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  • Some Optimistic Thoughts About America

    Posted by David Foster on December 8th, 2011 (All posts by )

    …from Claire Berlinski, who lives in Turkey and is now visiting NYC.

     

    5 Responses to “Some Optimistic Thoughts About America”

    1. Bill Brandt Says:

      Whil I believe if you had come from Turkey – seeing America – it would be easy to have this attitude.

      And truth be told it is a nice feeling coming from overseas seeing that large American flag at the customs control is a good feeling.

      But living here one realizes that there is a sizable faction that wants to change the America that Claire raves about – and it is a tough fight day -to – day.

      It is the day to day action that Claire doesn’t see.

    2. david foster Says:

      Bill…OTOH, Claire is a writer, journalist, and a very astute analyst, so the situation here is something she is surely quite aware of.

      BTW, Claire’s been interviewed a couple of times on Fox lately about Margaret Thatcher….here and here. Her bio of Thatcher is There is no alternative: why Margaret Thatcher matters.

    3. Sgt. Mom Says:

      I came back to the US in 1991 (0h, dear G*d was it that long ago?) after living on the local economy in Greece and Spain for nearly a decade … that is, I rented apartments or duplexes in Greece and Spain, shopped in the local markets, dealt with the eccentricities of living in Europe, traveled extensively on my vacations and stayed in local accomodations – mostly campgrounds, guesthouses and small hotels – and the one thing that struck me, when I moved into a tiny little rental house in Ogden, Utah – was how easy and rapid it was to get things done.

      We had a phone with our own personal number! Instantly! (In Greece, it took forever and cost a bomb to get a phone and a phone number!) Mail delivery to our very own personal address! Newspaper delivery, too! (I had to go to the Base to get my mail from the central post office, and buy the newspaper from the PX bookstore or the various on-post venues where it was for sale. Oh, and I usually had to do my laundry on base, also.)

      When the central heat in our Utah house caved in, we had it fixed within 12 hours – not the month-long project that the death of the central heating unit in our Spain rental unit became. (Not the fault of our Spanish landlord, though – it was just the way that things were.)

      The one thing that continued to be a surprise to me, for years – was how so very nice Americans were – how helpful, how effecient – and how fast things could be accomplished – even if you weren’t rich or well-connected.

      I would absolutely hate this country of mine turned into a place where things could only be accomolished rapidly and effeciently, if one were rich and/or well connected.

    4. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Correction – I would absolutely hate it, if this country of mine turned into a place where things could only be accomolished rapidly and effeciently, if one were rich and/or well connected.

    5. Bill Brandt Says:

      Sgt – it is funny where life takes you. I thought it was the end of the world when I got drafted – but I went – and when asked told the Army that I’d like to be a photographer in Japan.

      Well, they ended up putting me on a dais at odd hours in a NATO radar bunker near the Mosel River in Germany – working under US and German Air Forces. Never could figure out why the US Air Force Personnel who lived on our bases always had the nicest barracks.

      On an Army base.

      My first barracks were at Landstuhl, the site that has the military hospital – even today the wounded from the Mideast stop here first (near Ramstein AFB). Only my barracks was an old, condemned WW2 Luftwaffe barracks – the foundation was crumbling – the building was actually at a slight tilt. But it was made of stone – for the 1000 year Reich.

      My 2nd station was up a bit – at Neubruecke – and I would take an air force bus to go up to the NATO bunker – for a 24 hour stretch.

      I was over there almost 2 years and when I came back – it was strange – for about a week I was rediscovering America. The leave time I took in Germany was spent seeing Europe – not coming home.

      I was surprised at the size of the cars and the number of electrical gadgets Americans liked to use – from can openers to tooth brushes.

      Coming from Germany everything of course was punctual – things in America were just a bit slower – but the people a lot more easy going.

      And a funny observation:

      The dogs.

      The dogs were a lot nicer.

      In Germany I would extend my hand – as here – for a dog to sniff – and instead of sniffing my hand and letting me pet them – virtually every German dog – from Dachshunds on up – wanted to bite my hand!

      I really adapted to 2 worlds.

      But America was/is my homeland.