13
Feb
09

Fear and loathing

I am so disgusted with the political malaise of those around me and the insipid march toward a socialist state that I can barely bring myself to listen to the news the last few days.

At the forefront, as the darkness starts to blanket the nation and we head toward the most sweeping and destructive legislation of my lifetime, is the hidden health care agenda in the spending package.

The stimulus package, allegedly created to stave off economic collapse, includes federal tracking of medical treatment received by U.S. citizens. It also includes the appointment of a National Coordinator of Health and Information Technology who will monitor treatments to ensure that doctors are doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. Hospitals and doctors caught disobeying the new rules will be penalized.

Hang on, I need to get a sock to mop up the blood that just started spurting from my ears! Wait, I just found out that ear blood has been determined a minor inconvenience by the federal tsars and that I can’t see my primary care physician for at least six weeks to get a government-certified sock to stem the bloodletting. He is busy treating illegal immigrants flush with their new government healthcare, because, health care is right, you know? Until then I could always use my extra $13 a pay to buy socks to stuff in my ears but I will face the scrutiny of government health inspectors regarding the socks and the application of said footwear to my ears. God help us.

What is happening to our nation? Why is socialized medicine being pedaled as a stimulus bill? Why has the federal government sold out its citizens? Where the hell are Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton? I’m being disenfranchised.

You are being disenfranchised.

And now we hear from senators who have the gall to say that they would have liked to go over the bill more in depth but succumbed to pressure from the Democratic leadership to push the bill through because it is necessary to stop the economic downturn. Talk about fear mongering. Obama preaches fire and brimstone every time he talks about the stimulus bill, making sure Americans are well aware that if we don’t pass his idea of economic stimulus we will be thrust into a state of peril unlike any since the Great Depression.

Never mind that everything that the feds touch from Social Security to Medicare fails. They are our only hopes.

Never mind that the majority of the money being talked about to stimulate the economy is only going to create more bureaucracy and less ingenuity and that it is going to be withheld from being released until the midterm elections. It is our only hope.

Never mind that if the government actually practiced some of the fiscal responsibility being preached to CEOs and others across the nation by a very disappointed press corps and disapproving senators and congressmen we might not be in this mess at all. They are our only hope.

And lets not even mention the fact that the Marxists in charge of this charade, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, shut out any dissent from meetings regarding the final negotiations of the stimulus bill. There tack: If you didn’t vote for it initially, you don’t really need to be a part of the final drafting. Huh?

Pelosi and Reid

Pelosi and Reid

Please tell me that I am actually just dreaming and Obama is going to fly across the room with Harry Potter in a minute and I will wake up in a cold sweat and everything will be ok…Please…But alas, no such luck. I am very awake and quite sure that no Republicans were involved in the compromise sessions held Wednesday regarding both the House and Senate bills. Not one.

House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence of Indiana summed it up:

“I think the American people deserve to know that legislation that would compromise an amount of money equal to the entire discretionary budget of the United States of America is being crafted without a single house Republican in the room.”

Then there are those in the mainstream press who are claiming that my outrage and the outrage of other likeminded citizens is proof we are sold out to the Republican Party because we didn’t oppose Bush’s stimulus bill. Nice try guys. First, I most certainly did oppose reckless government spending and the quick-fix mentality of the government regarding the economy. It is my opinion that it should sink or swim on its own without government intervention. Secondly, while I was opposed to the first stimulus, it pales in comparison to the monstrosity before Congress now that is little more than a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Government housing and waiting lists for chemotherapy are right around the corner… 

There are mandates and then there is dictatorship. Now that the chips are starting to fall, Obama and the Democratic left are realizing that they might not fair so well in public opinion as communist ideals are starting to shine through smooth talk like hazy stars in a black sky.

The new slickmeister has resorted simply to ramming the bill down the throats of a nation that is now more opposed to it than in favor of it by a wide margin. What happened to all that hope and change coming to Washington? I guess the only hope the American people can truly cling to is that they will change their minds regarding laissez faire citizenship and rise up to meet the challenge presented by the Obama administration as he undercuts the underpinning of the country in the coming months and years. I want laissez faire government policy, not laissez faire voters.

We the People can overcome this if we unite and hold to the basic principals that this nation was founded on and rooted in. Fascism has no place in the Oval Office but it will take the collective discernment and courage of Americans to overcome it. Hell with “Yes We Can” crap. I want something simpler: We Will. I pray we will.

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86 Responses to “Fear and loathing”


  1. 1 djcnor
    February 13, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Perhaps you need to become better acquainted with socialism, especially as it exists in Europe. Could we discuss it together?

  2. 2 Gerri
    February 13, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    As I write this I am watching the House debates on the stimu-less package and my head is spinning.

    I cannot believe the audacity of Speaker Pelosi and her “yes-man” Reid. On one hand, pushing through a package that the Republican members have not been allowed to have a part in creating, and on the other hand, crying that the Republican members are not being Bi-Partisan.

    Obscene amounts of money being thrown at projects that cannot possibly stimulate our economy.

    I pray that NOT ONE Republican House member supports this bill!! Let Ms. Pelosi and President Obama OWN this one. I pray that if this bill passes it works, but I believe that it would take a miracle for it to work!

    If Government wants to stimulate our economy… how about giving every American Citizen a one year excemption from paying any income tax?

    Oh and about the next Census count….why don’t we just turn the counting over to Acorn?

  3. 3 justgroovy
    February 13, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    You hit the nail on the head. Liberty is being whittled away and socialist bureaucracy is going to continue its slow creep into every aspect of our public lives. I enjoy reading your blog. I’d like to add you to my blogroll at justgroovy.wordpress.com if it is alright with you, and you have my permission to add my blog if you find it entertaining. It looks like we share a distrust of the current power block in D.C.

  4. 4 djcnor
    February 13, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    You both might be interested in a site that claims to have the complete list of projects along with their costs and the numbers of jobs created and whether the projects are considered critical or non-critical. It’s

    http://stimuluswatch.org/

    And don’t be alarmed that I am the one providing it. I think you’ll find it a conservative site.I’m not sure how up to date it is with the latest version.

    Then, if you would, assign me one project that you think definitely should be cut, and I will try to depend.

    To help you with your dread of what might happen as a result of Obama’s administration, you might consider reading the entries on my blog about Denmark, a country that has pretty much done many of the things you don’t want the US to do and had good results.

  5. 5 Rich
    February 13, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    First of all, djcnor, Denmark?? Really???

    Now onto the matter at hand. Josh, I acn’t really argue wiht your blog today. I think you have some good points. However, I do disagree with the extent you are taking them. I don’t see the end of our nation or anything like that as you do. As I’ve said before, ALL politicians are shady and in it for themselves. Let’s face it that’s what makes a good politician in the first place, someone who loves to hear themselves talk. I think talking that no change is coming before his first month is over is a little extreme as well. Even in your previous blog, the Gipper, himself said it took a couple years to get his changes going.

    My main argument here is the hypocrisy of the situation. Through most of W’s administration the Republicans were in charge. Remember the numerous vetoes because of the timelines? Think how easy it was for him to start not ONE but TWO wars. Wars that have put us in this situation where we need stimulated. Maybe if the GOP didn’t spend 300 cajillion dollars on an unneccessary war(Iraq not Afghanistan) our country would have some money. Or if the GOP hadn’t deregulated all these big companies and banks they wouldn’t be broke with their hands out now. But they did. So here we are.

    Regardless of where we are, have been, or ar going, I can proudly say I’m still glad I DON”T live in Denmark.

  6. 6 CJ
    February 14, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Wow!

    Obama is really for the working poor.

    He is giving people on food stamps a 13 percent increase, so if you now get $100, you will soon get $113.

    SSI people who did not earn their check will get a one time “bonus” of $250.

    Retired people who earned their social security checks will get a one time bonus of $250.

    Now, the workers who still have a job and are actually the ones who are still able to pay for this bailout and who are still paying taxes to keep this country running will get a $400 cut in their federal tax. We will see it in our paychecks.

    Let’s break this $400 down into the amount we will see in our paychecks:

    $400 per year divided by 52 weeks means that we will see $7.69 less taken out of our weekly paychecks.

    In a 40 hour work week, Obama will be taking 20 cents less per hour from us.

    WOW! Thank you President Obama for caring about the working poor and letting me keep 20 cents per hour from my EARNINGS.

    That extra $7.69 per week will truly shore up the economy and help my family.

    Ooops! Too late. I have already got my $7.69 per week spent.

    I am buying lottery tickets, so I can get lucky and maybe be half as wealthy as Obama.

    I wonder, if Obama is giving a tax cut to Powerball winners?

  7. 7 Dremari
    February 14, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Can I recommend something? A new American Revolution. Instead of the Boston Tea Party, we’ll have the Potomac Tea Party! I would like to be the one to cut the catapult rope that launches Pelosi into the river.

    Yes, I am slightly set on taking over the government and giving it back to the people.

  8. 8 John Levy
    February 15, 2009 at 1:22 am

    djcnor,

    What a load of crap! Here are some facts about Denmark from my buddy Henrik Hansen who teaches economics at the Copenhagen Business School.

    Despite its reputation as a showcase of political utopia, 40 percent of its adult population live on government transfer income, full-time, all-year. A little more than a third of these people are pensioners and the rest are working age. About one third of the people who actually hold a job work for the government or government-owned companies. The effective tax level is around 70 percent, not the 50 percent that is usually reported (the lower figure comes about by disregarding the effects of the sales tax and excise taxes).

    For now, let’s ignore the ethical question associated with all coercive redistribution. Instead, let’s look at the extent to which safety, security, and quality of life really do characterize Denmark.

    People can feel socially secure in Denmark—at least for now. People don’t get rich from welfare but they can live a comfortable life. Practically all people are eligible for one program or another. But the system is unsustainable in the longer run. In the early 1970s only about 300,000 people of working age lived full-time all year on government welfare. Today it is about 900,000. The population size has remained unchanged at around 5 million. In the not too distant future, more people are going to be pensioners and fewer people will be working age. At some point, the trough will be empty.

    The welfare state has also nationalized many of the formerly family support functions. In 1960, 91 percent of all women 30 years of age were married. Today, fewer than 50 percent are. Partly this is because people are marrying later in life, and yet a considerable part of the explanation is that many people do not marry at all.

    Of the people who do get married, more people get a divorce today. In 1975, 18 per cent of all the marriages from 1950 had ended in a divorce during the preceding 25 years. In 1995, 36 per cent of the marriages from 1970 had ended in a divorce. Of marriages in 1985, 20 per cent ended in a divorce after only 7 years. As a result of the above, many more people live in single households today than did in 1960. In 2000, one third of all adults in Denmark were living alone.

    The Danish Statistical Yearbook 2002 shows reported crimes from 1935 to 1960 to be stable: about 100,000 crimes per year. But from 1960 until today, the number of crime reports has increased by 500 percent, to more than 500,000 per year. And if we look at violent crime, the picture is even grimmer. The number of violent crimes in 1960 was approximately 2,000; it is approximately 15,000 today. This is an increase of more than 700 percent, and it is still rising steeply.

    Welfare state advocates often say that crime is caused by poverty. Well, Denmark has become about twice as rich per citizen during this period of rising crime. Another argument is that poverty is caused by economic inequality. Well, Denmark has engaged in the most comprehensive income redistribution program of any nation. Denmark is the most egalitarian country in the world today.

    There are better explanations. Massive redistribution schemes have undercut people’s respect for property rights. The rhetoric against wealth producers that has accompanied the redistribution has created social antagonisms. People on government transfer income have a lot of extra time on their hands, and their hands do the “devil’s work.”

    The best explanation may be the change in the views of intellectuals. In the 1960s, the theory emerged that crime should not be blamed on the offender but on society. This led to the conclusion that crime should not be punished—at least not very harshly—but instead socially treated.

