Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Perceptions of Americans

While traveling to Madison, Wisconsin (the state's ancestry is about 90% German) this past Thanksgiving Day weekend I purchased a copy of the Middleton Times-Tribune (MTT) newspaper. Middleton is a suburb of Madison and my personal practice is to always buy the local newspaper in the communities I visit so I get a sense of what is going on beyond my world and those topics that USA Today chooses to be noteworthy for us to know.

An article in the MTT entitled, "Exchange Students Love America, not crazy about the bread", focused on the experiences of 25 German high school students who were the guests of Middleton residents from October 4 to 25 this year. The one comment that caught my eye was from one of these students who was asked this question by the MTT reporter:

Question: "What will you tell your friends about the USA and Middleton when you arrive back home?"

Response: "My prejudices were not confirmed: there were not as many fat people and not as many McDonald's."

Wow, clearly the media and schools in Germany are failing to educate people just like they are in the USA. From my perspective the best education is "experience" which was confirmed for me in 1986 when I was a college student touring the now defunct (thank God and Reagan!!) Soviet Union. While I traded on the black market I realized first hand that the USA intelligence community was wrong -- this was not a nation to fear anymore because it was rotting from the inside. This was confirmed for me in 1991 when Boris Yeltsin climbed that tank to declare the end of the Soviet Union (essentially -- my shorthand version of their history).

So if my "Big Government is Great" friends out there want to save the world then they should support my campaign to eliminate all personal income taxes in the USA. This would then give Americans more money to pay for foreign travel so the citizens of the world can better understand each other.

Travel not Taxes,


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