From: Tchiowa on

Dave Frightens Me wrote:
> On 15 Aug 2006 18:48:12 -0700, "Tchiowa" <tchiowa2(a)> wrote:
> >
> >Dave Frightens Me wrote:
> >> On 14 Aug 2006 18:18:12 -0700, "Tchiowa" <tchiowa2(a)> wrote:
> >>
> >> >
> >> >Miguel Cruz wrote:
> >>
> >> >> Contrast this with Athens and Berlin. A tiny minority of the people have
> >> >> shared fluency in any language.
> >> >
> >> >Almost all speak English.
> >>
> >> *chuckle*
> >>
> >> You would be one of those ignorant yanks if you believe this!
> >
> >A few years ago I commented to a friend of my in Angola about the
> >difficulty I had in France (I used to go there several times a year)
> >because I don't speak French and not all that many people spoke
> >English. He claimed that it was because many people have an attitude
> >like you just expressed (ignorant yank) abouit Americans.
> >
> >At his suggestion I tried using Portuguese when I went to France (I had
> >learned that after several years in Angola). So I did. I'd speak to
> >someone in France using Portuguese and they would respond in French.
> >I'd try again in Portuguese and then they would shift to English as a
> >"neutral language".
> >
> >I found that damn near everyone I met could speak English fairly well.
> That's due to your limited experience, probably limited to touristy
> areas.

No, mostly business. Sorry. You're wrong again.

> >Clearly someone has never eaten Creole food and Philly Cheese Steaks.
> Neither of those are as common as the humble Big Mac in the typical
> diet.

Maybe in France you'd be right.

Not in the US.

From: Tchiowa on

Jordi wrote:
> Tchiowa wrote:
> > Jordi wrote:
> > > Tchiowa wrote:
> > > > No, in this context it's the core of what works and what doesn't work.
> > >
> > > In your black & white world, perhaps.
> >
> > If you are unable to understand the difference between government
> > control and regulation then you have a real problem with economics.
> You keep telling 4 weeks holiday is 'control'

??? No I didn't. I cited that as one example that is part of a bigger
problem. 4 weeks holiday is not "control". Government ordering that
companies provide benefits that aren't related to performance is one
example of control.

In Europe it's part of a much, much bigger problem.

> and 'unbearable' yet
> countries like Australia, Sweden or the different Scandinavian
> countries prove you can have more than that holiday allowance by law
> and a competitive economy.

Australia's unemployment rate is the lowest it's been in decades, yet
still 10% higher than the US rate (4.6% - 5.1%, a .5% difference which
is 10% of 4.6% - had to do the math for you so we don't have to
exchange 20 more postings to get you to understand).

Sweden's rate is about 6%, even higher.

OK. "Other Scandinavian countries"? OK.

Finland (2004, the most recent I found without spending hours proving
you don't know what you're talking about): 8.9%.

Norway (population 4 million, smaller than many American *cities*):
4.4%. Roughly the same as the US as a whole.

And these are the *best examples* you can come up with. Again, as I
have pointed out before, you can try to chop pieces out of the whole to
try to prove something. But that is a distortion. I can cite parts of
the US where unemployment is around 3%. But, *TAKEN AS A WHOLE* the
unemployment rate in Europe is roughly double the rate in the US.

Further, your stats don't prove what you claim at all. Yes it's
possible to have high vacations and a competitive economy, but as I've
pointed out *repeatedly*, the vacation mandate is just *part* of the

> Again, it's not the holiday.

Wrong, yet again.

> > Before you come up with the "smart" response, I've been to Europe
> > probably 100 times and visited a large number of European countries.
> >
> You've said that half a dozen times already, the only possible
> conclusion is that you can spend a considerable amount of time in a
> foreign country and not realise what's going on.

Or that I *do* see it and you don't and thus you remain confused.

> > > There's history, you see. Are you by any chance pretending the US is
> > > exempt from those?
> >
> > No. Just pointing out the fact that the reason so many Euros have
> > passports is due to hatred and bigotry, not some cultural superiority
> > as has been implied.
> Cultural superiority as having more different cultures in a reduced
> space, yes, that's it.

But that wasn't the claim. The claim was cultural superiority (implied)
due to having a lot of passports and travelling between countries.