    This idea is still so widespread that the present Minister of Justice, who is a conservative, proposed that prisoners be released when they have served only half their sentence. This, she said, would solve the problem of long waiting lists for the Danish prisons. But it might also make the lists even longer!

    Many people believe that if education were not provided by the government, only rich people could afford it. Let us compare Denmark to the U.S., where public funding of especially higher education is not nearly as readily available as it is in Denmark. According to the report “Education at a Glance” from the OECD, 15 percent of people between the ages of 25 and 64 has a bachelor degree or more in Denmark. In the U.S.A., it is 26 percent—nearly twice as many. In Sweden, the number is 13 percent, and Norway 16 percent.

    If we look at the other end of the education level, those with only 9 years of education, in Denmark it is 34 percent, whereas in the U.S. it is 14 percent. In Sweden the number is 26 percent and in Norway 18 percent. Again the numbers are much more favorable in the U.S.

    The U.S. has, according to this report, the best educated population in the world measured by numbers of years of schooling. No country has as many highly educated people as the USA and no country has as few people with only 9 years of education. This is information, I know, is surprising to most Europeans (conceding of course that this is a quantitative and not a qualitative measure).

    In Denmark, many people are prevented from gaining the education they would like. All higher education is publicly run and free. Central planners decide how many doctors, architects, engineers, lawyers, economists, etc., that society needs. Students are rationed according to their grades in high school. If your grades are not high enough, you may not begin a degree program of your preference.

    There are no objective tests of the quality levels in Denmark that I know off. However, one indication of the falling quality level in education could be the considerable shift in applicants for higher education away from the sciences and into the humanities. Everything involving mathematics, or other clearly demonstrable skills such as natural science or economics, is disliked by the applicants.

    What about health? Denmark is one of the few OECD countries where the average life span has hardly increased since the early 1970s. In the early 1970s, Denmark was at the top in OECD comparisons; today it is closer to the bottom.

    According to the politicians, this has nothing to do with poor quality at the Danish hospitals or long waiting lists for examination and surgery. They say it is due to the Danish people’s habit of smoking and drinking. And yet, often one can read in the news stories of people who die preventable deaths simply because they were on a waiting list and unable to get care.

    Sound economic theory can explain the shortages and continuously falling quality in government-provided health care and education. When suppliers are not driven by the profit motive, nor subjected to market competition, they cease being customer oriented. Quality declines and costs rise. Due to the lack of market prices, and therefore no economic calculation, they can neither plan efficiently nor satisfy consumer demand. They do not have the information or the incentives to make rational decisions. This was the case in the formerly centrally planned economies. It is also the case in Denmark, where central planning also prevails in parts of the economy, most significantly in health care and education.

    The prospects for being able to rely on government or family for social security are also rapidly diminishing. These are not very bright prospects indeed for a country where each working citizen are forced to sacrifice such a large share of his personal earnings to the common good.

    One option for young people is to leave. It was recently proposed by one of the three economists from the Danish Economic Council that if young people in Denmark wish to move abroad after they have completed their education, they should first have to pay back the costs of their education. Only when they have paid enough taxes to cover all the expenses of their education, would they be able to move abroad without having to pay the government first.

    So now they the have social-democratic version of the Berlin Wall, an economic barrier to prevent emigration so that the state can continue to tax people to sustain a system that is unraveling. The mere suggestion is a telling sign that Denmark has nearly reached the end of the road.

  9. 9 Bill W.
    February 15, 2009 at 8:05 am

    Josh,

    You, my friend didn’t listen to me before when I told you we are doomed. We waited too long to start preaching about the evils that bestow us. I was watching a piece on the housing problem and there was a woman sitting in her 200K+ home behind her piano and in front of her big-screen, talking about how she borrowed 15K from the bank to update her kitchen. She also borrowed 20K to put in a pool. This lady, like many, many, many Americans was losing her house to foreclosure.
    She blamed the bank and the government for allowing her to borrow too much money. I know, I too was shocked by her comments. She said that she was being punished for “bad choices” that she had made, but that the bank and government practices allowed her to do it and this was “criminal”. But wait, how about we have the government check your income, status, current housing situation, and the condition of you current kitchen cabinets, then they decide if you need new ones. Maybe the government would come in and say you don’t need a piano or a big screen and you can’t “borrow” money for other luxuries like you “want”. What would people say about that? If they are being blamed shouldn’t they be allow a role in the decision making. Then they could tell you not to call in sick and maybe tell you what job to have. Maybe they will have you go to night school so you can get a better job. Then where would it end? They could tell you to drive a cheaper car and wear clothes that they approve.
    Well wake up sisters and brothers! In everything we do, WE THE PEOPLE make choices. (Read: Freedom) and sometime we make bad ones. Then, unfortunately we pay the price. Do a crime and go to jail. Eat too much and get fat. Drink too much and rip your liver up. Borrow too much and lose your stuff. Get the picture. Blaming the bank or government is like blaming McDonalds for selling Big Mac’s for $2. “Well they should have known I would eat five of them.” Grow up!
    Hey Josh, can I borrow $20 for a pair of socks? I know that is too much but “I want them.” Now If I get laid off this week (good possibility) and can’t pay you back, don’t come looking for your socks. I mean after all, you lent me the money, right? You should have known that I make mistakes. It’s your fault. I could sell some of my belongings, quads, camcorder, Elvis collection, limited edition rock collection, but I shouldn’t have to. It’s not MY fault. You loaned me money. Bad Josh.
    Anyone know where I can get a VISA to go to Greenland? We don’t have this kind of trouble there. Maybe I can go to Africa, to a nice quaint village? You know where everyone pulls their weight? You work or you don’t eat. Don’t help others build their huts and they don’t help you build yours. Someplace like that. You know, like what America used to be….before the blame game, welfare and just plain lazy…

  10. 10 Mikey
    February 15, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    This is America. Go live in Denmark.

  11. February 16, 2009 at 5:49 am

    Are you kidding me?!

    Do you honestly believe in the hope of the less laissez faire voters? The overwhelming majority supports this malignancy of a stimulus package, despite what tumor it may incur on our future- the future of our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren.
    Hear no, See no, Speak no, EVIL.
    Call it what you will, but today, I am EXHAUSTED. I feel out-numbered, depleted, dejected.
    I pray constantly, but the overall attitude of the laissez faire American public/media dictates my future, and the future of my children.
    I too, am stuffing the government issued socks in my ears, for they are a bleeding.

  12. 12 djcnor
    February 16, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Yes, Denmark. The country that has the happiest people in the world and the best climate for business (Forbes and The Economist); that is more democratic and has less corruption than any other country (US, #15 and #14 respectively) and that has the greatest freedom of the press (US #44) and that has as much economic freedom as the US. (refs on my blog) Sounds horrible, doesn’t it?

    I note that you economics professor shows no signs of trying to move to the US. Why not?

    A lot of the points included in that post are very easily refuted. For example, all those people directly paid by the government in Denmark includes several categories paid privately in the US, sectors that you wouldn’t want to do without, such as all the employees of its healthcare system. Transfer all the US jobs in the healthcare industry onto the government ledger and what would US numbers be?

    The tax rate is high, but so much is taken care of by those taxes that what Danes take home is essentially all disposable income. Americans, on the other hand, have to fund healthcare, transportation, higher education, and many other things out of what they take home that Danes do not have to worry about. I know you won’t agree with this, but it has been my observation that the higher a percent of income people pay in taxes, the closer eye they keep on how that money is spent, the less apathetic they are about what their politicians are up to, the more insistent and active they are in seeing that it is spent as they want it to be spent.

    That bit about single mothers and marriages is irrelevant. It merely reflects the fact that people dont stay together for financial reasons in Denmark.

    Now compare those same crime statistics with those of the US. Believe me, the US won’t come out on top. When you only have two murders per year in the whole country (which they were all upset about the year I was there) You can have a huger percentage increase and still not even come within binocular distance of US rates.

    The comparison of education uses the wrong measurements. First of all 9 years of EU education puts a student at about the level of knowledge where US kids are when they come out of high school. In addition, EU countries, I believe Denmark included, all have extensive apprenticeship programs as alternatives. Denmark also integrates higher education with industry, so that, for example, you can earn a Ph.D. working at Novo Nordisk. In many ways, the systems are not at all directly comparable, but when they put our students up against theirs in maths and sciences, our fourth grade math students are essentially equal, and the US is a bit stronger in science.At 15, Danes are ahead in math, Americans in science, and they are essentially equal in reading:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081210171906.htm

    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0923110.html

    I don’t see a whole lot of problems with producing an appropriate amount of graduates for the jobs available. It beats so many US graduates not being able to find work in their fields, working outside their fields, unhappy in work, and saddled with loan payments on an education they won’t get a chance to use.

    Gee, what is the average lifespan in Denmark versus the US? 78.1, exactly the same as the US.

    Yes, Danes tend to go outside their country. They can! They have the whole EU open for them to work legally in and it’s all nearby. Why wouldn’t they? Especially since they already always know more than one language.

    I’m sorry, but that wasn’t very convincing for me at all. People have been predicting the downfall of countries like Denmark for all my life, and it hasn’t happened. If it’s so near collapse, why did both The Eonomist and Forbes (an American organization) name it as having the best climate for business?

    I’d like to add one more thing for the person who said “Go live in Denmark.” I did go live outside the US. In fact, I did go live in Denmark for 3 months and certainly wouldn’t mind living there a lot longer. Someone called my attention to a brilliant post by someone else about how American attitudes toward learning about other countries and appreciating that there is another system between full blown capitalism and the stereotype of socialism that Americans tend to have. It is in Europe, and it provides a very good quality of life. See what you think about what she said and consider looking beyond the mirrored curtain.

    http://wiredsisters.wordpress.com/2009/02/15/the-mirrored-curtain/#comment-190

  13. 13 Mickey
    February 16, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Hey Bill, Don’t go to Africa either. I hear the brother of the “Magnificent One” lives in a hut. He may visit someday…

  14. 14 TreeHugger
    February 16, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Rich, I totally agree with you on the war in Iraq! Here is a website that I found where you can calculate exactly how much it costs an individual to pay for Iraq. Based on an income of $100,000 per year over 5 years the cost was $31,421.66. Now I don’t know about the rest of you but I would rather my taxes be used for something else! here is the site if you want to see how much you have paid for it. http://nationalpriorities.org/costofwar/individual

  15. February 17, 2009 at 4:37 am

    Tree,

    I actually pulled up your link. Interesting… I encourage each and every person to do the same. Because, if each and every blogger does this, they will see exactly (according to this lame site),a number highlighted in red, which I’m guessing, represents years 2003-2007. If you scroll down a LITTLE FURTHER, it gives you a total on “War Tax”, which is PER YEAR,(but it doesn’t say that). Printed in the smallest font available, and not highlighted, of course. Based on my income, that comes out to exactly $737.96 per year. I personally, do not make 100k per year, not even close.
    Now Tree, I am trying to be nice here.
    If I have to pay $737.96 per year to protect our country from further terrorist attacks on our loved ones, then so be it.
    Our churches ask that we donate 10% of our income, per year, to support and aid in the preservation of our spiritual beliefs. Based on my income, providing for the U.S. Military to protect our country, our loved ones, and our children, costs me less than 2% of my annual income. I consider this a bargain, or rather, an investment.

    Count your blessings.

  16. 16 John Levy
    February 17, 2009 at 6:58 am

    djcnor,

    I fail to see what you actual point is concerning your infatuation with socialism and Denmark but I believe perhaps that your statement which follows is the most telling, “To help you with your dread of what might happen as a result of Obama’s administration, you might consider reading the entries on my blog about Denmark, a country that has pretty much done many of the things you don’t want the US to do and had good results.”

