Travelers Are Not Always Tourists

The reader comments added to my post just below are a facinating read. Many of them are first-person accounts of time in Berlin, before and after the Wall. Most of the writers are American military veterans who were stationed in Germany during the Cold War.

One reader notes:

That is to be expected of course since the military has always been the easiest way to “see the world”, but I wonder just how many liberals had the chance to see this event up close and personal like we have?

In fact, with the exception of the Vietnam War period where the draft caught up everyone no matter what their political persuasion, I would guess that there are many more conservatives who have traveled the world than liberals, simply because more of them have served in the military.

I wonder if this is a factor that the media, disconnected as it is from the world of military families and the military in general, has missed. I grew up in a small town in south Alabama, but because of its proximity to a large Army base (Ft. Rucker), I’d say at least a third of my grade-school classmates had lived overseas at one point or another, most of them in Germany. My own parents were stationed in England before I was born; I have a brother who’s buried in the American cemetary at RAF Lakenheath.

Years later, when I went to work on Air Force bases, again in small Southern towns, most of the uniformed military folks I knew (including almost all of the enlisted troops) had lived in Japan, Korea, the Phillipines, Germany, Britain, or Italy, to say nothing of deployments to Saudi Arabia and/or Kuwait.

I have to wonder if the academic and media elitists who sneer at the “provincials” in the “red states” have any conception of those kinds of life experiences, much less the effects that they’ve had on veterans, their families, and their friends. The level of sneering directed South (or East, from the Left Coasters) over the last few days seems to indicate a considerable ignorance as to just how much international knowledge and experience the ‘red staters’ really have.

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212 Responses to “Travelers Are Not Always Tourists”

  1. David Says:

    I wake up, get a Diet Dr. Pepper, turn on my computer, check out my favorite blogs (not going to say where Vodkapundit is on the list) and WHAM, I see Will has used one of my posts to make a point. Frankly, I am not sure if that is a good thing or a sign that the end times are near.

    Either way, it makes you feel all tingly . . .

  2. RandMan Says:

    I read in some obscure book that man does not live by bread alone.

    To the Left, man does indeed live by bread alone. Dialectical materialism is the term they use to describe this philosphy. For one to believe this, you must have no soul.

    The Left has no soul, so it can’t understand freedom, the meaning of the Berlin Wall, the Contras, or the desires of oridnary Afghani’s and Iraqi’s for self-government.

  3. Pat Says:

    Is anyone else tired of all the bashing going on by both sides? I’d like to grab each side by an ear and tell them to grow up. That is really the most disappointing thing to come out of this election.

  4. Peter Chandler Says:

    Off topic, but is Stephen okay? Is he just on hiatus? Did he give himself food poisoning? Is he in an Arafatesque condition?

  5. Ben Bach Says:

    Peter, I believe only Suha is allowed to release information on Stephen’s condition.

  6. Deacon Blues Says:

    I grew up in small towns in Alabama as well. I did live for a short time in Oklahoma but there really wasn’t much difference. My father was in the Air Force before I was born and did travel and he taught all of his children to read, travel, ask questions, not just accept everything around us as the only thing there is. After I left Auburn University I worked all over the US, including San Francisco and Boston. I met a lot of people in both places who had NEVER traveled anywhere else. In 1992 I was showing some people at Badger Engineering in Boston some pictures of Knoxville, Tennessee in the fall and they were all incredulous that the leaves had changed color. I said of course, it’s fall. One of them said “I thought New England was the only place leaves changed color in the fall”. These were college educated people. My advice- travel, talk expierence new places and people.

  7. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Will Collier
    RE: It’s So Simple

    “I have to wonder if the academic and media elitists who sneer at the “provincials” in the “red states” have any conception of those kinds of life experiences, much less the effects that they’ve had on veterans, their families, and their friends.” — Will Collier

    They are projecting.

    They are ignorant. And, to compound the problem, they are proud of their ignorance.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [Stupidity: Ignorant and proud of it.]

  8. David [.net] Says:

    When I was in college 20 years ago, I boarded with two brothers. They were sons of an Air Force Col., and had done much of there growing up in Germany. They were South Carolina good old boys to anyone who didn’t know them, but they spent their spare time as teens all over free Europe. They’d get on the train and go to sleep. Wherever they woke up, that’s where they went.

  9. Major John Says:

    Aw Shucks, when I finish tramping all around Parwan and Kapisa provinces of Afghanistan and come home (like I once did from Bosnia, Croatia, Hungary and Germany) I’ll go back to my “Red” county and back into the sterotype box of ‘yokel’.

  10. Sandy P Says:

    MMMMMmmmmm, Dr. Pepper!

    Me, too, but leaded.

  11. pat Says:

    I grew up in Arlington Virginia – where the Pentagon is. Many of our neighbors were Army families. With them and later with the sergeants I met in Basic Training there was always an understanding that the US was the best country. This was not ideology it was experience.

    Later in my leftist days I met many students who were troubled by the assumption that the US was in any way superior to other nations. They felt that had they been born in another land they would have been bent toward belief in that country’s superiority. They tried to achieve a kind of intellectual political freedom by adopting an internationalist or relativist stance. They tried to rise above the nationalism they felt around them and be free to criticize their country. We see a lot of that today.

    The military families and sergeants who had served abroad were untroubled by these sort of musings. They had lived in other countries and had found those countries to be more rigid, more intollerant, and less just than their homeland.

  12. Tom Says:

    Another related issue.. young, virile GIs get stationed overseas and they bring back not only experience, but.. wives. I love having liberals lecture me on the bigotry of the south, when about a third of my friends in high school in our little Army town in Texas had mothers from other countries, and about a quarter of my friends were biracial. Interracial marriages are much, much more common among military families than the lily-white progressives.

  13. SilverLining Says:

    There is a similar affect in Canada. These days (with Canada’s creeping military disarmament by budget-cut) it’s mainly the serving members, instead of also their families, that get the foreign experiences. However, the military members also get familiarity with American military personnel, bases and hardware. Thus the “best” place in the world to live in (from the Canadian point of view) gets translated into “Canada and the United States.”

  14. Bill Says:

    Proof positive the people who think they’re better because they think they more know about things abroad had better damn well familiarize themselves with people on the otherside of street first.

  15. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Once, back in 1970, I was talking to a couple of other second lieutenants. They were new to Ft. Jackson and were wondering where they’d met before, which they thought they might have. Turns out they played football against each other in the dependents’ high school league in Germany.
    My first OCS tac, (the late) Darrel Wood, was a linebacker at a school on Okinawa where his bereaved fiancee had been a cheerleader.
    Fraternity brothers had lived in Europe with the Air Force in which their fathers served. Didn’t much like Italians, either.
    It would be hard to tell these guys they don’t know much about the world.
    And as for the crack about not being able to find (your choice of country) on a map: Americans know various parts of the world very well. All things considered, most people would not want to be discovered by the Americans in the American fashion.

  16. scott orrell Says:

    wow. That is an excellent point. I too grew up in AL. At this moment, I have a cousin in South Korea and a cousin in Germany. All of my travelling was not military, but the wanderings of a youth. But I’m always surprised that of the number of Americans I meet, most are from red state America.

  17. js Says:

    One thing that should be pointed out here is that military people stationed abroad live to a considerable extent in their own little world. If they so choose, they can have virtually no interaction with the locals at all. As it is, much – if not most – of their interaction is from either shopping or going out for drinks in the evenings (with their American friends, of course). It is an experience abroad, but it is far different from actually having intensive day to day contact with the locals or even the local culture. Most of the military people stationed abroad can’t even speak the language of the country they are stationed in. They may see the world, but often they see it the much same way tourists do. It is not especially conducive to learning much about other cultures.

  18. Will Collier Says:

    Scott, I didn’t even think to mention it, by my sister’s family is stationed in Germany right now (bro-in-law is XO for the 12th Aviation).

  19. MPSSG Says:

    js: Even if they live in thier own little world they are STILL dealing for an extended time witha foriegn culture.

    I spent 6 years in Germany and most of that time was living on the economy, which was what a majority of married EM’s did. We went farther in that we changed most of our money into Marks and shopped like the locals did.

    I do agree that few liberals of my (NY & NJ) aquaintence have ever been any place other then “here” but will ALWAYS tell me about a place I have been. My favorite is telling me what happened in Iraq and what the people thought after I returned from being in the country working with the people every day.

    Gotta love that!

  20. Damian Says:

    I can see that there is a certain amount of “group think” going on here after reading through the messages.

    Of course, military personnel who have been stationed in the nether regions of American “influence” will have experiences and opinions regarding their postings! Why wouldn’t they, they are rational human beings after all!

    A soldiers opinion is nuanced from the word go. Does the fact that a soldier has been placed in a foreign country mean that that soldier now totally understands the psyche of the people and culture that he is now immersed in? I think not! He can skim the surface, thats all.

    Military personnel grow up in an “American version” of wherever they are stationed.

  21. Larry J Says:

    I was born and raised in Huntsville, AL and joined the Army after high school graduation. With a break in service to attend college, my military experiences took me from Army Private to Air Force Captain. I’ve visited about 45 states and lived a month or more in 11 of them. I also spent 2 years in Germany with visits to England, France, Switzerland, and Holland. Subsequent travel has taken me to Tokyo and Guam. In that, my experiences are nothing special.

    How many of the sophisticated “blue staters” have traveled as much? I’ve met quite a few who were very provincial. I’ve been to very liberal cities like DC, Boston, San Francisco, and was in New York City just last month. How many of them have ever visited the South or places like Colorado and New Mexico? Many of them claim to be so wise to the ways of the world yet they’ve hardly left their neighborhoods.

  22. Vilmos Soti Says:

    Back in November 1989 I was in East Berlin as a tourist. Well, I was sleeping and eating in East Berlin, but I spent my days in West Berlin.

    When i arrived home to Budapest in a morning, had the following conversation with my father.

    – So, did anything happen while I was in Berlin?
    – (just gave me a really stupid look).
    – So? Anything?
    – You don’t know?
    – No. I was away. I didn’t read the newspapers.
    – You really don’t know what happened?
    – No, and would you please tell me if anything interesting happened?
    – OK, the Berlin Wall fell.
    – ???
    – …
    – Don’t be kidding. I was there.
    – Well, it is gone.
    – Come on, anything happened? Don’t treat me stupider than I really am.

    At this time he quietly gave me the newspaper, and I was flabbergastered.

    So I realized that I was just next to history, and I didn’t even figure out… I was crossing the East/West Berlin border twice daily. Hmmm. Maybe it is good that I am not a journalist…

    To be honest, the wall possibly came down after I left Berlin.

    Vilmos

    PS. This is a true story

  23. Sgt. Mom Says:

    Damien, not all of them stick to the “ville”— in a lot of places, especially outside Germany, many families lived on the economy, shopped locally, travelled on their own… and, yes, picked up enough language to get along. When my daughter and I came back to the states (after ten straight years in Greece and Spain), she was in the 6th grade, and they were doing Western European history, and she brought home her textbook and showed it to me… and everything that there was a picture of in that textbook— we had visited!
    Contrast that with the fact that at least a third of the kids in her class had never, ever traveled outside the state they were living.

  24. Mike M Says:

    “Military personnel grow up in an “American version” of wherever they are stationed.”

    I beg to differ. At the beginning of the year I visited a friend who is a civilian working for the Army in Korea and to say that he lives in a “little America” is totally wrong.

    Even spending 10 days there I could appreciate the social, cultural, and practical differences of being in another country…and Seoul is a very westernized city. Someone who lives in another country for a couple years would have a very good understanding if it, even if it’s on a military base.

    Sure, kids go to American schools and can watch AFN, but it’s not like they live in this little America bubble that shields them from the outside world. Anyone who lives in (or even visits) a foreign country for any length of time finds it to be a profound experience.

  25. David Says:

    Perhaps there is “group think” going on here. Perhaps military personnel and their families have tended to “live in their own little world” while stationed overseas.

    But the fact of the matter is, even if a military member and his or her family got off the base/post 10 times in a year for their normal three year tours, that would be 30 times more foreign experience than the vast majority of liberals who claim superiority in the area of “world view”.

    Add in the fact that military members have ongoing professional contacts with the military of other nations and I still say that the military has a better insight into the world outside the USA.

    One could argue that it is a “militaristic” point of view, but since the military of most European nations tend to be more liberal than the American military (and draftees in many nations), chances are we are still getting a well-rounded point of view.

  26. Jarhead Says:

    js: You’re right that a lot of military people can live in their own “Little America” as I called it. And for a few months that’s what I, and most of my fellow Marines, did in Japan. After that adjustment time I, and almost every other Marine I knew, began to venture further and further out and interact with the “locals” more and more. At the end of my year there I had several Japanese friends and yes, even spoke a bit of the language. Am I an expert on the Japanese culture? Of course not. Do I have more knowledge of it than a tourist? You better believe it.

  27. jean-paul Says:

    “The level of sneering directed South (or East, from the Left Coasters) over the last few days seems to indicate a considerable ignorance as to just how much international knowledge and experience the ‘red staters’ really have.”

    At the same time, we must note that George W. Bush had never been outside of the country when he ran for his party’s nomination in 2000.

    If Democrats have been stereotyping ‘red-staters,’ then so have Republicans. There is no homogenous ‘feel-good’ solid bloc of ‘red-state’ people. I live in Knoxville, TN, a state that you’d think would be solidly for Bush. He won only 57-43. That means almost half the state voted for Kerry, that almost half the state was willing to basically vote for anyone to get Bush out of office.

    The moral of the story is: don’t exaggerate the solidity and safety of your own positions by misrepresenting the level of Republican support in ‘red states.’ The vast majority of the states are purple; they can change, and will change.

  28. Max Says:

    If you all are so worldly why are you such bigots?

  29. Will Collier Says:

    Jean-Paul, a 14-point loss isn’t even close in basketball.

  30. Sandy P Says:

    JP – not 1/2 the state, a little over 2/5 of voters. Kids can’t legally vote.

    Nice try, tho.

  31. baldilocks Says:

    Who Sees the World?

    Again over at Vodkapundit, Will Collier (via one of his commenters, David), points out that it is often the typical Republican-red stater who has served in the military and, therefore, has had more opportunities to β€œseen the world.” Not just

  32. Damian Says:

    Max makes a presumtuous point. He surmises that bigotry is negative.

    I maintain that soldiers are conditioned and whether they like it or not, are bigots!

    This does not fit in with tolerance of other cultures.

  33. Mike M Says:

    “The moral of the story is: don’t exaggerate the solidity and safety of your own positions by misrepresenting the level of Republican support in ‘red states.'”

    I think that should be an even sterner warning to the Democrats. Look at Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire. That’s 52 EV that Kerry won by a *total* of about 200,000 votes (Bush won by around 130,000 in the “close” Ohio).

    We’re talking 0.18% of the vote! The electorate swings 0.2% towards the Republicans and this election is a total blowout.

