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(Written by an American expat living in the European Union)

This diary offers a review of the German magazine Spiegel - November issue entitled A Superpower in Decline.

This insightful and well written, well researched article covers a variety of topics, wherein it is revealed that the actual American unemployment rate is close to 20 percent, a statistic never seen since the Great Depression. It asks the question why is America in decline? This German magazine asks why is Fox news broadcasting opinion pieces likening Pres Obama to Adolf Hitler through hate filled Tea Party announcements with agitators like Glenn Beck, who are nationalists, racists and proto-fascists according to Manfred Heningson a German political scientist.
They take advantage of the economic situations almost the way the right wing intelligentsia did in the Weimar Republic.

Let me introduce the readers to first of all the Spiegel magazine. It is a well regarded journal published in Germany, well regarded for its research and journalistic integrity. The same way Time or Newsweek may be in the United States.

This diary seeks to undertake an analytical review of an article entitled A Superpower in Decline in November's edition of the Spiegel magazine. As it has bearing on the series The American Dream versus the European Dream, which through the generous support of the Kos community, I've been fortunate enough to be able to publish here.

In part 4 of this article entitled The New American Nightmare
we see that the Spiegel has presented an event at a town hall, wherein Pres Obama according to the Spiegal magazine offers a critique of Velma Hart,

quote: "Velma Hart, a stout woman in her mid 40's, stepped up to the microphone. "Mr President," she said, as her eyes teared up, I'm a mother. I'm a wife. I'm an American veteran and I'm one of your middle class Americans. And quite frankly, I'm exhausted. I'm exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that I voted for, and deeply disappointed with where we are."

Hart, who is black, voted for Obama. It was an obvious choice for her at the time, and she says that has never felt closer to an American president before. She is about the same age as the president and, like Obama, she has children......."

"The financial recession has taken an enormous toll on my family, Hart said. My husband and I have joked for years that we thought we were well beyond the hotdogs and beans era of our lives. But, quite frankly, it is starting to knock on our door and ring true that that might be where we are headed. And quite frankly, Mr President, I need you to answer this honestly: Is this my new reality?"


The Spiegel article's analysis was that Pres Obama had no real answer, that he quote, mentioned the right steps that had been taken, but that in essence he had no real answer for Velma Hart. On that point this diary begs to differ. The position that Pres Obama took was well reasoned, wherein he highlighted the accomplishments of his administration. Be that as it may, the Spiegel's analysis of the unemployment rate in the US being on or about 10 percent is certainly correct. The analysis that when people have stopped looking for work and are not registered anywhere that in fact the real unemployment number is more than likely close to a 20 percent figure, is also a responsible estimate. At which point the article goes on to tell us that this is in fact the first real instance where America has struggled with long term unemployment since the Great Depression. As such the article goes on to say this has become the new American nightmare in the United States, as exhibited through the following quote:

"In a country with a limited concept of social cohesion, laughable from a European perspective, the quiet demise could have unforeseen consequences. How strong is the cement holding together a society that manically declares any social thinking to be socialist? The US economy lost almost 100,000 jobs in September. Is this Obama's fault?"

Clearly it is not President Obama's fault. Yet the American people have punished the Obama administration, though it is not their fault, with declining poll numbers, wherein an estimated 23 million Obama voters stayed home during the mid-term elections on November 2nd 2010.

"Full of Hatred: The Tea Party, that group of white, older voters who claim that they want their country back, is angry. Fox News host Glenn Beck, a recovering alcoholic who likens Obama to Adolf Hitler, is angry. Beck doesn't know what he wants to be -- maybe a politician, maybe president, maybe a preacher -- and he doesn't know what he wants to do either, or least he hasn't come up with any specific ideas or plans. But he is full of hatred."

The new American Tea Party which is in fact largely speaking just the old American Libertarian Party dressed up to get new media ratings, wherein the Tea Party's influence of the John Birch society is quietly hushed up. Be that as it may, while it is clear that the Tea Party has ordinary Americans in its ranks, it also has a number of haters for lack of a better word! This has become so salient that Glenn Beck had to ask his supporters to leave their signs at home. At which point I'd like to point our reader's attention to the following quote from the Spiegel article. Please keep in mind this is a German news and opinion publication, which quotes Manfred Henningsen a German political scientist.

"Agitators like Glenn Beck are "nationalist, racist and proto-fascist," says Henningsen. They take advantage of the economic situation, almost the way the right wing intelligentsia did back in the Weimar Republic."

Let's please remember that Germany during WW1 and WW2 had a lot of experience with proto-fascism, nationalism as well as racism. So for a major German publication to be editorializing on this issue providing quotes from the German political science scholarly community, is clearly a red flag, because they see the historical context, and feel emboldened to publish this caveat, which by de facto states that those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it. Surely we must learn from the German experience.

For readers who may be interested here is a link to the full text of the Spiegel article.
http://www.spiegel.de/...  

I'd like to if I may please close with the quote below from the author of Were You Born on the Wrong Continent. Too many times we've heard CNBC and the Wall Street Journal declare the European Union insolvent. As I am writing from the European Union, I would ask anyone whose ever been here, who do you believe? These bias news outlets or your own eyes because the European Union in general and in German in particular are affluent today because they have learned the lessons of history. Those lessons say the best way to protect democracy is through a strong working class social safety net which includes universal medical access that can't be taken away.

Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?
How the European Model Can Help You Get a Life

BY THOMAS GEOGHEGAN
THE NEW PRESS / AUGUST 10, 2010 —Publishers Weekly
High-wage Germany, which offers the most bottom-up worker control of any European country, nearly ties with China as the leading exporter in the world, well ahead of the United States. But in China and America we work until we drop while in Germany, they take six weeks off a year (with a shocking number of four-day weekends along the way). It’s not just that the Germans can out compete us, but they seem to be doing it with one hand tied behind their backs.
http://tomgeoghegan.com/...

PS: To new readers or person unfamiliar with the Kos who are interested in following the series: The American dream vs the European dream, which documents that the United States is the only major industrialized country in the world that doesn't offer universal medical care to all residents. The United States  only major country that doesn't by law provide paid sick leave, paid maternity leave, paid annual leave. Thank you for your support. This diary series may be found at the link below:
http://democrats-ramshield.dailykos.com/

Originally posted to Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 07:33 AM PDT.

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  •  Tip Jar (381+ / 0-)
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    sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

    by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 07:33:24 AM PDT

    •  Important dairy (80+ / 0-)

      Germany has a lot more respect for its workers, than America seems to.

      There can be no glorious 'freedom agenda' without a decent paying job.

      What scares me is that the US has lost many opportunities in the last year to restart our economy with green tech. While the GOP was obstructing everything under the sun, other countries were picking up the slack, and latching onto these new energy fields to put people to work.

      ~a little change goes a long way~

      by missliberties on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:38:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the (35+ / 0-)

        problem with the 'green tech' meme is china is producing the solar panels and, I'm sure but not positive, the wind generators (small ones).  A focus on green tech will not help anything regarding the economy because we have to start manufacturing instead of buying from foreign nations that we are perfectly capable of producing ourselves and must.

        "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." Mayer Amschel Rothschild, 1790

        by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:50:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Same with any stimulus. Unless it's Buy American (11+ / 0-)

          based, the effect is diluted by half or more.  The funds, particularly the funds that benefit lower income brackets (i.e. that will be spent quickly on consumer goods), simply end up in China or Saudi Arabia, never to ripple again.

          The current annual trade deficit was 60% of the recent stimulus package.  80% of the stimulus, minus tax breaks (the bulk of which get saved and invested in value-shredding financial profit making or high-return, low-risk foreign/Asian funds).  In two years any stimulus effect is simply gone - in the US anyway.

          "Dega dega dega dega. Break up the concrete..." The Pretenders

          by Terra Mystica on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:17:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Most of the ARRA money for solar (20+ / 0-)

            must be spent on solar modules made in the US. It's one of the major requirements for funding. Chinese PV modules do not make the grade.

            In fact, many of the Chinese and German PV module manufacturers have or are planning to build PV module manufacturing plants here in the US. German companies like SolarWorld and Schott Solar already have major manufacturing here, and Chinese companies like SunTech and Yingli are planning factories. German inverter manufacturer SMA has a new factory in Colorado, allthough they are only "assembling" inverters there, not "manufacturing".

            Japanese PV companies are also manufacturing PV modules here, or are planning to.

            Oddly, Evergreen Solar, a US based PV manufacturer (in MA), is planning to move production to China. I have no idea why they think that's a good idea.

            The Right lost the Culture War 40 years ago, but are just starting to realize that fact now

            by offgrid on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:46:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Great! Seriously. There ARE bright spots. But (9+ / 0-)

              the resistance to broadening that policy is deep, and the general drain effect is still in full force.  

              Anyone who gets a job from that still shops at 80% imported-product big box stores and consumes 50% imported gas, and the value created by those products is still filtered through tax structure that favors investment elsewhere.

              And I'm an optimist in the sense that something at least can still be done to concentrate value here at home - perchance to re-energize (npi) the job-creation engine.  The bright spots you list are models for that change.  But as the diary/Der Spiegel article suggest, the momentum is in the wrong direction.

              (OT, but my personal favorite for domestically/Main Street reinvested, retained, non-offshoreable, value creation is granular energy production - i.e. a PV on every roof and/or a wind turbine in every backyard.  FWIW.)

              ...

              "Dega dega dega dega. Break up the concrete..." The Pretenders

              by Terra Mystica on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 10:11:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I second that! (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                melo, Terra Mystica

                Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber. ~Plato

                by ATFILLINOIS on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 12:51:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I fully agree; one of the reasons that our (5+ / 0-)

                economy ravages the environment so heavily is the insistence on centralized, single-source energy and production.

                For example, everyone wants electric cars that will travel just as far as gasoline models, but you'll never get there if the technology isn't developed. So hybrids are selling like hotcakes (toyota can't keep enough of the Prius model to meet demand).

                Old technologies don't instantly die. There were cars driving around about forty years before horses became less visible as every day transportation. Yet, our politicians tells us we can't replace oil because electric cars can't go as far as gasoline models.

                I ramble. Sorry. But your point is very well taken.

            •  Why not. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              melo, alizard, jayden, radical simplicity
              The so industry leader, US based First Solar has made a majrity of it's business in Germany, Spain and China, benefiting greatly from the incentives and stimulus packages from those nations. Suggest you check thaeir history and website. The larest pv Slar project in world is being built in Outer Mogoia and First Solar is the supplier.

              Why would US solar companies go to China? Because it is the largest emerging market for clean energy, spent twice what the US did on it last year and offers incentives to any company in China regardless of national origin and ownership, so is one of the few countries now helping to support start-ups get to production.

              China has a strategic national clen energy policy and feed-in tarrifs (as do Germany, Spain and others) so there is rapidly growing demand.

              People need to understand that clean energy is a global business with global opportunities and companies will follow the business and compete wherevr it is. Obviously it helps to have a home market but some US companies have actually becme big players without that by going to Europe and Asia.

              This is why it's importiant for the US to get moving and pass legislaton that prometes clean energy or it will miss the boat.

              What about my Daughter's future?

              by koNko on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 11:18:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Offtopic, but, koNko, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                koNko

                Are we all getting fatfingered as - increasingly - we type into gizmos that are easily making spelling substitutions - you sound incoherent- not like yourself at all. ( me too. I had to make an effort not to) and did not get all. Damn little gizmo.

                •  I hve other problems! (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  behan, dotcommodity

                  English is my third language and sometimes my spelling or choice of words is pretty poor.

                  But also, my keyboard is now a bit damp and sticky, recovering from an apple juice spill and can't keep up with my typing speed so it's time to s-l-o-w d-o-w-n!

                  You are right, there are numerous, obvious errors in the posts I made here last night, blogging past midnight is my favorite crime.

                  What about my Daughter's future?

                  by koNko on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:01:08 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Correct (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              offgrid
              Actually, Sharp Solar (Japan) was the first foriegn company to establish a solar pv plant in the US, in Tenessee.

              But what peole here are overlooking is that US clean energy companies have greatly benefited from clean energy initiatives in othr countries and continue to do so.

              The importiant thing to understans is that since this is a growth industry and opportunites  spring-up like mushrooms, quickly but almost randomly as countries, cities or companies decide to go clean, it has forced globalization of the industry as companies chase projects.

              Germany and China have taken the most open approach, inviting all comers to participate, and so First Solar captured the business that put it on top in Germany and start-ups like Evergreen now do the same in China.

              Market opportunities created by feed-in tarrifs, loan ganurentees and incentives work.

              But there is also a precautionary tale here too: some European clean energy companies such as E-machines that focused exclusively on local business and went to the global market too late have suffered as their competitors beat them to punch, and the same thing could happen in the US if the incentives are too inwardly focused.

              So in my opinion, Evergreen has done their homework and is not merely opportunistic in establishing a China plant but also wise to understand the already global nature of the industry and how to get market access.

              Everyone needs energy and the biggist growth will come from China, India and developing nations.

              BTW, many smaller but innovative German and American companies are doing very well  with Chinese companies as technology providers or suppliers of critical high tech components, particularly in the wind space. Suggest you visit the website of American Supeconductor, one of the most innovative and an export champion to China.

              What about my Daughter's future?

              by koNko on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:43:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Disagree on Evergreen (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                koNko

                There are now over 200 Chinese companies making PV modules. Evergreen is not moving to China to capture a share of the Chinese market, it's going there to reduce costs.

                The Chinese are now refining their own silicon and are no longer dependant on US and European silicon supply. This has caused a huge boost of supply, reducing the global cost of refined silicon, and distroyed Evergreen's biggest market advantage  -  that their "string-ribbon" technology used half the silicon of other cell production methods. When silicon was at $550/kg (early 2008), that was great. At about $30/kg (now)....not so much.

                For this same reason (silicon pricing), I don't see a very bright future for First Solar. They are making a big splash now, but their market advantage has all but disappeared at this point. Their modules are less efficiant than other technologies, and while cheaper to make, requires a great deal more land area for the same amount of power prodution. This means more cost in mounting structures and labor, which, with the declining cost of the PV itself, is now a large part of the installed system's cost.

                Let me put it this way: you won't find me investing in First Solar stock. Nor Evergreen.

                The Right lost the Culture War 40 years ago, but are just starting to realize that fact now

                by offgrid on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:41:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Maybe another reason (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  offgrid

                  Financial incentives. Asccordin to chinese Green Stimulus policy any company manufacturing qualified products in China can receive various incentives such as loan gaurentees, low interest loans, investment credits, etc.

                  And I think you also under estimate the success of foreign clean energy companies inside China; the ost definately dominated tha market in the begining and although they face more competition from domestic firms now, still capture a significant share of the market, particularly in Utility-Scale projects where cell efficiency and management systems are a more decisive factor than just the price of silicon.

                  Furthermore, many European and American companies benifit from supplying manufacturing infrastructure (it is virtually dominated by US based Applied Materials), components and technology, either by selling to Chinese firms or by forming joint-ventures. 4 of the major 5 wind producers are using critical components from us companies (GE, American Superconductor) and the 5th German.

                  And then there is India based Suzlon, 2nd lrgst producer of wind genrators which made it's most stratigic play by buying a German company which improved it's technolgy and doubled it's scale.

                  US companies still have some leading R+D in pv but unless the US gets serious about supporting growth of the dmestic industry, the IP from this R+D is likly to be driven off-shore for manufacturing and not provide the retun in jobs it might otherwise, so I'm very dissapointed with the election result because I'm pretty sure it will be a set-back for the indutry.

                  BTW, most of the pv solar manufacturing pocess is automated and in Japan, even the back-end cell assemply process is nearly totally automated, so when you look at the finacials, the advantage of China is actually more on the side of finance than cheap labor. Chinese pv mnufacturers use a higher labor content for the back end because it is still competative and and objective is to provide employment, but it's not the only model that works, and ultimatey Chinese will be driven to automation fo technical and quality reasons.

                  I would also predict a consoliation of ome smaller producers in China withing the next 2-3 years as some of the smaller players really do not hav compeative technology and are niche market players. The big players ill get bigger and more foriegn and JV companies will exist, but I doubt any more little guys will succeed unless they innovate and leap-frog others.

                  Morre's Law no longer applies to the semiconductor industry, but it's just hitting the power curve in pv.

                  What about my Daughter's future?

                  by koNko on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 12:41:18 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  As a matter of fact... (6+ / 0-)

          ...I think right now we buy our wind turbines from the Germans because we don't make any.

          OVER HERE: AN AMERICAN EXPAT IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE, is now available on Amazon US

          by Lupin on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:18:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  not true (9+ / 0-)

            "Market growth is spurring manufacturing investments in the United States; seven of the ten wind turbine manufacturers with the largest share of the U.S. market in 2009 have manufacturing facilities in the United States, and two of the remaining three have announced plans to open U.S. facilities in the future."

            -- from http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov

            •  But... they are foreign companies. (5+ / 0-)

              I'm not complaining, a job is a job; but the profits go home.

              Don't tax the rich, starve the poor.

              by dkmich on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 11:51:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Some profits go home (0+ / 0-)

                But unless a company is usually profitable, a majority of the revenue circulates in the system and this is particualrly the case of manufacturers with supply chains for parts, materials, energy and human resources. Set up a manufacturing plant with sevral hundred or a thousand employees and small businesses tend to cluster around them.

                As I mentioned eleswhere, Americans are stragely negative on Foreign Direct Investment but if you look at it in simple terms, it is money put into the system at the very least and continuing revenue streams is businesses prosper.

                Moreover, the connections between countries this makes tends to promote more business.

                Given the great aount of foreign investments US companies have made off-shore, what is so bad about reversing the process?

                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 01:57:49 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It's true the working class needs more jobs (0+ / 0-)

                  The de-industrialization of America has to stop.

                  sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                  by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 01:17:43 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That is who has the most to gain (0+ / 0-)
                    When un or under-employed people get a job the get self-respect and material gain, and a lot of what they earn is recycled in the community benifiting others, whether it is spent today or saved for their children.

                    And I think that while some people need convicing, a paycheck usually speaks louder than all the talk to get there.

                    When times are hard, those who have sometimes suppose those who don't are lazy or made their own bed, but I think most people really rather lead productive lives than have things handed to them which is why all this talk about "socialism" and "give-aways" is such nonsense.

                    What about my Daughter's future?

                    by koNko on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 03:49:52 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Obviously a good job is the best social safety (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      koNko

                      program, but clearly a strong European style social safety net isn't the giveaway. It is earned. What I think is nonsense is the wholesale theft of the American social safety net by the American ultra rich, wherein workers are not fully able to participate in the wealth they have created, and therefore are robbed of being medically insured by their employers, who often rob them of paid sick leave, wherein fully 60 million Americans don't have any paid sick leave.

                      This is a condition that worker's rights laws in the EU prohibit, but in the spirit of wholesale worker's exploitation and theft, the US is the only major industrial country in the world where the law requires no paid maternity leave, no paid annual leave and yes no paid sick leave. And for America the country which sports 403 billionaires to propagate such wholesale theft of the working class and exploitation by the ultra wealthy is clearly a badge of international shame, which is turning America into a laughing stock internationally. Wherein this year again America failed to rate as a top ten country in the United Nations Human Development Index. Here is a link to a diary I wrote on that subject:
                      http://www.streetprophets.com/...

                      Certainly there is nothing nonsensical about the demise of the American dream. In fact it is a statement in sadness that too many of our fellow Americans are in denial about.

                      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                      by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 03:59:50 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  But understand (7+ / 0-)

              they may have operating units in the US, but don't convince yourself that that means that they do the bulk of their manufacturing here, they don't.  In most cases it is likely to prove to be nothing but a token presence to provide exactly this sort of political cover.  Foreign CEOs are smart like that, having to deal with societies that make demands on them.  American CEOs couldn't be bothered, because no one will hold them accountable for anything other than maximizing rate of return anyway.

              American business is about maximizing shareholder value. You basically don't want workers. ~Allen Sinai

              by ActivistGuy on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 12:55:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Partly disagree (0+ / 0-)
                Many clean energy companies have, or are planning, fully integreated plants is the US.

                The barriers to that happeing are:

                :: Market uncertianty; until the US develops a strategic natiional clean energy policy there will not be confidence for manufacturers, foriegn or domestic to make the big investments required. This has been the case everywhere.

                :: Financing; the present tax structure for caputal investment and the lack of incentives makes the cost of capital in the US relatively high and unattractivem even when capital from elswhere is available, so although European, Japanese and Chinese companies have and continue to invest, it would continue to be incremental until the policy becomes mre investment-friendly.

                The proof of this s that where states offer incentive, for example Michigan on battery technology, foriegn companies have jumped in wth both feet to invest if plants and jobs are being created.

                I have to say the US is a bit strange in the sense Americans tend to view FDI unfavorably as if someone was "owning them" instead of "investimeg" in them. They shake their fists in anger at US cmanis investing elsewhere, and thn turn around and throw-up barriers to recipricol investment. Strange.

                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 01:19:36 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  to koNko - it's true investment is a two way st (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  koNko

                  As long as investment doesn't mean outsourcing what is left of the high wage manufacturing sector, that is the important thing. Do you agree?

                  sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                  by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 01:20:08 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Of course. (0+ / 0-)

                    And there is no better way to ensure this than to do front line manufacturng at home.

                    Both Germany and Japan hae followed this strategy and how Germany does would actually be a good model for the US to emmulate, I have stated this many times in discussing this general subject on Daily Kos.

                    I think Obama actually gets this and is trying; I have reiterated his goal for the US to develop a Clean Energy industry and to become an export led country often as well, particularly in contrast to isolationist, protectionist sentiments.

                    But this is something the US has to do for itself and to make that happen, people have to drop the victimization meme and start thinking positively and strategically about how that gets done.

                    Just don't count on Fox News to help, victimization is their stock in trade and they employ the biggist whiner in existance.

                    George Patton: "When in doubt, attack".

                    Translation: Don't wait for others to beg you, just do it.

                    Well, Obama seems to be doing that this week.

                    Oh, but he's anti-business. Sorry, forgot that.

                    What about my Daughter's future?

                    by koNko on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 07:18:32 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  BTW .. (0+ / 0-)

                    Also please see my comments elswhere on this thread about American resistance to Foreign Direct Investment. This needs some re-thinking.

                    What about my Daughter's future?

                    by koNko on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 07:21:24 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Not quite the case (0+ / 0-)
            Wind turbines are produced by quite a few nations including the US where GE Energy is the domestic market leader andcompanies such as American Superconductor are leading component suppliers.

            The global technology and market leader, particularly in off-shore is Vestas A/S (Denmark)
            but there are significant players fron the US, UK, Spain, India (Suzlon, No. 2 by market), China and elswhere.

            Interesting Trivia

            US Wind Turbines in China 1.13 million kw, mostly GE
            Chinese Turbines in USA 4.5 kw (3 1.5kw turbines)

            More incentives for wind in the US would create jobs quickly, the US does not lack technology or capacity and the ltter can be ramped-up musch faster than solar technology since wind relies mostly on conventional technologies.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 10:34:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  BTW Suzlon (India) (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Democrats Ramshield

            Is a big supplier to Texas wind farms, I noticed that on their website after lining it to you in my previous comment.

            Wind is actually a very diversified industry and gets more so each day. Given projected worldwide demand, there is pleanty of room to grow although as the industry matures I would expect the technology leaders to dominate sectors such as off-shore where technology is critical.

            Presently, Vestas (Denmark) is really the technology leader.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 01:32:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  koNko - there are a lot of wind farms in Germany (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              koNko

              and the Netherlands. It is my understanding that Scotland is going to have the biggest wind farm in the world. But clearly wind farms are an underdeveloped resource in the US, why do you think that is the case?

              sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

              by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 01:22:29 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Policy. (0+ / 0-)

                First, the US actually has the worlds largest capacity of wind generation beause it was an early addopter, but if you measure it as a percentage of total other countries hve a higher rate.

                And also, the US has built quite a lot of capacity over the past couple of years since it is cheaper than solar and a way for utility companies to meet benchmarks where they exist.

                But the relatively slow rate of addoption verses some European countries and China is most certianly a matter of policy, specifically, the support of cheap oil by depetion allowances and low taxation, the lack of feed-in tarrifs and the lack of an overall clean energy policy providing incentives.

                One importiant point, however; beyond a certian point, wind cannot be effectively utillized without smart grids to level consumption and this is something China learned the hard way by rushing to build-out wind farms and then failing to realize the full potential of some wind farms, and problem now being addressed, but a lesson to learn by others.

                Specifically, if you have a low ratio of wind in any given area this may not be a problem (or a hidden one) since there is adequate conventional generation to throttle up to meet peak demands and throttle down to maximize wind utilization during period of low demand. But when you concentrate on wind in a given area the tendany is to over-build to meet the peaks.

                An interesting point of Chinese clean energy policy is that power companies have goals to meet and the feed-in tarrif they get to offset investment is passed-on to customers (as it should be since they are the power consumers), and large industrial users that fail to meet energy efficiecy goals are penalized by highe rates, and in some cases, cut-off (something unthinkable in the US but China has some creaking old steel mills that need to upgrade or fail).

                The US has a huge potential for wind, so power conservation and wind generation should be the foundation in my viewpoint. It's also conventional tchnology that does not require huge capital investment for factories, verse wind which requires very substantial front end investment.

                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 07:11:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  It will only help if we both do the basic (0+ / 0-)

          research and manufacture panels and generators that are more efficient, smaller and easier to install and maintain.

          America cannot really out-manufacture the Chinese, who are paying 68 cents an hour or so for labor; but we can out-innovate them and restore trade rules that make them compete on an equal footing with American companies. It really is suicidal for us to continue to subsidize imports from countries that would just as soon see us dead.

          •  in the opinion of the CEO of Foxconn (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dotcommodity, debaseTheBase

            expressed in a recent interview, automated US factories can compete with Chinese manual labor.

            He chooses not to do this because he doesn't like the US regulatory climate, i.e. labor and environmental laws he'd actually have to obey.

            Something to think about the next time you think about buying an Apple (made by Foxconn) product.

            Basically, if the labor cost of a product manufactured in volume is > 10%, you're doing it wrong.

            Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

            by alizard on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 04:30:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Such exeutives have turned their companies (3+ / 0-)

              from economic assest to parasites on the American economy. How do they expect we will be able to keep buying all that stuff they manufacture overseas, and import, if there are no good paying jobs here?

              Added to this, what do they expect to happen to their campany when Americans are sleeping on the street and fighting each other for food because he, and his ilk, have eliminated the social safety net, defunded education, eradicated health care for all but the wealthiest?

              Do they think they'll sell their computers to the Chinese, who can make their own knock offs cheaper?

              •  Foxconn's based in Taiwan (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                koNko, carolita, Foxwizard

                with major facilities in China, at 1,000,000 employees, it's the largest contract manufacturer in the world. Apple is only one of the US companies that offshore there.

                Added to this, what do they expect to happen to their campany when Americans are sleeping on the street and fighting each other for food

                They don't care. By then, they figure they'll have cashed out and this will be their successors' problem.

                Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

                by alizard on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 07:02:42 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I guess you are not very fanilliar with Foxconn (0+ / 0-)

                As alizrd corretly states, Foxconn (Honhai Precisio Industries) is a Taiwanese company that is the largest electronic contract manufacturer in the world and the major subcotractor for Apple, HP, Nokia, et al, ad has factories in several countries.

                Contrary to your assertion, although there are pleanty of Chinese consumer product companies they generally (with some exceptions) capture the 2nd tier of the market and foreign brands the top tier.

                Best selling mobile phone brand in China? Nokia. Largest market for Nokia? China.

                Wow. Look at these deals!
                And these.
                And these.
                Or this
                Or this.

                This says a couple of things. First, global markets, including China, are a lot more open than some people assume. Second, that US policy is not doing the US public much good, something the US has to work on.

                I tend to think that US manufacturing has botoomed-out and will go up from here, but that may depend a lot on policy changes to bring it back to the US, particularly in capital-intensive, high tech industries where the investment per employee is relatively high and the cost of capital in the US makes it unattractive.

