Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Sometimes sorry to be an American.

by wchurchill Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 06:56:02 AM EST

Maybe this is to personal to post, but here it goes.  I came to ET, recruited by Jerome, from Daily Koz (under a different posting name--I like the wchurchill name and had not thought of it when I signed up for Daily Koz).  But the vitriol at Daily Koz was something I wasn't ready for.  I had just lost a close member of my family to cancer, very close, and i found the tone of DK difficult.  I seem to go back to DK every 6 months or so, and did again tonight, and found this comment in a diary  (and maybe I should preface this that Tony Snow is Bush's press secretary, formerly a Fox TV news anchor, who seemingly had fought off cancer of the kidney, is a 50ish year old guy that I think was a respected member of the press prior to accepting the press secretary job--and also just a person with a family):

I don't care about Tony Snow.  At all.  And I'm not going to pretend I do just so I can prove a larger point to the wingnut base of racists and hate-mongers.  

So no, I'm not going to pray for Tony Snow.  I'm sorry to hear he has cancer, and that's about it.  Other than that, I'm not going to give that lying scumbag another thought.

There are lots of people in this world with cancer.  There are people dying in Iraq right now because Tony Snow has helped enable this ridiculous "surge" and spends every day lying to people that we need to give this plan "more time."

This doesn't mean I'm happy Tony Snow has cancer.  I'm not.  I'm just not praying for him.

I know the lack of compassion may hit me harder than others.  But it was a reminder for me as to how wonderful it was to find ET, thanks jerome, and find a different, more thoughtful, logical format.  And I know that many of you have great respect for DK.  But for me this is a sad reminder of where we are as Americans, or certainly where Daily Koz is.

those of you who have read my comments must know how hard it is to write the title, "sometimes sorry to be an American".  But obviously we are having our troubles. And anger spills over in some horrible ways, where the compassion for individuals,,,,,,.

(And it reminds me that my comments at times have shown too much acrimony, I think, hope, nothing like this, but--sorry about that.)


Display:
Thanks for your diary. Personally, I think it is more reflective of where America is at right now. Just like Katie Couric grilling the Edward's about their decision to keep campaigning (even though Mrs. Edwards has breast cancer)...when in fact Couric worked while her husband died of cancer a few years back (and didn't mention that), but made it seem like they were wrong for their very personal decision. Politics before compassion...or even empathy...seems to be a phase America is in right now. Sad & painful. I can only hope it passes...

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 07:49:07 AM EST
There was another diary on DKos that was very conciliatory.

Remember that there's a lot of rage at what the administration's done, and Snow is one of the most visible faces. This, plus the recent treatment of Elizabeth Edwards, essentially telling her to just drop everything and sit around waiting for the end, is probably going to push a lot of people into rudeness.

It can be hard to take. But these are contentious times, and as difficult as it is, some of this you're going to have to shrug off. It is hard for me too, so I can say I understand what you're feeling. but you'll find rude people like this everywhere-- Americans are just a little more open about it all.

As DKos has grown (my ID is in the 40,000s, and that's considered an old-timer's number!), so has the range of opinions. Even Markos is subject to a lot of insults now. I too am having trouble with many of the comments and restrict what I read there to certain topics because I know the comments will stay within a certain level of civility.

Eurotrib has an advantage in that we all have to be careful with our comments due to simple language issues. This keeps most comments relatively polite.

(I'm being a sleep-deprived American and posting waaaay too late. @#%!#! insomnia. I'll check in tomorrow.)

by lychee on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 07:52:07 AM EST
Oh wow, I think I just insulted everyone here in one paragraph. When I wrote the thing about language, I was thinking of the item in the ETiquette that says to not take offense at something because whoever posted it may not be aware of the meaning because they may not be posting in their first language. If I insulted anyone, sorry (although I am a Sagittarius, and "Foot in Mouth" is our specialty).

I need sleep....

by lychee on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 08:34:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I understood immediately what you meant, lychee.  I think everybody else will, too, so no worries.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 08:47:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks, Drew.
by lychee on Fri Mar 30th, 2007 at 10:36:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why do you write Koz instead of Kos? What about ellypses with commas instead of dots?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 08:02:27 AM EST
On the quoted part, is the "I'm just not praying for him" part that you find lacking in compassion?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 08:05:29 AM EST
Others have gone into details as to why they don't see anything offensive in the other parts, and me neither.

