March 11, 2007

Big Government Encroaching

Big government knows no bounds. Recently, we've discussed speech codes, forcing a total switch to flourescent lights, in Australia they want people to cut down on showers (unlike France where showers are rare), and now they are coming back to reduced speed limits--this time on the sacred German autobahns where no speed limits exist--all for the environment.

Maybe the E.U. was worried that Germans could invade France before France had time to raise the white flags.

I tell you. It's just the beginning. Big government leftists will keep making up every way they can to tell other people how to live. It's all for the environment...and, oh yes, the children...not for them, of course.

Posted by Woody M. at 04:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 11, 2006

The Carnival of German American Relations

blogcarnival.gifOnce again dear readers, it is time for CARNIVAL!!! This is the 5th edition of the Carnival of German American Relations, a carnival started last year at this time from an idea born of Joerg Wolf who, along with two other Fullbright scholars writes Atlantic Review. Joerg and I hosted the first carnival one year ago today. I opened with:

On this date in 1941 Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich declared war on the United States and thus signed it's death warrant. Relationships between our two countries between then and now have had more ups and downs than a roller coaster; the ride has been at times exhilarating, at times terrifying, at times maddening but it has never been boring.

Welcome to the first Carnival of German-American Relations. Willkommen zum ersten Karneval der Deutsch-Amerikanischen Relationen.

And what a ride it has been. This is the, if we are to count exactly, the first edition of the second volume and what is really nice, is this is a carnival that celebrates the two countries with all of their ups and downs in the relationships.

I was born in Germany in 1946 and was there during the Hungarian Revolution as well as in Berlin on 9/11. My ties to Germany are deep and broad. But I'm also a realist. There are as many things that divide these two great democracies as there are things that join them together in a quest for freedom. So, without further ado, let's take a look at some of what the blogosphere is saying about Germany and America. This issue of the Carnival of German American Relations is brought to you by yours truly GM Roper (a nefarious, right-wing, knuckle dragging, Neandertholithic conservative) and the good folk at Too Much Cookies Network who will be writing the Carnival in German.

Our first entry is by my very good friend and fellow Psych Blogger The Assistant Village Idiot. AVI writes about The German American Economic Collapse a post regarding governmental intervention is what may be called by some social welfare by others fostering social dependence. Do people appreciate what they are given, or more what they earn. The old Chinese proverb "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach him to fish and he eat's for a lifetime," would seem to apply.

Oddly enough, or maybe not so, our next entry is an entry from Ralf Goergens writing in Chicago Boyz with an entry stating that Mark Steyn is wrong, that The future doesn't belong to Islam, thank you very much and goes on to explain that demographics are not the whole story. I'm hoping that Ralf is right.

Next up, an entry from our own Joerg Wolf writing in Atlantic Review. Joerg notes that the US and Germany have not done as good a job at training Afghanistanian Police as we would like, and after expenditures of millions of dollars, we cannot say how many police are actually on the job, and where all the equipment has gone. Joerg also has a short piece on Americans being the Friendliest Nation

Next up; George A. Pieler & Jens F. Laurson writing in the International Affairs Forum tell a tale of Merkel's Geopolitical Menage Trois and describe Merkel's problems dealing with both Russia and Poland over energy supplies. This is really a good read.

Terrific reading so far, and I'm not even a third of the way done. Whew!!!

The folk at World Wide Success (Dedicated to your success anywhere in the world) have written a two part post (here is part 1 and here is part 2) and takes a hard look at the successes in the German economy. They note in particular, decisions made by BMW in the 70's are one of the many driving forces (no pun intended) that make this such a great company today.

My good friend and commenter Shah Alexander writing in Global American Discourse has written an excellent article on the NATO Summit at Riga, Latvia. Shah looks at the globalization of NATO no less. Very interesting article with some links that might make you sit up and read further.