    The Democrats are the ones that have to be scrambling and building bridges. They lose any ground among blacks or unions (not to mention anyone else) in the midwest and they may never win another Presidential election.

  34. David Says:

    The only bigoted people I have met recently are the liberals who are not willing to accept any view of the world but their own . . .

    You don’t last very long as a bigot in the American military . . . those people usually get booted out or leave after not getting promoted.

  35. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Max
    RE: Bigots? Nous?

    “If you all are so worldly why are you such bigots?” — Max

    Hardly.

    I was raised an AF brat, SAC, specifically. Did the Cuban thing at ground zero round-one, Offutt AFB. Bags packed and stacked by the door. Dad was a combat crew commander for an ICBM site outside of town. If he got the call, we all hit the door at the same time. He for his battle position, we for northern Wisconson.

    I recall doing my high school thing in late 60s in Louisiana. I was amazed at how much some people hated me because I didn’t hate black people as much as they did. I attribute my lack of bigotry to having lived and associated with them in the Air Force.

    So, I suppose your calling us ‘bigots’, is really just projection as you, not knowing us, accuse us of what you are practicing.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [Prejudice: A vagarant opinion without visible means of support.]

  36. Sgt. Mom Says:

    The toleration of other cultures? Really, Damien. Like how the Japanese regard everyone else as lesser beings? Like how the Greeks despise the Turks, and vice versa? And how the Spanish and other Europeans feel about Gypsies.
    Yep, only Americans are bigots, and everyone else is a marvel of toleration. Riiiiiiight!

  37. David Says:

    I gave this some thought and I think the comments by Max and Damian are simply another example of the hypocrisy of the left.

    They tell us how much they appreciate the military and that they are as patriotic as any right-winger alive, but in the same breath they call us bigots and incapable of being tolerant of other cultures.

    Man, with friends like this who needs enemies?

  38. Polly Says:

    Anyone live in or around Eufaula, AL? My dad’s family lived there and in Barbour County for the past couple of hundred years.

  39. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Sgt. Mom
    RE: Don’t Forget….

    ….the Chinese. Those on the mainland still have issues with anyone from outside their ancient civilization. Then there are the Farsi, vis-a-vis any other Arabs.

    Oh yeah. Lest we forget the Hutu vs. the Tutsi (Rwanda match of ’94).

    In my career in the Army, I’ve lived and worked with a whole schlew of people from all over the country and a few countries outside of ours as well. Most fascinating stuff.

    These poor sods that haven’t had this kind of experience ‘hate’ us with the same sort of passion I see in other highly-parochial cultures.

    It’s one of the reasons I support the idea of universal governmental service before being enfranchised. Get these kids a REAL ‘education’, as opposed to the tripe the NEA feeds them.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [One of the biggest mistakes and the greatest blessings I ever had was enlisting in the Army.]

  40. js Says:

    You know, those of you who have been in the military who have described their experiences abroad actually reinforce my point when I said they “see it much the same as tourists do.” Put a tourist in any country for an extended period of time and of course they will have more interaction with the locals than one passing through for a week. But the only real difference is really the amount of time they spend there. Of course you learn and see more over 2 years of “tourism” than you do in a week. However the depth of understanding remains relatively superficial until you leave “Little America” completely behind – which few can or are willing to do. Mom comes to visit me here in Germany for 3-4 weeks every year. She probably has had at least as much, if not more, contact with Germans and has a better understanding of the culture than people who are in the military and have been stationed here continuously for years. How much contact and understanding is that? No offense to my mom, but it’s not much. She can’t speak the language, she can’t read a newspaper, she isn’t constantly and completely exposed to another culture. Seeing a place, even for an extended period of time, is not the same as understanding it. Having a few foreign acquaintances who communicate with you in your language is not the same as understanding a foreign culture. Of course, there are few people anywhere with an in-depth understanding of a foreign culture. (Most Germans are scratching their heads in astonishment that anyone except a madman would vote for Bush, yet he was re-elected with nearly 52% of the votes. Worlds collide. Few truly comprehend where the others are coming from.)

    Has anyone else noticed that somehow the thread morphed from “We red staters have travelled more and seen more of the world than the blues think we have” to “We’re better than they are because we travel more”? I agree with the original sentiment, but have serious doubts about the latter. I meet Americans from all over when I travel.

  41. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Damian
    RE: Bigots Are US

    “I maintain that soldiers are conditioned and whether they like it or not, are bigots!” — Damian

    You should have seen the race riots in the 82d (All Afro) Airborne Division.

    There was this one platoon leader in one of the 505th batts who was the only white-guy in his platoon. They called him, affectionatly, “Bwahna”. Biggest joke in the 3d Brigade.

    But there was a certain amount of ‘bigotry’. As a paratrooper in the 82d, I looked down upon any “leg” (non-airborne) soldier. And I positively despised ANYONE from the Hundred and Worst Air Assault Division.

    However, the height of our bigotry was best exemplified by the riot that took place at Andrews AFB during the ’71 May Day riots in DC. I swear…..

    ….it was 3000 82d Airborne Division paratroopers versus the same number of some regiment of Marines (Happy B-Day, Bozos). There was more head-knocked that night at Andrews then all the silliness that happened in DC for several days.

    Now THAT’S ‘bigotry’.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [Godspeed to the GIrines (and legs) in Fallujah. I’ll tip one for you today…..]

  42. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: js
    RE: It’s Only a Matter of Time

    “Put a tourist in any country for an extended period of time and of course they will have more interaction with the locals than one passing through for a week. But the only real difference is really the amount of time they spend there.” — js

    Yeah. There IS a big difference between passing through, in a few days vs. several years.

    Something about living the life, I suspect. In a few days you might be there for some festival, but you won’t see the people on a daily basis. Won’t get a chance to sing their everyday songs, drink their everyday beer, eat their everyday food, dance their everyday dance….throughout the course of several years.

    What’s the difference, eh? Between a “flash in the pan” and “living the life”?

    It’s only a matter of time…..

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [If I’ve sung your songs, drank your beer and danced your dances, it’s harder for me to hate you.]

  43. jay Says:

    Except for the obligatory European vacation after college or later trips to the Bahamas and Jamaica, most American leftists have never really been outside the United States.

    As a matter of fact, I think many like me who served and then studied, worked and lived abroad (particularly in the waning days of the Cold War) became MORE hawkish as a result of the experience. It is conservatism borne of experience rather than slogans.

    As a matter of fact, I would put good money on the proposition that more people on the Right in the United States than on the Left have real experience abroad. This isn’t to say many leftists and liberals wouldn’t be found among the civilians and military who have studied, worked and served overseas, but it seems obvious they are in the minority. That would make a great poll question for someone who conducts legitimate polls these days (assuming there is anyone).

  44. Chuck Pelto Says:

    P.S. Tell me….

    …how many “tourists” spend a year or more in one place, outside of the US?

  45. Jeff the Baptist Says:

    Military Travels

    Will Collier has a piece on how travelers are not always tourists. People like to assume that the Red Staters are neanderthals who have never left their home towns…

  46. David Says:

    I am not sure what this thread has “morphed” into . . . but my original point stands. Red staters have just as much and probably more experience with cultures outside the United States than Blue Staters . . . and this is because more of them have served in the world wandering volunteer military over the past two decades.

    Now whether that makes the Red staters more qualified in world affairs than the Blue staters, I don’t know. But I feel pretty damn confident that we can be just as snobby about is as they can.

  47. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: David
    RE: Time Factor

    “…more of them have served in the world wandering volunteer military over the past two decades.” — David

    Actually….it’s three-plue decades.

    VOLAR (Volunterr Army) went into effect in ’70. I know. I was there…..in AIT at the time the drill sergeant announce we didn’t need a pass to go into town.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    P.S. A fine time was had by all.

  48. Chuck Pelto Says:

    P.P.S. We were hanging out in a brothel. Keeping an eye on the rest of the platoon.

    My buddy and I were leaning against the jukebox looking over songs to play when one of the ladies came up and asked my friend if he wanted to have a good time.

    He replied, “You play chess?”

    I fell on the floor laughing at her expression.

  49. Damian Says:

    Hmmmm, did anybody look up the meaning of the word bigot? It seems to me that we are all bigots…..top of the class to Max who seems to have succeeded in starting a rant from a one liner….maybe I helped but I did not originaly use the word..LOL…who cares!

    I stand by what I said.

    I went through Checkpoint Charlie in May of ’90, many times. I stayed in west Berlin for a week and went to “east” Berlin every day driving a car I had rented from Amsterdam. Being in the East knocked my socks off, seeing all the bullet holes in the historic buildings and literally being able to buy whatever I wanted….there was not much on sale….but I had enormous bundles of Ostmarks and we drank many martini cocktails in the “best” hotels and ate the best pickeled crap they had to offer. From there we went to Dresden and Weimar and leipzig and had to report to the police every day to get a stamp in our passports. We had to get a visa for czechslovakia, or however you spell it, in East Berlin,,,so we went there. It wasn’t full of Americans at that stage and I managed to get fined for trying to bring a czech girl to our state appointed apartment. We drove to Yugoslavia, the Istrian peninsula and stayed in Rovinj where we met waiters who were ready to kill their fellow countrymen…I had no idea about the whole Kosova Serb thing at that stage..still don’t!!!

    Anyway, I did the trip while it was still behind the Iron curtain…..it was a bit of an eye opener……and I wasn’t in the military, it was all off my own back….I thought it was important to do!

  50. David Says:

    Chuck,

    You are correct of course . . . for some reason I blocked out the 70s . . . or since I was in high school during that time, maybe I was in toooo much of a haze – LOL

  51. Rob Says:

    I was a New Jersey raised liberal white kid when I joined the military. I`ve spent 8 years in Japan. Traveled to every country in Asia all the way to India and had 2 6 month deployments to the middle East. I worked in a Japanese restaurant for no pay just for kicks. Learned the language and married a Japanese girl who makes kimonos by hand.

    I am a conservative now and all I want to do is move back to the US, get me a patch of land in Red country, buy a gun, and teach my wife to shoot.

    We live in the greatest country in the world.

  52. limbaugh Says:

    hey

    i have a lot friends who served in the military and they were brought up die-hard repubs, went overseas, never watched the news, followed every order they were given, lived and breathed the pack mentality including their polticial thoughts/ideas, and will raise their kids the same way.

    So I guess I can make the case via anecdotal evidence that military personnel, though doing the highest calling a republic can ask of them, vote like sheep. So I gues sit swings both ways, right?

  53. Oscar Says:

    There is certainly something to say for the “military overseas are not living in foreign coutries” view – I remember in the late 60’s going off post at a large infantry base I had visited to use the PX (I was ASA and thus lived on the economy most of the time). We ducked into a Gasthaus, and I asked if we could move the Fussball table to get more light. The proprieter was amazed that I asked in German!
    On the other hand, the kids seem to get much more foreign influence than their parents: my 9 year nephew spoke Japanese fairly well and often translated for his parents LOL!

  54. Julie Says:

    While I was in the Philippines we weren’t allowed to go anywhere most of the time so there was a whole lot I didn’t see. Still, we lived off base and had neighbors. It did help that most people spoke English. There were Filipino civilians who worked in my shop.

    To try to downplay the experience as unimportant or, for that matter, similar to being a tourist, is riddiculous. Some few people are just *thick* and there’s nothing to be done with them (and they seem to actually get on better, because they don’t bother to worry about making cutural gaffs) but you can’t live in a country, even on a military base, without exposure to real life… which tourism isn’t.

    No, I don’t know as much about the PI as a native, but I do know a whole lot more than someone who *hasn’t* lived there for two years. It’s given me a much different perspective on the whole world.

    I married my husband as much because he was a service brat as anything else (okay, so being in love helps) because his whole attitude about the world was more encompassing. Far moreso than the guys I went to school with.

  55. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: limbaugh
    RE: Any…

    “i have a lot friends who served in the military and they were brought up die-hard repubs,,,,” — limbaugh

    …time done yourself?

    Nothing like personal experience to ‘broaden’ one’s outlook.

    RE: Sheep R US?

    “….military personnel, though doing the highest calling a republic can ask of them, vote like sheep. So I gues sit swings both ways, right?” — limbaugh

    I don’t know many sheep that are well trained and/or skilled at killing people in such large quantities.

    Where do you find such?

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [Guns don’t kill people. I kill people. — US Army Airborne-Ranger-Infantry]

  56. David Says:

    Killer sheep . . . ones that are smart enough to master high tech weapons and make life and death decisions under heavy fire . . . accept command and lead other sheep to victory no matter what the odds . . . improvise, adapt, overcome . . .

    Yeah, where can we find some of those . . .

  57. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: David
    RE: Where Indeed

    “Yeah, where can we find some of those . . .” — David

    Right now, a lot of them are concentrated in a place called Fallujah.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [God is alive….and airborne-ranger qualified.]

  58. Chuck Pelto Says:

    P.S. As a former mortar platoon leader, I’m highly impressed with the hi-tech use of GPS for registering mortar batteries so that they don’t have to range-in on targets in Fallujah.

    Very impressed…indeed.

    It’s high-angle hell on the first salvo now.

  59. Mike M Says:

    This is a bit off topic, but not so much if we’re still ripping on clueless blue-staters:

    Some idiot NY Times movie reviewer actually compared new Christmas movie “The Polar Express” to Nazi Germany’s “Triumph of the Will”.

    Yes, you read that right. I was utterly flabbergasted. A Christmas movie for kids and they’re putting it on the same level as Hitler’s propaganda.

    And these people wonder why they lost the election on moral values…

  60. David Says:

    Hey, they have to talk about what they know best . . . propaganda.

  61. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Mike M
    RE: Not a Surprise

    “Some idiot NY Times movie reviewer actually compared new Christmas movie “The Polar Express” to Nazi Germany’s “Triumph of the Will”.” — Mike M

    Someone opened a thread on Bill Maher’s blog about whether or not it’s okay to kill Republicans.

    At this point in time, would it be morally defensible to apply a “final solution” to republicans?

    Why not equate a Christmas film with a Nazi one, merely more sauce for the ‘goose’.

    As I said earlier….projection.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  62. Chuck Pelto Says:

    P.S. Considering that the other day some high school students took a baseball bat to a fellow student, because he was a Republican, can actual murder be far behind?

  63. David Says:

    The left has never been willing to recognize the fact that left wing dictators have killed their fair share of people too . . .

  64. toddk Says:

    Somebody needs to tell limbaugh about how to spot those killer sheep. It could be fatal if he can’t tell the next time he gets the urge for wooly lovin’.

  65. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: toddk
    RE: A Monty Python Moment

    “Somebody needs to tell limbaugh about how to spot those killer sheep.” — toddk

    He should start packing one of those grenades they make in Antioch.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [Nasty, wicked sheep with sharp nashing teeth and a bhad disposition. They’ll break your bleed’n bone, boy’o.]

  66. charlie eklund Says:

    I was in Berlin five months before the wall fell, in early June of 1989.

    I was there during the Tienanmen Square Massacre, an event that reverberated across Berlin.