                You may question this but there are quite a few recent cases where states have provided incentives to attract manufacturing and succeeded, particularly by attracting foreign companies that haven't abandoned manufacturing to subcontractors.

                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 06:23:19 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  With 0% interest is there anywhere in (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  koNko

                  the world that capital is cheaper than in the US?

                  But thank you for the information, and I share your hope we can formulate the policies to rebuild manufacturing here.

                  •  Probably not. (0+ / 0-)

                    And not very healthy, but you have to prime the pump some way I suppose.

                    On the other hand, bank saving interest rates in China are so low these days people are actually spending more money, which is a good thing since we seem to be the only people left with savings.

                    What about my Daughter's future?

                    by koNko on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 06:31:11 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I was alive when the US switched from (0+ / 0-)

                      encouraging saving, and productive investment, to encouraging massive use of debt and credit. I have to say that one distinction is among the most important in making our economy unhealthy in the long term.

          •  Questions (0+ / 0-)

            America cannot really out-manufacture the Chinese, who are paying 68 cents an hour or so for labor; but we can out-innovate them and restore trade rules that make them compete on an equal footing with American companies. It really is suicidal for us to continue to subsidize imports from countries that would just as soon see us dead.

            :: How would you define "equal footing" in our world where so little equality exists?  Use th esubject situation as an example because I'm curious how you would create equality and what that would consist of.

            :: Why do you say the US is "subsidizing" countries who export to the US, particularly whe your complait is that others work for less?  That would seem to be a contradiction.

            :: Why do you suppose others, particularly those who might wish to trade with he US wish you were dead?  Another appearent cotradiction.

            I would also add that, at this point, the US has much to gain by reversing the situation a bit to balance trade and my guess is saying "we hate you so give us more businss" might not be the most convincing sales pitch.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 04:03:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think part of the issue the US has faced since (0+ / 0-)

              the 1990's anyway, is that foreign companies are usually subsidized by their governments. In Japan and China, specifically, the government help to capitalize and finance the foreign sales of manufactured goods in the US, often allowing the companies to do so at a loss, while they grabbed market share.

              These subsidies may be direct, but often aren't. In most industrialized countries, for example, health insurance or care is provided for the government, relieivng their businesses of a huge expense our companies face. A policy cure would be providing the same in the US, or imposing a tariff equal to the subsidy. As a progressive, of course, my opinion is that the US needs to either offer universal health care or. We also need to stop offering "favorable" treatment to some types of imports and not others.

              I have always believed that businesses, of any kind, need to compete on an equal footing, whether inside the country or across the globe. This means equal treatment by the government and the even application of all laws, without subsidies to any specific business. The US has broken this rule by providing allowing companies to force tax breaks out of states and localities for building there, and by the Federal government offering no-bid contracts, tax and direct subsidies to specific manufacturers. The various governments in the US have also fallen into the habit of encouraging or allowing monopolies to operate unregulated, and have favored unproductive mergers which create giant corporations, rather than actual small, independent businesses.

              As for the desires of our trading partners, I was using hyperbole to try to point out an essential truth of our economic model and that of international trade: everyone is in it for themselves.  

              It took me many years, and no little difficulty, to realize that my bankers really could care less if I go broker, so long as they get as much of my money as they can on the way down. Similarly, my doctor is now less concerned with caring for me as a patient than with getting paid well.

              China could really care less if we self-destruct, as long as they are able to get us to buy their stuff instead of our own.

              That is how the economy works, and the sooner we all realize that, the sooner we can rediscover our common interest in US society.

              Equality before the law guarantees on

        •  lots of idle heavy manufacturing capability (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mint julep

          of the sort needed for big wind turbines around Detroit. Easy access to water or rail transportation.

          Jerome a Paris said that if the US even commits to 1 GW of new windpower a year, finding an EU wind turbine manufacturer willing to build a US factory will be no problem. Which, of course, it won't be because it would make economic sense at that point.

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 04:22:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not quite (0+ / 0-)

          Local installation can't be done from the other side of the planet - there simply aren't cranes long enough to span the globe, though I wouldn't put it past some companies to import slave labor from other countries to do installations here, if they think they can get away with it.

          Also, at least some state and local governments are looking to institute "made in the US" rules for equipment that will qualify for rebates, special loan programs, etc. That, from what I can tell, is the only reason Evergreen Solar decided not to ship ALL their assembly operations overseas. Thus they will produce some product here in order to supply those markets that require US-made panels.

          Sadly, the US is so ass-backwards in terms of energy policy and incentives for green tech, the demand is minimal, so most of their production will be overseas.

      •  This is a good point, missliberties (17+ / 0-)

        Ten years ago an office colleague of mine who had lived in Germany for a few years described the house she lived in to me.  It is YEARS in advance of any American house I've ever heard of!  She said on one side there were all these mirrors and they would catch the solar energy and channel it through the house.  She also said they would turn in another direction when necessary.

        Forget the exact details--it's been 10 years, as I said--but I was deeply impressed.  Years later I watched a NOVA episode on PBS about how Germany is managing its solar energy.  Yes, it does need to be subsidized and it's a bit pricey, from what I understand.  But the sun will keep shining for another 7 billion years, according to what I've read, before it becomes a supernova and takes its planets with it.  How long will fossil fuels last?

        Yes, I'm het, but I'm NOT a Mad Hetter!

        by Diana in NoVa on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 11:06:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good points. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Diana in NoVa, Eric Nelson
          Also just to be a stickler, the sun has about 500 million years left before it begins to expand, enveloping our planet earth.  Our planet will probably become uninhabitable well before that.

          Send your old shoes to the new George W. Bush library.

          by maxschell on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 11:25:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I took a training class last year (0+ / 0-)

          ... and one of the other students was from Sweden. He was STUNNED at how poorly designed the US housing stock is, how wasteful we are with energy, and how far behind we are as a result. He had a much better understanding of why we use so much more energy than other countries with similar standards of living, but was utterly incredulous that we'd so happily literally send our money up in smoke.

      •  German workers have a lot more respect (0+ / 0-)

        for themselves than American workers.

        Americans seem to be uniquely un-empathetic to others, and thus seem to have a very, very hard time recognizing that what affects them affects others, and vice versa. More empathy might lead to stronger unions. SO the question becomes, how do we help American workers learn to care more for their fellow workers?

    •  I question the facile declaration that (16+ / 0-)

      The U.S. has a limited concept of social cohesion. There is no comparable diversity in any European country to even test the tensile strength of "E Pluribus Unum" as it shapes the common American identity. Especially in regard to Germany. Dependence on ethnic and cultural centric rigidities to glue their nationalist societies and parliamentary political structures together is right now being reaffirmed by political leaders across that continent.

      The irony and insecurity of Speigel's criticism of American social cohesion on the eve of this statement by Angela Merkel is palpable.

      "This multicultural approach, saying that we simply live side by side and live happily with each other has failed. Utterly failed,"

      and

      How strong is the cement holding together a society that manically declares any social thinking to be socialist?

      The myopia of this question in view of any range of American election history and the totally false identification of the Tea Party with our entire society exposes more the narrowness of the writers political identity perspective than it does American social instability.

      More so, the full embrace and engagement in conflicts stemming from severe socio(ethnic and cultural)/economic rifts in our society is what has seen America emerge a greater nation time and time again; certainly not defeat and submission to agile and momentary pressures of pluralistic forces.

      •  Don't confuse the Spiegel with Merkel (40+ / 0-)

        The Spiegel has a left-of-center editorial position, and their stance on multi-culturalism in Germany is usually much more positive than that of Angela Merkel, who is a right-of-center politician.

        Criticizing a Spiegel article because of something that Merkel said is like criticizing a diary on the Daily Kos because of something that John Boehner said.

        Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

        by Buckeye Hamburger on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:48:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I wasn't attempting to (8+ / 0-)

          I was pointing to realities in the German society and in the individual characters of European countries that aren't applicable to the American dynamic. I actually appreciate the preservation of cultural richness and traditional diversities between nations in Europe. I'm just sentimental that way.

          But when that statement by Merkel becomes acceptable campaign rhetoric by a sitting American president, and not some flash in the pan blowhard, I will worry more about this German "left-of-center" foreboding.

          •  an interesting thing about the collapse (8+ / 0-)

            of German and English hegemony over the past century is that the two countries (in very different ways) have responded in part by falling back on their senses of being German and English. I don't mean nationalism . . . more a sense like, well, we're not the British Empire anymore, but we're still English! or something like that.

            I wonder if there's a comparable sense of American identity that ties us together - beyond we're the bestest and the freest!!! We haven't been the "freest" for a long time, and when we're no longer the "best," what will bind us?

            Not saying it isn't there, just curious . . .

            "I don't want to give 'em the keys back, they don't know how to drive!" President Obama

            by vadasz on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 12:51:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  we're no longer the "best" in anything either (3+ / 0-)

              America lags in most things like education, infant child mortality, health care, wages, personal freedom and most other measures of a society. But like the English all we have is "we're American".

            •  The sense that we are great because we're (9+ / 0-)

              the biggest, or the best, is a recent heresy. What truly defines America is the common holding of a set of principles based on natural law and inaleinable human rights.

              The rot at the foundation, and I don't know if Europeans grasp this, is that so many Americans seem to have rejected both the concept of natural law and the idea that human rights are endowed by our creator, and are not subject to curtailment by any human government.

              What seems to be happening, on right at least, is an attempt to replace these founding principles with some sort of allengience to something called "free markets" and "capitalism", though I would submit the American version of these are neither free nor capitalist.

              The triumph of radical individualism on the right has meant that no coception of a social order can legitimately exist, apart from a just a collection of individual sharing common interests. That too, I think, is a foreign concept, as the thinking of the founders saw government as part of that social order, and a deep expression of it.

              •  Very well put. (0+ / 0-)
                By my sense of the situation as an outsider and onlooker is that those basic principles have been subverted to mean my freedom and my rights and are still worn as a badge of honour, so to speak, just as the Eglish sense of fairness sometimes has meant fairness for English not others.

                The lesson, I think, is that practice is more importiant than philosophy although, of course, both matter.

                And it's a numbers game - when greater than X practice we get goodness and less than X tyranny, the value of X being somewhat fungible.

                I guss the good thing is you can always rediscover why these are "natural" laws and chose to follow them.

                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 03:32:50 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think that's right; by my observation the (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Angie in WA State, koNko

                  practice has eroded at about the same rate as fealty to those principles, leading me to the conclusion that the principles must be commonly acknowledge before they can be generally practiced in that expression of society we call government.

                  What seems to replace those principles seems to me, as at the collapse of Roman Law, a return to the sense that might makes right, and that the weaker elements of society have need -- not of equal protections and treatment under the law -- but of the protections of some stronger 'protector', to whom they will return servitude in exchange for security.

                  In our case, I think it is evolving in a corporate feudalism, with workers tied ever more closely to corporations who do not reciprocate loyalty, but instead exploit and dispose of people at their whim.

                  •  Another well put. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Foxwizard

                    But Americans are not alone on this, Eurpeans seem to be the exception.

                    Yu know, in China today income disparity is worse than the US and it is exactly the product of Capitalism.

                    But on the positive side, the general economic trend is on the up-side so there is a trickle-down effect, although this year infltion is eating-up a fair chunk of that. Also, over the past 6 years policy changes have improved the situation of the rural poor and the government recognizes the problem and trying to do something about it.

                    So I can easily understand the dissatisfacton of the American people at this point. Robber Barons? Yes.

                    What about my Daughter's future?

                    by koNko on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 06:45:44 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Most definitely. The issue now is that, while the (0+ / 0-)

                      previous generation of Robber Barons (at least in the US) was reigned in by the advent of progressive thinking, we now live in a time when progressivism has been absolutely rejected by at least 40% of the American people. Thus, progressivism must again struggle for acceptance before it can be implemented. The last time around, that took about half a century; this time, we haven't even started work on that project.

                      The best route, IMHO, is the emergence of Social Democracy, as practiced in Europe. By the protests in Greece, Portugal and France, I am heartened that it does not seem to have been discredited, except among the political class.

              •  they think the right of property is equal to life (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                koNko

                and liberty. Or that liberty equals property or something. What constitutes "earned" property in a natural law sense, I think lies at the heart of the question.
                Intuitively the wealth of our nation has been built in significant part on past inequities of liberty. So as we improve our measure of equitable liberty, through the courts and congress, acknowledging the disparities of the past, rights to aggregate wealth should be recognized as more distributive. Equality of opportunity to share the nations wealth is essential to respecting property rights in this light. But that light rarely penetrates a rich man's ego, that tells him he earned it or his ancestry "earned" it.

                •  You couldn't be closer to the truth. When I (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  koNko, fisheye, eyesoars, JG in MD

                  was still a member of the American Historical Society, in the 1970's, a whole slew of papers were published arguing that that the founders' really meant "property" instead of "Happiness" in the constitution, but that Madison's proper phrasing (!) was replaced by the ambiguous "Happiness" in order to assuage Northeaster fears of domination by southern slave holders.

                  The first time I read that, I was aghast at the distortions of both facts and the real historical dynamics of the founding. As more and more so-called "scholar" made that argument, I was convinced that I had been right when I argued that the enlightenment was ending, and with it the historical consensus on Natural Law and Human Rights that underlay the republic.

                  Not that the idea was mine -- I got it from a theologian at the University of Chicago.

                  But the bottom line is that this is the right's glaring distortion of our country's essence.

                •  In China we put it another way (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  fisheye, Foxwizard

                  Saying "The first right is the right to eat" meaning, basically, rice in your bowel, clothes on your back and a roof over your head. Less than that and you are not being treated as human.

                  We have another idea about land; that it is common property, so you can use it but not own it. On the face, that might conflict with your idea but if you think about it from the perspective shared means everyone should get a share, perhaps it does not.

                  What about my Daughter's future?

                  by koNko on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 02:04:49 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Native Americans held the same attitude toward (0+ / 0-)

                    property and land, and their tribal structure was built around shared opportunity, wealth and defense.

                    Unfortunately, such ideas now would be lableled as "Communist", so they wouldn't stand a chance to open the discussion, either here or -- I suspect -- in Europe.

                    Yet it belies our own religious heritage, for in the Jewish and Christian Bible, the land is recognized as being held in trust but belonging to God. Yet, the Christian Right in our country is adamant that property rights are fundamental to human dignity.

            •  "Truth, Justice and the American Way" ?? (0+ / 0-)
      •  According to the German statistics bureau (11+ / 0-)

        in 2010 almost 20% of the population in German has a "migration background". Defined as: They or their parents have immigrated to Germany after 1950.
        (10 million who immigrated to Germany as adults or kids. 6 million who were born in Germany with immigrant parents.)

        Roughly 70% of the 10 million from Europe (including Turkey), followed by Asia/Oceania with 16%.

      •  I'm in Germany (16+ / 0-)

        and can tell you that integration is actually starting to work pretty well here despite the vast chasms in cultural background of the different immigrant cultures represented here.

        They dropped the ball under Kohl, but now the times they are a changin'.

        "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

        by Lawrence on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:29:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Let's examine why this statement may not be (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Foxwizard, Cynic in seattle

        true today as it has been in the past:

        economic rifts in our society is what has seen America emerge a greater nation time and time again

        We are headed for another great Civil War because of our shifting demographics.  Many of the white population feels itself under attack and those feelings are expressed in the Tea Party.  The Republicans will fan those flames until violence breaks out.  The difference between now and before is the other side is armed as well and they have been honing their skills in the streets of our urban cities.  Make no mistake, we are probably just years away from a major internal upheaval as the Republicans put minorities under more and more pressure with their policies and the white Tea Party movement fans the flames of hatred with their rhetoric.  The result will not be a great coming together.   The shift from majority status to minority status will not come easily  in this country and we are looking at the first whispers in that great upheaval.

        "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

        by lakehillsliberal on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 03:16:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  While the US could make this transition peaceful (3+ / 0-)

          during a time of prosperity, it is the economic malaise brought about by forty years of GOP mismanagement that makes such an outcome probable.

          When people are prosperous, they are much more able to accept change and adapt; but with all but the wealthiest 10% under severe economic pressure, change is seen as firghtening and threatening.

          Add to this that the poor are relatively poorer than they were forty years ago, and the conflagration will be larger than the 1960's upheaval.

      •  Partly agree (0+ / 0-)
        To some extent comparing Europe and the US is Apples to Organges; while Europeans genrally have strong national identities, they have actually succeeded in forging a faily strong pan-European economic and legal union which despite it's growing pains, most Europeans are for the better for.

        Are Merkel and some other Germans unhappy about shouldering the burdens for the Economic melt-down in Greece? Sure, but they stepped up to the bar to do so in a ay I find hard to imagine the members of NAFTA doing and in the long run what is good for Europe is good for Europeans.

        Are Europeans struggling with open borders for labor? Again, yes, and if I see them close these borders you are going to win that arguement but until then I see them adjusting to the fact of "European" migrant labor if not to non-Europeans.

        On the other hand, although Americans make much about pride in multiculturalism (and ofen succeed) under economic pressure we are find quite a few including a lot of Liberal screaming to close borders and not as accepting of a Minority President as one might expect.

        Regarding "Socialism", well, that's a fairly polarized issue and one a fair number of Americans are undecided about if we are to belive the polls that measure opionions on the root issues and the recent election result, but I agee with you tht the loud shouting of Teabaggers is hardly the mean of American opinion on social benifits.

        However, if we compare actual measures, certianly the majority of European nations have greater social benifis and higher taxes than the US so Speigel's assertion is well-founded.

        Whether all of those social benifits can survive the present round of austerity measures remains to be see - the UK, the least "European" of the union is presently gutting their system, but I would not expect a fundamental shift away from th present status quo because the system is working for most.

        Lastly, I have to agree Europeans are not immune to Rightist, Nationalist politics and this is on the rise, although I have to say Germany is probably the least friendly nation to this nonsense because they know where it leads and have laws that reign-in extrementis that most Americans would reject as unconstitutional, but that Germans generally support.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 01:27:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Interesting that you bring this up (24+ / 0-)
      I have a friend that grew up in Nazi Germany and she said the exact same thing.  That what is happening on the streets and on Fox Network is like what happened in Nazi Germany before Hitler took power.
      •  Dad and and I grew up in the US in (19+ / 0-)

        the aftermath of WWII. The other day as we were watching the woman from Move on get stomped, we looked at each other and admitted that we were both thinking Kristallnacht.

      •  I lived in Germany for 10 years, (27+ / 0-)

        and am by training a German professor (it's not what I teach now, but I have a PhD in German). I know and have worked closely and extensively with a LOT, a LOT of people--Jews and Gentiles alike--who were in Germany during the Nazi era and ALL of them, every single one, says the same thing: it's just like that. They've been saying it ever since GWB.

        The far left wing in Germany has been saying it since REAGAN (I have an old poster from the 80s which depicts Reagan with a Hitler mustache giving the Hitler salute: beneath it, his infamous "open season on Russia" gaffe).

        Godwin can go to hell: the people who actually experienced Nazi Germany are the only real "experts" on the subject anyway; and they know what fascism looks like. They really do.

        At least two Nobel prize winners have pointed out the precarious parallels between the USA today and Nazi Germany, Harold Pinter and Elfriede Jelinek, but hey.....what do they know? And the fact that the American left is still so resistant to seeing the writing on the wall is just one more index of how deeply rooted our collective arrogance and ignorance is. Sadly.

        Harold Pinter Nobel Prize Speech

        People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered: forgive 'em anyway. --anonymous

        by b4uknowit on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 12:34:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Please recommend b4ukunowit's post (6+ / 0-)

          Thanks for the really great comment. Very informative and a real eye opener as well.

          Here is my email address:
          democratsramshield@yahoo.com

          When your time permits I'd like to communicate with you attendant upon that issue. Thanks for the really great comment, definitely added value to our discussion here.

          sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

          by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 01:10:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Goebbels would be proud of Faux News (8+ / 0-)

          IIRC, Goebbels said that the Nazi takeover would never have been possible w/o radio.  The far right here has a similarly effective tool at its disposal now.

          Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

          by RFK Lives on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 02:05:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If I am not mistaken, I believe Karl Rove's (7+ / 0-)

            strategies are based on what Goebbels did.  What does Karl say, if you tell a lie often enough and loud enough, it becomes the truth for all practical purposes.  It sounds like Goebbels to me.

            "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

            by lakehillsliberal on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 03:24:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I tell you people: I spent the better part of (9+ / 0-)

              the years 2002--2004 translating original source documents from the Nazi era: 2,000 pages of Goebbels, Goering, Krieck, Hitler (yes, Hitler), Rosenberg--the whole rogue's gallery of em. The worst days of my life were the days when I had a Hitler speech on my desk, and a Bush speech on the tube. Almost every time, it resulted in a root canal. I kid you not. (The editors of the volume, said, when they were compiling the texts. they found themselves compulsively washing their hands. I said: shit, as translator, I've essentially got to let these words "go through my mouth", so any wonder I'm having dental issues!).

              My point: it was frightening, downright frightening, to see the parallels in rhetorical strategy between the speakers of the Right and the speakers of the Reich.

              The only people who could relate to what I was saying at the time were the people I know who actually experienced the Nazi regime AND were still around to experience modern-day America. Everyone else just tried to shut me down/up with Godwin.

              The Bush propaganda machine put Goebbels to SHAME. The only good thing is that they were apparently too stupid to understand the REAL power of the "Internets" and the "google". Goebbels would have been SALIVATING over the prospects. Ugh.

              People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered: forgive 'em anyway. --anonymous

              by b4uknowit on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 03:59:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Ah but Godwin's Law (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            koNko, b4uknowit

            always gets thrown in our face if we dare to say so. While many Nazi comparisons are total bullshit,  Godwin's "Law" has become a useful tool for those who wish to belittle legitimate parallels between then and now.

            "The tendency to turn human judgments into divine commands makes religion one of the most dangerous forces in the world." -- Georgia Harkness

            by Sagebrush Bob on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 04:12:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Recc'd but ... (3+ / 0-)

          you do realize that Glenn Beck agrees with you on this? He's been complaining for months that the US is heading towards fascism (or socalism or komnism or sumthnism) and blames ... (drum roll) ... Obama and the democrats!

          These right wing propagandists are prepared for being called fascists (because they are fascists and they know they are fascists). They have "right back atya'd" before even giving you the chance to observe for yourself that they are fascists. You won't get their fans to think this criticism through, either. Why not? Because they are using a technique called "inoculation" wherein they present criticisms of their position before giving their opposition the opportunity to criticize. The technique defuses the criticism.

          •  annominous - Is Glenn Beck a proto-fascist? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            koNko, annominous

            The Spiegel article said Glenn Beck is a proto-fascist agitator. I'd like to know what you and some of our other readers think, is the Spiegel right or not? If so why if not why not?

            The technique that you refer to in colloquial speak in debate teams is routinely called 'sandbagging.'
            You're right it is designed to inoculate yourself against criticism likely to be presented from the other side. However that inoculation like any inoculation has limits, and here's the weakness of that inoculation from a strategic debate planning perspective, when something is repeated often enough it is said that even if it is unbelievable it gains credibility.

            Ergo if it is credible, then it gains more credibility, because people already know it is true. Therefore repeating the truth about for example the Tea Bag crowd again and again, is an effective defense, unless of course you believe because they have inoculated themselves through sandbagging, then there isn't an effective defense and you give up. This brings to mind the intrepid words of Winston Churchill which is never give up, never give up, never give up. We should adopt that as the progressive political mantra. Never give up on the truth because we can win with the truth, just like we did in 2008.

            sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

            by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 01:33:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Retorical question? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              b4uknowit

              What about my Daughter's future?

              by koNko on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 06:54:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  imo Glenn Beck is an opportunistic propagandist (0+ / 0-)

              and a dry drunk. And, he's a good American, if you define "good American" as someone who spends all his time and energy doing everything and anything he can to make more money than anyone else. A lot of Americans define being a "good American" exactly that way (I don't, but I'm in the minority). Beck's in the propaganda business, and he's doing really well for himself. I don't really have the sense Beck believes all the bullshit, but he has gone so far as to read a couple of books, so now he's taking himself really seriously, and anything is possible.

              For some reason unfathomable to me, he seems to appeal to low-intelligence gooper types who have a lot of free time to listen to his radio and tv shows. He, like Limbaugh, treats his audience as if they are his pupils, and stages his show in  some vague childhood memory of how classrooms used to be back in grade school, with blackboards and real chalk! and he teaches them cool new stuff! Limbaugh claims to be a professor of advanced conservative studies (though everyone knows he dropped out of college as a freshman). Their only real talent is glibness, but they've parlayed that talent into vast fortunes, because some shady overlord pays them to be propagandists.

              imo Limbaugh has started to believe his own bullshit and there's no doubt the Savage Weiner has (periodically he toys with the idea of running for high office and tries to get his audience members to call in to support the idea, or to talk him out of it - Oh Dr. Savage, you can do so much more good on the air!). I can't tell if Beck believes his own bullshit yet, but I think he will sooner or later.

              Beck's audience members are steeped in superstition (I listen sometimes, and they self-identify as religious fundies, though some seem to be new-agers rub rub rub that crystal!) and generally will only substitute their crazy superstitions for something crazier.

              Have you ever listened to Beck? His audience members call in every day to gush about how he's shown them the "truth" they never understood before, though it was always "right in front of them". These are folks who believe in the existence of angels, demons, space-aliens and bigfoot(s), and the efficacy of rubbing crystals (with all the evidence we all have to go on - which is, of course, none at all) but reject the theory of evolution and the evidence that supports climate-change theory without studying either of topic with any attention. The pundits tell them what to think about sciencey stuff, and they just lap it up and rub their crystals. And they vote.

              These Americans who listen to Beck, and are swayed by his propaganda, are just plain stupid. I'm not saying that to be mean, I'm just stating a fact. Lots of Americans are just plain stupid. They won't study, they are not curious, they are not educatable or even trainable. These folks live to be entertained: movies, tv, sex, music, drugs, alcohol. And as middle aged adults, they are entertained by Beck and Limbaugh and Hannity and Weiner. Politics as entertainment, that's what we've got now. Bread and circuses. Diabetes and fascism.

              If you want to discuss whether or not Rupert Murdoch is a proto-fascist, let me know, that's pertinent. He's the enemy of humanity who has made the propaganda game so lucrative for the likes of Beck and Hannity and the Fox cordwood blondes. He is the purveyor of rage and hate and political division. Who pays Limbaugh? Inquiring minds mind ...

              Are all capitalists/corporatists proto-fascists?

              •  Great comment! Couldn't rec it -- no button for (0+ / 0-)

                some reason.

                BTW, the audience calls on Beck's radio program, as well as his tv studio audience, are all plants -- they're either employees, actors, or folks who need to earn a buck anyway they can, who're solicited to read from a script or have rehearsed their question for Beck.

                I've watched when they fumble a line and try to repeat it the way they were supposed to deliver it -- unfuhkingbelievable that anyone can't see thru this.

          •  In his case it is projecting. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            b4uknowit

            And just another Big Lie (in terms of WHO are the proto-faschists).

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 06:53:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  yep. And it's not unlike the way the NSDAP (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              koNko

              vilified the Weimar gov as "November criminals".....BushRove and Co were up to the same thing. It's also why I've learned to just shut up about the parallels: because you can't make it clear to folks who base their judgments on what they see on the Hitler-Channel.

              You've got to make the case for "change" without taking recourse to the obvious parallels between our present state and the Nazi era, that's all there is to it. It's just too "sensationalist" and convoluted. Not least of all because, as annominous points out, the fascists are prepared for that one. So you've got to make the case another way--in a way that catches them off guard.

              And there are plenty of other ways to make the case--comparing the US to modern-day Europe (and other industrialized as well as NON-industrialized nations)--as this series does--is one way.

              People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered: forgive 'em anyway. --anonymous

              by b4uknowit on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 01:00:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Indeed. (0+ / 0-)

                The irony of Teabaggers spouting "Nazi" was not lost on me and I'm inclined to let them do the shouting and save my comments for people with at least half a brain.

