Expat Thoughts

Beryl Gorbman

I moved to Mexico at least partly because the Bush administration was so brutal to so many. They killed many of the things I loved about the USA. Like hope, pride, and the feeling of belonging to something I could be proud of. We Americans weren’t perfect, but we sure as hell tried. We had high ideals and the world knew it. Then Bush happened and it all changed. It was incredible how quickly things deteriorated. For me, a pall spread over the US. It was depressing.

When Bush won the election,  travelers like me saw the change in our image stark and clear, within the first year. People who used to love us didn’t. We joked about wearing Canadian maple leaves while traveling.

Of course whether or not people in foreign lands welcome us as tourists isn’t really very important. What is important is that the world lost respect for the USA and travelers were the ones who saw it first hand. The Bush administration believed that America existed on an island, that it didn’t matter what others thought. They had no respect for the points of view of the rest of the world.

Just after Bush invaded Iraq, JB and I went to Vancouver BC for a weekend, took our dog, and were shopping for a reasonable hotel room on Robson St. We found one and were only given a key AFTER the owner had grilled us about our political stance. When it was clear, in the first five seconds of this conversation, that we were deeply unhappy with the road our country had taken, he visibly relaxed, gave us a discount, and expressed sympathy.

Other parts of the world weren’t as affable as Vancouver, so we stuck to places we thought wouldn’t give us a hard time. For instance in Tokyo, where they think everyone outside Japan is nuts (and maybe they’re right), everything was fine. But I had the feeling that if we’d gone to Europe during that time, we might have encountered less friendly faces. Not to mention hostile demonstrators. A lot worse than a hotel owner in Vancouver.

The trouble was, America really had changed. I felt ashamed of my country. The war was a TV production, with its own logos and music. Terms like “Shock and Awe” were supposed to inspire us. The administration had identified a market in the part of our population that was beginning to feel lost. Kind of like what Hitler did with a demoralized Germany, but to our credit, Americans didn’t totally fall for it.

People were (and are) suffering because they couldn’t get reasonable medical care. Lines outside the food banks in Seattle grew and grew, but there was less nutritious food inside. The private sector will pick up the slack, we were told, but the private sector was suffering too. Bush loosened restrictions  on banks and big business. Smaller companies closed, selling out to bigger ones if they were lucky. And then the economic system collapsed, the country drained by the war against a fabricated nuclear threat. My friends started losing their jobs. Other friends, who were granted sky high mortgages without being asked for proof of income, lost their homes. Yes, it was their own fault, but it was human nature for millions of Americans to borrow money they couldn’t pay back.

The government became, to me, a mean and ugly thing. Racism re-emerged from the sewer lid it had been under. Jew jokes were all the vogue. It became okay to openly criticize ethnic minorities. Mexicans crossing the border illegally were shot in the back. The feds put up a wall. It became fashionable to use incorrect grammar, as, we were told, the intellectuals had tried to ruin the country. Hick accents and an Aw Shucks attitude were the banners of the new Right. Making “humanism” a dirty word was a direct attack on values I loved and respected. The good old boys were comfy, though. Comfy and rich.

By the way, I’m not saying that illegal immigration is not a problem, but I do think that the way we handle it defines us. Who among us doesn’t have immigrants in their families? People looking for a better life? Who among us doesn’t have grandparents who spoke another language when they got here? There has to be a better solution than shooting people as they crawl desperately across the border. Just because some of the rest of us got here first is not a good reason to be intolerant. No one “protected our borders” from our grandparents. There has to be a better way. No, I don’t know what that might be.

And how about global warming? They said it was an elitist concept hatched by the reviled “intellectuals.” No, why go to the Tokyo conference with every other country in the world, to discuss the dire effects of pollution and wild energy consumption? We are better than everyone else, we don’t have to pay attention, we are the leaders of the world, global warming is a myth, a plot against our corporations and a threat to our freedom to buy SUVs if we want to. The Global Warming Myth injures corporations and they are they backbone of America. Electric cars? Better miles per gallon? These are direct attacks to all we hold dear.