    First things first though. You also said, “I note that you(sp) economics professor shows no signs of trying to move to the US. Why not?” And then you said, “I’d like to add one more thing for the person who said “Go live in Denmark.” I did go live outside the US. In fact, I did go live in Denmark for 3 months and certainly wouldn’t mind living there a lot longer.”

    These statements cause two thoughts to occur to me.
    1. Your statements are illogical when you write of the professor (I guess you are also a mind reader; how would you know that the professor shows no signs of trying to move to the US?). What person wants to move from his home country? Apparently you really don’t want to or else you probably would have. See what I mean? The logic is goofy whether it comes from me or you.
    2. See ya!

    The professor is an expert in economics. But you are not. Yet you make statements such as, “A lot of the points included in that post are very easily refuted” and “it has been my observation that the higher a percent of income people pay in taxes, the closer eye they keep on how that money is spent, the less apathetic they are about what their politicians are up to, the more insistent and active they are in seeing that it is spent as they want it to be spent” and “That bit about single mothers and marriages is irrelevant” and you start with, “The country that has the happiest people in the world.”

    Neither The Economist or Forbes wrote that Denmark has the happiest people in the world. You just made that up to prop up your socialistic arguments. Prop is a derivative of the word propaganda. How does it feel to be a mouthpiece for a proven failed political-economic system?
    Your statement about your observation about higher taxes relating to less political apathy is just plain madeup hogwash! Just look at Great Britain. And you miss or purposely ignore the whole point of declining marriage and the nationalization of many of the formerly family support functions. I would assume that your statement about it being irrelevant is just an attempt to sweep a sound connection between socialism and the decline of the family under the carpet. I’ll go another step, I don’t believe you have “easily refuted” anything the professor wrote. In fact, in the Jan 22 edition of The Economist, online, there is a story about Denmark’s own economic bailout -round two. An excerpt, “A bleak picture for the financial sector was also painted in the latest Financial Stability Report released by the Danish central bank (Nationalbank) in December. The bank governor, Nils Bernstein, predicted further bank failures this year, noting a strong decline in the earnings of Danish banks since the onset of the financial crisis in August 2007. These were linked to the slowdown in the economy and the slide in property prices evident since mid-2006, as well as the wider financial turmoil, which has led to increased write-downs on loans and negative value adjustments.”
    see: http://www.economist.com/agenda/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12998131&CFID=43151215&CFTOKEN=49076437 (copy and paste entire url in one line)

    Interesting to note that as part of an attempt to address the problems, tax cuts have been implemented along with reductions in the top income bracket to increase work incentives. Hmmmm, how very capitalistic of those Danes!

    Also interesting is that the story notates that “Denmark is faced with a sharp decline in its working-age population, so boosting the country’s labour supply is seen as essential to ensure the medium-term sustainability of the public finances.” What did the silly professor say, “In the not too distant future, more people are going to be pensioners and fewer people will be working age. At some point, the trough will be empty.” More at http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/faculty/rwinslow/europe/denmark.html -At present the number of working-age Danes living mostly on government transfer payments counts more than 800,000 persons (roughly 23% of the working-age population). Although this number has been reduced in recent years, the heavy load of government transfer payments burden other parts of the system. Health care, other than for acute problems, and care for the elderly and children have particularly suffered, while taxes remain at a painful level. More than one-fourth of the labor force is employed in the public sector.

    More from http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/faculty/rwinslow/europe/denmark.html (Crime and Society) -Between 1995 and 2000, according to INTERPOL data, the rate of murder increased from 1.13 to 4.03, an increase of 256.6%. The rate for rape increased from 8.44 to 9.32, an increase of 10.4%. The rate of robbery increased from 39.09 to 59.14, an increase of 51.3%. The rate for aggravated assault decreased from 165.29 to 23.68 per 100,000, a decrease of 85.7%. The rate for burglary decreased from 2042.56 to 1868.06, a decrease of 8.5%. The rate of larceny increased from 599.94 to 1224.71, an increase of 104.1%. The rate of motor vehicle theft decreased from 683.55 to 604.18, a decrease of 11.6%. The rate of total index offenses increased from 3540 to 3793.12, an increase of 7.2%. 25% of the population was victimized in 1986 by criminal acts such as theft, vandalism and violence. Of these, 14% had experienced theft, 12% vandalism and 6% violence.

    I find this really interesting (from the same site), “The victim has no right to be a party to the proceedings under the penal aspects of the case. They are notified of the action taken by the prosecution. In a very limited number of cases the victim is permitted to prosecute, i.e. offenses against personal honor and special cases where the public prosecutor has decided not to pursue the matter. The victim may be called as a witness under the normal rules regarding witnesses.”

    Yeah boy, sounds like Utopia to me!

    Thanks to you my dread of what might happen as a result of Obama’s administration has been alleviated. Right! Like I said, this is the most telling of your sentences. Obama intends to lead us down the path to complete socialism. And, as I said, that system is a proven failure. The mess this country is in, is due to government meddling in our market driven capitalistic economy. Government is not the solution, it is the problem, and socialism is a necessary step for communism. We have a 200 year old representative republic based on free capitalism, which has turned out to be the only successful economic-political system of any era. Especially successful in allowing the masses to choose their own path and to think in their own way. Why do you and your socialistic colleages want so badly to destroy this?

  17. 17 TreeHugger
    February 17, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Kate, my point was that it is alot of money being spent on Iraq. A place we should have never been in the first place. We are there because of LIES ! How many people have died because of lies?? There were no WMD’s and I don’t think there ever were. I supported the decision in the beginning because I believed the lies. We the people were misled by Bush’s admin in more ways than one.

  18. 18 TreeHugger
    February 17, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Actually John Levy, djcnor did not “make up” the happiness study. There are several studies that you can find on this topic. Denmark does not always show up # 1 but it does show up in the top in all the studies that I have viewed. Here are the results of one below.

    HOW THE NATIONS RANKED ON HAPPINESS
    1st – Denmark
    2nd – Switzerland
    3rd – Austria
    4th – Iceland
    5th – The Bahamas
    23rd – USA
    41st – UK
    90th – Japan

    Regardless of how happy any country is, I am totally content to stay right here in the USA! No matter what our troubles the US is still the best!!!!

  19. 19 djcnor
    February 17, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    Well, John, first of all, I do live outside the US at the moment and have for the last 4 years. Besides my time spent in Denmark, I also lived two years in Krakow, Poland. That comes to 7 out of the 40 years since I left high school. And actually a lot of people like to spend part of their adult lives outside their home country, especially other first worlders, and especially Danes. It’s informative in a way no book or video or holiday can be. I think I read somewhere that about 25% of all Danes are out of the country at any particular time. I could look up as current figures as I could find.

    And no, Forbes and the Economist said that Denmark had the best business climate in the world. The refs for Denmark being the happiest are on my blog.

    You yourself provided the data that shows that Denmark’s crime rates are very low indeed and that it took what would be a tiny change in our rate to make a huge percentage change in Denmark’s rate.

    The whys of single mothers I got from talking to Danes during my time there.

    And I do look at the UK and the attitutdes of its people toward taxes and their government, every day. Exactly how did you relate UK apathy to US apathy and Denmark apathy?

    Let me recommend again that those of you who are perfectly happy to stay in the US read this post by wiredsister (I think I’ve already recommended it) and consider the “mirrored curtain” as she calls it, that you find yourself behind.

    http://wiredsisters.wordpress.com/2009/02/15/the-mirrored-curtain/#comment-190

  20. 20 John Levy
    February 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Tree Hugger,

    Those studies are a dime a dozen, based on showing certain results for political purposes.
    I have seen many studies that suggest the people of Latin America, one of the poorer areas of the world, are the happiest. Seriously, do a google search on these words -latin america happiest people, and you will see what I mean.

    djcnor did make up the happy comment! He said it in context with the Forbes and The Economist stories, leaving you to believe that it was part of the articles in those publications. Those stories did not even mention Danish happiness.

    He is a socialist propagandist who has his head stuck in the sand and for some reason he hates our successful capitalistic republic and thinks he is doing his part in trying to bring it down with misinformation.

    I wouldn’t have believed it before but now I am reconsidering the Iraq war. You contend that Bush made up lies to involve us. I now think it’s bigger than that. The war was phase one and Obama is carrying out phase two of a plan to socialize our country. The World Bank has control of the money stolen from us for the stimulus package and is now lending it back to us -WITH INTEREST. We are intentionally being bankrupt in an effort to change our political-economic system. The World Bank is in control of our Congress. Haliburton, of Cheney-Iraq fame has been contracted to build numerous FEMA civilian detention camps. 7 have already been built. Why?

    Over the last month I have come to believe many things that I would have chalked up to insane conspiracy theories.

    Did you know that 7 states have already introduced Claims of Sovereignty (from the federal government)? 14 more are in the process as we speak. Think I’m crazy? Do your own research before you dismiss what I write.

    We are in dire trouble. Anyone have any answers?

  21. 21 TreeHugger
    February 17, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    John, I also saw one of those studies that you mentioned about Latin America. I was very suprised to see Venezuela was #2 ! I have never been there myself but can’t imagine that with all the corruption that they have there that I would be very happy.

  22. 22 djcnor
    February 17, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    I did not make up the happiest people thing. I provide references for it on my blog on this particular page, though there are plenty more.

    http://djcnor.wordpress.com/2009/02/08/denmark-learn-from-it/

    One of my refs actually talks about all the different studies and refs a source for their dodginess.

    http://www.concierge.com/cntraveler/blogs/80days/2009/01/best-kept-secre.html

    The huffington reference gives a link to CNNhealth which identifies their source as a study by the University of Michigan which, by the way, identifies Americans as 16th most happy. It also explains how they came to their conclusion.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/07/02/nations.happiness/index.html

    In my other blog post on Denmark, I provide references for the other characteristics I claim for the place.

    http://djcnor.wordpress.com/2009/02/12/more-on-denmark/

    “He” is a she who happpens to have lived in the US, a country reovering from years under communism and the EU’s two extremes of EU-type socialism, the UK being the least and Denmark being the most.

    Did you even consider reading wiredsister’s mirrored curtain post?

  23. 23 John Levy
    February 17, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    djcnor, you mean the “mirrored curtain” by Red Emma?

    Yah djcnor, everyone should read blog posts by a woman, Red Emma, who chose the same pseudonym taken by her hero, Emma Goldman, who played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. She and anarchist writer Alexander Berkman, her lover and lifelong friend, tried to assassinate Henry Clay Frick (Frick was shot three times, then stabbed him in the legs -he survived) as an act of attentat, “propaganda of the deed,” a concept that promotes physical violence against political enemies as a way of inspiring the masses and catalyzing revolution. Goldman tried to fund the scheme through prostitution

    On September 6, 1901, Leon Czolgosz, an unemployed factory worker with a history of mental illness, shot US President William McKinley twice during a public speaking event in Buffalo, New York. McKinley died eight days later. Although Goldman was probably not involved in the assasination, she steadfastly refused to condemn Czolgosz’ action, standing virtually alone in doing so.

    A committed atheist, Goldman was also an advocate of free love, and a strong critic of marriage.

    You got to be kidding me, you actually take Red Emma’s writings seriously? Her anarchist hero is nothing less than the ilk of one of those Danish murderous criminals that you deny exist.

    The UK does not have less voter apathy because of it’s higher taxes.

    Your socialist arguments are a myth.

  24. 24 djcnor
    February 17, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Yes, you should read what this “Red Emma” says in that post, no matter what she calls herself. I don’t know what else she writes, but she is right on the button with that one. Guess what, even people you disagree with politically can be right on matters of which they have more experience.

    I’ve never heard of the “Red Emma” you mentioned. Having now heard of her, I’ll ask this other Emma if she knows she shares a pseudonym with this person. We’ll see. In any case, she never had a part in any of the other Emma’s activities and cannot be legitimately smeered with the other Emma’s activities.

