Thank You America!!!

Thank You America!


Thank you America for all the great stuff you have given us. Out of your melting pot has come a plethora of brilliant stuff!


Just on the Music Scene look of what you have given us! You took African Music, English, Irish and Scottish Folk Music, Canadian French, Native American, Mexican Spanish and Italian to create Blues, Country & Western, R&B, Rockabilly, Rock & Roll, Zydeco, Jazz, Folk, Doo-Wop, Soul, Rap, Acid Rock, Country Rock and Cajun.


So thank you for Elmore James, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Slim Harpo, Little Richard, Elvis Presley, Dale Hawkins, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Son House, Robert Johnson, Clifton Chenier, Bessie Smith, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Screaming Jay Hawkins, Ry Cooder, Arthur Alexander, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, the Doors, Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band, Country Joe and the Fish, NWA, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Hank Williams, Big Mama Thornton, J J Cale, Janis Joplin, the Byrds, Jerry Lee Lewis, Sonny Boy Williamson, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Bruce Springsteen, Velvet Underground and hundreds more.


Then we look at all those wondrous films that have poured out of the studios – 2001 – A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Easy Rider, Soylent Green, Woodstock, The Godfather, Platoon, Apocalypse Now and hundreds more.


Then there’s the great literature and brilliant writers – On the Road by the great Jack Kerouac, the poetry of Allen Ginsberg and writing of William Burroughs, the humour and insight of Kurt Vonnegut, social concern of John Steinbeck, the war with Ernest Hemingway and  Norman Mailer, Ken Kesey’s wonderful One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.


We can’t forget the myths of the Wild West, Gangsters, The Vietnam War, the Second World War, the Cowboys and Indians, Prohibition, the various Counter Cultures, Civil Rights, the Civil War, the CIA, Wall Street, Assassinations, Road Trips, the Gun Culture and all the other American Mythology that has fed into Literature, Art, Film and Song.


Then there’s Art – the wondrous Pop-Art with Andy Warhol, or Lichtenstein’s Abstracts. There is a popular, dynamic culture that pervades American Art.


Then the landscape – the wondrous Monument Valley, Death Valley, Mesa Verde, Grand Canyon, Canyon De Chelley, Bryce Canyon, the Redwoods, the Cascades, the Rockies the meteor strike and so many more.


The incredible architecture with the New York Skyline, Golden Gate Bridge, Fallingwater, the Guggenheim and people like Frank Lloyd Wright.


Who can forget American fashion and style from Hawaiian shirts, Zoot suits, Bermuda Shorts and all the great, bold, colourful clothes that pours out of the Black psyche and gangster panache.


I’m not forgetting food! American has taken food from all over the world and popularised it – from German hamburgers and frankfurters, Italian Pizzas and ice-cream, Cajun Jambalaya, Gumbo and shrimps, Jewish knishes, bagels and lox, Barbeques and French fries.


Of course we have to thank America for its military interventions in World War 1 and 2 - a little late but decisive. Without that help the struggle would have gone on much longer.


There must be loads more great contributions to the culture of the world. I’ve only scratched the surface. America may be young but it’s thrown in a great deal of energy and flair and made quite an impact. The hybrid cultures of black, Hispanic, and European have proved extremely fertile.


Thank you for all those great things!!! America has sure made a huge positive difference to my life. Thank you America!