Then, miraculously, and only because things were so dire (and because the alternative was untenable to anyone with an IQ over 80), America elected Barak Obama. When the election returns came in, we cried with relief. I wanted to go to one of the expat gatherings they were having here in Merida to watch the returns, but early in the evening, when I realized how emotional this was for me, I knew I couldn’t go anywhere. It was a private evening for us. We saw hope. We felt joy. Things were going to get better and we could once again be proud. And I felt the slightest temptation to return to the USA, to be a part of this new day. At last, there was something I could believe in. And I could begin to believe in my fellow countrymen again. They hadn’t been totally seduced after all. Even the conservative Christian balloon, which had blown up huge with Bush’s lies about “family values” was deflating just a bit. Family values hadn’t really, in fact, been respected by the Bush administration. In fact, the policies had been eating away at the core of families, all kinds of families.

Barak Obama emerged at the Democratic Convention of 2004. His speech knocked everyone’s socks off. People began to talk about him and the Bush administration identified him as a potential problem. During Obama’s campaign, things really got interesting. They were desperate by then. The campaign was bizarre – the odds flipped forward and back for a long time.

Obama won. Amazing. Encouraging. Yes, it was annoying when they started the rumors that Obama was a Muslim born in the near East, and yes Sarah Palin was disturbing though ultimately hilarious, yes we were and continue to be afraid for Obama’s safety in the violent angriness of the USA, but the fact was, the majority of the USA had voted for him. The same people who had elected GWB had perhaps seen the error of their own ways, recognized greed and corruption for what it was, seen the cost of economic elitism and of being in the hands of an idiot and his profit-driven handlers. Or perhaps there were a lot of auto company executives, big business owners and investors who had lost everything, who finally saw that the system was no longer working for them. Whatever it was,  it was a new day. I was temporarily exhilarated.

But is it better? When members of Congress are shouting “Liar” at the president as he is speaking? Blocking his every constructive move? When the Republicans spend endless hours looking for Obama’s vulnerabilities, organizing racist Tea Parties, reacting angrily to the election instead of joining in to rebuild our country? And I couldn’t believe the rudeness on the Republican side during the President’s State of the Union address. They are openly hostile to him, not just politically, but as an individual. They had too much invested, in all ways, in the Old System, and are angry that their delicious apple cart has been upset. Especially by a black man. Kicking, screaming arrogant babies who had been coddled in a sweet nest of relaxed government regulations, able to do whatever the hell they wanted at the cost of damaging the lives of the rest of us.

They are stonewalling his efforts to fix the country. Health care, for god’s sake. It shouldn’t even be a controversy. The issues are so nakedly clear. Insurance companies vs. the well-being of the population. Duh. Not a difficult choice, it wouldn’t seem. But they claim that Obama’s plan is communistic. The new plan would break the health care system and ultimately, the country . They sound like the belligerent, arrogant, spoiled children that they are – children with investments tied up in the status quo.

Who imagined that within a year, the economy would begin to pick up? It is practically a miracle. Or it’s because Obama and his brilliant, out-of-the-box team have come up with real solutions. Unfortunately for the old guard, the solutions included sanctions on their outrageous profits. This has made them really really angry and they have been gathering their forces. It’s getting ugly. And they’re gathering impetus. It’s discouraging, it really is.

Now anyone with any brain knows that the Republicans represent corporate interests. They have never, in recent history, been known to support anything whatsoever that is for the good of the general population. They are heavily invested in the war. Their factories and businesses are getting obscenely rich from war profits. Their investments have done very well for a long time. Didn’t even they see the economic crisis as a problem? Apparently not. All those repossessed houses that went back to the banks who pocketed the owners’ previous house payments and then resold the homes – who gains from that? If we were so interested in Family Values, why was there no program to help the home-owners? All the banks had to do was draw out their payments, to give people some grace when they lost their jobs. I know, a bank is a business. Yet they were steadily rewarding their own people with billions of dollars in incentives and bonuses. Obama is beginning to eat away at that.