                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 06:36:06 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  To KoNko - can't understand the Teabaggers (0+ / 0-)

                  I have trouble understanding what the Teabaggers for the most part are trying to say through all of the hate and yelling. Their message (if there is one) gets lost. That's my view.

                  sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                  by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 01:24:35 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Never lived there (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          koNko, b4uknowit

          but my mom was a fluent German speaker, and I grew up studying the history of many diferent cultures with her, including Nazi Germany.  I have been seeing very scary parallels for quite a while now, not so much with Hitler but with the economic and political prodrome which led to Hitler's rise.

          Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

          by barbwires on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 07:25:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  There is an answer (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Blair, alizard, Nulwee, oscarsmom

      but Congress and the schizophrenic American people will not allow for a WPA style investment in infrastructure.

      Obama failed to advocate for it, so he definitely deserves blame...but Pelosi and Reid share the blame as well.

      My politics are my own, no party controls them. Ideas do.

      by angry liberaltarian on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 10:52:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There must be something in (18+ / 0-)

      the air as I've been thinking very much the same thing lately.  The parallels with the thirties are uncanny.  The great depression was a result, in part, of unfettered and unregulated capitalism run amock.  So too with our economic collapse.  The great depression delievered fascism and profound nationalistic and ethnic hatreds.  What donwe see today?  Things aren't looking bright.

    •  Is Glenn Beck a proto-fascist? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alizard

      Is Henningsen right about that? How should we feel about the Fox news support of Glenn Beck and the Tea Party?

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 02:06:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Our kids will definitely be poorer--and there (48+ / 0-)

      is probably little we can do about that, given the realities of things such as climate change and peak energy. But what worries me more than anything is whether or not they will still be free...if we don't nip the fascists in the bud, NOW, our kids will live in a world in which women are once again chattel, and all but the very richest will be little more than slaves.

    •  I'm in my 20s (20+ / 0-)

      and I am coming to the conclusion that my future in America, if this is where I'm stuck forever, will resemble something more like current eastern europe or Greece, rather than a "dream" of some sort that people would give everything to come here and have.

      but americans abused their freedoms and over-consumed. Actions should have consequences, and if this country were NOT to decline, it would be a case of an action not having a consequence.

      witness the GOPRANOS.. rethugs: "If they fuck with me or Shaha, I have enough on them to fuck them too." -Paul Wolfowitz, quoted by the UK's Guardian

      by change the Be on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 07:56:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Couldn't agree more. (11+ / 0-)

        The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

        by Hillbilly Dem on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:39:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Under an umbrella of security provided by (5+ / 0-)

        the United States. None of this happened over night.

        •  Umm, security? Try occupation and weapons (19+ / 0-)

          production profits back in the US, all supported by the laterly false Cold War meme   and now the ginned up War on Terror. Yes, perhaps for a decade or so after WWII the bases were justified...

          But please don't start attributing European prosperity to American Exceptionalism?

          As Barney Frank has said, we need to close those bases in Europe.
          Frank/Paul: Cut $1T from Pentagon Budget   by CapeTown96  

          We cannot afford those useless bases, and they are not needed from a defense point of view.

          President Obama is in India mainly touting Arms deals for jobs,  among others.  About all we have to offer is military products and Harleys.

          •  I see, NATO is really a United States (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cato

            occupational force in Europe that played no significant security role since 1955. And the Cold War was ruse. (Tell that to Eastern Europe) All you have to do is look at a map to see how that hasn't changed.
            And WWII played no part in today's international economic landscape.  Whatever.

            "It didn't happen overnight" was just a reference to the arch of history that shaped the current political and economic patterns in Europe and here, and has zero to do with what Barney Frank has to say about going forward. It wasn't a even a judgment on that history, although I whole heartedly disagree with you.

            •  What else would you have it be? (7+ / 0-)

              NATO is really a United States occupational force in Europe

              Picture me surprised. Did you really think the Europeans asked for American troops on their soil? That's powerful naive - of course it's (originally) an occupational force!

              And WWII played no part in today's international economic landscape.

              If that's supposed to mean that Europeans have to be thankful for the US saving their asses, I agree.

              You would have to agree, however, that the Americans really owe gratitude of enormous proportions to the Soviet Union, because they were the ones really fighting and defeating the Germans in WWII.

              Ironically, it was the US that was responsible for laying the ground for the current wealth and prosperity in Europe. Not only by fighting WWII, but mainly by rebuilding the economies, and in some places like Germany, the political systems from scratch.

              That welfare state, parliamentary democracy, and the very peculiar German electoral system, one of the best in the world, were brought to the Reich courtesy of Uncle Sam!

              American citizens should demand the same quality health care, welfare, media, and electoral system they helped built for the Germans 60 years ago!

              "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect." Mark Twain

              by aufklaerer on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:58:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  All makes sense, I agree, especially the last. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                aufklaerer

                I would also add that the Soviet Union eventually defeated Germany on the Eastern front with U.S.(MIC) arms and supplies. Another grand irony. England begged the U.S. to engage.
                Perhaps with the Soviet Union out of the way and Chinese economic pressure the U.S. will recognize more of the socialistic benefits Europe enjoys. But it takes time.

                •  Ditto. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  fisheye

                  Agreed on all your points.

                  One addition. Yes, Great Britain was desperate for American support, but, given there's an economic war of 'all against all' ( to paraphrase Kant) between the nations of the world, the US was GB's ally during the war, but a competitor for influence, power, geostrategic control over resources before and after it. That means they didn't readily applaud the loss of their status as the lone super-power which they had been holding in the 19th century.

                  And that means that US forces are in the UK because the US wants it that way.

                  "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect." Mark Twain

                  by aufklaerer on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 10:26:28 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  The Russians produced the vast bulk (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Eric Blair, Turn Left

                  (~95%) of the weapons the Russians used to fight.

                  •  Link? (0+ / 0-)

                    Lend-lease aircraft amounted to 18% of all aircraft in the Soviet air forces, 20% of all bombers, and 16-23% of all fighters (numbers vary depending on calculation methods), and 29% of all naval aircraft. In some AF commands and fronts the proportion of Lend-Lease aircraft was even higher: of the 9.888 fighters delivered to the air defense (PVO) fighter units in 1941-45 6.953 (or over 70%!) were British or American. In the AF of the Karelian front lend-lease aircraft amounted to about two-thirds of all combat aircraft in 1942-43, practically all torpedo bombers of the naval air forces were A-20G Bostons in 1944-45 etc

                    and this list

              •  The Germans had health insurance since (3+ / 0-)

                1883, when the Kaiser made them have it.

                American hospitalization insurance was common in the 1960s and 1970s and worked quite well for paying hospital bills. The most expensive drug I believe was insulin, which would have cost about $350/year.

                In 1982, my ~$10,000 bills for a seven-year old pre-existing condition were well-covered here in America.

                The advent of expensive drug prices in response to the use of generic prescribing led to modern pre-existing condition exclusions.

                There were pre-existing exclusions in America prior to end of World War II, but normally health insurance was only sold to groups to avoid the problem.

        •  Man, your comments (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          alizard, oscarsmom

          in this thread sound like those of an arch-economic conservatice.  You're seriously touting the line about European prosperity being the result of us and not Keynesian economic policies proving strong safety nets in the form of social programs?  Next you'll be denouncing the UN.

      •  if (12+ / 0-)

        the wealthy in this country only want to profit from outsourcing our manufacturing to other countries...then they must go live there.  We have no use for them if they are unwilling to invest in this country and its workers.

        "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." Mayer Amschel Rothschild, 1790

        by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:52:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They'll be singing a different tune once (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mightymouse

          they realize the American consumer is extinct and can't afford their crappy useless products anymore.

          Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

          by oscarsmom on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 02:37:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  they don't need us (0+ / 0-)

            they can sell their crappy stuff in India and China. That's the beauty of it all.

            •  I'd be a bit less optimistic about this (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              big annie, Democrats Ramshield

              In the Chinese consumer market, one can frequently buy the same crappy items without the US nameplate for what I'd guess to be well under 1/2 the US price. My guess is based on the fact that it's possible to buy for 1/2 price out of the Chinese market even including shipping.  

              I recently bought a digital oscilloscope for $400 including shipping from a Chinese vendor. The US-nameplate version (that vendor makes scopes for Agilent) would have cost me over $1000.

              So for non-bleeding edge consumer products, I'm not sure what a Chinese or Indian consumer needs US companies for.

              Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

              by alizard on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 05:24:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  To FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph - quick question (0+ / 0-)

          I think you're right. If they're going to profit in America, then they should invest in America.

          The Spiegel article calls Glenn Beck a proto-fascist agitator. I hope that you or some of the other readers would give an opinion on that issue. Thanks.

          sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

          by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 10:44:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  To Ed in Montana - I agree (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ed in Montana, SherwoodB, blueoasis

        That was a really great comment.

        sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

        by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:25:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Other older and wiser countries have accepted (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ed in Montana, Rosita, mightymouse

        the most basic fact:  WE ARE ALL CONNECTED.

        The richest go down with the poorest, and vice versa.

        The most evil idea perpetrated on the American people to date is Ayn Rand's fictitious fantasy that we all stand or fall based on our own work and merit--that if the government would all just "leave us alone," everything would be hunky dory.

        Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

        by oscarsmom on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 02:36:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  how connected is a member of the US Richistani (0+ / 0-)

          with the rest of us? For one of those, moving is a matter of wiring one's money overseas and following it in one's private jet.

          Of course, that's a short-term solution. Their long-term problem is that there are no longer any totally healthy hosts for that breed of parasite, just places that they've screwed up less than they've screwed up the USA.

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 05:37:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Here's a couple of others for your consideration. (44+ / 0-)

      While Mitch McConnell warns about Americans fearing the Europeanization of America... I'd have to say that I would welcome it.

      Their citizens have affordable access to health care, their unemployment is at an 18 year low, they kept their manufacturing base in tact instead of shipping jobs overseas as we do at tax payer expense in America, the CEO's have a cooperative relationship with labor instead of trying to decimate it... and their economy is booming!

      German Unemployment Dips to 18-Year Low in October

         Thursday, 28 Oct 2010

      German unemployment fell slightly in October, dropping to its lowest level in 18 years as the impact of persistently strong growth in Europe's top economy continued to filter through to the jobs market.

         snip!

      On an adjusted basis, the jobless rate held steady at 7.5 percent, while economists had forecast 7.4 percent.

      "Although October's decline in unemployment turned out weaker than expected, the underlying trend in the German labor market clearly remains one of rapid improvement on the back of strong economic growth," said Aline Schuiling from ABN Amro.

      Data on Europe's biggest economy over the past week has been bullish, signalling its unexpectedly strong recovery could hold up in the face of signs of fragility in the global economy.

      More...
      http://www.cnbc.com/...

      Germany’s jobs miracle
      Short-time work, flexible labour contracts and healthy companies

      Kurzarbeit – silver bullet of employment policy?

      Unlike a miracle which defies explanation, though, there are concrete reasons for the only modest increase in unemployment in Germany. No doubt the extension of the short-time work scheme has been a significant factor. The funding for short-time work serves the purpose of bridging a phase of joblessness, preventing job redundancies and avoiding the costs of having to rehire staff once jobs are available again. Short-time workers receive 60% of their net wage differential (normal working hours minus actual working hours) from the Federal Employment Agency (BA), or 67% if there is a child living in the household. At the beginning of 2009, the ruling grand coalition government of CDU/CSU and SPD initially extended the funding for short-time work from 6 to 18 months, and upped the period in spring 2009 to 24 months. In addition, social-security contributions are fully reimbursed by the BA if employees undergo training to upgrade their skills during this time. Also, the review and application procedure for companies was noticeably simplified.

      At the start of 2010, the government decided to set the funding period for companies applying to join the scheme in the current year at 18 months. Without this amendment, funds for short-time work would only have been available for six months again as of January 1, 2010. This means that companies can benefit from the Kurzarbeit scheme until mid-2012. As things stand now, the BA will from 2011 discontinue the practice of shouldering the related social-security contributions. However, there are hints that the government will once again extend parts of the regulation.

         More...

      http://www.dbresearch.de/...

      Why the German economy is booming
      Wednesday 6th October 2010

      Excerpt:

      The reasons are both political and economic.

      Under the impressive guidance of Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany altered its labour relations model to encourage unions and company work councils to work in a more cooperative way with management and employer associations to resolve disputes and negotiate wages.

      This is in stark contrast to the US and UK where worker power has weakened, or France and Spain where strong union power causes frequent conflict.

      These relationships ensured employment remained intact during the recession, as German companies agreed to cut worker pay and hours rather than making staff redundant.

      And with most Germans having less debt than their European neighbours, they were happy to collectively share a slight drop in income.

      Companies were also paid subsidies by the government to keep extra staff beyond their immediate needs.

      This notable unemployment achievement has prevented consumer demand from falling away and partially kept the economy trucking along.

      But the country’s real economic stimulus has come from exports.

      Germany is the world’s leader in the manufacturing of machinery, automobiles and chemicals. As one economist notes, they are the world’s outfitter that specialise in making things that make other things.

      More...

      http://www.thecasualtruth.com/...

      •  My great-grandfather tried to teach me to speak (8+ / 0-)

        German when I was a kid, but it mostly didn't stick. I wonder if he was on to something and wanted me to be prepared...

      •  Although we're not doing as well as Germany... (5+ / 0-)

        that pretty much sounds like a program we have here in Canada called Work Share:

        http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/...

        And with a conservative gov't - imagine that!

        "...you have to be happy with what you have to be happy with..."

        by soundchaser on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:35:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was thinking about Canada too (8+ / 0-)

          Consider the source as they say, which is Fortune Magazine, which left out the program that you linked to on workshare in Canada.

          They did however peg that Canada's tight bank regulations prevented the Banksters from running wild.

          What the U.S. can learn from Canada at the G20

          Excerpt:

          For good reason. The Canadian economy grew an astounding 6.1% annualized rate in the first quarter, compared with 4.9% in the fourth quarter of 2009. That pace of growth is the strongest in more than a decade and twice the 3% growth reported by the U.S. in the first quarter.

          While the U.S. economy has stabilized, its prospects for a strong recovery remain in doubt. The Obama administration continues to propose stimulus efforts to spur job growth, but so far the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high. Even worse, many economists are now predicting another dip in the housing market and more trouble ahead for the banking sector.

          With so much uncertainty in the air in the U.S., President Obama would be smart take a long moment during his Toronto visit to learn some lessons from the Canadian way of growing an economy.

          It starts by relying on the private sector for job growth instead of government help, as Obama has so far futilely offered. In Canada, the unemployment rate is 8% and falling, compared to 9.7% in the U.S.

          1) A lack of bankers gone wild: A key reason is that its banks sailed through the worst downturn since The Great Depression without getting knocked to the ground by subprime mortgages. These banks remain as solid and well-capitalized as ever. And despite a reputation for bleeding retail customers and small businesses dry with service charges and fees, they continue to underpin Canada's economy.

          2) Innovative manufacturers: Exporters used to have a historic cost advantage. That's no longer true: the Canadian dollar trades at near parity with the greenback and demand from the U.S. has dramatically pared back. Instead of asking for protection: "Manufacturers have been forced to look for new customers and do business differently," says Jayson Myers, president of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, the country's largest trade and industry association. Companies that have survived the global downturn are investing in new product design and engineering for new customers in Mexico, China and India.

          3) Fiscally restrained government: Finally, Canada is on an economic tear because Ottawa has managed to get its fiscal house in order over the last 15 years, with the federal deficit now at a mere 3.5% of GDP. This compares to 11.3% in the U.S. and 10.4% in Britain.

          http://money.cnn.com/...

          Canada's Work-Sharing:

          What is Work-Sharing?

          The Work-Sharing Program enables employers to deal with business cutbacks and still avoid laying off employees. Under a Work-Sharing agreement, employers can shorten their employees’ work week by one to three days and pay those employees reduced wages. For the hours, days, or shifts that employees do not work, Service Canada arranges for those employees who are eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) to receive benefits, which helps compensate for the lower wages they receive from the employer.
          Win-Win situation

          Employees who participate in a Work-Sharing agreement:

             * avoid the hardship of being laid off; and
             * keep their jobs and maintain their work skills.

          Employers who participate in a Work-Sharing agreement:

             * retain valued, skilled employees; and
             * avoid the expense of hiring and training new employees when work activity returns to normal.

          http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/...

          This seems to be very similar to the German program.

          •  Interesting article from Fortune magazine... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Flint

            I enjoy learning about my own country whenever I can (amazingly, I pay more attention to yours than mine!). Does Fortune have a particular bias? I ask because of this:

            It starts by relying on the private sector for job growth instead of government help, as Obama has so far futilely offered.

            And yet we did (do?) have a federal stimulus package, mainly devoted to infrastructure, IIRC:

            http://www.buildingcanada-chantiersc...

            http://www.conferenceboard.ca/...

            Now, mind you, I'm no economic genius by any stretch, but as far as I can figure out we did exactly the same thing Obama tried, although, as already noted, I think the bulk of ours was infrastructure (additionally the feds, as well as the Ontario gov't also mimicked the GM/Chrysler bailouts as a reflection of their footprint here).

            "...you have to be happy with what you have to be happy with..."

            by soundchaser on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 10:01:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Fortune Bias (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              alizard, soundchaser

              Yup! They are writing from the "Free trade" manual that has dominated American economic policy and politics since Ronald Reagan. That is what I meant by "consider the source."

              The bottom line on what i was pointing out is:

              You have to give the private sector a reason to keep their workforce in tact and not lay them off.

              The Canadian Work-Sharing and the Germany's Kurzarbeit programs did exactly that.

              •  My apologies - yeah, I did get your main point... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Flint

                about the Canadian & German programs. Just went off on a tangent because that one line in the Fortune article seemed to get it so wrong. I couldn't possibly be misreading it, could I? If not, I have to wonder if our federal stimulus program is known to others who might've read and bought that part of Fortune's argument...

                "...you have to be happy with what you have to be happy with..."

                by soundchaser on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 11:24:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Krugman warned about this... Chinese blackmail (12+ / 0-)

        This is why we need a strategic industry policy in this country. Want to know why the green jobs are going to China??? (Free marketers can kiss my...)

        Germany feels first Chinese 'rare earths' squeeze
        Published: 22 October 2010

        German high-tech companies have reported their first supply shortages of rare earths following a rapid diminution of Chinese export quotas on the precious metals, which are used in everything from wind turbines to mobile phones and hybrid cars.

        According to Spiegel Online, China's blockade of shipments of rare earth metals is already causing some German companies to suffer shortages.

        German companies say they are being pressured by Chinese officials to increase their investment in China if they want to be assured of access to rare earth minerals.

        Since 2005, China has imposed a "rapid diminution of export quotas" on a number of rare metals and is planning a full export ban as of 2015.

        Although reserves are sufficient, over 95% of production is currently located in China and it is feared that potential supply disruptions will hamper the development of the green economy.

        More...

        http://www.euractiv.com/...

        Rare and Foolish
        By PAUL KRUGMAN
        Published: October 17, 2010

        Last month a Chinese trawler operating in Japanese-controlled waters collided with two vessels of Japan’s Coast Guard. Japan detained the trawler’s captain; China responded by cutting off Japan’s access to crucial raw materials.

        And there was nowhere else to turn: China accounts for 97 percent of the world’s supply of rare earths, minerals that play an essential role in many high-technology products, including military equipment. Sure enough, Japan soon let the captain go.

        I don’t know about you, but I find this story deeply disturbing, both for what it says about China and what it says about us. On one side, the affair highlights the fecklessness of U.S. policy makers, who did nothing while an unreliable regime acquired a stranglehold on key materials. On the other side, the incident shows a Chinese government that is dangerously trigger-happy, willing to wage economic warfare on the slightest provocation.

        Some background: The rare earths are elements whose unique properties play a crucial role in applications ranging from hybrid motors to fiber optics. Until the mid-1980s the United States dominated production, but then China moved in.

        "There is oil in the Middle East; there is rare earth in China," declared Deng Xiaoping, the architect of China’s economic transformation, in 1992. Indeed, China has about a third of the world’s rare earth deposits. This relative abundance, combined with low extraction and processing costs — reflecting both low wages and weak environmental standards — allowed China’s producers to undercut the U.S. industry.

        More...

        http://www.nytimes.com/...

        •  Don't worry, the resource wars are just (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          alizard, mightymouse, jayden

          a few years off.

        •  The problem for the Chinese is that rare earths (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Flint

          aren't really that rare. The US a decade or so ago was the major producer of these metals and we still have the same reserves now as we had them. The issue is that the Chinese produced them so cheap that mines in the US closed down because they can't make a profit competing against the cheap Chinese mines.
          Were the Chinese to restrict these metals enough to raise their price, then they'd have competition again. That's why I predict they Chinese won't withhold these metals for long.

          •  True... sort of... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            alizard

            The problem is China has no environmental laws to speak of and cheap expendable labor.

            Global rare earth production
            Global production 1950-2000

            Until 1948, most of the world's rare earths were sourced from placer sand deposits in India and Brazil.[9] Through the 1950s, South Africa took the status as the world's rare earth source, after large veins of rare earth bearing monazite were discovered there.[9] Through the 1960s until the 1980s, the Mountain Pass rare earth mine in California was the leading producer. Today, the Indian and South African deposits still produce some rare earth concentrates, but they are dwarfed by the scale of Chinese production. China now produces over 97% of the world's rare earth supply, mostly in Inner Mongolia,[7][10] even though it has only 37% of proven reserves.[11] All of the world's heavy rare earths (such as dysprosium) come from Chinese rare earth sources such as the polymetallic Bayan Obo deposit.[10][12]

            New demand has recently strained supply, and there is growing concern that the world may soon face a shortage of the rare earths.[13] In several years, worldwide demand for rare earth elements is expected to exceed supply by 40,000 tonnes annually unless major new sources are developed.[14]
            [edit] China slashes rare-earth exports

            Concerns have mounted about the reliability of China as a primary supplier of rare earths.[8] On September 1, 2009, China announced plans to reduce its export quota to 35,000 tons per year in 2010-2015, ostensibly to conserve scarce resources and protect the environment.[15] On October 19, 2010 China Daily, citing an unnamed Ministry of Commerce official, reported that China will "further reduce quotas for rare earth exports by 30 percent at most next year to protect the precious metals from over-exploitation".[16]

            As a result of the increased demand and tightening restrictions on exports of the metals from China, searches for alternative sources in Australia, Brazil, Canada, South Africa, and the United States are ongoing.[17] Mines in these countries were closed when China undercut world prices in the 1990s, and it will take a few years to restart production as there are many barriers to entry.[8] One example is the Mountain Pass mine in California, which is projected to reopen in 2011.[10][18] Other significant sites under development outside of China include the Nolans Project in Central Australia, the remote Hoidas Lake project in northern Canada,[19] and the Mount Weld project in Australia.[10][18][20] The Hoidas Lake project has the potential to supply about 10% of the $1 billion of REE consumption that occurs in North America every year.[21] Vietnam signed an agreement in October 2010 to supply Japan with rare earths[22] from its northwestern Lai Châu Province.[23]

            more...

            http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        •  it's my understanding that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cynic in seattle

          the Chinese will be happy to sell you all the rare earths you want as long as you buy them as metal or built into products.

          It's exporting the raw ores for foreign processing they're putting a stop to. This is normal for a Third World country climbing the development curve.

          Though the idea that all the world's rare earth production should be in China is a bad one. If the US had an industrial policy, part of it should be that strategic raw materials we need should have at least some US sourcing, even if it has to be subsidized.

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 05:44:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Little nitpick allowed? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Flint, blueoasis, BYw

        American (and British) media - like CNBC here - love to use the German national unemployment rate.
        Without mentioning to their readers / viewers that it uses a different definition of unemployment.

        The ILO definition which is broadly similar to the US definition of unemployment would give an unemployment rate of 6.3% in October.

        •  Can you provide some links... (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not doubting what you say but could you supply some links to support what you are saying? It would be helpful to the discussion.

          Thanks

          •  Sure. (6+ / 0-)

            The German Unemployment Story is Better than the NYT Suggests

            While the article tells readers that Germany's unemployment rate is 7.6 percent, this is the German government measure. This measure counts people who want full-time work but only have part-time jobs as being unemployed. By contrast, the OECD's methodology, which is similar to the one used by the United States, shows a German unemployment rate of 7.0 percent, roughly the same as before the downturn.

            Also in German the official job agency numbers:

            Arbeitslosenquote im Oktober:

            -0,2 Prozentpunkte auf 7,0 Prozent

            unemployment rate in October:

            - 0.2% to 7.0%

            Die nach dem ILO-Erwerbskonzept vom Statistischen Bundesamt ermittelte Erwerbslosigkeit belief sich in Deutschland für den September auf 2,74 Millionen und die Erwerbslosenquote auf 6,3 Prozent.

            The unemployment number following the ILO definition - determined by the Federal statistics bureau - for September was 2.74 million and the unemployment rate 6.3%.

            (English translation done by me as best as I could.)

            And just found:
            What does the ILO labour market statistics describe?

            According to the definition of the ILO as concretised by the EU, any person aged between 15 and 74 years is considered unemployed if he/she was not employed in that period, but actively sought work over the four weeks preceding the survey. The volume of time of the work sought is not relevant. The person must be able to take up employment within two weeks. It is not necessary to involve an employment agency or a local institution in the search. The unemployment rate is calculated as the share of unemployed persons in the total labour force

            The labour force comprises anyone who is either employed or unemployed. Consequently, anyone neither employed nor offering his/her labour on the labour market is considered as part of the inactive population.

            The unemployment definition based on the ILO concept thus differs from the definition of the number of registered unemployed according to the German Social Security Code (SGB), which is the basis of the figures published by the Federal Employment Agency. For a person to be recorded as unemployed, the SGB requires that the person is registered with an employment agency or a local institution and seeks an employment of at least 15 hours per week. In line with the SGB, it is however possible to perform a job of less than 15 hours for additional earnings despite being registered as unemployed.

            Simply put in Germany for example you can count as unemployed if you work 14 hours a week but search for a full time job. While according to US and ILO definitions you count as employed if you work 1 hour a week.

            And in the German system you are entitled to government aid even after your unemployment benefits run out. Provided - if you´re capable of working - you register as unemployed with the federal job agency. Which is a powerful incentive to register as unemployed.

            How many Americans would register as unemployed if that would mean:

            1. rent will be paid (size of the flat allowed depends on family size)
            1. health insurance paid
            1. Euro 385 per adult paid in cash every month
            •  Good Stuff! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Detlef

              Thanks a heap! And a special thanks for the translation.

            •  I should learn German:) (0+ / 0-)

              How many Americans would register as unemployed if that would mean:

                1. rent will be paid (size of the flat allowed depends on family size)

                2. health insurance paid

                3. Euro 385 per adult paid in cash every month

              "Sisters, brothers and the whities, Blacks and the crackers, Police and their backers, They're all political actors"--Curtis Mayfield

              by Cynic in seattle on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:43:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I am a fierce defender of the German (0+ / 0-)

                or Scandinavian system. :)

                I finished university in the early 1990s. Bad time.
                I was unemployed for nearly 6 months. Only able to survive because of the system mentioned above.
                (Students don´t pay into the unemployment insurance system, so if they´re unemployed after finishing university they have to rely on the basic German welfare system.)

                Since then I probably paid a lot of taxes into the system. A lot more than the amount used to keep me alive back then.

                And you know what, I don´t care.
                It´s pay-back time for me.
                The safety net helped me back then, now it´s my turn.

      •  modern Germany (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alizard

        What you say about the minimum wage isn't quite true. Many german workplaces has gone from true union based pay to 'kolonne work' where a gangmaster gets the pay, and pay the group ( a lot less than the union wage). Ex. many danish job in the slaughterhouse sector has gone to Germany, and is now being done by low payed polish or romanian workers.

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

        Yes, Germany still makes things and it probably has the best car making and engineering industry in the world.

