USA Election 2008 (Dangerous territory)

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Re: USA Election 2008 (Dangerous territory)

Post by Soccerman771 »

[quote=""I__CHAOS__I""][quote=""Soccerman771""]The only thing I'll say about the U.S. vs. Europe thing is: "When was the last time Europe did something significant to help the U.S.?" As soon as they step up to the plate to assist us, then Europeans can complain about the way we do business...

We divy (sp?) out more charity than anyone in the world.[/quote]

you can't compare europe and US imo

and that charity quote is just rofl, that's totally pointless and imposible to messure/compare.

My opinion on the matter is that US is trying to profile itself as world dominator, and the wars are a clear example of that. That fact alone is enough to create hatred towards the US by the rest of the world. The sad thing is that this gets incorrectly reflected on the US citizens, although most have nothing to do with it.

Anyway, I doubt much will change, politicians (all over the world) have short term visions, for the simple reason that long term will not concern em :([/quote]

Um...Foreign Aid

Based on raw $ amount we are almost double the second place giver in foreign aid.

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Re: USA Election 2008 (Dangerous territory)

Post by I__CHAOS__I »

you said europe ... do the math
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Re: USA Election 2008 (Dangerous territory)

Post by KingKaramazov »

Soccerman, as a percentage of our GDP our aid contributions are actually not that remarkable.

Also, a large portion of our aid goes to countries we are aligned with such as Israel.
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Re: USA Election 2008 (Dangerous territory)

Post by Comadevil »

[quote=""IndyBrit""]
The war in Iraq was not started for all the wrong reasons. I didn't agree with starting the war, but it was started to rid Saddam of WMDs (a bad term needing a new name). Everyone thought he had them - Clinton, Kerry, Russia, Britain, etc.
[/quote]
That's not true. Also many thought Iraq didn't had WMD. And the US were unable to show real proves. That is what alienated the allies and that is why some allies didn't go to war in Iraq. The US just went to war without real prove and reason.


[quote=""IndyBrit""]
Islam didn't target the US as a symbol of progress and freedom. They attacked the US because we were fiddling in the Middle East, and Osama was ashamed that Saudi Arabia allowed us to step in and defend them.
[/quote]
Why the islam attacked u? Islamic extremists bombed the WTC down. That's all. The islam has many facettes. Every religion has its extremists.

[quote=""IndyBrit""]
Bush has been spending money like crazy. However, he didn't create the deficit, Clinton didn't end the deficit, and the next guy won't end the deficit either.
[/quote]
As far as i know Clinton started with a 300 billion $ deficit, 1998 a surplus of 69 billion $ ( http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget//fy00/guide04.html ) and ended in 2000 with a 200 billion $ plus.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy ... ide04.html


[quote=""IndyBrit""]
Bush has not alienated former allies. Our "former" allies (in truth - they are "current" allies if I'm not mistaken) began hating us long ago, and they will hate us in the future. The world will not suddenly love the U.S. because Obama is in office.
[/quote]
Why do u believe that ur allies hate u? And what do u think what the resons are for this?

[quote=""IndyBrit""]
Don't know what our homelessness is compared to Europe, but I do know that our poor are far better off than the European poor, our unemployment is lower, and our median income is higher.
[/quote]
What makes u believe this? And to what do u compare this? To the average in the european union? To Europes leading economically countries or to what?
I didn't check this really yet myself.

[quote=""IndyBrit""]
I would rather be "poor" in the U.S. than anywhere in the world. Also - regarding the "environment" - our air and water are far cleaner than Europe's,
[/quote]
I don't know about this. Have u any proves about that?

[quote=""IndyBrit""]
and with a few exceptions Europe has not put their money where the rhetoric is regarding CO2 emissions, which is about the only environmental issue where Europe is even marginally better than the U.S.
[/quote]
Hmm don't think so
The US blows 19.8 tons of CO2 in the air per citizen, the european union has an average of 8.8 t, who demands this cut in CO2 emissions. This is not really marginally. ;) Though the better developed countries are above this average of 8,8. e.g. Germany is 10.9 which is almost half of the US
http://www.co2-handel.de/article344_6605.html
The source for this statistics is the World Resource institut, which is located in Washington. http://www.wri.org

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Re: USA Election 2008 (Dangerous territory)

Post by luukje »

[quote=""IndyBrit""]Luukje,

There is no one who is going to unite the different factions of the U.S. There are too many pieces to the puzzle, and they just can't be fit together. We need to learn to live with disagreement and with the fact that every action we take will offend someone but we need to move forward anyway. On important issues, compromise is a concession of somebody's priniciples.