(I think it’s misleading to use the term “home owner” for someone who has “bought” a house. In most cases, the homes don’t truly belong to them for many years, for their entire working lives.)

I am angry that self interest and racism have messed up my previous home, my country. Angry that I can’t feel  comfortable there any more. Yes, I love Mexico, but it is not my country. I will probably never become a Mexican citizen, not because there is anything wrong about it, but simply because I am not Mexican. The politics here affect me, but they don’t claw at my heart the way politics do in the USA. They aren’t mine.

A lot of our young American people are hopeless. And they are right. There is no hope for them. They can’t afford $100,000 a year for college tuitions even if they tried to go, and they can’t get decent jobs if they don’t go. They are looking at spending their working lives in crappy hourly jobs, the Trades or the service sector. The Trades have always been hard to get into. Relatives are accepted to apprenticeship programs, leaving out those outside the closed circle. The service sector pays crap and has no appeal to young people.

The math is simple. No more family farms, a drastic drop in rural employment, loss of pride and hope. The result? People moving en masse to overcrowded cities with weak infrastructures. Millions of country kids gone to hell on methamphetamines, an epidemic in small American towns.  We have only to look around us to see the tragedies created by this economic dead end. It will take a lot to fix it.

Since Obama was elected, there have been some improvements. “Green” is no longer a bad word, or a concept relegated to aging hippies. Non-white children have a magnificent model. It can happen. A miracle yes, but the possibility exists. The economy is improving. Gay people are no longer sick Devils. People are getting some jobs back. But the racism has become worse. Personally, I don’t understand how President Obama stays sane. How his wife stays sane. How they can protect their girls from the crap being hurled at them. Never has an American president been this personally reviled.

I am tired of hearing that the racial climate is “getting better.” It’s been 150 years since rich people (legally) lost their slaves. Time to get over it. But it gets insidiously worse. Adamantly unwilling to share any power, the good old boy owners of our country are looking at black people and saying – By god, they aren’t so stupid, they CAN learn, they aren’t all dissolute drunks, they aren’t all after white women, they aren’t all clowns, they can even gain more power than we have.  And that is terrifying to them. It causes them to act out in desperation. It causes them to have racist meetings called Tea Parties under the mantle of accepted politics. All those black people must be frighteningly angry at them, they think, because of all the crap they’ve done to them over the years. And now the President is black. He might kill them all if they don’t watch their backs. He IS killing them all, by trying to implement reforms. What to do? Block him at every turn, spread rumors, demoralize him, revile him in any way possible. And above all, get him the hell out of there. I hope to god the Secret Service is on red alert every day, 24/7.

Tsk tsk, such dark thoughts. Maybe I just don’t belong there any more.  I read the news every few days and don’t keep up with all the details. I am somewhat detached.  I don’t live there any more. Maybe this is why there are expats (except for the foreigners who are just here because it’s not financially viable to live in the USA any longer, not a bad reason either). Maybe political disillusionment, combined with financial advantages, are the reasons so many of us are leaving the country. We can’t afford to live in our own country as retired people, even though we’ve worked hard all our lives. That in itself is awful. Americans are leaving the USA in droves. We in Merida can certainly see that.

Is moving out of there a cop out? should I be back there fighting, having neighborhood rallies in my home? Becoming the precinct committee-person? Putting my money or time where my mouth is? Nah, I’ll just stay here and grumble. That’s what ex-pats do, after all. Grumble. I’m a senior citizen. I’ve marched, I’ve worked for candidates, I’ve worked on voter registration drives, I’ve worked for a lifetime for what I believed in, and sometimes successfully. It was exhilarating when that happened. But now I’m tired. I want a peaceful life. I guess. And, I’ve fallen head over heels in love with Mexico, which also complicates things.

