Ongoings in US as seen from Germany (DailyKos diary from Oct 29th, 2006)

Hi Kossacks!

As people who read my first diary commented so favorably on it I decided to give some sort of update of how the ongoings in the US are received here, inclusing tidbits of information on various topics.
But first, a heartfelt „Thank You!“ to everyone who read my first diary and commented on it! I read every comment and I would have loved to answer to many of the commenters. But if I started to do that, regardless of the interesting discussions that may result, I wouldn’t have much time to do anything else, a luxury I cannot afford  at this point in time.
Anyway, take a look at whats going on here in Germany after the break:

The Michael J. Fox-„controversy“:
In my opinion there is no controversy, just right wing shills who smear a suffering man with ideals.
But the discussion warranted a report in German boulevard/yellow press show „Explosiv – Weekend“ where the ad was shown as well as excerpts of Fox’s interview with Katie Couric and the visuals of Limbaugh mocking Fox on his radio show.
First thing, luckily Limbaugh is unknown here, so the reporter had to explain who he was: „a popular radio host“.
Sadly she did not say right wing radio host which would have been more appropiate.
But he did come across as the jerk he is…
Second, which bothered me a great deal, despite trying to be neutral in reporting, they said regarding stem cell research „…stem cell research which allegedly could provide a cure to diseases like Parkinson.“
That small word „allegedly“ in my opinion casts unnecessarily doubt about the whole research efforts…
Yes, I know, as long as the research hasn’t produced a cure it all IS theoretical, but they could have formulated it another way…just leaving out „allegedly“ would have been much better…
Anyway, as MJF is hugely popular over here, they included a segment of his career and personal life, where they said he was first diagnosed with Parkinson in 1991 and told the public seven years later and has been an advocat of his cause ever, even supporting a republican (Arlen Specter) a few years ago which makes the right wing smear that his intentions are partisan even more ridiculous.

Voting machines in Germany!
As the voting machines are proven to work so flawlessly and secure in the US (that was ironic!!) Germany has begun to use Voting machines in elections, too.
For now they have sneaked them in use for the 2005 elections without any public announcement or reports from the media (which by itself is quite interesting…) but they plan to widen the use in coming elections which is simply scary! Hell, what is so difficult about voting that you need a machine for it?
A goddamn piece of paper with the names of the candidates, a pen and a ballot box have been sufficient and successfully used for how many hundred years now?
Not that I am against progress and new technology. But in the voting process technology, especially computers (which will by design ALWAYS be prone to hacking, manipulation, etc.) has NO PLACE!!!
There already is an open petition from the people to the Bundestag to amend §35 of our voting law, which allows use of electronic voting machines in elections, which everyone can sign online!
Its up since mid-october and already has about 16.000 signers! Again without any reporting in the media!
Honestly I don’t want to have a situation like in the US, where the voting process is simply f*cked up since 2000! But thats where Germany is headed if we don’t do anything against it! Of course those pesky voting machines do not provide any paper trail whatsoever!
The people of the Netherlands, where they also introduced voting machines are vocally rejecting them, too, pointing out the risks with them.
I could write a lot more about that, but I just want to give an overview about somer issues and not discussing them in detail (that would require the space of a book…)

Global Warming: The News here reported that last Thursday wasd the hottest October-Day ON RECORD since people began recording temperatures!!!!
But how did they report it? Not that they sounded alarm bells that something must be done against GW, no, they focussed on talking to people on the streets and how much they liked those warm temperatures that late in the year!
Excuse me while I go and vomit…great journalism, really!
Completely missing the point (where is Al Gore when you need him…)!
If that report was any indication, some german people seem to be just as ignorant of pressing problems as some American people are…

Anyway: The MSM here are much too uncritical in their reporting about the actions of the Bush-Administration! Hell, they even ignored reports of large protests, as Bush was visiting Germany last time!
But I’ll write about the German media another time, if you are interested. For now I’m just saying I’m less than happy how things are going over here on many levels.
Somehow I see Germany as sort of mirroring the US, if not that openly and that great a scale, but right now I don’t think thats a good thing!
Germany has looked up to the US since after WW II as some sort of role model which for a long time was a good thing but in this political climate is poisoning.
The USA of today is a far cry from the US of the fifties, even from the US of the Nineties and regarding the leading role of the US, well, as Bill Maher pointed out so eloquently on his last show, if you are in 53rd place in this, 92nd place in that (and so on), meaning far from the Number 1 spot, you shouldn’t act as if you’re the Number 1!
Neither should other countries continue to follow the US as a role model of excellence in the face of real situation there.
But I digress. The Americanisation of Germany is a topic for yet another diary!

„Auf Wiedersehen!“ for now! I for one am holding my breath (figuratively speaking) until Nov 7th, when I’ll have a looong night following the midterm election as closely as possible in the hope of a Democratic takeover of Congress and maybe the Senate, which would return some sanity to US Policy!

I’m sad that I cannot do more than blogging to help getting Democrats elected (after all, I’m just a concerned foreigner) but the emerging Democratic grass/netroots movement is encouraging! Keep it up and don’t ever let go!

Until next time!

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Steve Palaser ist Freier Journalist & Übersetzer DE - EN, EN - DE Mehr Info unter dem Button "Unser Team" oder bei Google - da er zumindest deutschlandweit der Einzige mit diesem Namen ist! Ein echtes Unikat!

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