        But please don't kid yourself about it. In the former east and the declining areas of the Ruhr, for example, people are fighting for jobs in shops and factories that pay 400 Euros [~$550] a month. Employers routinely exploit the benefits system that will top up the earnings of people who earn this amount or less. Meanwhile, who is pocketing the difference and walking away with huge salaries?

        The big German manufacturing firms routinely exploit their trainees, offering them traineeships that go on for years and that pay no more than 500 Euros a month - and that isn't just to school leavers, it's often graduates.

        The long term unemployment in the east and the Ruhr is comparable with Merseyside.

        Most of the money earned by the exporters goes to the bosses, the bankers and the shipping industry in Hamburg. Otherwise you don't notice it.

    •  Where are the people who stood up (19+ / 0-)

      in the 1920's and 1930's?

      Where are they now?

      I'm hoping they will come out sooner or later, but I am afraid the only people angry enough to yell are these racist teabaggers who are being pulled along by a bunch of greedy ass billionaires.

      I am watching the decline of America into a Fascist/Corportist/Statist formerly Great Country.

      And the decline started with Reagan.

      Thank's St. Ronnie.  Heck of a Job.

      -6.13 -4.4 Where are you? Take the Test!!!

      by MarciaJ720 on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:25:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The failure of the Dems (6+ / 0-)

        to not lay the blame for our current economic state on Reaganomics has caused many in this country to blame the Dems and Repubs equally for the mess that we are in. This is the consequence of having the DLC and the "Third Way" in control of the Party in the 80's and 90's. Clinton never challanged the "Supply-Side" economics, and only played with changes around the edges. We still got NAFTA and "free-trade".

        Obama still doesn't lay the blame where it should be, I think in part to protect the Clinton legacy. Bad move.

        The Right lost the Culture War 40 years ago, but are just starting to realize that fact now

        by offgrid on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 10:03:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I hope America doesn't have to learn its lesson (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alizard

        about fascism by going down the ghastly tunnel that Germany did to finally evolve past right wing dominance.

        Demand Filibuster Reform call your Senators at (202) 224-3121 -AND KEEP CALLING

        by Lefty Coaster on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 10:44:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  As I've pointed out repeatedly (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rosita, Cynic in seattle

        their Silent Generation children did not feel the traumas of poverty, class war and WWII near as deep as their parents. The Silent Generation is the only age demographic to give McCain a sizeable majority--and guess who voted last Tuesday? They did.

        The GI generation is all but dead. At the last election of their having any significant strength, they edged Gore. By 2004, seniors strongly went for Bush. The Silent Generation is a Republican generation.

        •  I think this is a great point. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nulwee

          It could explain a lot of what is happening here in FL. (Maybe PA as well? They also have a large senior population) My Dad was a member of the GI generation and a true blue democrat. Unfortunately he died last year at the age of 89. At least he lived to see the Republicans voted out in 2006/08.

    •  Military Industrial Complex 1 Trillion per year (13+ / 0-)

      CIA analyst, distinguished scholar, and best-selling author Chalmers Johnson argues that US military and economic overreach may actually lead to the nation’s collapse as a constitutional republic.

      Military Industrial Complex:
      We are now spending close to 1 trillion dollars a year

      Daniel Ellsberg - "It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam."

      by allenjo on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:33:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Those words coming from you (3+ / 0-)

      carry a lot of weight.

      Oh, blow it out your tubenburbles!

      by jayden on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:48:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My 16 Year Old (13+ / 0-)

      Is a very smart child.  He was basically born with a computer in his lap, so he knows them inside and out.  He's taking algebra, trig, chem, physics, and passing.  He loves it.  He's also taking French.  And he wants his passport.  Where is the American future for my child?  He also has a mouth, though I don't know where that came from, and he has no problem confronting the republican idiocy at school.  

      Do we encourage him to get out and go to a country that values technology and education, or do we encourage him to stay and be the future of a backwards country with no guarantees?

      •  My oldest kid may be gone for good. (27+ / 0-)

        He works with ancient DNA, and he just received his PhD. If his post-doc comes through in the UK, I suspect that he will be gone from the US for ever. He is just the sort of kid we should not be losing. He was a National Merit Scholar and a high school valedictorian. He  has a BA in Paleobiology from UPenn with minors in Spanish, Dutch, and anthropology. He has a PhD from Cambridge, and he speaks 6 languages. What is the future for a kid like that here when half the congress does not believe in evolution?

        •  Wow. Impressive kid. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blue jersey mom

          I wonder if he studied with my college boyfriend who's a professor over there. Is he in your field- which I believe is archeology?

        •  blue jersey mom Thanks for that interesting post (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          alizard, blue jersey mom

          Congrats on your son's graduation. You sound like a proud parent and you have every right to be proud. Certainly the European Union has a lot of opportunity and security to offer bright young Americans.

          Quick question, what do you think about the Spiegel article calling Glenn Beck a proto-fascist agitator? How should we feel about that and how should we feel about Fox news supporting Glenn Beck's shows on TV and radio?

          Some of us are worried about what this may mean for the future of America. How should we feel about that?

          sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

          by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 02:57:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I do think that Beck is an agitator, but I (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mightymouse, Democrats Ramshield

            think that the issue of Fox News is even bigger than that. Fox is the media arm of the Republican Party. They just make things up. It is propaganda, not news. Mix that with Glenn Beck, and you have a truly toxic brew.

            •  to blue jersey mom - well said! (0+ / 0-)

              A question that remains in the minds of many of us, is the Spiegel magazine right, in addition to being an agitator is Beck also a proto-fascist? I wonder if when your time permits you or some of our other readers would offer an opinion on that issue? Thanks!

              sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

              by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 01:42:31 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, I do. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Democrats Ramshield

                First of all. I take the Germans very seriously. My mother's generation in Germany experienced fascism first hand, and the younger generations have had to live with that stigma for their entire lives. (I spent some time in Germany in the 1990s as part of an archaeological project.) The other things that scare me are Beck's attempts to re-interpret the constitution in way that the founding fathers never intended. I don't care whether you are a strict constructionist or whether you see the constitution as a living document that changes with the times, you cannot interpret the constitution the ways that Beck does. To me, this undermines the foundations of our government. In addition, I see Beck as fomenting hate, and hate is needed for fascism to succeed.

                •  I think that this quote from (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Democrats Ramshield

                  Sara Robinson:

                  it's time to openly confront the fact that conservatives have spent the past 40 years systematically delegitimizing the very idea of constitutional democracy in America. When they're in power, they mismanage it and defund it. When they're out of power, they refuse to participate in running the country at all -- indeed, they throw all their energy into thwarting the democratic process any way they can.

                  in xaxnar's rec list diary is particularly telling.

                  •  to blue jersey mom - thanks for posting the quote (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    blue jersey mom

                    It's very good of you to extend yourself to share that insightful quote with our readers. I'm sure our readers are grateful to you for your effort as am I.

                    Even Senator Boehner said that they basically are not interested in working with Pres Obama. Their job is to stop health care reform and to make sure Pres Obama is not re-elected in 2012. I thought their first priority would be to work with the Democrats for job creation.

                    (Senator Boehner quote)
                    "And on repealing the Health Care bill, he sounded fairly clear on that, "I believe that the health care bill will kill jobs in America, ruin the best health care system in the world and bankrupt our country."

                    http://www.npr.org/...

                    sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                    by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 05:48:15 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  please recommend blue jersey mom's post (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  blue jersey mom

                  Thank you for extending yourself to make that insightful post. I'm not a Constitutional scholar by any means but I do have to agree with you, that Beck's interpretation of the US Constitution does seem to be upside down. It's amazing to me that people would listen to Beck's rendition of the US Constitution.

                  Thanks for posting. The posts you made have added value to our discussion here.

                  sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                  by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 05:21:16 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  To say the truth (0+ / 0-)

            I´m not sure if Fox News - especially Glenn Beck - would be legal in Germany?
            It´s not news, it´s not opinion, it´s simply hate speech. Repeating rumors and smears even days after you should have learned that they were false...
            I´m not sure if a TV channel that biased could keep its license here.

            Not sure about it. And before anyone moans about free speech, I can watch 30-40 free TV channels on analog and digital cable TV here in Germany. Including BBC World, CNN International, CNBC, French, Russian and Turkish news channels.
            I don´t feel censored.

            I would feel insulted watching Fox News. And I´d probably cheer the German government if they denied a license to Murdoch. :)

            On the other hand:
            Murdoch’s European Push Confronts ‘Stingy’ Germans

            Maybe Murdoch wants to repeat the WalMart experience. :)
            Facing defeat in Germany. :)

      •  Great question (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hear Our Voices

        Do we encourage him to get out and go to a country that values technology and education, or do we encourage him to stay and be the future of a backwards country with no guarantees?

        It's the same one that never leaves my thoughts -- and I don't have an answer.  Except that I believe, as someone stated upthread, "You can run, but you cannot hide."  The rightwing fascist takeover may be more advanced here than it is in Europe, but the same relentless, filthy rich bastards who bought America, are actively working to fuck-up every other country too.  

        I laughed at this:

        He also has a mouth, though I don't know where that came from,

          Especially considering your user name.
        ;-)

        "Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it." Robert F. Kennedy

        by enough already on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 12:33:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I always prefered Hegel's quote (4+ / 0-)

      "What experience and history teaches us is that people and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it"

    •  Is this (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue jersey mom, pengiep, oscarsmom
      The end of the American Empire?  We are spread thin with two wars and millions of dollars sent to other governments.  While at the same time, too many unemployed Americans which means less income taxes collected.
    •  The right listening to the Europeans? Never. nt (0+ / 0-)

      Some people WANT IT NOW and WANT IT ALL OR NOTHING! They remind me of my 11-year-old daughter.

      by healthy on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 11:27:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I still have some hope that we will fix this mess (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue jersey mom

      Historically speaking, eventually this country distinguishes its ass from a hole in the ground, kicks out the lunatic fringe and stands up and does the right thing.  Winston Churchill said of our country "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing...after they have exhausted all other possibilities."  We are quickly running out of other possibilities so the right thing should be just around the corner.  It is always a struggle and the same ignorant hate pops up every few decades under a new name and a slightly modified agenda but it is still the same.  The Know Nothings and KKK were never allowed to completely control the country and people did support reigning in the corporations.  The country has crossed the line a few times but was frightened by the abyss and jumped back and we still have the opportunity to do it again this time.

  •  The view from abroad is appreciated (65+ / 0-)

    As one who lived abroad during the final 4 Bush years, I feel it is important to note the perception of other nations.  

    In China I faced ridicule from all nationalities of fellow expats as well as Chinese scholars and citizens for the actions of our politicians.

    Incidentally, Bush is still referred to in China as "Xa Shou", the Killer.

    "If we can't be free at least we can be cheap." Zappa

    by Zwoof on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 07:44:17 AM PDT

  •  This is excellent and you know (32+ / 0-)

    your country is in trouble when the Germans find teh crazy disturbing.  They know more about teh crazy taking over than most western countries.Oy vey

    All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Mohandas Gandhi

    by MufsMom on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 07:45:04 AM PDT

    •  plus it's getting a little crazy there right now (6+ / 0-)

      reading Merkel's statement...

      http://www.reuters.com/...

      witness the GOPRANOS.. rethugs: "If they fuck with me or Shaha, I have enough on them to fuck them too." -Paul Wolfowitz, quoted by the UK's Guardian

      by change the Be on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 07:58:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  change the Be, More worried about Beck than Merke (8+ / 0-)

        Frankly, I'm more worried about Beck than Merkel. Which do you think Americans should be more worried about? Also let's please remember, Germans have put a strong social safety net in place in keep history
        from repeating itself. Maybe we should do the same and create a strong American social safety net with universal single payer medical at its center piece.

        sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

        by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:25:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Merkel is the least popular chancellor (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oscarsmom, change the Be, BYw

        in ages here.

        She basically was elected because the Germans felt the conservatives would be better with economics during the financial crisis.  Half a year later, they had an extreme case of buyer's remorse.

        The approval rating for the current conservative German Govt. hovers around 30% ... they actually may not last until the next election.

        "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

        by Lawrence on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:37:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  thanks for info (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lawrence, alizard

          I knew she wasn't too popular, but damn. Bush-level approval. that's pretty bad.

          I trust germans to figure their shit out for the most part. it's a very fun country to visit and I recommend it to all kossacks.

          witness the GOPRANOS.. rethugs: "If they fuck with me or Shaha, I have enough on them to fuck them too." -Paul Wolfowitz, quoted by the UK's Guardian

          by change the Be on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 10:59:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, it's a cool country (0+ / 0-)

            and Berlin is an incredibly cool city.

            The conservatives only get about 25% to 30% of the vote in Berlin... and these are moderate conservatives.  :D  I fully expect the the Green Party to become the strongest party in Berlin in the 2011 state elections.  The Greens are polling at 20% nationally, btw, which is very heartening.

            "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

            by Lawrence on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 12:24:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Moderate conservatives? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              alizard

              In the USA they probably would be called socialists by Fox News. :)
              If Obama is a socialist, Merkel probably would be a communist. :)

              Maybe that´s the advantage here in Germany.
              Voters aren´t restricted to a two-party system. New parties can emerge and did during the last 30 years.
              So if existing parties think about moving to the right, new viable parties will emerge on the left. Keeping the "center" firmly in the "middle". :)

      •  Not really. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pamelabrown, change the Be

        At least not yet.

        You have to understand the context. "Multikulti" aka multicultural society is (partly) a feel good slogan in Germany. If you are pro-Multikulti you could feel good. Per definition you are not a racist or neo nazi or whatever.
        So some supporters - espeically among the Greens - resisted anything that to them reduced multi culturalism.

        The problem is that this approach led to kids that speak only very poor German. They have problems finishing school, studying or finding an apprenticeship. A permanent underclass if nothing is done.

    •  To MufsMom - The German warning (11+ / 0-)

      It's something that shouldn't be ignored because Germany has learned the hard lessons of history. As the saying goes, those who haven't learned from history are doomed to repeat it.

      Wise words indeed.

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:09:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Angela Merkel agrees (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bigchin

      "This multicultural approach, saying that we simply live side by side and live happily with each other has failed. Utterly failed,"

  •  How nice of Spiegel (11+ / 0-)

    I note Germany has their lowest unemployment in 18 years.

    Aren't they the ones who told the President to get lost when he pressured them to increase spending?

    "Let us give this capital back to the people to whom it belongs."-William Jefferson Clinton

    by The High Command on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 07:51:18 AM PDT

  •  Well, it's pretty obvious to us, so I guess it's (29+ / 0-)

    pretty obvious to people living outside US borders that this country is in decline and is undergoing some kind of psychotic episode.

    Sarah Palin 2012!!! Prove the Mayans right...

    by funluvn1 on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 07:53:45 AM PDT

  •  Is the implication that it's the Republican's... (9+ / 0-)

    fault that America is in decline.  That it has nothing to do with the historical economic success of other countries, other regions.  

    Globalism is by definition the creation of a single economic zone, where those with the most competitive environment-lowest wages, best infrastructure, most stable society-gain in productive activity.  

    America's decline is based on these factors, and political parties vie to benefit by blaming each other for causing it. There is not a single political figure who can acknowledge this, accept that as a country we are in decline, and that the real question is whether we can adjust, both in policies and in in national mindset.

    If you recall, the move to globalism was bi partisan.  The decision to fund a military capacity, as if the success of countries will be based on armed agrandation or defense thereof, was also bi partisan.  

    This site focuses on the trees, the differences between parties.  It's what we do.  It's what the media does.  It's the American mindset. And, of course we do not have a sense of unity that most European countries have.  They did not import a tenth of their population as a caste defined as sub human and then make the attempt to redress this aberration of humanity.  Most thinkers at the time felt it was impossible (Lincoln, Jefferson to name a few) yet we are trying.

    I will read the article when I get a chance, but knowing Das Spiegal, I would bet it describes the larger issues for our countries decline, to be one of the pack trying to survive in a Darwinian battle among competitors.    

    •  Globalism was not bi-partisan. Understand to (12+ / 0-)

      get concepts like WTO, GATT, NAFTA into place it took decades of right wing funded (Koch, Scaife, Coors) think tanks (Heritage, CATO, etc.) to spread this crap until enough turnover took place in both parties, but especially the Democratic party to then make it palatable.  It also took concerted efforts to move it into the higher educational agendas, media consolidation to let the forming memes remain unchallenged and later supported, and lower educational systems to quash critical thinking and awareness of past social/economic players (e.g. unions, socialists, etc.).  Finally corruption of our election systems, some legal, others not, was also employed to put the players in place.  It was a multi generational plan and they have succeeded wildly, based jus ton your post, above.

      To say it is bipartisan is inaccurate, at the least.  It was a right wing neo-liberal policy.  Now it is treated as the accepted norm, like heroin or crack to a drug addict.  It does not mean it is healthy for a society.  All it does it raise other societies, via slave like labor conditions, while draining wealth and vitality from ours and making the Capitalists who utilize it very, very, very rich.  Economic Hitmen.

      So, Globalism is much more a Republican/right wing construct, regardless of the assists the Democrats gave to it at later points after they were corrupted and moved unwittingly rightward.  This it not to give them a pass but put the real cause where it is deserved.

      It it important to keep in mind that Globalism is not a liberal position; it is neo-liberal Milton Freidman crap.  Trade isa liberal position, hwoever. That is trade with appropriate tariffs, such as it was for over 200 years in this country until the late 70’s and especially after Reagan took office.  

      Obama needs to channel TR+FDR: Walk Softly, Carry a Big Stick and Welcome Their Hatred. Walk Softly, CHECK. Time to get on with the rest already, Barack!

      by FightTheFuture on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:15:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When Germans say American right = "proto-fascists (40+ / 0-)

    well, you know you have a problem

    Trying to claim the moral high ground by remaining above the fray just gives attackers more room to swing the axe. ~ Kossack aluluei

    by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 07:54:35 AM PDT

  •  American Imperial Implosion (27+ / 0-)

     Due to our economy, our oil dependence, and climate change, we face an imperial implosion. We're going to have dramatic military budget cuts. Parts of the world currently kept quiet by the threat of our intervention are going to become ... unquiet.

    And the kooks (Tea Party, Birchers reborn, etc) will blame Obama for macroeconomic issues created by a generation of stupid conservative theory being tested on our nation.

     Proto-fascist now, and headed for some theo-fascist future, with seemingly no means to put a stop to it.

  •  Most of my life I wondered how it happened. (36+ / 0-)

    No more.  

    I didn't understand how ordinary people let it happen.  

    No more.

    But it is depressing beyond words to someone to grew up playing in bomb holes and bunkers in post-war Holland, saw Rotterdam leveled.

    It is surreal.  It is Lord of the Flies on steroids.

    I feel helpless, because the corporations are so much more powerful than we are as individuals...and they never die, never get sick, don't have a soul.  

    We MUST create a different reality - where e understand the reasons why we human beings live together in communities.  Human life is not supposed to be dog-eat-dog, we have the ability to see our interconnectedness and to build a social contract where we support and care for one another.

    OY!

    Let's break our dependence on foreign goods and our multinational masters. Shop American. May Peace Prevail

    by revgerry on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:00:09 AM PDT

  •  An American expat wrote this? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WeBetterWinThisTime, Anak

    Just curious.

    •  ... (11+ / 0-)

      (Written by an American expat living in the European Union)

      The attack on education has played a HUGE role in this. It would not be possible to convince people to vote against themselves if it weren't for the fact that they were stupid.

      •  Yes I saw that, that's why I was asking (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lupin

        Just curious to hear from the diarist.

        •  The diarist wrote that. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lupin, Democrats Ramshield, AreDeutz

          You did hear from the diarist about that. Mystery solved.

          •  I doubt it (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mnemosyne, Nulwee, jennylind, Anak

            The diary has a lot of the hallmarks of non-native speaker writing in English, in this case I would have guessed German. I mean the diarists portions, not the quotes from der Speigel.

            It's something you learn to recognize living abroad, the vocabulary of one language but mixed with the syntax of another. This is especially true if you've edited lots of non-Anglophones writing in English.

            Of course someone can be an American and yet a non-native English speaker. So I was just curious to ask what the story was, not to be critical. I wanted to give the diarist a chance to explain before I wrote anything more.

            Unlike the diarist, you don't deserve a civil response since you're such a creep, but there you are anyway.

            •  Yeah, I don't think diarist (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TimeZoned, Nulwee

              is a native speaker either. I could barely read this diary.

              Nuestro sacrificio es consciente; cuota para pagar la libertad que construimos--Ernesto Guevara

              by Anak on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:30:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I could post lots of examples (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Anak

                but as I say, I didn't mean to just jump in being critical or snarky, but was just curious to ask instead.

              •  If you are young (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FiredUpInCA

                it is possible the cadences in the writing are different.  Try it again.  I found it quite readable, although I would have liked to have more than was offered.

                I do find that we are going to regret this next two years of rethugs killing unions and any workers initiatives, not to mention their killing off safety nets and jobs.  Buckle down kids, find friends and community, because this ride just became rougher.

                •  No, I'm not young... (0+ / 0-)

                  You think this is good? And it's just one example:

                  In part 4 of this article entitled The New American Nightmare we see that the Spiegel has presented an event at a town hall, wherein Pres Obama according to the Spiegal magazine offers a critique of Velma Hart[...]

                  Nuestro sacrificio es consciente; cuota para pagar la libertad que construimos--Ernesto Guevara

                  by Anak on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 11:49:58 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Sorry, hit sent too soon (0+ / 0-)
                    1. What is entitled "The New American Nightmare," part 4 or the article?
                    1. "Spiegel has presented an event"? You mean, they held the town hall meeting?
                    1. "wherein" is a nice word, but here it is out of place and wordy.
                    1. "according to the Spiegel magazine." Everyone here knows the event being referred to here. It really happened. So why "according to"?  
                    1. "Obama offers a critique of Velma Hart". Huh? So, at a recent town hall meeting, Obama offered a critique of Velma Hart. That is a totally bizarre way of describing what happened.

                    Nuestro sacrificio es consciente; cuota para pagar la libertad que construimos--Ernesto Guevara

                    by Anak on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 11:59:58 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Anak did not recommend this diary (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Anak

                Could you share with our readers why you don't support this diary? If you have time to reply thanks in advance for doing so.  

                sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 12:30:43 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Amigo, I have nothing against (0+ / 0-)

                  the spirit of your diary. So, yes, I do support it. Sorry if I gave across a different impression!

                  Aber, wie ich gesagt habe, it was a torture to read. You started off saying that you were an ex-pat, but the way in which you wrote sounded typisch Deutsch, thus making some of us question your declaration that you are an ex-pat, a native English speaker.

                  Keep in mind that I didn't reply to your diary--I only replied to another Kossack's comment. My propose wasn't to criticize you for your contribution.

                  Ich wünsche Dir alles Gute,
                  --Anak

                  Nuestro sacrificio es consciente; cuota para pagar la libertad que construimos--Ernesto Guevara

                  by Anak on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 10:01:29 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  To Anak - Please read this (0+ / 0-)

                    No offense taken at your post which I don't think anyone lost sleep over. With over 600 posts, I think most people probably couldn't even find it to read it.

                    The simple fact is the readers of this diary (whose support I'm very grateful for) just don't agree with your point of view. Therefore with their support, this diary reached # 4 on jotter's list of high impact diaries. http://www.dailykos.com/...

                    sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                    by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 11:29:24 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Lol... (0+ / 0-)

                      Getting a bit high on your horse there, aren't you.

                      I expressed NO point of view in my comments, except that your English was strange. If you think your "high impact diaries" show a disagreement with my "point of view," well, that is just silly.

                      Maybe you should learn to write better and then we wouldn't have these misunderstandings.

                      Nuestro sacrificio es consciente; cuota para pagar la libertad que construimos--Ernesto Guevara

                      by Anak on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 07:54:45 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Why are you calling me names? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Nulwee, Democrats Ramshield

              You were being intentionally obtuse as a ruse to get a response from the diarist. I believe that it's  fair me to comment on the state of education and the stupidity of our population while I respond to you.

              I'm ok with your name calling. You wish to be combative with me, and that's fine. I do not wish to spar with you anymore. You win.

              •  I was doing no such thing (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Nulwee, jennylind

                I was asking a polite question. It was entirely sincere.

                There could have been several possible responses, it was a courtesy to ask rather than just start posting examples, making assumptions, and being critical.

                You really need to learn some manners.

                •  It wasn't sincere. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pluto, Nulwee, Democrats Ramshield

                  After I quoted the diarist saying that they were an expat, you admitted that you had read that. You asked the question anyhow. That is not sincere.

                  Sincerity would have been to come right out and make the claim that you think that the diarist is not really an expat (and is a liar), and that therefore the diary is garbage. There you go: Diarist and diary discredited in one shot. Instead you chose to pretend to be stupid in an effort to draw the diarist out. You wished to play a little bit of cat and mouse. That isn't sincere.

                  I'm curious about your definition of manners.

                  (That's me pretending to be stupid as I already know how you define manners: Anyone who points out your insincerity does not have them.)

                  •  To Wabird - Thanks (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    wabird

                    Very well said. Thanks for your support.

                    sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                    by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 10:24:07 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No problem. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      oscarsmom

                      Your diary is bound to expose some nerves and bring out the proud American crowd.

                      •  Take a deep breath (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        wabird

                        and relax for a minute. Just because someone asks if the diarist is a native-speaker or not isn't necessarily an attack.

                        I read the questions above, and as an editor who works with language all the time was curious, too. DR has some stilted bits of phrasing in his sentence structure, and it's a question that I had thought to ask myself.

                        So maybe he's not a native English speaker, or maybe he just writes in an awkward manner. Whatever, the information he posts is interesting and useful, and the discussions in his diaries are worth the time spent in reading.

                        One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.--A.A. Milne

                        by Mnemosyne on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 11:00:55 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I understand the cues. (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Mnemosyne, Pluto, Democrats Ramshield

                          I even understand why anyone would care. I disagree with openly foreign posters here a lot. In my disagreement with their position I'm often tempted to bring up nationality. I get it.

                          That doesn't make it right. And in this case, the diarist said that they were an expat. If you're going to accuse someone of lying, have the courage to do so openly. That's what bothers me here.

                          Ok, I'm taking your advice and stepping away from the computer. Breathing...

                          •  wabird - your breathing is fine (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            aliasalias

                            Over 500 people were able to read and recommend this diary.

                            Two people who did not recommend this diary claim they have trouble reading it. I hope we can take that at face value and please move on with our discussion with the people who do support the diary.

                            The bottom line here is while we can all be proud Americans, we honestly don't have to be proud of everything America does. We don't have to be proud that over 50 million Americans don't have health insurance. We don't have to be proud that 60 million Americans have no paid sick leave. We can do better. That is what elections are about and that is why we are discussing this in the aftermath of the election.

                            To that end I want to thank everyone for their support and invite them if they would please to read the quote below.

                            Roughly 60 million American workers have no paid sick leave, and only a minority can draw pay if they stay home with sick children. The lack of paid leave is especially acute in this country among low-wage workers, food-service workers and part-timers, among others.

                            Many other countries do better. According to Dr. Jody Heymann, director of the Institute for Health and Social Policy at McGill University, more than 160 countries ensure that all their citizens receive paid sick leave and more than 110 of them guarantee paid leave from the first day of illness.
                            http://www.nytimes.com/...

                            sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                            by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 12:42:57 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Take criticism in stride, not personally (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Mnemosyne

                            While the Der Spiegel article you linked to is very good, your own writing is poor. It is fair to ask if you are a native English speaker. Also, the reason someone may not have recommended your diary is because it already made it to the rec list and felt that recommending it themselves would be redundant.

                          •  to Constantine - your reading skills must be poor (0+ / 0-)

                            If you are going to characterize my writing skills, then it is fair for me to characterize your reading skills, and the fact you come off sounding like a complete posturing, pontificating little person. I hope that you take your own advice and take this criticism I've offered to you in good stride and not personally. I understand that when you put up a controversial diary, that can come with ad hominen attacks and I accept that for what it is, which is a personal insult to distract from the merits of the diary, which you never addressed in your ad hominen post.