    By the way, did you also read what Henry Clay Frick was responsible for? The great Johnstown flood that killed 2200 people. Oh well.

    Did you even read the post? Well, did you?

  25. 25 djcnor
    February 17, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    And as for voter apathy, I’ve got a reference for you:

    http://www.idea.int/vt/survey/voter_turnout_pop2.cfm

    Average voter turnout since 1945 (not sure whether last US election is included)

    US: 48.3%
    UK: 74.9%
    Denmark: 83.6%

    Would you like to take back that part about comparative voter apathy? It’s not an exactl correlation, when you consider all the other countries, but it’s not a bad one either.

  26. 26 John Levy
    February 17, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    I read her post. It’s interesting but so what? You are trying to justify or rationalize some idea you have about how bad our country is. I’ve traveled a bit, haven’t taken up residence anywhere else for any length of time and I’m sure that so long as the government doesn’t meddle too much in your personal affairs, you could be quite happy in most places. That all changes if you have health problems and your needed treatment is turned down by a government board that has deemed it is not cost effective either because you are too old or your life may not be extended enough or some other inane socialist reason. Or if your burning desire is to be a fireman (haha, get it? burning desire to be a fireman!) or a doctor and the state says no, we have met our quota or, no, you don’t have the smarts to do this or that.

    I especially liked her explanation of our lack of knowledge of geography by saying, “this appalling ignorance could legitimately be blamed on the Sexual Revolution. Playboy, I pointed out, had provided more recent generations of male adolescents with someplace other than the National Geographic to look for pictures of nekkid wimmen.” I know she was kidding; I thought it was funny! But I disagree with such broad general statements such as, “Most reasonably educated Americans are aware that Europeans generally regard the U.S. as barbaric because, unlike most European countries, we have the death penalty and no gun control,” and “the average blue-collar worker lives a lot better than his or her American counterpart,” and her post is filled with that kind of tripe. “Americans who think of themselves as intellectuals, or at least as thoughtful people, have been brainwashed into thinking that geography is boring,” and really, what kind of bs is she talking about here, “our corporate masters here don’t need to tell us that learning about life in other countries is forbidden and dangerous. They just have to tell us it’s boring.” Tripe, tripe and more tripe. In any country there are those that want to learn and do and there are those that won’t.

    I strongly disagree with her when she writes that it is a myth that America is the greatest country in the world. The myth is that socialism will save this country.

    Red Emma has apparently borrowed the term “mirrored curtain” from John Updike’s, Henry Bech series of novels, ,where Henry Bech, a narcissist, is sexually aroused by mirrows. Bech also feels he has “passed through a mirrow that feebly reflects the capitalist world.” Maybe Red Emma does not remember where she borrowed that term from or perhaps she is guilty of plagiarism.

    There were 61 members of the South Fork Fishing & Hunting Club. Frick was a member also, along with Andrew Carnegie and Andrew Mellon. For you to blame him for the Johnstown flood and to suggest that Emma Goldman was justified in his assasination because of the flood is just plain ludicrous.

    You are reaching at straws to suggest that there is a correlation between voter apathy and taxes. I see the numbers but what do they really mean? I don’t know and neither do you.
    What I do know is that you will reach for any straw if you think you can use it to justify your propaganda against America.

  27. 27 Rich
    February 17, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    Kate,
    I agree, I have no problem paying 2% to protect our beloved country. The war in Iraq had nothing to do with protecting this country!! This is a big beef I have with you right wingers. Any negative talk against a war is blasphemy! Does it matter that the war was based on false information? Not to you apperently. However, every little mistruth the current president speaks is scrutinized to death by you. And by “you” I mean the right in general not just you Kate. Honestly do you not see the irony in that? Lies lead to unneccessary war is good and patriotic. Lies lead to higher taxes is bad and ruining the country.

  28. 28 Rich
    February 17, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    The rest of you,
    You know what they call a Big Mac in Denmark?

  29. 29 TreeHugger
    February 17, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    djcnor, I read the wired sisters post you referred to but don’t really get the point you are trying to make to John Levy. You have a right to like living in another country just as much as I or others like to live here. Just because one may prefer to live in the US does not make one ignorant of how other countries live. Interestingly, I have friends from several other countries, including Norway, Venezuela and Canada. Guess where they say they would like to live if they had their choice?? The US !! I am not saying it is perfect here but I feel that I have a great life with many freedoms. When bad things happen you can count on Americans to stand together eventhough they may not agree politically. I am considered a liberal thinker but the wired sisters post that you referred to sounds insulting to the intelligence of many Americans. My friends from Norway tell me that taxes are very high there as well as the price of gas. Everyone does have healthcare though which is one issue that the US needs to take a look at. My friends from Venezuela tell me how corrupt their system is. My friend from Canada married an american and they could move to Canada but she prefers to live here. Interesting…..

  30. 30 CJ
    February 18, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Lets check out the top 5 happiest nations.

    #1 Denmark. A center for drug use, getting a free government check, prosititution and human traficking.

    So, maybe when they took the poll, they had just finished cashing their free check, getting stoned and/or just visited one of the many sex dens.

    #5 The Bahamas. I am happy every time I visit the Bahamas and sad when I leave.

    The UK. I know several people who came to the US from the UK. Scotland, Great Britain, and Ireland and they couldn’t wait to get out, then they when Obama won, they were very concerned that they would have to live through the same crap that they fled in the UK.

    High taxes. Higher crime rate. Losing thier God given right to protect themselves. Cops unable to carry guns. Knives and guns outlawed for self defense or any use. The man’s grandmother died waiting on a list for bypass surgery, while people were having cataract surgery and other unimportant surgeries performed.

    I don’t want socialized medicine.

    I don’t want socialism.

    If you need Socialism/Communism to be happy, then I do NOT want to be happy!

    Socialism is bad for all except for the ones running it.

  31. 31 Anna Frielman
    February 18, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    “This is a big beef I have with you right wingers. Any negative talk against a war is blasphemy!” Rich, got news for you. I don’t know anyone who likes war. And to suggest that conservatives are fond of war is just silly. I won’t even get into it with you speaking about “right wingers,” when you mean everyone to the right of socialist liberals. The reasons we got involved in Iraq can be argued till the end of time. The fact is that CIA intelligence provided us, all of us, including Hillary Clinton, at the time with information that Iraq did have lethal weapons and intended to use them. Clinton received the same CIA info as Bush and she made up her own mind to support the war by voting to allow it. In any respect, consider this compilation of Saddam’s history of known violations of human rights from taking power in Iraq in 1979 until his fall in 2003

    * In 2002, a resolution sponsored by the European Union was adopted by the Commission for Human Rights, which stated that there had been no improvement in the human rights crisis in Iraq. The statement condemned President Saddam Hussein’s government for its “systematic, widespread and extremely grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law”. The resolution demanded that Iraq immediately put an end to its “summary and arbitrary executions… the use of rape as a political tool and all enforced and involuntary disappearances”.

    * Full political participation at the national level was restricted only to members of the Arab Ba’ath Party, which constituted only 8% of the population. Therefore, it was impossible for Iraqi citizens to change their government.

    * Iraqi citizens were not allowed to assemble legally unless it was to express support for the government. The Iraqi government controlled the establishment of political parties, regulated their internal affairs and monitored their activities.

    * Police checkpoints on Iraq’s roads and highways prevented ordinary citizens from traveling abroad without government permission and expensive exit visas. Before traveling, an Iraqi citizen had to post collateral. Iraqi women could not travel outside of the country without the escort of a male relative.

    * The activities of citizens living inside Iraq who received money from relatives abroad were closely monitored.

    Chemical weapons which were used by Saddam killed and injured numerous Iranian and Iraqis.

    * Halabja poison gas attack:The Halabja poison gas attack occurred in the period 15 March–19 March 1988 during the Iran–Iraq War when chemical weapons were used by the Iraqi government forces and thousands civilians in the Iraqi Kurdish town of Halabja were killed.

    * Al-Anfal Campaign: In 1988, the Hussein regime began a campaign of extermination against the Kurdish people living in Northern Iraq. This is known as the Anfal campaign. The attacks resulted in the death of at least 50,000 (some reports estimate as many as 100,000 people), many of them women and children. A team of Human Rights Watch investigators determined, after analyzing eighteen tons of captured Iraqi documents, testing soil samples and carrying out interviews with more than 350 witnesses, that the attacks on the Kurdish people were characterized by gross violations of human rights, including mass executions and disappearances of many tens of thousands of noncombatants, widespread use of chemical weapons including Sarin, mustard gas and nerve agents that killed thousands, the arbitrary imprisoning of tens of thousands of women, children, and elderly people for months in conditions of extreme deprivation, forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of villagers after the demolition of their homes, and the wholesale destruction of nearly two thousand villages along with their schools, mosques, farms, and power stations.

    * In April 1991, after Saddam lost control of Kuwait in the Gulf War, he cracked down ruthlessly against several uprisings in the Kurdish north and the Shia south. His forces committed wholesale massacres and other gross human rights violations against both groups similar to the violations mentioned before. Estimates of deaths during that time range from 20,000 to 100,000 for Kurds, and 60,000 to 130,000 for Shiites.

    * In June 1994, the Hussein regime in Iraq established severe penalties, including amputation, branding and the death penalty for criminal offenses such as theft, corruption, currency speculation and military desertion, while government members and Saddam’s family members were immune from punishments ranging around these crimes.

    * On March 23, 2003, during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Iraqi television presented and interviewed prisoners of war on TV, violating the Geneva Convention.

    * Also in April 2003, CNN revealed that it had withheld information about Iraq torturing journalists and Iraqi citizens in the 1990s. According to CNN’s chief news executive, the channel had been concerned for the safety not only of its own staff, but also of Iraqi sources and informants, who could expect punishment for speaking freely to reporters. Also according to the executive, “other news organizations were in the same bind.”

    * After the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, several mass graves were found in Iraq containing several thousand bodies total, and more are being uncovered to this day. While most of the dead in the graves were believed to have died in the 1991 uprising against Saddam Hussein, some of them appeared to have died due to executions or died at times other than the 1991 rebellion.

    * Also after the invasion, numerous torture centers were found in security offices and police stations throughout Iraq. The equipment found at these centers typically included hooks for hanging people by the hands for beatings, devices for electric shock, and other equipment often found in nations with harsh security services and other authoritarian nations.

    This information was culled from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Saddam's_Iraq
    So dispute as you will. But I am glad Saddam was deposed.

    One thing that gets me is how all you intelligent “left wingers” fall for the mainstream media lies. Obmama’s camp now has a fully complicit mouthpiece and the watchdogs are sleeping.

    What they call a Big Mac in Denmark?

  32. 32 TreeHugger
    February 18, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Anna, maybe those lying CIA intel people should be brought up on charges. But then this may trickle down to Cheney and maybe even Bush being brought up on charges and I doubt that anyone is willing to go there. You mentioned all the bad things about Sadaam and I agree he was a very bad guy but what about Rwanda? If we use that same criteria we should be in a war there as well as a few other countries. Fact is, we were all misled by lies using FEAR as a tactic. They convinced us that Iraq had WMD’s and that they were helping those who attacked us on 9/11. We may be safer now than we were then in some respects but I believe that if someone wants to attack us on a major level that it is still possible. Bush’s admin tried to give us a false sense of security that everything is better now because we got rid of Sadaam. We may be safer from attacks like 9/11 but if an extremist wants to kill americans believe me – they will find a way. War is not always the answer.

  33. 33 djcnor
    February 18, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    John,

    Emma’s post is not only interesting, it’s accurate.

    There are an assortment of areas in which Euro-style socialism, which is very very different from the American stereotype of socialism, does things better than the US does them. My problem is with Americans somehow managing to believe that the American idea of handling something is the best way without even considering any other ways simply because those other ways are associated with a “nasty” word. It makes no sense to do that.