My wish is that Obama and his dream-team will be resourceful enough to continue deep, meaningful changes. That they will inexorably triumph with their reforms. That they will bring banking regulations and other wildly out of control regulatory functions back to near normal, stop allowing the war to be a source of sleazy profit, implement direly needed social programs, make it possible for everyone to have a job and see a doctor, and give all Americans a chance to flourish. They’ve done amazingly well so far, but things are beginning to stagnate.

About BG

Beryl Gorbman is a writer and private investigator who divides her time between Seattle WA and Merida Yucatan Mexico. She has published two works of fiction, 2012: Deadly Awakening, and Madrugada. They are both available on Amazon and other outlets. Also at Amate Books, and Casa Catherwood in Merida. You can read about them in various articles on this site.
This entry was posted in General Blog, Merida Expat Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Expat Thoughts

  1. Richard says:

    Jeekers this is great. You are expressing some growing sentiments… but I gotta say that you could actually take it further. I am seeing lots of situational anxiety…. And yes there is deep, pervasive racism. It is disgusting that Republicans are willing to sacrifice the country in order to express their racism… time to speak out directly .. More please.

    We should remember that the US was the last major nation to abolish slavery. The quintessential core essence of our economy is based on the slave plantation. Now the chains are made of debt and mortgages instead of iron. But the separations of race and class are very strong in this nation. Too bad.

  2. Janna says:

    Hi Beryl,

    I agreed with almost everything you said in the article.

    I was disappointed at the end of it, however, as I thought you were building up to something, but instead it seemed to fall off and I was left with a feeling of despair, and thinking perhaps I should move to Mexico.

    I had hoped you were going to find some solutions or at least some hope; or I thought perhaps you were going to take on those left-leaning folks who are criticizing Obama for not getting the job done; or the American voters who look at things in such a superficial way and are now going back to voting Republican; or the elected Republicans who refuse to take any responsibility for anything, acting as if it was not Republicans that made this mess; or perhaps a warning about Republican tactics that have kept any important legislation from getting passed (no to everything that comes from Obama; convincing the public that it’s perfectly fine that we now need 60% to pass anything; refusing to compromise on anything; and gaining the support of their constituents with negative propaganda everywhere.)

    Your last paragraph started with, “Probably it’s my own naivete, but I think the Obama administration can change a lot of things.” Here I disagree. He can’t change a thing without help from the Congress and/or loud support from the people of the US. And, excuse me for saying so, but it didn’t sound like naivete, but rather closing your eyes and crossing your fingers.

    I would encourage you to use your excellent writing skills to educate people, or to make a call to action, or to give people hope in some way.

    I hope this is the kind of feedback you were looking for, and I haven’t insulted you too much.
    Janna

  3. BG says:

    I appreciated every word. And you are absolutely right about everything. I feel despair. As I said, I have the choice to go home and get involved or staying here and just grousing about it, being sad, feeling hopeless. I am 67 and have been marching and demonstrating and working on the system for most of my adult life. I’m tired and discouraged. That’s why I’m here.

    bg

  4. Janna says:

    I would disagree that your choices are going home and getting involved, or staying there and whining. I think perhaps you could stay there and do some good (with your writing), or you could go home and retire from community involvement, deciding you had worked hard when you were young and wanted to just sit on your butt in your old age, and perhaps do some whining as well, or maybe some writing. Everyone has to find that balance between work and play, between making efforts to change things and just finding a life that makes you happy. And everyone has to choose to find some positive things in life to focus on, because god knows there are so very many things terribly wrong and it can all feel so very hopeless so very fast.
    I hope this does not sound like I’m lecturing you, dearest Beryl. In fact, my heart goes out to you. I think you might be homesick. Maybe it’s time to come home.
    Janna

  5. Martha L says:

    Beryl- You speak my mind. I would probably focus more attention on the financial deregulation that caused so much of the economic devastation for so many to the benefit of the fat cat financiers.