Though Matt explained the context of that comment, I will deviate from the general tenor and say that this part sounded objectionable without that conext.

I am not a religious person, and can't do much with the concept of prayer, but I do tend to hold the standard of coherence against the religious. In this case, as far as I understand the New Testament, Christians would be obliged to have compassion for everyone, including sinners. So had this "I'm just not praying for him" been just an off-hand comment, or even if it isn't but the poster is religious, s/he would be/is a hypocrite in my eyes.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 04:26:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am rather ignorant on religious matters, but I assume that "praying for x" does not necessarily mean actively saying a prair for that person? Or does it?

I tend to read "praying for x" as more of a statement of good will, i.e. "hoping things will turn out alright for x". And if that is the case "I'm just not praying for him" turns into "I'm just not hoping things will turn out alright for him". And that is a fairly strong remark, and when not turning out alright equals dies of cancer...

But then this is all based on an assumption.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 05:37:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have to say that I'm a fan of Tony Snow.  (Yes, I said that.)  He used to be a frequent guest on Bill Maher's show, and he was always a blast to watch.  He's got a great sense of humor, and he was one of very few conservatives who was actually able to make some decent points.  Does it bother me that he's George W. Bush's press secretary?  Yes.  Do I find many of his views to be moronic?  Yes.

But, his day-job aside, that comment was disgusting.  He's no less a human being than anybody on DailyKos, and it's sad to see that talk from someone who is allegedly a member of the more englightened and compassionate party.

We're better than that.

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

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 08:45:43 AM EST
Lord Haw Haw.  If Tony Snow was not willing to stand up and lie (I include spin, evasion of the question, half truths etc in lying) his ass off every day to cover for GWB's band of incompetent cronies he might garner more sympathy.  If he was just a conservative that people disagreed with in a fair minded debate it would be different.

Maybe it's not nice to not care.  And perhaps not caring in silence is a better approach.

by HiD on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 05:42:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Huh? I don't get it. That comment was pretty mild. I have said much, much worse things about this administration and what I would like to see happen to them. (not online, I save my true wrath for live conversations) In fact, I agree with this guy.

Tony Snow? Cancer? Buh huh for him. I bet he has health insurance that will pay for treatment. Which is more than can be said for a lot of Americans, and which is due to policies that he supports. He should count himself lucky to at least be in the segment of the population that gets regular checkups to detect problems early, and coverage that gets him the proper care.

Yeah, my compassion has definite limits. This is one of them.

by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 08:56:04 AM EST
a respected member of the press

I don't know about that. What I heard from the guy prior to his becoming press secretary was pretty much straight out of the Fox News School of Journalism. The running joke right after Snow became press secretary was that the Bush administration likes to promote from within.

The first thing I thought when I heard his cancer had returned was "oh, poor guy!" Not that I like the guy or agree with anything the guy stands for, but I don't wish ill on people. Someone (the ETrib contributor) raises an important point though: not everyone has access to the excellent health care he does, and the policies he advocates do nothing to repair that situation (quite the opposite, in fact). That's not irrelevant.

I don't think that comment is particularly American though (nor, to be honest, particularly harsh). Saying stuff on the Internet in a less than sensitive manner is an international phenomenon. Heck, I just realised I took a potshot at the guy at the beginning of this very comment.

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

by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 09:16:06 AM EST
He may have been a respected member of the press before going to work for the Bush I administration, after which he went to FOX before returning to the Bush II administration.

So, I suppose you're right on the "promoted from within" bit and he definitely used the revolving door twice, but wc might also be right on the "former respected member of the press".

See wiki: Tony Snow's Early Career.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 09:21:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Beyond health care, I also wanted to say that "just a person with a family" also applies to Herr G... but then I thought Godwyn has too much power in this thread.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 09:31:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You know, I've read this diary a couple of times and I find it hard to relate to.

I don't care that Tony Snow has cancer at all either. Sad for him, his family and friends, but it's no more to me than almost all the other millions of people discovering that there's something awful wrong with them.  I don't care that other celebritities get cancer either.  I have no connection to them: they're not in my community and the details of their lives are something I'm indifferent about. Why should I care, except in a very general I-wish-noone-got-cancer sort of way, about Tony Snow in particular? Were I an American, I don't see why it should mean that I should forget that he is a paid liar justifying some of the most appalling things in my name.