    The West Berlin TV stations covered the story intensely. The East Berlin station didn’t mention it at all…the CBS of it’s time, I guess.

    The people of East Berlin knew about the story anyway from watching the western channels. I was in East Berlin the day after the massacre and the people there looked even grimmer than usual, the Vopos more dangerous than usual.

    As I passed through Checkpoint Charlie for what turned out to be the last time, it was unimaginable that the wall would be gone within a few months.

    Amazing.

  67. jay Says:

    I’m laughing at the left-wingers again as they respond to this thread. Cornered and taunted about hubris borne of ignorance, they now decry Red State overseas experience as superficial. So it doesn’t count, see, to have been in the military or to have worked for the government. What counts is a six-week bike trip around Western Europe.

    No wonder people laugh at these assholes, and they are too clueless to even hear it.

  68. David March, animator&fiddler Says:

    You don

  69. Bloghorn Bleghorn Says:

    I’m an Air Force brat. My dad was a pilot in WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam. I grew up everywhere. Born in Newfoundland when my dad was stationed at Gander, first memories are fo Aurora CO, where we lived when my dad was an instructor pilot at the Air Force Academy, went to Ft. Walton Beach FL, and then Panama (Deep sea fishing every weekend when you’re 9-10 years old is, like, the most healthy way to live a kid could have). Stateside again, it was OK-city OK, then Tacoma WA. Moved to Japan after that, right smack dab in the middle of the Viet Nam war. I rebelled and went liberal for several years, but it was comparing what liberals said being an American meant with what I lived growing up – what I saw “other countries” were – that made call BS. Anyone who does not realize that the US is the most benevolent hyper-power in history – who doesn’t understand what we’ve done to shape the world for the better – is such a supernaturally out of touch imbicile that… Well. I’m thankful in the extreme that I had the childhood I did. I knew more about the REAL way the world is at 12 than all the moonbats in the universe do now.

  70. Ben Says:

    In the Navy… (where did that singing come from?) I traveled the world, but can’t say I saw much of it. I did see Guam, Toyko and the Phillipines. (Homer-esque moan. MMMMM Phillipines.) As well as Ft Lauderdale. But despite covering half the globe, did not get a chance to see much of it. Submarines are not big on tourist visuals.

    Join the Navy and see the world. 75 pecent of the world is covered in water, and water looks the same no matter where you go. In a submarine, you don’t even get a chance to see the water πŸ™‚

  71. Ed C Says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how much people try and shove everyone in the convenient box.

    18 years of being in the military, and having *lived* in Japan, Turkey, Germany and England has taught me that everyone in this thread is right. To a point. JS says that the

  72. js Says:

    Living abroad, even in a comparatively sheltered environment like in the military, is an experience. But it remains a largely superficial one that does not significantly increase one’s understanding of another culture. (Knowledge yes, understanding no)

    Germans, for example, are “Weltmeisters” in traveling and most have been to a dozen or more countries. The USA is a favored destination. I bet a much larger proportion of Germans have been to the USA than vice versa in spite of the major US military bases here. But: Do the Germans understand why Bush was re-elected? No. Do Americans understand why many Germans think America is the greatest danger to world peace at the moment? No. Travel and exposure to a foreign culture is not equal to understanding a foreign culture. Understanding is what counts in my book.

    Most of you will have to trust me on this, but unless you’ve really lived completely in a foreign culture with little to no exposure to your own culture for a while, you will probably never understand the real differences – and maybe not even then. Few have lived that way and there is a real difference between the two types of experiences. (Not that one ever shakes off the influence of one’s own culture. I’m still shaking my head in amazement that Germans are actually protesting en masse against the modest labor reforms that have been proposed so far.)

  73. Amani Says:

    I think we are trying to compare apples and pears.
    Who is more traveled red or blue?
    One would have to say red, because of the military. Though I must agree with js, that many on those base stay in the American area. This includes outside of the base. Maybe it’s just here in Germany, but the are more than enough Pizza Huts and Mcd’s and they all speak english and have english menus. Living on a base or even near it is not the same as living in a foreign country.
    Understand is different than living. Being a conservative or liberal is different that being a Democrat or Republican. I personally believe there are more conservatives in the US than than liberals. But when you change the label to D/R those numbers change.
    I find it interesting that people in Europe agree political with liberals, but have probably met more conservatives through business and military. In fact, most people in Europe no nothing about the views of conservatives even though they have met many of them.

    On the side, do those on the bases have to sort there garbage to the same extent as those of us not? That is an experience on its own.

  74. David Says:

    “Living abroad, even in a comparatively sheltered environment like in the military, is an experience. But it remains a largely superficial one that does not significantly increase one’s understanding of another culture. (Knowledge yes, understanding no)”

    The first step toward understanding something is obtaining knowledge about it. If this is not true, why does the left constantly harp about how “ignorant” the right is about . . . well, about everything?

    Obtaining knowledge through actual experience is obviously superior to obtaining knowledge through second hand accounts.

    Surely “book learning” is a plus, but in case you didn’t know, the left doesn’t have the monopoly on “book learning” either.

    Advanced degrees are the norm in the officer corps (Indeed required for promotion above the company grade level), and senior NCOs get their fair share of college degrees as well. And, interestingly enough, one of the most popular degrees in the military is in International Relations.

    So I still maintain that military members are in a better position to understand foreign cultures than the vast majority of non-military members. Do they ALL take the opportunity to learn and understand about the cultures they come in contact with? No, of course not, but not all liberal tourists on a 7 Day Bus Tour of Europe get to either.

    I, for one, lived in Germany for six years and travelled to Japan, Korea and the PI. I toured Europe and had more than my fair share of professional and personal contacts with my foreign counterparts and their families. I attended training and/or worked with officers from Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, India, Italy, Germany, France, Canada, Spain, Israel, Great Britian, Korea, Japan, Australia, and so many other nations I can’t even begin to remember.

    Do I have an in-depth understanding of their respective cultures? No, I suppose I do not (With the exception of their drinking rituals . . . I think I understand those quite well), but I am pretty confident that I know more about them than some kid from Berkeley.

  75. Dragon Fly Says:

    Pro-life, Christian, conservative-libertarian here. I voted for Bush in both 00 and 04. Odd, that I have a Masters in Liberal Arts. Odd, that I have–on my own, with no military experience–travelled to twenty-two countries to-date. I have done so solely to learn.

    Pardon me whilst I sip my ice tea, pick my teeth with a toothpick, pack my skoal, and read The Atlantic Monthly. I love the smell of Skoal in morning.

  76. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: js and Amani
    RE: No Argument….

    ….with the idea that if you don’t go out into the world, from some cocoonesque US enclave, that you won’t learn much about the world. This thread does not argue that.

    The point of this thread is that liberals, who seem to think they have a monopoly on being more worldly are probably far from that, compared with conservatives. One important reason being they have not done time in the military and therefore have not travelled as much as the military have. Therefore, the liberals have less exposure to the real world than do conservatives.

    To emphasis Dragon Fly’s points, the liberals seem to think they have a monopoly on education as well. You can verify this by reading recent comments to that affect by Jane Smiley et al; “unteachable ignorance”. Moi?

    However, the truth of the matter is that the rates of education in both camps are roughly comperable.

    So, we see the so-called liberals demonstrating their own ignorance and their own, apparent, unteachability. And they are PROUD of both, to boot.

    Where I come from, that’s the definition of “stupidity”.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [Ignorance is when you don’t know something. Stupidity is ignorance with pride.]

  77. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Dragon Fly
    RE: Skoal?

    For me, it’s caffine (coffee), nicotine (cigars) and diesel fumes (armored combat vehicle exhaust), as the sun comes up and sitting on the hood of my jeep looking over the map.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  78. David Says:

    Not to get off topic, but they are about to fly Arafat’s mostly dead body out of France.

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if it was hijacked by terrorists?

  79. Kiril Says:

    It is always a treat to watch conservative elitists snap at liberal elitists.
    Is it posible to set up a Rove / Moore steel cage match to the death? The winner could eat the loser.
    (Of course, what I would really like to see is Powell and Rummy in the Thunderdome.)

  80. John W. Says:

    As an Army-brat and a Red-stater, I’m just continuing in my dad’s footsteps, sort of. He was born in a small town in Alabama (Barbour County by the way, Polly). His travels began in high school when, as junior, he and a buddy decided to hitch-hike/walk to Hattiesburg, Miss.(no small feat in the 1940’s) to try to walk-on the Southern Miss football team. Didn’t work out, but on the way back, they worked alongside German POWs on a potato farm. Then at Auburn in joined ROTC, became an aviator, and saw the world. In 27 years of active duty he had 28 different assignments; including Germany, Korea, Italy, Vietnam (3 times), and Iran. This was interspersed with stateside homes in Oklahoma, Georgia, Texas, Hawaii, Kansas, and then finally back to Alabama (Ft. Rucker). I was born in Italy and we still have friends (non-military non American) that we still keep in touch with. My office at home contains a hand made wooden desk from a good German friend of my dad. And I have found memories of living in Germany and traveling in our Ford Falcon van to France and Spain for summer vacations. I remember a Spainish kid my age I played with one summer, neither of us knowing any of the other’s language.
    Now I have traveled since been grown. To Mexico, Belize, Guatamala, France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, the then Czechoslovakia, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Poland, and most of the U.S. states east of the Rockies (yes, even some blue ones). When people learn that I grew up in Alabama, they expect me to be a hick, an ignorant yokel. And maybe they are surprised to learn that, yes, I can read and, no, I did not marry my sister. I think my friend, Hans, an exchange student from Holland in my senior class of high school, would be the first to dismiss the stereotype of “red-staters” and especially Southerners as being unworldly, ignorant, whathaveyou, and tell you that is utterly wrong.
    I have now forgotten my point in originally starting this post, and I have to pee really bad. so, thanks for listening.

  81. David Says:

    Hell, I am not trying to be an “elitist” . . . I just want the left to admit we aren’t intellectually or otherwise challenged just because we disagree with them. We win that battle and maybe, just maybe things can get better.

  82. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: David
    RE: Fat Chance

    “…I am not trying to be an “elitist” . . . I just want the left to admit we aren’t intellectually or otherwise challenged…” — David

    About as much as Nixon-Kissenger had of getting the North Vietnamese to admit they had regular forces working south of the DMZ in ’70.

    It would destroy their sense of moral superiority and without that carefully constructed facade their perceived position would be known to all as a sham. Then they would REALLY need therapy.

    Of course, they could always turn to Christ for that kind of help. But they’d probably think that as being the worst of all possible evils. [Note: I wonder why….. Maybe that’s some sort of indicator.]

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [No Jesus, No Peace.
    Know Jesus, Know Peace.]

  83. Dragon Fly Says:

    Oh, and by the way. I would just like to add to my previous post the following: I am the first member of my family to graduate from high school. And oddly enough, I am the only registered Republican in that same family. (please understand, I am not making fun of my family, just highlighting how “Red State” stereotypes explode upon further examination.)

    Chuck, my favorite is having a mouth full Skoal in board meeting. Giddy up, cowboy.

  84. Sandy P Says:

    –and I have to pee really bad.–

    Gee, John, thanks for sharing.

  85. David Says:

    From AOL News:

    Michael Moore plans a follow-up to “Fahrenheit 9/11,” his hit documentary that assails President Bush over the handling of the Sept. 11 attacks and the war on terrorism, according to a Hollywood trade paper.

    Moore told Daily Variety that he and Harvey Weinstein, the Miramax boss who produced the film, hope to have “Fahrenheit 9/11 1/2” ready in two to three years.

    “Fifty-one percent of the American people lacked information (in this election) and we want to educate and enlighten them,” Moore was quoted in Thursday’s edition of Variety. “They weren’t told the truth. We’re communicators and it’s up to us to start doing it now

    There are few things I love more than being “educated and enlightened” by the left . . . getting a root canal is one of them . . .

  86. Ken Says:

    Will,

    Just keep me in the Wiregrass Area.

    Ken

  87. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: David
    RE: (Re)Education Facilities Are Being Planned

    “There are few things I love more than being “educated and enlightened” by the left . . .” — David

    Why am I reminded of the way drive-in theaters were used in Red Dawn?

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  88. aaron Says:

    Moore is my new hero (no I don’t want to be like him, but I do admire him). He has the soul-less marketing machine thing down pat. God bless him for keeping the kids amused and giving them something to spend their allowances on.

  89. David Says:

    Moore the socialist is the king of capitalist marketing . . . only in America . . .

  90. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: David
    RE: As Simon & Garfunkle Sang It…

    “Moore the socialist is the king of capitalist marketing…” — David

    All lies and jest. Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  91. Sister Toldjah Says:

    15th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall

    Celebrated this week. What a magical time and turning point in the history of the world. Thank you, President Ronald Reagan. Will Collier at Vodkapundit takes a trip down memory lane.

  92. Curt Says:

    You guys bragging about your military time overseas have forgotten about a group of Americans who have all spent real time overseas, directly interacting with the locals all the time.

    Virtually all Mormon men, and now a lot of Mormon women, have spent two years overseas knocking on doors and talking to the locals. And we can see from the Utah voting results what a “blue” group they are…

  93. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Curt
    RE: Heck…

    Anyplace outside of Utah is ‘foreign’ to Mormons. πŸ˜‰

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [I hate driving in Utah. Everybody acts like they’re going to go to heaven when they die.]

  94. David Says:

    Curt,

    You miss the point of the whole thread. First of all, we aren’t bragging about anything . . . if we recall our military experiences fondly, you will just have to excuse us. I am sure you guys recall those rousing times of ministering to the pagan foreigners with equal fondness.

    But the main thing we (Well, me at least) were doing was pointing out the fact that the Blue staters don’t hold a monopoly on foreign experience.

    That being said, and with all due respect, if the rest of the world hides from you guys when you knock on the door like us Americans, I can’t see you actually getting to talk to many of them.

    Just teasing you, man . . .

  95. Don Says:

    Curt,
    Crud, I was just about to post that thought. I was going to do so last night, but was too tired to type coherently. I know (or knew) folks who served various Mormon missions in Germany, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, another one who served in a mission that covered a chunk of the Caribbean, New Zealand, Japan, Scotland, England, and the Philipines. These are just off the top of my head. Other denominations also send their members out to various places around the world. They don’t stay in America Lite, they live among the people who they’re trying to convert or help, and I daresay they know more about the people they lived with than that proverbial Berkley kid.

  96. David Says:

    I just re-read Curt’s post and I was wrong in saying he missed the point of the thread . . . but I still like the rest of my post – LOL

    Sorry, Curt

  97. Don Says:

    Chuck,
    Outside of Utah is foreign territory for most Utahns, not just the local Mormons. πŸ™‚

    David,
    I hide under the bed whenever a missionary of any stripe knocks on the door too. No hard feelings from me, though I didn’t interpret Curts post as perhaps harshly as you did.

    Point remains, though, while the Mormon church is perhaps the best known, a number of other faiths send people out of the country. I get the impression that these other missionaries tend to come from the red states too.

