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Views of America I

Amos 15 Sep 01 - 06:44 PM
Amos 15 Sep 01 - 06:45 PM
BlueJay 16 Sep 01 - 02:36 AM
Lepus Rex 16 Sep 01 - 03:01 AM
Sorcha 16 Sep 01 - 03:21 AM
The Shambles 16 Sep 01 - 03:52 AM
BlueJay 16 Sep 01 - 03:57 AM
Mudlark 16 Sep 01 - 02:42 PM
GUEST,Foreign Policy 16 Sep 01 - 02:51 PM
Cappuccino 16 Sep 01 - 03:12 PM
Mary in Kentucky 16 Sep 01 - 03:16 PM
Bill D 16 Sep 01 - 04:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Sep 01 - 06:41 PM
Amos 16 Sep 01 - 09:17 PM
Bill D 16 Sep 01 - 11:40 PM
Amos 16 Sep 01 - 11:47 PM
Cappuccino 17 Sep 01 - 08:07 AM
Dave the Gnome 17 Sep 01 - 08:54 AM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Sep 01 - 09:20 AM
Amos 17 Sep 01 - 09:24 AM
Mrrzy 17 Sep 01 - 09:52 AM
GUEST 17 Sep 01 - 11:36 AM
The Shambles 17 Sep 01 - 01:55 PM
Irish sergeant 18 Sep 01 - 09:33 AM
GUEST,Celtic Soul 18 Sep 01 - 10:22 AM
The Shambles 18 Sep 01 - 03:33 PM
Kim C 18 Sep 01 - 04:23 PM
GUEST,Linguist 18 Sep 01 - 04:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Sep 01 - 04:52 PM
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Subject: Views of America I
From: Amos
Date: 15 Sep 01 - 06:44 PM

The following was forwarded to me by someone to whom it was forwarded, etc. I have no way of knowing who wrote it. It feels genuine and offers much food for thought. It appears to be from an observer in the Czech republic.

This is the way I received this letter from a friend.

Eddi

The person who sent this told me delete the name of the author.

Anna Lee

Dear American friends! We are watching CCN daily with horror and as we watch I noticed that all the "international reactions" to the disaster that happened seem too much of a cliche. Our president was among the first to send his condolences but, we are a small country and this fact didn't even make it to the news report.
It's only right, there are more important things to say, but it made me realize, that you people might not be able to imagine, what this situation means to people outside of United States. It made me realize, that this time, I have a chance to give you support. You have it, you have it all over the planet and I want you to know that the whole planet is watching and wants to help.

This was not "just another terrorist attack" for people here. Within hours after the attack I received phone calls, SMS messages and e-mails from all my family members and friends, who know we don't have a TV. Nobody was surprised, but everyone is stunned and deeply horrified.
We went to our next door neighbors to watch CNN and they wanted me to translate everything that was said. So did my parents last night. The Czech TV runs one report after another too, although not the same quality.

All soccer games and other events were canceled or postponed. People gathered on Wencesllas Square, in front of the American embassy and on other places to demonstrate their concern and honor the victims by lighting candles and bringing flowers, despite the minister's request for people not to gather in public places for security reasons. The ministries received floods of e-mails and faxes from people all over the country, who are willing to help by sending specialists or money or both.

Our rescue teams with specially trained dogs are ready to depart within few hours, should America ask for help. These people are were very successful in recent years, especially in rescuing people after the earthquakes in Turkey. They found people alive even 7 days after the earthquake, so I guess there is still hope, although I understand that trying to do the same in the debris from two 110 story buildings is not the same at all. But they are ready to go and I would like to ask anyone who knows rescue people in the US, to please forward this e-mail to them.

The one thing I did not hear, although I thought I might, was "well, what did they expect" attitude. Everyone only expressed fear of suitcase nuclear bomb, biological weapon or a garbage truck full of fertilizer, which could have been brought into Manhattan just as easily. It also makes the antimissile shield plans look like a joke, considering the fact, that a well trained fanatic doesn't even need a knife or cardboard cutter to kill or threaten people. This attack stunned everyone by it's simplicity and effectiveness.