opher goodwin Added Jan 19, 2018 - 1:37pm
And there are some who claim I do not like America and have it in for them. What rubbish. There are things I love about America and things I hate. That's life!
Neil Lock Added Jan 19, 2018 - 1:49pm
Opher: Good to have you back. I was becoming worried for you, after several days' absence from these hallowed pages. But there's a big difference between liking Americans as people, and liking something called "America." I do the first, but not the second.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 19, 2018 - 1:52pm
What the fuck did you drink tonight in order to lick ass ? Jeez, I'm disappointed. I don't deny that the US (NOT "America", shit how many times do I have to repeat that?) has given us Blues (from Africa originally), cheap unhealthy food (McDonalds and stuff), wars (keeps the economy going) and nice cars (admitted, but not encironmental friendly).
And they have shown us that multicultural society doesn't work. Thanks for that, as long as we Europeans dig that. And thanks for Miley Cyrus and Disney and the boobs ban on TV. Thanks for fanatical evangelical priests that are no better than any IS propagating Imam.
I don't know anything I could thank the US for, frankly. It's THEIR country, not ours. I would only thank them for stopping those endless meddlings into other countries' affairs.
And after all: The US is what ? It's a place where OUR people went to. They're still mostly White Europeans, or, as they say, Caucasians, because they don't know that the Caucasus is in Russia and not in Finland or elsewhere.
So - in fact - Americans are simply ex-Europeans who think that they're better than we poor figures are who still stay here.
Dino Manalis Added Jan 19, 2018 - 1:52pm
Thank you, America, for everything!
Stone-Eater Added Jan 19, 2018 - 1:54pm
BTW: I DO like the US. Especially the Baja California. They have good food there LOL
Stone-Eater Added Jan 19, 2018 - 1:59pm
But there's a big difference between liking Americans as people, and liking something called "America." I do the first, but not the second.
I've tried to explain that here for years, but people don't understand the difference.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 19, 2018 - 2:02pm
WTF is that for ? Wanna tell that to a black kid in a Detroit suburb ? 
Hail hail bullshit. It's like people saying that Europe is paradise, all free and easy. Then they come here, see that it ain't the case and say Huh ?
Donna Added Jan 19, 2018 - 2:20pm
Hi Gents..  I live here and am the first to say Love the people, not the Country.  All I see when I think of The USA  is war.. At all costs. 
Sorry  but it is how I feel.  
opher goodwin Added Jan 19, 2018 - 4:43pm
Neil - I've got some great American friends and have always met great people when I've lived in the States. I just wouldn't want to bring up kids there; it's too dangerous.
opher goodwin Added Jan 19, 2018 - 4:46pm
Stone - don't be so cynical. There's lots of good stuff that's come out of the States. You don't have to focus on the bad stuff. I was being positive. There is much that I find good in there. I think I've focussed on all the shit stuff so much it required a bit of balance.
opher goodwin Added Jan 19, 2018 - 4:48pm
Dino - no - certainly not for everything. That would be condoning genocide, war, the arrogance and bragging, the racism, violence and white supremacists, the mad creationists and religious fanatics, the druggies, gangs and ridiculous gun laws. I'm merely condoning and celebrating the good stuff.
opher goodwin Added Jan 19, 2018 - 4:50pm
Stone - I dig what you are saying about the concept of America but it is a place of extremes. There's good stuff there too.
opher goodwin Added Jan 19, 2018 - 4:51pm
Donna - war, arrogance and the obsession with wealth and status is what spoils the good stuff.
Donna Added Jan 19, 2018 - 4:59pm
Opher.. Sadly so true. It's all we see.. Greed and more of the same.. Some day.. I'll see the other side of the world.. See if it is less greedy. More friendly 
opher goodwin Added Jan 19, 2018 - 6:16pm
Donna - it always seems to me, from travelling around the world, that the poorer and less greedy people are the friendlier and more generous they are.
George N Romey Added Jan 19, 2018 - 7:43pm
Donna we live in a very greedy country yet somehow we pretend to be a pious people.
TexasLynn Added Jan 19, 2018 - 11:05pm
Opher, on behalf of America (and her people) ... you're welcome.
