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Mitt Romney insults France and Europe

by oldfrog Thu Mar 1st, 2007 at 07:35:48 PM EST

Mitt is running for President 2008


(notice the boundaries including Belgium and Luxembourg, but excluding Alsace and Lorraine)

The full extract of his campaign material can be read here

notice the "France = Hillary = Jihadists = Bogeymen"...

France is at the top if the list. "Hillary = France," he says, even envisioning "First, not France" bumper stickers.

Europeans want to "drag America down to Europe's standards," says Romney.

source here
here and here

it's not the first time Romney attacks France :

We cannot continue to have an excellence gap with the rest of the world and intend to remain the economic superpower and military superpower of the planet. That's just not going to happen. We're in a position where unless we take action, we'll end up being the France of the 21st century: a lot of talk, but not a lot of strength behind it in terms of economic capability.

After a complaint from the French embassy, Romney's spokeswoman Julie Teer stood by the Governor's comments:

The governor was stating the facts about the American economy vis-a-vis the French. In order for America to remain a tier one economic power, it has to be competitive globally. If not, we risk becoming a tier two economy like France.

thanks to Superfrenchie for the sources
(you might have to subscribe to the Boston Globe to see the sources, it's free)


Display:
Europeans want to "drag America down to Europe's standards," says Romney.

Sorry guys, but Mitt Romney is FAR from the only person who believes such nonsense.  I have long said that the ONLY thing one must learn to graduate from a typical American school is, "We're number ONE, and everyone else is simply trying to catch up.  The reason we do not need to know about anyone else on earth is because everyone else is just an under-developed American."

If you "know" this, you can get a fine degree and get a good job.  If for some reason, however, you fail to master this "eternal truth," your life will be a miserable struggle.

I apologize for such fools.  What is so amazing is that these people can eat French food, drink French wine, ride high-speed French trains, and STILL believe they are superior in all things.


"Remember the I35W bridge--who needs terrorists when there are Republicans"

by techno (reply@elegant-technology.com) on Thu Mar 1st, 2007 at 10:56:35 PM EST
You've hit the nail on the head: it is all built around a fiction of all-round superiority to which large swathes from the middle class upwards subscribe. It' s a kind of mass hysteria fueled by money.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 01:05:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I WISH you were right that this "we're #1" was restricted to the middle classes and upwards, OR that this was a sickness fueled only by money.  

No, no, no.  This "America is the greatest nation on earth" sentence MUST be said a least once in every speech if a politician ever hopes to be elected.   Unfortunately, MOST politcos of BOTH parties believe it with every fiber of their being.

"Remember the I35W bridge--who needs terrorists when there are Republicans"

by techno (reply@elegant-technology.com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 04:10:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This "America is the greatest nation on earth" sentence MUST be said a least once in every speech if a politician ever hopes to be elected.

This is one of the most annoying features of Anerican political discourse. And any criticism must be framed in a discussion of what makes America great, and good things are good because tgey are American and bad things are bad because they are un-American... It's exhausting.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 05:29:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The situation is somewhat paralleled by the Fall of the British Empire post war. A global influence (good or bad) suddenly turned into the export of pop music, fashion, twee cars and television. And a lack of influence that morphed into diplomatic petulance.

The final nail could have been Pete Townshend's wearing of a Union Jack jacket on Top of the Pops while drilling his Marshall amps into feedback with his guitar neck. I'm not kidding. If you want to bring a country down to human size and responsibility, piss on the flag.

I expect no change out of the US of A until that damned flag is so disrespected worldwide that it'll be an embarassment to wave it.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 09:48:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When you read something like that, there are only two conclusions it seems to me one can draw. The first is that Romney's people are idiots and he's got no chance to win the election (which seems to me a sound proposition.)

The second is that if this is the sort of drivel that consultants tell candidates to base their campaigns on ("HIllary = France ...") , there's no point in holding the election either (which also seems to me a sound proposition). If this is the best that these high-paid republican consultants can come up with, then maybe she really is going to win the election. Would you pay for advice like that, or simply fire the guy who wrote that?

This guy Romney makes Sarkozy look like a deep-thinking statesman.

I do like the map though which looks like it was taken from a Third Republic schoolbook.

by desmoulins (gsb6@lycos.com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 01:15:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This guy Romney makes Sarkozy look like a deep-thinking statesman.

Yep. And that's saying a lot.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 02:53:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Romney's people are idiots and he's got no chance to win the election (which seems to me a sound proposition.)

Have you heard of this guy George "Dubya" Bush?

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 07:28:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Europeans want to "drag America down to Europe's standards," says Romney.

Sorry guys, but Mitt Romney is FAR from the only person who believes such nonsense.

The opinion that "the EU wants to drag us down to their etandards" seems to be quite widespread in Eurosceptic European countries, both out of and within the EU.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 07:27:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Funny, I don't recall learning that for either of my degrees, but I do recall learning a fucking Hell of a lot more at the Number 1 Party School in America than I did at a Top-Five Academic School in England.

I could've agreed with the entire post if not for that ridiculous swipe.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 01:23:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, your party school MAY have been better than some upper-class English school (yes, I can easily imagine the University of Wisconsin being better than Cambridge, for example) but I seriously doubt that you could say the same thing about going to school in say, Finland.  There people take their schools VERY seriously and it shows.  

I have been in too many rooms where the guys who knew the fewest languages, the least history, and the least geography, were ALWAYS the Americans.  But it isn't just the ignorance that makes me cringe whenever I discover I am going to have to share the stage with a fellow American, it is the notion that I am going to meet one more Yank who probably "knows" that the "furriners" will have nothing to teach him.

How terribly sad.  Because for me, I actually get excited when I will be meeting someone with a very different background.  I KNOW I am about to learn something I could learn no other way.  

"Remember the I35W bridge--who needs terrorists when there are Republicans"

by techno (reply@elegant-technology.com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 05:52:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So I'm defending America and Britain now.

Nottingham seemed fairly middle-class to me when I was there, but, okay, have at the class talk for all I care.  (It's still a good school.  It just so happened that I took a few graduate-level classes while an undergraduate.)  I've never visited Finland, and, aside from Sven, I've never known anyone from Finland, so I won't comment on their schools.  (I've heard they're quite good, though.)  But, then again, I wouldn't stereotype the entire country, even if I did know many.  It's the moronic stereotype that bothers me.

Who cares how many languages someone knows?  Are we going to start basing the goodness of people on their propensity to learn foreign languages?  How very enlightened of you to focus on such a fucking stupid issue.  I don't speak any foreign languages fluently.  (I can putz through a very short conversation in Spanish now and then, but so can just about everybody else who's had a job in South Florida.)  I'll almost guarantee you know more history than I know.  Does it concern me?  I'm not going to lose any sleep over it, quite honestly.  Congrats on clearing a bar no one thought was very high to begin with.

Sad, indeed, that one would feel the need to ridicule people on horseshit like knowledge of history and languages.  The only thing that is sad here is the truly elitist tone of your comment.  If Americans are so ignorant, arrogant, and whatever else you can think of, then presumably you -- the brilliant scholar atop we filthy proles -- should know that you have the option to, y'know, get out, right?