    Why do Americans respond to any measurement in which the US comes up short when measured against Europe defensively? Why is it such a threat to think that they might have better ideas in some area? Why do Americans respond with excuses for why those ideas can’t possibly work in the US? It’s not to the US’s own advantage to act that way.

    You stereotype of medical treatment under universal healthcare is typical. We have had several dealings with the UK’s system, which is generally acknowledged to be one of the worst amount first world Europe.

    When you’re sick, you call your local practice and are guaranteed to be seen within 48 hours. We have needed to consult a specialist. The system for that is that your GP refers you and you go on a list that is constantly revised and reordered according to the urgency of the cases, so you start at the bottom but rapidly rise to the top if your case is urgent. Never have we waited longer than we would have in the US.

    We had an emergency that ended in one of us having to spend a week in the hospital, followed by daily home visits for a month that gradually diminished to once a week over several months and that still requires several prescriptions. The hospital stay? No charge. The follow-up visits? No charge. The prescriptions? Approximately $60 for a card that covered 3 months prescriptions however many and whatever they are. We’ve used NHS dentists. My latest exam and cleaning was $25. You have to turn up every six months for preventive care or you’re dropped off the dentist’s list of patients. Our practice sends out notifications of preventive screenings.

    I developed a chronic but easily treated condition. My prescriptions are now free.

    I can’t tell you the difference it makes not to have to try to diagnose yourself enough to decide whether something is serious enough to justify the cost of treatment, to be free of the fear of the coming bill when dealing with an emergency. It makes a huge difference.

    Guess what, there’s a limit on firemen training and on the smarts required to be a doctor in the US, too.

    As for her statements on what Europeans think of things like the death penalty and gun control are accurate. Blue collar workers DO live better under Euro-style socialism. Universal healthcare and not having to save for their kids higher ed and decent public transportation make a huge difference in blue-collar sized budgets, not to mention the quality of public housing and the fact that tenants have the right to buy it, even to buy a 25% share if that’s all they can afford. Believe me, it’s much better kept up when they have a stake in it.

    What’s you explanation for the facts regarding American lack of geographic knowledge? I’d like to hear it? As for what she says about US corporate masters discouraging such information, all you have to do is compare a typical US news broadcast with one from the BBC, or Euro-News, or Al Jazeera to be struck with how little information regarding what’s going on in the rest of the world is handed out to Americans.

    Calling things “tripe, tripe, tripe” is not an argument. You have to offer a counter theory, and I don’t see any being offered.

    Emma’s mirrored curtain is far distant from the mirrored curtain you describe. Ask her yourself if she read the book. It’s not plagarism anyhow to borrow an idea. Chek the deffinition. It doesn’t fit. Sorry.

    I’d also like to hear your theory for the differing voter turn-outs. Again, don’t just knock. Offer a better explanation than mine.

  34. 34 djcnor
    February 18, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Treehugger,

    Treehugger,

    Do your friends know about the US medical system? How about the fact that unemployment benefits do not last as long as the average unemployment? Maybe the Canadian does, but he or she is not going that far from home. He or she could go bak without much of a problem if he needed the benefits of his own country. Most Europeans assume the US has universal healthcare. After all, don’t all first workd nations? They also make assumptions about unemployment based on the rest of the first world nations they know about. Inform them and see if they would still rather live in the US.

    The rest of the first world has as much freedom as the US. Where did you get the idea that places like France or Germany or Denmark don’t? Why do you think you couldn’t count on folks of other countries to have all those virtues you accord to Americans?

    And yes, taxes and gas prices are very high in Norway. But they get a lot for those taxes. Let’s see what their voter turnout was. 79.5%. So far, my theory that higher taxes correlates with greater voter turnout, which I interpret as a lack of voter apathy, holds.

  35. 35 djcnor
    February 18, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    CJ, Like many other Americans, you’re mixing up Denmark and the Netherlands as far as the drug business goes. The rest is just a difference in values and the very Danish attitude that prostitution will happen and is better regulated than prohibited because the harm is less that way. Let’s see your reference for human trafficking.

    The UK does have higher taxes (which as usual provide much more in the way of services like universal healthcare, a decent public transportation system, and higher ed for whoever has the grades to get in. It has a much much much lower crime rate than the US.
    Read my description of the medical system above. People die in the US for lack of bypass surgery too, only in the US, its usually for lack of the money for it.l

    You don’t have experience of either socialism or universal healthcare, so you are in no position to make a judgement. Ever heard of a book called “Green Eggs and Ham”?

    Euro-style socialism is different from what you think of as socialism and provides a higher standard of living than the US system by many many measures. Please tell me your reasons for rejecting a higher standard of living that you have never experienced, if your reason isn’t exactly the ones Emma describes. (Have you read the wiredsister post linked above at all?)

  36. 36 TreeHugger
    February 18, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    djcnor, yes they are actually quite intelligent people who have traveled to many countries of the world. And they say they would choose here if given the choice. I agree with you about the healthcare issue here though.

  37. 37 WonderWoman
    February 18, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    I don’t know where to begin. Most of this is way over my head. I have no idea what Denmark is like, never have been. However, I must agree with John Levy that any place can seem great until you are an actual citizen, day in, day out. Just visiting or even staying for a few short months does not give you the whole “feel” for things.

    All I know is we are in trouble. Right now, right here. I heard on the radio news today about this new stimulus for home owners – some people can’t afford their quarter of a million dollar homes, so we need to help them out. Let me get a box of tissues ready. I barely live in a quarter of a quarter of a million dollar home – but man do I feel bad for them. Please catch the sarcasm in that last statement.

    As far as all the comments about WMD’s and the war, what happened to the saying, “better safe than sorry.”?! Even if there aren’t or weren’t WMD’s, did we really want to sit back and wait and see? Terrorists in general are Weapons of Mass Destruction. It’s amazing how gullible left wingers seem to be – little media puppies – they do, think and feel what the media tells them. The media tells them there ARE WMD’s and they believe it, then the media comes out and says, No, no we were wrong – there NEVER were any WMD’s, they believe that.

    Question: how do any of us know 100% that there weren’t/are WMD’s? How do we know they aren’t underground somewhere or were shipped off in big trucks to Syria when we invaded? I know how – the MEDIA says so! Gullible, gullible, gullible.

    you can call me a conspiracy theorist but at least when I believe in something I believe in it whole-heartedly.

    Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not fond of war, but I’m also not fond of sitting back and being attacked, or of someone or a group of people being murdered and abused daily. I don’t say, “well it ain’t our problem, we live here in the US.” I pray that we never need someone to step in and help us reach freedom. I personally am not involved in the military, but I will be damned before I ever tell those who are serving that they don’t belong doing their job – that there cause is unjustified.

  38. 38 djcnor
    February 18, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Treehugger,

    How much time have they spent in the US? Have they been more than tourists? Where are you?

    I’m interested because I lived in NYC and knew/know many people from an assortment of lands who came and lived in the US, and all the Europeans but the one who married an American, have chosen to return. More than one who had spent time outside NYC said that the NYC was the only place in the US they could imagine spending an extended time.

  39. 39 TreeHugger
    February 18, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    djcnor, I can tell you that I have visited NYC and love it as a visitor but I would never choose to live there. I have traveled to almost every state in the US with a previous job. As far as my friends, they live in the DC area, Richmond Virginia area, Tampa Florida and others are scattered around and yes they are more than tourists. They have jobs and own companies here. What exactly is the point you are trying to make?

  40. 40 TreeHugger
    February 18, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    Wonderwoman, it wasn’t the media saying there were WMD’s it was someone named President G “Dubya” Bush saying it.

  41. 41 djcnor
    February 18, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Treehugger,

    Just wondered since your experience was so different from mine. I can see why the ones who own companies would stay. Now I’m wondering if the others in DC are in diplomatic jobs. I spent a year in Orlando and hated every mintue. On the other hand, I’ve retained my contacts in Charlottesville, VA, and wouldn’t mind retiring there at all, but not without a much improved US medical system. To each his own.

    Any answers regarding the freedom and people sticking together question I asked earlier?

  42. 42 WonderWoman
    February 18, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    TreeHugger: Does it really matter? He may have said we didn’t FIND any, but it was the media who started the whole frenzy of “it was all lies.”

    Again, no one knows 100%.

  43. 43 WonderWoman
    February 18, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    TreeHugger: In your defense I don’t think dcjnor has a point anymore. If so, it’s probably lost in Denmark somewhere.

  44. 44 Rich
    February 18, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    Wonderwoman,
    How do you know Mexico has no WMD’s? You don’t? Then attack! What about Canada or Denmark even? Are you 100% sure they aren’t training terrorists to attack us any day now? No? The attack! Tree hugger already mentioned Rwanda which was a total genocide that noone was crying to stop. Oh, no oil in Rwanda?? Interesting.

    Now to Anna. You quoted one line from my whole blog, and as any good right winger would do, it was the line attacking you. The point of the whole post was the hypocricy of the whole argument. Anytime the lying of the administration to get to war is mentioned it is brushed off by the right,oops I mean conservatives. They will give you a laundry list of reasons we should have invaded anyways. Now the current administration is getting caught in a lie here and there and you cry “End of our great nation!”. So as I stated in my last post, government lying to start a war which bankrupts our country and kills thousands of our dedicated soldiers is forgivable and even applauded. But if the government lies about how much taxes you will have to pay they should be impeached immediately before our infrastructure collapses and Canada and Mexico cleasn up what’s left. You really don’t see the hypocricy in all that??

    As for following the “liberal” media like sheep, I am offended. I try to get all points of views, hence being here in the first place.And not to offend you but your lengthy post sounded like a transcript from FOX News.

  45. 45 CJ
    February 18, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    Give us facts and references where the crime rate is lower in Europe than the US. Please list the different types of crimes such as gun crime, petty theft, murders, rapes, etc.

    I have lived around the world: Greece, Italy, Germany, England, Japan, Korea, Philipines, and Thailand and I have seen how the rest of the world lives.

    I do not want socialized medicine. I like the fact that I can call my doctor or my child’s doctor and be in the office before the end of the day.

    No one in the US is turned away for the lack of insurance, but people die on lists every day in Europe and Canada.

    Socialism usually ends badly for the common people while the ones running it do well all the way to the end.

    And don’t worry, when your little Utopia fails, we, the USA tax payers will be the first to bail you out like the rest of the little communists/socialists.

  46. 46 djcnor
    February 19, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Well, CJ, what you ask is really very easy to do.

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

    http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/3231.html

    There are sites that will say the rates of some types of reported crimes in some European countries are higher, but then in England, during the recent snowfalls, 1/3 of the 911-equivalent calls had to do with people reporting having snowballs thrown at themselves or their properties. In other words, things get reported in these countries that no one would ever think of reporting in the US. It’s the lack of majors that results in readiness to reprot minors.

    What is your explanation fo the fact that the US spends more on healthcare than any other country yet is #37th in quality. If necessary, I’ll find you the link for that. And yes, people die all the time in the US for lack of care, and on lists, and especially as a result of putting off care to the point that it is too late for effective treatment, so instead the US pays more for emergency last ditch treatment of things that could have been readily cured if treated early.

    You really lived all those places and never once thought “It sure would be nice if the US did such-and-such this way?” If so, it was a waste, in my opinion.

  47. 47 WonderWoman
    February 19, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Rich, you missed my point completely about helping others reach freedom. I get what you are GRASPING at, but we had information, whether we were misinformed or not, we had it, so no, I don’t want to sit back and “wait and see.” I feel we did the best we could with what information we had at the time. Maybe we were wrong, but look at the GOOD we are doing over there. Everyone wants to focus on the negatives, cannot you not find any GOOD out of what we are doing and have done?