Less detailed, but equally sincere...
Thank you (the English) for The Beatles and by extension, (a personal favorite) the Electric Light Orchestra.
Then there is Shakespeare, Dickens, Huxley, Orwell, Tolkien, Lewis, and many others.
And politically, the Magna Carta, Winston Churchill, Margarete Thatcher, and most recently the BREXIT. :)
Also, thank you for holding out for so long during WW2 until we got our $%#@ together.
Nice tribute and good article... you and Stone and Donna and George can now bash the rest unmolested (at least by me). :)
The Burghal Hidage Added Jan 20, 2018 - 2:34am
Is this the right page?  Opher? Did you hit your head while you were away? Oh! er, uhh..... thanks? :)
Flying Junior Added Jan 20, 2018 - 3:25am
I'm afraid I have to disagree on one minor point.  Acid Rock began and ended with Led Zeppelin.  My first trip on Windowpane my guide played Led Zeppelin II right when I was peaking.  When you hear it on acid, it opens up a new level of perception.
But agreed.  The jazz, blues, R&B and Motown thing for me represents the greatest catalog of musical achievement since Bach,
Händel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Mendelssohn.  I watched a documentary on Voyagers I and II last night.  The one and only rock and roll song that they could include on Carl Sagan's, "The Sounds of Earth," 16 2/3 rpm solid gold record was, "Johnnie B. Goode."
They showed a clip of Steve Martin on SNL.  He was holding a fake cover of TIME magazine wherein the aliens from the next galaxy sent us the first message ever received from outer space.
"Send More Chuck Berry."
opher goodwin Added Jan 20, 2018 - 3:52am
George/Donna - that is right. The greed is the ugly part.
opher goodwin Added Jan 20, 2018 - 3:55am
Lynn - thank you. A shared culture has much that is good and worthy of praise. We both have our good sides that we can admire - Thatcher and Brexit is pushing it too far.
opher goodwin Added Jan 20, 2018 - 3:56am
Burger - you are welcome. There are many good things to admire. Sometimes we should acknowledge them and lavish praise.
opher goodwin Added Jan 20, 2018 - 3:57am
Xan - yeah - Bukowski. I knew there'd be a number of important ones I'd miss out.
opher goodwin Added Jan 20, 2018 - 4:03am
FJ - while I love LZ I can't really see them as the epitome of Acid Rock. That for me is the likes of Beefheart, Love, Pink Floyd, Hendrix, Doors, Cream and Country Joe and the Fish.
I reckon Acid opens up the mind to the wonders of all music - particularly the above.
Flying Junior Added Jan 20, 2018 - 4:07am
I think you're right about Captain Beefheart.  Frank Zappa as well.
opher goodwin Added Jan 20, 2018 - 4:42am
FJ - I love Beefheart - just recently seen the Magic Bands farewell tour! They were amazing still - even without Don. FZ is also incredible - We're Only In It For The Money is one of my favourites.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 20, 2018 - 6:44am
Ok. Let's point to the positive things which the US/UK brought the world.
1. Funk (USA)
2. You-can-make-it-if-you-really-want (USA)
3. Spare Ribs (USA)
4. Good entertainment (USA)
5. English became the world language, which makes it easier to do business in other parts of the world (USA)
6. The Magna Carta (UK)
7. Pubs, pool and darts (UK)
8. The Beatles and what came after (UK)
9. British humor (sorry, dear Americans, you can't match that ;-)
10. Ultra-nice cars in the 50's (USA)
Why do I mix the UK and the US ? Because to me the UK is basically the cultural "father" of the US.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 20, 2018 - 6:45am
BTW: Just shed a tear, because we Swiss haven't made it to the top ten of "influencers" LOL
Stone-Eater Added Jan 20, 2018 - 6:56am finish that one - here are my top ten of Americans:
1. George Carlin
2. Charles Bukowski
3. Noam Chomsky
4. Frank Zappa
5. Henry Rollins
6. MLK
7. Stephen King
8. Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay)
9. Rose Parks
10. Richard Dawkins (sorry....a Brit LOL)
What's yours ?
opher goodwin Added Jan 20, 2018 - 6:58am
There you go Stone - that's more the spirit. There are diamonds to be found amid the shit.
opher goodwin Added Jan 20, 2018 - 6:59am
Stone - like your list. I'll have a think about mine.
opher goodwin Added Jan 20, 2018 - 7:05am
Bob Dylan
Don Van Vliet
Frank Zappa
Woody Guthrie
Jack Kerouac
Allen Ginsberg
Martin Luther King
John Steinbeck
Kurt Vonnegut
Phil Ochs
