Archive for the ‘United States’ Category

What are you laughing at?

May 4, 2009

It’s the oldest jibe in the book: ‘Americans just don’t get irony.’ But they do, argues comedian Simon Pegg – our national senses of humour have more in common than we like to think

Simon Pegg

Simon Pegg

The Guardian, Saturday 10 February 2007 (more…)

How to stop the drug wars

March 6, 2009

Mar 5th 2009
From The Economist print edition

Prohibition has failed; legalisation is the least bad solution

Illustration by Noma Bar

A HUNDRED years ago a group of foreign diplomats gathered in Shanghai for the first-ever international effort to ban trade in a narcotic drug. On February 26th 1909 they agreed to set up the International Opium Commission—just a few decades after Britain had fought a war with China to assert its right to peddle the stuff. Many other bans of mood-altering drugs have followed. In 1998 the UN General Assembly committed member countries to achieving a “drug-free world” and to “eliminating or significantly reducing” the production of opium, cocaine and cannabis by 2008.

That is the kind of promise politicians love to make. It assuages the sense of moral panic that has been the handmaiden of prohibition for a century. It is intended to reassure the parents of teenagers across the world. Yet it is a hugely irresponsible promise, because it cannot be fulfilled. (more…)

Top 10 differences between Europe and America

January 3, 2009

Published on November 25, 2007 – 207 Comments

Though only a stone’s-throw away across the grand Atlantic, Europeans and Americans are as different as night and day. And being anywhere from 5 to 7 hours difference in time, they literally are, too. Back in the days of old when that rag-tag batch of ticked-off Englishmen decided to brave the snarling sea and make new their lives in America, we’ve held similarities close to our hearts. However, times force great changes and leaps in advancement force gaps in our likenesses and make them far more diverse and different. Gone are the days when the ‘New’ Americans would take tea time, instead, we, as Americans, stumbled upon the idea of lunch… similar, but still, quite different. Well, you get the idea. Here are ten (of many, as we all know) ways we, as Americans, are different from our jovial brethren across the pond: the Europeans. (more…)

10 common German prejudices about the USA

December 26, 2008

Whenever people talk about the USA, it doesn’t take long until you hear sentences that start with “That’s typical. Americans are all…”. Well, what are you? I’ve asked around, talked to people and this is a list of the 10 prejudices I’ve heard most often. (more…)

Big Three CEOs Flew Private Jets to Plead for Public Funds

November 19, 2008

Auto Industry Close to Bankruptcy But They Get Pricey Perk

By BRIAN ROSS and JOSEPH RHEE

November 19, 2008—

The CEOs of the big three automakers flew to the nation’s capital yesterday in private luxurious jets to make their case to Washington that the auto industry is running out of cash and needs $25 billion in taxpayer money to avoid bankruptcy.

The CEOs of GM, Ford and Chrysler may have told Congress that they will likely go out of business without a bailout yet that has not stopped them from traveling in style, not even First Class is good enough. (more…)

Sarah Palin Will Never Be President — Trust Me

November 12, 2008

November 12, 2008

Frank Schaeffer

Frank Schaeffer

Posted November 11, 2008 | 03:00 PM (EST)

The small smear of red on the otherwise blue electoral map looks more like a minor bloodstain on a dirty Band-Aid than anything resembling a national political party. Who voted for McCain/Palin in bigger numbers than they even voted for Bush/Cheney? Only one shrinking group: uneducated white folks in the deep south and a few folks in Appalachia. Take away the white no-college-backwoods-and/or-southern McCain/Palin vote and the Republicans would have been approaching single digit electoral college oblivion. (more…)

Election unleashes a flood of hope worldwide

November 7, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008

PARIS: From the front lines of Iraq to more genteel spots like Harry’s Bar in Paris, the election of Barack Obama opened a floodgate for the world’s hope that a new U.S. leader would redeem promises of change, rewrite the political script and provide a kind of leadership that would erase the bitterness of the Bush years.

Whether it was because of Obama’s youth, race, message or manner, some European leaders abandoned diplomatic niceties to compete for extravagance in their praise, while others outside the United States – fascinated by an election that had been scrutinized around the globe – reached for their most telling comparisons. (more…)

Suddenly, it may be cool to be an American again

November 6, 2008

VIENNA, Austria – She was a stranger, and she kissed me. Just for being an American.

It happened on the bus on my way to work Wednesday morning, a few hours after compatriots clamoring for change swept Barack Obama to his historic victory. I was on the phone, and the 20-something Austrian woman seated in front of me overheard me speaking English.

Without a word, she turned, pecked me on the cheek and stepped off at the next stop.

Nothing was said, but the message was clear: Today, we are all Americans. (more…)

ACLU: 2/3 of US population lives in “Constitution-free” zone

October 29, 2008

By Jon Stokes | Published: October 23, 2008 – 09:45PM CT

Longtime Ars readers know that I’ve had my own problems in the “Constitution-free zone” that exists in US airports, but an aggressive new ACLU campaign highlights a fact of which I was previously unaware: the Constitution-free zone that exists a US borders and airports actually extends 100 air miles inland and encompasses two-thirds of the country’s population. The US Border Patrol can set up checkpoints anywhere in this region and question citizens. (more…)

Anchorage Daily News Endorses Obama

October 28, 2008

Obama for president
Palin’s rise captivates us but nation needs a steady hand



(10/25/08 19:37:58)

Alaska enters its 50th-anniversary year in the glow of an improbable and highly memorable event: the nomination of Gov. Sarah Palin as the Republican vice presidential candidate. For the first time ever, an Alaskan is making a serious bid for national office, and in doing so she brings broad attention and recognition not only to herself, but also to the state she leads. (more…)