  48. 48 CJ
    February 20, 2009 at 12:05 am

    I never once thought that the USA should be ran like any other country and I am guessing all of those illegal aliens and legal immigrants aren’t thinking about that either.

    I enjoyed every country that I lived in and every single time that I got home, I thanked God that I was safe in the good ol USA.

    If all of those countries would pay back the money that they owe the US for WWI and WWII then maybe we wouldn’t have such a high deficit.

    Rich, you say we aren’t in Rwanda because there is no oil?

    It’s always about oil with the left wingers.

    So, why is the price of oil low, but gas prices are still high?

    Is Bush really that powerful that he is still controlling the price of gasoline or hurricanes or the snow or whatever the libs want to blame on him?

  49. February 20, 2009 at 3:16 am

    Kate,
    I agree, I have no problem paying 2% to protect our beloved country. The war in Iraq had nothing to do with protecting this country!! This is a big beef I have with you right wingers. Any negative talk against a war is blasphemy! Does it matter that the war was based on false information? Not to you apperently. However, every little mistruth the current president speaks is scrutinized to death by you. And by “you” I mean the right in general not just you Kate. Honestly do you not see the irony in that? Lies lead to unneccessary war is good and patriotic. Lies lead to higher taxes is bad and ruining the country.

    Rich, I would have responded sooner, but I was out of state. Visiting family, because this is what I do, so that I can see them. As you probably already gathered by now, my family , are spread vastly abroad due to their commitments to our U.S. military.

    Am I happy about this Rich? You can bet your life, I am NOT.
    Do I support my family infinately, YES.
    Do I support War, absolutely NOT.

    I guess I would feel better if your comment
    made sense. First you state, you agree with the 2% to protect our beloved country. Rich, this 2% is also protecting the men and women who are stationed 1000’s of miles away from us. My response is, maybe I get a little angry because I get the feeling of the lack of support to our soldiers.

    Now Rich, let me clarify. I do not present this entry in a grammatically flawless presentation. I don’t provide website attachments to prove my point. I have my opinion, it’s that simple. To call me a Right-winger, honestly, I have been called worse.

    9/11. It changed the world as we know it, Rich. Thousands of lives lost in the most blatant terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.

    Rich, I am not intelligent enough to know the who’s, the why’s, the lies, the WMD’s. All I know is since 9/11, military upgrades was/is essential. I support protecting our country and children, and continuing the dissemination of the terrorist cells that continue to threaten our country. I even agree, this time, with Tree. The threat continues, it could happen at any time.

    Your description of blasphemy and mine differ. You state any negative talk of war is blasphemy. Rich, war is negative. I do not, nor ever will, dispute that. My description of blasphemy is when I see a group of individuals marching down a street, standing outside the Whitehouse, gathering at coffee houses, protesting the ‘War’. Nobody is in favor of war, Rich.

    Blasphemy, Rich, is the absolute disregard to those stuck putting their lives on hold, separated from their children, wives, husbands, etc.. having a place to piss in peace, or enjoy a cold Coke, or enjoy the freedom of sleeping in on a Sunday (or a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday). This, Rich, to me, is blasphemy.

    As you stated Rich, “Do you not see the irony in all this?” Rich, it is ironic. What I see is more and more people, forgetting what they asked for post 9/11. To take charge of our lives, and our country, to end these terrorist attacks. To do “whatever necessary” to protect our future. How quickly we forget. “Unnecessary?” What a crock of !@#$!

    For you to try and make this a “Right-Wing” vs “Left Wing” is pointless. That’s not what my comment was about. It was my belief in protecting our country. If you think that blasphemous, you need to re-read what I wrote.

  50. 50 CJ
    February 20, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    No WMDs? What constitutes a WMD? Is it nuclear weapons ready to be fired in a moment’s notice or nuclear material that can be used to produce WMDs.

    I say both.

    Here’s some info that I recently received that opened my eyes to the truth:

    Bush FINALLY vindicated on WMD in Iraq …

    A national defense analyst says President Bush should be commended for keeping quiet about a discovery that could have blown his critics out of the water.

    Retired Major General Jerry Curry is a decorated combat veteran who served as an Army aviator, paratrooper, and Ranger during a military career that began during the Korean conflict. He recently wrote about a very under reported story by the Associated Press.

    According to the report, a large stockpile of concentrated natural Uranium, known as “yellowcake,” reached a Canadian port to complete a top secret U.S. Operation that included a two-week airlift from Baghdad, and a ship voyage crossing two oceans. The Uranium material had been housed at a former Iraqi nuclear complex 12 miles from Baghdad .

    Curry says the president kept mum about the discovery in order to keep terrorists in the dark. “He made a very brave stand, a resolute stand…, in which he decided that he wasn’t going to blab everything to the press,” Curry commends.”…And in the meantime while he kept it quiet, he was buying time from the terrorists to get all that stuff out of the country. So that’s what was done — he just very quietly kept his mouth shut.”

    “The press beat him to death for the last several years,” he continues, “and now it turns out that, yes, there were weapons of mass destruction…..” Curry also maintains that Saddam Hussein had an active nuclear program and the material could have been made into a nuclear weapon.

    President Bush’s actions took courage, he notes, and all Americans should be thankful to have a president who puts the welfare of the American people above personal considerations.
    ………………………………………………………………..

    On July 5, 2008 , the Associated Press (AP) released a story titled: Secret U.S. mission hauls uranium from Iraq . The opening paragraph is as follows: The last major remnant of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program (a huge stockpile of concentrated natural uranium) reached a Canadian port Saturday to complete a secret U.S. operation that included a two-week airlift from Baghdad and a ship voyage crossing two oceans.

    See anything wrong with this picture?

    We have been hearing for more than five years how Bush lied. Somehow, that slogan loses its credibility now that 550 metric tons of Saddam’s yellowcake, used for nuclear weapon enrichment, has been discovered and shipped to Canada for its new use as nuclear energy.

    It appears that American troops found the 550 metric tons of uranium in 2003 after invading Iraq. They had to sit on this information and the uranium itself for fear of terrorists attempting to steal it. It was guarded and kept safe by our military in a 23,000-acre site with large sand berms surrounding the site.

    This is vindication for the Bush administration, having been attacked mercilessly by the media and the pundits on the blogo-sphere. Now that it is proven that President Bush did not lie about Saddam’s nuclear ambitions, one would think that the mainstream media would report the true story. Once the AP released the story, the mainstream media should have picked it up and broadcast it worldwide.

    That never happened, due in large part, I believe, to the fact that the mainstream media would have to admit they were wrong about Bush all along. Thankfully, the AP got it right when it said, “The removal of 550 metric tons of yellowcake, the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment, was a significant step toward closing the books on Saddam’s nuclear legacy.”

    Closing the book on Saddam’s nuclear legacy? Did Saddam have a nuclear legacy after all? I thought Bush lied? As it turns out, the people who lied were Joe Wilson and his wife.

    Valerie Plame engaged in a clear case of nepotism and convinced the CIA to send her husband on a fact finding mission in February 2002, seeking to determine if Saddam Hussein attempted to buy yellowcake from Niger. The CIA and British intelligence believed Saddam contacted Niger for that purpose but needed proof.

    During his trip to Niger, Wilson actually interviewed the former prime minister of Niger, Ibrahim Assane Mayaki. Mayaki told Wilson that in June of 1999, an Iraqi delegation expressed interest in “expanding commercial relations” for the purposes of purchasing yellowcake.

    Wilson chose to overlook Mahaki’s remarks and reported to the CIA that there was no evidence of Hussein wanting to purchase yellow cake from Niger.

    However, with British intelligence insisting the claim was true, President Bush used that same claim in his State of the Union address in January of 2003. Outraged by Bush’s insistence that the claim was true, Wilson wrote an op-ed in the New York Times in the summer of 2003 slamming Bush.

    Wilson did this in spite of the fact that Mayaki said Saddam did try to buy the yellowcake from Niger. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence disagreed with Wilson and supported Mayaki’s claim. This meant nothing to Wilson who was opposed to the Iraq war and thus had ulterior motives in covering up the prime minister’s statements.

    It was a simple tactic, really. If the media could prove Bush lied about Hussein wanting to purchase yellowcake from Niger, it would undermine President Bush’s credibility and give them more cause for asking what other lies he may have told.

    Yet the real lie came from Wilson, who interpreted his own meaning from the prime minister’s statements and concluded all by himself that the claim of Saddam attempting to purchase yellowcake was “unequivocally wrong..” Curiously the CIA sat on this information and did not inform the CIA Director, who sided with Bush on the yellowcake claim. This was made public in a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report in July 2004.

    The truth is, due to their opposition to the war, Joe Wilson, Valerie Plame, the mainstream media, and their friends on the blogo-sphere engaged in a propaganda campaign to undermine the administration. Now that Saddam’s uranium has been made public and is no longer a threat to the world, do you think these aforementioned parties will admit they were wrong? Don’t count on it.

    The American people should hear the truth about Saddam’s uranium.

    For verification of this information, click on these links:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25546334

    http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/u/uraniumyellowcake.htm

  51. 51 djcnor
    February 20, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    CJ,

    What were your circumstances when you lived in these different countries? Were you living and working among locals finding your own place to live, doing all your shopping at local stores, working in local businesses? Or were you diplomatic or military, basically living the American life in a different location?

  52. 52 John Levy
    February 20, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    djcnor,

    I’ll be blunt! Your socialistic whining is tiresome. This is a representative republic. It is apparent that you hate that for some reason. And I hate to use such a cliche-ish right wing idiodic sounding statement such as this -You are this country’s enemy! Quit whining and leave!

    I’ll pay for your moving expenses to take up permanent residence in a country. Your criteria is not so much, it apparently just has to have very high taxes and health care to your liking. Send me the bill for the move after you get there. Please keep us posted on how much you like socialism.

    See ya

  53. 53 Rich
    February 20, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Kate,
    You said blasphemy is total disregard to those stuck putting their lives on hold……etc. I can not AGREE more with you. I believe the person who disregarded them more than anyone was our former President himself. Having them sacrificing their lives, time with their familes, etc for an UNNECCESSARY war is TOTAL disregard in my opinion. he didn’t think of any of that before hand. We, being the great military force we are, ran through Afghanistan and ol George W ran with it. Whether he got a big head, wanted to finish Daddy’s job, or was rwally just plain stupid, he RUSHED into Iraq. Yes there was intelligence on WMD’s and terror camps. However, before sending thousands of our soldiers into ANOTHER brutal war don’t you think maybe the I’s should have been dotted and the T’s crossed? Isn’t that the true disregard for our soldiers?
    I AGREE with you again that 9/11 changed the worlsd and our country. You are also right that noone LIKES war but I supported Afganistan 100%. In fact, I think we should be concentrating on there still today. My whole point is whether we were lied to or not, the truth is Iraq had very little if anything to do with 9/11. Invading Iraq did NOT secure the safety of our country or troops. In fact, it has done the exact opposite. Thousands of soldiers killed. Thousands more injured. And guess what? While W was working hard to “liberate” Irag, a real maniac with very public hate for the US has gotten nuclear capabilities.
    So, I like you, have no links to visit or numbers to crunch. All I have is my opinion. And in my opinion, I believe the true disregard for our dedicated troops is sending them off to a war when A)our intelligence wasn’t 100% solid and B)we had NO plan for post invasion.
    Also Kate, by your post, I think you may be more intelligent than you give yourself credit. It’s just misguided – just kidding!
    Seriously, if I come off in anyway of not supporting the troops, I have been misunderstood. I have nothing but great respect for anyone that is out there fighting so me and you can argue on this blog. I just don’t support those that throw them into unneccessary situations for their own reasons.

  54. 54 TreeHugger
    February 21, 2009 at 3:11 am

    I would like someone to explain why is it that if I oppose the war that one assumes that I don’t support our troops. It is a totally different thing. I would gladly pay more than my 2% to support our men and women in uniform. Our troops give more than what anyone could ever pay them. Their lives will never be the same. How can you put a price on that?