  6. LG says:

    Love your passion and clear headedness.
    Being a Canadian, I can say I am sometimes embarassed for America.

    lg

  7. I enjoyed your article BG, and it sums up a lot of feelings I have, which shouldn’t be, since I am not even a former citizen of the united states. As a Canadian, it pains me (and gives me ‘pena ajena’) to see what is happening in what is arguably a great country. It’s frustrating to see the level of belly-gazing and ignorance of the rest of the world by a vast and increasingly vocal part of the populace, who seem to be looking for a charismatic, strong leader of their own. If this leader emerges, then it will spell disaster for not only the united states, but the rest of the world as well.

  8. Jane S. says:

    Yes,Beryl, you are right on. I can only hope that these are the last gasps of the old white male establishment, but I fear that is not the case…

    Jane
    San Miguel de Allende

  9. Jacqueline N says:

    Well! Maybe you could just exterminate all us Republicans since we don’t even have an IQ of 80 and we are all Racist and we have caused ALL the problems in the US . I read you article and I certainly felt like you would like to get rid of all the evil Republicans, and in your naivete, you think everything would be fine. Kind of a reverse discrimination, don’t you think? Perhaps I have been in a daze or something, or maybe it is because my IQ is too low, but I don’t think only Republicans have been in power since the birth of the Nation, and I would find it hard to believe that all our problems began with the Bush administration, I don’t think any economist would agree with you on that. Nor did our problems with image begin with Bush either. Ever read the “Ugly American”? It seems more logical to me, to assume that all of us share in the greed and lack of responsible spending, among other things. Rather than ranting and raving and pointing fingers I think it would behoove all of us to become responsible and try to work together Republicans and Democrats alike. Name calling and finger-pointing is not productive, it never creates harmony it only breeds more discord. We can see this first hand in the behavior of both Republicans and Democrats.
    It must stop somewhere,but that will never happen as long as this type of article continues to be be published and I mean that for Republicans also. This type of spewing out hatred towards the opposing Party does nothing to set the tone for constructive dialog ,it only fosters division in the country. We need to instead focus on working together to find solutions to the things that have gone wrong And it begins with each one of us,we must accept responsibility for assisting to create an atmosphere of cooperation rather than one of division. Only then can the Country come together and work in unity to find solutions to difficult problems.

  10. Alinde says:

    Wonderful article, Beryl! Might be your best. Let me add this point: slavery did NOT end when it was outlawed. Read this: (Sorry, but have not mastered how to
    import an easy link into another site.)

    SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME, by Doublas Blackmon. http://www.amazon.com/Slavery-Another-Name-Re-Enslavement-Americans/dp/0385722702/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266689989&sr=1-1

