Thursday, May 21, 2009

A French Perspective by Frogburger

Frogburger is a Frenchman we met about 2 weeks ago. As we lived in Paris and we're all conservatives, we had a lot in common. Our caring for America as much as we do gives us a lot more in common. So, I've asked him 18 questions, two of which he's answered here, the start of the FROGBURGER CONTINUING SERIES: We hope you enjoy it.

1. What prompted you to leave France in the first place and how old were you then?

I left France in 1999. I was in my twenties and was blessed with a gift from God, for I won the Green Card Lottery in 1998. I then followed the process and passed the final interview at the U.S. Embassy in Paris where I got the precious residency visa.

That day, a dream had come true after years of longing as a teenager who was in love with American sports, including football, and as a young adult who had not much hope for a better future because of the poor economic and social conditions of France. I was getting extremely tired of the pervasiveness of government in my private life, whether it was through extremely high taxes and what we call “social changes”, or through regulations such as the 35-hour workweek.

Since my youth, unemployment has been around 10% on average. When the economy would get better, unemployment numbers would barely improve. Work regulations were so strict that hiring young people was the last thing on any company’s mind—it was too risky since they could not lay them off if necessary. Note that I’m using the past tense but it hasn’t changed since my leaving the country.

You have to understand how inflexible the French job market is and why so many companies have moved their headquarters or offices to countries like Ireland. On average, a worker costs a company 3 times the salary it is paying to him. So for every euro paid, the company must pay 2 additional euros in various taxes and insurances to finance the welfare system. Likewise, the worker has to give between 20 and 25% of his paycheck to the government in healthcare insurance, unemployment insurance and other fees. Those charges, detailed on a 3-page long paycheck, are not the income tax, which comes later. So for every euro paid, the company must pay 2 additional euros. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that all this plagues the economy and prevents companies from hiring people. If they hire them, they usually pay low salaries, likely just above the minimum wage for young graduates. Or they use some contracts with a set duration sending people back to the unemployment line when the contract has expired.

So, in addition to being in love with the American way of life, I wanted to feel free and flee socialism. I could go on and on but this is a blog, right? So it has to be short.

2. What were your first impressions of America?

I moved to DC first and loved it right away even though my first two weeks were very challenging. I had to find a place and the dotcom boom was making it very difficult since all the apartments in DC were rented and I had no credit history or social security number yet.

My first impression was the goodness of the people. Everyone was extremely friendly, positive, accepting and ready to help. Then, once I started working, I definitely loved my environment. The work ethic here is incredible, especially on the East Coast.

Through these last 10 years, I’ve been able to get a better grasp of America. One thing that really struck me is the pioneer mindset. Symbolic of this is the famous “You need to move on” phrase people like to use. To someone coming from France, the past is an important part of our psyche. Moving on doesn’t happen that quickly. So when people got laid off around me and everyone had a positive attitude, including the ones who lost their job, I found that remarkable. In France, people would have likely complained, gone on strike, become aggressive or violent or undermined the company and management. I have never been like that nor have I protested with the leftists or unions in France, but I still had to work on this mental switch. The demise of the dotcoms made me realize the strength of Americans as well as how tough, for a European used to a comfortable welfare system, the American society could be.

Despite this lack of comfort, I noticed how much compassion and decency American people have. I've seen more decency here than in France in relationships at work or between people. Since life is not as easy, people give second and third changes, or are less black and white in their judgment. There's also more generosity here than in France, where the government takes care of everything. I would even say the Frenchman is selfish while the American is individualistic. To me, being individualistic means taking care of oneself or one's family. Being selfish simply means satisfying your needs by taking from others without having to give. The heat wave that killed so many people in France a few summers ago perfectly highlighted this. Instead of worrying for their elders and family members, the French blamed the government for failing at preventing the deaths while they were vacationing in August. I also personally give more money to charities here than in France, not only because I have a lot more disposable income but because this is part of the American spirit of helping the community and choosing the charities you want to help. I’m actually a Big Brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters of L.A, something that I would have never done in France. That is why I get really upset when Obama lectures people or wants to use the government to force people to give back. Because this will eventually backlash.

So my impressions were great. I love the American spirit because it makes people focused on creating a better place for themselves or their loved ones. By having the government take care of everything, on top of destroying the religious aspect of society -- whatever the religion is -- I can safely predict this aspect of America will be destroyed. And my dream will definitely be shattered.

Z: Comments, folks?

73 comments:

WomanHonorThyself said...

nice to hear others views Z..wish we could be more optimistic!

Larry Durham said...

Very interesting. To folks who have lived in hyper socialized Europe, it must be maddening to witness America adopting the same failed plan...along with its inflation, unemployment, and capitulation to radical Islam.

A shattered dream indeed.

Ducky's here said...

I’m actually a Big Brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters of L.A, something that I would have never done in France.

---------------------------

Why not?

FrogBurger said...

Yes it's killing me. That's why we decided on this series of Q/As.

The last presidential election made me feel what my parents felt in 1981 in France when Mitterrand got elected. Mitterrand is the one who nationalized the banks and other industries and made the economy tank even more.

