Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
Yes, like that. :)  

But, and really, don't take this the wrong way, nothing against you, and we could never get tired of your or anything, but it would be nice to hear from other Europeans too.  

You are right that they do post on Kos, but it is usually on American issues or the way Europe fits into American issues.  I'm thinking we need more diaries like "a day in the life of a German or Italian or Brit or whatever."  Things that are NOT news to YOU, but would be very informative to us.

And I think we are especially interested in benefits.  What does the gov't pay for or garantee?  What is expected of you in return?  How does a "welfare state" actually function?  Where does all the money come from?  That kind of thing.  

More clear examples of how, exactly, what Europe is doing differs from what America is doing, and how we might try to implement similar policies and lifestyles in America.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Sat Aug 26th, 2006 at 12:34:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Way waaay back in the dark ages (ca. 2003), when I was a young and naive blog user, I tried to discuss healthcare and welfare systems in Europe in places like Dailykos, Agonist, and several others. I ended up either getting ignored or ridiculed, so I gave up pretty fast. I would think the situation would be even worse now, especially at Dailykos.

I seriously think that most Americans are not interested in seeing how things are done elsewhere, unless it reflects well on the American way of doing things. The exception would be when the way they do it elsewhere in the world fits perfectly in with policy initiatives by one of the two parties...

by Trond Ove on Sat Aug 26th, 2006 at 02:39:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
God, I cannot believe I am even having this conversation.

So much for enlightened Europeans.  You are just as ignorant as the Americans who digust you.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Sat Aug 26th, 2006 at 02:49:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pot. Kettle.
by Trond Ove on Sun Aug 27th, 2006 at 01:19:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yep!
by Richard Lyon (rllyon@gmail.com) on Sat Aug 26th, 2006 at 02:49:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the response you get can be much affected by how you phrase your discussion attempts. No one likes to be told that they are doing it wrong, and we here in another country knows how to do it right. The same seems true here when someone from the US writes on, for example, their approach to integration, and how it is superiour to ours. It makes people defensive even if they would readily agree that their own system lacks much. I think it helps a lot, especially in the beginning before people "know your name", to start in a softer way. For example:

"I have noticed that people on this forum feel that the current healthcare system of the US does not work very well. Let me describe the system we have in my country. Our system is also not perfect, it has advatages and it has problems, but maybe knowing about its workings can be useful for those of you that want to think about how your system should be changed." I haven't tried this on blogs, but in some e-mail conversations and some live conversations. It seems to work pretty well if your goal is to have a discussion.

I know nothing about what you wrote so I am not judging it. But I know that I have read a couple of diaries by Europeans that were quite, um confrontational is not the quite right word, but something like that. Diaries that when I read them I feel on the one hand "yes, I agree with you, the author." But also "the way you write, the way you express yourself, I know already what the reaction will be in the comments. You are not sparking fruitful discussion here, people will get defensive."

I find it a bit annoying in general how touchy people can be. How quick they are to assume the worst intentions of others. How unwilling they are to read that which pisses off a second time, with a more charitable approach, and then try to shape a non-confrontational response for fruitful debate. But maybe their intentions and goals are different than mine? But I am also willing to assume that this will be the case and I attempt, as much as I can bear, to take into account this tendency to defensivness and preempt it as much as I can. It only works when I am in a good mood...

by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Sat Aug 26th, 2006 at 03:56:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for giving the response I should have given but instead got too upset to give.

It's just been my experience that most DKos people are willing to hear Europeans out.  In fact, the argument that Americans don't want to hear about Europe and other ways of doing things holds no water when you look at Jerome's numbers there.  Of course, if you don't have the name recognition, it hard for anyone, European or American, to get a good response.  

Anyway, yes, I guess I just feel a certain kind of nihilsm toward Americans that angers me.  And which becomes a kind of self-fulfilling prophesy.  

And yes, it work the other way around too.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Sat Aug 26th, 2006 at 04:08:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You know, I was basically told by relatives of an American ex-girlfriend of mine that  I was not entitled to an opinion because I was not, nor did I intend to become a US citizen. My experience is that outside of the sheltered environment of a University Campus, Americans don't want to hear Europeans out.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 2nd, 2006 at 05:12:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think there may have been some changes since the dark ages, and this is a place for the seeding of changes.  There are some dunderheads at dkos, but it is a good forum for getting a message out there, and I think that it is an important message.  It is the same battle here as there, and we have been losing here.  I am not sure, and don't want to succumb to American exceptionalism, but I think it will be difficult for Europeans to prosper in the long run if the forces that are ascendent in this political system are uncontested.  Mybe I'm wrong, and maybe the political factors inherent in Europe now will protect you from the slow and steady grasp of neo-liberal economics which values economic freedom over all other facets of freedom.  If we lose, I hope that you are able to prevail and flip Churchill on his head and have the old world come to the rescue of the new.