                            I am completely unapologetic about my colloquial writing style, as I'm at the Kos here writing for the masses and not for the peer reviewed journal literature. I'll put it to our readers over 400 people who unlike you actually recommended and supported this diary and by de facto disagree with you and I'll leave it at that!  

                            sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                            by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 08:28:01 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Constantine - debate invitation (0+ / 0-)

                            Just on the off chance that you may have an opinion on the merits of this diary, I would invite you to post your criticism. I think that polemic engagement  would make interesting reading. My concern is as America presently has 60 million people who have no paid sick leave, 50 million people who have no medical insurance, the worse poverty rate for children and the elderly of any industrialized country, that the American dream is dying!

                            Colloquially put the United States is the only major industrialized nation in the world that doesn't provide universal medical access for all of its citizens. The only major industrialized nation that doesn't provide by right of law job protected paid maternity leave, paid sick leave or paid annual leave. This has made America a laughing stock in the European press. Isn't our position becoming more and more untenable? Now do you have an opinion on any of these things? Or are you just here to make posts about grammar?

                            sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                            by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 09:04:25 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I already expressed my opinion of the diary (0+ / 0-)

                            on the off chance that you may have an opinion on the merits of this diary

                            As I wrote in my comment:

                            the Der Spiegel article you linked to is very good

                            For the most part, I concentrated on the Der Spiegel article and ignored your commentary because it was poorly written. It's also a bit creepy when you start attacking people with, "why didn't you recommend my diary???"

                          •  please ignore Constantine's illiteracy rant (0+ / 0-)

                            Obviously as over 400 of you recommended this diary, you do not share Constantine's opinion that this diary was written by an illiterate.

                            I'm grateful for your support which has rated this diary in 4th place on the jotter's high impact diary list with over 2,000 views.

                            Though this diary is no longer on the rec list, I will continue to check it and respond to posts as time permits, for anyone willing to post except for Constantine, as they obviously have nothing further to add to the discussion so I won't respond to them again on this or any other diary.  Why it is that 50 million people in the US have no health insurance and another 60 million in the US have no paid sick leave. These are serious issues that warrant serious discussion. Thanks again for all your posts which have now exceeded 600 and support which has made this diary a success.

                            sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                            by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 04:06:53 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  to Mnemosyne - please don't feed the trolls (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          aliasalias

                          I'd like to ask you where do you think we are honestly?
                          Am I writing here for a peer reviewed refereed academic journal because if we are not, then I can apologetically write in colloquial English without ad hominen attacks.

                          I am an American expat who is a native English speaker says as in the words of Gallileo, if your eyes see something believe what your eyes
                          are seeing you. What we see if we trust our eyes is an American empire in decline.

                          Certainly your comments are wholly misplaced, in so far as while we can be proud Americans, this necessarily doesn't mean we have to be
                          proud of everything America does. Certainly when it comes to our crumbling infrastructure and weak social safety net, that leaves 50 million Americans uninsured and 60 million Americans without any paid sick leave, we can do better.
                          We can say that without taking a deep breath, because it is simply the truth.

                          That is what elections are for, and in the aftermath of an election that is what we are discussing here. Let us be clear, while it is possible for you to have your own opinion, I don't think it is possible for you to have your own facts! And I passionately argue that we can be proud
                          Americans but we don't have to be proud of everything that America does and we do not have to be proud of the failed US social safety net when
                          compared to the European nations.  

                          sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                          by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 11:44:13 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  C'mon, DR (0+ / 0-)

                            I was simply trying to calm down what was degenerating into a shouting match and threatening to hijack the entire thread.

                            And I was supporting what you said, not attacking. You hold up a mirror with an offshore focus, which is useful in trying to get some perspective--something that's pretty much impossible if you get all your news here from domestic sources.

                            One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.--A.A. Milne

                            by Mnemosyne on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 11:53:47 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  To Mnemosyne - please read (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            aliasalias, codairem

                            Your comments are well taken. I also have noticed that you have recommended a number of my past diaries. Let me take this time to thank you and other readers for your support,it is much appreciated.

                            For me this diary isn't about my writing in colloquial English, because my message is about clearly communicating to working class folks, that they are presently through their taxes in America already paying for a European style social safety net. They just are not getting one.

                            The plutocrat owned for-profit elite media in the United States as you know will not address this issue in any substantive fashion except in short forgettable articles or sound bytes. The simple fact is that America internationally has become a laughing stock! Americans when they are confronted with this get defensive. Therefore we don't allow Europeans or the European media, as is the case with this Spiegel article to tell us the truth. The truth is America this year did not make the top ten list of the United Nations Human Development Index rated nations.

                            Now tell our readers should we be proud of that? Does being a proud American mean being proud of everything America does, to include having 403 American billionaires, the most of any nation in the world, while concurrently having 50 million people who are medically uninsured. Having 60 million people who have no paid sick leave. Being the only major industrial nation in the world that doesn't provide paid maternity leave by right of law. The litany goes on....

                            I would like to foster some discussion on this issue, rather than having the grammar police read the tealeaves from their densely packed teabags, on whether or not I'm an American, or a native English speaker!

                            sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                            by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 12:14:54 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  my comment was thoughtless, and (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Democrats Ramshield

                            for that I apologize.

                            It wasn't meant personally, but editorially. Many of the people who write here, including most of the front-pagers, seriously need editing. Actually, anyone who writes for public consumption needs editing.

                            I don't think there's a lot of disagreement about the information you present--certainly not judging by the comments in your diaries. The question is: What to do about the abysmal situation?

                            Short of prying the American populace away from its giant TV sets and "reality" shows, educating them about the basics of economics and international finance plus international relations, with a soupcon of critical thinking stirred in, I dunno.

                            It's more than the wretched state of public communications and media--American children no longer learn critical thinking but to do well on tests. They no longer learn geography--most Americans can't find Iraq on a map.

                            I suspect the best you can do is keep putting the information out there. Some will hear you, some won't--they self-select. With any kind of luck, at some point the whole thing will reach critical mass, and the great lumbering beast of the population will wake up to how it has been getting royally screwed over for the last 30 years.

                            All we can do is keep on keeping on, continuing to speak in what we trust are the voices of reality, and hope that the others hear us before it's too late.

                            One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.--A.A. Milne

                            by Mnemosyne on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 05:23:47 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  to Mnemosyne - Beck is a proto-fascist? (0+ / 0-)

                            Thanks for the thoughtful comment.
                            Thanks also for supporting my diaries.

                            One quick question though if you would please, the Spiegel piece makes reference to Glenn Beck being a proto-fascist and agitator. How should we feel about that as Beck speaks to an audience of millions regularly on Fox news?

                            sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                            by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 05:42:17 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Whether he's proto, (0+ / 0-)

                            pre, present, or past, the fact is that he appears on cable, which is not covered by regulation that would get him off the air. So short of buying out Murdock, I don't see how we can get rid of him.

                            We can, of course, continue to boycott very publicly his sponsors, but I believe that's been done to the point that many have left. If his program runs at an advertising loss, Murdock has deep enough pockets to absorb that and apparently wants the propaganda to continue.

                            As I said above, the only alternative seems to be ongoing efforts to try to educate the populace at large and hope that people wake up in time.

                            I am afraid, however, that someone influenced by him will do something violent and deadly first. We've had that narrowly averted a couple of times, that we know of. If that happens, it's possible that there could be enough of an outcry that Murdock would take him off the air. But I am not going to hold my breath.

                            One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.--A.A. Milne

                            by Mnemosyne on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 07:29:53 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

            •  To TimeZoned (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blueoasis, codairem, wabird, happyi

              If you actually read the diary you would have seen that I’m a Expat American living in the E.U. But this assumes you can read English.

              sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

              by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:47:13 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I read the diary (0+ / 0-)

                and I asked if you were really an American expat. Did you miss the word expat in my question?

                As I explained above, it was a simple question because of your writing. If the answer is yes, that's fine. That's all it took, not all this nastiness, from you and the other.

                Wow.

                •  TimeZoned - I see you didn't rec the diary (0+ / 0-)

                  Could I please ask why you don't support this diary? What is it specifically that you object to, or don't agree with?

                  sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                  by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 12:23:49 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Oh I see (0+ / 0-)

        You're making the "stupid" crack regarding your assumption that I had missed that line in the diary?

        Charming.

  •  I Thought I Could Not Be More (27+ / 0-)

    worried than I was in 2003 - before the stupidfuckingasscrazy Iraq war, but I am now even more worried.

    What does an empire going into a fast decline do to take folks minds off all the bad shit happening to them?  Find - or make up - a big bad enemy and start blowing shit up, while saying see how badass we still are?

    And that's exactly where we are going.

    You can't always tell the truth because you don't always know the truth - but you can always be honest.

    by mattman on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:02:23 AM PDT

  •  Der Spegiel invoked GODWINS LAW (5+ / 0-)

    hmmm maybe they get an exemption

    nailed BECK but good

    I wonder if Sarah can see Bonn from her backyard

    Have the TeaPublicans fixed the economy yet?

    by KnotIookin on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:02:44 AM PDT

  •  my bf is german (30+ / 0-)

    when he was here visiting summer of 09
    during the hc debate
    his comment to me was:

    your president is trying to make sure everyone gets health care
    and they draw a hitler mustache on him....?! it doesn't make sense...
    i don't understand american people.

    well... except for me, of course.

    "Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle." -Helen Keller

    by ridemybike on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:10:00 AM PDT

  •  Excellent and prescient. (27+ / 0-)

    I heard someone say last week that the US decline in jobs & manufacturing wasn't a result of any factors that have occurred in the past that were responsible for similar declines in other countries -- they were deliberate -- we gave those jobs away, we closed those factories down -- we, meaning Big Business interests and the WS mafia thugs.

    You'd have to be really, really stupid or really, really isolated, too, not to see what was happening during the 70s, 80s, & 90s and I wondered why businesses would want to kill the American consumer-goose that laid its golden egg.  After reading Jeff Sharlet's The Family, it all became clear to me why Big Biz did this.

    The evangelical right cannot achieve its goals of creating a theocratic oligarchy based on biblical capitalism while a strong middle class exists, so they have aligned themselves w/business to destroy the middle class in this country and replace it with a subservient population desperate for any wages the elite chooses to pay and grateful for the crumbs the wealthy deign to throw their way.

    If it sounds crazy, it is -- but that's what's taking place, slowly but surely.  Just listen to the rhetoric coming from people like Jim Demint and Tom Coburn (Family members, btw) and watch the policies being implemented in states controlled by extreme RW elements.

    Ignore it, if you choose, deny it, if you will, but it's here and it's happening right under our noses.  Whether we choose to do anything about it will be the greatest test this democracy has ever faced, imo.  We might even be forced into another war to resolve it -- civil or otherwise.

    •  Some of it is "expansion". (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oscarsmom

      I wondered why businesses would want to kill the American consumer-goose that laid its golden egg

      Developing new markets, because this one is saturated. This one has to drop some while the others are being brought up.

      -- We are just regular people informed on issues

      by mike101 on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 11:02:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I see the expansion as pure unadulterated (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cynic in seattle

        greed.  Factories here in the US were shipped to countries with huge, low-paid labor pools so as to bypass unions, the goods produced in turn, were resold to American consumers at cheap prices, which led to the outsourcing of more jobs/factories reselling products formerly made by US workers back to American consumers -- all in a downward spiral which pushed the wage floor ever lower, here and abroad.

        And that was the whole idea: engineer a situation where workers are competing with each other to see who can/will work for less.

        In MO, workers at a Maytag factory, for instance, were told that their jobs were going to Mexico and when the workers offered to take paycuts and work for the same wage as Mexicans (they just wanted to keep their jobs), management said go fuhk yourself.

  •  The case for immigration to Germany? (10+ / 0-)

    There's a debate going on in Germany that more immigration is needed to counteract the aging German population.

    And I actually realized just yet that this debate is based somehow on the presumption that this immigration needs to come from eastern and/or muslim countries (which sparked some rather unfortunate debate here lately).

    So I wonder how that debate would be going if Germany actively tried to persuade young Americans to become German citizens. I mean -  there would be only a minor culture gap and little initial language barriers.

    Interesting thought...

    Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. -- Philip K. Dick

    by RandomGuyFromGermany on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:19:01 AM PDT

  •  Just having a conversation with one (17+ / 0-)

    of my friends in the UK.  He's saying much the same about us.  And he's a Thatcher conservative.  Said that it appeared to the rest of the world that Tuesday's vote appeared to be an effort to pull further away from the rest of the world.  

  •  As an expat living in Southern France... (33+ / 0-)

    ...since 2005, I can certainly verify that the average person here, when discussing the US, is (a) definitely seeing the decline, and (b) very puzzled about it.

    Katrina and our inability to cope was a much larger blow the credibility of our country than Iraq. The coverage of the foreclosure crisis on the local TV programs has been another one.

    People see America turning into a third world nation and they don't get it, and they are afraid it might happen to them.

    In France, the recent demonstrations were not just about the retirement age, but a shot across the bow to the French elites trying to ram friedmanesque policies down their throat. "Ain't gonna happen without a revolution," is the message.

    America: 1990, 2000, 2010: who among us can't plot the down curve? History has always looked at reformists as well-intentioned fools: those who tried to reform the French Monarchy ended up on the guillotine. Closer to us, Gorbachev tried to reform the Soviet system, but he was hamstrung like Obama (and perhaps a little timid as well) and failed.

    Same thing will happen to us. Obama can't and won't prevent the rather traumatic changes that are going on; in fact, the Russian analogy extends to the current elections who brought in the grotesque demagogues, just like Yeltsin.

    The future of America is India, with its great wealth and great poverty next to each other, glitzy and mindless entertainment, and oligarchic/nepotistic government.

    OVER HERE: AN AMERICAN EXPAT IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE, is now available on Amazon US

    by Lupin on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:20:38 AM PDT

    •  My hs/college French is very rusty, (3+ / 0-)

      but I'd love to relocate to where you are.  Was it difficult?  Just curious, but with the way things are trending . . .

      •  In our case, both my wife and I... (16+ / 0-)

        ...were/are dual citizens. We did the paperwork long long ago when it never ever occurred to us that we might someday want to leave California. Life has a funny way off surprising you.

        We also speak the language, which is very important.

        Even though neither of us had ever been part of the "French system" (except myself as a child), we found it remarkably easy to adapt. Granted we're in a laid back provincial region, but the local civil servants were uniformly friendly and helpful. A lot more than what we were used to in Los Angeles, although in fairness, I'd expect them to be nice in a place like, say, Vermont.  

        We used to own a house in LA that we'd bought in 1985, and never took any equity out of it; so when we sold it (six months before the bubble burst) we had a nice nest egg, which enabled us to move and buy a large village house here, have it renovated, without any debit, and still have some money left in savings.

        The move meant taking a cut in income, but our expenses were a lot less than they were in California -- no more mortgage, no more $1400 a month in health insurance, lower insurance, property taxes, cheaper food, so all in all we live better than we did, in a more modest sort of way.

        OVER HERE: AN AMERICAN EXPAT IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE, is now available on Amazon US

        by Lupin on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:46:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Early 1950s in Hawaii, many movie theaters ran (6+ / 0-)

      … on the principle of "continuous shows."

      It was normal to arrive in the middle of the main feature, watch to the end, watch the newsreel, the short subjects, and the color cartoon, and then watch the main feature again up to the point where you came in.

      Thus the saying, "Sorry, I think this is where I came in," when extricating oneself from an unpleasant moment or conversation.

      The thing is, in those pre-TV days you might be unemployed and living in a shack on the beach or be sleeping on a relative's porch, but as long as you were well-behaved, for a few coins you could spend the whole day in an air-conditioned theater.

      I hear this is also possible today in India, which is part of the reason Bollywood is the world's largest film industry.

      Maybe that's where we're headed again, although right now everyone's being encouraged to set up their own big screen TV at home.

      The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

      by lotlizard on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:39:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One of the experiences of India is portable (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tmo, Mnemosyne, lotlizard, Nulwee

        outdoor theaters where the whole neighborhood sweeps the street and sits down and for maybe a penny watches a happy dance and historical perspective together.  They just put up a big sheet and use an old fashioned big reel.

        •  In China I also saw people playing pool in the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nulwee, yoduuuh do or do not

          … in the street.

          The sun had gone down and the street lighting had just come on, when a bunch of guys emerged from a courtyard carrying this pool table. They set it down outside under one of the street lamps and started playing.

          The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

          by lotlizard on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:36:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  LOL ! I bet that table had some funny rolls on it (0+ / 0-)

            probably have to hit each shot hard so it can't 'roll off', (much like the bar tables in worse for wear places in this Country), who knows, if someone gets good enuf they might have a shot at the US Open (of Billiards) and finish first for $40k.

            (Unlikely, I know,... just having fun with the idea)

            without the ants the rainforest dies

            by aliasalias on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 04:19:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  To yoduuuh - I didn't know that (0+ / 0-)

          Thanks for sharing that with our readers.

          sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

          by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 10:57:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  as someone said up-thread, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lotlizard, Nulwee

        this is the terrific things about these discussions--the wonderful bits and pieces of information that surface.

        "This is where I came in." It makes perfect sense now.

        One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.--A.A. Milne

        by Mnemosyne on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 10:36:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  To lotlizard (0+ / 0-)

        Please let's remember they're being asked to set up their own big screen TV on credit card debt.

        sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

        by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 10:56:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent comparison with Gorbachev and Obama. nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nulwee, oscarsmom
  •  I hope some American journalists take to heart (17+ / 0-)

    this article.

    This country IS in decline, and our journalists seem to have learned nothing from the mea culpas they issued after it became clear that they had merely cheered on the Iraq War during its run-up.

    Journalists have a real duty to uncover ugly reality, not merely to transcribe what it appears that the propagandized masses want to hear.

    They have failed us repeatedly ever since they became self-conscious about the right's insistence that they have "a liberal bias." And of course, corporate ownership of media doesn't help, either.

    "There is no reason a Democrat has to be a weakling." - Alan Grayson

    by cassandraX on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:22:49 AM PDT

  •  I beg to differ on one point (13+ / 0-)

    I would rank Der Spiegel above Time and Newsweek in terms of journalistic integrity. Not miles above them, but a couple of notches at least.

    The gentleman values harmony, not uniformity; the small man values uniformity, not harmony. -- Confucius (early pundit)

    by wheatdogg on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:23:47 AM PDT

  •  eh (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cardinal, arlene, petral, AreDeutz

    I don't debate most of the facts, but the continued rush to declare us dead and buried seems a mite premature IMO.

    We certainly are no longer a hyperpower, which is what we were for that limited amount of time after the collapse of the Soviet Union and during the Bush I and Clinton years.

    But we are still a superpower, will be a superpower for quite a long time, and anyone who thinks that the application of the correct policies can't cause a recovery, that the youth of this nation in their attitudes towards race and gender and sexual identity (as well as religion and science) won't eventually evolve us toward a higher state, that we won't eventually figure out how to be a major part of the coming (eventually) energy revolution, that we still won't be a tech leader, agricultural leader, military leader (like it or not that is part of being a superpower), political leader and yes moral leader, well then I'd say you've only been paying attention to history for the last 10 years or so.

    I don't think you can fight very effectively for change and improvement if you have no hope that we aren't on some rapid and steady and inevitable decline.

    We won't be a hyperpower. We won't dominate the world, and thank goodness. But America will still matter for a long time. America will still be one of the best examples of what humanity can be (flawed as we are, and flawed as America is).

    And, we will fall down again sometime in the future. And, 2-3 hundred years from now, we may have a one world government, or we might have global catastrophe, or alien invasion ;), but barring those kind of changes, we have something at least as enduring as any other nation.

    Europe has its own challenges. Their race and immigration issues aren't any better than our own. As they get bigger, they will have to fold in some of the Eastern European nations that are more conservative, poorer, and less educated.

    It's going to be bumpy for all of us, but to me, I still believe that America is special, that we will be again, and that this is a last gasp of the backward going on right now. This too shall pass.

    •  I'm inclined to agree, but the fall... (4+ / 0-)

      ...will nevertheless be hard, a shock to most, and lasting.

      Russia is still a superpower, and doing rather well in fact, but it looks nothing like it used to be.

      I see us turn into something resembling Russia in terms of military power and overall clout, but crossed with India in terms of rich/poor, etc.

      The America of 1950-2000 is gone and buried for good.

      OVER HERE: AN AMERICAN EXPAT IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE, is now available on Amazon US

      by Lupin on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:30:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd add that historically.... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lotlizard, lams712, divineorder, petral

        ...such changes no matter how traumatic can be for the best.

        England in 19190 saw its vast Empire starting to crumble (Boer War, troubles in India, World War I, etc).

        Very traumatic for all who lived it. (Extremely well depicted on TV in UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS.)

        But who here wouldn't agree that England in 1960 was a much better place?

        Maybe American in 2060 will be a much nicer place?

        OVER HERE: AN AMERICAN EXPAT IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE, is now available on Amazon US

        by Lupin on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:32:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'll just again say (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mnemosyne, Sam I Am, shrike, petral, AreDeutz

          that I think folks are trying to write the final chapter in the middle of the book.

          We are only a decade removed from some of the best times in many ways in American history, and that decade was only one removed from some pretty crappy times all around.

          Things go up, they go down, and then they go up again.
          You want hope? Look at the polls among the youth about race, gays, gender.

          Look at the upcoming military survey about gays in the military that is reported to basically say, what's the big deal?

          Look at the improvement in the economy since Obama has taken office. The change in tone in dealing with the rest of the world.

          I'll make you a bet right now, by 2016, when he is finishing off his second term, unemployment will be back down to 6% or lower, we will see DADT repealed, we will see at least the beginnings of substantive switch in energy policy, we will see the effective end of Iraq/Afghanistan wars, and we will see a lot of those better young people start moving into their late 20s and early 30s, voting more, running for office more, etc.

          Optimism, it ain't just a river in Egypt. ;)

          •  Aren't there various "prediction market" websites (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            divineorder, petral, AreDeutz

            … where one can actually trade and obtain odds on bets like this?

            I'll make you a bet right now, by 2016, when he is finishing off his second term, unemployment will be back down to 6% or lower, we will see DADT repealed, we will see at least the beginnings of substantive switch in energy policy, we will see the effective end of Iraq/Afghanistan wars, and we will see a lot of those better young people start moving into their late 20s and early 30s, voting more, running for office more, etc.

            The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

            by lotlizard on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:52:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I'd disagree (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shrike, Mariken, AreDeutz

        that Russia is a superpower anymore.

        They certainly aren't culturally, or economically, or agriculturally, or even politically.

        Militarily, maybe...although their military at a core level is in disarray. I'd consider them a major power at best.

        I certainly think we are light-years ahead of where Russia is right now.

        No, the America of before is only "gone and buried" if folks act like it is "gone and buried."
        The 70s were worse than this in many ways (switch high unemployment for high inflation) and the 80s weren't so hot and yet with the right policies, the 90s were pretty awesome.

        You know if come 2020 nothing has gotten better, then maybe I might believe folks, but no America has a history of falling down and of getting back up several times, no particular reason why this time is different.

        •  In addition we are #1 in manufacturing, #1 in GDP (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          petral, AreDeutz

          the third largest exporter of goods, the third largest in crude oil production all done with 300 million people.

          Our problems are political, not structural.

          http://investing.curiouscatblog.net/...

          "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

          by shrike on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:47:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Success on the backs of a bubble. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ritter, RainyDay, blueoasis, oscarsmom

          That's not really a sustainable model. Nothing about the 90's was sustainable. You are saying that things are great when we're in the middle of an artificial bubble.

          These bubbles are created for a reason. Can you guess what that is? Hint: It isn't to spread wealth.

          There is a lot more wrong with your comments here than that.

          •  you sound like a republican (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TimeZoned, AreDeutz

            nothing good about the 90s, just a lucky bubble.

            SOME of the improvements of the 90s came from the dotcom bubble, but the very real increases in the other areas and the basic facts of economics belie your very simplistic "it was all the bubble" analysis.

            •  There was no luck involved. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ritter, oscarsmom

              How is an artificial bubble lucky? Bubbles are designed and created by people.

              Economic 'facts' are not the same thing as actual facts. Economic 'facts' can be created from manipulated data and guesswork that typically ignore very real indicators like the environment or the happiness of that 12 year old making your sneakers. If anything is 'simplistic' it's the model which intentionally leaves such things out because their inclusion complicates things.

              But you are right: To pin America's success in the 90's solely on bubble economics is wrong. We must also talk about the wealth that we enjoyed thanks to the blood and sweat of the third-world. None of it would have been possible without raping someone else. The problem is that we're running out of victims to rape and so this is no longer sustainable either.

              I believe the conservative view is one where such bullshit IS sustainable. Where military might and a complete disregard for anything outside of our borders is key to our ability to own 2.5 cars and eat like Romans. I clearly stated the opposite in my comment above.

              •  Totally agree (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Rosita

                The best way to make a lot of money really quickly is to mine, mow and clear-cut all your resources as fast as possible.  To deny that our energy sources have a "due date." To use slave labor or the next best thing.  To forget about what might happen NEXT year.

                That's all well and good for the economy today--but as wabird says, it is NOT SUSTAINABLE.  

                What worries me most about America today is that so few people are willing to take even a small cut in income now in order to invest in the future.

                Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

                by oscarsmom on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 03:27:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  When America falls (0+ / 0-)

        We will not retain all 50 states.  Expect several factions, and yes even the craziest ones will have nukes (probably the most nukes).

        "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

        by Subterranean on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:32:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Those are social issues you mention (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, Cynic in seattle

      What worries me is the economics.  We're tied hook line and sinker to this trickle-down theory that's been proven wrong over and over, and NO ONE in the business community nor the government is willing to think long-term when it comes to economic planning.

      Our companies are competing with companies in other countries who have figured out that you can't afford to be paying 3x as much for health care as you need to.  Over time, that will kill us slowly.

      Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

      by oscarsmom on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 03:23:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've lived in Germany for many years and Godwin's (9+ / 0-)

    … Law never inhibited me from saying what I thought I saw regarding developments back home in the U.S.

    Obviously, the decline has been a slow process and if absolute proof of the similarities to Weimar were ever to come, it would then be too late to speak up.

    As with anthropogenic global warming, eventually the weight of the signs becomes so great that nearly everyone of sound mind can see it.

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:24:38 AM PDT

    •  Some scary numbers from history (5+ / 0-)

      Godwin's Law sometimes keeps us from looking at things we should remember. Sara Robinson, in part 3 of her Cracks In The Wall series noted this:

      Assorted polls -- usually focused around questions such as belief in evolution, strict opposition to all abortion, self-identified fundamentalism, voting patterns, and so on -- have in recent years put the number of hard-core religious and political conservatives at somewhere between a quarter and a third of American voters. Wherever the number actually falls within that range, there are certainly enough of them in the voting base to dominate our political landscape. (To put it in a historical perspective: in 1932, when Hitler was elected president of the Reichstag, the Nazi party was consistently garnering 31 to 38 percent of the German vote. That's all it takes for an organized, passionate group to take control of a country.)

      I've looked in vain for hard evidence that these percentages have grown or declined in the past 30 years (and would appreciate a pointer to this kind of data if it exists). However, there's no doubt that this group carries far more clout when it comes to defining our politics, our economics, and our culture than they've had at any point in the past 80 years. Good political organizing, coupled with the fulsome noise of the Mighty Wurlitzer, have indeed added former liberal constituencies -- blue-collar workers, Catholics, and so on -- to the Republican column. Many of these former moderates were drawn into the far-right fold by targeted political messaging that played up their fears and activated (to at least some degree) the fear-and-submission response characteristic of right-wing followers, as well as expansion-oriented conservative religious groups that replaced fraying community, family, social, recreational, and personal support networks.

      Which is not to say that there weren't very real reasons for increasing levels of social fear. In Wealth and Democracy, Kevin Phillips laid out the economic fact that American middle-class prosperity peaked in 1972, and has been in decline ever since. For all but the richest, the dollars (in real terms) are fewer, and they don't go as far as they used to....

      emphasis added

      That nobody in the White House or the leadership of the Democratic party isn't jumping up and down and tearing their hair out over this shows how far out of touch they are.