FrogBurger said...

Why not re Big Brothers Big Sisters?
1/ I never saw any advertising for such organization
2/ The government helps a lot so that didn't occur to me to help someone, very honestly.
3/ I was young(er) at the time

FrogBurger said...

More on the why b.c I don't want to be seen as the bad guy.

In France, not a lot of people are involved in charities. I have had more friends involved in charities in the US than I've had members of my family or French friends involved there.

Again everyone expects the government to take care of all the problems from the youth problems to the elders. So everybody is desensitized.

It is more noble and virtuous to have a system that compels individuals to be involved to work for the community because they want to than a government that forces you to do so. When the government forces you to do so, the value of your act and involvement is gone. That's what happens in France.

And I like the fact that the US changed me in a good way.

Conclusion: capitalism makes people more generous and charitable. Not Obama's socialo-fascism.

Anonymous said...

In my view, the strength of America, from its very beginning, was the immigration of Europeans. They laid the foundation upon which America grew and superseded all other nations in economic strength. This doesn’t at all diminish the contributions of people from other parts of the world, but it does emphasize that it was the hard work and risk-taking of Europeans that created conditions that drew in immigrants from other places.

We must acknowledge that the American pioneering spirit was in fact a unique European strength. Go out, explore, conquer, settle, make prosperous. So when we look at these marvelous Europeans, we must admire them for their courage; it began with a psychological acceptance of the challenge of America. People, who lacked these same attributes stayed behind, accepted their lot; their acquiescence of the status quo brought forth and nurtured tyrants.

I am proud of Frogburger (even if I don’t know what that is) for his courage and determination. I welcome him and encourage his contribution making America an even better place to live, raise children, and make his fortune; it is a process that begins and will be sustained through our traditional conservative principles, rather than the socialist tripe that he and so many others left behind.

Bravo!

Mustang

FrogBurger said...

Beautiful comment Mustang. You're right that the ones who didn't want to take risks remained and that explains their current situation and why America had to come save our butts in WW2 and WW1, which Obama forgets to mention when he says America has issues.

A FrogBurger is a French background squeezed into 2 very American hamburger buns. I love burgers! :)

Deborah on the Bayside said...

France's loss, our gain.

You're right - when "the government" (or any impersonal monolith) does it, we lose. Lose in connection to our fellow citizens, in self-worth gained giving to others, in a sense of ownership, stewardship and responsibility. We don't quite grow up.

Thanks, FrogB, for a beautiful story.

The Merry Widow said...

A typical American outlook!
All that optimism probably drove the europeans crazy! LOL!

Welcome to the states, FB! Sorry you had to arrive at such a time.

tmw

beamish said...

Welcome to America.

You could the 21st Century Alexis De Tocqueville.

:)

Anonymous said...

I pray his dreams as love of America won't be shattered. Unfortunately, right now is a time when many of us who have been happy and loved this country, are very, very concern about where this new Liberal government is taking us. And, I think even the most negative of us, didn't expect the beginning roll of socialism to be enacted so quickly.I am very afraid for the country I love. bms

JINGOIST said...

All I can say is WELCOME home Frogburger! All people who yearn for freedom should come to America, and VOTE REPUBLICAN to get rid of our damned collectivists.

Z said...

Thanks for your welcome to our French Conservative.

Beamish, you said "You could be the 21st Century Alexis De Tocqueville."

Absolutely true!!

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

America learns naught from history.

This is what I call "Historical Alzheimers."

Perhaps even "History Goggles."

That this country might be even the remotest or slightest increment higher than ANOTHER country???

That just CAN'T be.

BZ

lovelyprism said...

I like this very much. As you know I love love loved Paris and just about everything about it. But I was only there for a week. This is a very interesting perspective.

Z said...

prism; thanks! Frogburger will be back in a few days, I hope! (get writing, Frogburger!xxx)

BZ..I said that the other day, too...we just DO NOT learn from history. And, you know what they say about that.

Deborah "France's lost, our gain" well said!

TMW...optimism is something America needs MORE of. Who ever thought we'd have to say that!?

Mustang: I'm proud to present a French point of view we don't hear often but IS THERE, TRUST me.

FJ said...

My daughter just got back from her "study abroad" semester in Paris Tuesday morning. I'm looking forward to getting a debrief this weekend.

mksviews said...

I can relate to what he is talking about. We in Australia are better off than the French, but socialism does still interfere in our lives. He is right about the sense of charity being lesser outside America. You folks give more in blood and treasure than anyone else.

We Aussies do give a lot of money to charity, but we are hindered by the government taxing the tripe out of us. They do this to provide us services that we don't want to use because of the poor standards. We can't give as much to charity as we'd like to because even though the state promises to look after us, it's all bullsh*t. We have to scrimp and save for when we're old and dying.

If you look carefully, you'll see people have to raise money for hospitals, for schools, for pensioners, for the homeless, for just about everything when we're already paying the state to take care of all this.

We have the utopia that is socialism and yet we pay more for cars, for homes, for land, food, lights, taxes etc than you folks in America. And we can only dream of the freedoms you have there.

FrogBurger said...