  55. 55 CJ
    February 21, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    djcnor,
    Yes I was living and working among the “locals.” I used the local hospitals, stores, and pubs.

    Admittedly, I had local girlfriends and was even engaged a few times and to be quite frank, those were the only times that I was glad that guns were banned in the UK.

    As a matter of fact, I have a child in Italy, Germany and had a son in Japan, but he lives with me now after I won full custody (which was very hard and expensive to do, but the Japanese courts sided with me) who I still support to this day, who I visit several times a year and I am working on getting them here, because they all are tired of their governments and want to live in the greatest country in the world.

    OR

    They are lying to me and are all plotting to come to the US to buy one of many cheaply available guns to kill me and overturn the government to create a socialist utopia that John Lennon sung about while he was stoned, well, he was stoned most of the time.

    There are many things to see and do abroad, but I am always happy to come back to the USA, where I have more rights than any where else in the world.

    You can keep your Denmark and the rest of Europe, as for me, I will stay in the greates country in the world.

    If it wasn’t the greates, then people wouldn’t be dying trying to get here.

  56. 56 djcnor
    February 23, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    John,

    I’m already living elsewhere, have 7 years out of my 40 since finishing high school, and like it. By the way, all these socialist countries in Europe have representative governments, too. Don’t know why you think they don’t.

    And CJ, I keep asking which extra rights you have in the US that you wouldn’t have elsewhere, but not really getting an answer. All systems have both advantages and disadvantages. I continue to be amazed that you could find nothing in any of these other cultures that was an advantage over the US, if only the better diet in Italy.

    Also, check the data about who’s trying to get into the US these days. It hasn’t been Europeans in a good long while now. It’s 3rd worlders.

    “The top twelve migrant-sending countries in 2006, by country of birth, were Mexico (173,753), People’s Republic of China (87,345), Philippines (74,607), India (61,369), Cuba (45,614), Colombia (43,151), Dominican Republic (38,069), El Salvador (31,783), Vietnam (30,695), Jamaica (24,976), South Korea (24,386), Guatemala (24,146), Other countries – 606,370.
    [22]”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_to_the_United_States
    http://www.allcountries.org/uscensus/7_immigrants_by_country_of_birth.html

    So, if you’re in the third world and the US is closer than Europe, the US is where you emigrate to.

  57. 57 TreeHugger
    February 23, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Wasn’t John Lennon was killed by a cheaply available gun?

  58. 58 TreeHugger
    February 23, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Rich, your post about Iraq was excellent. I agree with you 100%.

  59. 59 John Levy
    February 23, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    djcnor,
    What is your reason for commenting here? Why do hate America so much? And why do you long for it to become socialist?

  60. 60 djcnor
    February 24, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    My reason for commenting here is to counteract with experience and reason and facts the false ideas that Americans have about socialism, particularly the European version of it.

    I do not hate America. I want it to be the best it can be, and I believe a civilization is measured by how well its systems take care of its people. I believe there is clear evidence that systems other than those used by the US produce a higher quality of life in an assortment of ways. And as a US citizen, I believe it is a part of my responsibility to advocate for a better life for my fellow citizens.

    I don’t long to become socialist. I am socialist, a Euro-style socialist. I am socialist because I have lived under a varieity of systems and seen the qualities of those systems in terms of the quality of life they provide for all members of the society. I have seen how that quality of life affects the ability of all the members of a socieity to develop their talents and skills to a maximum level, thus benefitting everyone else in their society, and a very much believe that Euro-style socialism does the best job of that.

  61. 61 CJ
    February 25, 2009 at 12:20 am

    So, what djcnor is actually saying is that he hasn’t worked for the past 40 years that he has been out of highschool living as a socialist in socialist countries off of the backs of workers/tax payers and he wishes the USA would become more socialist so he can come home to continue his free ride through life.

    Well, I vote no.

  62. 62 djcnor
    February 25, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    CJ,

    Thoroughly wrong again. In the last 40 years, I’ve acquired a Ph.D., worked as faculty and a biomedical researcher at two major US medical schools,worked at two major publishers of science texts as an editor, then gotten another degree in design and worked in that for several years, all in the US, paying my US taxes, and all as a socialist. In between various of those and currently, because I had that background, I’ve had the opportunity to live and work in various European countries for extended times, one a post-communist country, one a very socialist country, and one that comes as close to the US model as European socialism gets.

    And you? Have you had such a free ride?

    (So sorry to put the lie to your assumptions concerning the characteristics of a socialist.)

  63. 63 Carly
    February 26, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Wow, djcnor, you’ve done way more than our current President has ever done, ever think of running? Hell, he may even want you to be his VP, your campaign can be “Socialists Unite to Unite the United States.”

    I feel sorry for you though, it must be killing you that we’re not a socialist Country YET.

    You try so hard to convince us that socialism is the way to go…makes me wonder WHO exactly you’re trying to convince socialism is a good thing…us or yourself.

    Maybe you currently work for Obama? He’s hired you to look up conservative blogs and shove socialism down the throats of everyone who posts….like a little, socialist puppet. Hmm, I wonder what a socialist puppet looks like. Maybe the puppet would even have it’s own theme or fight song.

    The song would go something like this:
    (feel free to give it whatever tune you so desire)

    I’m a socialist,
    Yes I am,
    If I can’t make it,
    Nobody can.

    I think I deserve money,
    That I don’t earn or make.
    Someone else’s hard work pays me,
    So I can sit at home and watch Ricki Lake.

    My new health care plan is so grand!
    It only takes a year or two
    To get an appointment with my doctor
    So he can diagnose my swollen gland!

    In Reality,
    There’s no other way to be,
    Than to be a socialist,
    And Demand 100% equality.

    Socialism!
    Socialism,
    I love thee!!!!!

  64. 64 djcnor
    February 26, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Actually, I’ve done far less than our current President has done (though far more than his predecessor). I have thought of running for one thing or another, but I’m not up to compromising much.

    It does bother me that the US has not learned from elder nations, for the sake of the US’s people. So much larger a proportion of them never get the chance to fulfill their potential. But with a few more hundred years, if it survives, the US will learn.

    It is for the sake of all those “losers” in America that I try to convince obstrusctionists.

    No, I’m no employee of Obama, though I’d readily come work in his administration if he asked.

    Denmark has the best climate for business in the world. Forbes and The Economist said so. Maybe they know something about what conditions make it most possible for the ambitious to succeed that you don’t. Travel with your eyes open next time.

  65. 65 TreeHugger
    February 26, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Would anyone consider the medicare system a form of socialized health care?? Or HMO’s?

  66. 66 John Levy
    February 27, 2009 at 3:35 am

    djcnor, bs!

  67. 67 djcnor
    February 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    John Levy,

    “bs” is not an argument. Do you have one?

  68. 68 John Levy
    February 27, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    djcor, your whole premise of an argument is bs. Therefore, in answer to your plea for a counter argument, I can only offer the response, your argument is bs. Under the circumstances, it is not only a valid argument, but the only valid response.

  69. 69 djcnor
    March 3, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    John,

    I give facts, references, evidence and reasoned arguments. You respond with mere discounting of all of these, determined to remain ignorant, unable to entertain facts that challenge your assumptions. Let third parties who read this judge who makes the best case.

  70. 70 John Levy
    March 3, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    What is this for you, high school forensics? “Let third parties who read this judge who makes the best case.” What? Are you looking for a better grade?

    I wish to remain ignorant of your bs rantings which, through their own illogic, challange themselves.

    Supporting socialism is like giving blood to a vampire. Has never worked, doesn’t work and never will. It’s basis is faulty math. Denmark is in a state of decline; the money is running out. I have shown you references and evidence which you have dismissed with your own slanted “references.” What more can be said?

    BTW, ever hear of “persona non grata?” That’s all I can think of when you make silly statements such as, “No, I’m no employee of Obama, though I’d readily come work in his administration if he asked.” Hahahaha! Just keep sitting by your phone.

  71. 71 djcnor
    March 3, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    No, but I do want to convince outside readers.

    I countered the facts you presented with further facts, and by showing how they actually supported my points.

    Example: You said that Denmark’s crime had gone up a certain percentage. I pointed out that the rate was so low that what would be a tiny change in the US rate was a huge change for Denmark, percentage-wise, because their original rate was so tiny. You offered nothing to counter that, just as you have offered nothing to counter an assortment of other information offered.

    Let’s see, for example,any evidence that anywhere in the EU is in steeper decline than the US?

    You have not provided any evidence what-so-ever that Euro-style socialism does not work. You don’t even offer an alternative method of determining whether it works or not besides the things I’ve offered such as happy people, more freedom of the press, greater democracy and less corruption, all of which I offered references for.What is your definition of “working” that Euro-style socialism does not provide? You just state it as an article of faith. Well, faith doesn’t win arguments or convince anyone.

  72. 72 djcnor
    March 3, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    As for the persona non grata thing. What good does it do to present my arguments where folks already agree with me? They are better spent and sharpened where folks don’t agree with me.

  73. 73 John Levy
    March 4, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    djcnor,

    As for the persona non grata thing, I was speaking of Obama asking you to work for him, not this forum.

    As for your self-proclaimed substantive, sharp “arguments, consider that argument, counter-argument, counter-counter-argument thing; it could go on forever. I made my points, I stand by them. You can argue until you are blue in the face and it will not change my point of view and I will never change yours. Rates are rates. Understand how percentages work? I guess the socialist’s idea of that simple math process is different than the rest of the world. “Happy people, more freedom of the press, greater democracy and less corruption,” -it’s your fantasy and you are welcome to it. Better grab hold before it slips away.

    You write with the attitude that you are capable of supplying “references” that you present as fact and suggest that you can convince someone to change their mind because your “facts” support your arguments. Think about it, such a silly premise! A reference does not constitute a fact.

    But my question remains -why do you hate this country so much that you want us to abandon the Constitution, the most brilliant written document by man’s hand? What’s in it for you besides Obama taking notice of you on a local blog and offering you a job? You said before, that as a citizen, you feel compelled to expose other citizens to a better life. You passion implies that you would like to see that “better life” forced on us, in spite of us wanting no part of it.

    Marx said socialism is a necessary step towards communism. Was it was he, who also said that the process of deluding those opposed to socialism is very patient?

    Your false arguments remind me of a friend of mine who said something like this, “Socialists do not like opinions in variance with the great vision. Thus, high priority on the socialist docket is to suppress free speech by whatever method feasible, without making themselves look like bad guys. Suppression of speech in the elitism phase is important. By the time everyone arrives at the exemption phase, everyone knows socialism is a lie but they can no longer say so. Indeed a hallmark of soviet society was that everyone had to give lip service to a series of official lies, which everyone knew were false but couldn’t say so.”

    We’re on to you djcnor. You and your socialist brethren are wasting your time. The new tea party has begun and you will soon enough find yourself bobbing in the harbor. Not a threat djcnor, a promise!

  74. 74 djcnor
    March 4, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Why do you think it’s hating a country to ask its citizens to look honestly at their own country in comparison with peer countries. Would you think it was hating Russia to ask it to do the same> How about Myanmar? How about Zimbabwe? Why is the United States exempt from that self examination?

    Marx was wrong. In Europe, Socialism has taken a path very separate from communisim and not at all headed in that direction. There are new ideas, developed in the last 60 years, of how best to serve a country’s people, and letting a wrongly-defined word prevent you from seeing that is being wilfully blind.

  75. 75 John Levy
    March 4, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    djcnor,
    You are so wrong about the blind eye premise. You suggest that Americans do not consider anything outside of their isolated realm. The Americans I know have done that and have decided that our (present? well until Obama and Bush came along) form of government is the best one. They, and I, have made our minds up and then you come along and insult each and every one of us by suggesting that we are ignorant of world geography, economics and politics. And you are pompous enough to suggest that you have the answers to our problems.