  11. Jane C. says:

    The government is eliminating the middle class so pretty soon the United States will seem more like Mexico, and you won’t feel home sick at all.
    It wasn’t only people that were buying homes that cost more than they could afford. It was also people like myself. I put a $85,000 down payment on property. I paid $2,000. a month payment on that property never being late never missing a payment for four years.
    As you know my friend I’m a sixty year old courtesan. That’s a lot of huffin’ and puffin’ to make those kinds of payments every month. Oh sure I had excellent credit I could buy almost anything my heart desired, sky’s the limit. Until the balloon payment comes due, when I got the loan the M&I bank said don’t worry when the balloon payment comes due we will refinance your loan. Yeah right. All laws were changed after the banks bail-out. The M & I bank would not refi my loan, they didn’t care if my credit score was 840 or that I was a loyal customer since 1998 and that I had hundreds of thousands of dollars sitting in a savings account over the years. They told me it wasn’t their fault the bank would not be extending loans or refinancing self employed people anymore that didn’t have a regular documented JOB.
    But if I could lie and claim I made twice as much as I really did on my Tax returns and pay taxes on those false claims they would consider it. Since the property is worth less in Arizona than it was when I bought it, I needed to come up with the $200,000 difference in value to refinance it then maybe they could help me. But make sure you keep paying those $2,000 a month payments until Feb 10, 2011, on that date we will let you know.
    They must think I’m a fool. Well I do feel used to say the least! The banks are full of crap, I knew exactly what they were going to do. I walked away from those payments two months ago, boy that was very difficult to do. Now the slope is getting steeper. I’m sliding to keep my footing, credit card companies are raising their interest rates on my cards now. Soon I wont be able to pay them, and will have to walk away once more. I have nowhere to run, but at the same time I’m sure I’m not alone.
    There are thousands of Americans in the same predicament although that doesn’t seem to help me sleep any better at night. The world we live in now sees our personal integrity our values in the form of credit or how much of it we possess. I’m not making an excuses – I played into the game. I let them rape me, they continue to try in another form of persecution trying to convince me I have nothing to offer polite society anymore I have no power.
    Yeah, power of plastic. Plastic is caustic, but boy how we need it. The poor gal that gives her time and small change to charity is never mentioned or shown on the news, just movie stars who have massive amounts of excess money that their accountants have told them they have to give away, because of tax brackets.
    But you know there is something weird going on almost like some people are walking away and being reborn into something or someone who feels more deeply about their surroundings. Could be 2012 is a changing point, or the beginning of the end. Its also very strange that so many people I know are passing away like they are being picked out by God taken to the the other side to become spirit guides to the masses. What ever it is this is the one thing that the government can’t control or do anything about. I’ll stop rambling on now, sure would like to see your beautiful face right now…Love ya

  12. Sue Gill says:

    On Feb 20, 2010, at 1:24 PM, SUE ROSE wrote:

    My IQ is quite a bit over 80–and I do not agree with you at ALL!

    Sue

  13. Judy Rosenfeld says:

    Thanks for your clear and articulate article. You are a tremendous writer whom I’ve never known to write anything that is not thoroughly thought out. Your words in this article are mine. I am so heartbroken that the words of bipartisanship seem to have been completely unheard and rarely addressed escept in rancour from the polorized ‘opposition’. In my memory I have seen real compromise in years, decades, even generations past. I cannot even begin to really understand what happened. There seems to be no compassion, no empathy to ‘love others as you love yourself’ any more, the kind that I grew up with in my small rural Iowa town. There are no shades of mixed black and white…as in greys. I don’t hear any hate in your words…only shame and deep sadness at the state of our homeland. Thanks for your apt article…it reflects much of my own awareness. I take exception of nothing you have said/contributed to the written word.

  14. Something will change says:

    I bet there are expat groups out there that are similarly pissed.

    This is only the beginning of huge changes ahead.

  15. JES says:

    One of my biggest stupidities was selling my house in Merida. I would love to be in my second floor garden there, with a cold Martini with friends. As for GW Bush, I don’t understand why he hasn’t been indicted for treason. That mfer deserves to be in prison for a long time. (deleted section -ed)
    At this time I think the USA “sucks”. All the idiot citizens are interested in is stupid football and any other sports in season. Right now it is all about Tiger Woods and his whoring. Wo cares? I am tired of hearing about it. Fuck him. Anyway good article…If I had the dinero, I would be out of here.
    John, Florida

  16. Molly M. says:

    Your article articulates exactly my own feelings and frustrations about what has happened to us, although I could not put it into words as eloquently as you have. My fondest wish is to be able to move to Mexico, although the so-called “drug war” there is pretty daunting, and the daily events along our border here in southern Arizona are truly horrific. It gives one an overwhelming feeling of powerlessness to do anything to mitigate it–as does the current climate of political polarity and outright hate here in the U.S. It is very hard to live in this country now and not become enveloped in a sense of hopelessness and real despair.

  17. lv says:

    Wow!!! That was an excellent article.

  18. Alinde says:

    I have been wondering if one of the underlying variables to all this might be the growing lack of civility in the USA. AND I might add, this has been growing, and GROWING for years!