FJ, looking forward to the debrief. But she only studied there and didn't try to find a job ;-) My years in college were great in France. Once out, it was a different story

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

Here's an interesting post script to comments Frogburger made about charity. In Canada, the regions with the lowest incomes are by far and away the biggest financial contributors to charities, and the strongest human capital contributors to the Armed Forces.

When life is made too easy, and the government is the entity that has created the ease, folks tend to settle down, look inward, and adopt the view that problems will be taken care of by someone else.

Like Australia, Canada has travelled far down the socialist road, but not as far as the journey taken by France. I hope the brakes are applied before it's too late.

Z said...

Frogburger; I think I hinted at the glorious life we were privileged to live in Paris. But, though we lived in the 16th, it was clear many sections of Paris were NOT as marvelous and the life of those who had to work hard is very difficult; very crowded Metro, lots of walking in the rain, very tiny living quarters in not-so-nice areas (though I thought EVERY area had its beauty, a lot of apts are VERY old and cold and drafty, etc..) The strikes were HORRIBLE and affected everyone.....no garbage pick up for WEEKS! Strikes where firemen parked their trucks across the oncoming traffic on the freeways! Horrible.
But, it was STILL Paris, as we used to say!!

biggirlpants said...

fb, how wonderful for you to participate in this series with z and mr. z. it is refreshing to "hear" your observations on america. your observations are in keeping with the observations of most of the exchanges students we've had over the years - but not all. unfortunately many decide what they are going to see and experience before they ever get here. although, to be fair, many americans do the same when they go to europe.

i will say, i'm glad your impressions of d.c. were so good - i come from that area originally and i miss it so. i do find the people in all of the country - but especially at "home" to be overtly friendly and caring.

paris is STILL paris, z - too true. it's just not - for the most part - the storybook existance that many from that beautiful (and in turns awful) city would have others believe...

Z said...

Thanks, Heidianne..there's my point made....many more Europeans feel like we do about America than we think.

As for Paris, oh yes it is! Living there in the 16th was the storybook life I'd go back to yesterday if I could. BUT, you're right in suggesting that there are 'awful' parts of Paris. Still beautiful in their own way, but awful in many other ways. Still, those more 'awful' neighborhoods WERE where we went for the best couscous in Europe (until after 9/11, of course)
I loved living there SO much that not going back as a visitor wouldn't bother me much at all. It would NEVER EVER be the same as living there. I often think that, when/if we DO go back at all, I'd just get into our apartment building and sit on the bottom step for about a day and just reminisce...sighing as I did when I lived there, in pure joy.....it was THAT GOOD. :-(

still..i'm here now. Life is good..the pool's glistening, the sun shines and, in SOME ways, this still IS my wonderful America. some ways.

Ducky's here said...

The fact that US unemployment might now exceed Europe's isn't especially notable, but the idea that the European social safety net might be a superior means of stabilization policy than Fed interest rate adjustments is.

It's quite likely a superior way of smoothing out fluctuations in human welfare at the very least, even though there's no consistent way of measuring that, if not employment and GDP themselves.

Ducky's here said...

z, were you in Paris in '68?

Anonymous said...

Hi FB, You are the quintessential immigrant. You came because you felt a calling to be here. You came because you had a love for a distant land you had never seen, but knew somehow you were compelled to come.

You came to be free to make your own way. This is what so many of us have experienced, and hold close to our hearts.

It's also something those on the left don't seem to understand, and yet you, who did not grow up here, fully understand it.

Too many Americans have taken this freedom for granted, as if it will always be so. Too many think there is such a thing as a different way to impose socialism, or fascism. I think you know there isn't.

The result is always the same, and individual incentive will die a slow death if those now in power succeed.

Let me add to others' comments here in saying you are most welcome and we could use more who believe as you do.

You are more American than too many who are born here, and that is because of their complacency, and ingratitude for this wonderful country.

I look forward to the rest of your story.

Pris

Z said...

Ducky, some of the whole purpose of Frogburger's point is people don't necessarily DESIRE to have all paid for because they're out of a job; some want to rely on themselves.

I lived in Paris only a few years ago for 4 years. I was practically a child in 1968 ("I'll have you know!"! Watch it!:-))

Pris, he IS more American than some in America, isn't he. He actually believes we SHOULD "Err on OUR side" What a novel idea, getting back to 20 years ago!! When we WERE safe because we DID respect our OWN borders, etc. Who the heck wants to respect a country which doesn't even respect itself enough to keep a tight rein on our borders, which actually DISCLOSES top secret memos WITH PICTURES IF POSSIBLE, which would lower our presidential position to squat by meeting with 'equivalents' like dictators and murderers! MAN. Why is that SO tough to understand?

WHEN did AMERICA THE GREAT stop being great in the Left's eyes and WHY DID WE ALLOW OUR PARENTS TO SLEEP AND LAUGH IT OFF when their children started coming home telling them all America was good for was presidents keeping slaves and killing Indians and dropping bombs on unsuspecting friends like the Japanese, right? There, the seeds were sown for a generation which could BRING itself to vote for this DOPE.

FrogBurger said...