  98. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Don
    RE: The Locals

    “Outside of Utah is foreign territory for most Utahns, not just the local Mormons. :-)” — Don

    Just warn me when you’re going out onto the highways near where I live. πŸ˜‰

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [I want to die in my sleep, just like my grandfather…not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.]

  99. jay Says:

    In the years I studied and eventually worked abroad, never in any sort of cocoon, I noticed something odd about American left-wingers who lived overseas. Many if not most American leftists first condescended towards the nationals, and eventually came to loathe and criticize them (much of this was in the Third World). I write this not out of spite but simply as an observation.

    In many ways, American left-wingers’ bad behavior in this country only grew worse overseas. The United States military personnel, government workers, and clergy I encountered tended to be more conservative than civilian employees and students–and more accepting of other cultures and peoples. This runs counter to stereotype, but was what I observed.

  100. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: jay
    RE: That’s Interesting

    “Many if not most American leftists first condescended towards the nationals, and eventually came to loathe and criticize them (much of this was in the Third World). I write this not out of spite but simply as an observation.

    In many ways, American left-wingers’ bad behavior in this country only grew worse overseas.” — jay

    Very interesting report, indeed.

    Any corroborating reports?

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  101. jay Says:

    Chuck,

    My experience was in Southeast Asia. I too would like to hear from others who lived and worked abroad in a civilian environment and if they witnessed what I did, particularly in the Thirld World and developing nations. The left-wing condescension, which eventually became hostility, towards the citizens of the nations where I worked was horrible. The leftists simply weren’t appreciated enough by those they sought to defend, so hate bubbled to the surface. I’ll leave it there.

  102. David Says:

    I read the alternative history series, Island in The Sea of Time, by S.M. Sterling, a few years ago and it jumped to mind after reading Jay’s post.

    The story was about how the people of the Island of Nantucket reacted when their little Island was mysteriously transported back several hundred years in history and they had to actually deal with “ancient” cultures from a modern perspective.

    In the story, there was an extremely liberal subset of the Island’s population that railed against any attempt at “changing” the indigenous people of the world during contact with the modern intruders. They also fought tooth and nail against any attempt to establish a defense against attack by these people. They argued that these people could not possibly be dangerous (and indeed were no doubt more enlightened) since they were not poisoned by the modern world.

    Their certainty in their own noble view outweighed any practical survival considerations and, in the end, they killed a few of their fellow Islanders, stole scarce supplies, commandeered a ship, and headed down to Central America to bond with the “ancient” inhabitants.

    Of course, things did not work out like they anticipated. The indigenous people welcomed them with open arms, put them at ease, and then promptly killed them all save for leader who they then used for (a very disturbing) human sacrifice.

    And even as their leader was being sacrificed, she still could not understand how she and her followers were not appreciated.

    Sounds like the left to me . . .

  103. aaron Says:

    I noticed that back packing in Europe. Rich liberals treated servers and staff like shit. They also ran their mouths and were loud and obnixious. Some were Canadian (but without their maple leaves).

  104. jkrank Says:

    Great point, Will. I should’ve thought of it.

    In my unofficial polling in Bulgaria and France, I’ve found that most progressives who travelled have done it from the hotel suite.

    Get them *living* overseas, and see what happens.

  105. Julie Says:

    How “servants” are treated is another issue. I was involved in a rather lengthy debate about servants or maids, and the left, understandibly, argued that free people should do their own “dirty work” and that hiring people to do distasteful tasks was demeaning to them. And I could sypathize with looking down at people who refused to do something so low as touch a toilet (and Prince Harry is going to have to clean his now, won’t he.)

    The righties in the conversation saw nothing inherently demeaning in doing the dirty work, as work is work. They also saw nothing particularly noble in doing it themselves.

    But you have to wonder, really, if the reason that lefties consider service work demeaning is because, perhaps subconsciously, they demean the people who do it.

    (Kerry calling his bodybguard and SOB for wiping out on a snowboard was *significant* to me, because it illustrated just exactly this kind of attitude.)

  106. jay Says:

    David, Aaron, and Julie all to some extent described what I witnessed. It seemed that after the locals declined to be dazzled by the leftists, or to follow their dictates (usually in the form of paternalistic advice), the native population was suddenly deemed unworthy. It was very ugly.

    And yes, Canadian left-wingers were just as bad as American leftists. And again, this was nowhere near as bad among the service members and the right-of-center businessmen, clergy and government workers (remember, this was the 80’s). After I left the Pacific, it made perfect sense to me why I always disliked leftists, and why the local populations laughed at them and despised them.

    I would like to hear other accounts, as this is something that stayed with me two decades.

  107. jay Says:

    To clarify/correct what I wrote above, the right-of-center military and civilians I encountered tended to be more accepting of the different peoples and cultures than the American left-wingers. Too much booze and too little time accounted for the error…or so I tell myself.

  108. Bald Eagle Says:

    I lived and worked for 2 years in Milan, Italy as an english teacher. It was one of the best experiencs of my life. I love the Italian people, they are passionate, dramatic, and love just hanging out with family and friends.

    However, I heard on a regular basis more racial slurs in one week there than one would hear in a lifetime here in the states.
    They would call the French “little stinkies”, make remarks about the fat, greedy Germans and actually talk about their Jewish “friends” and coworkers behind their backs. And don’t even get me started about how they regard the immigrants from Africa.

    Learn tolerance from Europeans? It is to laugh.

  109. David Says:

    When I think of France, I don’t think of tolerance – LOL

    And now that I think on it, that is true for Europe as a whole. I don’t recall the Germans being particularly tolerant of immigrants when I was stationed there . . . including their new East German countrymen.

  110. REN Says:

    i would simply add that JUST BEING a serviceman (without even going anywhere) tends to make your international awareness more ACUTE… for OBVIOUS reasons ~ not even necessarily in places of conflict…

    example: the week after i signed up to serve in the US ARMY as a RUSSIAN speaking linguist, RUSSIA signed a HUGE economic deal with IRAQ (this was late summer 2002) and you BET i sat up and took notice…

    RUSSIA immediately played it down, denying the initial US suggestions that the deal was worth 40-60 million dollars and that it would violate the UN sanctions… well, the IRAQI ambassador to RUSSIA was quick to confirm it and said that the deal was worth 40 BILLION (not million, you silly AMERICANS) in only 5 years!

    Khalaf (the IRAQI ambassador) added “We couldn’t care less what the U.S. thinks about it … let America bring its own house into order.” this whole deal was just another slap in the face, to both the UN as well as the US…

    this was AFTER 9/11 but BEFORE the US started to apply real pressure on IRAQ to readmit the UN inspectors…

    best part is, this was something that was quickly forgotten (if not outright ignored) by 99% of americans… what did it have to do with them? well, remember the UN security council vote on IRAQ? it was no big suprise to those who actually PAYED ATTENTION…

    now, would i have noticed anyways, being a linguist, yes, but it MEANT something to me personally now, so i spent a lot of time considering how it could affect US relations w/ RUSSIA…

    i’m from a US “RED STATE”, have been to RUSSIA and travelled there extensively (even before my service)… and the economic deal i mentioned was only the TIP of the RUSSIAN/IRAQI iceberg…

  111. David Says:

    I went over to the Democratic Underground (After dressing in the appropriate HAZMAT protective clothing.)and looked over their “Salute to Veterans” comments.

    It seems there are hundreds of combat vets that are dedicated members of DU.

    Assuming that these people actually served in the military (I have no evidence they didn’t so we must accept it at face value.), I guess it proves that the military is certainly not owned by the conservatives in our nation. That is a good thing, since it is heartening to know that Americans on both the left and the right understand the importance of serving their country.

    But I wonder how they could have served with their conservative brothers in arms and still hold such an intolerant view towards those of “Red state” persuasion.

    But then I remember what Kerry said and did . . .

  112. Roger Says:

    Writing of the 19th Century historian Frederich Turner, H.W. Brands made a telling comment that was as true 100 years ago as today. “Proponents of the New England school (the germ of our country’s course was set in olde Europe)had long held that the real America lay within 100 miles of Boston; Turner argued just the opposite. The real America, he said, existed beyond the first range of mountains, in the river valleys and on the prairies and plains of the West.”

    So we see that the arguments of big city vs. rural America go on and on. It seems America is still found beyond 100 miles of Boston, and New York (and San Francisco).

  113. Joshua Says:

    jean-paul: It is not correct to say that George W. Bush had never left the USA before he ran for president. He had traveled to Mexico, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Gambia, Israel, Italy, and the UK. See the URL below.

  114. Daily Pundit Says:

    Typical Lefty – Dumb and Dishonest – And Not Afraid To Prove It

    Vodkapundit – Travelers Are Not Always Tourists Some jackass styling himself “jean-paul,” while sneering at the provinicalism of the American red-staters, condescendingly adds:At the same…

  115. TmjUtah Says:

    I’m grew up inside the Seventh Ring of Jesusland (oops, sorry, Midland, Texas) myself but managed to see a bit of the world on Uncle Sam.

    Before that, my dad made sure we knew about most of the western states via the annual two week RV safari.

    Where did the I go with the Marines? Okinawa for a year (less three months in Korea during the winter). California. Oklahoma (twice). Two WesPacs, hitting ports from Adak in the Aleutians to the coast of India, Korea twice (met and stayed with a Korean vet who fought with my uncle in ’51; also met the PM of India while he shopped in Itae Won), Philippines multiple times (clap, rock throwing monkeys, eating the bounty of the jungle, more clap, built two orphanages, heat stroke, got stabbed by a bar girl while on SP, Hong Kong twice (unplanned, unscheduled, unauthorized op with the RM’s on customs patrol – I bought a beer in Canton!), Penang Maylasia, Thailand twice (week in Bangkok, three days on walkabout with a monk, learned how to shift an elephant into reverse), Singapore twice (did SP with Mr. Singh and Mr. Singh of the Singapore Detectives the first time, got my dick run into the ground by the Royal Ghurka’s on the Seven Hills the next time around. Spoke education with a streetcorner Socrates who taught Chinese orchestra, classical music, and penmanship), Australia (85 – World Cup!; the rest of the visit struck me as much like Texas without the oil smell and with bigger rabbits), Jordan for a week (met Capt. Abbey; great guy), walked with the Masai (briefly – more rock throwing monkeys but they also do body slams) and a MAC hop tour from India to Italy to Paris (never visit in a drought year; never mind that, screw Paris and hit the Med beaches away from the Riviera – Aix en Provance was heavenly) to England and to home.

    I used to be able to say “please”,”hello”,”thank you”,”I’m sorry”,”very nice”,”where’s the bathroom”, “beautiful eyes”, and “I’m lost” in about nine languages…but with all the Bible Indoctrination I’ve plumb lost about five of them. It couldn’t have anything to do with age and enough different beers and distilled spirits to float a tanker, of course.

    Just call me blinkered.

  116. TmjUtah Says:

    Oh, and if anyone wants to know how the Left does in the third world, I’ve got three letters for you:

    NGO.

    I dealt with NGO’s in the Philipinnes, Thailand, and strangely enough mainland Japan. I kept on waiting for the word “wog” to come up in conversation but I guess it was just assumed or that I didn’t have the right language skills to catch it. It was there, just under the surface, all the time. Go figure.

  117. Bubba Says:

    Shucks, I went to one uh em ferrin countries. I thank they called it Alabammy.

  118. p doles Says:

    I read a lot of the letters posted as of 11/13/04. it was a new view for me one I had not thought of and very realistic.
    Ivory towers are evedintly easy to build and make a lot of noise.

  119. Ayuaxe Says:

    Most of us over-educated, cosmopolitan rednecks don’t think about these things, they’re so much a part of our personal histories; but you’re right to make a point of it. I grew up in Shreveport, La., just across the Red River from Barksdale AFB (A Strategic Air Command Headquarters–we all knew where and why Bush would be after hearing about 9/11–anyone who wonders or criticizes is just ignorant). During the mid-term of the Viet Nam conflict, people like Nguyen Kao Key (sp?) might be seen at the BX. When the end of the war was near, a Laotian princess quietly transferred into my highschool. God knows what happened to those she had to leave behind. No one made a big deal out of any of it. We were and are Americans–as good as any royalty, but also not above any worker anywhere on earth. We watched the anti-war demonstrations and sympathized with the desire for peace, but never lost sight of the fact that we had men and women in harm’s way, doing work for a higher good. We couldn’t lose sight of it–they were in our community and they were good people, not war criminals. Unfortunately, lots of them were disenchanted and depressed by what they had seen in Nam and even moreso by what they were confronted with by the media and in other parts of the country. If you want to find the “new” voters who sent Kerry packing, here we are–we’re the ones whose beloved friends, family, neighbors, teachers, et al. he accused of being monstrous war criminals. We’re everywhere and we didn’t and won’t forget. We are too modest and polite to claim we’re smarter or better than the shrill left, but we know we’re more certain in our values and we do, at least, know what we know. We understand home, family, work and what gets us to 5 o’clock (an old rule to remember which way to tighten a bolt). Truth is concrete for us–as it really is for everyone–not relative or rhetorical. M. Moore, the New York Times, Baghdad Bob and definitely the Guardian U.K. can’t shake that. New York and LA aren’t America’s heartland and certainly aren’t her true heart, mind, or soul. We aren’t putting out the degenerate culture that muslims so detest about the west. Still, I don’t ever expect my region or my wide social, economic, and cultural demographic to get the acknowledgment we’re due from MSM or Hollywood or even the Imperial Federal Government (I’m also one of those “Hell, no I ain’t forgettin'” rebs). We’ll just continue to be the light on the hill and the core of political support for those who choose right (correct) over expedient. Thanks for your great work spreading the truth.

  120. Ed Driscoll.com Says:

    Merry [Holiday Name Censored] From The NY Times!

    Somehow, The New York Times manages to invoke Godwin’s Law in a review of The Polar Express, Movies > Movie Review | ‘The Polar Express’: Do You Hear Sleigh Bells? Nah, Just Tom Hanks and Some Train” href=”http://movies2.nytimes.com/2004/11/10/movies/1…

  121. pyotr576 Says:

    I was a GI Brat, Hawaii (when it was still a “long ways away”) later Turkey & Spain. Then three years living in Germany.
    Summation: some people are incurious, even about their home town. Others want to know what’s the Big Deal here. E.G. My dad gawked at The Empire State Building when he got to NYC in 48, we both gawked at the Parthenon in 1970. I know I don’t “know” Turkey, or Spain, as well as some, but when I’m looking at a map of the world, I’m not looking at a “map of the world” so much as a “map of places and people I’ve known. Leads to my saying “I know this great little Yugolsavian resturant, but it is in Salzberg.”
    A good rule of thumb is check behind The Cathedral. There is usually a good resturant there. πŸ™‚

    tschus
    pyotr

    (tschus is German for “bye-bye”)

  122. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Ayuaxe
    RE: Barksdale AFB?

    “I grew up in Shreveport, La., just across the Red River from Barksdale AFB…” — Ayuaxe

    Go Bearkats! Beat Woodlawn!