Pathetic.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 06:35:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I brought up Finland because it has the best schools on the planet according to the OECD.  

http://www.oecd.org/document/28/0,2340,en_2649_201185_34010524_1_1_1_1,00.html

http://www.minedu.fi/OPM/Koulutus/artikkelit/pisa-tutkimus/?lang=en

As for knowing history.  It is IMPOSSIBLE to think as an adult until one has a basic grasp of history.  There is a reason for this--if you do not know history, your brain has to assume that the world began about the time you become conscious.  People who do not know history are, at best, intellectual lightweights.

As for knowing languages--let's see.  USA is currently losing a war in Iraq because the "enemy" speaks in a "secret" code that is understood by practically no Americans.  This "secret code" is even understood by Iraqi children.  It is called Arabic.  Look it up!

It is good to know that the ugly American has an even MORE repulsive cousin--the Proudly Ignorant American.  (sheesh)

"Remember the I35W bridge--who needs terrorists when there are Republicans"

by techno (reply@elegant-technology.com) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 11:59:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It would appear that this OECD report focuses on Finland's performance among fifteen-year-olds, not university students, so it seems you're incapable of even sticking to the proper age group in arguing your point.  Surprise, surprise.

I, further, don't recall having argued against the notion of Finland having great schools.  (In fact, I believe I stated that my impression was quite the opposite, but apparently reading comprehension wasn't included in those lovely history and language courses you took.)  Believe it or not, you're not the only who reads reports on nations' education systems.  In fact, I have, on more occasions than I can count, -- again, probably not setting the bar very high, admittedly -- launched into rants on EuroTrib about K-12 education in America.  If you'd actually read my statements, you might have known that.

So I don't quite follow how this has become a major point of our little charade here, but, again, have at it for all I care.

The American loss in Iraq has very little to do with Arabic, and a lot to do with the proponents understanding just about nothing with regard to the dynamics of the Iraqi population.  If you think language is the primary reason Iraq has been lost, you've apparently not paid attention the entire time.

Love the attempt at being condescending with the talk of "secret codes," though -- a sure sign of brilliance.  Ugly American, indeed.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 02:26:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Finland is peculiar in that they decided decades ago to invest heavily in education so they managed to eke out a position at the top of the league on development. I have heard Ireland used its EU cohesion fund money for education, too, something other countries in the periphery (sadly for me, including Spain) have not done, which partly explains the "Celtic Tiger" phenomenon.

I think I read it in Amartya Sen's Development and Freedom that poor countries should invest heavily in health care and education while the country is poor and labour is cheap, because those are some of the most labour-intensive activities a country needs to develop. If you wait until the standard of living increases to invest in labour-intensive activities, you fare less well.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 02:32:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
After they start a nuclear war in Europe while you're trying to figure out whether headscarfs are evil and destabilizing to your civilization, they will be there, and maybe you won't.

In the long run, if you measure success in megatons of human meat, America is on to something, neatly laid out in the PNAC, which I assume you're all familiar with.

And they did it all by grounding in it post-Machiavellian deconstructed Platonism.

Ah, how have the mighty fallen. Archimedes and his stick, as the soldiers arrive...

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!

by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 01:57:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who's "they", "they" and "they"? I'm getting seriously confused here.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 04:03:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They would be the Chicago school neotheocons, led by Leo Strauss. The Noble Lie justified, full spectrum dominance.

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!
by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 03:14:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Try looking up Synarchy to get the pre-Strauss picture...

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 05:40:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you want to know Mitt better, here's a puff in National Review, where we learn:

The man exudes niceness, which is one of the qualities that make him an unusually good retail politician. He doesn't drink alcohol or coffee, smoke cigarettes, or swear -- the closest thing to a curse word he'll ever utter is the adjective "bloomin'," as in, "Can you believe those bloomin' Democrats?"

So why is this nice man not nice about France? Well, as a young man:

Romney also has spent time in France, on a foreign mission that is a rite of passage for Mormons. For two and a half years, he tried to spread his faith. He had a lot of doors slammed in his face. At one point, he was involved in a head-on car collision -- the driver in the other vehicle was drunk -- and French authorities said that he had been killed. Fortunately, the reports of his death were greatly exaggerated.

So this is how his sense of the map of France took a bash. Yet it was difficult and dangerous, trying to bring word of a wonderful all-American loony sect to the natives. Oh those not-nice door-slamming French! Oh those not-nice drunk drivers! Oh those incompetent authorities!

Pity he didn't say how bad the hospital was...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 03:14:38 AM EST
"Retail politician"?

Wha...?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 07:04:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it means he could sell you a lampshade at Bloomingdale's.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 07:27:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I had no idea he did his "proselytizing" in France. Ah, the Mor(m)ons.

Funny perso story, back in a smallish industrial town between Toulon and Marseille where most of the family lives, my belote coinchée buddies played a joke on me. I used to hang out in a buddy Yvon's bar and play belote all the time with him and some other buddies, there was alway a game going. You may picture the type of bar, it was also a tabac and pmu, about half the place spoke languages different from french (maghrebi and gitane spanish mostly) and it was a mess, turkish wc and the whole bit. Not the place to go with a lady mind you.

Anyway, everyone's got a nick in the Var. I was obviously le ricain, my best friend olive was le tunisien (he was pied noir from Tunisia, uncle still lived down there), Salvatore was toto, Jean-yves somehow was le grecque even though his family had been there for like eight generations, and Momo and Dédé and ainsi de suite. Somehow Yvon escaped the nick phenomenon, but then, he was hard to place, coming from Kourou of all places.

As very few people really spoke English of their own admission (at least in my circles, this is a pretty post-industrial part of the coast, La Seyne s/Mer if you know the area) they had me set up to meet these two Americans who had arrived, seemingly out of nowhere, to La Seyne. Yvon had met them and they were interested to meet a fellow American in a pretty unlikely spot (La Seyne is, despite being on the coast, not exactly an international tourist destination, though we do get our fair share of Parigo who actually work for a living.)  

So, in front of the church in downtown, at 4PM on a Sunday, I was to go meet them. I figured I'd go get them and bring them back to Yvon's so I could play more cards and maybe teach them something useful that way. Now, I'd been playing cards since before lunchtime and my breath probably stunk of casanis from a block away, so I turned up from resto La Forge, hit the square and what do I see? Two teenagers sitting there, peacefully, black pants, white shirt and black tie.

I walked past as if I hadn't seen them. No interest in learning about Jesus, not from a latter-day teenager anyhow, no sir. And I'm sure they had no interest in learning how to play cards, either.

Turns out they had gone into my friend's den of inequity earlier in the week to fulfill their mission quota, but had somehow failed, though Yvon had held out the promise that they actually knoew someone (me) who might understand their gibberish.  (Would've helped if they spoke a little french. Or maybe Maghrebi or Spanish. Ugly Americans, but at least their mission was peaceful. Unlike certain.)

They all had a good laugh at my minor expense, and the inevitable joking about polygamy came up, which no doubt hit momo and dédé a bit differently than the rest of us, though maybe not.

Romney's not just an ugly American, of course.  But it is telling that such ignorami can reach the summits of power in a country which takes itself as seriously as America does.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 01:06:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The summits of power?  The guy's at 5% in the polls and was the Mormon governor of Massachusetts.  He's got about as much chance of becoming president as I have.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 01:51:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
MA is a rather big and influential (and, oddly, supposedly liberal) state.