Over at Observing Hermann we find Are you riding the Wohlstandwelle yet? What is Wohlstandwelle you ask? Read and discover because Hermann is looking at the uptick in the German economy and asks if the German consumer will finally beging consuming and thus keep the boom going. OH also submitted Lame Duck in which he looks at the comparisons between the Bush Administration and the Merkel Administration while noting the Pelosi has shot herself in the foot. Lastly, OH submitted Remembrance of Things Past regarding the People's Day of Remembrance noting its similarity to our own Veteran's day here in the US and Armistice Day in Great Britain. OH also submitted When Is The Next Wall Coming Down? concerning the walls that provide security but at the same time seperate us. Lastly, OH submits Confusing Symbols a look at the stupidity of a German Court for outlawing a sign crossing out a swastika because

"Swastikas are constitutionally banned symbols in Germany, you see, and according to the judge, when it comes to a crossed-out swastika, in this case anyway, “It is not always so easy to recognize that these symbols are being used against Nazis, especially for foreigners.”

2020 writing at Peace and (explicative deleted) entered "Hey Joe." and states up front that "America has to catch up on human rights and social welfare or they will never be fully accepted as the lead nation of the free world." I'm not sure I agree with that statement, but it proves to be an interesting opening into political discussion.

Omar, writing at my co-host Too Much Cookies Network has an interesting article (in German and his blog appears much better in FireFox 2) on the issue of the newly elected Democratic Representative Keith Ellison taking the oath of office swearing on the Koran. Omar wonders if the Country that espouses freedom of Religion really means that. I wonder if our openness to others too often invites bigotry among our own, and if others do or do not take advantage of that very fact. At any rate, if you read German, this is an interesting and thought provoking post, regardless of which side you think is right.

Next up David Vickery who writes Dialog International (German-American Opinion: Politics and Culture) and whom I don't read anywhere often enough, has a great piece on Dorothy Thompson: Fearless Friend of Free Germany. Thompson was an absolutely amazing woman and David has written a great article on this great woman. Good Job David!

We also have the German Blog written by an American Scot W. Stevenson, USA Erklärt (Explaining the USA) with a submission that takes a look at slogans used by some of the worlds armed forces "Army Strong und die germanischen Plätzchen" and wonders if the German Federal Forces will be forced to use the same recruiting devices. Scot's blog attempts to explain to Germans the hows and whys of being an American. Perhaps through his efforts, we won't come across as the bad guys we are frequently protrayed as.

Next up: A Singer's Life Blog writes about the pulling of Mozart's Idomeneo opera from the stage due to fears it might upset the Muslim community. Idomeneo Censorship in Berlin. This bowing to the sensibility of the Muslim world, because they might "riot" is the height of hypocracy in my view. The reason? Simple, if it shows the head of Muhammad the Muslim's might be offended, but it doesn't seem to matter that the opera also ends with the heads of Jesus and Buddha. Political Correctness gone amuck! A great read in my opinion. Again, this blog appears much better in Firefox!

A German Blog "Che's Warlog" posts "Der Weg Nach Hause" (The Way Home) gives a very moving portrait of his father being a young man in the Hitler Youth and surrendering to the American Forces at the end of World War II and how that memory contrasts with images fostered by the left. If you read German, this one is not to be missed, and if my poor German has not done well by this post, please forgive me.

And last, but far from least Hokeys Blog posts Amerikafeindlichkeit (American Hostility) takes a look at the German-American relationship in a different way than you may think.

Thus endith the 5th edition of the Carnival of German American Relations. I'm proud to have been its host once again and brought to you all the thought provoking articles. And once again, if my poor German has misrendered the German entries, please accept my apology. This is GM Roper, signing off.

Posted by GM Roper at 11:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

September 25, 2006

Dear Mrs. Merkel - An Open Letter To The Chancellor Of Germany

The lady at the left with the kindly eyes and the "grandmotherly" concern that seems to infuse her face is Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany. Mrs. Merkel has joined a very select few, women who head up democracies, freely elected by their peoples. Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher, Golda Maier to name a few and now, to that list add this former physicist now head of one of the leaders of Europe.

Merkel was elected some 10 months ago but has a history of political activity that is more important than her election to the chancellorship.