I care that Steve Gilliard is in  a serious condition in hospital, but that's because he's someone I know slightly, I have links to him. He's part of my community, not a random stranger on my computer screen.

I don't see anything offensive in what you quote: I can see how it might tap into your feelings though.

I, of course, don't pray for anyone.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 09:51:05 AM EST


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 10:24:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For me it's even worse, I had to wonder how it is possible that this comment on Daily Kos is the most shameful thing "for wc 'as an american'" in recent times.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 10:31:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's something very strange about the value they seem to place on civility in politics in the US. At least for the left: apparently it's not a rule that applies to the right.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 10:43:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Dems still don't know what hit them in 2000 (and keeps hitting them since), they seem to think elections are gentlemen's games, and that all that needs to happen is that Bush needs to serve his full term and everything will be back to normal.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 10:50:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Dems are no longer part of "the good guys" is what happened.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 11:01:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess that explains the comment that so shocked wc, then.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 11:07:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because it related to a very personal and emotional experience of his.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 12:52:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That doesn't explain the 'as an American'.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 06:47:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure it does. We all have stronger reactions to the deaths of people we know and care about vs. those we have never met, and wc had those feelings retriggered by Snow's cancer. This has led to some introspection on his part demonstrated by this diary. I get the impression that you want WC to be more upset about the many people killed in Iraq than his deceased family member, or, to put it another way, to have his emotions driven by his intellectual side vs. the other way around. Humans don't work that way.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 08:55:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure it does. We all have stronger reactions to the deaths of people we know and care about vs. those we have never met, and wc had those feelings retriggered by Snow's cancer.

Is the "We" here some universal American we?

Are you saying that Americans are somehow different than everyone else on the planet in that Americans can channel empathy towards their fellow citizens, whereas no one else can?

You're losing me here.

And I don't think anyone directly brought up Irak, and I see in your doing so a bit of misplaced defensiveness. Let's get this straight - Tony Snow epitomizes the social darwinism of the ruling class in America, a philosophy that Americans have rallied behind for quite some time now. That social darwinism involves poor quality health care, housing, et c., for the poor and downtrodden in America, who certainly don't get the care and sympathy that affluent liberals like WC seem to think Tony Snow merits.

Thinking we should somehow sympathize with Tony Snow, for the simple fact that he is stricken with a disease whose ravages on those of lesser station than he is something to which he is documentably indifferent, is akin to thinking Rasputin deserves pity for being a victim of Court intrigue.

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

by r------ on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 09:27:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you saying that Americans are somehow different than everyone else on the planet in that Americans can channel empathy towards their fellow citizens, whereas no one else can?

No. In fact I often bring up how similar I feel most cultures are, particularly the US/Canada and Western/Northern Europe, an idea that sometimes meets resistance here.

I'm actually shocked by the comments in this diary that are stated similarly to yours. Here is what WC said:

But for me this is a sad reminder of where we are as Americans, or certainly where Daily Koz is.

those of you who have read my comments must know how hard it is to write the title, "sometimes sorry to be an American".  But obviously we are having our troubles. And anger spills over in some horrible ways, where the compassion for individuals,,,,,,.

He's lamenting the state of this country. It's a common theme here - we're lamenting the state of country X constantly. Why is it a problem now? How does this get read as nationalism? I can understand the head scratching over why we should care about Snow, but the American-centric charge has me puzzled.

And I don't think anyone directly brought up Irak, and I see in your doing so a bit of misplaced defensiveness.

It was brought up by DoDo here and it was mentioned in the quoted story that upset WC. In Migeru's comment that I originally replied to he wondered why Snow's cancer of all things was what gave WC pause. I mentioned Iraq because it is at the far end of the spectrum in terms of death, horror, and failure, and in that regard is what you might expect someone that wants less suffering in the world to be given pause by first. I then stated why I think WC was given such pause by what is ultimately "just" one person's suffering, someone with a lot of blood on his hands at that.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 11:55:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I note I didn't brought up Iraq directly to wc but to TBG, and certainly not in the "want WC to be more upset about the many people killed in Iraq than his deceased family member" context.