The war in Iraq was not started for all the wrong reasons. I didn't agree with starting the war, but it was started to rid Saddam of WMDs (a bad term needing a new name). Everyone thought he had them - Clinton, Kerry, Russia, Britain, etc. It's curious that you think Afghanistan was a "good" war.

Islam didn't target the US as a symbol of progress and freedom. They attacked the US because we were fiddling in the Middle East, and Osama was ashamed that Saudi Arabia allowed us to step in and defend them.

Bush has been spending money like crazy. However, he didn't create the deficit, Clinton didn't end the deficit, and the next guy won't end the deficit either. It's curious that Enron gets berated for inflating earnings during the Clinton years, but Clinton gets no blame for touting inflated tax income that was based directly off of the inflated corporate earnings. The tax receipts of the late 90s were a scam just as corporate earnings of the time were a scam.

Bush has not alienated former allies. Our "former" allies (in truth - they are "current" allies if I'm not mistaken) began hating us long ago, and they will hate us in the future. The world will not suddenly love the U.S. because Obama is in office.

"We might be a bit more educated." That is silly European arrogance speaking, which I will ignore because there is plenty of silly American arrogance that gets touted as well. Let's just say that, while the American education system is not perfect, the differences in education between Europe and America are not as great as advertised, and in many cases favor America.

Your laundry list of problems beginning "rich got richer..." and ending with "wall on the mexican (sic) border" are 1) just your impressions, and 2) have nothing to do with Bush. We were litigious before Bush, the wall has not been built and Bush wants to integrate illegal aliens into the U.S., 3) the "ultraconservative christian minorities" have never been weaker in the U.S. than they are today, and homelessness in the U.S. is a very small problem. Don't know what our homelessness is compared to Europe, but I do know that our poor are far better off than the European poor, our unemployment is lower, and our median income is higher. I would rather be "poor" in the U.S. than anywhere in the world. Also - regarding the "environment" - our air and water are far cleaner than Europe's, and with a few exceptions Europe has not put their money where the rhetoric is regarding CO2 emissions, which is about the only environmental issue where Europe is even marginally better than the U.S.

The world is a very old place, and many of the issues you seem to believe are recent have in fact been around a long time. I wonder whether you were politically aware in the late 70s. Read some of the literature from the 70s about world population and natural resources. The notion that the world has regressed and that things used to be better is an old notion, and yet things just keep getting better.

Peace - and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. :)[/quote]

Nice to read a reply.

First of all, I hope you find something to unite on. I know you cant agree on everything. And a compromise where everybody looses is a bad one. In a good agreement, everybody will get something he wants, just not all. Being united has been one of the great strenghts of your country. Being able to overcome those differences and find a common goal to move forward on is very important in my opinion. Saying "it wont happen" is rather negative, while a little more optimism is just needed.

All I wanted to say, whatever the reason for starting some war - because all wars are terrible things -, is that iraq didnt gain anything for the US. The cost, for Iraq and the US are huge, in human life, in money wasted, in goodwill spilled. And it didnt gain you anything in the world, just a lot of unhappy allies and more hate from those that allready hated you.
Afghanistan is a 'good' war, despite the terrible cost, because it made the world a little safer. There is a long way to go in afganistan, but we might just make it a safer place. And that will never happen in Iraq.
Just my opinion, but its an ugly pointless struggle in iraq, nothing to be gained, everything to be lost.

Islam doenst target the US. Some fundamentalist factions are targetting the US, indeed for its politics in the middle east AND as the symbol of world progress they hate. All of these topics are way more complicated than we can state in a little discussions this, but I thinh in next couple of years, the US need to make it more clear, their enemy is that small portion of islam fundamentalists and not islam.
Ive vististed some major cities around the world the last year, and how normal is it, that in all these cities the US embassy has to be guarded like some fortress?

WHat did europe do for the US the last 100 years? Very little. The 20the century was the rise of the superpower the United States. Two world wars ruined Europe, Japan ambition was put down in WW2, and the rise and fall of the USSR, the only one to challenge the United States, made Europe the being squeezed between the then superpowers, threatening each other with nuclear missiles and massive conventional armies. If WW3 would have become reality, it would have been fought in Europe. not a pleasant thought.

We were a whole lot happier being on the side of the US than under communist rule.

And im not looking forward to world politics being dictated by china. Thats why I would like to see a president that thinks on Europe the same way, and doenst go his own way all the time.
Europe has been trying to claim his own part in the 21 century and the United States should be our natural ally and partner, because we share so many common grounds, ideas, languages, religion, etc...