Little Richard
Bo Diddley
Stone-Eater Added Jan 20, 2018 - 7:32am
I don't know all of them, but most are musicians as I see.
opher goodwin Added Jan 20, 2018 - 8:19am
Stone - yes - music is a big influence on my life!
Stone-Eater Added Jan 20, 2018 - 8:44am
I don't know. I'm a halfway musician myself, but it does not occupy the main part of my life. And to me, music is always a mirror of the time people live in. So - when I would have to cite the musicians/groups that I liked in my youth to today it would look like that:
1. Black Sabbath
2. Alice Cooper
3. Hard Meat
4. Yes
5. Genesis
6. Beatles
7. East of Eden
8. King Crimson
9. Slade
10. Max Webster
1. Caligula's Horse
2. Flower Kings
3. Spock's Beard
4. Dream Theater
5. Native Product
6. Sunn O)))
7. Barock Project
8. Between the Buried and Me
10. Beatles LOL
I don't really look for messages in music, for that I have other sources. But as humans change, their taste changes. A standstill in any respect is death to me, And I'm not the kind of guy who survives on nostalgy.
BTW: Being up to date also helps to understand today's kids :-)
opher goodwin Added Jan 20, 2018 - 8:48am
Stone - it was the poetry and social message in the music that had the huge impact on me - hence - Dylan, Roy Harper, Phil Ochs and Woody Guthrie. I was always a words man. Though I do also like the visceral impact of music.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 20, 2018 - 8:49am
BTW: Now I have to figure out which one of the ones I like today are Americans LOL
opher goodwin Added Jan 20, 2018 - 8:52am
Stone - I notice you come in from a very Prog side. I tend towards more Blues, Folk, Psychedelic and Rock.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 20, 2018 - 9:05am
You're completely right :-) I listened to Hard Rock and Heavy Rock for some time, but at one stage that 4/4 tired me LOL
But Blues is my thing. Why ? Because it's EASY to play, 3-5 chords at most, and since I broke my left wrist in 1998 in Mali and couldn't find a hospital to correct it, it's crooked and so I concentrated on solos, not barré chords. I came across Gary Moore back then, his way of playing solos and I thought WOW. That's for me.
I mean I never got as far as him for sure, but I keep trying :-) Slow blues, accentuated notes.
But it's not the music I listen to. I play along in Blues. Progressive Rock/Metal (no growling, please) is my taste now. Or - heavy funk. I'm more the kind of rhythm guy.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 20, 2018 - 9:13am
it was the poetry and social message in the music that had the huge impact on me
You see, I'm not anglophone. So at that time in 1973 I didn't understand more than I Love You. I got my English mostly in Aussie and Canada, and then I was already more than 20 - that was around 1979-1982.
And the musician in me automatically concentrates on the song and the several instruments, so I unconsciously blank out the lyrics - in most cases anyway. There ARE songs where the lyrics caught me, like Alan Parson's "Time". But in that example - the music does perfectly transport the lyrics, and the lyrics are perfectly understandable also for someone who has another mother tongue. 
wsucram15 Added Jan 20, 2018 - 9:27am
most influential Americans?  Are you serious?
George marshall- rebuilt western Europe in his efforts after WWII.
Elvis (although there are many others like Muddy Waters, Buddy Holly in music)
Thurgood Marshall- first black attorney to fight segregation.
Frederick Douglas-then for documenting Americas crimes of slavery and now for being a resident of WH.
Susan B Anthony- womens rights and '''i believe she had a hand in JHU.
Jonas Salk- you know that vaccination that stopped a plaque?
Orville And Wilbur Wright- you know the plane?
Thomas Paine -Americas first radical
James Madison- wrote Constitution and bill of rights
there are much more important ones like Lincoln..Washington..Jefferson..Franklin  but those are undisputed.
wsucram15 Added Jan 20, 2018 - 10:00am
FJ..Acid Rock is subjective..I know lots of younger ppl that would
disagree with you.  Although some of their music is very reminiscent of ours.  They however are into much more elaborate, intense stuff than windowpane.  Which was pretty decent..btw, but  they like to get artsy, stay in groups and discuss ideals philosophically.  Too much for what we did.  I had to do a thesis on it and some of the kids talked about intense conversations and awareness with Jesus, the dead, and going to other dimensions. 