I'd say that's close enough to summit for me.
Hyperbole? not so much, imho.

Of course, America has another ignoramus currently occupying the federal summit of power.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 02:16:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
MA is a rather big and influential (and, oddly, supposedly liberal) state.

Rather big? How about rather average size (population 6.35 million, US population just over 300 million, fifty states - unless you're talking about land area in which case rather tiny) Influential, how? As a bogeyman for the American Right for the past couple decades? And yes, it is liberal, but often elects liberal Republican governors. That's a byproduct of the one party rule at other state levels - first of all you get a dominant party machine that shares a lot of the negatives of such institutions - corruption, cronyism, political hacks rising to the top, secondly voters often like political 'outsiders' for executive positions, thirdly some like having some sort of counterweight to the Dems. And given that those Republicans are never particularly conservative, and on some issues can sometimes be more liberal than the Dem candidate, they often win. (Weld was running as a social liberal, fiscal conservative against an outright social issue troglodyte and fiscal moderate- the working class white Catholics that traditionally formed the organizational backbone of the MA Dem party weren't known for their progressive stance on matters like gender or homosexuality as opposed to labour rights or economic matters)

What we've got here is a Republican candidate who is handicapped by his past moderate positions and the automatic suspicion that attaches to a Mass pol in conservative circles making a naked play to the prejudices of the conservative base in an attempt to make himself acceptable to them. Think of it as the US right wing counterpart to an ambitious French left wing politician of elite background with a history of vehement neo-liberal views  playing to populist prejudices, say someone with the initials LF.

by MarekNYC on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 02:48:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well, there is the issue of a certain other governor of a larger state (texas) currently occupying the oval office, epitomizing the same phenomenon.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 04:11:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Elsewhere on this thread Giuliani and McCain are both being discounted. Who does that leave on the Republican side?

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 05:50:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Think we've reduced it to Brownback, at this point.  Could be worse.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 06:02:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or Huckabee.  

'Huck' would be perfect.  Former Gov of a southern state - Arkansas.  Unknown and no national record so the GOP propaganda machine has a clean slate.  Conservative & a Baptist.  Ignorant of world politics, global economics, economics, & etc so he would be easily manipulated into doing what the plutocrats want.

countering this an inability to gain national traction ... but it's early innings.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 06:14:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From wikipedia:

Mentioned on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on January 23, 2007 after a CNN poll showed Huckabee polling at 1%, with a margin of error of ±5%. "According to that poll, Mike Huckabee might be imaginary." --Jon Stewart--
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 06:22:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One thing, Ms. ATinNM picked-up one of those throw-away magazines they give away at supermarkets -- about Weight Loss, IIRC - and the cover story was about Huckabee.  Very clever publicity goes a long way in building name recognition.  

I'm not saying he is going to get the GOP nomination.  I do think he would be their best candidate.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 06:51:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm trying not to be overly optimistic, but so far the Republican presidential "race" strikes me as a circus freakshow. All their candidates have such phenomenal negatives, it's hard to see how anyone but the most diehard party loyalists could get enthusiastic about any of them.

To summarize, you have an abrasive crossdresser vs. a 71-year-old flip-flopper vs. an ex-liberal Mormon. I'm actually looking forward to their debates!

In contrast, the Democrats have at least three serious,  demonstrably "electable" candidates. Who would have expected that even just a year ago?!

by Matt in NYC on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 06:14:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
However, when 12 years old, I was sent to Canada as an exchange student, spent three months there in a Mormon family, and the kid from that family spent three months in France in my family...

When my family first saw, in the "family description" that family had filled, "Church of the latter day saints" as religion, we were a bit frightened. No idea it was the mormon religion...

The family was pretty "normal" all around, not especially closed from the outside world (sending one's 13 years old son in France for three months...). I concluded the only specificities of being Mormon was having lots of children, and getting to go to college in Hawaii.


Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 04:22:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's well-known that Mormons are the ONLY U.S.-born Americans who commonly speak a foreign language. Their language schools for young missionaries are on a par with the old Soviet institutes (the world standard, imho). In fact, I'm right now trying to get a copy of their privately-published Icelandic course because I have it on good authority that it's by far the best Icelandic language text ever published for English-speakers.

So if they learn Icelandic, a notoriously difficult language, it's a little hard to believe they couldn't handle French. (Although I suppose it's possible they don't think that essentially pagan nation is worth the effort ...)

by Matt in NYC on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 05:47:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's interesting what their missions do to Mormons. Orson Scott Card was on a mission in Brazil and that explains the appearance of portuguese-speaking characters in his novels. The Ender Saga (except for the first novella) prominently features a planet colonised by Portuguese speakers.

One occasionally sees Mormon missionaries riding the underground in Madrid. I used to stay clear of them, but they are a lot less aggressive than peopl hired to do fundraising, surveys or promotion of assorted charities on the streets of london.

I only know two mormons personally - one is a lesbian who apparently left Utah on that account and the other is a devout Christian. They're both genuinely nice people.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 06:12:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
comes from Angels in America, but I also wouldn't go out of my way to diss them. Harry Reid, after all, is a Mormon and he's been a major asset in the fight against Bushist totalitarianism.

Also, I find it telling that so many people object to Mormons, whose beliefs don't seem much more pernicious than mainstream Christians', when no one ever condemned Truman, Carter or Clinton for belonging to a religion (Southern Baptists) that didn't renounce their support of slavery until 1995! Talk about a "fringe sect"!

by Matt in NYC on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 06:35:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, you must understand that it is sometimes difficult for a European to tell the difference between all the religions practised in the US...  

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 08:22:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I do happen to object strongly to proselytism, though.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 08:25:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
but in the two countries I've lived the longest in (the U.S. and Japan), it's been consistently Jehovah's Witnesses, not Mormons, who have been ringing my doorbell at eight o'clock on a Saturday morning and generally making a nuisance of themselves everywhere you turn. I think Mormons have the bad rep they do at least in part because so many people can't distinguish the two sects.
by Matt in NYC on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 04:36:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Didn't talk to them, don't know how they spoke or not.

I will say though that it doesn't matter how well you speak a foreign language - if you are going into the terrace of a bar where people are drinking and playing cards, and try to strike up a conversation about god with people, you're not going to get far.

As far as I'm concerned, they could be wonderfully polyglot, the whole lot of them, and it wouldn't make a whit of difference in my assessment of their "mission".

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Mon Mar 5th, 2007 at 05:43:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why the fuss ?
I'm not being snarky, honest, but it does give me a warm and comfortable feeling when I hear those comments from those people : we must be doing something right.

I'll start worrying when they praise us, really.

by balbuz on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 04:22:37 AM EST
The truly sad part is that Romney used to be a half-way tolerant person, in favour of gay rights and such. Now he's just an opportunist of the worst kind.

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 04:49:38 AM EST
You mean like John Mc Cain?

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 07:30:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't understand why people are discounting Romney as a bumbling idiot...
On February 11, 1999 Romney was hired as the new president and CEO of the Salt Lake City Games. Romney revamped the organization's leadership and policies, reduced budgets and boosted fundraising. He also worked to ensure the safety of the Games following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 by coordinating a $300 million security budget. Despite the initial fiscal shortfall, the Games ended up clearing a profit of $100 million. Following the conclusion of the Games, President George W. Bush praised Romney's management.