This attack is going to have many unexpected effects on everyone's life. Some of them are already appearing. For the first time in history, people feel the true capability of terrorism and feel that they could be the next target -- why not Paris, why not Prague? For the first time, most governments are willing to truly cooperate against the terrorist activities. I hope such cooperation will bring results and will give us all a chance to punish the attacker. For the first time I also hear people say, that they will not accept punishing a whole country full of innocent people for the acts of few extremists. In other words, people are rethinking the mechanisms of war.

It is also my hope that the American diplomacy will be a little more careful now. For the most think-tank country in the world, you guys have the worst possible diplomatic service. There are cases when women representatives were sent to negotiate with fanatic leaders of countries, where woman is not even considered a human. US diplomats are also the only ones in the world, who get shifted from country to country, so that they wouldn't become "too local," As a result, the Czech Republic for example, so far did not have a US ambassador, who could speak Czech or know anything worthwhile about our history or traditions. The first one after the revolution was Shirley Temple-Black, who is a cute movie star, but was happy to shake hands with all the crooks who looted our banks and stole all they could in the past ten years. Then she turned around and recommended this country with no legal system and bad law enforcement to US investors. Our ambassador to the US, Mr. Zantovky, in return, was a man with doctorates in politics, philosophy and languages and a hobby of translating Woody Allen's works into Czech. In other words, with profound knowledge of US and it's history and culture.


I don't write you this to complain. I write you this to make you look at what America is, what it's doing and what it could do to prevent such disasters from happening. There is a lot. I am fascinated by the potential America represents. Always was fascinated and this became even more apparent when I met my American friends and then I saw it with my own eyes.


I've spent 3 months traveling across the US, saw most big cities, 16 national parks, and traveled from not only coast to coast, but virtually from corner to corner. It was huge and amazing and it changed me forever. It also made me think that most of you don't realize what you have. You have freedom, money, possibilities, access, chances. Even the poorest and most disadvantaged of Americans have all these things to a degree most other people in the world only dream about.


Perhaps the most surprising was the level of friendliness and helpfulness from people who completely honestly just wanted to help a stranger. You can find it in Europe, but it's rare. I kept being shocked by the informal approach from waitresses, clerks, professionals. All these people in my country are colder then dog's nose. But I was stunned, when the guards, national park guides or policemen made us feel that they are there for us and we should feel free to ask any question -- including where to go for a good meal. These are the people here who still terrorize the public with random checks on cars or writing down your ID what you walk into a public office. These are people who's way of speaking to you is so "official" and formal, that it send chills down my spine and makes me avoid eye contact.

Then we watch CNN and I hear the same types of people (Red Cross leaders, medical officials, police officers, firemen, politicians) interviewed and called only by first name by the reporters. I hear these guys, who all of a sudden are Dave and Maggie and Nick, refer to their employees solely as "my people" or "WE are ready to...." It would never happen here. I just know, there are no barriers between them when they get out there into the pile of rubble to save lives. They are sure they can make it, the feel easy and comfortable reassuring the public that they have the potential and strength to solve the situation. On the other hand, it allows them to feel free to ask for help or blood or volunteers when needed.

America works! It was the most impressive of my feelings when I was there. It was the most agonizing part of coming back. It is the biggest driving force behind our attempts to change the system here and introduce assistance dogs. We have excellent people at the bottom, good workers, great volunteers. We don't have any great leaders. You guys have them. You have army where everyone is trained to become leader should his immediate boss be shot and then the next one and the next one. In Europe we have the tradition of ending the battle should the King get killed.

America is most powerful when it takes its eyes off the "sole purpose of making money" as Jefferson called it and focuses on something "real." Americans are not going to sit home and wait for someone to come and tell them what to do. They will figure out what to do and then do it. They are going to stand in lines to give blood and sign up as volunteers to clean up the damage. They will also support the families of the victims, arrange water, food, clothes and shelter for those who cannot return home due to the damage of airline disruptions. Americans will not do this when people start panicking, Americans will do it before the people in trouble even realize they are in trouble.