There is a difference between expanding your mind to alternatives (outside the box) and a separate reality. 
Although there are the old souls that just get half naked and dance to dub-step in day-glo paint. 
I feel that acid movement applied to anything..the beatles, the byrds, the doors, Pink Floyd, early Genesis, Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane,  Cream, Stones, omg- the dead, Sabbath and of course Led Zeppelin.  There are so many others.. Captain Beefheart (psychedelic-but same)  there really is newer stuff that is pretty trippy.
wsucram15 Added Jan 20, 2018 - 10:02am
Opher..dont thank America for some of those things.  icky. Iknow, we are known for our excess.  But not everyone lives that way.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 20, 2018 - 10:13am
George marshall- rebuilt western Europe in his efforts after WWII.
Did you know that WWII was also planned to boost US economy ? I mean......the Marshall Plan was not only beneficial for Europe but mainly for the US companies.
Halliburton and Cheney....didn't quite work out. But a common US recipe to boost home economy is flatten a place, try to install a puppet, and the puppet will make the contracts for his new masters to rebuild his country.
Just to say. The tops shouldn't include criminals ;-)
Stone-Eater Added Jan 20, 2018 - 10:20am
Self-interest, I say. Geostrategic moves and plans. Such people don't belong into a list of great Americans....Sorry.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 20, 2018 - 10:29am
The creation of this system is connected to another goal: building up markets for American exports, which George Marshall, who the plan is named after, expressed in a State Department bulletin in early 1948: “it is idly to think that a Europe left to its own efforts … would remain open to American business in the same way that we have known it in the past.”
Ah-huh. The big master could not imagine that we Europeans are able to master our place. Maybe Marshall should have had a discussion with Prescott Bush ?
Is it any wonder that we Europeans don't take the US seriously anymore (apart from their hard-on, sorry, weapons) ? They looked down at us, while being a country themselves that hasn't a history and own culture, lectures us and creates hidden tensions between our peoples in order to divide us ? And supports Nazis, imports them and gives them the facilities to create the first atomic bomb ?
Sorry Jeanne. Not against you. But we feel confirmed by Tweety Trump that something does not work over there - quite for a while. Carry on your fight against assholes but don't fall into trap to name people tops who don't deserve it :-)
wsucram15 Added Jan 20, 2018 - 10:56am
 But we paid 13 billion and I am sure it created something for US when did we not? It created new markets for US.  We still did not create the war and got drug in..sent food, fuel an people to help recovery.  I listed him because Europe also had a boom and recovered.  Perhaps it was just our turn to know?  That is one time I think US might have been at least well intended. 
Vietnam and
As far as Cheney..I am with you on that, completely. Believe was a huge battle on the home front.
Trump..If I remember you liked him.  Im the one that never did, but promised Expat I would give him a shot..and I did.  It did not last long..I am supposed to go protest tomorrow in New York City... but I broke my wrist so not so really hurts.
wsucram15 Added Jan 20, 2018 - 11:00am
ngNow cant hold me responsible for US idiots.  I  cant help everyones attitudes..but I do try to talk to people.  Some at least listen.  Its really difficult, this country is really split.  Look our government is now closed for business.  No kidding
Stone-Eater Added Jan 20, 2018 - 11:24am
You know I'm not holding you could I ? It's not the regular guy who is - not then, not now. It's a questions of knowing what happens.
The US has a history of starting wars for own profit ever since, and we see that even today with all the bases they have around the world. That's an occupation of some sort.
So how can we trust a country that promotes "democracy" and starts wars for "freedom" of the people when the real goal of those wars is to keep the status as no. 1 economically - and nothing else ?
Human rights ? LOL. Blacks are jailed for nothing while Wall Street creeps get on top. What about Guantanamo ? 0bama was a zero - he was ordered to be a zero.