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:00:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another scary thing the GOP keeps repeating (24+ / 0-)

    is the transfer of wealth.... They don't want the rich to pay for anything for the poor (who, BTW, keep the rich, well rich).

    Well, I don't want to keep paying for these Prisons for Profit and the Military Industrial Complex - together costing taxpayers about $1 trillion each year.

    Yeah, let's talk about those two items...  But you know, dammit, those military jobs, are jobs after all.  Not that the stimulus was about jobs... no, not at all.

    I feel sad for America - the media has failed its people, the educational system is being gutted - heck here in the Houston area, they are cutting summer school programs.  Yeah, what a way to get ahead in this world.

    -6.13 -4.4 Where are you? Take the Test!!!

    by MarciaJ720 on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:31:47 AM PDT

    •  There used to be a time when the wealthy (7+ / 0-)

      took part in funding the greater society; but that was stopped cold by Reagan.

      The massive tax cuts have strangled the ability of government to care not just for the poor, but for basic functions and infrastructure.

      We borrowed $4 trillion to fight two unnecessary wars, we've given the rich tens of trillions in tax breaks for decades.

      Government and the ability for it to function is almost dead.

      Democrats are scared shitless of telling Americans the truth: taxes MUST go up - and they must go up on the wealthy. The bottom 90% of Americans should continue to pay the same tax rates they are now [or even have them lowered further].

      It's that top 10% that needs to be taxed, starting gently, and increasing as income goes up further.

      If a politician can stand and deliver a clear, straight forward and concise message outlining this plan, I think Americans as a whole will agree it's time to change things.

      Every year we delay fixing this means more damage.

      The rest of the planet looks on in horror as US descends into another fresh round of Insani-Tea.

      by shpilk on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 10:00:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Redistribution of wealth," yes, GMAFB (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse

      You know who had no redistribution of wealth?  The medieval lords and serfs!  I know all the Republican voters believe they would be lords, but the reality is far different.

      Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

      by oscarsmom on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 03:04:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The US economy has been hollowed out for years (20+ / 0-)

    This "Great Recession" is the result of an economy that has been unreal for a long time. Losing our manufacturing base, now only 11% of the economy, and becoming a nation of investors and a low value service sectors is deadly. We manufacture only a fraction of the products that we buy.

    The collapse was inevitable, we were living on a housing bubble temporarily transferring money from the rich to the middle class through borrowing. This has been an unreal economy.

    The solution seems to be to try to get us back to where we were, fixing the banks and propping up the investment sector. This is ridiculous, we can't get back there as you can't create a new housing bubble, it's spent.

    When we see significant growth in manufacturing then we will know that we are on the mend. This seems extremely unlikely as the wrong people are in charge, Wall Street folks, and the opposition is totally out of touch with reality.

    •  manufacturing (6+ / 0-)

      IS wealth production.  The logic of the free trade meme which is proven to be a total failure for American workers and economic health still escapes me and there is no free trade advocate who sensibly explain how it is good for America ... none of them can.. they just follow some kind of ideology like a teabagger.

      "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." Mayer Amschel Rothschild, 1790

      by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:58:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How much of that is (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RainyDay, The Wizard, Tanya, Tam in CA

      war production? Without that I doubt there is much being manufactured at all.

    •  Our infrastructure is failing. (11+ / 0-)

      Tens of trillions of dollars have been given to the wealthy in the last 30 years by way of massive tax breaks, starting with Reagan.

      Without proper funding for government, Norquist's dream becomes reality.

      Government is failing: politicians cannot get government to work because it is underfunded. The general population gets angry at the politicians because government fails to function, we get elections that jerk from one Party to the other in every cycle.

      There's no continuity, no long sense of purpose, and no future for the Nation.

      All of this, to give the filthy rich yet more money. Americans worship wealth; look at any TeeVee show, commercials. It's more than just being a 'consumer culture'. We worship disgusting ridiculous over the top wealth.

      It's killing our society and civilization. This cannot be sustained.

      The rest of the planet looks on in horror as US descends into another fresh round of Insani-Tea.

      by shpilk on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:53:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My Florida county repaved most of its (0+ / 0-)

        streets using boom era tax revenues.

        Many schools have been rebuilt to be hurricane resistant shelters.

        Comcast and Verizon replaced their lines.

        Florida Power & Light has systematically cleared lines of tree limbs.

        Every TV transmitter in America has been replaced.

        Most TV sets in America have been replaced.

        The county bought many new hybrid buses.

    •  It is not by accident or an invisible hand (8+ / 0-)

      Here's Bill Moyers from a speech I linked and quoted downthread

      You will hear it said, “Come on, this is the way the world works.” No, it’s the way the world is made to work. This vast inequality is not the result of Adam Smith’s invisible hand; it did not just happen; it was no accident. As Hodge drives home, it is the result of a long series of policy decisions “about industry and trade, taxation and military spending, by flesh-and-blood humans sitting in concrete-and-steel buildings.” And those policy decisions were paid for by the less than one percent who participate in our capitalist democracy political contributions. Over the past 30 years, with the complicity of Republicans and Democrats alike, the plutocrats, or plutonomists (choose your own poison) have used their vastly increased wealth to assure that government does their bidding.

      This election was a referendum on how much damage billions of dollars and a corrupt media can do.

      by geomoo on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 10:00:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  geomoo - thanks for Bill Moyer's quote (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        geomoo

        As always Bill Moyers is great to listen to.
        Did you know he attended the University of Edinburgh.
        So he had some international experience to draw upon.

        During the academic year 1956–1957, he studied issues of church and state at the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

        by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 06:23:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sara Robinson saw it coming (22+ / 0-)

    Robinson has been writing on what's happening to this country for years. Although Orcinus, the site Dave Neiwert set up has been largely inactive recently, both he and Robinson have links to some important series of articles they wrote there.

    Take a look at Neiwerts articles on Fascism, eliminationism, and more. Take a look at Robinson's articles on authoritarian culture: Cracks in the Wall and Tunnels & Bridges. This is the conversation Progressives aren't having and the media won't talk about. Here's some good stuff from the April 2010 post by Robinson None Dare Call It Sedition.

    ...They're telling us that it's time to openly confront the fact that conservatives have spent the past 40 years systematically delegitimizing the very idea of constitutional democracy in America. When they're in power, they mismanage it and defund it. When they're out of power, they refuse to participate in running the country at all -- indeed, they throw all their energy into thwarting the democratic process any way they can. When they need to win an election, they use violent, polarizing, eliminationist language against their opponents to motivate their base. This is sedition in slow motion, a gradual corrosive undermining of the government's authority and capacity to run the country. And it's been at the core of their politics going all the way back to Goldwater.

    This long assault has gone into overdrive since Obama's inauguration, as the rhetoric has ratcheted up from overheated to perfervid. We've reached the point where you can't go a week without hearing some prominent right wing leader calling for outright sedition -- an immediate and defiant populist uprising against some legitimate form of government authority.

    Moderates and liberals are responding to this rising threat with feckless calls for "a return to civility," as if all that's needed to put things right again is a stern talking-to from Miss Manners. Though that couldn't hurt, the sad fact is that we're well past the point where it's just a matter of conservatives behaving like tantrum-throwing spoiled brats (which they are). When a mob is surrounding your house with torches and telling you they intend to burn it down, "civility" really isn't the issue any more.

    At that point -- and we're there -- criminal intent and action become the real issues. Progressives need to realize that the right began defiantly dancing back and forth over the legal line, daring us to do something about it, quite some time ago. And it's high time we called it out -- and, where appropriate, start prosecuting it -- for exactly what it is.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:48:12 AM PDT

  •  Love it or leave it (2+ / 0-)

    Well no, I wouldn't put it that way, but I find it a little troubling that so many express a willingness to leave the U.S. for another country primarily on the basis of lifestyle.

    The struggle for social justice and equality requires an ongoing commitment--not fleeing in the face of a rightward political shift.

    Europe has serious economic problems, too, if you haven't noticed. And foreigners are increasingly unwelcome on much of the continent.

    Nothing wrong with living abroad--I did for 15 years. But come on, let's stand up for what we believe in--here.

     

    •  Except we can't leave, peoplel can't cross (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lupin, mike101, FiredUpInCA

      borders, only corporations can, so we are all at a disadvantage from the start.

      I see using immigrant labor in jobs like nannies and gardeners, as a reverse outsourcing. We can't outsource our family needs like companies can, so we IN-source affordable labor!

      •  Yes, it's very hard to get EU residence permits. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FiredUpInCA

        Bring a million Euros and promise to hire 10 locals.

        Or get a big corporation to transfer you.

        An honest man in politics shines more there than he would elsewhere - Mark Twain.

        by AreDeutz on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 10:20:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you have Irish or Italian ancestry (0+ / 0-)

          it's very easy to become a citizen of those countries. Considering how conservative they are, you'd still have your work cut out for you!

          in everything give thanks.

          by terra on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 10:40:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Return rights (0+ / 0-)

            Most nations with ancestry/return rights only apply to as far back as grandparents, if yours were born in the US, almost certainly you can forget it return based emigration.

            If you're an American with 4 native born grandparents, an education other than a PhD in a demand field, lacking a million or so dollars, and not married long-term to a spouse from overseas, you're pretty well stuck as far as I can tell.

            •  to jeijei - I am no expert on immigration law (0+ / 0-)

              But I think there is always hope. Americans who find true love in Europe marry Europeans everyday. Student visas are easy to get. Sometimes when you graduate that can lead to a job and a work permit. When it comes to citizenship you're right they don't like to go beyond the grandparents, but it is always worth pursuing, because even if you don't get citizenship, you may get a residence permit. Particularly if you can speak the language, I think there is always hope and reason for good optimism.

              Thanks for posting, your support is appreciated.  

              sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

              by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 01:44:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I'm pretty sure (0+ / 0-)

            it is easy to get Italian citizenship documented. Italy never abandons her offspring.

            The Irish prefer to forget emigrant offspring after about two generations.

    •  I often want to leave because I am so disgusted (0+ / 0-)

      and maybe one day I will, but I know no matter where I go, I will still care deeply for the United States and I will never be able to flee or escape my love for, sadness with, and determination to change my country.

      in everything give thanks.

      by terra on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 10:39:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  i find this a little silly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RainyDay, Rashaverak

      I find it a little troubling that so many express a willingness to leave the U.S. for another country primarily on the basis of lifestyle.

      why do you think most o our ancestors came here? and why do you think new immigrants are comming here now? Illegal immigration has dropped significantly in the past few years because there are no jobs.

      To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men~~ Abraham Lincoln

      by Tanya on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 10:48:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I would go in a heartbeat (0+ / 0-)

      Unless Wall Street totally and completely collapses, I see no hope for this nation. Our economy needs to be redesigned and rebuilt from the ground up.

      The nation will continue to slide faster than we can elect (by the small handful) politicians willing to fight for real constraints; and they can only ever achieve half-measures anyway.

      Wall Street is the problem. At every turn, it's Wall Street that is the source of our problems.

      It's not conservatives or religion, or declining educations, or entrenched old views on race and cultures. It's the wealthy who have nearly everything and are using it to take all the rest that is behind every single destructive event in recent history. The days of politicians enacting effective reforms are gone as economic and industry powerhouses are now invited to craft the very regulations we desperately need to constrain them. We and our government are being held hostage on more than just tax cuts.

      I love the idea of struggling against them, of fighting for the ideals of this nation; sadly the fight here is over. Money won, and we have nothing meaningful left on our side. They've proven they don't need our spending power. They've proven the power to shape any and all regulations in their favor, and they can afford to skirt regulations. They don't need us as workers.
      What is this nation to them? A tiny group owns 90+% of our collective wealth and resources; they easily control the rest. It's over.

      But this economic madness is spreading, globally, and the fight for our ideals could be more successful in nations currently better at practicing them! Struggle, yes, but struggle usefully, damnit!

    •  unless you're Native American (0+ / 0-)

      you come from stock who left THEIR home country for a better life. Perhaps it's in the blood.

  •  I read Spiegel daily (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AreDeutz

    Sometimes insightful -- their news from Afghanistan is way ahead of ours.

    Sometimes they are less so. I was hoping for better from this series. We are a declining empire, but I don't think they've understood how that plays out as well as we must.

  •  The economy isn't Obama's fault, (5+ / 0-)

    but he didn't have to hire the very people who helped get the economy where it is today.  Noone truly knows, of course, what it would look like today had he hired a fresh economic team, but it doesn't bode well for his schtick of change that he didn't. He made it very easy for the Republican Machine to blame him for the high unemployment rate and the bailouts by that fact alone.

    Sarah Palin: All pistol and no squint.

    by CanyonWren on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:57:45 AM PDT

    •  Democrats should have started pushing for tax (5+ / 0-)

      increases on the wealthy hen they took The House in 2007. Obama should have made it happen in 2009, when he came into office.

      The failure to tax the wealthy dooms this economy.

      The rest of the planet looks on in horror as US descends into another fresh round of Insani-Tea.

      by shpilk on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:45:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  don't be too quick (6+ / 0-)

      many economists were saying that we should have taken over the banks, kicked out the execs, and dissolved them a la the S&L disaster.

      Instead we gave them free money and let them keep their bonuses.  The rot underneath the pretty facade is what is dragging down the economy and will CONTINUE to drag it down. The problem has not been fixed.

      Obama had a lot to do with that, because he set the direction to take by appointing the Wall St suck-ups that he did.

      big badda boom : GRB 080913

      by squarewheel on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 11:36:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rewarding and not investigating... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ritter, mightymouse, nathguy, happyi

      ...the Wall Street sharks and crooks who caused this economic meltdown is the fault of Omaha, Rahm Emanuel, Pelosi, Reid and Hoyer. That is also why we got blasted in the election.

      BTW that is also the elephant on the couch that no one here wants to address concerning why we lost badly, millions lost their savings to these crooks and the Democratic Leadership has been protecting them. Worse they rewarded the bastards with billions and billions of OUR tax dollars adding insult and injury to the original injury. All they do is make rude noises about the crooks then do NOTHING else zero, nada...zip.

      It wasn't the Tea Party that cost us the election. It was criminal negligence on the part of leadership that did that job. People lost their money and they expected some justice, didn't get any so they retaliated and they will do so again in 2012 for the same reasons.

      This site is supposed to be about electing democrats and our own Democrat leadership just did the opposite, the whole of the leadership needs to be replaced.

      Remember the Saving and Loan Crisis? Hundreds of executives went to jail over that. Well this economic crisis is different...it is far worse by far and more crooked.  So far not one criminal investigation has transpired and no one has gone to jail. And all this is in the face of the fact that millions know the who and how of how they were robbed. Is it any wonder we can’t win an election given the looking forward excuse making and toadying to crooks in the past two years.

      The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

      by Bobjack23 on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 11:52:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Our guys screwed us over (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CanyonWren

        No way around it. That bit really deflates a lot of what this website is about. athe admin still seems clueless.

        yuck

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 06:21:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  ::sigh:: Did you actually read my comment? (0+ / 0-)

        I wasn't defending Obama.  I stated exactly what you stated.  He, however, did not start this crisis.  That can be laid squarely on the Republicans' laps.

        Sarah Palin: All pistol and no squint.

        by CanyonWren on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 07:13:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  True I know Obama did not start the problem... (0+ / 0-)

          ...and I was not being personally critical of you. I just thought it time to make it patently clear that this administration has failed miserably and why. It is little more than a continuation of the problems of the last five administrations. As for the Bush family it has corrupted everything it has touched for three generations and profited from doing so, ergo I expected little from the Shrub but murder, treason and thievery. Clinton and Obama I expected more from but sadly did not get it.

          I was also very weary of hearing all the lies about what cause the party to go down in flames in this election.

          The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

          by Bobjack23 on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:46:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  US now is different from pre-nazi Germany (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hester, Brit, Sam I Am, Fury, Matthew D Jones

    The tea party movement et al is mainly angry, older white men. Most younger people support Obama and the change he represents. The nazis had a lot more youth involved. It was a novelty for post WWI germany. Still it would be foolish to say absolutely that it can't happen here.

    •  Only partly true. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse

      In the 1920s the Nazi party was an "also ran" party. Tiny. Never getting more than single digits (3%). While other right wing German parties (DNVP) never got more than 20% in the 1920s (and 6-8% in the early 1930s).
      Likewise every party had a youth and war veterans organization.
      And the Social Democrats and Communists certainly had a much larger pool of supporters back then.

      Simply put, in free, fair elections the Nazis never got more than 37% of the vote (early 1932).  They even lost votes in the last free and fair elections (autumn 1932), going down to 33%.

      That is one third of the vote.
      And one third of the voters that actually cared enough to vote.

      The Nazis did have the support of large cooperations. But even with them - if historians are right - the Nazi party was broke in late 1932.
      If the Weimar Republic just could have survived for a few months more, the Nazi party might have been removed...

    •  Maybe, but Karl Rove and GWB (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cynic in seattle

      did a LOT that was right out of the Nazi playbook.  And they were supported by half the country.

      Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

      by oscarsmom on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 02:58:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Decline is optional. Where are the lawyers? (5+ / 0-)

    a society that manically declares any social thinking to be socialist

    So true. RW conservatives intentionally retooled the word "social" and shifted our attitudes and resources, by design, to personal goals. They demeaned social goals as profligate, misuse of resources and racism. The ubiquitous monument to their claims was the broken down public housing hell hole "Projects" where African American families were "warehoused" left to neglect and abuse while municipal budgets struggled with debt, high unemployment and reducing revenue.  

    No simple answers exist but mitigating peril comes with relentless use of tools and access to the courts. We get the behavior we reward, we stop the behavior we punish. Relentless investigative journalism, overworked DAs and AGs, oversight, and enforcement are structurally essential. Rules are good, should be enforced, for everyone, and that should be crisply, clearly reported every day. If there are no suspensions, no perp walks, someone is not doing their job.

    Example: a productive response to Olbermann affair is to raise the level of scrutiny, aggregate and publish the contributions and financial compliance of every reporter, journalist, producer, publisher, lobbyist, pol.  

    The facts are in the shadows. Comedy and mockery are pastimes, art, and literature, not strategies. Relentlessly enforce what's on the books, keep the lights on in the courts 24x7, and publish.

    An architecture is only strong because when all designs and parts are coherently cohesive. Some are called to educate, we we teach, write. Some are called to fight so we fight. Some are called to investigate so we investigate. Some of the limitless money that went to this crappy candidate or another could have financed court cases, one perhaps with real, important, game changing results.

    If Beck's a menace, and he is, there are processes to remove menaces to society. And get ready for his replacement. In the meantime, a hostile takeover of Fox and liquidation is an option.

    "People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy," Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins.

    by kck on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:01:45 AM PDT

  •  But America has more billionaires (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, mightymouse

    so we are better......wait...

  •  When There Is No Rule of Law (5+ / 0-)

    And people who should be on trial aren't, this is what happens.  If they're in prison, or The Hague, they can't continue to destroy our country like they're successfully doing.  The fact that unnamed persons are still walking around free to create havoc is a disgrace.

  •  Excellent! I recommend Immanuel Wallerstein (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mnemosyne, Dauphin, lams712

    if you want to learn more from an academic/theoretical perspective that's widely and deeply informed and still engaged with day-to-day politics.  Wallerstein is an important sociologist who founded "world systems theory," and who has studied the evolution of capitalism since its origins in Italian city states in the late Middle Ages.

    See, for example, this commentary, along with many others on current events and trends.

    More generally, see his Wikipedia entry and website.

  •  We need leadership to achieve real solutions (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mike101, mightymouse, codairem

    The quotes below from the article address the gridlock and backward thinking that is preventing us from solving our problems.

    "The Democrats refuse to talk about budget cuts. The Republicans refuse to discuss budget increases. So the debate has come to a standstill."

    The above quote is not really true, but it is conventional wisdom in Washington. In reality Democrats love to talk about budget cuts and Republicans love to increase the budget while lowering taxes.

    Financial expert Tim Adams says that there is no alternative. "Nobody wants another stimulus package right now," he says. "It has been defined as a symbol of a state and government that overreaches. The Democrats are running away from it and the Republicans are condemning it. Everyone is talking about budget cuts now."

    Nobody wants a stimulus package right now because they don't want to look at the facts and do something to solve the problem.

    Leadership in the Democratic party would sell the idea of investing in productivity to save the American dream.

    We need more and better Democrats and Campaign Finance Reform.

    by Duke S on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:18:58 AM PDT

    •  Make a rules based articial intelligence leader (0+ / 0-)

      Democrats don't follow leadership and certainly don't follow leaders.

      Merge a wiki with an artificial intelligence engine populated with core principles and rules and automate and distribute a single rules based leadership/strategy inference engine. They the combination of best practice from teh engine and individual ingenuity and would be an improvement.

      While we're at it we could also use n automated news engine populated with principles and rules with real time affinity analysis and fact checking so that data is converted into news minus propaganda and bias, stripped of entertainment.

      Then again, human discernment can have an equal shot, a level playing field.

      "People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy," Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins.

      by kck on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:37:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not budgets. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hester, Mnemosyne, Tanya

      It's taxation and lack of it on the upper classes.
      A top tax bracket of 40% is unsustainable.

      The rest of the planet looks on in horror as US descends into another fresh round of Insani-Tea.

      by shpilk on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:38:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hong Kong taxes (0+ / 0-)

        You'd need a team of sniffer dogs to try and find a tax in Hong Kong - with no sales tax, no capital gains tax, no VAT and plans in the pipeline to phase out stamp duties, the people are less than enthusiastic about direct taxation. Income tax, or salary tax as it is known, is set at 2% for those earning less than HK$35,000 a year, 8% for HK$35,000-HK$70,000, 14% for HK$70,000-HK$105,000 and 20% for anything exceeding that.

        This low level of taxation brings Brits, Aussies and Americans by land, sea, air and camel to escape their native countries' tax regimes, contributing to Hong Kong's internationalism. Similarly, corporate tax, (or profits tax as it is known), is set at the bargain rate of 16% of assessable profits.

        http://gohongkong.about.com/...

        A Honk Kong dollar is worth about 13 US cents.

    •  Stimulus won't solve the problem (0+ / 0-)

      that the cost of health insurance alone without wages for an American factory worker costs four times the total cost of a Chinese factory worker.

      Chinese students study all day except for Sunday. They don't waste time with Facebook, MTV, drugs, etc.

      •  You do realize they have the internet in China? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happyi

        You do realize they have the internet in China right?

        Chinese students don't use FB because it's blocked, but they absolutely do use social networking sites, and they absolutely do watch TV. I went on FB all the time from China and there are tons of Chinese language networking sites that serve the same function.

        Who watches MTV anyway? This isn't the early 90's. I really don't see how you can blame declines on US society on TV.

        But by all means keep bashing young people. We're all idiots who waste our time on the facebook and it's all our fault that our country is a mess because most bank CEO's are young people.

        It's not like the boomers ever wasted time doing drugs or anything.

    •  Democratic leadership sucks (0+ / 0-)

      they are apologetic about big government, deficit spending, and the stimulus.

      they yield the field to the other side.

      they refuse to advocate for the right thing. they lack courage of their convictions, or what should be their convictions.

      like this:

      During our hour together, Obama told me he had no regrets about the broad direction of his presidency. But he did identify what he called "tactical lessons." He let himself look too much like "the same old tax-and-spend liberal Democrat."

      basically this is like Clinton, running AGAINST basic Democratic Party values.

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 06:34:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can't say this is particularly insightful (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AreDeutz
     people have been saying much of what was in this article for years and this article will be ignored in much the same way.

    When one reads Bibles, one is less surprised at what the Deity knows than at what He doesn't know. -- Mark Twain

    by voroki on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:19:50 AM PDT

  •  Corporations (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oscarsmom, codairem

    own us and I don't see a way out.

    Best thing to do is stop buying their shit.

    •  No, the best thing is to divide and conquer (0+ / 0-)

      Corporations are easier to coexists with than RW nuts. The don't care about race, gender, culture wars - just profit. They want the EPA gone not becasue they want a dirty environment but to make more money. This is not rocket science.

      "People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy," Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins.

      by kck on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:30:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So? (0+ / 0-)

        What's your plan of action?

      •  really? and who profitted from all of these (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        codairem

        "cultural issues"? the "cultural wars" are just the newest tools that keep the unwashed masses divided.  

        To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men~~ Abraham Lincoln

        by Tanya on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 10:41:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Segmentation of voters and consumers... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mike101, Tanya, pamelabrown

          ...has been a fundamental element of success in creating the information silos and nanoniche markets. I think we agree.

          The culture wars are like cattle prods, nitro for racing cars, grease for the skids, food for the watch dogs.

          The plutocrats only care about, say, abortion or gay rights, in as much as they cement and motivate the segments.

          "People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy," Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins.

          by kck on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 10:58:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  No they are not they cause the nuts (0+ / 0-)

        The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

        by Bobjack23 on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 11:54:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There are naturally always nuts (0+ / 0-)

          What the plutocrats do is exploit a natural resource. They have a strategy in place to farm nuts, cultivate a relentless supply, adapt the varieties to the changing environment, and throw such high volumes in the air some may hit good targets but they at least add up to a nut-storm. Also, the nutty single-issue segments in the population will be attracted to follow.

          Oppression breeds nut awareness. Women, African Americans, and LGBT have been too smart to single issue so the Dem base is trickier to get, but it's not impossible.

          "People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy," Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins.

          by kck on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 12:12:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Whoops (0+ / 0-)

          Meant to say, the majority of the RW is made of ordinary people.

          Corps dominate us. Limit us. And they are more dangerous to us at all levels, in ways the RW can only dream of.

          The fact we are able to have state-wide and national discussions of gay marriage yet we cannot talk about economic inequalities without being shut out prove who is dominating our nation.

    •  Crazy like a fox - there is a way out (0+ / 0-)

      You could join the American expat community in the country of your choice. This is not something everyone can do, but it is worth thinking about. I wrote a diary about it, here is the link:
      http://www.streetprophets.com/...

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 03:56:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yup. Unless some profound structural changes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oscarsmom, Matthew D Jones

    take place.  

    Changes that neither major party is willing to recognize, let alone address.  With high income media personalities and/or corporate owned news orgs unwilling to expose because they benefit.

    "Dega dega dega dega. Break up the concrete..." The Pretenders

    by Terra Mystica on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:30:32 AM PDT

  •  Tipped and recced...excellent diary, excellent (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Democrats Ramshield, AreDeutz

    article. Thanks.

  •  Time and Newsweek won't ask this question (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, mightymouse, amk for obama

    "In a country with a limited concept of social cohesion, laughable from a European perspective, the quiet demise could have unforeseen consequences. How strong is the cement holding together a society that manically declares any social thinking to be socialist?"

    There is no cement here other than economic prosperity.  And that's not going to be happening for awhile, if ever again.

    A terrible beauty is born. --W.B. Yeats

    by eightlivesleft on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:32:51 AM PDT

  •  Wow. Just Wow (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    big annie, codairem, AreDeutz

    Please keep in mind this is a German news and opinion publication, which quotes Manfred Henningsen a German political scientist.

    "Agitators like Glenn Beck are "nationalist, racist and proto-fascist," says Henningsen. They take advantage of the economic situation, almost the way the right wing intelligentsia did back in the Weimar Republic."

    Let's please remember that Germany during WW1 and WW2 had a lot of experience with proto-fascism, nationalism as well as racism. So for a major German publication to be editorializing on this issue providing quotes from the German political science scholarly community, is clearly a red flag, because they see the historical context, and feel emboldened to publish this caveat, which by de facto states that those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it. Surely we must learn from the German experience.

  •  Funny, as the answer is simple. (9+ / 0-)

    Tax the rich, just reasonably and fairly, rather than letting them get away with bloody goddamn murder.

    Will there be less yachts made? YES! There will! And those few people employed making yachts may have make something else! Horrors!