You should be very very proud of your people.

There is nothing we can do for the victims and very little we can do for those who lost their loved ones. But for all the rest of you, who are watching all this on the news and feel the enormous sadness - I want you all to know, that you are not alone in this. It's raining here for several days and it feels like darkness descended on this little village in the mountains of Czech Republic. People are quiet. I wouldn't be surprised it someone saw tears in the eyes of the Statue of Liberty, she's watching all this "live".

God bless you,
(Author deleted)


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: Amos
Date: 15 Sep 01 - 06:45 PM

Apologies for the failure of line breaks -- it looked okay as pasted.

Amos


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: BlueJay
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 02:36 AM

Amos- Screw the line breaks. It reads fine just as it is. Your post does indeed give a lot of food for thought, in many areas. Gives a little different perspective, doesn't it?

The United States needs to learn to do a lot of things differently than we do now, in order to survive all this. We will eventually adapt. As the anonymous author states, "America Works".

My gratitude to you and our anonymous Czechoslovokian author. BlueJay


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 03:01 AM

*cough* Er, Czech, BlueJay. And Slovak is capitalised these days. ;)

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: Sorcha
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 03:21 AM

Too true. We don't know what we have. Even the homeless and hungry here have it better than a lot of places. So, what should we do about the guilt? Stop eating? Stop sleeping warm? Walk instead of drive? Will any of this actually HELP someone somewhere else?

Bomb Somewhere Else' gov't to make them provide better condtions for their citizens?? We have tried that and it didn't work.

America (USA) has tried for years to be a leader in Democracy; often it has landed us in trouble. Often we have been wrong in our actions. But we have tried. We have tried, perhaps, too often.

What would have happened/ will happen if we never had and never do try? Who will take up the slack? What will happen if NO ONE takes up the slack?

I do what I can in my own small corner of the world, and that is all I can do.


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 03:52 AM

I've spent 3 months traveling across the US, saw most big cities, 16 national parks, and traveled from not only coast to coast, but virtually from corner to corner. It was huge and amazing and it changed me forever. It also made me think that most of you don't realize what you have. You have freedom, money, possibilities, access, chances. Even the poorest and most disadvantaged of Americans have all these things to a degree most other people in the world only dream about.

I did not spend as much time, or travel quite as widely but it was certainly our experience too. We found the same hospitality as well.

The object of these observations may make you feel guilt? That is not their intention. It is just to try and enable you to understand the perception of the American people from outside of the USA, I think?

The vast majority of the world will not feel that warmth and uncomplicated spirit that visitors do. Back in their own countries they probably think that the American people do not give them much thought at all?

That is a generalisation of course, but the American people can rest assured that the rest of the world is certainly thinking of them and sharing their suffering.


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: BlueJay
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 03:57 AM

Hey, Lep- gimme a break, will ya? You are right, of course, but I still tend to look back on the days when Russian troops invaded Hungary. The world has changed a bit. I offer my apologies to our Czech author, but somehow I doubt apologies are needed. BlueJay


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: Mudlark
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 02:42 PM

Dear Amos...Thanks very much for posting this. I have friends in London, Corsica, Paris, Prague, Australia and New Zealand and they all say about the same things as the anonymous author....the US is a great nation, with many, many fine attributes, some of which are fairly unique in the world, but, perhaps understandably, surprisingly insular in important ways.

I was touched by this letter, coming from far away in miles but so close in spirit. Thanks again for posting....


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: GUEST,Foreign Policy
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 02:51 PM

I think that our Czech friend made some excellent points about U.S. foreign relations. It does seem that our representatives abroad are often grossly ignorant when it comes to the language, culture, history, etc. of the areas where they are supposed to work. Is that because people such as ambassadors are often political appointees who get the job as a reward for political support rather than real qualifications. Or, is it just the ethnocentric assumption that some of the local folks will speak English to accomodate us?


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: Cappuccino
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 03:12 PM

As a Brit, I have travelled to all four corners of America, and many of the bits inbetween, and I love the place and the people. I don't want to *be* American, thank you, as I'm quite happy being British, but I love you like brothers and sisters. When I laugh at the American way of doing things, as I guess you do to us, I do do so affectionately... and I guess you do the same to us.