Romney contributed $1 million to the Olympics, and donated the $825,000 salary he earned as President and CEO to charity. He wrote a book about his experience called Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership and the Olympic Games.

...

During the general election [for Governor of Massachussetts] Romney ran on a reform platform; a major issue in the election was the state budget crisis. Supporters of Romney hailed his business record, especially his success with the 2002 Olympics, as that of one who would be able to bring in a new era of efficiency into Massachusetts politics.[25] Romney contributed $6.3 million to his own campaign during the election, at the time a state record.[26] Romney was elected Governor in November 2002 with 50 percent of the vote over Democratic candidate Shannon O'Brien, who received 45 percent.

I was told once that governors do better than congressment in US presidential elections, too.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 07:43:02 AM EST
LOL.  You don't like bumbling idiot?  How about ...intellectual midget campaign?  Democratically deficient?  Logic handicapped?  I can imagine the speech: "I want to run this great country because France caused my PTSD"?

Maybe the Utah corruption cases about the 2002 Olympics did not stick to him, but it´s close enough.  Too bad that we are used to such low standards that a campaign memo leak with this crap does not ruin a nomination.


Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 08:29:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From the Boston Globe linked by oldfrog...
The document underscores Romney's aim to become the "only electable choice" for socially conservative voters. But the plan anticipates that Romney could face a serious threat if Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker who is considered one of the GOP's leading conservative intellectuals, decides to enter the race.

...

Like every Republican in the race, Romney faces the delicate task of how to talk about President Bush, whom the country gives low job-approval ratings .

But the plan lists two ways Romney can set himself apart from Bush. The first says, simply, "Intelligence."



"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 08:42:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think we can discount McCain.  He is bleeding support to Gulliani among the brain-celled and the wingers don't trust him.  

The GOP's chickens are coming home.  They need to nominate someone who can be protrayed as a Centerist but a Centerist won't garner support from the Conservatives and Christian Right who comprise a significant percentage of the GOP primary voter; certainly those two groups provide the margin-of-victory in an election.  

As we say, "Break-out the Popcorn."  This is going to be better than a Marx Brothers movie.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 03:14:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By the way, has anyone found a "who should you vote for as President"-survey yet?

That would be interesting to do here at ET, a bit like the Political Compass.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 11:04:28 AM EST
If this is what the French embassy does with its time, -- complaining about stupid comments from some half-pint who's polling behind Newt Gingrich -- the French government needs to save the money and shut it down.  Do they not realize that they're only going to feed the French-hating segment of the Right?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 02:04:03 PM EST
it's just weak cultural sniping. I expect nothing less from figures representing either government. We all have a good round of cheap insults then get back to business as usual.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 02:08:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If this is what the French embassy does with its time, -- complaining about stupid comments from some half-pint who's polling behind Newt Gingrich

You missed the bit about the diary being sourced from the Boston Globe.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 05:53:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, the glorious Boston Globe -- the NYT for retarded people.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 06:04:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What does a retarded [sic] American paper with a state-politics axe to grind on Romney have to do with the French Embassy?

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 06:13:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Damn it, Mig, you brought it up, so you figure it out.  I just make jokes -- will be here all week.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 06:39:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Damn it, Drew, you pulled the French Embassy out of your ass.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 02:51:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Duh, sorry, I completely missed the reference to the Embassy in the diary :-(

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 02:58:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Must have been an impressive sight...
by Trond Ove on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 08:31:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, Mom did always say I was talented.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Mar 4th, 2007 at 07:00:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Boston Globe -- the NYT for retarded people

LOL!

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 06:19:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Huh?

You might have noted that he was governor of MA (y'know, a "liberal" state) and that he also has run many other hig-level things.

Don't think J.-M. Le Pen has had anywhere near the actual exercise of real power (rather than rhetorical) as M Romney. Of course, Romney is not the only ignoramus operating in America, and there's quite a big one in the oval office, as you rightly point out.

Wasn't aware that the term "ugly American" was derogatory, but I do note that the conception of what is politically correct seems to be different in America and its less-than-competant left than elsewhere in the progressive parts of the so-called West. Duly noted that certain American progressives take offence to it.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 02:14:52 PM EST
I can't resist my politically incorrect urges any longer. Why do you live in a country you despise so much?

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 02:31:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because my oldest son is buried here.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 03:02:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, and, I don't despise it, either. But, unlike some, I refuse to make excuses for it or gloss over the bad.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 03:06:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I see. I view all humans as selfishly competitive creatures and set my expectations accordingly.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 04:25:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Huh?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 04:35:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll back up a bit. Your posts drive me crazy for a specific reason.

Your underlying narrative isn't to call out the US on its moral faults anymore than mine is to "gloss over" its failures. Your underlying narrative is to present American culture as inferior to another culture. You're not the only one that does this, in fact, all humans do it to varying degrees. To go even further, Americans do it more than anyone, because in terms of projecting physical and cultural force, America is still at the top of the pile. All humans are fighting for that sort of power and control, again to varying degrees. This is one of the reasons why I post here instead of daily kos, where this type of behavior is, overall, far more prevalent.

I don't care about cultural differences or the relative moral merits of a given culture because they are meaningless in terms of humanity's long term survival and happiness. All of the world's problems are problems with the human mind, and more specifically, the environment in which it evolved over time into what it is today. The spirit of cultural competition, far from being a good framework for solving problems, is itself a problem, as the shelves of books on war history at the local library demonstrate.

When people here write negatively about the US, the tone of my response correlates directly with the way in which they treat what I have discussed above.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 05:49:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Note a little prickliness on behalf of the folks on whose behalf the biggest war machine in the world is on a crusade to kill a half million innocent arabs.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 06:43:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Note a bit of mindless comments justified by said war machine?
by MarekNYC on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 06:46:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When you guys actually start getting anything done, I'll shut up.

Been a long time.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 06:56:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Like I said, you really don't care about whether what you say about America and Americans bears any relation to reality. You don't like US policy so somehow you've convinced yourself that any bullshit negative comment on America and Americans is legit, regardless of whether it is true or not.

Your response to my pointing out that your comments on Massachusetts were inaccurate was basically 'Bush is bad'. You're response to other comments calling you on your bullshit was 'America is killing people in the Middle East'. Your response here is 'when you  guys get something done' I'll stop lying about and gratuitously insulting Americans.

The dumb stuff about France in the US and British press is dumb not because France has a good health care system and opposed the war in Iraq, but because it is simply stupid and wrong.

 I don't like the Iranian regime, that doesn't mean I like the ridiculous caricatures that are traficked by the right. I don't like certain things about Chavez but I also don't like descriptions of Venezuela as a totalitarian communist state.  But in your case you have that lovely neo-con mindset of somehow thinking that just because you dislike the policies and rulers of a country you can randomly mix truth and falsehood in your criticism and in your mind anybody who objects is actually a de facto ally of those in power.

by MarekNYC on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 07:18:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, there is that inconvenient fact, that your lot seem to re-elect these folks over and over again.

End of day, the buck has to stop for the Americans who signed on for this bullshit -and they are a majority that voted Dubya in 2004.