Can such a country be the self-proclaimed leader of the world ? Of course not.
Tweety Trumpy plays the adolescent on Twitter, doesn't know shit about anything and harasses his only guy who knows what diplomacy between cultures means, Tillerson.
We don't know if we should laugh, cry, or simply be afraid of that dangerous soap-opera going on over there....
wsucram15 Added Jan 20, 2018 - 11:51am
i dont think we are anymore..I think the world leaders are Germany.
You dont need to talk to me about black arrests or wall street.  bUT this began before Obama, especially Guantanamo.  H tried to  make some progress. Whatever he did was done (like Trump) by executive oreder.  sorry  hand bothering me now
Stone-Eater Added Jan 20, 2018 - 12:53pm
I think the world leaders are Germany.
LOL Who told you that ? If Germany was the world leader they wouldn't accept or tolerate US military bases in their country.
opher goodwin Added Jan 20, 2018 - 12:53pm
Stone - with me it was the lyrics first and the music second. I used to play those old Kinks songs - I'm Not Like Everybody Else and Well Respected Man and remember every word. Then it was Dylan.
opher goodwin Added Jan 20, 2018 - 12:55pm
Jeanne - really good choice. There've been some great people.
wsucram15 Added Jan 20, 2018 - 12:56pm
i just heard that yesterday.  We are allies for now..but Merkle does not like Trump nor do the people so you know who knows? 
I think thats for Nato..
opher goodwin Added Jan 20, 2018 - 12:56pm
Stone - flatten a place, try to install a puppet, and the puppet will make the contracts for his new masters to rebuild his country - that is a policy that is still working well for rich investors.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 20, 2018 - 12:58pm
Yep. Ray Davies. I always loved the Kinks. That guy is witty and has brains. I love many of their songs. Arthur was way before Quadrophenia. And I remember when I was 10 I heard this one and freaked out about it:
opher goodwin Added Jan 20, 2018 - 1:00pm
Stone/Jeanne - it really has degenerated into Soap Opera hasn't it? What with the stupid shut-down and political posturing. What way is this to run a country? America by tweets!
Stone-Eater Added Jan 20, 2018 - 1:09pm
I'm not surprised by anything that comes from over there except a missile banging somewhere.....that country does not know where it's going. If it had no weapons that would be ok LOL
George N Romey Added Jan 20, 2018 - 4:05pm
Most Americans are just trying to get by in an increasingly world that only favors those born into wealth.  The days of your kids living much better than you are melting away.  More and more Americans have come to realize their government sucks, lies out of its ass, doesn't give a friendless f@ck about most of its citizens, and is about trustworthy as a rattle snake.
So what do you expect them to do?  Vote in Obama Hope and Change, same old sh@t.  Vote in Trump, Make America Great Again and the sh@t show continues with most Americans finding a sh@t sandwich on their plate.  Vote in another overpromising politician and its SOS.
Maybe a revolution with good old head chopping in the city squares might do the trick but as revolutions go the aftereffect isn't usually much better, if not worse.
Dave Volek Added Jan 20, 2018 - 4:10pm
Whatever is wrong with the world today, I am still thankful to be living in these times than 100 years ago.
American, with all its faults, was the first country to live mostly by democratic principles, and much of the world watched and learned.
The real question that should be asked is where and how do we go from today and forward.
opher goodwin Added Jan 20, 2018 - 7:03pm
Stone - I'm not surprised either.
opher goodwin Added Jan 20, 2018 - 7:04pm
George - it seems to me that the two party system is at fault - both are in cahoots with the wealthy elite.
opher goodwin Added Jan 20, 2018 - 7:05pm
Dave - I think you are right. We take for granted the many good things.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 20, 2018 - 7:32pm
So what do you expect them to do? 
Get the fuck out on the street. Strike. Refuse to buy anything except basic food. Replace the system. Storm the parliament. Whatever. When 300 MILLION people can't do that, who can ?
Even 10 million mobilized people could collapse that shit and force a MULTIPARTY system.....not a one-party system as you have now.