Thats why my "impressions" were an example of how the United States and Europe seem to be drifting apart. It are just things the media pick on, but its not like it used to be. Environement, immigration, terrorism these are hot issues in Europe to, but we should be standing together in these, and I got the impression Bush just wasnt interested. I hope the next president will be.

It doenst matter of we or the united states are the worlds worst CO2 emmisionist, but together we are NR1 for sure. So lets do something about it.

THe "educated" thing was me being ironic.

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Re: USA Election 2008 (Dangerous territory)

Post by Soccerman771 »

[quote=""I__CHAOS__I""]you said europe ... do the math[/quote]

I said we give more aid than any other country. Maybe not in %GDP but, based on raw number we do. I then said that we help our allies. When was the last time a country in Europe did something for the U.S.?
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Re: USA Election 2008 (Dangerous territory)

Post by Soccerman771 »

[quote=""luukje"]
All I wanted to say, whatever the reason for starting some war - because all wars are terrible things -, is that iraq didnt gain anything for the US. The cost, for Iraq and the US are huge, in human life, in money wasted, in goodwill spilled. And it didnt gain you anything in the world, just a lot of unhappy allies and more hate from those that allready hated you.
Afghanistan is a 'good' war, despite the terrible cost, because it made the world a little safer. There is a long way to go in afganistan, but we might just make it a safer place. And that will never happen in Iraq.
Just my opinion, but its an ugly pointless struggle in iraq, nothing to be gained, everything to be lost.

Islam doenst target the US. Some fundamentalist factions are targetting the US, indeed for its politics in the middle east AND as the symbol of world progress they hate. All of these topics are way more complicated than we can state in a little discussions this, but I thinh in next couple of years, the US need to make it more clear, their enemy is that small portion of islam fundamentalists and not islam.
Ive vististed some major cities around the world the last year, and how normal is it, that in all these cities the US embassy has to be guarded like some fortress?

WHat did europe do for the US the last 100 years? Very little. The 20the century was the rise of the superpower the United States. Two world wars ruined Europe, Japan ambition was put down in WW2, and the rise and fall of the USSR, the only one to challenge the United States, made Europe the being squeezed between the then superpowers, threatening each other with nuclear missiles and massive conventional armies. If WW3 would have become reality, it would have been fought in Europe. not a pleasant thought.

We were a whole lot happier being on the side of the US than under communist rule.

And im not looking forward to world politics being dictated by china. Thats why I would like to see a president that thinks on Europe the same way, and doenst go his own way all the time.
Europe has been trying to claim his own part in the 21 century and the United States should be our natural ally and partner, because we share so many common grounds, ideas, languages, religion, etc...

Thats why my "impressions" were an example of how the United States and Europe seem to be drifting apart. It are just things the media pick on, but its not like it used to be. Environement, immigration, terrorism these are hot issues in Europe to, but we should be standing together in these, and I got the impression Bush just wasnt interested. I hope the next president will be.

It doenst matter of we or the united states are the worlds worst CO2 emmisionist, but together we are NR1 for sure. So lets do something about it.

THe "educated" thing was me being ironic.[/quote]

That was a very respectful reply luukje. I don't like that the war in Iraq has gone on as long as it has. I do think we're more in a re-building phase than we are in combat phase. There are more US National Guard deployed to Iraq than there are all other military branches combined. I would have liked to have seen the US and allies clean up Afganistan and UBL before committing to Iraq. I do think the world is a safer and better place without Saddam and his sons in power. Was it worth the price we've paid? We won't know for another 25-50 years. I know I've had friends go over and lose their lives in the combat. I hope their sacrifice was worth it.

I would like for the US and Europe to get more on the same page. I think that would benefit the world more than anything.

IMO Europe education > US education up to college. Then it flips. I think that's why so many people from other country's come here to be educated by institutions of higher learning. Capitalism also helps...
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Re: USA Election 2008 (Dangerous territory)

Post by luukje »

Im not a specialist neither but I also have the impression that our education here in belgium is a lot harder until highschool, but our universities dont reach the same high level as american elite colleges.
US colleges have the tradition and resources to get the most brilliant minds in the world teaching and this atrackts the best students.

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Re: USA Election 2008 (Dangerous territory)

Post by Comadevil »

The problem of european coutries in the european union (EU) is, that they don't have a consistent EU defense policy and that's why they are helpless if the need arises. The last time seen when the war in Yugoslavia came to pass.