Duckys, you amaze me. Smoothing out means 2-digit unemployement all the time, low wages and huge deficits.

Look at the stats on the long run, not when there's a crisis here, and then come back to me.

Also keep in mind that the European economy was "smoothed out" thanks to the growth in the States.

So if everybody becomes socialist, you can say bye-bey to growth. And your job.

Touche!

Zack R said...

Ducky and other Leftists: what I really think is that the US Govt. should install all toddlers in little electronic, self-propelling wheel-chair devices before they have to bother learning to walk. This would save them from the ardure, stress and frustration of learning to walk upright on their own two feet. Such a plan is so humane, so caring, so... Democrat. Don't you think? Frogburger: Loved your statement: "I could go on and on but this is a blog, right? So it has to be short." Clearly, one area here you haven't yet fully explored is the sometimes very verbose world of blogging. More to the point though: absolutely wonderful thoughts and observations you've put out here, and it's a pleasure getting to know you a little. Thanks Z for this inspired series.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

This was a good read!

I hope Frogburger becomes a U.S. citizen, if he hasn't already. Definitely someone I'd like to have as a fellow citizen.


Question for Frogburger:

What do you make of Jean Francois-Revel?

Z said...

Frogburger, "Touche", indeed.

We'll have more from Frogburger on Tuesday. The #3 in the series and a super one, I have to say (thanks, FB!)

Wordsmith...Frogburger is a citizen and that's a great question. I know he'll respond to you.

FrogBurger said...

Yes I am a proud citizen. I shed a couple of tears at the ceremony :)

I haven't read Revel's books but I read a couple of his articles on Le Point's website. I really like what I read but I must admit I don't have enough knowledge of his books to elaborate more. I tend to read books in English and haven't read a whole French book since I left.

All I know is that he's part of the "French Liberals" i.e. the French Conservative since being a Liberal in France means being for free market and individual freedom.

Time for me to go back on Le Point's site and read Revel's columns. Thanks for the reminder!

Always On Watch said...

Looking forward to more of this interview.

The last portion is chilling, especially the last sentence:

By having the government take care of everything, on top of destroying the religious aspect of society -- whatever the religion is -- I can safely predict this aspect of America will be destroyed. And my dream will definitely be shattered.

HoosierArmyMom said...

The very spirit our country was founded on was sane, sound immigration. People came here because they wanted to participate just like FrogBurger has done. Reading this excellent interview and comments tightens my resolve to fight the very policies that made FrogBurger, and so many others over the years, come here and become a citizen. How inspirational it is to hear first hand this story. Thank you FB and Mr. and Mrs. Z.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I don't have enough knowledge of his books to elaborate more. I tend to read books in English and haven't read a whole French book since I left.
I suppose you can read the English translation of Revel's work, then. ;)

My post

Z said...

I didn't know Revel was dead.
Matter of fact, I must be confusing him with someone after having seen his picture at Wordsmith's site because while living in France, I remember hearing a very pro American, a rather young journalist whose name I didn't catch.
When I heard of Revel a few years later, I thought that must have been him. Au contraire.
Very sad he died; seems like every time we get a sane foothold for the Right, it's gone.

psi bond said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
psi bond said...

To paraphrase the gist of Frog’s long answer : Despite the great American spirit I love, America will be destroyed by President Obama.

Apparently, the views of conservatives from abroad who criticize America are welcome, but foreign liberals who criticize are considered pariahs. Which means, uniformity of minds not intellectual independence is supposedly what will save America.

FrogBurger said...

Psi Bond, if you read the series you'll see that it's not only about Obama. I was not happy with everything Bush did as far as big government.

So don't use your leftist spin on it. Again you prove the willingness to simplify or dumb down and have shallow thinking that is typical of lefty thinking.

psi bond said...

If you reread my post, Frog (assuming it hasn't been deleted), you may see that it is concerned with something more than just you or your criticism of Obama.

Of course, many righties who are dissatisfied with everything Obama does, are and were not satisfied with everything Bush did. The difference is that criticism of Bush by righties is tolerated by righties while criticism of Bush from liberals is not. That is to say, the issue I raise is much more complicated than just the fears about Obama that you and many other rightwingers in America have.

FrogBurger said...

There's criticism and there's bashing. That's two different things. For example I don't bash Obama. I don't like his economic policies and his marxist ideas. But I don't bash him.
So yes we can criticize Bush but we don't bash him.
Again you need to define words and not oversimplify and overgeneralize. Otherwise your conclusion is wrong. Simple logic.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

The difference is that criticism of Bush by righties is tolerated by righties while criticism of Bush from liberals is not.Nope. Depends on what the criticism is. Not controlling spending? We agree. Not taking a stronger stance on illegal immigration? Well...don't know many lefties who agree with me on that one.

Z said...

psi bond. you would be deleted were it not for frogbuger's discussion with you. I don't need to review your history here nor do I need to make apologies.

Otherwise, this 'RIGHTIE' would delete your LIBERAL comments this very second as warned.

psi bond said...

“Safely predicting” that America will be destroyed because the government is going to take over everything is not thoughtful criticism, Frog. It is commonplace bashing.