Being there has made me understand many things about some attitudes, what Mudlark quite rightly called 'surprisingly insular' attutudes - for example, in one central place which seemed to be a thousand miles from the sea in every direction, I suddenly realised exactly why everyone there had little concept of foreign countries, or the sheer size of Russia or China. And why one guy even asked me where England was... when I realised that his state line was about a day's drive in each direction, I understood.

Quite seriously, Amos, may I tell you what travelling in America, partucularly Texas and Arizona and through the southern States, has done for me? It taught me to appreciate politeness. That's something many of us have completely lost.

To say that you lot are brothers and sisters is more than just words. You're a very fine bunch of human beings.

All the best - Ian B


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 03:16 PM

Thanks for this Amos. I'm feeling just a little less alone in the world.

I don't know ALL the details on Shirley Temple-Black, but she is a co-founder of the National Federation of Multiple Sclerosis Societies, dear to my heart, and has a long history of selfless activism.

As far as moving diplomats around...my friend from the Peace Corps said that in his training they were taught that when a person first lives in another country they feel EVERYTHING in that culture is good (better than their own culture). The next phase is to feel that EVERYTHING is bad (worse than their own). Only after time do they experience a balanced view, that there is good and evil in all.


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 04:50 PM

I was born in America...I have been out of its borders for perhaps a total of 12 hours, so I can't judge how my country rates compared to the rest of the world, but it is heartening to read that we do ok in some places. I not only appreciate the sentiment, I am SO very grateful to those who took the trouble to express it.

This is a huge country...we have states--even cities--that are larger, and richer, than many other countries. The thing is we ARE many of those other countries. Any visitors to the US can find enclaves of people who came here from their homeland for various reasons.

We are 'only' 250-400 or so years old, depending on how you count...really young as many cultures go, but we have the best 'and' worst of those older cultures within us, as well as the Native American culture we almost totally displaced as we tried to find our way in what seemed like a nearly empty Eden.

No matter how you characterize America, it is partly right...and partly wrong, as we have all extremes of people and attitudes...as well as a great dollop of the middle. But we DO have a system that is designed to allow this diversity to work for the greatest good,...and even sometimes does.

I am not surprised that some people in this world have found aspects of **America** to criticize, as I often criticize it myself...but we did not deserve the travesty of 9-11.

I AM grateful that others see thru the problems we have to the basic spirit which drives a majority of us...the desire to live our lives in harmony with the rest of the world as best we can. I just hope that I can someday visit some of the countries that are sending these outpouring of shock and support....and express my gratitude personally.

Thanks, everyone...we'll get thru this, and we'll try not to let it harden our hearts too much.....


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 06:41 PM

The thing that has puzzled me sometimes is how Americans, at a distance anyway, seem to need so much reassurance, and get so sensitive about criticism, and so eager for praise. In the end I decided it was a kind of humility, which sometimes expresses itself paradoxically in bragging.

There's so much good about America, and this last week we've been seeing some it it. The pity is that so often the things peole seem to take most pride in are the things that aren't so good - and that's a common failing with many countries, most especially England. (Well I say "most especially" because I live there and see it happening all the time. It's probably just as true in many places.)


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: Amos
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 09:17 PM

This, from a Canadian newspaper, is worth sharing.

America: The Good Neighbor.

Widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian tele- vision commentator. What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional Record:

"This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth. Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States. When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.

When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped.

The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars! into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans.

I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American Planes? Why does no other land on earth even consider put- ting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon -! not once, but several times - and safely home again.

You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.

When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke. I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.

Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those."

STAND PROUD AMERICA!


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 11:40 PM

Amos...this has been posted & reposted till it is frayed at the edges.....I know..hard to read everything & keep track


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: Amos
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 11:47 PM

Whoops....sorry.

A


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: Cappuccino
Date: 17 Sep 01 - 08:07 AM

A South African friend has just e-mailed to say that at last night's service, the preacher told them that we would all be in big trouble, unless we lived according to the warnings of the prophet Amos.