    A small percentage (damn that word) of Americans are ignorant of those issues and those would constitute the majority of Acorn’s voter registration rolls.

    Marx was wrong. Totally! The new ideas you write about that you say were developed in the last 60 years, interestingly, are right out of 1984’s “The Communist Manifesto.” As I said, socialism is very patient and it is a necessary step toward communism. There is nothing new about those “new ideas.” One step at a time, however long it takes. Build doubt early in the education process. The American Federation of Teachers leadership has been knowingly complicit.
    Public schools have purposely gotten away from teaching about the strength and convictions of our early patriots and what an amazing document the Constitution is. Liberal lies, based on political agenda, and without any basis of truth, have been touted as education.

    I suspect you are a product of that education. So I also assume that your age is not 40 years plus, as you have written. I would guess it to be 26. How close am I? You can not even speak the truth concerning your age and your travels and yet you would want the world to buy in to your myths concerning socialism. Can I prove any of this conjecture as you will, not doubt, ask of me? Nope, but I’ll do a substantial side bet with one of your close friends that I am within 2 years of your age and your lack of travel. Consider how to work out the details and let me know. I love making money off of future Communists.

  76. 76 John Levy
    March 4, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    I stand corrected, 1848 on The Communist Manifesto. Phew, talk about Freudian slips!

  77. 77 djcnor
    March 5, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    I was educated in the 50’s and 60’s, back when Americans actually learned about geography.

    You say I’m insulting Americans to say that they know little of geography?

    http://edition.cnn.com/2006/EDUCATION/05/02/geog.test/shtmo
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12591413/
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/09/13/national/main838207

    Americans claim to know things about Euro-style socialism that simply are not true. Of course they don’t want what their stereotypes tell them is true of socialism. They don’t know the truth about the present version of it existing throughout Europe.

    Considering that 10% can’t even place their own country on a map of the world, how surprising is that?

  78. 78 John Levy
    March 5, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    djcnor,
    So why do you think Americans learned about geography in the 50’s and 60’s but not now?

    I continue to find your logic wanting. You say 10% of Americans can’t place their own country on a map and at the same time you use that as the argument that “Americans claim to know things about Euro-style socialism that simply are not true.”

    10% is hardly indicative of that broad statement.

    The only link you mention that works is the msnbc link. And it mentions that the American Federation of Teachers is joining with other groups to increase students knowledge of geography. I remember reading somewhere recently that the American Federation of Teacher’s leadership has been knowingly complicit in building doubt (about our constitutional representative republic) early in the education process. Oh yeah, I wrote that just a couple of comments ago.

    Considering that our educational process, through the American Federation of Teachers, has been purposely corrupted in an attempt to dumb down our citizenry with the goal being what has been implemented by the Bush and Obama administrations, which is forced socialism leading to a one world government, which is what has led to the 10% figure that you mention (oh those percentages), how surprising is it that?

    Interesting also while reading your latest comments, I thought about your “references” that I mentioned before. Wondering where you got your references, since they were all web links, I did a quick search on Google for Americans and geography. Low and behold, all 3 sites you cite are on the top half of the page. So much for you references. Like too many others, your knowledge of the world is referenced by an easy search on Google. Your arguments are all backed up by easily Goggled sites on the web. Leads me to believe that you latch on to an idea and use the internet to support your stated stance. The problem with that is all the misinformation on the net. And for every site which you cite as a “reference” you find to support you silly ideas there are many more, sounding every bit as legit, that counter your silly ideas.

  79. 79 djcnor
    March 5, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    It’s odd that my links didn’t work. I’m glad you were able to find them for yourself so easily. Yes, I use Google. What do you want me to do instead? But the way I use it is not as obvious as you think. I read and watch a variety of news sources and books, and most times I remember reading something relevant to whatever discussion I’m participating in and go to Google to track down the source rather than just stating it and leaving my reader wondering whether I have pulled it or woven it out of thin air.

    I think Americans learned more about geography in the 50’s and 60’s in part because tests have shown it to be true. They had relatives who very recently had fought outside the US, or as my own Dad did, participated in the Berlin Air Lift, or were fighting in in the far east. The US was still in control of various areas that are now separate countries. The European countries we learned about also still had colonies, and things were happening that put them in the news.

    I did not use the fact that 10% could not place their own country on a world map as an argument for Americans thinking the “know” things about Euro-socialism that just aren’t true. I did see the two as connected. That does no make one the argument for the other, just another symptom of the same problem. My diagnosis would be lazy intellect, learning just for a test at school and then failing to see any reason for learning more or updating their knowledge once out of school.

    I would not lay it at the feet of the teachers. Teachers are not in control of the curriculum. They should be, but they aren’t. So much “oversight” has been put on them that they now spend as much time on prescribed paperwork as the do on teaching. They are told to spend precisely two weeks on such-and-such, then to move on to this-and-that whether or not they judge that their students have firmly grasped such-and-such, and even if they haven’t and such a grasp is necessary to understand this-and-that. They are told what to include and what not to according to what the trend is in standardized testing on the subject.

    I would lay it at the feet of American media, which has greatly cut back on its coverage of things outside the US. Sending or maintaining reporters overseas is expensive, and profit-making companies will cut every expense they can get away with cutting. Serious reporting gathers less of an audience than entertainment-type news, which is another reason profit-media has cut that. They’ve done most of the dumbing down.

    Spend some time watching Al Jazeera. They have their own subjects of imbalance, but they do a wonderful job in general of giving attention to a story in proportion to the number of people in the world affected.

  80. 80 treehugger
    March 6, 2009 at 4:45 am

    Today the cashier at the grocery store said she did not know pickles were made from cucumbers?? I bet she doesn’t know where Denmark is either!

  81. 81 John Levy
    March 6, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Tree, Good Lord, you go to the grocery early!

  82. 82 CJ
    March 6, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    Hmmmm.

    Education was better in the 50s and 60s?

    Just curious but when did the teachers’ unions start to form and use their power and influence to direct the educational process?

    Teachers unions were formed in the late 1800s and early 1900s, but they didn’t show any real power until the late 60s.

    Coincidence?

    From PSEA.org history.

    1968—Twenty thousand Pennsylvania teachers march on the state capitol on March 4 to demonstrate against inaction on salary and subsidy legislation for education. PSEA’s Political Action Committee for Education (PACE) is formed.

    1970—PSEA House of Delegates approve the UniServ (Unified Service) program. Act 195, the public Employee Relations Act, repeals the Anti-strike law of 1947.

    1988—Urban and Rural Teacher Loan Forgiveness Act provides forgiveness of loans of up to $10,000 for new teachers employed in urban and rural districts.

    So, I would guess that the quality of education in America and especially in Pennsylvania began to decline in 1968 when the teachers union formed their first political action committee and began to buy politicians, then continued to decline after the aforementioned politicians that they bought passed ACT 195 allowing teacher strikes, then continued the downward spiral in 1988 when we began to forgive teacher’s loans.

    It’s time for change.

  83. 83 djcnor
    March 6, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    i would be willing to bet that one factor in the decline in education began when education credits became more important than knowledge of the subject. Several of my best teachers had never taken any education courses at all.

    Or could it be tied to defunding. In the 50’s and 60’s, schools were well-supplied. Books were rented, handed out the first day. Technology levels of the equipment teachers used was equal to that used by businesses. A few years ago, I taught in a high school in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn. You had to sign up three days ahead to get something Xeroxed on their antique of a Xerox machine and they didn’t hand books out until a month into school. Try teaching chemistry to six different classes in 6 different classrooms each day without books, having to carry everything around with you up and down stairs. I worked every night until midnight preparing for the next day, and that’s pretty normal for the first few years, and I worked on weekends, too. Good teachers work far more than 40-hrs per week. This idea that teachers work six-hour days for 9 months is nonsense.

    What do you suppose was the ratio of teacher pay to the pay of those with equal education and experience before teachers’ unions?

    Or maybe it was the expansion in board of education employees besides teachers? What proportion were teachers in the 50’s and what percentage are now?

    Or maybe the decline in education quality had paralleled the decline in the respect for teachers and what they do. It probably started when folks in the US started respecting folks in proportion to the amount of money their job paid rather than for their level of service to the community.

  84. 84 djcnor
    March 6, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Hmm. Here’s some relevant information. From 1940 until 2000 teachers’ pay fell sharply compared to the pay of others having equal education, and especially sharply in the 1990’s.

    http://www.nea.org/home/14052.htm

    Perhaps you get what you pay for.

    Also remember that in the 50’s and 60’s, women having college education in many areas had very few other career options besides teaching. Now they do.

  85. 85 John Levy
    March 7, 2009 at 3:40 am

    djcnor writing about teachers in this thread -March 6, 2009 at 4:58 pm, “Perhaps you get what you pay for.”

    djcnor writing about teachers in this thread -March 6, 2009 at 4:48 pm, “It probably started when folks in the US started respecting folks in proportion to the amount of money their job paid rather than for their level of service to the community.”

    Just like a typical socialist, 10 minutes is all it takes for you to contradict yourself.

  86. 86 John Levy
    March 7, 2009 at 6:02 am

    jcnor, your reference, http://www.nea.org/home/14052.htm used to support your statement, “from 1940 until 2000 teachers’ pay fell sharply compared to the pay of others having equal education, and especially sharply in the 1990’s,” is the site of the National Education Association. How biased can you possibly get?

    In the notes on the bottom of that NEA page, you will find:
    1. The Census earnings data were extracted from public use files by Decision Demographics, Arlington VA.
    On Decision Demographics’ web site, they detail their affiliation with the NEA with this information:
    “Decision Demographics has worked with the NEA for over 20 years. The primary goal has been to increase the membership of Education Support Professionals (ESP). The process began by listing all occupations working in public education. Then, all support occupations (not teachers or administrators) were categorized by Decision Demographics and the NEA into nine logical groupings. Numerous studies of these nine ESP job groups have been conducted over the years, including development of profiles, annual tracking of income levels, geocoding internal membership data, and mapping of market penetration levels. An annually updated data book is shared with local NEA leadership along with results of special studies conducted through the year. Membership identification has been supported with easy-to-read booklets profiling each of the nine groups, distributed to individual members.”

    Decision Demographics is, in essence an arm of the NEA, responsible for collecting demographic information and, after using alchemical equations, presenting that debauched information in an attractive manor conducive for use as ammunition in the strong arming needed to implement the NEA’s political goals.

    The 1.7-million-member NEA is the most politically powerful organization in the United States with growing major control not only of the federal government but also every state legislature in America. Under the guise of “improving education,” it’s leaders are on the march toward major political power with the aim of converting America into a socialist society.

    Interestingly, as is the typical case and root problem with socialism, NEA president Dennis Van Roekel’s 1st total annual salary was about $439,000. A typical NEA staff person, an organizer, made a salary and expense total of $154,669. The average teacher makes about $55,000 annually after the 3nd year.

    “A few years ago, I taught in a high school in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn. You had to sign up three days ahead to get something Xeroxed on their antique of a Xerox machine and they didn’t hand books out until a month into school. Try teaching chemistry to six different classes in 6 different classrooms each day without books, having to carry everything around with you up and down stairs. I worked every night until midnight preparing for the next day, and that’s pretty normal for the first few years, and I worked on weekends, too.” -Geez, do you really expect anyone to believe this crap? C’mon, if you even were a teacher, this was a case of a mismanaged school.

    “I worked every night until midnight preparing for the next day, and that’s pretty normal for the first few years.” -I know of teachers in their first year who party every night from the time they get home, never any later than 5 pm.

    I can’t help but notice that your entire life, and all of your knowledge, appears to be a myth, very much like the notion that socialism works.


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