Europe helps if it can by deploying troops in Kosovo (well should have been only our problem right from the beginning), Afghanistan and some who went to Iraq also in Iraq.

The US is still seen as big partner and ally here. Western Germany couldn't have prospered without the US, also the US supported right from the beginning the german reunification and Helmut Kohl convinced together eith George Bush sen. GB and France to say also yes, which was needed because of WW2. So there is much to thank for.

But George W. Bush and his government irritated with their diplomacy it allied countries and their populations. Everybody is happy here, when Bush has to go and another president comes, so the relationship will become better again.

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Re: USA Election 2008 (Dangerous territory)

Post by IndyBrit »

I believe Afghanistan will also turn out to be a mistake. You don't go after a criminal by invading a country. If Spain refused to extradite someone (especially that we haven't PROVED is there) we wouldn't invade, we would just be upset with Spain.

The U.S., in my opinion, doesn't need to make it clear that the war is only on a small fraction of extremist Islam. There needs to be no war at all. 9/11 was our own mistake (not our FAULT) because we taught the citizens that they should sit on their hands while the government takes care of their security for them. It would have been avoided if we decided that we won't let whackos take control of airplanes. Further, we have spent more in time and productivity in useless passenger inspections than were caused on 9/11. If we treated Al Quaida (sp?) as a criminal organization and largely ignored them, we would be much better off. Our response (even ignoring Iraq) has been far more expensive than any damage caused by A.Q. - which they have to love and has been exactly their goal.

I'll give you some U.S. - Europe economic and environmental data if you're truly interested. Let me know and I'll dig it up. If it's spitting into the wind then I won't bother.

Regarding CO2 emissions - I think the more fair comparison is tons of CO2 per $$ GDP, not per citizen. We develop and research many products for the world that get used around the world. If we make CO2 researching a product and Europe uses that product, they are taking a free CO2-ride. Likewise, if the U.S. uses a bunch of products manufactured in China, the U.S. is taking a free CO2-ride on those products. Thus, CO2 per GDP is a better comparison. It's not perfect, of course. I don't remember how GDP-CO2 goes, but I think US GDP is about 60% higher per capita than Europe as a whole, making your dramatic 2-1 numbers something more like 1.3-1. I'll go and do all that math too, again if you are interested.

Your data on deficits in the U.S. are semi-correct, although it appears that you're using the Social Security included numbers which is not the correct view as the Social Security surplus is a future obligation. However, you did not address my point that inflated corporate incomes created inflated corporate income tax receipts, meaning that the U.S. gov't. surplus at the time was a scam resulting from the corporate earnings scams.

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Re: USA Election 2008 (Dangerous territory)

Post by IndyBrit »

[quote=""Comadevil""]
But George W. Bush and his government irritated with their diplomacy it allied countries and their populations. Everybody is happy here, when Bush has to go and another president comes, so the relationship will become better again.[/quote]

Comadevil, I hope you are correct that the relationship will improve when Bush leaves. But I think not. The relationship has been in decline ever since Europe no longer needed the U.S. with the decline of the Soviet Union. Until other "pillars" develop in the world, including the rise of the E.U., China, and India, the U.S. will continue to be hated, even with Obama in office.

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Re: USA Election 2008 (Dangerous territory)

Post by Cyclohexane »

[quote=""IndyBrit""]
The war in Iraq was not started for all the wrong reasons. I didn't agree with starting the war, but it was started to rid Saddam of WMDs (a bad term needing a new name). Everyone thought he had them - Clinton, Kerry, Russia, Britain, etc. It's curious that you think Afghanistan was a "good" war. [/quote]

We know Iraq had WMD because we have the receipts! Sadaam was once our ally (enemy of our enemy is our friend) and we sold him weapons directly. Why is history so easily forgotten?

In a nutshell, Why we are in Iraq

[quote=""IndyBrit""]
"We might be a bit more educated." That is silly European arrogance speaking, which I will ignore because there is plenty of silly American arrogance that gets touted as well. Let's just say that, while the American education system is not perfect, the differences in education between Europe and America are not as great as advertised, and in many cases favor America. [/quote]

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the American education system, it is the American culture. Students are rewarded for athletics and want to grow up to be rappers, singers, and basketball players. No, don’t blame the setup or the teachers, blame the parents, or the lack of them. Parents play a larger role in a child’s education than any school, any teacher, or any TV show!

