.
Everyone wants others to know about and respect his culture. It's his, right? So it must be worth learning about! But "middle America" -- Jesusland, Flyover Country, Red States, or whatever you want to call us -- are really out of the average Californian or New Yorker's experience. I can't really fault them for not knowing about us, any more than I can fault a Frenchie for not knowing about Finland, but we do make up a big freakin' chunk of the country.
I have never been to California or NYC. (Before my mom interjects, I disclose that I went to NYC as an infant, but that hardly counts for my point here.) All I know about L.A. and New York comes from TV, the same way Europeans learn about the US. The disconnect is that my entire US experience, the America that I know, comes from living in Oklahoma, Texas, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, and South Carolina. That's the US I know, and it's quite different from CaliValleyGirl's US (living in Hawaii and California).
I'm happy she visited my version of the US. I'd like to visit her version someday too. I think it can help us establish common ground, which would be good for all 300 billion of us.
Several years ago we took a trip up Hwy 1 in California, Oregon and Washington. Most the time while we were in California, until we reached extreme Northern California, my husband kept saying, "I feel like I'm in a foreign country". I just recognized we were in California, and I didn't realize how much discomfort he was feeling about it until we reached extreme N Calif and he told me how relaxed he was and felt he was back in the USA. I get the same feeling when in Boulder, CO. We've lived on the East Coast in a couple of different areas, and several on the Gulf Coast all of course, in the South.
Posted by: Ruth H at October 25, 2006 07:37 AM (Y77sF)
Posted by: Sarah at October 25, 2006 04:20 PM (7Wklx)
You and I have sooooo much common ground, Sarah...but my boyfriend and I also always make a big deal of the little differences. For example, before saying goodbye to me in Germany, my bf sat me in front of the computer and made me read some personal safety website about how to identify and avoid dangerous situations...I think he would feel best if I had and carried a gun. I think he really thinks that I would need it 24/7 here in LA. Anyhoo, America is great...loving every minute being back home!
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Dante once said that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. --President John F. Kennedy--
War is a bloody, killing business. You've got to spill their blood, or they will spill yours. --General Patton--
We've gotta keep our heads until this peace craze blows over. --Full Metal Jacket--
Those who threaten us and kill innocents around the world do not need to be treated more sensitively. They need to be destroyed. --Dick Cheney--
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The purpose of diplomacy isn't to make us feel good about Eurocentric diplomatic skills, and having countries from the axis of chocolate tie our shoelaces together does nothing to advance our infantry. --Sir George--
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Live and act within the limit of your knowledge and keep expanding it to the limit of your life.
First, go buy a six pack and swig it all down. Then, watch Ace Ventura. And after that, buy a Hard Rock Cafe shirt and come talk to me. You really need to lighten up, man.
You've got to kill people, and when you've killed enough they stop fighting --General Curtis Lemay--
If we wish to be free, if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending, if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained -- we must fight! --Patrick Henry--
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are usually just cheerleading sessions, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing but a soothing reduction in blood pressure brought about by the narcotic high of being agreed with. --Bill Whittle
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
--John Stuart Mill--
We are determined that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle, our flag will be recognized throughout the world as a symbol of freedom on the one hand and of overwhelming force on the other. --General George Marshall--
We can continue to try and clean up the gutters all over the world and spend all of our resources looking at just the dirty spots and trying to make them clean. Or we can lift our eyes up and look into the skies and move forward in an evolutionary way.
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Recent anti-Israel protests remind us again of our era's peculiar alliance: the most violent, intolerant, militantly religious movement in modern times has the peace movement on its side. --James Lileks--
As a wise man once said: we will pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
Unless the price is too high, the burden too great, the hardship too hard, the friend acts disproportionately, and the foe fights back. In which case, we need a timetable.
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You can say what you want about President Bush; but the truth is that he can take a punch. The man has taken a swift kick in the crotch for breakfast every day for 6 years and he keeps getting up with a smile in his heart and a sense of swift determination to see the job through to the best of his abilties.
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Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. --Ronald Reagan--
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Do not fear the enemy, for your enemy can only take your life. It is far better that you fear the media, for they will steal your HONOR. That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoemaking and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse. --Mark Twain--
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Every time I meet an Iraqi Army Soldier or Policeman that I haven't met before, I shake his hand and thank him for his service. Many times I am thanked for being here and helping his country. I always tell them that free people help each other and that those that truly value freedom help those seeking it no matter the cost. --Jack Army--
Right, left - the terms are useless nowadays anyway. There are statists, and there are individualists. There are pessimists, and optimists. There are people who look backwards and trust in the West, and those who look forward and trust in The World. Those are the continuums that seem to matter the most right now. --Lileks--
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
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A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself. --John Stuart Mill--
After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, "Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes." The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference." --Dave Grossman--
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A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship. --Alexander Tyler--
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So Bush is history, and we have a new president who promises to heal the planet, and yet the jihadists donâ€™t seem to have got the Obama message that there are no enemies, just friends we havenâ€™t yet held talks without preconditions with.
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There are more instances of the abridgment of freedoms
of the people by gradual and silent encroachment of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. --James Madison--
It is in the heat of emotion that good people must remember to stand on principle. --Larry Elder--
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