I would humbly say that I think your last paragraph has the usual amount of truth as any other stereotype.  Some, but not the whole story, and that is what I, and poemless are asking for, tell the whole story, or your portion of it.  We are so big and insular that we have more myopia than is healthy.  I had a Spanish girl as an Exchange student in the early 90's and even here in Sonoma County California it was culture shock for the kids who would ask her stupid stuff like, "Do they have cars in Spain?"

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson

by NearlyNormal on Sat Aug 26th, 2006 at 04:43:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would humbly say that I think your last paragraph has the usual amount of truth as any other stereotype.  Some, but not the whole story, and that is what I, and poemless are asking for, tell the whole story, or your portion of it.

Well, my last paragraph was not very diplomatic. (Consciously so.) But I did include the qualifier most americans. This was based on most of the Americans I personally have met on and off the net.

But then it is difficult to extrapolate on how people behave outside of ones own frame of reference. I haven't talked to enough Americans for my sample to be statistically valid, so I guess I might be full of shit. But it was based directly on conversations I have had with Americans.

The knee-jerk reaction by poemless to me telling about my trouble with communicating with Americans (and my theory for explaining it) fits quite neatly into the pattern. I doubt she would have reacted as she did if I said "most republicans" instead of "most americans".

by Trond Ove on Sun Aug 27th, 2006 at 01:38:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You think because you are on a Eurpean forum America bashing is safe, don't you?  Hell, go to town, not my site.

But it speaks volumes that in a diary about how to make the European blogosphere better you spend it talking about how much Americans suck.  You still make it about us. ;)

I can communicate quite well with any number of Eurpeans, on this site in in real life (half of my co workers are...).  Maybe it's not Americans, maybe it is YOU!

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Sun Aug 27th, 2006 at 11:37:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You still make it about us. ;)

Nearly Normal, upthread:

One thing I've wanted to see is Europeans writing in on dkos and describing their experiences with universal health care, vacations, stronger unions, and things like this.  It would be enlightening.

I hope this is not too off-topic.

Reply from poemless:

I second that!

That was how this subthread about Europeans writing on American blogs began -- by a (perfectly reasonable and intelligent) request from two Americans. Disagree with Trond Ove if you like, but don't say he hi-jacked the thread.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Aug 27th, 2006 at 01:12:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where oh where is Condi when her intervention is so urgently required?
by Richard Lyon (rllyon@gmail.com) on Sun Aug 27th, 2006 at 01:19:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is not "your site", and there has been no "america bashing", no matter how much fun it is for you to throw claims of anti-americanism around.

Now, the big question is why did you feel it was appropriate to start yelling at a total stranger on the Internet?

by Trond Ove on Sun Aug 27th, 2006 at 10:29:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I guess I think "appropriateness" is overrated.  That's why I can't fault you for giving me a 1.  

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Mon Aug 28th, 2006 at 08:28:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
<sigh> poemless isn't a troll.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Aug 28th, 2006 at 08:34:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How do you know?  Have you ever seen me?  Just sayin'...

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Mon Aug 28th, 2006 at 08:52:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Agreed. Let's allow people to have a bad day. It happens to everyone, no need to smack each other over the heads with the dreaded 1s.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Mon Aug 28th, 2006 at 09:12:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed. Now play nice, kids :-)
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Mon Aug 28th, 2006 at 09:31:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I know. I have tried to remove the 1 several times. Don't know what is  wrong...
by Trond Ove on Mon Aug 28th, 2006 at 05:49:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems it is possible to change the rating, but not to return to no rating. At least for me in Firefox.
by Trond Ove on Mon Aug 28th, 2006 at 05:53:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Might be to prevent people from giving "knee jerk" ratings...

I don't think you can change them.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Mon Aug 28th, 2006 at 06:22:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The reason why I wanted to remove it was not because I thought it wasn't deserved. It was because I thought it was wrong both to troll rate you AND answer you back. So this wasnt a case of "knee jerk" reaction.

To be honest, I think you acted like a bully. I hope you will choose to attack the argument and not the person the next time you read something that annoys you.

by Trond Ove on Tue Aug 29th, 2006 at 09:45:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am not sure, and don't want to succumb to American exceptionalism, but I think it will be difficult for Europeans to prosper in the long run if the forces that are ascendent in this political system are uncontested.  Mybe I'm wrong, and maybe the political factors inherent in Europe now will protect you from the slow and steady grasp of neo-liberal economics which values economic freedom over all other facets of freedom.

There are no "political factors inherent in Europe" protecting us from anything. I'm pessimistic.

I had a Spanish girl as an Exchange student in the early 90's and even here in Sonoma County California it was culture shock for the kids who would ask her stupid stuff like, "Do they have cars in Spain?"

My cousin was an exchange student in Muncie, Indiana in the 1980's and she had some really weird stories along those lines...

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 2nd, 2006 at 05:15:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IMHO American expatriates are best placed to write those diaries. Things that you or NearlyNormal desperately want to know about or would be interested in are just part of the landscape for me [or others] and there's no real motivation to write about them. It wouldn't "scratch an itch" to paraphrase ESR's The Cathedral and the Bazaar.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 2nd, 2006 at 05:08:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Occasional Series