Simple logic requires that words often misused in political discourse need to be defined. Although Marxism has an explicit definition in political science, it is most often used incorrectly as calculated emotionally-laden language to smear as Marxist ideas those economic ideas that rightwingers dislike, no matter how long they have been a historical part of our system.

My post was concerned with well-intended criticism, not with the unrestrained ideological posturing with which, oversimplifying, you try to berate, conflate, and obfuscate it.

psi bond said...

Nope. Depends on what the criticism is. Not controlling spending? We agree. Not taking a stronger stance on illegal immigration? Well...don't know many lefties who agree with me on that one.

Nope, The Wordsmith: In my experience, rightwingers disagree with liberals who are saying the same thing as they are saying because liberals are saying it for a different reason.

psi bond said...

I think you deleted the post three times before Frog responded to it. Thanks, Z, for not deleting it again.

FrogBurger said...

Another example of spin. Bashing is saying "Bush is an idiot, Palin is a c--t" or else. Saying the foundations of America will be destroyed through socialism principles is not bashing. It's an opinion you may not agree with but it is an opinion.

Again the left and its fascistic tendencies I will elaborate in the next post.

About Marxism: it's about seeing society and economy as a dominant-exploited angle with a class warefare So yes Obama is a Marxist.

Go ahead and debate me. I went to school and studied political science in a great college, where most of my teachers were left wingers so I'm ready for it.

Marx, Bourdieu and all the psychology of victimhood thinkers.

FrogBurger said...

Overall I am amazed of lefty thinking. Instead of bringing up valid points, based upon facts and proofs, they take you stuff, make you say something you haven't necessarily said and spin words.

It's incredible to what extent intellectual laziness and dishonesty, and shallow thinking go.

No wonder this country is going down the tube with this kind of thought process. (In this case it is indeed bashing.)

beamish said...

FrogBurger,

I look forward to your views on leftist ideologies / philosophies.

I'm impressed that you identified fascism correctly as a leftist ideology.

psi bond said...

Another example of spin. Bashing is saying "Bush is an idiot, Palin is a c--t" or else. Saying the foundations of America will be destroyed through socialism principles is not bashing. It's an opinion you may not agree with but it is an opinion.

No, Frog, bashing is not only what you accept as bashing, as fits your self-righteous spin. It can be any unreasoned judgment, including confidently predicting, as you did, that America is going down because everything is going to be under government control. "'Bush is an idiot, Palin is a c--t' or else" is not something I ever said. When you conflate criticism from liberals with that sort of unreasoned declaration, you are setting up a strawman to knock down. I have heard righties say similar things about Obama, that "Obama is an idiot" or "Obama is a traitor" and still worse things about Hillary. Would that be bashing in your book?

Again the left and its fascistic tendencies I will elaborate in the next post.

That the liberal left is Marxist and/or fascist is typical rightwing spin and commonplace bashing. I've heard all of those wild ahistorical allegations before.

About Marxism: it's about seeing society and economy as a dominant-exploited angle with a class warefare [sic] So yes Obama is a Marxist.

Bashing Obama as a Marxist is standard extremist spin that we hear constantly from the right. In trying to give some sort of definition for the Marxism you brought up, your English becomes a little hard for me to decipher: "dominant-exploited angle"? Qu'est-ce que c'est que ça? We don't usually hear such terms in serious mainstream political discourse.

psi bond said...

You seem to believe, Frog, that organizations like Big Briothers Big Sisters are unique to America. The fact is the mentoring organization Big Briothers Big Sisters is not only an American phenomenon. It has operations in twelve countries, including Bulgaria, Poland, Russia, Ireland, and the Netherlands.

Mentoring, which began with the tutoring of young males in Ancient Greece, is present in countries such as France, Spain, Greece and Italy since the 1990s, according to Wikipedia.

beamish said...

PsiBond,

That the liberal left is Marxist and/or fascist is typical rightwing spin and commonplace bashing. I've heard all of those wild ahistorical allegations before."The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened." - Norman Thomas, 6 time Socialist Party candidate for President

beamish said...

Asked why he did not run for President a seventh time in 1952, perennial Socialist Party candidate Norman Thomas replied, "The Democratic Party has adopted my entire platform."

psi bond said...

So, beamish, if you put your faith in the words of self-promoting Socialist Party leader Norman Thomas, America ceased being a capitalist country more than fifty years ago. The great free markets, the gorgeous mansions, the powerful corporations, the giants of entrepreneurial ingenuity that we read of in the media are all melted into air; they are the stuff dreams are made on. For all of it is unreal and all of us have been deluded. Except Norman Thomas. Golly geez!

beamish said...

PsiBond,

Because this is a right-wing, conservative blog, I often take for granted that everyone here possesses reading comprehension skills.

But then a leftist like you shows up wanting a coloring book to follow along with.

Norman Thomas stopped running for President and stopped campaigning for the Socialist Party because he felt that the Democratic Party was finally adopting his ideas.

In the 2008 Presidential election, the US Communist Party actually endorsed Barack Obama.