Approval from the church for this thread!

- Ian B


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Sep 01 - 08:54 AM

I have only been there the once. Saw a tiny part, but what I saw was good. The open farmlands on the Illinois side of the Missisippi were our adoptive home for a couple of weeks in 1999. We stayed with my cousin and loved every minute. The friendliness of everyone we met. The waitresses and bartenders who knew what service meant, without being servile. Meeting with all the neighbours for a beer and barbeque on a warm autumn afternoon followed by go-karting around the front garden!

We visited St Louis in neighbouring Missouri and, after the horrors I had read about gang crime, drugs and murder, I expected the worst. I saw nothing but more friendly people, more superb service and a civic pride which put many UK cities to shame. All the people we stopped and spoke to, young and old, black and white, 'townies' and out of towners alike showed a genuine interest and respect for us as guests of theirs.

You have got a good culture. I know there must be bad there as well but it was well hidden from us. We all have a down side to our cultures. There are acts of evil occur on a daily basis in countries all over the world. No-one will ever get used to attrocities of the kind commited last week and it is cold comfort to say that you will get over it. But you will. A culture full of the type of people we met will never let the evil-doers win.

I think I am sounding a bit like Eric Idle in 'Life of Brian', fastened to the cross and singing 'Always look on the bright side of life'. It is ludicrous, I know, but believe me some good will come out of this. And a land so optomistic will find that silver lining very soon indeed.

All the best and sorry for rambling!

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Sep 01 - 09:20 AM

What is about that ancient piece that means it keeps on coming up again, and again and again?...And people always seem to be under the impression that it is recent - reasonably enough because somebody is clearly putting it about telling people that it is recent.

I don't mean that being an old piece of writing discredits, but the idea that pretending it's a new piece somehow gives it more authority puzzles me. (And I'm not accusing you of doing the pretending here Amos, you've been taken in by some joker who is, like many before you.)

But I can't imagine it's the only or the best piece of writing by someone saying good things about the USA. In fact to me it seems to have a hectoring, negative, air to it, as if the way to praise America was to sneer at other countries.

I'm an Irish citizen living in England, with an English wife - but if someone wrote a piece about Ireland or England like that, I think I'd want to leave it be.

There have been posts here on the Mudcat over the last week that I think are far more moving in their tributes to the best things about America.


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: Amos
Date: 17 Sep 01 - 09:24 AM

McGrath:

See above.

A.


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: Mrrzy
Date: 17 Sep 01 - 09:52 AM

One thing that I have found living overseas is the impression abroad that Americans are Christian - which I firmly believe to be the fundamental reason for this attack by these particular radical rabid fundamentalists who happen to have been Moslem. As a child I would put None under Religion on government forms, and would have it changed to Protestant because "everybody knows Americans are Protestant" said one official when questioned... I do wish our present administration would take a leaf from George Washington's treaties with the Middle Eastern rulers back then, when he declared the new United States to be a secular nation with which Islam need not fear to deal... I've been looking for the text of what I'm referring to, and will post when I do.

And there was something in the news yesterday about us sending people into diplomacy with no ken of those with whom they are to be diplomatic, there has yet to be a US ambassador in I think any Middle Eastern nation who even spoke Arabic - CIA chiefs of station ditto - I mean, how do we expect to deal with natives of other cultures if we make them do everything in a foreign language, rather than meeting them halfway?


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Sep 01 - 11:36 AM

Yesterday (Sunday) here in the U.S., on the weekly news program Face The Nation with Bob McKee, one of the on-scene correspondents filed his story concerning Congress' sweeping intentions to "put an asterisk next to the Bill of Rights" (the correspondent's words). In that legislative body, there are movements underway to lift the ban on government-sponsored assassinations of political leaders, and to allow as well the Central Intelligence Agency to do business with unsavory characters (e.g., other terrorists) in order to gather intelligence. There is also support for making it easier to obtain wiretap and eavesdropping approval from the courts in order to track the doings of suspicious persons.