If you don't like folks pointing this out, it's the same to me.

Doesn't make it any less true, though.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 11:59:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh and, you're wrong. The standard neo-lib bullshit about Europe is dumb precisely because France (and most of Western Europe) has a good healthcare system and, cetera paribus, a more moral foreign policy than America's (which certainly is not saying much, but...)

You are also wrong in that I have not gratuitously insulted all Americans in any post here on this thread. If you think I have, I'd invite you to highlight this. I take potshots, but not at all Americans. And the potshots depend on the segment targeted. Perhaps you would like me to take potshots at some French too for good measure? Ok fine, I was very very worried about the state of the XV for the world cup, there were a couple of fiascos  against the All Blacks (the first one especially) and then even worse, a near loss to Argentina. And especially I sure hope Michalak is back strong, I like him a lot, a great credit to France and les XV. But the first three 6 nations cup games have sorta been comforting. Either way, I think I'm coming.

But you are right about one thing. If I see a democracy which elects morons who go out and gratuitously kill tens of thousands of innocent people, and then I see that people have information available to them to see this and yet re-elect the same morons, with bigger majorities this time, I start wondering about the character of the people in that Democracy. Somehow, you think Americans should escape criticism for their massively poor judgment and crappy political system, which they singulalry refuse to reform and perpetuates the madness?

Sorry, but in my world, it doesn't work that way. You make the bed, you sleep in it.


The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 12:34:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In a globalized world, we're all buying the same blood oil.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 12:39:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why yes.

But only one hyperpower is making the blood get spilt.

With a hat-tip, of course, to their poodle on Downing street.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 12:45:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Basic cognitive science. You read it?

If they didn't, you wouldn't be writing this on a cooperative blog on a cooperative internet with your cooperative computer with a common language. etc etc.

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!

by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 02:06:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It all depends on the environment. Over time though, sure, that has been the trend. Altruism is still a form of selfish behavior. The higher levels of technology achieved partly through our higher levels of social integration over time leads to as many problems as it solves. People living in small tribes 1000 years ago didn't have to worry about nuclear weapons, for example.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 02:42:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An interesting thought. Would you rather die at 80 of cancer or 35 of rotten teeth? Or a sharp stick in the stomach (competition)?

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!
by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 03:10:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not romanticizing the past, I'm trying to point out the problems that emerge along with the benefits stemming from greater levels of cooperation and social organization.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 04:02:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Irrespective of the points you may have, you might want to consider making them less brashly, and, when appropriate, without any unecessary nasty overgeneralisations. It won't take away anything on the substance of what you have to say, but it might help take away some of the belligerance in the threads you participate to. Pas besoin de mettre les deux pieds dans le plat à chaque fois!

Even if true (and I won't comment here on what is and isn't), it's just not effective at getting the point across. Just sayin'.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 04:43:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi, Jerome! Nice blog you got here. Hope to participate more. Unfortunately, I know few specifics about Europe.

But I can sail Hobie Cats!

Ormond.

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!

by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 03:12:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On est chez toi, je sais, et j'ai compris, je me tâcherais d'être un peu plus respectueux dorénavant.

Ceci dit, j'ai été franchement surpris de la réaction que mon billet a provoquée, c'est pas du tout ce que je cherchais, là, pas du tout.

Et je tiens aussi à préciser que, contrairement à ce que t'insinues en répondant à poemless plus haut, je ne suis pas tout à fait convaincu que l'on soit du même côté ici. Il y en a, parmi ces partisans de la soi-disant centre-« gauche » Américain, qui sont loin d'être des gens sur qui on peut compter. Et j'en vois ici, sur ce thread même, au moins un.

C'est peut-être une faute de manque de diplomatie chez moi, mais mes expériences personnelles (et non seulement mes expériences avec une maladie catastrophique ici aux States) m'ont appris qu'un adversaire idéologique, qui fais semblant d'être un allié, fais encore plus chier qu'un adversaire qui est assez honnête de ses convictions pour avouer sa manque de respect pour mes valeurs sur-le-champ. Car bien que ces derniers ne partageront jamais mon point de vue (à moins qu'il y a une énorme crise, ce qui n'est pas à exclure à mon avis), ces premiers, qui tendent la main en prônant à l'amitié (tout en exprimant une volonté, parfois avoué, de saper la force de mes idéaux) cherchent, au contraire, tout simplement mon soutien, de leurs positions à eux, que je partage presque aussi peu que ceux des adversaires honnêtes, et au prix le plus bas.  

Et une pauvreté immorale, d'un niveau qui dégoutterait non seulement la gauche mais aussi la droite en France, continue dans ce pays, juxtaposé à de richesses quasi-inouï ailleurs dans le monde. Et des enfants qui n'auront aucune chance dans la vie viennent au monde dans ce même pays de richesses fabuleuses, jour après jour. Et les parents qui ne peuvent pas être auprès de leurs enfants, menacés de mort ou même mourants, faute de ressources, ou simplement obligés par leur patron ou leur station de continuer de bosser, souffrent, eux aussi, de ce système indiscutablement inhumain, ils en souffrent encore, et il n'y a toujours personne qui parle pour eux. Surtout pas ces soi-disant « gauchistes » du parti Democrat qui ce veulent « progressisites ».

Et des gens comme ça, des gens qui en souffrent, j'en connais, et ça m'enrage, tout simplement, et me remplis de dégout...

En tout cas, on perd beaucoup moins de temps avec des ennemis annoncés qu'avec ce qui font semblant être nos amis tout en cherchant notre soutient, tout en promettant rien.

Idéaliste ? D'accord. Mais être pris pour un con...de ça, j'en ai plus que marre.


The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Mon Mar 5th, 2007 at 06:34:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am not sure, redstar, are you half american ?

I am asking, because americans do use the expression "ugly american" when referring to someone who won't bother to learn the natives' funny ways.
All the while, I understand perfectly well how used by another nationality it feels insulting.

So, poemless may have a point. Or not.

by balbuz on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 02:17:49 PM EST
Yes, I am half-american. And that's how I was using the term.


The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 02:22:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
His election in 1994 and 1999 (and to the regional parliaments) came thanks to the proportional voting system - 5% wxill get oyu elected if you're top of the list. On the other hand, he was already a MP in the 50s...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 02:54:48 PM EST
I suspect you know what the term means to the average American.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 03:10:47 PM EST
Whatever.

I think I'm ot the only one to think you are reading far too much into this. When someone says the term Ugly American, it does not mean anything about beauty, or whatever. It means arrogant pushy american going abroad and forcing others to adapt to him or her rather than the contrary. Expecting them to speak english, have hamburgers and fries, be religious like you are and the rest.

If you don't think being an anglophone-only mormon missionary in a country that doesn't speak english doesn't fit this bill, i don't know see how reason will work here.

It's your right, but reasonable people would disagree with you on this score. As noted in the comments (and not just by me).

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 04:10:49 PM EST
It means arrogant pushy american going abroad and forcing others to adapt to him or her rather than the contrary. Expecting them to speak english, have hamburgers and fries, be religious like you are and the rest.