No. In fact I often bring up how similar I feel most cultures are, particularly the US/Canada and Western/Northern Europe, an idea that sometimes meets resistance here.

I'm actually shocked by the comments in this diary that are stated similarly to yours.

Maybe there is a cultural difference here?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 04:16:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm actually shocked by the comments in this diary that are stated similarly to yours.

Maybe there is a cultural difference here?

The most shocking comments were posted by Americans.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 05:03:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow, thanks for clearing that up.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 12:40:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe there is a cultural difference here?

We're certainly disagreeing on intellectual matters. In terms of how people actually live, I don't see a big difference.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 01:15:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You can't really mean this, can you?

In the US, how many children without access to healthcare (via insurance) does the average American tolerate?

Compare and contrast to the rest of the industrialized world.

Keep in mind that the answer to this is more or less one, statistically-speaking, of life and death. If that isn't a difference in how we live, I'm not sure what is.

We could run down all the other items on the list which detail, in anecdotal terms, what the differential in gini coefficients between the US and most of the rest of the industrialized world expresses in statistical terms.

But I guess if you mean do middle class people in both parts of the world eat the same sorts of food, watch the same television programs, enjoy similar fashions, have similar aesthetic sensibilities and dring the same colors of wine, I suppose you're right - there are more similarities than differences.

Let's lay it on the line, without wanting to provoke unnecessary rancor: the European social model is superior, it is above all more moral, than the social darwinism which obtains in America (and is, alas, quite bipartisan). And indeed, the "intellectual" disagreement of which this is symptomatic is very much an existential disagreement. It isn't simply a figment of Starbucks discussionary imagination.

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

by r------ on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 01:23:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How does this get read as nationalism? I can understand the head scratching over why we should care about Snow, but the American-centric charge has me puzzled.

It didn't get read as nationalism, at least by me. The "as an American" part was quite confusing to me, though. It in fact made no sense to me, and I say that as a (half) American. So I can see where others would be confused as well.

And I'll go further. In my case, there's no head-scratching whatsoever viz Snow. When I see these obsequious  declarations of sympathy, many couched in religious terms, for someone who yesterday was a not particularly admirable adversary, on the part of what bills itself as the left in America, I don't scratch my head, for I understand precisely what is going on. We're seeing well-meaning (but persistently ineffectual) US liberal ideology on display here. Be good, be charitable, kind, reasonable, and tolerant to all, and all will be well. Never mind ideology, after all, we're all Americans.

And guess what? nearing 40 years of no real progress in America.

None.  

So for my part, I see such obsequious displays of affection for a liar, bad faithed lickspittle for the rich and powerful in America as a sign that there's still no there there when it comes to a spine in the American left, and it depresses me.

It (Irak) was brought up by DoDo here and it was mentioned in the quoted story that upset WC. In Migeru's comment that I originally replied to he wondered why Snow's cancer of all things was what gave WC pause. I mentioned Iraq because it is at the far end of the spectrum in terms of death, horror, and failure, and in that regard is what you might expect someone that wants less suffering in the world to be given pause by first.

I think that cancer research in the US costs taxpayers something like $5 billion a year. What is that? A week in Irak, I think.

Aside from that, I'm not sure, personally, how the two are connected, nor did I see a connection in the thread the way you would have it, but all are open to their own interpretations, I suppose.

I then stated why I think WC was given such pause by what is ultimately "just" one person's suffering, someone with a lot of blood on his hands at that.

Understood, well understood. I would simply point out that whatever the reasons, I still find it odd that such a contemptible public figure would be the object of such heartfelt reflection in response to such personal experience.

For my part, that personal experience was quite radicalising, and I prefer to limit my contemplation to, say, children who pass from stage one to stage four cancers, without diagnosis, due to poor access to healthcare in America, and who die needlessly therefrom, which I have seen with my own eyes (as opposed to some lickspittle clown on TV).

When those children start getting the same respect from the TV-gazing American left as Tony Snow, we may actually get somewhere.