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    P.S. Bossier City High, ’69.

  123. anon Says:

    Teresa Heinz, upon reaching Chicago, was amazed that she could ‘almost live here’. It’s got everything! Imagine finding such a metropolitan atmosphere miles and miles from NY or LA!

  124. harmon Says:

    Hot Dayum! It’s Alabama Home Time here. My dad was Sgt. Major of the helicopter school at Ft. Rucker way back in the 50s/60’s/70’s – more than once. We lived “on the economy” over in my mom’s hometown, Abbeville, so whenever we were stationed at Rucker, I lived among the civilians, as one of them. And yeah, we were stationed overseas (I first heard the Beatles when I was in high school in Germany.)

    But you know, what’s missing from this conversation is something we military brats know – because we’ve lived in Blue States & Red States: truth is, living north & south, east & west, Stateside – that’s just like living in other countries. We brats were integrated while the civilians were segregated. We brats learned the languages, ate the food, and drank the beer, wherever we were.

    Everywhere I’ve lived, I’ve found the locals to be parochial. In Manhattan – & I LOVE NYC – where my wife grew up – it’s provincial. The place is full of foreigners, & the locals only seem to meet them as cab drivers & carryout providers. In Chicago, where I’ve been the last 30 plus years, it’s the same thing. For the most part, no one lifts his eyes, Red or Blue.

    Red & Blue States are not geographic – they are states of mind. There are Red Staters here in Chicago, & Blue Staters in Alabama. For the most part, I’m Red, but hey, some of my best friends are Blue…

    Any brats here should check out alt.culture.military-brats, and surf on over to mililtary-brats.com. We live in the Real America – Red, White & Blue!

  125. 12 lictors Says:

    Folks, very interesting thread. I have some gee-whiz comments from my own military perspective. I am a

  126. AST Says:

    I’ve always thought that Democrats rely too much on uninformed voters who are pliable to unions and “leaders” like Jesse Jackson, the American Arafat. There are two kinds of Democrats, those who think they are intellectually superior and have a natural right to rule, and those who think the party is still the party of the working man, the poor and minorities. They have been successful because they bought votes with promises of more programs, but when the party became beholden to feminists and environmentalists they could no longer oppose support even sensible limits on abortion and are often on the opposite side from people who want jobs, domestic oil and gas, and other middle-class necessities. Their old base is breaking up, because they have taken the votes of unionmembers, blacks and hispanics for granted, while they pandered to the “intellectuals” whose issues were often contrary to the moral values of those voting blocs they didn’t think they had to compete for anymore.

  127. morigu Says:

    first about being bigoted there’s several places around europe that come to mind about the ultimate in bigotry, namely, aushwitz, treblinka, buchanwald, among the many. every one should should be made to visit these places and feel the eerieness(if a word)and let the moment wash over you. i did while stationed over there in the army during the 80’s. makes one think about where they live and certainly glad my mom and grandfather/grandmother emigrated to this place. and yes i wasn’t a barracks rat like some and tried to visit every place i could on my time off.
    second growing up in probably most bigoted place in boston kinda gives you a perspective firsthand about it. especially during the busing riots in the 70’s. it made me think and yes my answer was to get out and see the world and yes even learn a foreign language different from highschool french and dead latin. makes me glad i was in the army it was by far the highlight of my years and would do in a new york minute if they ley me. bigots abound everywhere, yet its the ones who call those who don’t see it their way first from my recollections.

    and me being only a “DAT”

    LIVE LARGE!

  128. Marc Says:

    A few facts and figures according to a survey of 5,983 Military Brats: (approximately 52% of respondents are 45+ years or older).
    45% have a valid passport (compared to about 19-21% of the overall US Population).

    48% of the men, and 38% of the women lean “red” while only 19% of the men lean “blue” and 28% of the women. The combined total is 42% “red” and 25% “blue”.

    73% of the men vote in all elections, while 62% of the women vote.

    You can do the math as to which way the majority votes.
    Full survey is available at military-brats.com

  129. the OTHER js Says:

    To blue-state elitists who think red-state hillbillies have never been anywhere: Shame on you, you self-righteous nitwits!! Like Vodkapundit, I’m from Colorado Springs. I went to an elite college in Massachusetts. You wouldn’t believe how provincial those people were. Most had no idea of how life is in the West. In fact, most hadn’t even given a thought to the fact that it might be different from New England, because they usually didn’t think beyond the next weekend trip to Dartmouth anyway.

    To those commenters here who seem to think the military experience overseas is less valid than their own: Get over yourselves. You are demonstrating your ignorance.

    I’ve lived abroad twice(once without the military and once with), and been an exchange student in France. I’ve met Americans overseas of all politcal persuasions and decided you really get out of an experience what you put into it. I’m not sure politics or where you came from back home has a lot to do with it. As many military families go native as stick to the base, and plenty of civilian ex-pats associate only with other ex-pats at endless drunken gripe-fests. I’m just as sickened by people who’ve lived abroad for 30 years and can’t speak the language as I am by people who’ve just arrived and are fluent in it, but can’t manage to say anything good about America.

    Most Americans arrive abroad with an open mind and a good will that allows them to blunder into all kinds of unlikely friendships with locals. As to understanding the culture, well, that all starts with friendship, no matter how long you stay.

  130. Beth Says:

    I grew up on military bases in the U.S. and Germany, and others in my family were stationed in Britain, North Africa, Turkey, and Puerto Rico. My father and his brothers entered the military during the Depression and served in WWII. My brothers served in Vietnam, and abroad between Korea and Vietnam.

    Oh, and most of us are college-educated, some of us (me included) are college faculty, and most of my family are liberal Democrats. Yep, we come from good, Southern military families, too. You’d call me an academic elite, but you’d be stereotyping me and people who teach in colleges around the country, based on silly, kneejerk myths no different from the ones you say liberals hold about red-staters.

  131. Frank Says:

    Well, I would argue you have not seen a country or city if you just went there with the US millitary.

    I have lived in a number of cities with large american millitary installations. The Americans there were always very eager to build their little America – and stay away from us “dirty natives”. It alway surprised me how much effort was spent to keep separate. Own supermarkets, because we natives only eat “shit”, own clubs, own churches, own tv and radio stations, own schools. And when traveling in the country, they just went to some Americans-only recreational facility.

    I don’t buy the line that one learns something about foreign contries when seeing the world with the US millitary. I have met more than one US soldier and family member you could hardly tell in which country he was, not talking about the slightest knowledge about the country’s politics, current affairs, cultur or history. Oh yes, they all knew each and every cuss for us locales, gave a shit for local laws, customs and cultures. And they all could rant endlessly how great it is in America, and how bad it was in this country – the country they could hardly name.

    You might physically be in other parts of the world with the US millitary, but not mentally. Mentally you stay in America. You see nothing, because you don’t want to see.

  132. Sandra Says:

    This sounds all very generalised to me no offence is mean’t just would like to see this more of a debate from both sides of politics and life.

  133. kipper Says:

    js (the original), Beth and Frank, thank you. I agree.

    The idea that having been posted overseas for a tour of duty automatically increases international awareness is laughable.

    I was born in a navy hospital. My brother is a navy lifer. An uncle is a 100% disabled vet from his service in Korea. My (Southern) husband is a 21 year combat arms vet (2 wars, thank you very much), and we spent our fair share of time on bases overseas. I know military life. I understand its sacrifices and its honor and its challenges.

    Service does not, however, automatically convey political or international awareness. Nor does being posted overseas.

    It is entirely possible to go into the military stupid as a wedge bolt and leave the service not having evolved at all, no matter where you’re posted.

    If you need verifiable examples, I give you

    Ivan Frederick

    Jeremy Sivits

    Javal S. Davis

    Charles Graner

    Lynndie England

    Sabrina Harman

    Megan Ambuhl

    Dissent is not traitorous. Patriotism doesn’t appear only in those who wear a military uniform.
    No party or group has the right to claim their values are the only truly American ones.

    The oath was to the constitution, not the president.

    Its rather embarrassing to see so many current and former military members forget that.

  134. Cathy Says:

    Eufaula, AL? Born there. Most of my family still goes to Barbour County for holiday dinner. Beautiful little town in the spring!

  135. rosignol Says:

    Moore told Daily Variety that he and Harvey Weinstein, the Miramax boss who produced the film, hope to have “Fahrenheit 9/11 1/2” ready in two to three years

    i.e., 2007 or therabouts.

    Perfect. Looks like 2008 is in the bag, folks, who’s up for 2012? πŸ˜‰

    Re Kipper’s comments-

    You seem to have misunderstood the gist of the thread. The presumption of much of the Left seems to be that right-wingers are ignorant of, and uninterested in, what lies beyond the US’s borders. The discussion of being posted overseas is in relation to that, and from there the discussion gravitated to the matter of “Who is going to have more exposure to things foreign, someone on a week-long vacation overseas, or someone posted overseas for years at a time”? The answer is fairly obvious, I won’t belabor it.

    With that out of the way, I haven’t the slightest idea why you go on the “dissent is not treasonous” tangent- the only place in this thread where any variant of the word ‘treason’ appears is *your* post.

    That you presume to remind the numerous people who have served tht have posted in this thread that the oath of enlistment refers to the Constitution and not the President makes me wonder exactly what is going through your mind, but I suspect it is called ‘projection’.

  136. Faith+1 Says:

    Former USAF. Lived in Germany for 4 years (out in a village not on base) and my kids were educated in the German schools. From that experience I did a lot of work in Africa (both Med and sub-Sahara) and the Middle East.

    I was in Goma, Zaire providing humnatarian relief services to the fleeing Hutus of Rwanda.

    I spent a good part of 1996 working with 7 African nations on improving their telecommunications infrastructure. I lived in Abijan in the Ivory Coast for nearly all of 1997.

    I am Hispanic and an atehist.

    I voted for Bush and live in a Red State. My wife’s friend (a Kerry voter) is a Protestant, 35, still lives at home with her parents, hasn’t worked in 3.5 years because she hasn’t found a job with “the right karma and feun shui”. She once travelled to Maryland and Australia (she was 4 at the time) but otherwise has never left home.

    She attempted to lecture me on how my religious bigotry and ignorance of the world is why I voted for Bush.

  137. Alix Says:

    I am a military brat and was a military wife. I have lived in Europe, Asia, and have at least traveled every state of the union. Yes, some military live in the enclave but in my experience the vast majority were very active in the community of the country they lived in. On Okinawa, I was a Girl Scout and we met in tandem with an Okinawan GS troop. We developed a special badge that you earned by learning various things about the culture and history etc–my best freind was an Okinawan GS and we corresponded frequently into our adulthoods–she was a frequent visitor in our home and I in hers. My father was *in loco parentis* for our maid when she got married and we were a part of her wedding and then a part of the celebration when she had her first baby. Again, we corresponded after leaving–she was family in a special way.In Germany we spent time in the small farming town of my sister’s accordian teacher’s family. We visited and took part in family occasions. I rode the trains all over and could get around in the language. I also went to music school and was the only American in the school. I made friends and *chosen family* with whom I corresponded until their death.

    I live in a *red* state and tend to be rather conservative. But I am not an ignorant red neck….I am a well traveled and well educated woman who has seriously educated herself about issues and such….Brought up in the military I learned early that the world is very small and that events that happen *far away* have a dramatic effect on my everyday life.

    I am not going to argue who is better or who is best. But for this red stater, I know from personal knowledge and experience what makes this country the greatest on the face of the planet and why it is here I choose to live.

  138. jay Says:

    TmjUtah,

    You are exactly right about the left-wing Americans in NGOs. The foreign nationals absolutely hated them because the ignorant bastards would try to condescend to the citizens of the nations they served. When the locals basically sneered at these idiots, the left-wingers would turn on those they ostensibly served. This usually was ugly and involved unvarnished racism.

    The same type of left-wing lunatics drawn to social work domestically were found in the NGO’s. The only time I was ashamed by fellow Americans (with the exception of one or two rednecks) was when this leftist trash decided that their “higher truth” entitled them to be callous and bigoted…and that was often.

  139. daniel Says:

    This Tennesseean loves Japan for the last 14 years. Working in vegetarian restaurants, doing missionary work, helping the homeless, and of course teaching English (got to make a few yen). Every time i go back to the States it seems weirder and weirder – how can the people be so upset at life when they have the best in the world (except for the bathrooms)?????

    I still say to anyone who cares to listen that every 18 year old in every country should have to spend at least one month abroad, and not as just a tourist – but have to get something accomplished, like getting a tire fixed in Madras, or help a shop-owner get his books on a computer in Vietnam, or build a church in Cambodia, or buy some land in Ginza (might need a few billion yen for that one – ha!).

    There would be a lot less moaning and complaining over things taken for granted in every-day life after they got back.

  140. Jim Says:

    The libs don’t understand the majority of this country’s culture. Small wonder that they doubt anyone else’s claim to understand, even in part, another country’s culture.

  141. Gene Says:

    I was born in Louisiana of a Louisiana mother. I was raised in the army, and spent four years in a military boarding school in Virginia. I lived two years in Japan and visited Hong Kong for two weeks. I spent a total of 27 years in the army, active, reserve, National Guard, with a normal tour in Korea. I have memories of living in Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Massachusettes, Virginia, and California. With all this, I am a liberal. Seems to me there is a lot of projection going on in this thread. If nothing else, right now the per centage of military in respect to the rest of the population is quite small and the blue states have their share of military members, too.
    You get what you look for.If you want to remember all the liberals you met in Budapest and forget the conservatives there, you will do that. The opposite is, of course, true. If you want to remember the New Hampshire guys in your platoon and forget those from Alabama, that too will happen.
    One thing a lot of my fellow brats remember, and I remember this vividly when I returned from Japan and went to a civilian school for the 7th grade, is the total disbelief the locals had for our foreign experience. Teachers would ignore first hand experience and contradict a person who had lived in the country.
    This means that I’m not sure that foreign travel rubs off on any of those who stayed behind. I know the consensus of people I talked to after returning back to the States was “Aren’t you glad you are back in America?”
    In general, there is a lot of stereotyping in this thread.

  142. Captain Holly Says:

    Interesting comments. Just a couple of observations:

    Having lived in Eastern Canada as a Mormon missionary, I can say that Canadians are nice people who generally treated us politely (when they did come to the door).

    Of course, there were those few who didn’t hide when we knocked, like the old Catholic lady who screamed at us in French (I was a greenie at the time, so I didn’t know the language well enough to get what she was talking about).

    And then there was the old guy who was about ready to get his shotgun because he thought we had been sent by his daughter and he had TOLD HER ALREADY THAT HE WASN’T INTERESTED, DAMNIT!! (He calmed down, thankfully, when we truthfully told him we didn’t know his daughter).

    And then there is the hot, worldly young lady who wants to see two young Mormon men blush and squirm and thus shows up at the door wearing a string bikini or towel or (in some cases) even less and invites them in for a drink. Unfortunately, I mean uh, fortunately, I never had this experience (which is why there is a rule stating that single women are always taught by the lady missionaries).