    Take the money from the increased taxation on the wealthy, and get government back to work. Our schools, fire departments, police departments, courthouses, city halls, roads, bridges, water and sewer  systems are falling apart. Our air and food are being tainted because there isn't enough oversight.

    Tax the wealthy. Put a 5% surtax on all making over $500K/yr, 10% over a million, 20% over 5 million, 30% over $10 million, and 40% on those making more than $100 million a year.

    Take the money, and use it to put Americans back to work, fixing all the neglected infrastructure: this country can be great again.

    The rest of the planet looks on in horror as US descends into another fresh round of Insani-Tea.

    by shpilk on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:36:37 AM PDT

  •  Back in the 1970's They did the same thing (0+ / 0-)

    They've been predicting the end of American World dominance since we kicked their butts in WWII.

    •  WE? (5+ / 0-)

      Hahahahhaha, I think you need to re-think that some. 25 million Soviet war dead would probably disagree with you.

      The Mighty Wehrmacht met its defeat on the plains of Kursk, 200 miles wide and for a week the Germans and the Soviets slugged it out with. . .

      To prepare for the defense, Zhukov summoned 300,000 civilians and built a series of defenses including tank traps, mine fields, and various defensive positions. Militarily, Zhukov wielded a strength consisted of 1,300,000 men, 3,600 tanks, 20,000 pieces of artillery, and 2,400 aircraft. On the other side, the Germans were about to attack with over 800,000 men (including three Waffen SS divisions), 2,700 tanks, and 1,800 aircraft.

      This is the greatest battle the world has ever seen, nothing else except other battles in Russia has ever come close. These are the sacrifices the people of the USSR made, not for Stalin or Communism though there were idealists who did, but for their homeland against the cruel invader.

      Sure we "kicked some ass" but the truth is it was pretty well "pre-kicked" before we got around to doing our share.

      - Fools and dupes abound and wisdom is the subordinate of naked greed. What a country!

      by Dave925 on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 12:09:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  OK, but it hasn't occurred to ME (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse

      until the last couple of years that America's status as a superpower might really be collapsing.  Just because they wrongly predicted it 30 years ago doesn't mean they're wrong today.

      Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

      by oscarsmom on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 02:54:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This diary makes me want to give a plug (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    roberta g, AreDeutz

    for Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther books. There are seven of them (the seventh is out in the U.K. and due out in April 2011 in the U.S.). Bernie Gunther is an ex-soldier turned cop turned private detective, a German born in Berlin at the end of the 19th century, so he experiences WWI, the Weimar Republic, the rise of the Nazis, WWII and its aftermath, and the start of the Cold War. It's historical fiction and Kerr's research is really impressive. These books, apart from being enjoyable noir fiction (with many fun winks and nods to other noir fiction and film), will educate and ultimately scare the #$&%^# out of you. I recommend you read them in order, starting with March Violets.

  •  DR, read this spot on speech by Bill Moyers. (15+ / 0-)

    I was going to email you this, but it fits aptly into this diary, so here it is.  H/t to chuckvw, who sent me the link last night.  Incidentally, Moyers refers to the Citibank endorsement of plutocracy you and I were discussing.  To me, this speech describes the US situation more fully than anywhere before, folding in the economic with the political.  Here is an excerpt on wage suppression:

    And what about the country? Between 2001 and 2008, about 40,000 US manufacturing plants closed. Six million factory jobs have disappeared over the past dozen years, representing one in three manufacturing jobs. Natalie Ford said to the Times what many of us are wondering: “I don’t know how without any good-paying jobs here in the United States people are going to pay for their health care, put their children through school.”

    Now, if Connie Brasel and Natalie Ford lived in South Carolina, they might have been lucky enough to get a job with the new BMW plant that recently opened there and advertised that the company would hire one thousand workers. Among the applicants? According to the Washington Post; “a former manager of a major distribution center for Target; a consultant who oversaw construction projects in four western states; a supervisor at a plastics recycling firm. Some held college degrees and resumes in other fields where they made more money.” They will be paid $15 an hour – about half of what BMW workers earn in Germany

    In polite circles, among our political and financial classes, this is known as “the free market at work.” No, it’s “wage repression,” and it’s been happening in our country since around 1980. I must invoke some statistics here, knowing that statistics can glaze the eyes; but if indeed it’s the mark of a truly educated person to be deeply moved by statistics, as I once read, surely this truly educated audience will be moved by the recent analysis of tax data by the economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez. They found that from 1950 through 1980, the share of all income in America going to everyone but the rich increased from 64 percent to 65 percent. Because the nation’s economy was growing handsomely, the average income for 9 out of l0 Americans was growing, too – from $17,719 to $30,941. That’s a 75 percent increase in income in constant 2008 dollars.

    But then it stopped. Since 1980 the economy has also continued to grow handsomely, but only a fraction at the top have benefitted. The line flattens for the bottom 90% of Americans. Average income went from that $30,941 in 1980 to $31,244 in 2008. Think about that: the average income of Americans increased just $303 dollars in 28 years.

    That’s wage repression.

    And this typically salient remark:

    If this were a functioning democracy, our financial institutions would be helping everyday Americans and businesses get the mortgages and loans – the capital – they need to keep going; they’re not, even as the financiers are reaping robust awards.

    Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. But he’s run off with all the toys.

    There's lots more.  Please read it.  Moyers goes on at length concerning Karl Rove's tireless work to consciously create a plutocracy.

    This election was a referendum on how much damage billions of dollars and a corrupt media can do.

    by geomoo on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:48:36 AM PDT

    •  Please recommend geomoo's post (0+ / 0-)

      Thanks for the really great post. Also let me add that Bill Moyers is definitely a great American. His comments definitely add value to our discussion here.

      I'd also like to if I could please on a similar subject share with our readers a previous diary that I had written. Here is the link to it:
      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      Thanks for passing that information to me as well as to our readers today. Your efforts are sincerely appreciated.

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 01:01:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Southern Strategy has never failed in America (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925, Mary Mike, Cynic in seattle

    What i'd like to ask Europe is when it sees for exampe a Black man being shot in the back while handcuffed and on the floor does it still think America is the land of the free?  Did you guys know that Danziger Bridge happened?Did this hit any European news?

    My Grandfather put on an American uniform and fought National Socialism to come home to racial policies just as ugly.  As America descends into yet another nightmare will any Europeans help us?

    Change happens because of you...Barack Obama

    by Adept2u on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:49:53 AM PDT

  •  Problem is, there's the huge and intimidating (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925, ozsea1

    military and all it's hardware and bombs sitting all over the globe.  That's different from anything in the past.  And clearly the banking cartel that calls the shots is not just U.S. but a western cartel and US/NATO have fully joined in the quest for world imperialism.  I don't think this superpower is going to go quietly in the night.  

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

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:50:48 AM PDT

  •  according to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nicki37, mightymouse

    the book Ill Fares the Land, by Tony Judt (one of the pre-eminent historians of the modern times), a well-run society relies heavily on trust. Trust between business partners, the people to the government and vice versa, that your tax dollars will in fact be used to repair the roadways and not fund a senator's late-night flings.

    Then he references Jane Jacobs, who said that

    you cannot institutionalize trust. Once corroded, it is virtually impossible to restore.

    For the last 30 years, the right wing has systematically worked at destroying the trust that binds this society together. And then you have Der Spiegel:

    This German magazine asks why is Fox news broadcasting opinion pieces likening Pres Obama to Adolf Hitler through hate filled Tea Party announcements with agitators like Glenn Beck, who are nationalists, racists and proto-fascists according to Manfred Heningson a German political scientist.

    They take advantage of the economic situations almost the way the right wing intelligentsia did in the Weimar Republic.

    One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.--A.A. Milne

    by Mnemosyne on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 10:08:27 AM PDT

  •  While I think the perspective is right (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hester, Cynic in seattle

    I also think it is easy for Europeans to criticize our social safety net when one of the main reasons they can afford theirs is because we essentially subsidize their national defense.  Now that is our choice for sure.  A choice that I think should change.  If I get my wish some day and it does and European powers are forced to take that expense on themselves it will affect the social safety net they can afford.  

  •  It is amazing how the author nails Glenn Beck (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925

    He really does want to bask in the failure of the United States just so he can say, "Told you so."  He doesn't see himself as complicit.

    "I am proud to be a caring, compassionate, intelligent, educated and vivacious Democrat." Winter Outhouse

    by winter outhouse on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 10:15:27 AM PDT

    •  To winter outhouse - Your comment is interesting (0+ / 0-)

      Thank you for extending yourself to post.

      The Spiegel magazine article characterizes Glenn Beck as a proto-fascist agitator. May I please ask, how should we feel about that assertion? To that end, perhaps you and some of our other readers would consent to commenting further.

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 10:31:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Racism, religion, anti-urbanism, economics (8+ / 0-)

    Americans can't stand the idea of people who are a different color from them having the things that they have. The European countries with the largest welfare states and the strongest concepts of cooperation and tended to have small and ethnically and religiously homogeneous populations. Your taxes went to people who looked like you, and you were instinctively fine with that. That's not the case in the United States, and doubly so when social spending is intended to correct the legacy of racism.

    Religion also plays a big part, specifically the old Puritan and Calvinist dogma that the rich and powerful are blessed by God while the poor are being punished for their immorality, and therefore egalitarianism is defying God's will. The English Puritans believed it; the Dutch Calvinists believed it, and historically Lutherans believed it too; it's been a part of our religious heritage from the very beginning. Europe might not have become the utopia it became had it not rid itself of these benighted reactionaries, and even then they existed in societies that historically enjoyed greater freedom and were more egalitarian than their contemporaries.

    Third is our society's profound anti-urban bias. In Europe, even farmers lived huddled together in villages, while cities were idealized as an escape from feudal domination. Cities require enormous investments in infrastructure to work, while the people need better education. In the United States, the ideal is still Jefferson's vision of a society of yeoman farmers (though I'm sure he thought of his wealthy plantation-owning self as one too), and cities are viewed as "wretched hives of scum and villainy": full of minorities, alternative lifestyles, and unproductive rich people, all of whom need taxes to support them against the market.

    Finally, the United States is large enough that different parts of the country are going to have very different economic bases: timber and mining, agriculture, manufacturing, technology and finance, etc. Policies designed to help out one part of the economy/country are going to be seen as doing nothing for other parts. European countries, by contrast, tend to be small enough that different parts of the country have similar climates and natural resources, and so support similar economic activities, and policies designed to support those economic activities are more widely appreciated.

  •   'Superpower' is a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925

    another word for insane nationalism, that only keeps the multinationals feed and happy. Competitive is another concept that keeps people chained to the corporate states well being. Clinton's boats of superpower gave rise to the strange concept that we must all fight for our Owners in the hopes that well all get to continue to supersize ourselves into poverty and grateful that we are a capitalist nation, But hey well be competitive, and nobody wants to give help to those that don't deserve it. We need to move forward and sacrifice our children so they can pass those standardized test's all become qualified to compete. With who and for what?          

  •  The future... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925, oscarsmom, Cynic in seattle
    ..for a "United" States of America looks bleak.

    The right wing loonies want to secede from the Union because of a "Muslim president."  If not that, they possess a furious hatred for intellectuals & minorities.

    Many left wingers want to leave the U.S. because of the dangerous insanity coming from the right.

    It seems keeping the 50 states united going forward is a tenuous proposition.

    Too many ignorant, greedy & insane people now run things in America.  In fact, they perceive the concept of being united as a fundamental weakness..not a fundamental strength.

    It will interesting to see if the United States remains united for the balance of my life time.

    Dear John Stewart: Your fall has been assiduous. You are now the left's version of Dennis Miller.

    by wyvern on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 10:31:15 AM PDT

    •  I think we will be united (0+ / 0-)

      But I can see huge population shifts. The red states are fading in population for the most part, and population moving towards the coasts. The Midwest is struggling, but I think it will survive with Hispanic help.

      Howard Dean Forever and a Day

      by CarolDuhart on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 10:37:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Balance trade with China, and the American economy (0+ / 0-)
    will bounce right back!
  •  GOP does not believe in "Society" or that we (3+ / 0-)

    are all in this together. We are in it for ourselves only, that is the only moral, free market way to live, for yourself.

    Then the rich guys get to choose which charity to bestow their largess.

    •  Except this isn't entirely accurate... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, Democrats Ramshield

      if the followers of the GOP really believed and understood self-interest, they'd be forming unions and voting for politicians that DID tax the rich in order to promote their self-interest.

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire.

      by JWK on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 12:06:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  JWK - that's a really great post (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cynic in seattle

        Certainly you're right, working class GOP voters are voting against their own self-interest. No question about that as well.

        Quick question, what did you think of the Spiegel article? Thanks for posting.

        sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

        by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 01:03:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Religion is the only society they really allow. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse, Bronx59

        And MegaChurch Christian only, at that.

        If it doesn't praise Jeb-ush and put cash in the pockets of good Thuglican preachers, its the Devil's Work.

  •  On the path to fascism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925

    That's what I see.

    www.tapestryofbronze.com and www.haikudiary.com

    by chloris creator on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 10:51:29 AM PDT

  •  Decline and fall or maybe we'll get lucky (3+ / 0-)

    First thing, you can blame Obama all you want-you want McCain/Palin instead? FUCK NO. I blame the(absolutely astonishing if correct) 23 MILLION Dems who stayed home and did not vote. If that is true, can you imagine the difference that their votes would have made?
    We are in decline, so let's decline into a just and equitable system, the one we are in is fucking broken. What it will take for people(blue collar workers, people of color, anyone making less than $150,000.00) to stop the lunacy of voting against their own interests, I don't know. Maybe when their children can neither eat enough or go to college, and the government tells them "Too bad not my problem." Socialism is inevitable or we will be eating each other. Fascism is inevitable if the middle classes, from lower to upper, don't force the GOP and pretend Democrats to start acting with compassion as the core value and use of government. As I read in another comment, different diary(?), corporations own us. They sure as hell own the GOP.
    Which brings me back to an earlier point-why didn't millions of Obama Democrats vote? Because Obama has yet to learn compromise with heartless, immoral bastards is not possible? So now it is easier for the bad guys, they think they have a mandate. Gee whiz, thanks brothers and sisters who did not vote. Let's just go down without a fight. The President does bear great responsibilities for the debacle we just experienced. His cabinet and advisers suck-Wall St hacks. Giving up on or never really supporting single payer sucks. I do believe he kept a Republican recession from becoming a real depression. If he still thinks compromise is going to work, he is crazy. Now the onus is on Boehner and company-where are the fucking jobs? Jesus, its been 4 days, what the hell is taking so long? Democratic leadership, be leaders, not ass-kissers. We don't all buy into that free-market crap. Re-build the manufacturing base, preferably with green industries. At least TRY to introduce legislation making it illegal to outsource-then make a HUGE hue and cry if Repubs vote it down. BE SMART, RUTHLESS POLITICIANS AND LAWMAKERS. Build up your base-big tent, remember? Making nice don't work. That is why I voted a straight Dem ticket this time and will do it again, and again, and again until this country fulfills its promise to real people in need. Or until the fascist bastards render democracy irrelevant. Which is not, as I once believed, impossible in this country. Oh, before I forget, stop the ridiculous war-mongering-spend the money on infra-structure, job-training, college loans. The Pentagon is bleeding this country dry-read "The Pornography of Power," by Robert Scheer. Hell, even Eisenhower saw it coming, hardly a bleeding-heart liberal. But everybody, all the GOP and most of the Dems, look the other way. Why is selling your soul so damn popular?

    •  This has been my focus since Tuesday (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Devsd, Democrats Ramshield

      I blame the(absolutely astonishing if correct) 23 MILLION Dems who stayed home and did not vote. If that is true, can you imagine the difference that their votes would have made?

      This was not about Blue Dogs. This was not about cheerleaders. This was not about feet to the fire folks.

      Twenty-three million people abdicated the role in shaping their future, for what? It's one day out of the year. Who in their right mind, stayed home or couldn't mail in a ballot? There is no logical explanation.

      Anyone paying attention to the unprecedented participation that happened in 2008 and the town hall madness that happened in 2009 and 2010, had to know that gone are the days when you could vote in a Presidential election and that's all you have to do to secure your political will.

      Whoever thought that they were disaffected by the last 21 months because they weren't excited, is in for a world of surprise as GOP legislatures shape their next 21 months.

    •  You can blame the Dems who did not vote (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse

      or you can blame the Democratic politicians that did nothing to inspire them to vote.

      If the Dems in power really want to win again, they would do best to take full responsibility, and not blame the Republicans, Fox News, or anyone else for the dispirited base.

      Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

      by oscarsmom on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 02:48:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why do we so consistently ignore (6+ / 0-)

    the Canadian example?

    They have health care, lower unemployment, and they've generally balanced their budgets.  Yet, Canadian society is much more like ours than is Europe's.

    USA without the bullshit.  How do they do it?

    •  My guess (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      freespeech, SingleVoter, mightymouse

      Better education and better media.

    •  Most Americans don't even realize (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, Bronx59

      there are other countries out there.  It's infuriating.

      Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

      by oscarsmom on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 02:47:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  $80/barrel oil (0+ / 0-)

      plenty of timber and minerals

      far less corruption

      far less military waste

      CDN$250,000 minimum immigration requirement [I believe]

    •  gregsullmich - great comment (0+ / 0-)

      and good question. Do you feel the Spiegel article is correct and Glenn Beck is a proto-fascist? If so what does that mean for us? Thanks again for posting.

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 03:19:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I haven't read the article. (0+ / 0-)

        Based on this diary, there appears to be a great deal of truth in Der Spiegel's view, but we must keep in mind that the magazine sees us from a European point of view.  As such, their thesis will have particular strengths, and particular weaknesses.

        I don't think "proto-fascist" is the term I would use to describe Beck.  Again, Der Spiegel's use of the term is understandable when you look at the role that Beck-like characters played in Europe in the 20th Century.  From an American viewpoint, "Barnum & Bailey clown" seems to carry greater resonance.

        Also, from a strategic view, hyperbolic verbiage such as "proto-fascist," lends itself to dismissal by non-committed readers.  Better to stick to verifiable descriptions.  In the coming months, we can be assured that the right wing will do plenty of stupid things.  Our job is to get those facts to the public.  These facts will be damning enough without embellishment.

  •  tomorrow's NY Times mag (0+ / 0-)

    has a story examining the illusion of "The American Dream"

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's. - Mark Twain

    by route66 on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 11:05:09 AM PDT

  •   Straussian GOP Adopts German Idealism Philosophy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens

    The GOP is promoting Hegelian German Idealism, that murky mix of propaganda, romaticism, tribalism, and individual fatalism that gave birth to both Fascism and Marxism.

    Americans have always rejected this Continental European philosophy in favor of "can do" Logical Positivism.

    Hence the Tea Party - they start their romantic triabl notions, and the logical positivist response is "OK, then what?" GOP response is a completely blank stare. It's outside their pghilosophy, so the question does not exist.

  •  US in decline resembles Rome in 350AD (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oscarsmom, ZackB

    People were alienated from government(couldn't find good people to run for offices).
    Rampant racism(against Germans).
    Inefficient oversized war machine.
    Local militias out of contro.
    Distain for politics.
    Increasing religious intolerance/fanaticism by newly
    empowered Christians--barbarians were of a different sect(Arians).
    Isolated ineffective elite.

  •  Thanks for this diary and all who posted (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rosita, Democrats Ramshield

    This has been an interesting, lively discussion.  Thank you, everyone, and have a great rest of the day and a good Sunday!

    Yes, I'm het, but I'm NOT a Mad Hetter!

    by Diana in NoVa on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 11:17:06 AM PDT

    •  Diana in NoVa - thanks for the kind words (0+ / 0-)

      Your support is much appreciated.

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 03:16:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Went to StreetProphets, got your diary (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Democrats Ramshield

        and e-mailed it to my family.  My sons both hold British passports.  My nephew has a father (and uncles and cousins) living in Ireland. So your diary is a good starting point for thinking about moving.

        I go on line and start looking for houses in Shrewsbury every time something horrifying happens in U.S. politics, but we're just past the point of leaving.  My husband is 80, I'm 66.  As much as I love England, I'm spoiled by living in a pretty decent American house. And I want to be fairly close to my children and grandchildren.  So, as we're in our sunset years, I guess we'll have to stay here.

        But I do appreciate your diaries, and getting a different perspective.  I think a lot of Kossacks benefit from having your European perspective.

        Yes, I'm het, but I'm NOT a Mad Hetter!

        by Diana in NoVa on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 05:42:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Diana in NoVa - Is Glenn Beck a proto-fascist? (0+ / 0-)

          One of the things that the Spiegel article deals with is it says that Glenn Beck is a proto-fascist and agitator. How should we feel about that? Clearly for a major German publication to be publishing this sort of thing is worrying. I'd really appreciate it if you or some of our other readers would comment on that issue.

          As for moving to the European Union, I think as you have family members who are already EU citizens, that they may be able to sponsor you. The thing is I feel that you are never too old to experience the magic of Europe. But that's just my humble opinion. Thanks for the great post.

          sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

          by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 05:49:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, I think Beck IS a proto-fascist (0+ / 0-)

            and agitator.  In Europe, with minds unclouded by the right-wing propaganda disseminated over here that the traditional media are "liberal" (and therefore damned), they can see Beck quite plainly for what he is.

            If the American left were advocating overthrow of the U.S. government, as Sharron Angle did, and if the left constantly fomented dissension and vigilantism as Beck does, do you think the right wouldn't howl and scream? We'd never hear the end of it. Yet the trad. med. over here refuses to label Angle, Bachman, Paul, Beck, and others for what they are.

            Others have suggested that our political situation now is similar to that of 1930's Germany.  I'm more and more afraid they're correct.

            Yes, I'm het, but I'm NOT a Mad Hetter!

            by Diana in NoVa on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 06:37:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Obama gets it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925, Rosita, Pinecone

    In the recent article from Rolling Stone, Obama said that what kept him awake at night was the growing economic power of China, Germany and Brazil with the tacit admission that we're failing in comparison.

    But how do we get Congress to think beyond the next election cycle?

    "The white race is the domineering race, which is why I'm voting for McClain." Anonymous voter on NPR

    by txdemfem on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 11:22:58 AM PDT

    •  He got it when he was a candidate (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      txdemfem, oscarsmom, Pinecone

       title=

      The book that candidate Obama is holding is "The Post-American World" by Fareed Zakaria.

    •  txdemfem - there is an easy answer to that (0+ / 0-)

      impose term limits. Then Congress is guaranteed not to think about the next re-election cycle. That would also have a big effect on the power of K St lobbyists.

      I'd like to know how you and some of the other readers feel about the fact that the Spiegel article basically said that, Glenn Beck was a proto-fascist agitator. Should we agree with that, or how should we feel about that? And how should we feel about the Fox News support of the Glenn Beck show? I hope you and some of our other readers comment on that issue?  Thanks

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 02:22:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Our laws are so complex (0+ / 0-)

        that it would take two years just to read the most important standing laws.

        It would probably take a decade to read the regulations.

        Can't run a government with complex laws that reference others with inexperienced people.

    •  They do (0+ / 0-)

      how do we get Congress to think beyond the next election cycle?

      They think long and hard about passing any legislation that might offend their corporate sponsors.  That way they ensure their reelection, and screw the people.

      Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

      by oscarsmom on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 02:46:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  the decline in America is due to the decline (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925, 3goldens, mightymouse

    in the rule of law.

    Look to Russia if you want to see what will eventually happen.

    And Obama & Holder are doing very little to halt the decline.

    big badda boom : GRB 080913

    by squarewheel on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 11:24:34 AM PDT

  •  We've spent a total of 6 years living in Germany (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oscarsmom, Democrats Ramshield

    and, although it isn't a perfect society, they do appreciate a lot that I wish Americans would have greater appreciation for.

    The government is very family oriented - I like their permissive family leave programs for parents of young children; we used their kindergarten and I credit it for helping me to raise two progressive sons (they learned a lot about community while attending this 3 year long pre-school program)

    They appreciate 'craft' in the manner of the baker, the butcher, the carpenter, etc.

    They support local communities wholeheartedly though, as we were leaving about 7 years ago, we did notice a pull towards some big-box stores.

    We could learn a lot from Europe. They in turn, could learn from out mistakes.

    I just explained to a far-right conservative 'friend of a friend' on Facebook that we are no where near being a socialist nation like those in Europe; that he should stop panicking. I look forward to the day when we can have a civil conversation about our direction of our nation again. We obviously all agree we're making big mistakes at the moment. I just wish we could get more of us on the same page at the same time.

    •  To angelajean (0+ / 0-)

      Sounds like you had a really positive experience while in Europe. Thanks for sharing that with our readers. Yours was one of the posts that definitely added value to our dialog regarding this issue.

      Quick question though, I wonder if I could get or some of the other readers here to comment as to how you found the Spiegel article? Personally I found the honesty of the Spiegel article refreshing.

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 01:29:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry this response is so late in coming (0+ / 0-)

        I took the time to read entire article and found most of it to be on the money.

        However, I always have a hard time with statements that claim no one wants something, like no one wants further economic stimulus, when there are people that want that, they just aren't a majority. The article falls for this line of reasoning a couple of times.

        Here are a few phrases that resonate with me:

        How strong is the cement holding together a society that manically declares any social thinking to be socialist?

        One feels the despondency and timidity of political America in Washington.

        More money means that the value of the dollar falls relative to other currencies. This is an advantage at first, because it makes exports cheaper and imports more expensive, making the US economy more competitive. But does US industry even make enough products anymore to allow it to increase sales to the global market? And what happens if the world loses confidence in its reserve currency and unloads its dollar reserves onto the market? The resulting dollar crash could plunge the global economy into the next abyss.

        ...and then there are the "way-of-life crises." He says that the current crisis must serve to question and change our way of life.

        I've notices a few of these memes showing up on the editorial page of the NYTimes. Obviously, Der Spiegel has many readers!

  •  The best wayt to kill the American Dream is to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, oscarsmom

    destroy education.
    why are Republicans wanting to terminate the Dept. Of Education. Ignorance helps elect Republicans.

    destroy the environment.
    Why don't Republicans believe in Global warning?

    Why do Republicans hate Gays and Minorities.
    Divide and conquer.

    •  A well-written letter costs 44 cents to mail (0+ / 0-)

      The recent election probably cost about $25/mailbox.

      To post an Educational Diary of the Day costs only time, hard work and about 10 cents worth of electricity to run the computer.

    •  We get a diarist complaining (0+ / 0-)

      about global warming flying thousands of miles back and forth putting more CO2 in the air in a single trip than is produced to power my house for the next forty years.

      We get a Nobel Prize winner flying back and forth across the Atlantic rather than sending a thank you letter and a request to mail the prize sea freight and wire the cash.

      When Heathrow, JFK, etc. are closed and converted to German level energy-efficient social housing sites and the affluent are told they can't fly, when international law limits new dwelling construction and conversion to 2,000 square feet maximum, etc. then ordinary people can start to believe.

    •  To immigradvocate - Good question (0+ / 0-)

      Some people ask, why is there so much hatred in the Tea Party? What should our answer be to that?

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 10:59:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Manfred Henningsen (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Frederick Clarkson, oscarsmom

    You write that Henningsen is "a German political scientist".  Actually for decades he has been a professor at the University of Hawaii.

    You can read my interview with him here.

    The opposite of "good" is "good intention" - Kurt Tucholsky

    by DowneastDem on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 12:39:38 PM PDT

  •  Der Spiegel is a great magazine, having published (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, oscarsmom

    the fact that Iraqi leadership wanted U.S. forces out out of Iraq in direct contradiction to Bush/Cheney/McCain and the rest of American news media.

    Remember, Bush et al even tried to claim that Spiegel incorrectly translated Maliki's arabic words saying just that, but Spiegel stood by its story and Bush finally admitted or accepted the truth.

    Why is it that it took a German magazine to deliver that truth?

    Great diary.

    "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes" -Marx

    by Jose Bidenio on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 01:29:16 PM PDT

  •  Spiegel is gloom and doom central (0+ / 0-)

    I was a faithful Spiegel reader when I was in high school. At the time I was convinced that I wouldn't even be able to graduate from college since Ronald Reagan would unleash WW III.

