America At The Crossroad

Aug 31st, 2007, 04:27 PM
  #81  
 
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Our most commonly asked question during last visit to UK, 2006; "When are you going to get rid of that president?" Always said with a friendly smile. BMK
bobbymckaye is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 05:04 PM
  #82  
 
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I stated earlier that "My impression of Europe, especially Continental Europe, is that young people are offered a much more limited choice of beliefs and belief systems that are considered politically and socially acceptable." Someone requested examples.

I can think of two off the top of my head.

The ostracism and disgraceful treatment of Bjørn Lomborg for contradicting European environmental orthodoxy. He has been physically assaulted and compared to a Holocaust denier. He does not deny global warming, he simply does not accept all the "doom and gloom" rhetoric as fact.

The second example is from this very thread. Elina made comments such as "Whats' to argue about" and "of course, everyone agrees". If this is characteristic of the European mindset I pity the brave soul that doesn't agree and believes there should be a debate.

I have been pro-choice since I was old enough to understand what it means. Yet even I find the statement "Abortion? What is there to argue about?" incredibly closed-minded.
smueller is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 05:38 PM
  #83  
 
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<<"Abortion? What is there to argue about?" incredibly closed-minded.>>

No. Just the opposite. It is a woman's personal decision and not a matter for the state...or do you defer to the church in this matter? The decision has been made - years ago...do you want to change that or just argue about it?
robjame is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 07:34 PM
  #84  
 
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I'm pro-Choice, but I don't expect everyone to agree with me, and I certainly don't assume that everyone agrees with me.

My point was that statements such as "What's there to argue about?" are indicative of a society that demands a high degree of conformity.

It is my impression that the US has a greater diversity of opinions than Europe, especially continental Europe. Americans love to disagree.
smueller is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 07:47 PM
  #85  
 
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Let's take the French...

<<young people are offered a much more limited choice of beliefs and belief systems that are considered politically and socially acceptable>>

The word bohemian originated in France. Students of all disciplines flock there today. The student protests are notorious and accepted. Some of the greatest free thinkers in the world came from there.
I will quote from Nadeau and Barlow’s brilliant social examination of the French in the book “Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong”:
-The art of rhetoric is so alien to North American culture that few people even understand what it is.
-The French learn to value and practise eloquence from a young age
-The analytical mode of reasoning is integrated into the entire school corpus.
French students study philosophy in grade twelve and learn to analyze problems by using categories and systems of classes, even before they enter university.
Do a little research into the nine Institut d’etudes politique and I think you will release how broad and extensive their political and belief systems are. Perhaps the difference from our school system is they are trained to think, it isn’t just a haphazard exercise (Note I said "how" not "what").
robjame is offline  
Sep 1st, 2007, 03:40 AM
  #86  
 
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>>>elina - CNN hired the South Carolina idiot to do a geography spot on their website. And people are defending her and finding her amusing on YouTube (check the comments). I guarantee that she'll be on some reality TV program in the next year.<<<

I did. A bit spooky.

>>>I get the impression & maybe I'm wrong but you're all for protest as long as it's protesting against things you don't like.<<<

Well, yes, you are wrong. I am used to protests. I have lived through times when I watched big marches with red flags flying and intelligent slogans like "employer is a pig", and just because my political opinions were a far cry from the protestors´opinions, I didn´t see anything wrong in their marches.

>>>But a conservative protest is wrong?
<<<

It is wrong if it is violent. And if it is violent – in my opinion – it means that the conservative would not allow any other opinion or practise than his/her own.

>>>Yet even I find the statement "Abortion? What is there to argue about?" incredibly closed-minded.
<<<

I get a feeling that you are a man. As a woman I find a thought that I could not be the master of my own body frightening. Diminishes me into something that other people control.

And back to this:

>>><<young people are offered a much more limited choice of beliefs and belief systems that are considered politically and socially acceptable>>

That is the opposite. Robjame already explained the teaching of philosophy and rhetorics in France. Philosophy is a high school subject also here. And kids are also taught all the major religions, not as something that they have to believe in in, but as "general knowledge". So if somebody gets a kick out of buddhism, s/he at least knows what it is all about.
elina is offline  
Sep 1st, 2007, 04:20 AM
  #87  
 
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And Ingo and Robjame have both already said this: Those topics that are argued and discussed today in the US were argued and discussed here already 30 years ago.
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Sep 1st, 2007, 06:12 AM
  #88  
ira
 
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>These people (elected by the few)...

Oh come off it already. Gore lost because he lost TN (his home state) and AK (Clinton's home state). Kerry lost because he was outvoted.

The Democratic party just didn't deliver the votes.

>Our most commonly asked question during last visit to UK, 2006; "When are you going to get rid of that president?"<

On January 21, 2009. Don't they know anything about the US political system? I wonder if they could find the USSR on a world map.

>The decision [on abortion] has been made - years ago...

It will be interesting to hear what our current Supreme Court has to say about that.

>Those topics that are argued and discussed today in the US were argued and discussed here already 30 years ago.

So, what about race relations?


Feeling a bit naughty.






ira is offline  
Sep 1st, 2007, 07:04 AM
  #89  
 
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Robjame, America utilizes rhetoric on a daily basis. A nicely dressed man/woman stands in front of a judge and a jury and uses eloquence and an analytical mode of reasoning with the aim of subverting the truth.