> > > > But their "western" lifestyle is lower than American's.
> > >
> > > In what sense? 1.0 litre less of engine?, 4 less inches on a flat TV?
> > > Having some real vacation weighs substantially more on overal quality
> > > of life.
> >
> > As do a lot of other things. Most Americans have "real" vacations and
> > most have more to spend on their vacations that Euros do.
> Sure you mean 'most Americans over 45'?

No, I mean most Americans *PERIOD* have "real" vacations.

> > > > But are you saying that you can't enjoy time with your family and still work????
> > >
> > > You can, just less.
> >
> > Quantity as opposed to quality?
> Quality is just on the individual.

But you seem to be claiming that you can't have quality without
quantity. To me "quality" defines a "real" vacation. To you, if it's
not 4 weeks in the first year of your employment it's not "real".

> > > > Then how can you say that the amount Americans work is "excessive"?
> > >
> > > It's less than other very productive economies (Australians have 5
> > > weeks, Sweden has 25 days, etc.)
> >
> > Less or more is not the issue. You said *EXCESSIVE*! Then you admit you
> > can't calculate it. So maybe Australians vacation is *excessive*.
> They seem to do pretty well, so the answer is no, as the cap on
> vacation is economic sense.

"Cap"? It's a "floor", not a cap.

> > > If you are talking on an international level, you will see many of
> > > these allegedly burdened employers competing hand to hand with other
> > > 'unburdened' ones.
> >
> > With a whole lot less employees which is demonstrated by the high
> > unemployment rates in Europe.
> Do Australia and Sweden have high unemployment rates?

Compared to the US? Yes.

From: Tchiowa on

Hatunen wrote:
> On 15 Aug 2006 22:45:11 -0700, "Tchiowa" <tchiowa2(a)>
> wrote:
> >Europeans possession of passports is a result of hatred and bigotry
> >that has kept the continent at war with itself for centuries. Not
> >something to be proud of.
> >
> >> and Europeans can travel between most countries without going through
> >> any kind of passport control.
> >
> >These days, yes. But that's a recent development. The reason a lot of
> >Euros have passports was because that wasn't the case until recently.
> >
> >Try to keep up.
> As I pointed out elsewhere, there were no passports until after
> WW1. The fact that they are no longer needed for much
> intra-European travel means that they really only served their
> purpose for about 80 years out of two millenia of European
> history. You make a pretty weak case with the passport business,
> espcially since you don't explain *why* passports are an
> indication of bigotry and hatred.

Passports are not an indication of bigotry and hatred. I never said

The need to have a passport in order to travel more than a couple of
hours in any direction in Europe is a result of the fact that Europe is
chopped up into little political entities. And that is a result of
1,000 years or more of bigotry and hatred and war.

The hatred and bigotry caused the boundaries and the need for passports
to travel arised from the boundaries. Therefore the need for passports
for Euros results not from some cultural superiority as has been
claimed but rather because the hatred and bigotry that has existed for
a millenium and more (and still exists) created the national borders.

So the "More Europeans have passports than Americans" statement (which
is what this discussion is about) does not prove cultural superiority
but rather stems from a history of war and hatred.

From: Tchiowa on

Hatunen wrote:
> On 16 Aug 2006 01:32:12 -0700, "Tchiowa" <tchiowa2(a)>
> wrote:
> >
> >The Reid wrote:
> >> Following up to Hatunen
> >>
> >> >>that's a classic, "everybody in Europe speaks English". Is the
> >> >>man trolling?
> >> >
> >> >In all fairness, he didn't say "everybody".
> >> >
> >> True, but "almost all" is just as silly and if not a troll
> >> indicates someone who has never moved outside major tourist
> >> spots. .
> >
> >Tourist spots??? English is the primary and *official* language of
> >government for the EU.
> So because memebrs of the EU bureacracy sometimes use English it
> means almost all Europeans speak English? Your logic escapes
> mmost of us.

Interesting. I cited several examples. You separate them then respond
that *just one* of them doesn't prove anything. Try taking things as a

> >It is the primary language of business
> >throughout the EU.
> Not yet. It is the primary language in certain places, e.g., the
> board of FIAT.