    But one thing I did learn was that Canadians, despite all their virtues and good intentions, are far, far more provincial and prejudiced in their thinking than the average American.

    Just ask a Canadian what he thinks of South Asians (they called them “Pakies”) or American Indians.

    Or, just ask them about the United States. Be prepared to listen for about an hour.

  143. Kyda Sylvester Says:

    Half of my roots are planted in Brooklyn. I remember my astonishment growing up in the 50’s that many of our neighbors had never even crossed the East River into Manhattan much less traveled anywhere beyond (and had no desire to do so). I’m long gone from Brooklyn and while I imagine that only small vestige of such provinciality remains, I still can be astonished by some of the parochial attitudes coming out of this blue bastion.

    My family, BTW, crossed the East River daily and ventured beyond on many occasions. My aunt was a world traveler who instilled in me a love of adventure and travel (and left me some cash with which to do it).

    The rest of my roots were planted in North Carolina before the Revolution. It is that branch which boasts a military tradition and whose members have had life experiences much as those described above.

    And, while traveling abroad is great, I would urge everyone to become intimately acquainted with our own county. It truly is a wonderous place, diverse beyond imagination.

  144. I really am a Leftist Says:

    The thing is this:

    I can honestly say that those of us who live in terrorist-targeted big cities on the coasts, who have Ivy league educations, and who have a condescending attitude to “red staters” do not spend much time thinking about the red stater. This is why it’s such a HUGE SHOCK that Bush won reelection.

    Clearly, the right wing invests a lot of energy attacking “academic and media elitists” — I mean, come on, you protest a bit much…

    So, anyway, I decided to try to see what a “reasonable” rightwing blog consists of…

    I’d say this: on Leftwing blogs the main thrust of discussion is to disagree with each other…whereas…it seems that the main goal here is to agree with each other about how bad tha absent “academic and media elitists” are…which seems like a kinda vapid, self-congratulatory undertaking…but..hey…its a free country..more or less…so far…

  145. David Says:

    “I can honestly say that those of us who live in terrorist-targeted big cities on the coasts, who have Ivy league educations, and who have a condescending attitude to “red staters” do not spend much time thinking about the red stater.”

    That’s funny, I thought the terrorists were targeting AMERICA? I don’t recall them asking for zip codes before they blow people up. And is Oklahoma City on the coast? Is Nashville, where they just arrested an Iraqi terrorist buying guns and grenades so he can “go Jihad” on a local school? I don’t think the big city coasties have a monopoly on being threatened (Although I am not at all surprised that they are trying to claim one . . . it is typical of their egos to think that they are the only ones worth killing.)

    And Ivy League educations? A lot of middle class guys from the Bronx attending Harvard and Yale are they? East LA sending a lot of homies to Princeton?

    “I’d say this: on Leftwing blogs the main thrust of discussion is to disagree with each other…whereas…it seems that the main goal here is to agree with each other about how bad tha absent “academic and media elitists” are…which seems like a kinda vapid, self-congratulatory undertaking…but..hey…its a free country..more or less…so far…”

    Visited the Democratic Underground lately? Yeah, those enlightened folks love having their ideas challenged . . . no “yes” men there for sure. In fact, they love intellectual debate so much that they auto-ban ANY conservative who registers to post. But at least they warn you in their Terms of Service, so I guess they are honest in their closemindedness.

    “This is why it’s such a HUGE SHOCK that Bush won reelection.”

    It was a shock to the Blue staters that Bush won because you simply cannot fathom how anyone can disagree with you. You are so sure of your own elightened superiority that the real world cannot even been seen, much less accepted as truth.

    Unless you change your ways, you better get used to losing . . .

  146. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Frank
    RE: Those “Dirty Natives”

    “The Americans there were always very eager to build their little America – and stay away from us “dirty natives”.” — Frank

    How very odd. I never saw that. Indeed, the only “dirty natives” I ever saw in my 27 years in the infantry were some children living in a village in a Panamanian jungle. But children usually do get dirty, even in America.

    As for living in my ‘little America’ that was hardly the case as my ‘little America’ was not much larger than three football fields. And most of it was taken up by a motor park. Had to and wanted to get out into the country-side.

    I remember one evening when we weathered a storm and had dinner with the family of a German butcher. Times drinking fine German beer and exchanging views with them in their taverns. Swapping stories of jumps with old falschirmjagers from WWII. Quaffing banana daquaries in some tavern in Panama City. Eating mystery meat on a stick in Colon. Swapping C-rats for fresh fruit with villagers in the jungle of Panama.

    Lots of ‘little America’, eh?

    RE: What You Buy

    “I don’t buy the line that one learns something about foreign contries when seeing the world with the US millitary.” — Frank

    Nobody expects someone like you to buy anything regarding our honest reports. It’s pretty obvious you’re one of the so-called ‘educated’ liberals we’re talking about. So, do go back and play in your echo chamber.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [You haven’t lived until you’ve almost died.]

  147. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: kipper
    RE:

    “Dissent is not traitorous. Patriotism doesn’t appear only in those who wear a military uniform.” — kipper

    Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So what have you done for me lately?

    “No party or group has the right to claim their values are the only truly American ones.” — kipper

    Patently wrong, here, kip.

    Go ask the National Socialist Party of America. Then compare and contrast with the so-called “Liberals” and the “Conservatives”.

    See which one of the two latter comes out being more like the NSP. Then come back and talk to me about true Americans.

    “The oath was to the constitution, not the president.” — kipper

    Partially right. Mostly wrong when you look at the numbers.

    Officers swear to the Constitution.

    Enlisted swear to the Constiution AND the president and officers appointed over them.

    Considering there are more enlisted personnel than commissioned officers, you’re pretty much more wrong than right.

    “Its rather embarrassing to see so many current and former military members forget that.” — kipper

    Forget what? Something we do all the time? Hardly. What’s really embarrassing is your post.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  148. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: rosignol
    RE: kipper

    “… I haven’t the slightest idea why you go on the “dissent is not treasonous” tangent- the only place in this thread where any variant of the word ‘treason’ appears is *your* post.” — rosignol

    Maybe kipper has a guilty conscience? Or it might have to do with ignorance. You know…what this thread is talking about?

    Kip is certainly ignorant of what the oath of enlistment says.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  149. TM Lutas Says:

    There’s a lot of opinion floating around but not too much citation of facts. I wouldn’t be surprised if passport issuance figures would be available by state and maybe even town. Exit and entry records should also be available so you could figure out who went where (no doubt with personal information stripped off). This isn’t rocket science, folks but a little bit of data massage to figure out which states are least and most traveled.

    Why, on left or on right, has nobody suggested actually finding out the objective facts of the matter? It’s just a few database searches.

  150. TheKid Says:

    Great thread, but are you still alive Steven? You usually give us a “notice” when blogging will be light. 2 posts in 10 days? What gives?

  151. David Says:

    “Why, on left or on right, has nobody suggested actually finding out the objective facts of the matter? It’s just a few database searches.”

    What exactly are you searching for? All this is opinion, but it is based on a hell of a lot of personal experience.

    I maintain, once again, that the military is the easiest way to see the world (they pay for it and have no problem with sending you there). I also state that military members, because they are sent overseas to live for LONG periods of time (months to years) naturally interact with the people of the world on a more frequent and constant basis than the vast majority of civilians in the United States (No five day bus tours of Paris). I further state that conservatives make up a larger percentage of the military than liberals (Historical voting records show that more vote Republican than Democrat).

    So therefore . . . conservatives have as much, or more, personal experience with foreign cultures and people than liberals.

    Which is what the point was in the first place.

    Now I know rich liberals tour the world (so do rich conservatives), and I know liberal students travel the world during summers (so do conservative kids), and I know that liberal professors love to take sabbaticals in Europe (so do the one or two conservative professors in the country), but you could add ALL those up and they would still not equal the historical numbers of military members serving overseas.

  152. Howard Says:

    Good observation. I was an Air Force brat. From 8 to 18 I lived in Germany, California, and graduated from high school in El Paso, Texas. I then joined the USAF and saw Texas, California, Alaska, Guam, and South East Asia. I then received an honorable discharge and worked on a ship for 2.5 years traveling to Brazil, the Bahamas, Hawaii, South Africa, Japan, Australia, St. Helena Island and a few other places around the world. I settled in Texas, but have traveled a bit with my wife (a world class martial arts competitor) to Beijing (last month), Puerto Rico, Morellia (sp?) and Mexico City. My wife has lived in Australia, Spain and France before we met (exchange student and graduate studies). We have also traveled entensively in the U. S. which includes New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Portland OR, Waterloo IA, Miami, Oklahoma City, and generally toured the East and Midwest. My best friend is a retired Col. of Marines and he’s traveled as much as I have.

    My wife works in the public school system (language teacher and now administration) and I’m a computer programmer. We are both rabidly conservative…

  153. FredRum Says:

    I’ve never given any thought to my world travels in a conservative/liberal sense, but this thread did inspire me to a bit of introspection and reminiscing. I’m just a simple thirtysomething white male Bush voter, but when it comes right down to it, I’d have to say that my global experiences are of an entirely different magnitude than any liberal I know. Because I have a genuine interest in getting to know people outside of the US, I’ve taken the time to study Spanish, German, Russian and Farsi in my lifetime. My wife is Iranian. I went to a German university for a year. I worked and lived “on the economy” for extended periods in the former Soviet Union. I’ve traveled all over the globe for pleasure and encountered nothing but people excited to meet me and asking about life in our great country. Yet for some reason it’s my isolated, liberal friends who are the quickest to believe that “the world” despises America. Very interesting…

    In ’95-’96 I was working in some former Soviet republics on a US Govt. contract to help privatize their state-run economies. While there, I didn’t run into any US Military but I did have the displeasure of encountering many from the Peace Corps and State Dept. In a nutshell, this is what I saw…

    The Peace Corps folks–bleeding heart lefties, the lot of them–could always be counted on to show up whenever there was free food or drink to be had, whining about how hard life was out among the natives. Their condescension and attitude was oppressive even to a fellow countryman, and they only came across worse to the locals. It’s safe to say that they were singularly despised by all.

    The State Dept. people living in their newly-renovated, commissary-stocked, German-appliance-equipped apartments with satellite TV were all smiles during work hours, but come 5:00PM the facade had faded and you could almost see them making a mental note counting off “one more day in this shithole with these savages”. Private conversations with these people, lubricated with plenty of vodka, confirmed the general attitude that they preferred to avoid all contact with locals and couldn’t wait to finish their posting and “get back to civilization.”

    My colleagues and I, living in our shabby Russian apartments, were the clear favorites among locals. Yes, we also complained among ourselves about the living conditions but it was all good-natured and mostly concerned mundane things like our cold showers that morning or the cumulative effect of Russian toilet paper. We worked 9-5 with locals, regularly spent time with them after hours, and we all took Russian lessons even though everyone preferred to practice their English with us. The people we encountered were deeply curious about capital markets and capitalism in general, hugely admired the US, genuinely appreciated our efforts, and all were in tears (as we were) the day we left.

    So nowadays when I hear leftie Presidential candidates and “elites” trying to tell me how hated we are in the world, I’m thankful that I know otherwise.

  154. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: TM Lutas
    RE: Passport Data

    “I wouldn’t be surprised if passport issuance figures would be available by state and maybe even town….This isn’t rocket science, folks but a little bit of data massage to figure out which states are least and most traveled.” — TM Lutas

    One small tinsey-weensie problem, TM.That being that military personnel travelling overseas under orders do not get passports.

    Hope that helps in your quest for hard data.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  155. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: FredRum
    RE: Corroboration…

    “The Peace Corps folks–bleeding heart lefties, the lot of them–could always be counted on to show up whenever there was free food or drink to be had, whining about how hard life was out among the natives. Their condescension and attitude was oppressive even to a fellow countryman, and they only came across worse to the locals. It’s safe to say that they were singularly despised by all.” — FredRum

    …of a report heard earlier here, from jay…

    “Many if not most American leftists first condescended towards the nationals, and eventually came to loathe and criticize them (much of this was in the Third World). I write this not out of spite but simply as an observation.”

    ….on 12 Nov 04.

    Thanks.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  156. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: TM Lutas
    RE: Addendum

    Just had a chuckle about what the reaction would be at the State Department if Department of the Army came to them and said…

    “We need 24,000 passports for the 82d Airborne Division and attached units to deploy to Panama in the next 18 hours as part of an invasion to overthrow Noriega.

    And remember….it’s a ‘secret’.”

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  157. A Real Leftist, right here Says:

    Well…call me unfair…

    But look at this David guy’s comments up there…I’m sure he’s a nice fellow…

    But I’m inclined to say its indicative of some kind of mild psychosis. Unlike David, I do not claim any expertise in judging the motivations, anxieties and inner life of other people…especially people with opinions quite unlike my own…

    However, based on my passing knoweldge of human psychology, it seems that the first step in self-aggrandizement and a positive self-image formation among the intellectually needy is to oversimplify and then demean the person that you are talking about.

    I have no idea why Red state people like Bush..and I don’t claim to know…thats why Ive bothered to post my stupid ideas here…

    You guys, on the other hand, seem to think you know the Blue State psyche inside and out. Phrases like “it is typical of liberals…” or “you are so sure of your enlightenement..”

    These phrases do not come into my mind. I’m just being honest. I don’t know what you think — sure, I have some hunches — but, hey, wouldn’t it just be easier to ASK YOU WHAT YOU THINK than to hypothesize about your motivations and thoughts in my asnwers to you? It strikes me as a bizarre way of making an argument.

    As far as my remark about disagreement on leftwing websites. Perhaps my point was murky. It’s just this: Leftwingers tend, I say “tend,” not “always are,” to be better educated in the humanities than right leaning folks. As a result, the idea that intelligence is directly related to being able to argue any side of an issue with equal, or similar competence is a component of positive self-image.

    Here’s my vastly oversimplifying picture:

    Leftwing people are leftwing because they are skeptical of the wealthy and powerful (George Soros and random limousine liberals not withstanding), but have a great deal of confidence in the well-educated. Therefore, the Leftist thinks the world would be better if academics ran the world and if poor people had access to excellent educations.

    As far as “terrorist-targeted”…ummmm….am I wrong, but didnt the Islamo-Radicals attack New York twice and Washington DC? I’m not familair with this nefarious crew of Iraqis in Nashville….and I was too polite to point out that OK City was a rightwing attack…

    I’m leftwing for several simple reasons:

    Mainly, just because it’s too easy to say that your religion, your country, your race, your team, your family and yourself possess the TRUTH and others do not…[this is, alas, NOT the same thing as “hating yourself or your country” — self-analysis is not self-hatred, far from it…]

    Similarly, it’s easy too easy to say that people bascially like me are the most intelligent, hardest working, most honest, and most deserving of praise…

    therefore, I like a political approach that emphasizes self-criticism and self-doubt…

    I know, I know…you will tell me that Leftists aren’t self-critical…but they tend to be…it’s a big weakness actually…they are inclined to agree with their critics, rather than to say that their critics are treasonous idiots…

    It’s..uh…a question of epistemology versus ontology as some might say: the Leftist derives his self-iamage from the confidence that he thinks SMART thoughts…the Rightwinger seems (notice, I do not know) to derive pleasure from imagining that he thinks GOOD thoughts…

    Leftists aren’t into morality…they are not interested in BEING good..they are more concerned with THINKING good [or well]…

    And, by the way, I am a Leftist, not a liberal.