From what my French friends tell me, the cafe crowd does exactly the same thing. While it may be an art form, its also merely sport.
altajoe is offline  
Sep 1st, 2007, 07:20 AM
  #90  
 
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Anyone that believes French "Bohemians" are some type of avant-garde political force, should read the book "Bobos in Paradise" by David Brooks.
smueller is offline  
Sep 1st, 2007, 07:23 AM
  #91  
 
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<<Feeling a bit naughty.>> I thopught your bulb was burning a little brighter than normal! 8-)

altajoe - eaxactly...I think we are on the same page.
I was responding to smueller's statement that European youths were offered a more limited choice of beliefs and belief systems than American youths. In fact they are taught in school to challenge and question, or as you correctly say, "It is a sport there."


robjame is offline  
Sep 1st, 2007, 07:28 AM
  #92  
 
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When French youth want a challenging school experience, they go overseas -- to London, these days. They used to go to America, but not anymore.
fnarf999 is offline  
Sep 1st, 2007, 07:34 AM
  #93  
 
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LOL
The Bohemians (Gypsies) of the 1800's have nothing to do with the Bobos (yuppies) of the 1990's.
robjame is offline  
Sep 1st, 2007, 07:40 AM
  #94  
Pinchme_iam_dreaming
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I believe the only true hatred of America and her citizens is made up in the minds of some Americans who's agenda needs that hate or rage to sell something?
I am sure if you talk to the man on the street in several European nation and ask them if they hate America a few may say yes. Then you cherry pick those responses.. edit out the No's and you have a commodity to sell to someone? The citizens of Europe are smart enough to know George W. Bush is not our mouth piece or who we are! Hell, half of the voting public didn't vote for him.. Either time! and now half of the citizens who did, wish they could take their vote back. American citizens didn't start the war in Iraq.. The Bush administration did for what ever reason. Like most of the 85% of Americans that didn't want Bush's dirty war.. I believe they started the war for some kind of monetary gain NOT to protect America. If protecting America was so important to them.. Why is our streets over run with drugs and guns? Why are American children so poorly educated or go to sleep at night hungry? Why do our senior citizens have to not eat so the can afford their medication? I really believe hatred of America by Europeans is in some weird sick way.. just a marketing campaign.
 
Sep 1st, 2007, 07:58 AM
  #95  
 
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rj - If you are arguing that Europe was a politically dynamic environment two centuries ago, we have no disagreement.

But let's clarify one point. You sincerely believe that Europe is more politically diverse than the US? To be specific, I am not referring to the number of political parties or minor fringe movements (of which the US certainly has its share) but the distance from one end of the mainstream political spectrum to the other.

For example, the difference in positions between Ségolène Royale and Nicolas Sarkozy or David Cameron and Gordon Brown as opposed to those between George Bush and John Kerry.

Beyond disagreements over the EU constitution, the mainstream political differences in continental Europe seem more quantitative than qualitative.
smueller is offline  
Sep 1st, 2007, 09:09 AM
  #96  
 
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I see this as a strength, not as a weakness. Political leaders in Europe represent a HUGE majority of their citizens. Unlike either GW Bush or John Kerry would in the US.
Ingo is offline  
Sep 1st, 2007, 09:21 AM
  #97  
 
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Twenty-five years ago, there was a huge gulf in British politics between the Conservative Margaret Thatcher on the one hand and the Labour party Michael Foot on the other.

The Labour party moved to the centre in order to get elected, and the Conservatives have recently done the same in an attempt to defeat Labour. There are people in both parties who would prefer a more distinct position, but no sign at present that it would lead to electoral success.

Whether this is a more sophisticated position than exists in the United States is hard to say. Our parties have tried to emphasise their differences in the past, but it hasn't led to long-term success. It may also be that the electorate now fear the disruption that a radical change in policy would bring.
chartley is online now  
Sep 1st, 2007, 09:22 AM
  #98  
 
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Yes, it's easier to "represent everyone" when everyone thinks the same. Whether that is a strength or a weakness is a matter of debate.
smueller is offline  
Sep 1st, 2007, 01:19 PM
  #99  
 
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smueller raised the question of "the difference in positions between Ségolène Royale and Nicolas Sarkozy ... as opposed to those between George Bush and John Kerry."

One difference is that I cannot imagine Royale cosying-up to the Bush administration and its foreign policy positions in the way that Sarkozy has been doing.
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Sep 1st, 2007, 01:27 PM
  #100  
 
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<<You sincerely believe that Europe is more politically diverse than the US?>>

You bet I do.

All of your comparisons are within a couple of countries. Now consider the political diversity contrasting:
• Albania
• Andorra
• Austria
• Belarus
• Belgium
• Bosnia and Herzegovina
• Bulgaria
• Croatia
• Cyprus
• Czech Republic
• Denmark
• Estonia
• Finland
• France
• Germany
• Greece
• Holy See (Vatican City)
• Hungary
• Iceland
• Ireland
• Italy
• Latvia
• Liechtenstein
• Lithuania
• Luxembourg
• Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of
• Malta
• Moldova
• Monaco
• Netherlands
• Norway
• Poland
• Portugal
• Romania
• Russia
• San Marino
• Serbia and Montenegro
• Slovakia
• Slovenia
• Spain
• Sweden
• Switzerland
• Turkey
• Ukraine
• United Kingdom
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