Or are you telling me that Dems and Reps are not fed from the same sources ?
Stone-Eater Added Jan 20, 2018 - 7:36pm
....but sheep are sheep. They're herd animals and cowards. Same here. That's also why I gave up here and leave Switzerland. We Europeans are worth shit. Cowards and slaves of the US. We used to be proud people, strong and could fight for our rights and way of life. Now we're a bunch of assholes staring into dumbphones all day and understanding no more than ey, huh, bro, ok, shit. That's today's level of communication.
George N Romey Added Jan 20, 2018 - 11:45pm
SEF of course both parties feed off the rich. I’ve said many times on WB when people are ready for real anarchy I’m in.
But what do we have? The women’s march. Yes let’s wear vagina hats and pretend Nancy Pelosi really gives a damn about women.
Mircea Negres Added Jan 21, 2018 - 1:15am
The US and American people have done some great things and led the world in a lot of respects. Hell, the 20th century was called The American Century. Warts and all, that's what it was. Good article, Opher.
Mark Hunter Added Jan 21, 2018 - 3:55am
I want to visit that place! The problem is that too many people focus just on the negative. The other problem is that too many people focus just on the positive.
opher goodwin Added Jan 21, 2018 - 6:49am
You are welcome Mircea.
opher goodwin Added Jan 21, 2018 - 6:50am
Mark - right on. There are good and bad things. It's getting the balance in our writing.
opher goodwin Added Jan 21, 2018 - 6:51am
George/SEF - it's the same in the UK. All the parties follow the same and are in hock to the wealthy establishment. My hope is that Corbyn will break the mold.
opher goodwin Added Jan 21, 2018 - 10:20am
Xan - it's up there with the napalm and thumb-screws.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 21, 2018 - 10:43am
Corbyn is another Sanders. Maybe he's just another figure put up by the neocon government in order to give people a feeling of free speech and democracy....
opher goodwin Added Jan 21, 2018 - 10:45am
Stone - that is always possible but looking back through his history it does not look like that. He stands against those bastards. He's been consistent. It's worth a shot.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 21, 2018 - 10:50am
Ok. You're there so you know it better of course. But we'll see in the end LOL
opher goodwin Added Jan 21, 2018 - 11:28am
Stone - yes - time will tell. They usually let you down!
Stone-Eater Added Jan 21, 2018 - 11:31am
That's what I mean. I rarely met people in my life who stuck to their ideals all their life.
opher goodwin Added Jan 21, 2018 - 12:42pm
Stone - but they do exist. I've known a few.
Mike Haluska Added Jan 21, 2018 - 4:10pm
opher - thank you for the complimentary post.  I have always valued the unique and great relationship between the "States" and the UK.  We may have philosophical differences but we always stand together on matters that are essential to peace and prosperity.  The greatest testament to that commitment is our mutual willingness to place the lives of our young men and women in harm's way and fight together against evil.
opher goodwin Added Jan 21, 2018 - 5:46pm
Mike - that is true. There is much that we hold in common that is the basis of the democracies of both our countries. I hope that fundamental relationship will continue well into the future despite the disagreement I would personally have with some of the activities of both parties. At heart we do have a shared philosophy even if our leaderships do not always value it.
Mike Haluska Added Jan 22, 2018 - 12:36pm
opher - I think that our differences revolve around what we both believe is the "proper role of government" in our daily lives.  We both want to end poverty and suffering - it is the means to do so where we differ.  In both the US and the UK I have seen anti-poverty programs initiated with the best intentions deliberately perverted into self-serving "government dependent voter plantations" by power seeking politicians and bureaucrats.
Can you imagine someone going before our Congress in 1964 stating that he wants to start a "War on Poverty" that will cost $22 Trillion over the next 54 years resulting in MORE poverty, crime, illegitimate children, drug & alcohol abuse, lousier schools, dilapidated housing???  Even the most staunch Welfare State supporters have to admit that NOBODY would have approved the "War on Poverty" if they would have known that after all that money and 54 years that matters would be much WORSE!!!