Dear Mrs. Merkel,
You don't know me, nor will you likely know me, but I am an American born in Germany in 1946. My dad was in the US Army in WWII and was part of the occupation when I was born. In the Fifties, we again lived in Germany and my heart still resides there oft times when I think about my childhood. I'm much older now, nearing retirement and I often think about the relationships between our two countries.

In my childhood, we were close and the needs and aspirations of the Germans were close to the needs and aspirations of the Americans. Freedom being foremost. I was greatly disheartened when the Berlin Wall went up, and I really didn't think it would come down in my lifetime. I thrilled when John Kennedy gave his "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech and in '91 when that awful wall came down, the grin on my face took weeks to dissolve.

Then, something happened; our two countries began to drift farther and farther apart. Our media and the media in Germany took harder and harder stances against each other, our two peoples became more and more distrustful of each other. Germany decided, perhaps, that her best bets lay with the European Union and the policies of the EU. America sort of dithered during the 90's. Then came the crisis in the Balkans and once again, through NATO the two countries had a common cause.

September 11th came and Germany stood with us in our determination to take out the Taliban and continues to have troops in Afghanistan, and for that, I am quite grateful. The US then invaded Iraq with a number of allies and the differences between Germany and the US became more important than our similarities. I mourn the loss.

When you were elected Chancellor, I again rejoiced and expressed hope that once again, the United States and Germany could find common cause against an implacable foe, the islamofascists and all that that perversion represents. I still have that hope. I understand that many in Germany do not see the threat that I and many of my countrymen do, and I hope that this divide will not keep us apart. I do know that Germany must come to grips with both an increased presence of islamofascists, and must do something regarding its need for "Gastarbeiter." But don't believe that the problem has an easy solution. Germany has allowed Turkish citizens in for a long time, and many of those folk and their children, and their grandchildren are still there, and still "temporary."

There doesn't seem to be anything as permanent as a temporary governmental program does there? At any rate, I'm hoping that Germany can weather the coming storm and continue to prosper.

Consider this in your deliberations regarding the relationship between our two countries, we still have far more that unites us, than we do that divides us.

GM Roper

Posted by GM Roper at 07:35 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Carnival!!!! German American Relations Volume 1, Number 4

The next edition of the Carnival of German American Relations is up and has a great number of articles regarding the relationships between our two countries, past, present and future. This Issue of the Carnival (the 4th) was started in December 2005 by myself and Joerg Wolf who writes at Atlantic Review. You know me, but Joerg too always has provocative things to say.

This issue of the Carnival is hosted by Dialog International and covers posts written in English. some of the excellent articles include "American blogger David Houle sees Berlin as the "city of the future" in his inspirational post, but he is also haunted by the past as he walks around the city." I can identify with his feeling, I love Berlin though I've only been there twice, my memories are indeed Golden; the first time I was there was in the mid 50's with my dad and I was 9 or 10 years old. I remember vividly "Checkpoint Charlie," and was there again on September 11, 2001, a fateful day to be sure.

Read all of the posts picked by Vicker, it's worth your time.

There is also a German blog (with some English picks as well) hosted by Liberale Stimme Online. In all, and even though my German is fairly rusty the pickings are good.

The Next will be on December 11th, catch that one too.

Posted by GM Roper at 06:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 24, 2006

June 24, 1948: The Berlin Airlift

In January, 1948 England and America decided to combine their two sectors in Berlin creating a business zone called Bizonia. The purpose was to assist the Germans in reconstruction, and it was decided that if the German's had a bigger hand in the process, the process would proceed faster.

The Soviets however, were staunchly against the merger, seeing the embryo of a new German state, which they both feared, and which would, given the freedom of the west, soon outclass the Russian efforts in the east. Russian opposition however may have created the German state sooner than anticipated. France, England and America decided in June of '48 that a new German Federal Republic would be established by 1949 at the latest. Stalin was incensed.

Continue reading "June 24, 1948: The Berlin Airlift"
Posted by GM Roper at 08:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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