But the problem with the stereotype is that it rests on both a selective, skewed vision of visiting Americans - most don't expect that and either make an effort to speak the language, or if they don't they politely ask if you do, and certainly aren't looking for hamburgers or fries, let alone have any expectations whatsoever about religion; and furthermore by virtue of being automatically identifiable as 'others' obnoxious behaviour stands out more than it would otherwise. And it's those that stick in people's memories, not the unremarkable majority. It's like the stereotype of obnoxious, arrogant French behaviour to tourists - most aren't, but it's the assholes that stand out, especially if they're conforming to a pre-existing stereotype.

by MarekNYC on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 04:26:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The assholes only stand out to those who aren't more interested in...other body parts.  Assholes are assholes the world over, they spout shit and aim down.  Why judge a nation by its assholes?  Every nation has them.  To focus on them shows....something about the focuser....

Ya know, there's a party next door!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 07:47:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know I'm going to regret wading into this, but...

I don't have a problem with Redstar's use of the term.  He was referring to two individual Mormon missionaries, and did not (in this context) apply the term to all or even most Americans.  I didn't find it offensive at all.

The "ugly American" might be a stereotype, but like all stereotypes, it has some basis in reality.  There are ugly Americans, people who fit your wiki definition.  They exist, and to pretend otherwise is just silly.  I see them all the time, unfortunately.  They make me cringe.

If it makes you feel better, there are also ugly Italians, Spaniards, South Africans, Saudis and Germans... and probably ugly Frenchmen (and women), but the French don't come here as much, so I don't run into them....

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 04:29:58 PM EST
I'm going to wade in, too, and probably regret it, as I've just gotten home from a damned tiring week of work living out of a hotel room and drunk a LARGE glass of wine (not French, alas, but I was looking for a buzz, not romance), so here goes.

I use the term "ugly American" all the time, at least in my head, as I am a self-conscious traveler and feel responsible for all the ills of the world and of my country in particular.  I've always been drawn to Europe, even married a European (German master baker... might as well enjoy good bread and pastries 'til I die) and I've grown more and more discouraged with my country as I've aged and things have changed... or maybe I've just noticed more.  We plan to retire in France or somewhere in Europe.

But Romney was totally wrong when he said "drag America down to Europe's standards" since we've been below Europe's standards for a long time.  I don't need to explain it to YOU guys, re: health care, education, hell, just mandatory vacation time alone.  Quality of life is better in Europe, because the things that matter in general are paid more heed in Europe (personal time, time with family, things that get only lip service but no legislation in the USA.) But I also must add, as a former attorney who has traveled the USA quite extensively, that I've never thought of Romney as anything but a minor player, and he doesn't stand a chance in hell in current endeavors.

In defense of second languages and education, though, I have to say that it's a bit tougher to maintain a second language when you NEVER hear it spoken.  I took many years of French from grammar to secondary school through college, but when you're only in France one week every two years for 16 years, you forget a lot of French.  And there are boors in every country and from every social class, so I really hate to categorize people by stereotypes, though it's sometimes hard not to do, and I cringe when I hear Americans talking really loud (especially about wanting more ice) when I'm abroad.  

But like many Americans with whom I am lucky to be associated, I admire Europeans and their lifestyles and want to know more about them.  I'm reading a wonderful book right now entitled "Au Contraire - Figuring Out the French" by Gilles Asselin and Ruth Mastron, and it's quite fascinating, even a bit humbling.  But I've also just completed "Suite Francaise" (thanks to whoever on Eurotrip recommended it) which reminds me that no group of humans has cornered the market on being civilized.  And of course there's Somerset Maugham's "The Razor's Edge" to show that a desire for a meaningful life can be harbored even by an American.

So I hope this post hasn't been too defensive, or too apologetic, either; just a plea for us to all take each other as individuals.  I've taken to identifying myself as an earthling... is that too narrow?

Regards to you all.
Karen in Austin

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 07:52:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The French aren't getting bent out of shape about Romney. Those French who have heard of him are rolling around splitting their sides. You should try it.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 05:07:58 PM EST
You think a religious sect which sends its youths to my country in order to try to convert folks to their odd little sect is simply cultural illiteracy?


The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 05:09:16 PM EST
If it makes everybody feel any better, I'm told that I'm an Ugly American for expecting the English to speak English.

Who'da thought?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 05:51:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The english speak english, but not as you know it....

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 07:49:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And oh boy, if you'd asked for cities to move to, I would not have chosen Nottingham....

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 07:50:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd have suggested, ignoring where I am, Bristol, Cardiff, Bagnor, Lancaster, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Durham, Ipswich (?), UEA, and, yes, Brighton (Sussex University!)...but not for music....no no no...

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 07:51:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Congratulations, Americans on this thread. Some wanker of a politician in your country calls another country enemy, adversary, jihadist, bogeyman, and you turn the thread into a long demonstration of how you can behave like thin-skinned spoilt little brats: you are being attacked, your country and countrymen are being derided, and finally it's the other country that is misbehaving.

Grow up.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 05:19:39 PM EST
Apologies to techno, who is not included...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 05:21:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
uh, thanks.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 05:43:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oops. Sorry.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 05:48:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]

because some seem to think that the proper response is to imitate rather than condemn and mock. The behaviour that the diary describes doesn't become any more appealing when it is practiced by non-Americans talking about Americans.
by MarekNYC on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 05:25:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bullshit, Marek. Read my comments above, I did nothing but mock. But I am seriously tired of this endless ultra-defensive behaviour from people who are not even being attacked.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 05:27:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
not speaking of you, read redstar's comments.
by MarekNYC on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 05:30:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yeah, please do.

and compare to the definition of "thin skinned".

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 05:32:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It means arrogant pushy american going abroad and forcing others to adapt to him or her rather than the contrary. Expecting them to speak english, have hamburgers and fries, be religious like you are and the rest.

a) this attitude actually isn't particularly common among  US tourists in Europe.

b) it's not even characteristic of Mormon missionaries - they're annoying because of their attempt to convert you - but that's because they're missionaries, not because they're American. They tend to actually make painful attempts at speaking the local language and be unctuously polite and sincere.

by MarekNYC on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 05:46:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. Europe is not the only place I've seen American tourists up close and personal (though I disagree somewhat with your statement in any event)

  2. I could care less how polite Mormon missionaries are. I fail to see why they are in France in the first place trying to convert people, and I find that silly and offensive. (Oh, and by the way, this is pertinent to Romney's story).


The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 05:59:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I could care less how polite Mormon missionaries are. I fail to see why they are in France in the first place trying to convert people, and I find that silly and offensive. (Oh, and by the way, this is pertinent to Romney's story).

Yup, you couldn't care less. That about summarizes your approach to writing about America and Americans. Take something, fit it into a little convenient negative stereotype. Who cares if it even applies in that situation. It's an opportunity to bash Americans, and that makes it fun. I have a friend from college who is like that about the French, never missing an opportunity to mock and deride them, reaching after the most tired caricatures. Whenever I point out that he is simply wrong, his attitude is to shrug is shoulders. You'd love each other - instant mutual validation.

Mormon missionaries are in France looking to convert people because they're Mormons not because they're American. That's their religion. Whenever I've encountered them, whether in the US or in Europe, they politely back off if you tell them you're not interested. It's a minor annoyance and that's it. Here I've got all sorts of street recruiters and proselytisers - religious and political of every taste and variety. Whatever, that's life.  

by MarekNYC on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 06:11:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure, so you accuse me of making fun of Americans and then take me to task for insulting mormons, who aren't by definition necessarily Americans?

