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Friday, January 4, 2019
A lost paradise

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark  U.S.A.

In 1997, we - the whole family, parents and children - flew to Denver, Colorado to celebrate Christmas and New Year's Eve with american friends.

In 1998, I spent two months on business in Pensylvania, New York, and Ohio doing business with U.S. companies for one of my clients. Since this was successful, I finally returned in July of the same year - this time to set up an office for the customer and to organize the flow of goods.

Investments of approx. 6.000, - DM were made for office furnishing and equipment. At that time the flat with office was a bit more than 400 US$ for rent - cable, telephone and utilities not included. Today you do not even get a windowless storage room for this price. For the first two months, a high school friend lent me a car - to use until all the formalities to buy and register a car were done . Just one thought:
Anyone who believes in U.S.A. everything is very easy and without complications because the Americans are so nice and always in a good mood is totally wrong - the bureaucracy can compete with ours. What's more: Everything "acquired" in Europe such as driver's license, academic degrees, insurance discounts, etc. means - - --- NOTHING AT ALL!

When the first plane flew into the tower of the World Trade Center, I was in a technical briefing on assembling second-generation mobile phones [with the small color displays] and helped out as a translator, because there were some technicians and engineers present who were not fluent in English and thus unable to follow the remarks of the presenter. This lesson was cancelled and people gathered in the breakfast room [a rather rare thing in U.S. companies, most of them expect their employees to lunch somewhere in a fast food restaurant]. The TV was running and no one was working anymore but saw the coverage of 9/11.

After a few days, it was obvious: The country was deeply shaken, struck in it's identity and those forces that craved for revenge were on top and prevailed. What followed was the ultimate loss of what we know in Europe under the heading "The American Dream."
It was clear to me that I did not want to live and work in such an environment. Without going into details just so much to conclude the story: I sold the furniture and two cars, packed my personal belongings in a big box and left the country at the beginning of September 2002 when my visa expired.

On the background - and for better understanding - I would like to mention that in the years 1963-64 I spent a year as an exchange student in the state of New York, in the very North, close to the border with Canada. After that, I have been there again and again in more or less large intervals. Thus, I know the mood and the people in the country, although not from all regions, but certainly better than some tourists who were in the U.S.A. once for a few days for shopping in one of the major cities .... where one experiences this 'patched' friendliness towards tourists that does not seem real and actually isn't!

In short: I love the country. And those simple people who make up the mass of the population, who are basically friendly to strangers if they behave considerate and appropriate. There is a helpfulness that has been lost in Germany at least in metropolitan areas. The landscapes are breathtaking, and I was fortunate to travel extensively through more than 14 states in the US and to spend many weeks looking around - sometimes with friends or their acquaintances, sometimes with my wife as "tourists", but always on our own, without the "German-speaking tourist guide" so popular with German tourists in the U.S.A., in which only the positive aspects are shown, social and cultural problem areas are hidden. "Everyday life" with its difficulties is not perceived by such package tour operators. No tourist notices any of that.

In 2004 we (my wife & I) flew to the US the last time - and what we experienced at entry by the "Officials" was enough to say:
Never again, not without drastic changes in how the authorities handle entry and treat foreigners.

It is a shame how the country has changed in the past 15 years due to greed and unbridled enrichment of few. Add to that the intimidation by a poorly trained and trigger-happy police, creeping & recurring racism, which is now very obvious under Trump and hardly produces any resistance.

While in the sixties and seventies there were still the small communities that housed the mass of the population, now it is the larger cities that set the tone and have renounced humanity - those who can not fight are lost if they get ill and will be financially ruined most of the time. Those who can not resist the constant pressure to work even more and to have even less free time fall back more and more often on drugs and get broken.

Charity towards the needy (see picture) - once a hallmark of American society - is branded today as a promotion of parasitism. Helpfulness, compassion and humanity are demonized as radical left-wing, socialist ideology.

US society has been shaken to its very foundations, not just since Trump. If there is no change by the Democrats taking over the House of Representatives (Election of Novemver 2018), because there are at least as many of them bribed by "special interest (groups)" ¹,² as there are such Republicans, it won't end well for the country. The only hope are those young, socially and democratically engaged representatives who could call into question the crusted structures from past elections.

That's where my hope is ... and who knows, maybe I can still experience it and fly back there without being scanned and questioned like a criminal on entry.


¹ A special political issue that is at the heart of political advocacy.
² An interest group.

... Comment



Logic is overrated.

God is an hypothesis, and, as such, stands in need of proof: the onus probandi rests on the theist.

[Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1810]
 
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