opher goodwin Added Jan 22, 2018 - 3:01pm
Mike - that is true. What I would suggest is that the idea was sound - it was the way it was put into operation and carried out that was flawed.
I too have seen many schemes put into place badly and end up a waste of money. Nobody wants to see that.
But for me that means we have to put the right people in charge and apply intelligence. These problems are complex. All too often the schemes are run by idiots or crooks.
Shane Laing Added Jan 22, 2018 - 3:35pm
Stone my friend.  1973 Slade OMG lol.
Not T Rex? 20th Century Boy is a classic song.
opher goodwin Added Jan 22, 2018 - 6:57pm
Shane - Glam was not really my thing but I like some of those riffs!
Mike Haluska Added Jan 24, 2018 - 11:06am
opher - your wish:
"But for me that means we have to put the right people in charge and apply intelligence. These problems are complex. All too often the schemes are run by idiots or crooks."
this is the core problem of the government acting as a charity - the seeds of its own destruction are there before it starts.  Politicians want to be elected/re-elected and know that the electorate is stupid enough to be bribed with their own money.  It is NO ACCIDENT that these programs expand while the problems they are supposed to alleviate get worse.  Do you really believe that the UK Minister in charge of the Welfare State wants poverty and unemployment to end or even be reduced???  Do you really believe that Jesse Jackson wants racism to disappear???
Bottom line - the "right people" are all of us - each individual.  When we give money to a poor person directly we see the results.  We intuitively know who to give money to and who is better off being put in a position where he must work and not rely on charity.  There is a distinct difference between "needy" and "deserving" - and government poverty programs refuse to make a distinction.
opher goodwin Added Jan 24, 2018 - 1:22pm
Mike - yes I do believe that many of these people do want to address these issues. If they don't vote them out and put people in place who do want to.
A government providing good education, healthcare and social care for its people is not a charity bribing people with their own money; it is a society caring for its people, wanting the best for its people and setting its sights on the future. Education and an end to poverty creates a better future; it enables people to reach their potential. That is good for the country as a whole.
America has never understood that. It allows the bulk of its population to underperform and has got by through importing the skills and brains. Now it is declining fast.
A good example is the UK Health Service - recently assessed as the best in the world. It was set up by a caring government. Presently it is underfunded by the Tories.
Our healthcare costs 9.9% of GDP compared with the USA 16.6% - with millions without cover and millions more scared they haven't got enough cover.
Mike Haluska Added Jan 30, 2018 - 2:43pm
opher - your contention:
"A good example is the UK Health Service - recently assessed as the best in the world. It was set up by a caring government. Presently it is underfunded by the Tories."
is NOT shared by everyone.  As far as funding, it has increased ever since it's inception while its quality of care has decreased dramatically and rationing has increased.  The "popularity" it does have is confined to those who are the primary net beneficiaries - certainly not among those who are forced to pay for it. 
Judging a program's success when it is "free" to many people while a minority pays for it is NOT a fair assessment.  I am quite certain that if all Brits had to share equally in the NHS cost you would get quite a different assessment.  Of course, no socialist program that I know of can ever stand on its own merits - it must be forced upon the population by majority rule.  A "truly caring government" doesn't point a gun at part of its population and confiscate their income/wealth so it can "redistribute" (after the government takes it cut) it and act "generous and compassionate".
opher goodwin Added Feb 12, 2018 - 6:32pm
Mike - the NHS was voted the best healthcare in the world recently and costs a fraction of US healthcare  - a healthcare system that leaves millions without cover. I rest my case. I believe you let your dogma cloud your sight.