I'm confused. I mean, I get that some of you Americans on the thread seem to think that I'm bigotted. But I can't seem to figure out towards whom you think I am being bigotted. I do wish you would make up your mind.

And for the record, I do confess a bigotry towards religious fools who have the need to try to convert other people to their religion.

(And I note that not all mormons are so religious, having been numerous times to Utah. Though it is true that many are.)

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 06:26:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm saying you're no different than the folks that Romney is pandering to, or rather a somewhat more sophisticated version - think The Economist or some of the FT and IHT articles that Jerome likes to debunk.  You have your little caricature of America and Americans in your mind and you compulsively shoehorn everything into it. Read them and you'll be looking into a mirror.

And for those of you who don't understand why so many of us Americans here get annoyed - think if this place was had regular commentators who consistently parroted that sort of line about France that is regularly (and correctly) debunked here.  You might get a bit testy as well.

by MarekNYC on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 06:43:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Only if you identify with your nation...as part of you.  

You can slag of England all you like.  I'll know if you're hitting my nails...

I'll also know if you're talking "What The Press Says"

...which is the point, I think.

I have high hopes for americans, and my highest hopes are for those who realise that America stretches from the northernmost tip (talking to a friend this evening, he'll be applying for his canadian citizenship soon...dual nationality...)...to the southernmost point:

Chile elects its President by popular vote for a four-year term. The President appoints the cabinet.

Michelle Bachelet won 53.49% of the vote in a run-off election on 15 January 2006 and was sworn in as President on March 11, 2006. Bachelet is a member of Chile's Socialist party (part of the Coalition of Parties for Democracy) and, under the past administration, served as Defense Minister since 2002, and previously as Health Minister. Chileans voted in the first round of presidential elections on December 11, 2005. None of the four presidential candidates won more than 50% of the vote. As a result, the top two vote-getters--center-left Concertacion coalition's Michelle Bachelet and center-right Alianza coalition's Sebastián Piñera--competed in a run-off election on January 15, 2006, which Michelle Bachelet won. She was sworn in on March 11, 2006. This was Chile's fourth presidential election since the end of the Pinochet era. All four have been judged free and fair. The President is constitutionally barred from serving consecutive terms.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_Chile

...Europe is the grandparents trying to find something else to do...  Yet the kids blame (rightly!) the parents....

But bombs and guns...ya know we're all in agreement.

So the touchiness is part of "The Nation!"

I notice when people say "the brits" as if were a part....

But Tony Blair represents a mindset.  I don't share it.  I don't live in it.  I don't feel part of it.  He doesn't represent me.  He represents....hmmmm...all those people...that I could communicate with...all those humans...who through various mechanisms have come to believe....

So forget the nation state bullshit.  It's like kids' TV: useful for kids.  But then, hey, we grow up, and the nation state is....the govt....and the world...is freakier...

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 08:22:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I only took issue with redstar. I have nothing bad to say about the story.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 06:02:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And what precisely did I say that you take issue with?The use of the term ugly American? Derisiveness to mormon missionaries?

What is it really?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 06:18:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd like to see just where.

I wrote a little personal story, in response to someone remarking about Romney's experiences with being a missionary in France, about my little experience with such missionaries in France.

The only reference I make that could be perceived as "bad bahavior" was the use of the (very commonly used in america, and not always pejorativly) term ugly American, to describe both Romney and the two fellows who went and tried to convert my card-playing friends at a buddy of mine's bar.

What happens in response? The lot of you take offense at what a bigot I am.

I invite you to look at what Romney said, and re-evaluate that offence, which quite frankly is silly.

 

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 05:30:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you telling me that, after reading the pure bullshit you and others have spewed into this thread, I have no right to speak my mind? Is that what you're saying?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 05:22:59 PM EST
This and my comment above have been rendered incomprehensible by vandalism on the thread.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Mar 4th, 2007 at 04:08:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Time for our quarterly nationalistic brawl, I see.  It's all stormy's fault, really.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 06:01:01 PM EST
I blame myself.

<hangs head in shame>

If I promise to wave the flag a few times and sing the national anthem better than Hillary, will you let me back in the country?

<narrows eyes>

Assuming I actually want to get back into the country....

There now, does everyone hate me yet?

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 06:04:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to worry.  Still owe you that wine, after all.  We'll go get good and hammered.  Frighten the natives up a bit.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 06:06:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I for one think Antarctica's been getting a free ride for far too long! What do you say, Americans and Europeans? Let's stick it to those penguin-huggers!

(although, those territorial claims might be a can of worms we don't wanna open...oh well, at least I tried.)

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde

by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 05:38:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What?? There is no crying on the internet!

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 06:33:16 PM EST
You're thinking of baseball, not the internet, MillMan.

And, come on, poemless.  You're a good Illinois gal, so break out the whippin' stick.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 07:00:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok, everyone.  Take a breath.  Take a minute to calm down.  This has gotten a little out of hand.

Besides, if we all tear each other limb-from-limb, then the Romneys have won...

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 06:53:56 PM EST
Quite agree.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 07:00:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sorry that redstar wrote the possibly ambiguous dig about ugly Americans in that interesting anectode, and I'm even more sorry that you chose to interpret redstar's use of the term "ugly American" as meaning that all Americans are ugly Americans, rather than applying to those that are ugly. Redstar's anectode seemed to me to be referring to those samples he was talking about and to be using the expression as a clear subset of all Americans.

I know you've had your run-ins with redstar before, which might explain giving him less slack, but precisely, the fact that you have had run-ins should have made you wary of jumping right away into the fray with all guns blazing - the result was as depressing as it was predictable, with redstar responding in similar knee-jerk fashion.

I really like the two of you, but your eagerness to enter into these stupid Europe vs America spats is getting tiresome.

The fight is not between Europe and America, it is between a nasty, overbearing ideology pushed by the moneyed elites (and their lackeys) and the rest of us on both continents. The fact that that ideology currently dominates the White House and that opposition to it is associated with some European countries does not make this a US vs Europe fight - the ideology also dominates many places of power and the media in Europe, and the resistance is also taking place in the US.

Can we please stop wasting our energies, and showing our uglier sides to one another so crudely?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 04:19:07 AM EST
Well I've stayed out of this but I'm afraid I have to react to this one.  
that you chose to interpret redstar's use of the term "ugly American" as meaning that all Americans are ugly Americans, rather than applying to those that are ugly.
Your comment may be true for Redstar, but you don't have to look very far on ET to find those who assume first that an American is an ugly American--here is one comment from this thread that makes the point::
But it isn't just the ignorance that makes me cringe whenever I discover I am going to have to share the stage with a fellow American, it is the notion that I am going to meet one more Yank who probably "knows" that the "furriners" will have nothing to teach him.
This comment is far an American hating American, but is all too common from Europeans as well.  It's like saying in America that blacks sure can jump, but they're not smart enough to win a super bowl,,,,(but wait, one just did).  Oh well, it's ignorant prejudice, and I normally try to ignore it.
by wchurchill on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 02:18:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Most American Pie Fights on this site seem to be initiated by Americans getting at each other in the comment threads.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 02:33:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you may be right, I'll watch this a little more carefully in future.  I generally just ignore the comments.
by wchurchill on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 02:53:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You did not "question" the stereotype, you lashed out at it in the certainty that it was there, without even trying to make sure that it was. Maybe you were right (and you are entitled to that suspicion with redstar's own brash style of commenting), but the spirit of ET is to give the benefit of doubt (and that reference to the spirit of ET applies to redstazr as well).

afew is reacting with harsher words than I would use myself, but he has a point.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 04:31:02 AM EST
I seem to recall the Ugly Duckling was quite cute

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 09:57:01 AM EST
This one has been a bit of a humdinger ;-)

I'd just like to say that the Jehovah's Witnesses came round again today, just as I was on my way out. I'll give them the time of day if I've got time - they are no threat to me. I'm perfectly capable of tossing a few curveballs at them - however I am always interested in the perceptions of others.