    I was once a public transit supervisor, and was actually unable to concentrate on my job for the rude screaming of the intending passengers! But one day, on vacation , while in a Mexico City subway’s underground station, I witnessed the type of line delay with which I used to have to deal. And guess what–everyone did what the supervisor told them to do, NO one went up and screamed at the supe, and things got solved!

    The civility of my adopted country is still one of the things I like most about living here. I don’t need to go too far to see what I left– I just look at some of the internet forums, the name-calling and such is, well, like Fox News!

  19. Well said. Thoughtfully said. Painfully said.

    Thanks.

  20. BG says:

    Here’s a great semi-related link sent in by Alinde. Thanks, Alinde.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/23/opinion/23iht-edcohen.html?em

  21. Sharee says:

    It is indeed all so frustrating. We are considering a move to the Merida area, but have not accomplished it yet. Part of my family has already “gone south” and I look forward to the adventure. Appreciate your thoughts!

  22. Jonna says:

    Bush was not the first time we had to be embarrassed about our citizenship, have you forgotten LBJ & Nixon? It’s been a long run of arrogance. I do agree that it is nice and very different not to have to fend off the tacky cracks abroad, I found the French and the Canadians the most obnoxious about it, btw. I am proud that the US elected Obama and I fear greatly for him in that land of violence and hatred.

    I’ve never been very political however and the idea of leaving my country because of Bush or returning because of Obama just would never cross my mind. Block parties? OMG, that is so New York.

    I’ve always felt that people get the government that they deserve. I vote but I am not enthusiastic in most cases. I have voted for a Republican twice, both times the same guy. I happen to like the Governator but mainly I couldn’t stomach his opponents. There’s the rub, I can’t actually remember voting for anyone other than Dianne Feinstein that I actually was voting FOR rather than voting against the opponent or just picking the lesser of two evils.

    The thing that most depresses me when I look at my homeland is the vicious divisiveness that colors everything. There is no civil debate, no compromise with honor, no respect for the other side. They are children in a sand box throwing tantrums and toys. Frankly, it puts me off so much that I rarely read anything political.

    We all have things that cause us to lower our appraisal of others IQ, I have them too and yes, I do tend to drop a few points for avowed Republicans and ardent believers in any religion. Like any generalization though, it’s inaccurate and more importantly it is insulting and stifles communication so most of the time I keep that to myself. If we are to ever see a return to civil behavior, it has to start with each of us and that means we have to stop insulting those who disagree… at least publicly.

    • BG says:

      Jonna – Unfortunately, I think the motives are murkier than children in a sandbox throwing toys. I think it is simply a matter of money. So many Republican interests are so heavily invested in for instance, the war, that they are motivated to keep it going even though there is no moral or just reason to do so. This money bloc has become entrenched over the past years and getting them off of the profitable war machine will be difficult. So will changing the health care structure, for the same reason.
      I’m not saying it’s just Republicans. I have a jaded view of most politicians and think even if they charge in with good intentions, they are forced to make so many compromises that they lose their identities. Money and power are practically irresistible. I guess.
      Truly, I feel sorry for Obama. And I fear for his safety. He is annoying the establishment, and that puts a target on his back.
      On the IQ thing, I didn’t say Republicans have low IQs. Quite the contrary. I wish it were that simple. What I said was that no one with an IQ over 80 (yes, a generalization), Republican or Democrat, could see their way clear to voting for McCain and Palin, which is why Obama won.
      b

  23. enjoyed your writing-
    having spent time in Japan and Merida myself (and a total of 38 countries)
    nan desuka?
    It always has been valuable to me to be able to maintain my viewpoint as
    an outsider to some extent in the U.S., especially during the idiotic Bush years.
    May they never be repeated.
    I encourage all to travel if you can, we all can benefit from the viewpoint.

    Sally

    a philosopher who should write a book

  24. very enjoyed your photos-
    I forgot to mention on my first comment.
    toilet seats are quite nice!

    Sally

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