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

by r------ on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 07:07:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, in my moral system in which even mass murderers deserve humane treatment and due process, Rasputin deserves some pity for being a victim of Court intrigue.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 04:21:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I generally wait for the tabloids to tell me who deserves sympathy. Much easier than having a moral system.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 04:34:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know, seems to me that due process and pity are logically two separate operations for the purposes of ascribing moral content. One can (and indeed must) give due in order to be moral, but it does not necessarily follow that pity should be felt in all cases.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 06:32:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would think pity forms part of the philosophical basis for due process.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 07:02:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it's "do unto others..."

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 07:12:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
YOu are very likely right, and I confess to having not thought about it overmuch, given the concept of due process has been pretty well reified into something quite separate and (at least in most parts of Europe) worthy of automatic respect and support.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 07:13:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is pity a good feeling? Being "pitiful" or "worthy of pity" is derogatory and "you have my pity" dismissive.

How about compassion? And what good is showing compassion if you're not going to do anything to alleviate suffering? As in "compassionate conservatism". Yes, we get compassion, but no relief.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 07:16:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is what I was getting at.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 12:44:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know, I use "I'm ashamed to be a Finn" frequently (although mostly in jest) whenever some Finn (let's say Tony Halme or Matti Nykänen) does something stupid.
You know, like Nicolas Sarkozy makes me ashamed to be half-Hungarian.

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 05:21:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm more often angry at Spain than ashamed to be Spanish. I also never say "as a Spaniard...".

And you did say "mostly in jest".

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 05:30:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
to be half-Hungarian.

So, are you Ville Valo in disguise? :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 06:27:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, but I do write goth rock ballads and wear make-up on my spare time.

Ville Valo is half-Hungarian too? I didn't know that. Maybe we can join forces and form a swift-boatesque organisation to stop Sarkozy. Half-Hungarian Finns for Truth.


Voiceover: Nicolas Sárközy says his father was born in Hungary. But is he being truthful?

NordicStorm: My mother's from Hungary, and not once, not once! have I heard her mention anyone named Sárközy. I mean, c'mon, there aren't that many people in Hungary, they must have bumped into each other!

VO: If Nicolas Sárközy is of Hungarian descent...then why does he spell his last name 'Sarkozy'? What's the matter little Nicky, ashamed of your past?
Doesn't France deserve better?
(thisadwaspaidforbythehalfhungarianfinnsfortruth)




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

by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 06:51:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL ;-)

You may enjoy this anecdote about the macho-man half of you feels ashamed about.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 07:09:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aah, now see, that story is rather sweet! But then he grew up...

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 07:33:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This summer camp anecdote fits into a picture of Sarko as a momma's boy in his youth, and he over-compensates it at the expense of youths, immigrants or Gypsies and homeless locked up, beaten up or forcefully expelled by police.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 07:59:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Glenn Greenwald wrote a bit about machismo in American politics (from Salon.com, might need to view an ad before reading). Rather akin to Sarko's posing.

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 09:27:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tend to agree ...

My problem might be if the quoted person were openly and happily glorifying in Snow's condition.

But, as well, it is clear how it can tap into the feelings of someone who has dealt with serious cancer.

Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart. NOW!!!

by a siegel (siegeadATgmailIGNORETHISdotPLEASEcom) on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 12:46:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My mother just recently died of cancer, so I very much understand the sensitivity on the issue.

And I also remember her telling me when I was a child "you never wish ill on anyone."

Sadly, this is the what has become of partisanship on both sides, but I still say that DKos (those it does have its moments) is more polite on average than FreeRepublic or RedState. Some of their statements are just horrible.

I also don't think that it means feeling ill at ease with being an American. It means that there are real jerks all over the world just as there are alot of really good people in the world as well.

Sometimes, I am such a Pollyanna. :)

by gradinski chai on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 10:04:54 AM EST
There's a big difference between "I hope Tony Snow gets cancer" and "I don't care that Tony Snow has cancer".
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 10:43:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't get it at all.

You may (you obviously do) disapprove of what is said. But what on earth does it have to do with being American? Or rather, why did you choose to point it up with a title that says you feel sorry to be an American?

Do you mean there's some kind of unwritten law that says Americans have to behave in a particular way to be worthy of the name? And that way includes fulsomely promising prayers for anyone in distress?

You know, you're an ace away from implying this commenter is guilty of un-American behaviour...

It feels very weird to a European.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 11:47:41 AM EST
I feel no special guilt when another American does something I disagree with as opposed to a Nigerian.  