  158. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: A Real Leftist
    RE: Okay….Have It Your Way

    “Well…call me unfair…” — A Real Leftist

    You’re unfair, describing Dave, whom you admit you don’t know, as having a mild form of psychosis.

    Could it be that you are projecting?

    “However, based on my passing knoweldge of human psychology, it seems that the first step in self-aggrandizement and a positive self-image formation among the intellectually needy is to oversimplify and then demean the person that you are talking about.” — A Real Leftist

    I believe that is what we are talking about here; “oversimplifying and then demean(ing” people.

    I don’t recall David alleging you having a psychological problem. But here you are alleging it of him, personally.

    RE: Beauty Is As Beauty Does

    “Leftists aren’t into morality…they are not interested in BEING good…” — A Real Leftist

    Now we’re getting into moral issues. There’s a nice discussion of how the Left finds/identifies its ‘morality’ over on Vox Popoli. You should join it.

    Otherwise, we could really divert this topical thread.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    P.S. Don’t bother trying to attack my psyche. It’ll be water off the back of a planaria. I already admit to being a lower life form, a grunt. And to add injury to insult, I’ve been abused by the best; they applied the ‘salt’ treatment.

  159. Billy Beck Says:

    Damian“Military personnel grow up in an ‘American version’ of wherever they are stationed.”

    From 1958 to 1961, my father was stationed at Wheelus AB, Tripoli, Libya. I don’t know the section of Tripoli where we lived, but I do know that, at the age of five years old, I was able to translate Italian between my family and the family next door. You can see your alleged “American version” in this image. I’m the kid in the yellow shirt. My brother is the other white kid in the photograph, and those were our playmates.

    That’s at least one exception to your generalization, and I grew up with lots more.

    You’re wrong.

  160. AN Says:

    The other possibility is that the media elitists see the red staters through the view of the Republican elitists they hang out with, who think the military is for suckers and thrive on using the votes of the working rank-and-file Republicans to pass tax loopholes big enough to buy themselves new yachts with.

  161. Billy Beck Says:

    Ayuaxe — I did two years at Bossier High School. Woke up one morning in ’72 to hear all quiet on the base, all the bombers flushed off to do Linebacker II, and my Dad gone for nine months.

    Barksdale was a good time.

  162. Billy Beck Says:

    (hah) Chuck — “Go Bearkats! Beat Airline!”

  163. David Says:

    I was going to reply to Mr. Leftist’s post, but frankly I don’t understand half of it (The other half is simply a regurgitation of liberal comments already posted in this thread).

    One thing I think it proves though is that you can be educated and STILL write like shit.

    See, I am a nice guy . . .

  164. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Bill Beck
    RE: That Too!

    “Go Bearkats! Beat Airline!” — Bill Beck

    That too, homie….

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  165. A Real (Lying) Leftist Says:

    Re: Leftwing Lying, Treason, and Hate

    I apologize…perhaps I’m misusing this forum…I will respond to the underlying post also…

    But Uncle Chuck makes a valid point above.

    If I claimed that other people’s OPINIONS were psychotic, that would be one thing…
    which I did not. I wondered as a layman (aka, ignoramus) whether this was not a psychological issue that warranted a different approach than counter-argument…maybe it’s not. Fair enough.

    It just seems to work this way: Leftists hate America; Leftists are elitists; Leftists hate America…and on and on…Look at the post next to this…”academic and media elitists who sneer”…followed soon after by “the level of sneering”…but then these elitists are paradoxically also cursed with “considerable ignorance”…go figure…they cant win for losing…

    Here’s my point: go to a Leftwing web site and try to find an example of Leftists complaining about “Southerners who are sneering at them”…not gonna happen…

    There is a fundamental, rebarbative emphasis here on reacting to perceived slights at the hands of “elitists” (which, as far as I can tell — correct me if Im wrong — are well-educated, urban dwellers with secular, left-leaning inclinations)…

    Here’s one of the biggest problems with this model: many of these so-called “blue state elitists” are just overachieving Red State people who read a lot of books, studied hard in college, and got good jobs outside the red states…

    Another problem is this: these so-called elitists are people who often embody the Red State Republican virtues of hardwork, self-discipline and self-improvement..they just did it with their brains…and along the way…they generally do not “sneer” at the people back in the Red States…

    More accurately, they wish that the Red State people would join them in the better life that exists in San Francisco, LA, or New York…

    Now, it’s a diffferent question: is life better in LA, New York and San francisco than it is in Tuscalossa, Chattanooga and Baton Rouge?…I guess it depends on your point of view. I like bookstores, walkable neighborhoods, and bars with secular, smart women in them…some people obviously prefer other stuff…

    As far as the military base granting knowledge of other countries…Yeah, I agree…there is some knowledge gained in this way..but from my experience one can live surrounded by things and still not know much about them if you are not interested…it all depends…

    On the other hand, if you buy a ticket, pay for a hotel room, etc…you tend to care a bit more about where youre going and whats going on there…

    Just my dumb opinion…

  166. David Says:

    One point though . . .

    9/11 was an attack on America. NYC and DC were the attack points, but all Americans suffered and those killed in that attack were from all over our nation, and indeed, from all over the world. To try to claim “ownership” of that suffering is possibly the most dispicable and arrogant thing the left has done (recently anyway).

    The people that are murdered by terrorists don’t particularly care whether they are right wing or left wing or chicken wing . . . they are dead none the less.

    And if you want to know about the “nefarious” Iraqi that was arrested in Nashville just do a google search for “terrorist arrested in Nashville” or something similiar.

    You do know how to google,right?

  167. Billy Beck Says:

    Chuck — one of the proudest moments in all my formal education is failing Coleman’s civics class, which achievement I’m pretty sure I had in the bag by the end of the first semester. That rotten commie bastard: I was at war with him from day-one.

    I won.

  168. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: All
    RE: A Visit from Senator Kerry (a.k.a. A Real Leftist)?

    He said it wasn’t psychosis after he said it was.

    First he says, “But look at this David guy’s comments up there…I’m sure he’s a nice fellow…

    But I’m inclined to say its indicative of some kind of mild psychosis.”

    Then, when called on the point, he says, “If I claimed that other people’s OPINIONS were psychotic, that would be one thing…
    which I did not.”

    It’s all in the nuance, ya know. Either that or the wrist.

    Actually, I don’t see where you’re calling David’s opinions psychotic. Opinions are not human beings. Opinions are what are expressed by human beings, driven by their psychological make-up.

    Your twisting reminds me of scenes from The Matrix, Agent Lefty.

    More…later….

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  169. Mudville Gazette Says:

    The Last Melting Pot

    I

  170. David Says:

    To Chuck:

    Once again a NCO is keeping his crazy officers out of trouble – LOL.

    David
    Major, USAF

  171. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Billy Beck
    RE: Fine Moments Indeed

    Mine was electronic jamming of the annual week of Americanism vs. Communism television broadcasting during Mr. Pool’s home room period. I think I took out the program in the entire secondary building, both floors.

    It was a conspiracy on the part of the class, which also comprised the debate team; Mr. Pool being the alleged ‘coach’. We’d seen it every year since ’66. It was old hat to us by ’69.

    Cripes! Can’t find my graduation yearbook so Coleman’s name rings a bell, but I can’t place him.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  172. Pet E Says:

    Havng worked aa a petroleum engineer in Russia, Algeria, West Africa, Syria, Libya, North Sea as well as the U.S., I have always felt that it should be a law any U.S. citizen should have to work overseas for a minimum of six months or a year. I think it would certainly shut up a hell of a lot of whining and bitching.

  173. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: David
    RE: Actually…

    “Once again a NCO is keeping his crazy officers out of trouble – LOL.” — David

    …a mustang.

    But when I set asside my sergeant stripes and took on my lieutenant’s bars, I did not set asside my candor. A continual problem as it got me cross-wise with a newly appointed overbearing megalomanical battalion commander while I was an infantry company commander. He was screwing over the men and I told him what I thought of that. I read about it later.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    LTC, IN, USAR (Ret)

  174. Billy Beck Says:

    Chuck — Coleman: black man, classroom on the first floor of the main building way out near the end of the hall, on the right as you went. My civics class was in the afternoon, right after lunch.

    Here’s something sad: in twelve years of public schools, there are only three classes that I hold as authentically valuable. One of them was a speech class conducted by the same woman who taught drama, if I recall this clearly. She was just splendid — that experience conditioned an important part of my working life right down to the present day. And I can’t find my yearbooks right handy, either, but it pains me that I cannot recall her name.

    She left an indelible mark on my life, though.

  175. David Says:

    Chuck,

    Ahhh, so you are keeping your junior officers (i.e. me) out of trouble . . . either way I probably need it- LOL

    Regards,

    David

    PS … I left under the VSI program so no (ret) behind the Major. Still, it was 12 great years.

  176. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Billy Beck
    RE: No Wonder

    “Coleman: black man…” — Billy Beck

    No black instructors OR students at BCHS in ’69.

    Highly segregated. Indeed, a gentleman living down the street from me, Craft, ran for Parrish School Board on an integration platform. He lost. But two days AFTER he lost, someone fire bombed his car.

    RE: Political Agenda’s and Grades

    My junior year English instructor, some old white woman whose name escapes me, gave me an F on a paper I did about various theories of evolution. I guess I should have cleared the topic with her before starting my research.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  177. Billy Beck Says:

    No kiddin’? I would have been class of ’74. (Rotated to Little Rock, junior year.) I’d wondered if you’d might have been before Coleman.

  178. David Says:

    I just woke up for a nap feeling a lot better and I want to apologize for my use of a choice curse word in an earlier post. Being tired and cranky from going to bed way to late and getting up way to early is no excuse.

    So, anyway, I apologize for using that word to describe Mr.Leftist’s post.

    Still didn’t make much sense though . . .

  179. Cora Says:

    I agree that the stereotyping of red vs. blue states is wrong.

    But in my experience (I grew near the Garlstedt US base in Northern Germany), a lot of US soldiers stationed there and their families did not mix with the local populace. The US families lived in a small city of their own which just happened to coexist with the German city and many hardly ever left it. And sometimes it seemed as if they didn’t care for contact either, e.g. usually Germans were not allowed into the base shops (which in those days before the internet were the easiest way of buying US books and magazines).

    Of course, there also were a lot of US soldiers and their families who tried to learn the language, shopped locally, visited local clubs and bars and traveled the country. But there were also many who preferred to stay in their own little bubble universe, such as the guy I met in the US (in a blue state BTW) who told me he was an army brat and had lived in Germany. When I asked him where, all he could tell me was the name of the base (which I had never heard of). He couldn’t even tell me what the nearest larger city was.

    On the other hand, many Germans who have traveled to the US have only been to Florida, spent all their holidays on the beach and maybe visited Disneyland. They have no more seen the “real” country beyond the tourist areas than those members of the US military who stuck to their bases have seen the “real” Germany.

  180. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Cora
    RE: Your ‘Argument’

    It talks around the issue of this topical thread; are the Blues ignorant about how well-travelled the Reds?

    What’s your opinion on that?

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  181. Howard Says:

    More accurately, they wish that the Red State people would join them in the better life that exists in San Francisco, LA, or New York…

    Dude, I’m guessing you do understand the concept of self-parody? Just checkin…

    Seriously, you are spouting the most entertaining line o’ drivel I’ve seen lately. Please keep playing.

  182. Howard Says:

    And did you really say rebarbative? I have read 8 billion gajillion words in my life, and I had to look it up. Rip off November 1, time to move on.

  183. daniel Says:

    FredRum,
    Very interesting post! There are a couple people out there who have content, not just throwing wet towels of words back and forth πŸ™‚

  184. jay Says:

    Fredrum,

    You and I had similar experiences.

    The left-wing Americans and Canadians (in NGO’s for the most part) I encountered in Southeast Asia were condescending towards and ultimately hated the local populations. I think it was because the natives weren’t impressed and ultimately dismissed these obnoxious bastards when it became apparent the locals were being insulted in a passive/aggressive manner. The mindset of these expatriated left-wingers was what one would encounter domestically with a social worker. “I’m here to help you (swine).”

    And man, you are right about American and Canadian leftists who jump on free chow and booze and then bitch about the people who provided it. That was appalling, and I wonder if it still goes on.

  185. nick Says:

    those GIs dont live on the economy!

    DUH!

  186. Becky Says:

    What’s most amusing to me is the sneer I see from the liberals on this board, telling the military “red staters” (no military from the blue states?) that their extended trips overseas do not qualify them as “worldly”. Apparently they know this, because ….because…. hmmm??? … because, unlike the military members who spent years coocooned on their bases – these posters became international citizens on their occassional two-week trips abroad??? *snicker*

    It is the fact that they deem themselves worthy to stand in judgement of others, whom they have never met, that typifies the bigotry and arrogance that makes them such a joke.

  187. David Says:

    “It just seems to work this way: Leftists hate America; Leftists are elitists; Leftists hate America…and on and on…Look at the post next to this…”academic and media elitists who sneer”…followed soon after by “the level of sneering”…but then these elitists are paradoxically also cursed with “considerable ignorance”…go figure…they cant win for losing…”

    Conservatives are stupid, conservatives are uneducated; conservatives are bigots; conservatives are homophobes; conservatives are religious nuts; conservatives are war mongers and on and on – all typical opinions and posts at left sites and media outlets. And one can be an sneering elitist AND be ignorant . . . in fact, it helps because it is very inconvenient to have their opinions challenged.

    “Here’s my point: go to a Leftwing web site and try to find an example of Leftists complaining about “Southerners who are sneering at them”…not gonna happen…”

    You won’t find examples of them doing that because they don’t really care what Southerners think or say . . . they are busy spouting the opinions that I noted just above.

    “More accurately, they wish that the Red State people would join them in the better life that exists in San Francisco, LA, or New York…”

    The idea of living where the cost of living is exceeded only by the length of the commute to work doesn’t seem like a better life to me . . . but to each his or her own.

    “Now, it’s a diffferent question: is life better in LA, New York and San francisco than it is in Tuscalossa, Chattanooga and Baton Rouge?…I guess it depends on your point of view. I like bookstores, and bars with secular, smart women in them…some people obviously prefer other stuff…”

    Seems to me you are doing a little sneering here. We have several large and small bookstores in my nice southern city, and almost every neighborhood is walkable in the south (Can you walk in neighborhoods in Detroit or Chicago or LA or parts of NYC?), and bars with smart (and beautiful) women in them. If by secular you mean ones that are very easy, then we do prefer other stuff.