There is an excellent film out now, which I have not watched yet but seen a report about it on Good Morning America. The film is called 2 million minutes, a Global Examination. It follows high school students in America, China, and India. What the film illustrates is that students allocate their time very differently in each country based mostly on families, community recognition and their culture - not simply because of the school system.

LINK HERE

This just reinforces my other points above about the family. When the family falls apart because of divorce, deadbeat dads, sexual perverseness, etc., it is the child that suffers. Especially when their education comes from the media that basically tells them their behavior is ok (or even organizations like the ACLU that routinely sue schools for enforcing morals). Schools should allow prayer and morals to be enforced not because of religion, but because of what is best for society. When kids are having kids and it is accepted as normal, that costs the tax payer in the form of welfare. The household needs a strong man to make sacrifices and take care of the kids, not themselves. Now I am considered old fashioned and incorrect because I believe a family requires a man and a woman!

It is the parents and the community / media that enforces this “American Idol” culture that are to blame, not the schools. I admit to being a little biased since my Mother, brother, sister, 1 of my Grand Father, and Father (recently retired and began teacher as well) are all teachers. I may be biased, but I hear stories, stories of parents who instead of punishing their kids, come to the school and threaten lawsuits because their kid is failing. They act surprised when they never turn in homework and ignore progress reports! The district cannot afford the lawsuit so the teacher is silenced and the kid “progresses”. If anything, that is what is wrong with the system, but then you need to blame the lawyers as well. The majority of teachers are hard working and make sacrifices in pay because in general, they do care. They care so much they become frustrated and sometimes, depressed.

When parents do not enforce school, watch over their choice in friends, and constantly ask the kid what his dreams are to ensure they have dreams, do not be surprised when they do not become football players or rock stars, that they fall apart (or worse start shooting up the school). I tell my young ones that there is nothing wrong with wanting to be a rock star, as long as you have an education first. I also tell them that video games are ok and encourage it in certain respects but only after their work is done. I never got into gaming until after graduation because I knew I did not have the self control to do both. I try to be the best in I can in everything so it would have been to big of a distraction for me. Unfortunately, I think I am the exception, not the rule.

China is graduating more engineers and scientists not because they are smarter or work harder, but how they spend their time. Americans can be very intelligent and work very hard, but many waste a lot of time. Students in China use their spare time to invest in their future and education. A science fair in Asian sells out, I cannot give away tickets to educational outreach programs I am involved in. I did not get to where I am today because I am a genius, I got here because I always worked harder than all my peers on the subjects I was studying. This was not that hard to do when I was young, it is much easier now. I see kids much more lazy than when I was a kid, preferring video game football instead of organizing a game in the neighborhood!

[quote=""luukje""]Im not a specialist neither but I also have the impression that our education here in belgium is a lot harder until highschool, but our universities dont reach the same high level as american elite colleges.
US colleges have the tradition and resources to get the most brilliant minds in the world teaching and this atrackts the best students.[/quote]

I may agree with that in reputation but if all my years of schooling has taught me one thing it is this, the school does not teach the student, the student teaches the student. The professor assigns work and the student either does it or fails. In the high schools, if the student does not work but gifted in sports, or has influential parents, he passes anyway. It is a fundamental flaw in our culture. It will not be long that we will live on reputation alone. Parents and the community need to refocus our children onto productive goals.


By the way IndyBrit, I know your new here and I was not getting on you, I thought you brought up some excellent points and just wanted to elaborate on a few items I thought you missed.
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Re: USA Election 2008 (Dangerous territory)

Post by IndyBrit »

Cyclohexane,
I'm no delicate flower, let it out. ;)

I appreciate hearing your views.

Steve

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Re: USA Election 2008 (Dangerous territory)

Post by HuggyPierre »

Hey Guys, don't compare USA and Europe. Compare USA and Germany, or France or England or whatever. And even this can't be compared. Every Nation has a different culture and background. Why argueing about who does most for a CO2 reduction (what about CH4 btw? CH4 > CO2. Ok there is much more CO2 in the athmosphere than CH4). This is a global problem, not a nation-only problem. They (we) should work together and not against each other. Gas and electricity is much cheaper in the US than in Germany e.g. so people use more of it. But in California exists this farlane (!?) for car-sharing people. Germany does not have this.

War, hm, pretty stupid to go to war at all imo. And no one hates the USA, only because we are not happy with some things the government does. Won't say more to this, cause my english isnt good enough to write fluently (like you can read lol), but this is a nice discussion. It's interesting to see views of peoples all over the world.

Finally, USA isnt better than Europe and Europe isnt better than the USA. It's just different...

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