    I also thought that IF somehow we survived, there wouldn't be any trees because the acid rain had killed them all. Secretly I wondered why no one could plant new trees, but my Green friends all told me it was pointless.

    Oh, and the Germans have been dying out since 1981.

    The Spiegel has valid points in its articles, but you have to take it with a grain of salt.

    261.A wealthy man can afford anything except a conscience. -Ferengi Rules of Acquisition

    by MaikeH on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 01:42:05 PM PDT

  •  The problem here is that hours worked is what (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wolf10, Democrats Ramshield

    The corporations look at. They think that one person working 24 hours a day is better, because they only have to pay benefits for one person, without acknowledging that it isn't possible to work 24 hours a day.

    In fact, for creativity, which comes is spurts at any time, having time off leads to more of it, not less.

    They want creative robots that don't need anything but working for them.

    I'm beginning to think the wealthy are idiots.

    You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you. - Eric Hoffer

    by splashy on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 01:49:38 PM PDT

    •  splashy - let's remember most wealth in the US (0+ / 0-)

      is transmitted by inheritance. So that's a no brainer (smile). I definitely agree with you. Thanks for the great post.

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 02:17:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Germany recovers quicker 'cause they don't (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oscarsmom, Wolf10

    hoard their nation's wealth at the top

    In the U.S., CEO compensation has grown from the 24 times the average worker's wage in 1965 so that "by 2007 [it] was 275 times that of the typical worker. In other words, in 2007 a CEO earned more in one workday (there are 260 in a year) than the typical worker earned all year."

    By way of contrast, in 2005 the average corporate CEO in Germany made only 20.1 times as much as his average employee.  And, that German worker made more money than his American counterpart; he made 106% of what we Americans bring home, in fact.

    The Republican's plan of "tinkle-down" prosperity has finally choked off our economy's ability to rebound by the usual, post-War mechanism of consumer demand, and the current lethargy of employment gains is proof.  On the other hand, Germany's "socialism" has enabled their economy to lead the EU out of a similarly dire collapse as ours (and their high wages have certainly not hampered their export/global competitiveness) in fairly short order.

  •  This is absolutely sobering advocacy. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens

    Thanks!

    IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

    by potatohead on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 02:05:59 PM PDT

  •  Early in Der Speigal piece we get (6+ / 0-)

    Each state elects two senators, including Wyoming, with its 540,000 inhabitants, and California, with a population of 37 million.

    It's been one of my pet peeves for about forever now.
    Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    Also the observation:

    Indeed, the United States of 2010 is a hate-filled country.

    is spot on.

    And those are on the first page. Five more to read.

    Tip of the hat to the diarist for the diary and link. Great stuff. Scary, but great.

    •  To Anthony Page - is Glenn Beck a proto-fascist (0+ / 0-)

      How should we feel about that? Thanks for the great post. Definitely added value to our discussion.

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 02:12:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My opinion of that individual varies (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Democrats Ramshield

        .. from minute to minute when I can't avoid considering his existence on the same planet as myself, his exorbitant salary, and his legion of brainwashed or brain dead "fans."

        Currently, I find him first and foremost a con-man.

        Sociopath with a messianic complex? Maybe. Probably, even.

        Proto-fascist?

        I am unsure. His shtick has all the earmarks - but I'm not quite sure if he actually believes his own inane/insane rambling or his blackboard.

        His background as shock-jock and rodeo clown might indicate that he's just an opportunist without a moral or ethical base.

        The charismatic character that draws his listeners/viewers (and escapes me completely, I find him deeply repulsive) could still be nothing more than an actor making up his own lines.

        Dangerous? Oh hell yes.

        He gives "permission" to a legion of unstable people to do horrible things, and validates their unfounded and irrational fears and hatred.

        •  to Anthony Page - Beck as a proto-fascist (2+ / 0-)

          You know the real problem is this is what the Germans think. If given their history they think Beck is a proto-fascist agitator and Beck is the darling of the Tea Party movement and has the support of Fox News, both on radio and TV with audiences in the millions every weeknight, if this is reminiscent of the propaganda used even as far back as the Weimar Republic's right wing intelligentsia at a period of economic decline, what does that mean for the American dream?

          I don't know the answer, I honestly don't that is why I'm asking you and some of our other readers, because I know we all care about this great nation of ours. And while we can all be proud Americans, do we necessarily have to be proud of everything America does. Do we have to be proud that 50 million Americans don't have health insurance, and that 60 million Americans have no paid sick leave. Can't we do better than this, isn't that what elections for, and isn't that what we are doing now talking about these issues on the aftermath of the election, wherein the republicans have promised to repeal health care reform. Aren't we going backwards? If we are how much longer can we afford to go backwards for?

          sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

          by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 05:15:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Mostly, I believe that he's a well-paid tool (0+ / 0-)

            And yes - I do believe that the possibility of a successful fascist movement in America is very real. Perhaps even the one pulling Beck's strings. FOX is a propaganda tool and very good at achieving their aims.

            The way that education, and intellect and even science are viewed as negatives by a large proportion of society these days leaves me pessimistic about our future. Fearful even.

  •  Is Glenn Beck a proto-fascist? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens

    How should we feel about the role that Fox News plays in this? Where will the Tea Party really take America?

    sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

    by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 02:09:41 PM PDT

    •  Beck is a proto-facist imo (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541

      but he is so uneducated he fails to understand the import of his own words.

      I also believe the tea party will soon die out since they are mostly disgruntled GOPers who were angry at Bush. The powers that bought the GOP long ago began the tea party to let them blow off steam but soon they won't be needed and they'll be reabsorbed into the GOP.

      The barons of the GOP actually want a candidate like Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney who will do their bidding without the baggage of ignorance the tea party carries. Romney is unelectable because of his religion so look for Bush to emerge as the "sane" GOP candidate.

  •  Quite simply, the European nations (5+ / 0-)

    --as well as many Asian ones--are thinking ahead, are thinking long-term, while the American government is controlled by those only thinking about next quarter's profit.

    It's inevitable that those that bother to look ahead will out-compete those who have no long term plan.  I agree, we're seeing the beginning of the end of America's status as a superpower.

    Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

    by oscarsmom on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 02:28:00 PM PDT

    •  To oscarsmom - Is Beck a proto-fascist? (0+ / 0-)

      How should we feel about that subject? Well, the Spiegel talks about Glenn Beck being a proto-fascist agitator. What do you think about that?

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 02:32:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hitler and the Nazis were hardly unique (0+ / 0-)

        in history.  It's just that (1) they were European, so we cared more, and (2) they were pretty extreme.  But the Nazi way of thinking is pervasive in humanity (cf. GW Bush), and attempts to exterminate other races/groups of people are also fairly routine.  We would do well to realize this and not demonize the Nazis as somehow "other" than ourselves.

        Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

        by oscarsmom on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 02:42:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree and disagree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jayden

          I agree that most nazi traits can be found in all societies but don't think that viewing them as demons is wrong. They were an extreme manifestation of the bad in humanity and as such should be held up and demonized forever as a warning to society of where those sick beliefs can lead a country.

    •  the calculus of the fiscal quarter, that's what (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bronx59

      I call it, and you're spot on: THAT is the problem.

      People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered: forgive 'em anyway. --anonymous

      by b4uknowit on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 04:07:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Planning is socialist, and therefore un-American (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse

      The USSR had five-year plans, therefore planning is evil.

      I wish I could tell you that this is snark.

      So, spending over 20 years of my life in a 5th floor walk-up trying to get an education without having my head blown off makes me an elitist?

      by Bronx59 on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 06:07:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A+ diary. (4+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the well-previewed intro to the article!

    Malo Periculosam Libertatem Quam Quietum Servitium

    by MagnanaMouse on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 02:30:27 PM PDT

  •  I would move to Europe if I could. (5+ / 0-)

    They live better than we do.  For the first time in my life the United States is no longer the best place on earth.  We are the world capitol of Stupid.  Our stupidity has exceeded our defense budget.  I predict that in the near future there will be the first mass emigration that goes East young man.  

    People are much more happy and much less neurotic in Europe.  In the pursuit of happiness they have lapped us, several times because they really do hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal.  They believe in equality and pursue public policy which reflects that belief.  

    We turned our back on FDR's magnificent legacy and willingly, even eagerly embraced the shallow and morally indefensible Reagan Revolution.  And with the overwhelming evidence of it's failure we double down on the stupid.  George W. Bush wasn't stupid enough.  I fear America has Cultural Alzheimer's.  The stupid is incurable.

    Save me, Joe Louis.

    When the rose lies withered by the roadside don't try to negotiate the bloom.

    by Atilla the Honey Bunny on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 02:52:51 PM PDT

    •  Atilla the Honey Bunny - Is Beck a proto-fascist (0+ / 0-)

      as the Spiegel article asserts that Beck is. How should we feel about that? I wonder if you or some of the other readers would comment on this issue.

      You're absolutely right FDR was a great American as well as being a great President. When America started to steer away from the FDR vision, that is when it seems the working class started to lose ground.

      Certainly working Americans deserve to have a European style social safety net and universal medical access, that can't be taken away. These things are just basic human rights. America can do better than this.

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 03:09:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know what proto means, but I definitely (0+ / 0-)

        think Beck is a fascist.  He is as hateful of a propagandist as Juliues Speicher.

        Just like the Nazi movement, the right wing of American politics is an amalgamation of powerful corporatists, bigots, criminals and all of the C and D students in a nation.  And Fox News is nothing but the Volkischer Beobachter on steroids.  These people are dangerous.  Very, very dangerous.  Violence and coercion are their preferred methods of governing.  The consent of the governed be damned.  Equality be damned.  Submit or be killed.  That's how I see the right wing.

        When the rose lies withered by the roadside don't try to negotiate the bloom.

        by Atilla the Honey Bunny on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 05:41:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We are all worried about America's future (0+ / 0-)

          I think a lot of people are very worried indeed about the future of America.

          sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

          by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 10:21:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  There's a film festival here (0+ / 0-)

      I've seen a few German films in the days after the election. One involved the minority of courageous Germans who resisted the Nazis in one way or another, sheltering Jews or conducting underground political activity. The others were about aspects of modern German culture. As frightening as it is that the German resistance was quite small in number, there is just no resemblance between the world of 1945 and today there. Trouble is, I don't think there is much resemblance left here, either.

      While it's hard to compare the tea party with the Nazis one way or the other, America seems to be moving as far from the America of FDR and George Marshall, that could save both our future and Europe's, as Germany has come since 1945. I don't see much of the Nazi shithole of 1945 in today's Germany at all, but I don't see much of FDR's America left here.

      I'm half German, already an EU citizen, and I do not see myself living in the US within a few years, not one bit. I'd hope things will be better here in 20 or so years. But it'll require the young voters and new movements that were energized by Obama to take a hard look at what kind of coalition we can build moving forward to keep that energy alive, and some of the grumpy old tea partiers from the postwar generation dying off as well. There's real potential to change America if we stick with it for the long haul, but only if we don't become too discouraged to stay involved in the face of such a long slog. I know I'm already discouraged enough to start making plans to leave.

      Fly the American flag; burn the Gadsden snake flag. It's your patriotic duty.

      by cville townie on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 03:51:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's the war tax (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rosita, Bronx59, cville townie

    Europe also has big economic and demographic problems, and you could argue it had xenophobia problems that are scarier than ours.

    But our big problem is that we've blown, say, $20 trillion (in 2010 dollars) on defense since 1960. I think you could argue that the lack of a nuclear world war has justified that expense. But, whether the expense was worth it or not, it hollowed us out. Belgians don't seem to me to be that much better off, but France and the Netherlands have a much higher standard of living than we do.

    But the thing to remember is that life in a former colonial power can be as nice as life in any other. Even a lot of us progressives have to work on delinking our sense of self worth with our country's capacity to kick military butt.

  •  But, but, BUT (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eOz, cville townie

    Let's please remember that Germany during WW1 and WW2 had a lot of experience with proto-fascism, nationalism as well as racism. So for a major German publication to be editorializing on this issue providing quotes from the German political science scholarly community, is clearly a red flag, because they see the historical context, and feel emboldened to publish this caveat, which by de facto states that those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it. Surely we must learn from the German experience.

    Godwin's Law!

    We're not allowed to say that on teh internets!

    According to Godwin's Law, we are never allowed to make any comparisons to Nazism until after the folks being compared to Nazis have
    committed genocide.

    Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

    by drewfromct on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 03:28:17 PM PDT

  •  where is the rightwing stronger? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens

    I read about the rise of the rightwing in Germany and I see it growing here in the USA. But it's hard for me to tell if it's stronger here or in Germany. Does Germany's rightwing have more strength in its conservation political parties than say the tea party has here within the GOP?

  •  Beck is the puppet of "proto-fascists" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, Democrats Ramshield

    He, and his ilk, serve powerful interests, whether they know it or not. Certainly, many—if not most— of the "teabaggers" have very little conception of the forces that are manipulating them.

    •  Bingo. Good effing Germans.................... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      subtropolis
      We've got one on my block.

      I pity him.

      Seriously.

      He's like some poor fuck trying hard to learn golf, who doesn't have normal balance and has never even once in his life gone out dancing.

      Career criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + Pro-Life Christians =EQ= The GOPer Base

      by vets74 on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 06:06:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  nothing against Germans, of course (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vets74

        But i know what you mean. I'd argue it's even worse than inter-war Germany, when so many were enthralled by the bizarre, ranting Daddy figure and all the things he said he was gonna do for the nation. Now, they've been hyp-mo-tized by some bizarre, ranting rodeo clown, and they think they're going to be calling the shots. Stupid, pigheaded dumbasses, too bloody ignorant of reality to figure out they've been fucking had by billionaires and sociopathic creeps who are intent on setting culture, education, and, ultimately, "our freedoms" back to the fucking dark ages. When "grass-roots" people like themselves spent their days and nights struggling in the fucking dirt to get by. And probably eating fucking grass.

    •  Please recommend subtropolis's post (0+ / 0-)

      I think you're right about the Tea Bagger crowd being unaware of the forces that are manipulating them.

      Do you or some of our other readers think that progressive America sees Glenn Beck as being harmless? Thanks for posting.

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 12:57:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The irony of this diary is that Spiegel (0+ / 0-)

    and Bild are the two German rags leading that nation's march toward US-style corporatism and austerity.

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

    by upstate NY on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 03:51:14 PM PDT

  •  The Leader cannot fail. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens

    The Spiegel article's analysis was that Pres Obama had no real answer, that he quote, mentioned the right steps that had been taken, but that in essence he had no real answer for Velma Hart. On that point this diary begs to differ. The position that Pres Obama took was well reasoned, wherein he highlighted the accomplishments of his administration.

    Clearly it is not President Obama's fault. Yet the American people have punished the Obama administration, though it is not their fault, with declining poll numbers, wherein an estimated 23 million Obama voters stayed home during the mid-term elections on November 2nd 2010.

    The Leader can only be failed.

    On that point this comment begs to differ.

    The real enemy of the good is not the perfect, but the mediocre.

    by Orange County Liberal on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 03:57:11 PM PDT

  •  Fantastic diary! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, eOz, Democrats Ramshield

    The diary and the comments have provided illumination and confirmation.

    Not this mind and not this heart, I won't rot • Mumford & Sons

    by jayden on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 04:04:47 PM PDT

    •  jayden - do you think that Beck is a fascist? (0+ / 0-)

      That is what the Spiegel article said that Beck was a proto-fascist and an agitator. How do you and some of our readers think about that?

      Thanks for the kind words. Personally I think the comments are really what make any diary interesting. To that end thank you all for your support.

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 12:59:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Republican party is dead... (0+ / 0-)

    The Democratic party is dead
    The Republican party...NOW it's dead...

    oop! The Democratic party is dead...

    Wait! No! America! America is dead.

    Something about the news of my demise...exaggerated.

  •  I find it sadly ironic how the more US declines (4+ / 0-)

    the more vehemently the right screams "we are the greatest country in the world," "we have the best healthcare in the world", etc.  Remember when Sarah Palin threw a fit when Obama said he thinks America is special just like someone British would think Britain is special.

    •  I don't remember palin taking a fit over..... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nio, Democrats Ramshield

      that comment of the Prez but know that palin and her ilk are using the same speech techniques as another german facist.
      He gave a geat speech as well and his voice was better......
      But I digress.
      I at 63 can testify that the U.S. has declined in so many ways in it's prowess. And it is all about GREED under the last Pharaoh whose name cannot be said.

      •  to Notreadytobenice - Is Glenn Beck a fascist? (0+ / 0-)

        As I attempted to note in the diary the German magazine Spiegel refers to Glenn Beck as being a proto-fascist and agitator full of hate. I wonder if I could get you and some of our other readers to comment on that issue? Is Spiegel magazine correct in their assumption, how should we feel about that?

        Thanks for your comments.

        sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

        by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 01:18:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  to ZackB - if America has best HC in world (0+ / 0-)

      why isn't the rest of the world buying American health insurance? Why can't they export that product internationally?

      The Spiegel article refers to Glenn Beck as a proto-fascist and agitator, do you or some of our other readers agree with that? Thanks for posting!

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 01:02:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  believable and sad (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541
    •  WateringTheRoses - Is Glenn Beck a fascist? (0+ / 0-)

      That's what the Spiegel magazine said that Glenn Beck is a proto-fascist and an agitator, full of hate.
      How do you and some of our other readers feel about that? Does that set off some alarm bells coming from a mainstream German magazine?

      Thanks for posting!

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 01:04:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Impeach Ben Bernanke now! (0+ / 0-)

    Impeach Ben Bernanke now!

    http://www.youtube.com/...

  •  Things are not good now so they never will be (0+ / 0-)

    again. I remember reading articles like that about Japan overtaking America in the 1980s. Look what happen to them in the 1990s versus the US. Although It seems Washington politics are hell bent on destroying this country. Good thing Washington and the American media are not the USA.

  •  Just to clarify.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541

    Is it this diary, or is it the Der Spiegel article that is written by an American expatriate?

    (Written by an American expat living in the European Union)

    As for this bit...

    Yet the American people have punished the Obama administration, though it is not their fault, with declining poll numbers, wherein an estimated 23 million Obama voters stayed home during the mid-term elections on November 2nd 2010.

    I have to comment. I don't think it is quite accurate to say voters "punished" Obama, or his administration (or the Dems generally), for any justifiable reason, or for no reason at all. Rather, Obama and the other Democrats simply failed to motivate these voters to vote. Again, that's not really the same as "punishment". If these voters really wanted to punish Obama, or the Democratic candidates, they would have turned out in large numbers to vote for candidates in another party, i. e. Republican Party, or some other, alternative, party. That, demonstrably, didn't happen.

    On the other hand, based on my experience, I don't think what the Republican Party leadership is saying (of the election) is at all correct, that "the American people have spoken (and in that the American people are opposed to what Obama and the Democrats have done over the past two years). If the American people have said anything at all in this recent election, it is that their opinion is their vote doesn't count, or it doesn't matter. The effort doesn't matter enough to bother with the hassle of figuring out who to vote for, or to actually bother to get out and vote.

  •  Good luck w/ immigrating to Canada (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Democrats Ramshield

    The Harper government changed the immigration rules back in June. If you don't have a written job offer from a Canadian employer, then unless you have training and experience within a very narrow band of jobs (mostly medicine), you're SOL:

    http://www.cic.gc.ca/...

    My career field is definitely SOL because preference is almost always given to permanent residents. Basically, I need permanent residency to get a job, and a job to get permanent residency. Quebec has its own immigration policy, and even it won't take me!

    What does a guy with a Ph.D. and years of experience have to do to immigrate to Canada?  If I can't do it, then most would-be USA-to-Canada immigrants are REALLY screwed!

    Unless you donated $1 or 15 minutes of time today towards your pet cause, your Internet post about it was a waste.

    by Lothar2009 on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:22:23 PM PDT

    •  Okay, not mostly medicine (0+ / 0-)

      Most of the applicants they want aren't in medicine, but in other fields (my mistake).  Still, this means that there are very many people who won't be able to immigrate under the new rules because they won't have a job offer precisely BECAUSE they're not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident already.

      Unless you donated $1 or 15 minutes of time today towards your pet cause, your Internet post about it was a waste.

      by Lothar2009 on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:47:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  to Lothar2009 - have you looked into other places (0+ / 0-)

        like the EU? There are lots of American academics living and working in the European Union especially the UK.

        sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

        by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 01:12:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Democrats Ramshield

          I've always heard how the EU's academic job market is worse than the US's, so that's why I wanted to give Canada a shot. About the only other Indo-European language I can reasonably master is Spanish, but I wasn't exactly expecting to land a professor's job in Barcelona. The rest of the Continent is obviously out (what good is a prof who can't even speak the lingua franca?), but if the UK has a place for me, why not? At least their conservatives aren't as hypocritical and talk about cutting the military as part of austerity measures.

          Do you know of a site besides the Chronicle of Higher Education that has a job-search function for academics looking for EU work?

          Unless you donated $1 or 15 minutes of time today towards your pet cause, your Internet post about it was a waste.

          by Lothar2009 on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 07:45:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  to Lothar2009 - please read this (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lothar2009

            I know an academic, she posts here at the Kos and is an expat living in the UK. If you're curious send me an email and I will give you a virtual introduction to them. Here is my email:

            democratsramshield@yahoo.com

            Thanks for your support and thanks for posting.  

            sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

            by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 08:04:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  to Lothar2009 - Guide to leaving America (0+ / 0-)

      Do you think it would be helpful to publish a guide on how to join expat America at the Kos written for expats by expats?

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 01:10:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Very helpful! (0+ / 0-)

        I can't sell my house until 2013 (else I'll owe the IRS $8000 back for the homebuyer tax credit), but yes, I would definitely keep up with such a blog. When the time comes to move, I would be willing to contribute.

        Unless you donated $1 or 15 minutes of time today towards your pet cause, your Internet post about it was a waste.

        by Lothar2009 on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 07:37:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  As I said once before, keep posting these Diarys. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Democrats Ramshield

    America will never begin to turn around until it is widely understood just how poorly we actually stack up against the other major industrialized nations.

    And this is a story we will never hear from our own media comapnies.

    •  rontripp - do you think Glenn Beck is a fascist? (0+ / 0-)

      Do you think the characterization in the Spiegel magazine article which calls Glenn Beck a proto-fascist and agitator is accurate? How do you and some of our other readers feel about this?

      Also thanks for the kind words and the support, both are sincerely appreciated.

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 01:14:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting persepective (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Democrats Ramshield

    I think we are entering scary times. We at least the right wingseem to hold ourselves in  very high regards.

    We call ourselves the land of the free and yet throw more people in jail than any country in the world-both in number and as percentage of the population. Communist China only throws a quarter of the same number as us in jail.

    Reublicans who scream less governemnt always are happy to use governemnt against the gays, abortion etc.

    I think things are coming to a head and I myself am thinking of moving to another country and I live in CA.

    •  to happyi - thanks for the informative post (0+ / 0-)

      By some coincidence I was thinking about writing a diary on that very subject.

      On a different note, quick question, what did you think of the Spiegel magazine referring to Glenn Beck as a proto-fascist agitator, do you think it's accurate?

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 08:08:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually I think Beck is smart. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Democrats Ramshield

        I read somewhere that beck signed a $32 million dollar contract. He saw a void , filled it and has become a multi millionare. I wonder if he even shares those views in real life? He knows his market, what brings ratings. Cold hearted person though.

        •  to happyi - Is Beck a proto-fascist? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          happyi

          How do you feel about that?

          sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

          by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 08:30:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am not sure. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Democrats Ramshield

            See I think republicans know that free markets and deregulation caused this mess. I think they are terrified that the public will find out and turn on them. So they are doing their darned best to turn the legitamate anger on to something-anything except themselves.

            Obama came along and was a perfect target. That he was black was the first count against him and then his stupid insistance on bipartisanship when the other side is not yielding an inch.

            Now I don't think they - Glen/Fox news are true beleiver fascist-but they recognize anger and know their philosophy is the cause and are expertly projecting it on something else. I doubt they are trying to take over America-they know it is broke and free trade will not bring any jobs back. Instead make it a big gbovernemnt issue and make the dems take the fall for it-unfortunately the democrats are stupid enough to fall for it and it still looks like Obama has not learnt his lesson.

            •  happyi - yours is an interesting analysis (0+ / 0-)

              I think your assumptions are quite well reasoned out. I think the primary Achilles heel of the plutocrats and their GOP supporters is that they have exploited the American working class close to the tipping point. In doing so they nearly wrecked the world financial markets and are on a national rampage of housing foreclosures, which comes on the backs of the rampage of Wall Street banksters stealing peoples' pensions.

              At some point does it become obvious that good old Yankee capitalism has stopped working for the American working class. If so what does that say for the American dream? What do we do to resolve that issue. That is what elections are for, and that's why we're having this post-election discussion. If you have time to respond I think our readers will enjoy reading your remarks.

              sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

              by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 08:55:17 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  To happyi - Thanks (0+ / 0-)

              Your post added value to our discussion here. I hope if you get a chance you will post again here.

              sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

              by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 10:16:55 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  well, let's just face it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Democrats Ramshield

    it's pretty clear that Beck, Hannity, O'Reilly et al have fascist tendencies. Being from Germany, the kind of rhetoric they employ is very similar to the extremist right wing talk you hear from fringe groups in Germany. The only difference is that in Germany these people are on the very fringe (for the obvious reasons that we have had these people in the mainstream a little over 60 years ago and it didn't end well and we decided that we would never give them that much power again, EVER), and here they are becoming mainstream, spouting their proto-fascist hate mongering garbage on Fox "News." The very fact that people can identify themselves as "right wing" in the mainstream media without invoking mass goosebumps is a big cause for concern. So yes, fascist tendencies, absolutely. Now, the U.S. has a different history than Germany, with a much stronger democracy than Germany had in the early '30s, but there are similarities, like the high unemployment, corporate subversion of democracy, etc. I do think that there's enough of a base for resistance here that we can avert a full on takeover by these hateful nuts, I really still have faith in the American Dream, because I think there's so much creativity, ruggedness and flexibility in this country that we wouldn't allow a full-on fascist state. But this means that those of us who recognize how dangerous the situation is have to stay and fight. For example, here in CA, we were able to fight off Meg Whitman's 140 million assault on democracy, and in the Senate, some of the worst teabaggers were defeated.

    So yes, there's a dangerous onslaught of fascists, or rightwingers, or whatever you want to call people who want to kick out every immigrant and undo any kind of social service, but I think we can beat them back. These are scary times, but they are also times of great opportunity. Diaries like yours are great in furthering the discussion and hopefully moving this country forward. So thanks!

    And btw, Der Spiegel rocks, it is a magazine that itself arose from the post-war rubble of the German identity and has been a beacon of sanity for the country ever since.

    Safari mzuri Ahsante sana :: Journey beautiful Thank you very much!

    by citisven on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 11:17:45 AM PST

    •  Please recommend citisven's post (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      citisven

      First let me thank you for your very cogent, indeed lucid argument of what is a very complex issue. The Fox news crowd (especially Glenn Beck) pose a very worrying trend. As I stated in the diary, those who will not learn from history are certainly doomed to repeat it. That is the one thing about Europe in general and Germany in particular, both of which learned the hard lessons of history emanating from the second world war.

      Personally at a time like this, I'm grateful that we have Barack Obama in the White House. We can therefore be confident that the Republic is in a good hands and will safeguard democratic principles and protect the Constitution.

      This is why we must re-elect Barack Obama in 2012, because it's the only way to safeguard the Republic and the American dream from darkness.

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 11:57:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  agreed, I think we're blessed to have Mr. Obama (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Democrats Ramshield

        as President. All my German friends think Germany would be lucky to have someone as inclusive, eloquent and progressive in charge, so despite all the criticisms from all sides (and some of them justified) I think it's important that we show our appreciation from time to time.

        Safari mzuri Ahsante sana :: Journey beautiful Thank you very much!

        by citisven on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 12:11:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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