Try again. Look at the law for contracts in the EU.

English is the primary language of business in the EU for any business
that crossed national borders.

> >It is the primary language for education throughout the EU.
> Most student now have to study English in the schools, but it is
> far from the "primary language for education throughout the EU".

It is *required* for lower level students to learn at a minimum level
and many University degrees require almost fluencyi.

> >
> >
> >"Italians place a very high importance on learning languages,
> >particularly English. Fifteen years ago it was quite difficult to find
> >an English speaker here but today it is relatively easy."
> "Relatively easy"? Compared to what?

As compared to what it used to be like, maybe? Which has been my
experience in 2 decades travelling to Europe fairly regularly.

From: Tchiowa on

Hatunen wrote:
> On 15 Aug 2006 22:50:30 -0700, "Tchiowa" <tchiowa2(a)>
> wrote:
> >
> >Hatunen wrote:
> >> On 15 Aug 2006 20:29:03 -0700, "Tchiowa" <tchiowa2(a)>
> >> wrote:
> >
> >> >Yes, I find European history quite odd myself. I assume that you're not
> >> >trying to claim that the reasons that Europe is chopped up into a few
> >> >dozen small countries is *not* because of the hatred and bigotry that
> >> >has marked your entire history.
> >>
> >> That's a very over-simplified view of European history. It's been
> >> "chopped up" since the fall of the Roman Empire and the onset of
> >> the Dark Ages, when communications and transportation became so
> >> difficult that each small area became isolated. And when it came
> >> to the petty wars of the medieval era that kept jumbling up the
> >> mix of countries it had little to do with bigotry and hatred and
> >> a lot to do with the drive for power and wealth on the part of
> >> the nobility.
> >>
> >> Of course, there was lot of bigotry and hatred in the area of the
> >> Balkans, but that's only part of Europe, and a lot of it was due
> >> to the Islamic conquest of much of the Balkans.
> >
> >Are you suggesting that Germany didn't invade France in the 1940s? Or
> >that millions of Jews weren't slaughtered? Or that WWI didn't happen?
> >Or that European history isn't basically the story of one war after
> >another as various groups tried to conquer or slaughter various other
> >groups?
> The Jews are a special case, of course, as the scapegoat for the
> Christians; I certainly don't deny bigotry and hatred, but I
> don't seem to recll any wars that began as a result of
> antisemitism. Believe it or not (and I fully expect you to deny
> it), most wars in Europe throughout its history were not the
> result of hatred or bigotry, but of power and greed.

Actually both. But if you want to say that the reason so many Euros
have passports is a result of hatred and bigotry *AND* power and greed
I'll go along with that.

> World War
> One was not caused by hatred or bigotry, it was the result of the
> Austro-Hungarian Empire deciding that the little incident at
> Sarajevo was a good excuse to add Serbia to the Empire.

And considering the people Serbia as some kind of "lesser people"
didn't figure into that calculation? To start a war of conquest like
that you first must consider your target to be unworthy of protection
and independence.

> >The US was once a group of small political entities that didn't much
> >like each other.
> That's certainly a bit overstated; can you document the claim
> that the royal govenment of Virginia didn't much liek the royal
> government of Norht Carolina?

1860. Bit of a struggle in the US.

It's commonly said that prior to the Civil War we said "The United
States *are*" but after the war we said "The United States *is*"
(indicating a finally unified country).

> >But the US unified (for better or for worse). Europe
> >was never able to unify because of the hatred and bigotry and can't
> >unify today for many of the same reasons.
> Bigotry doesn't enter into it, and hatred is a bit strong; it's
> more like "suspicious", and given the past history of various
> attemts to achieve power over Europe perhaps rightfully so.

OK. Bigotry, hatred, power, greed *AND* suspicion.

> >> You betray a certain shallowness.
> >
> >Why? Because I don't buy the view that the fact that Europe has been
> >split up for centuries requiring most Euros to have passports in order
> >to travel for more than a few hours somehow gives them some type of
> >cultural superiority?
> NO, the shallowness is indicated by your insistence on
> over-simplistic explanations for very complex situations.

Root cause analysis.

> >That was the topic.
> Your topic.

No. It was in response to a very specific statement about Euros having
passports implied they were better than Americans.