I've taken Z to task several times over her ridiculous belief that a leftist could participate in an intelligent discussion.

Thank you for reinforcing my case to Z.

FrogBurger said...

Psi is right. My English may be a little hard to decipher at times as I'm not a native. And I make a bunch of spelling mistakes if I don't re-read myself 3 times.

But I could very well use a left tactic and take his sarcastic "Qu'est-ce que c'est que ça?" as xenophobic offense.

Amazing how the open minded left becomes personal when you don't agree.

beamish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beamish said...

FrogBurger,

Amazing how the open minded left becomes personal when you don't agree.PsiBond's claims to be seeking "intelligent discussion" will always prove false as he attacks everyone who disagree with him. This is because he's not interested in intelligent debate, at all. And even if he were, his leftism will hamper his efforts, as intellect and leftism never have and can not emerge from the same mind, any more than you could expect a can of ready-to-bake biscuits to design an orbital space station.

He feigns shock that "liberalism" in America is equated with socialism and Obama with Marxism, as if that were just a right-winger's insult to shrug off.

And when corrected and confronted with the fact that the Socialist Party candidate for President for 24 years was satisfied in 1952 that the Democratic Party had taken up the cause of socialism, he pretends (?) to not have a grasp of the English language.

In that regard, it's pretty funny that he attempted to mock you with grammatically incorrect French.

That leftists like PsiBond don't want to deal with the fact that their side are the purveyors of socialism does not change the fact that the Stalinists of the Communist Party USA find Obama more closely aligned with their causes than any other candidate for President.

psi bond said...

The Norman Thomas quotes you give, beamish, are found on the net on thousands of rightwing sites. That is your talking-points coloring book.

Norman Thomas stopped running for President and stopped campaigning for the Socialist Party because he felt that the Democratic Party was finally adopting his ideas.

Thomas, a graduate of Princeton and the Union Theological Seminary, campaigned vigorously for birth control and racial desegregation. Nowadays most Americans are Democrats and most support those positions.

In the 2008 Presidential election, the US Communist Party actually endorsed Barack Obama.

So did Colin Powell. Norman Thomas opposed Communism, as does Powell. Endorsement of a candidate does not logically entail agreement with all the policies of that candidate.

I've taken Z to task several times over her ridiculous belief that a leftist could participate in an intelligent discussion.

Thank you for reconfirming, beamish, what I said about you previously: You see what you expect to see.

psi bond said...

Psi is right. My English may be a little hard to decipher at times as I'm not a native. And I make a bunch of spelling mistakes if I don't re-read myself 3 times.

Vraiment, there's no need for Frog to apologize. I admire anyone who is working hard to learn English. By contrast, relatively few native-born Americans make the effort to speak another language well.

But I could very well use a left tactic and take his sarcastic "Qu'est-ce que c'est que ça?" as xenophobic offense.

Frog's digressive defensiveness leads him into error about me. I love French. But I don't know how to be sarcastic in French. The truth is Qu'est-ce que c'est que ça has always been one of my favorite French phrases, and an appropriate opportunity to use it was hard to resist. I confess to being not a xenophobe but a lifelong Francophile.

Amazing how the open minded left becomes personal when you don't agree.

As I explained above, my intention was not something sarcastically personal. His sarcastic observation about the multiculturalist open-minded left is a hyper-partisan unsustainable generalization that cannot logically be derived from the misperception he has about me.

beamish said...

PsiBond,

The Norman Thomas quotes you give, beamish, are found on the net on thousands of rightwing sites. That is your talking-points coloring book.And rightwing sites are found on the internet, which is found on Earth, the third planet in the Sol System in the Milky Way galaxy.

The whole universe gone mad.

PsiBond, do you even know what logic is?

The quote came from Norman Thomas in 1927. Thomas believed socialism would become palatable to Americans in gradual steps masquerading under the banner of "liberalism." It is irrelevant that Thomas' statements are archived on either left or right wing websites. It's also recorded in books made of paper like his fellow leftists in Nazi Germany liked to burn. So what?

Deal with the quote. You believe that leftists like Obama and yourself are smeared with the label "socialists."

Actual socialists disagree.

Thomas, a graduate of Princeton and the Union Theological Seminary, campaigned vigorously for birth control and racial desegregation. Nowadays most Americans are Democrats and most support those positions.As if that were the only convergences between Thomas' socialism and Democrat politics.

[point of order: On racial desegregation, Republican Presidents had to call out the National Guard a few times before Democrats got the hint. The Civil Rights Act of '64 and '68 were authored by a Republican Senator and passed despite the majority of Democrats in Congress opposing the measures.]

Endorsement of a candidate does not logically entail agreement with all the policies of that candidate.No one said it did. But, when socialists and Communists are out campaigning for Democrats, perhaps you ought to rethink your "calling Democrats socialists is a right-wing smear" crock.

Last I checked, there was no "Republican Socialists" wing in the Republican party.

psi bond said...

The Norman Thomas quotes you give, beamish, are found on the net on thousands of rightwing sites. That is your talking-points coloring book.