National pride based on nothing but birth and a flag is something I don't much get.

by HiD on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 05:47:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
With respect to Mr Snow - I don't understand why a single exasperated throw-away diary should be considered more shameful to Americans than a predatory health care industry which is currently murdering thousands for profit, or a military establishment which makes lots of noise about 'supporting our troops' but refuses to equip them properly, and pays them so little that their families have to subsist on hand-outs and food stamps.

The US is drowning in horrors at the moment and there's no lack of things to feel ashamed of.

Luckily, dKos diaries are only very rarely among them.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 12:08:31 PM EST
or a military establishment which makes lots of noise about 'supporting our troops' but refuses to equip them properly, and pays them so little that their families have to subsist on hand-outs and food stamps.

Oh, and lest we forget, a military establishment and troops who kill thousands of Iraqis, much more than the health care system in the US.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 04:14:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have never found your diaries to be acrimonious - I think, in a debate, it is good to hear all sides. I didn't think ET was meant to be a back-slapping paradise - I thought it was for exchanges of views, well argued, passionate, and, as far as possible civil. In the way I am always civil with TBG ;-)

There is always this difference between the People and the State. By and large, we Europeans do not automatically equate Americans, as individuals, with those terrible people in Washington DC. We know that a lot of you voted them in - which we find hard to understand - and we might also feel that many of you are blind to the direction the US society has taken. But in the end, people are people.

So just be you - if you disgree with an argument, say so. I personally have read most all of what you have written here - even if I haven't commented. You probably have more readers than you realise ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 02:29:04 PM EST
We know that a lot of you voted them in - which we find hard to understand

49% of us feel the same way.  I still struggle not to whack some of my friends upside the head every time I see them.

by HiD on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 05:49:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But let's be clear here. Tony Snow is no innocent victim.

As one who lost a loved one (my oldest son, to be exact) to cancer not so long ago, as one who saw late diagnoses due to inadequate access to healthcare (and in one case, death from an infinitely curable cancer - Wilm's due to that late diagnosis), as one who saw children in long hospital stays without their parents who needed to work in order to keep their healthcare access and whose places of employ were, shall we say, less than accomodating, and as one who saw first hand the financial distress such illnesses cause (in many cases resulting in bankruptcy, loss of home and worse) in America, I have no pity for a wealthy American like Tony Snow, who in his minority status as a man of wealth, suffered none of these depradations typical of those Americans of more modest means who must endure such hardship.

Wish cancer on anyone? Heaven's no! But if you expect me to, having seens what I've seen, have empathy for a human being who has done his best too make lives more unbearable for the most vulnerable, the least of my brother, I have to say you're asking the wrong person.

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

by r------ on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 02:44:10 PM EST
Sorry about your son, redstar! Loosing one's child must be one of the most terrible experiences.

The situation in the US healthcare you describe is hard to imagine, even though health insurance isn't free in Switzerland, the state helps with does in need.

by Fran on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 02:51:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The diary you quote was a reaction to a No. 1-rated diary on DKos asking everyone to "pray for Tony Snow." I didn't even open up that diary because I found the religiosity and the idea that everyone in the U.S. prays offensive in the extreme. Half the reason I live in New York City and would honestly kill myself before moving anywhere else in this country is that it's the only place in the U.S. where religion doesn't intrude on absolutely every aspect of life.

But compulsory religiosity is only part of what made that original diary so offensive. I also object to the compulsory sentimentality, the idea that anyone (American) who suffers is ipso facto deserving of affection and "good vibes." Tony Snow is certainly not the most evil man in Washington, but he has also never done anything to warrant my affection, let alone my heartfelt (agnostic) prayers.

Here's what troubles me: A few angry posts on dKos make you "sorry to be American" and lead you to decry "the lack of compassion." Meanwhile an unknown number of non-Americans are being tortured and driven mad in prisons all over the world, and Americans have known all about that for three long years. Yet not only do they have no "compassion" for these wretches, they -- or at least some of them, including Mr. Snow -- continue to go to work in support of the sadistic perverts who are keeping the American Gulag running.

As Elizabeth Edwards said recently, "We all die eventually." And most of us die pretty miserable deaths. Sadly, a horrible death is no distinction, and there's very little we can do about it. But we do have the capacity to lessen suffering for the living, and if Americans ever committed themselves to that, I would be very proud indeed.  