What I worry about is the people who can be exploited: the people too polite to put down the phone of the telecaller, the ones whose lives are empty, those who simply want company and so on. Because they are unskilled in how to handle the onslaught of false logic, and they are up against people who have been carefully trained in persuasion (as I understand the training involves).

I respect free speech and I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion, as long as they willing to argue with me - if it impinges on my life. And I am not exactly unknown for bold statements around here either.

And here at ET we are part Debating Society. That means (in my interpretation) that if you disagree with bold statements, then you better get your ugly ducklings all in line and shoot them down.

Lastly, not all of us have as much time as we'd like to marshal arguments - so we sometimes use shorthand or styles of writing that may be misinterpreted. Gainsaying those little gems doesn't exactly add to the discussion. Or what?

Did you come here for the 5 minute argument or the full half-hour?

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 10:31:41 AM EST
Don't get me started with the Jehovah's Witnesses! You say they're not a threat to you, but to me they are: they woke me up last Sunday in the middle of a nice sleep-in! Bloody early proselytizers!

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 12:36:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I must admit, when asked what future time might be suitable for them to call again, I told them a time when I am most likely to be out.

Other than that - LOL

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 01:24:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I haven't been approached by Jehovah's Witnesses, but I did have some Christians of undetermined denomination knocking on my door a while ago.

Them: "Do you believe the world and the events around us are affected by God?"
Me: "Would the world be as shitty as it is now if it was?"
(Uncomfortable silence)
Them: "He he he...do you have a Bible at home?"
Me: "Um...no."

After that they apparently figured I was a lost cause and left.

(For the record, I'm a Lutheran, although not very devoutly so, as I guess you might imagine ;-)

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde

by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 02:02:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I once spent a year as an exchange student in Kent (UK). On arrival at the college (residence hall, dorm) I was greeted by some person who asked me whether I needed a Bible. I said no. When I got to my room, there was a Bible in the drawer in my bedside table. I hurried back to "return the Bible, since I didn't need it and some other student might". They were dumbfounded. I think I ended up keeping it.

By the way, has everyone here heard about The Gideons?

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 02:26:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I actually have a New Testament from the Gideons (at my parents' house, I must have forgotten to pack it...). They came to school once when I was in fourth grade and doled 'em out.

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 02:32:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I also once got a Bhagavad Gita from the Hare Krishna at the Airport. My (ex) girlfriend got a kick out of that one.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 02:36:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sun Mar 4th, 2007 at 07:49:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BTW: K sent his very best greetings to you (and L sent also) and reminded me to tell you a similar story.

K was trying, as you, to get an extra couple of hours of sleep on a Sunday morning, and retired to the guest room next to the front door, in order to avoid the bombastic energy of his young son.

About 10 minutes into his much deserved slumber, heading toward REM, K was rudely brought back to consciousness by an insistent ring on the doorbell. He staggered up, and to the front door,  to be greeted by the aforementioned Witnesses thrusting into his hands a magazine called 'Awake!'

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 02:20:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Last time Yehova's Witnesses came to our door we didn't answer quickly enough so they thought we were not at home and proceeded to slip a leaflet through the mail slot in our door. I picked up the leaflet and slid it back out. They were so shocked, they just picked up the (by then, crumpled) leaflet and hurried away.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 02:28:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Goodie! JW stories!

I was living in New York on the top floor of a 6 floor walk-up.  All 4 of the apartments were rented by friends - male - and we never got drop-in vistors so the general ambience was Animal House.  

One Saturday morning we were planning to go out for breakfast, or something, so we were getting ready.

'Bob' - let me call him - was taking a bath when came a knock-knock-knock upon his door.  He ignored it and continued his hygenic activities.  Knock-knock-knock.  Ignore.  Knock-knock-knock.  Now slightly irked he climbed from the tub, and dripping wet stormed to the door, and swung it open.  Only to behold two (female) JW's who started in on their pitch for about 3 nanoseconds before they cognized what stood before them but not before Bob realized who, and what, they were.

"It's Jehovah's Witnesses!" he cried in tones of total delight.

Sharing the apartment was longshoreman - call him Bjorn - who stood approximately 6'8" tall, blond hair down to his butt, and built like a tank.  This guy was HUGE.  Wondering what the noise was about, Bjorn wandered into the room.

"Bjorn!" Bob shouted with glee.  "It's JEHOVAH WITNESSES!"

Bjorn immediately dived back into his room.

Meanwhile the two JW's are starting to back down the hall mumbling something about coming back later.  Bob follows them into the hall and immediately starts posing philosophical questions at them, "How do you KNOW there is a God? What PROOF can give?" & etc, etc, etc.

As the two JW's start backing away a mite quicker Bjorn leaps into the hall wearing his viking helmet, hair flying everywhere, carrying his shield, naked to the waist, waving his battle axe over head, and screaming at the top of his lungs, "ODIN!  ODIN!"

Attracted by the commotion, I open my door and see:

(1)  two female JW's running down the stairs,

following by ...

(2) one (1) naked-as-a-jaybird Bob running down the stairs after them talking Ontology and Epistemology at them

with ...

(3) Bjorn in full regalia close behind, waving this 3' battle axe over his head in full voice beserker mode "ODIN!  ODIN!"

Until they all disappeared down the stairs.

******************

They never came back.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 06:13:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wonderful story! It sounds like a Brautigan's novel.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 06:29:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Only in America.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 06:34:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't have 6 floor walk-ups in Europe?

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 06:36:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by balbuz on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 04:36:49 PM EST
It appears that poemless has deleted her comments from this thread, which makes some answers to her appear as replies to unrelated comments or to nothing, and thus making these sound incoherent or strange.


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 at 06:47:29 PM EST
Er... how come she's been complaining for a while that she can't be a front-pager any longer? If she retained admin privileges, what was she complaining about?

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 4th, 2007 at 03:06:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think she meant "couldn't" as in "couldn't bear to," not as in "not allowed to."
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Sun Mar 4th, 2007 at 05:55:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To make it clear: poemless resigned as a front-pager, of her own free will. No one asked her to quit, she was not "fired".

I imagine Jérôme maintained her admin privileges (and I am not snarking) out of the goodness of his heart, with perhaps a lingering hope she'd agree to front-page again. I won't comment on the use she made of that in this thread.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Mar 4th, 2007 at 03:46:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Poemless has actually left ET: her account has been renamed.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 4th, 2007 at 05:48:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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