And rightwing sites are found on the internet, which is found on Earth, [or in part, above Earth], the third planet in the Sol[ar] System in the Milky Way galaxy. [in the Local Group galaxy cluster, in the Cosmos.]

So is everything else. You digress on a universal scale.

The whole universe gone mad.

Or those trying to obfuscate it have gone wild on a huge scale.

PsiBond, do you even know what logic is?

You haven't shown any valid logic so far, beamish. Do you know what obfuscation is?

The quote came from Norman Thomas in 1927. Thomas believed socialism would become palatable to Americans in gradual steps masquerading under the banner of "liberalism." It is irrelevant that Thomas' statements are archived on either left or right wing websites. It's also recorded in books made of paper like his fellow leftists in Nazi Germany liked to burn. So what?

You are mixed up, beamish. Those on the right have shown an affinity for book burning. For example, the burning of Harry Potter books in America. That these two Norman Thomas quotes are archived on rightwing sites is certainly relevant to why you and others on the right can use them for talking points.

Deal with the quote. You believe that leftists like Obama and yourself are smeared with the label "socialists." Actual socialists disagree.

Members of the Socialist Party are opposed to capitalism, while liberals are not. Socialists also call for the abolition of the death penalty, as does the Catholic Church. But I wouldn't try to conflate the two because of that.

Thomas, a graduate of Princeton and the Union Theological Seminary, campaigned vigorously for birth control and racial desegregation. Nowadays most Americans are Democrats and most support those positions.

As if that were the only convergences between Thomas' socialism and Democrat politics.

Socialist parties are not all in agreement with each other. The Socialist Party in the United States has split into a number of factions. In 1972 one faction initially backed Scoop Jackson, then refused to oppose Richard Nixon after Jackson was defeated in the primaries.

[point of order: On racial desegregation, Republican Presidents had to call out the National Guard a few times before Democrats got the hint. The Civil Rights Act of '64 and '68 were authored by a Republican Senator and passed despite the majority of Democrats in Congress opposing the measures.].

[Point of clarification] In the Eisenhower era and for several decades later, the Republican and Democratic parties were not polarized as they are today between conservatives and liberals, with nonconformists being called RINOs and DINOs. Strom Thurmond (who campaigned for president on the Dixiecrats' platform of segregation in 1948) and quite a few others left the Democratic Party to join the Republican Party after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of '64 and the Voting Rights Act of '65 sponsored and signed into law by Lyndon Johnson, which caused conservatives to brand the Texan president a traitor to the South. In the case of both acts, more Democrats than Republicans voted in favor in the House and Senate. The Democratic holdouts were Southerners. In 2006, during the debate over the extension of the Voting Rights Act for 25 years, some Republican members of Congress objected to renewing the preclearance requirement (the Act's primary enforcement provision), arguing that it represents an overreach of federal power and places unwarranted bureaucratic demands on Southern states that have long since abandoned the discriminatory practices the Act was meant to eradicate.

psi bond said...

Continued

Endorsement of a candidate does not logically entail agreement with all the policies of that candidate.

No one said it did.

Rightwingers have cited such endorsements to suggest that it does.

But, when socialists and Communists are out campaigning for Democrats, perhaps you ought to rethink your "calling Democrats socialists is a right-wing smear" crock.

I don't remember seeing socialists and Communists out campaigning for Democrats.

Michael Steele recently made a suggestion (defeated by the RNC) to demean the Democratic Party by renaming it in their campaign usage as the Democrat Socialist Party.

Last I checked, there was no "Republican Socialists" wing in the Republican party.

Last I checked, the Socialist Party still endures as a separate entity from the Democratic Party, and runs its own non-Democratic candidates in each presidential election.

I note, after checking, that the Socialist Party in America has grown (almost tripling in size) in the early 21st century.

beamish said...

Michael Steele recently made a suggestion (defeated by the RNC) to demean the Democratic Party by renaming it in their campaign usage as the Democrat Socialist Party.I rather like that idea. It's not Michael Steele's or the Republican Party's fault that the Democratic Party's agenda is largely indistinguishable from socialism.

Outside the 51 conservative "Blue Dog Democrats" in the House of Representatives, can you name an officially chartered organization within the Democratic Party that isn't pursuing a populist / progressive socialist agenda or some Clintonian fascistic "third way" triangulated derivative of the same?

How is calling socialists in the Democratic Party what they are demeaning?

beamish said...

PsiBond,

You are mixed up, beamish. Those on the right have shown an affinity for book burning. For example, the burning of Harry Potter books in America.So a church group in the US voluntarily burning their own purchased or donated copies of Harry Potter books is comparable to the systematic forced removal and incineration of books by the leftist government of Nazi Germany.

PsiBond, I'm not kidding when I state plainly that you're an imbecile.

psi bond said...

Michael Steele recently made a suggestion (defeated by the RNC) to demean the Democratic Party by renaming it in their campaign usage as the Democrat Socialist Party.

I rather like that idea. It's not Michael Steele's or the Republican Party's fault that the Democratic Party's agenda is largely indistinguishable from socialism.

beamish, Republicans know well the power of names. They introduced the term 'death tax' to demean the estate tax. They introduced 'enhanced interrogation techniques' to obfuscate torture.
Michael Steele also rather liked the idea of renaming the Democratic Party, since he knew that the name he proposed could have the effect of demeaning Democrats in the public mind.