 

by Matt in NYC on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 02:57:33 PM EST
country is that it's the only place in the U.S. where religion doesn't intrude on absolutely every aspect of life.

left coast is fine too.

by HiD on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 05:51:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll go with "30 largest metro areas in the country."

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 08:37:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that's a bit hopeful.  Dallas?  Houston?  Atlanta?  Salt Lake?

You find less overt religiosity away from the South and the "heartland".  I think most of the "heart"land is closer to the colon myself.

by HiD on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 01:44:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
SLC is a definite exception. In the other cities there would be no problem avoiding church related influence in your daily life (although this is entirely relative as plenty of our laws are based on and still created according to christian views). I think there is very little difference between the midwestern metropolises and the coastal metropolises on this point (and I've now lived in all three areas). SF and NYC are a definite cut above all others, but not by a large margin.

Your dig on the midwest is uncalled for, by the way. I've lived most of my life in Minneapolis and spent four years in Boston. I found Boston to be significantly more racist, politically corrupt, and conservative (in the resistant to change and backward looking senses) than Minneapolis. For base simplifications of American political views, the urban / rural comparison is infinitely better than the coast / interior state comparison. In fact the latter is just 100% wrong. There are plenty of religious wingnuts here in the Bay Area just like anywhere else.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 02:06:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, the dig was unnecessary.  apols.

though I was thinking of Kansas, OK, GA not the upper midwest where education has been valued more.

In all places it's really just a matter of percentages and whether secular sorts have had the nerve to make the religious keep to their churches where they should be free to worship as they please.  My electricity board actually SUNG the doxology to open their meeting this week.  Couldn't believe it.  Has me a little freaked to be honest.

by HiD on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 04:12:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ya, I was born here 51 years ago.  In light of what has transpired it's only a name, a dead concept.  A place I have tried frequently to call by it's real name Northcomm, the military's name for the North American continent.  It's full of vacuous airheads clinging to concepts long ago abandoned.  Preaching about green yet being the largest enviornmental pigs ever.  Parroting back retarded political pundits coming from Satan worshipping black hooded goat sacrificing pedophiles.  Yes, I am in a vile mood today. And the "left" is no better with their political correctness and bans of people who don't upchuck the approved pablum.

I had to endure a five brownshirt rated "war on terror" supporter on the local Bush apologist radio station on the way home from work.

Yes, I approve of torture, I want to hook the electrodes up to this guy's head, 50,000 volts ought to do it.

by Lasthorseman on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 05:47:12 PM EST
As a Christian theologian I have to say: The funny thing about prayer is - it does not matter how many people pray, one person or two billion the outcome is not dependent on that... - to that extend prayer is just selfish.
by PeWi on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 07:43:46 PM EST
This is very confusing, wc.  I understand your sensitivity about cancer in general because it has deeply affected your life and I don´t wish it on anybody.  

What I don´t understand is attaching normal feelings to someone who is so totally disconnected from feelings that he is a major parasite of society, in the most destructive political regime of "the west".  On the other hand, I read your essays on the most humanly detached, cold, economic policies that deeply affect the lives of millions of people without a blink.  It does not compute.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 08:14:13 PM EST
Thank all of you for your comments.  I really didn't think much about what i wrote, but rather just wrote it,,,and then after some trepidation hit the post button.  

I really didn't think about the comments that would be coming,,,,and I guess I'm as a result quite surprised as to how helpful they have been for me.  Had I thought about that, I don't think I would have thought, or realized, that they would be helpful,,,,,but they have been.

my thoughts were very right brain driven (I think that's the correct side,,,intuitive, emotional side is what I mean).  After reading all of the above several times today, I realize my comments came from three areas of sadness that I have.  One from a somewhat recent personal tragedy, that latest several years.  One from a sadness about the state of America today.  And one from a sadness for the extreme divisiveness that we now have in our country,,,and a loss of compassion and even civility that I perceive around me.

I was not going to comment in the thread because it just didn't feel appropriate to me.  l just didn't want to explain more than I had already said, and it just didn't seem like the kind of thing where one fights one's corner.  But as the day and the comments went on, I realized that I just needed to say thank you.  So, thank you, very much.

by wchurchill on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 09:58:53 PM EST


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