Bob and his co-host didn't blink an eye at this news. Their lack of comment seems to reflect tacit willingness to accept Congress' apparent intent to erode individual rights as a necessary cost of taking care of business with the immediacy that Bush's approval polls seem to warrant. Granted, this aspect of the story pales in comparison to the carnage wrought upon the nation as a result of Tuesday's horrific tragedy, but if the proposals to "put an asterisk next to the Bill of Rights" are allowed to come to pass, in one sense the terrorists will have already won.


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Sep 01 - 01:55 PM

- I mean, how do we expect to deal with natives of other cultures if we make them do everything in a foreign language, rather than meeting them halfway?

I think the US is just following the (bad) examples of others here. In particular Great Britain.


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 18 Sep 01 - 09:33 AM

Amos thanks for the post and most especially thanks to our Czech friend. All the points were well made and thoughtful. I really have little to add. I just ewanted to say thanks. Neil


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: GUEST,Celtic Soul
Date: 18 Sep 01 - 10:22 AM

Sorcha penned: Too true. We don't know what we have. Even the homeless and hungry here have it better than a lot of places. So, what should we do about the guilt? Stop eating? Stop sleeping warm? Walk instead of drive? Will any of this actually HELP someone somewhere else?

I'd have to respectfully disagree here. I think that many in the US *do* know what they have. It is one reason why there are those out there who are willing to die for their neighbors.

I would also like to say that, when you know you have it good, share. Choose a charity, and give regularly. Not just when tragedy hits. I give to a charity that supports and aids children in need. I chose a child roughly my own childs age so that she could have a better chance in the world. My daughter and I have forgone things like cable TV in order to do this. And the end result is that my daughter and I spend more time together, and we were not subjected to the endless stream of horrific images that were on every channel during this recent tragedy. It is every bit worth it, and it is a way to give back when you know you're lucky enough to live in a country where the kinds of misery that exist regularly in other parts of the world only happen here on the rarest of occasions.


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Sep 01 - 03:33 PM

My daughter and I have forgone things like cable TV in order to do this. And the end result is that my daughter and I spend more time together, and we were not subjected to the endless stream of horrific images that were on every channel during this recent tragedy. It is every bit worth it, and it is a way to give back when you know you're lucky enough to live in a country where the kinds of misery that exist regularly in other parts of the world only happen here on the rarest of occasions.

I mean no insult here as I know that the above words are not written as an insult either. I just think that contiuing this attitude will and can only result, in the long term, in more misery happening in other parts of the world. Also to ensure that they will now happen far less rarely in the USA.

Those that rely only on their good luck, will find that this will desert them eventually.

What are the reasons that these "kinds of misery" are so regular in other parts of the world and thankfully still rare in the US? Is it all down to luck?

If you turn the TV back on you may find out. For the sad events that you see images of, still continue...........


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: Kim C
Date: 18 Sep 01 - 04:23 PM

Perhaps we do not choose our ambassadors with great care. I too heard the reports that the CIA has a shortage of translators. If they'll send me to school to learn Arabic and Farsi, I'll sign up right now.


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: GUEST,Linguist
Date: 18 Sep 01 - 04:49 PM

It is true that Americans sent abroad for a multitude of reasons (ranging from diplomacy to warfare to trade) are woefully unprepared in terms of language skills. That is why I am so frustrated by the "English Only" movement that seems damned determined to oppose bilingual programs of all varieties and claim that this is in the country's best interest .


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Subject: RE: Views of America I
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Sep 01 - 04:52 PM

Where the kinds of misery that exist regularly in other parts of the world only happen here on the rarest of occasions.

Or possibly only in some places, largely out of sight.

Read this article from The Observer a few months back, from which this comes. But the depth of poverty in black Mississippi remains, frankly, shocking. The Centres for Disease Control in Atlanta has reported, in the past few months, serious clusters of diabetes, hepatitis and Aids around poor communities, where some 40 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line.

No country is as untouched by poverty and injustice as if thinks it is. Here's a quote from a post in another thread that sums it up better than I think I could. If any good comes out of this, let it be that we begin to work toward becoming the nation that we imagine ourselves to be.


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