Outside the 51 conservative "Blue Dog Democrats" in the House of Representatives, can you name an officially chartered organization within the Democratic Party that isn't pursuing a populist / progressive socialist agenda or some Clintonian fascistic "third way" triangulated derivative of the same?

Your loaded question is heavily predicated on assumptions clearly intended to demean the Democratic Party. For example, the insinuation of an equivalence between progressivism or populism and socialism, and the use of the term "fascistic" to describe Clinton's policies. In contemporary political discourse, 'fascistic' is not a reference to the ideologies of Mussolini or Hitler, but rather refers to a politician one unambiguously wishes to demean with unsavory terms. In immoderate posts, it has been promiscuously applied to both Democratic and Republican politicians. But in thoughtful analyses of U.S. politics, it does not occur. Even the conservative All Stars on Fox News’s Special Report do not use 'fascistic' when speaking of Democrats. Nonetheless, conservative polemicists who revise history to equate liberalism with fascism are heroes to rightwingers hungry for anything they can use to demean liberals.

How is calling socialists in the Democratic Party what they are demeaning?

To put it as simply as I can: Because, the Democratic Party platform is not opposed to capitalism and free markets, and the equivalence of the two parties that it insinuates is partisan-driven and misleading.

psi bond said...

So a church group in the US voluntarily burning their own purchased or donated copies of Harry Potter books is comparable to the systematic forced removal and incineration of books by the leftist government of Nazi Germany.

Rightwingers burning books in America that they find objectionable is similar to book burnings of objectionable books by the rightist government of Nazi Germany. Liberals deplore book burnings.

PsiBond, I'm not kidding when I state plainly that you're an imbecile.

I don't doubt you are serious in your derangement syndrome, beamish.

beamish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beamish said...

PsiBond,

The government of Nazi Germany was a leftist entity. "Racial hygiene" laws, eugenics, public health mandates, government confiscation and redistribution of private property (ask a Holocaust survivor) and other hallmarks of American leftist ideologies in the 1920s and 1930s were realized in Nazi Germany.

It is historically defensible and factually correct to include Hitler and Nazi Germany with Mussolini, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro and other leftist mass murderers.

Your equating a church group's voluntary burning of their own copies of Harry Potter to the leftist Nazi German government's house-to-house, library-to-library forced confiscation and incineration of forbidden literature is merely further evidence for the idea that leftists lack the capacity for rational thought.

See you at the next WTO anti-globalization leftist window-smashing Kristallnacht, lefty.

beamish said...

"There is more that binds us to Bolshevism that separates us from it...I have given orders that...Communists are to be recruited into the party at once. The petite bourgeois Social Democrat and the trade union boss will never make a Nazi, but the communist always will" - Adolf Hitler, 20th Century German labor activist

psi bond said...

Not surprisingly, Hitler was a liar who used one political party to gain absolute dictatorial power, then he destroyed the party that got him there, and developed his own antithetical ideology on the model of Mein Kampf, which was published previously. Many of those on the left ended up in the extermination camps.

When a cheese goes putrid, it becomes limburger, and some people like it, smell and all. When the capitalist state starts to decay, it goes fascist.

-- Mike Gold (pseudonym for Itzok Isaac Granich), lifelong Communist and editor of New Masses, an early 20th century Marxist publication

psi bond said...

The government of Nazi Germany was a leftist entity. "Racial hygiene" laws, eugenics, public health mandates, government confiscation and redistribution of private property (ask a Holocaust survivor) and other hallmarks of American leftist ideologies in the 1920s and 1930s were realized in Nazi Germany.

In a Cartesian coordinate system plotting affinity for nationalization on the abscissa (x-axis) against individual liberty on the ordinate axis (y-axis), Nazism is found in the fourth quadrant (that is, on the right, in the southeast quadrant), with the least nationalization and minimal individual liberty. There was no redistribution of private property for validated German citizens, just ask the German industrialists. Racial purification is characteristic of authoritarian rightist governments. By contrast, liberals believe all individuals are created with equal political rights. Far rightwing groups in America such as the white supremacists and the Neo-Nazis dream of completing Hitler's program.

It is historically defensible and factually correct to include Hitler and Nazi Germany with Mussolini, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro and other leftist mass murderers.

That is your Stalinist role model talking through you, beamish. Stalin strategically sought to confuse the boundaries between ideologies on the left and the right.

Your equating a church group's voluntary burning of their own copies of Harry Potter to the leftist Nazi German government's house-to-house, library-to-library forced confiscation and incineration of forbidden literature is merely further evidence for the idea that leftists lack the capacity for rational thought.

The degree of methodicalness may necessarily differ for church groups and rightist authoritarian governments, but the desire to suppress forbidden ideas is identical. Liberals staunchly oppose such suppression.

See you at the next WTO anti-globalization leftist window-smashing Kristallnacht, lefty.

I know I can find you at the next teabaggers' protest march, beamish, implementing Stalin's strategy.