    “As far as the military base granting knowledge of other countries…Yeah, I agree…there is some knowledge gained in this way..but from my experience one can live surrounded by things and still not know much about them if you are not interested…it all depends…”

    Most military members are interested in learning about other things . . . that is one of the main reasons to join.

    “On the other hand, if you buy a ticket, pay for a hotel room, etc…you tend to care a bit more about where youre going and whats going on there…”

    On the other hand, unless you are pretty well off you don’t buy tickets to foreign countries that often . . . and when you do, you don’t stay for extended period of time. You tend to get great deals from Orbitz and go on five day bus tours of France which do not tend to give you a lot of time to experience anything.

  188. David Says:

    “those GIs dont live on the economy!

    DUH!”

    Many,many thousands of GIs live on the economy overseas . . . I sure did.

  189. B2 Says:

    My husband is in the military. My father flew in WWII. I have never been stationed oversees but I have been across this beautiful country many times, I have spent many summers travelling by bike in Europe. I’ve been to France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Accapulco. And I can say, with no hesitation, that visiting friends who are stationed oversees has provided me, BY FAR, the best way to “see” a country and experience the culture during a short visit. Now, if I can say that just from visiting – that means that those who live there experienced far more than I.

    Sure…you can always point out a few people who never left the base, just like I can point out a few people in those “blue states” who never passed the county line. But that’s just silly nattering. The military is a FAR, far, more culturally diverse and tolerant world than is life in white, wealthy, cosmopolitan areas such as DC, SF, or LA. Of course, the people that live in my own, white, wealthy, democratic neighborhood, here in DC, for some reason believe that their lives are far more culturally diverse than that of a young sailor who has friends and workmates from all over the country and globe.

    I know this because my civilian friends and relatives prattle on about how diverse and tolerant they are, as compared to all those bigoted, NASCAR, bible-beltish ignorami, who live in places they have frequently flown over or perhaps even driven through.

    I guess going to a wide variety of restaraunts in DC or SF, “meeting” lots of culturally diverse people that speak English, watching foreign flicks or plays with English subtitles, having a few openly homosexual friends, as well as lots of friends of Asian descent (virtually indistinguishable from whites in values), makes one MORE culturally diverse….. than those bigoted military people who actually live their lives withing the most truly diverse and tolerant culture to be found anywhere on earth.

    At least… that’s what all my white, wealthy, democratic, freinds tell me.

  190. triticale Says:

    Now, it’s a diffferent question: is life better in LA, New York and San francisco than it is in Tuscalossa, Chattanooga and Baton Rouge?…I guess it depends on your point of view. I like bookstores, walkable neighborhoods, and bars with secular, smart women in them…some people obviously prefer other stuff…

    Are you telling us that after honest searches of Tuscaloosa, Chattanooga and Baton Rouge you failed to find these things? I haven’t been to any of the communities in question, but I liked the bookstore I found in Moberley Missourah when I was working a brief geek contract in that neck of the woods. If you are asserting these shortcomings without firsthand knowledge you just proved our point.

  191. John Says:

    I would like to make a few observations.

    While “seeing is believing,” also “believing is seeing” and the latter is the more powerful statement of the two. Our personal system of beliefs has a great deal to do with how we see at what we are looking. Ask any cop who takes statements from five different witnesses that viewed the same auto accident at an intersection. He will not get five identical versions of the identical accident. Facts have no value. The value is assigned by humans based upon their own beliefs system.

    Also, it is the difference that makes the difference. There would be no “up” without “down.” There would be no “hot” without “cold.” With no difference, we would not exist. If we did, oh how dull it would be. There would be no “I am right” and “he is wrong.” No one would be right or wrong. With the difference, everyone can “believe” they are right. Can’t beat that!

    It appears the people on this thread that believe overseas military assignments hold little or no value in terms of “worldliness” to those military so assigned, are those that have had no overseas military experience. Thus they are speaking from a belief system rather than experience. Those that have the actual experience do not say those things.

    Likewise, it appears that those who live in the red areas making generalizations about those that live in the blue areas, or vice versa, are again based on belief systems rather than actual experience. Those that have actually lived in both blue and red areas (even these areas, such as counties or even precincts, can and do change color from election to election while still having the same general makeup of citizens) do not make disparaging comments about those from other colored areas (based on one election) because they have the experience to know better.

    Which leaves us with the remainder that really do not know what they are talking about. As an example: They try to tell the overseas military people that their experience overseas is insignificant and thus they cannot really understand the culture of the country in which the military person is stationed. This remainder is the same group that does not seem to understand the culture in their own country and thus is lost in the red and blue thing. Heh? Heck, I doubt any of us truly can explain our own culture, much less another culture. It is enough to control yourself. What is this with trying to control other people? Live your life the way you want and let others live theirs. I have never met anyone who did not know more than I “believed” they did before I got to know them. Who was the ignorant one? Hint- it wasn’t them.

  192. B2 Says:

    John – there is a flaw in your argument. Regardless of how the accident was viewed by observers, the reality is that the accident still happened in a very specific chain of events. Think of it as instant playback in a football game – although it is viewed differently from different angles – there is a reality that underlies exactly what did occur.

    I grew up in the dark blue and have lived in both the blue and the red. I can tell you this….bigotry is not confined to red or blue. People are people no matter where you go – what does vary from area to area are the commonly held beliefs and prejudices that could be called the “prevailing wisdom”.

    The problem that is being discussed here today – the “liberal elite” believing themselves to be gifted with the “right values and ideas” is indeed as much of a problem as other forms of institutionalized bigotry. In the 1920’s it was that blacks were inferior.

    The left does indeed sneer at the right, believing themselves to be superior in values and wisdom. Their disdain for those in the south or midwest is obvious and real. This makes them bigots. You can view that from any angle you want – but it won’t change the fact that a large percentage of those who consider themselves to be liberal – believe that their beliefs and opinions are superior. And just like in the 1920’s…a good number of good people – are tired of it and they are speaking up to stop this tired and foolish display of arrogance.

  193. B2 Says:

    John – there is a flaw in your argument. Regardless of how the accident was viewed by observers, the reality is that the accident still happened in a very specific chain of events. Think of it as instant playback in a football game – although it is viewed differently from different angles – there is a reality that underlies exactly what did occur.

    I grew up in the dark blue and have lived in both the blue and the red. I can tell you this….bigotry is not confined to red or blue. People are people no matter where you go – what does vary from area to area are the commonly held beliefs and prejudices that could be called the “prevailing wisdom”.

    The problem that is being discussed here today – the “liberal elite” believing themselves to be gifted with the “right values and ideas” is indeed as much of a problem as other forms of institutionalized bigotry. In the 1920’s it was that blacks were inferior.

    The left does indeed sneer at the right, believing themselves to be superior in values and wisdom. Their disdain for those in the south or midwest is obvious and real. This makes them bigots. You can view that from any angle you want – but it won’t change the fact that a large percentage of those who consider themselves to be liberal – believe that their beliefs and opinions are superior. And just like in the 1920’s…a good number of good people – are tired of it and they are speaking up to stop this tired and foolish display of arrogance.

  194. nick Says:

    millions have lived overseas

    if a few thousand live on economy
    thats a fraction and I bet only part of those learn the language

  195. David Says:

    “if a few thousand live on economy
    thats a fraction and I bet only part of those learn the language”

    I didn’t say a “few thousand”, I said many, many thousands. And despite what some are saying . . . nearly everyone on a base gets out into the economy dozens of times each year.

    And my bet is you can learn more of a foreign language living in a foreign country for three years than you can on a two week vacation.

    Besides, learning the language is just one part of it . . . interacting with them on a regular basis. . . working with them on joint operations . . . using their infrastructure for your own survival (phone, electric, transportation, housing, etc). I can tell you I learned quite a lot about the Germans after going thru the hell of paying my phone bill every month at the post office.

  196. dotty Says:

    hmm…the number of comments goes up, but I can’t see the new posts.

  197. Matthew Ryan Says:

    Two comments from someone that spent 11 years in the Navy:

    1) I was never stationed overseas but I think the military gives one a more important understanding of other peoples than that described (tangent time): understanding those from elsewhere in the country. I was raised in a liberal suburb of Boston. My opinions about Southerners came from the movies/television: they came in two types – dumb as dirt and dumber than dirt. With midwesterners and blacks my first exposure was also due to the military. My town of 30K did have one black family……that was the rumor anyway…but I never saw the family nor can I vouch for their actual existence. Our town was very supportive of blacks though…..as long as they didn’t have aspirations of moving next door. And college didn’t give me the same experience. First, most folks in the two schools I went to were from the northeast. 2ndly, though I didn’t call it out, the military has a greater mix of economic backgrounds than a typical college.

    2) During my experience in the Navy I never once, to my recollection, discussed politics nor did I hear it discussed. I think the military is more apolitical than is the stereotype. I was a voting officer twice, once for a small shore command and once on a destroyer. On a ship of 330 I never got more than a dozen requests for absentee ballots despite being publicized at least once a week for months. The shore command had a higher % of folks requesting ballots but even there it couldn’t have been more than 10 to 15% tops. And the COs of both installations couldn’t care less: there was an after action report that the CO’s had to sign which I would put in front of them and they would sign without comment. This goes back 15 years so that might have changed. One other surprise is who voted: not officers. It seemed roughly in proportion to the ship’s company: junior enlisted were just as likely to vote as the CO (none of the COs voted btw). Just wanted to point out that in my experience I think the winner of Dem-Rep-couldn’t care less is the latter. By far.

  198. David Says:

    When I was in (1980 – 1992), politics was never discussed … but I voted by absentee every time.

    But I would be very surprised if the apathy towards voting still exists now. Regardless of their politics, I think the military wants its voice heard even if it is “just” at the ballot box.

  199. . Says:

    .

  200. John Says:

    B2-

    Thank you for taking the time to comment. Sorry for the confusion.

    My use of the auto accident example was to show the affect of belief systems on the human reporting of an actual chain of events, but a controversial play in football works even better. Many people in the stands feel they know exactly what happened in the play, and the conclusion usually varies based upon which team they support. Why is that? Having five different objective cameras usually helps to solve the controversy, but even then, not always. A few still will not believe it even after seeing it on replay. The cop with five different witnesses (instead of cameras) can often only build an approximation of all the actual chain of events of the accident. The witnesses are like the fans, subjective. Sometimes hypnosis is needed to get to a reality underlying the belief system filter.

    The point I was trying to express was that every person sees the world through a filter based on what they believe. What they see in others is based on what they view through their own filters. How I view someone else says much more about me than it says about the other person. Each person’s beliefs system holds them together psychologically. Learning and accepting something that forces a major change in your beliefs system can be extremely tumultuous. Personally, I tremble with excitement at the prospect of a belief change because I get to see a whole new world after the change. After the first few shifts, it becomes fun. Some people, however, cannot bear the strain and fight the change. Yes, “prevailing wisdom” is part of the beliefs system.

    The bigotry expressed by SOME people from the blue areas toward people in the red areas is merely that, behavioral bigotry. You and I have lived in both areas and know that people are people, different every one and every where. The bigoted ones, by expression, obviously do not have that knowledge. Sadly, they are supported by many of those that call themselves MSM, but are better named old media or backward media (yes, that’s BM for short). The old media does not suffer the loss of its monopoly (and beliefs system change) graciously. Blogs are changing the ability of people to express themselves and congregate without the old media being the self proclaimed gate keeper. Control issue anyone?

    We are not going to change bigoted behavior. Only the bigot can change themselves and only if they want to. It takes a secure person to look to change themselves. Let the bigots get left behind by progress. Personally, I do not give much time or energy to someone that is talking about something they know nothing about. What would be the point? I feel embarrassed for them.

    I’ll share what my mom taught me when I was young. Generally speaking, name calling is a control issue. Bob calls Joe “selfish” because Joe possesses something Bob wants and Bob cannot persuade Joe to part with it. Who is actually selfish (in wanting for free what someone else has)? Likewise, Bob calls Joe stubborn because Joe chooses to do his tasks the way he wants rather than the way Bob believes he should. Who is really the stubborn one? Bob wants to control Joe and cannot so he calls Joe a name. Who reveals more about himself?

    This name calling by some from the blue areas, the self styled “liberal elite” has been going on for the six decades I have been around. The difference today is the interactive blogs. The name callers are exposed! Gotta love that! The “problem” as you say, of the bigotry, is a problem only for the bigots themselves. They get left behind. We can recognize the name calling for what it is. A verbal expression of insecurity and inability to control. Hey, that means we have the power! Well, thank you very much.

  201. Gene Says:

    Enlisted swear to the Constiution AND the president and officers appointed over them.

    Nope. “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and obey the orders of the President of the United States and the officers appointed over me…”
    Big difference.

  202. Pat Adkins Says:

    I live in Ozark, Alabama, and have met more people (military) who have toured the world via their military service. They have a first-hand knowledge of the good, bad and ugly about most areas of the world.

    The elite media have spent their entire lives in the cocoons of their environment They really need to leave their “blue” fringe of the US wherein they reside. They might then begin to understand people who have traveled the world much more than they have (the military.) The military hold values such as, honor, duty, and service to country.

    Our media would be best served if they held the same values.

  203. Weekend Pundit Says:

    Experience Tells

    Will Collier certainly stirred up a hornets nest over at Vodka Pundit. As the title of his post makes clear,

  204. Matt Says:

    A story about my trip to east berlin. But first:

    Chuck – love your “PS”s
    I’ve lived in France and Singapore and travelled the world since I was 17. The nicest people you meet are American servicepeople and citizens. Next up – Canadians and Aussies. The brits – I love em – but only the old folks seem to have a sense of humor (and manners) these days….
    Anti-Americanism has been around since I was travelling (at least). When i was 17, I was defending reagan for nicaragua and a year ago defending bush against a few frogs in St. Maartin.

    On my eurorail pass, headed to West Berlin with a buddy. On the train, we met two surfers (this was late 80’s so you can imagine their get-up) One aussie and one american. They accompanied us to east berlin. Crossing checkpoint charlie was like stepping back in time. I saw real “peasents” right out of “central casting”. We tried desperately to spend the 50 we were oblidged to convert – even went to the best restaurant we could find, ate the best food…all for about 16 bucks in toto. The four of us, after leaving a 50 tip for the ecstatic waitress, approached some peasent ladies sitting outside the grocery store. One of us (the surfer with the neon hair) distracted them (wasn’t tough – I’m sure they thought he was an alien) while we piled the rest of our money (about 235 bucks) next to the ladies. We then peered around the corner while they discovered it. Tears sprang from their eyes and we all coasted on that during our trip back through the charlie. Oh – and I almst got shot for taking a photo of the checkpoint from the eb side. All in all – a sobering moment.

  205. Matt Says:

    ps – is it just me or does “Just a leftist” think too much? And isn’t this the problem with the libs? Sorry dude, I’m sure youa good guy and I appreciate your trying to “understand” everyone, but it’s not that complicated. leave it to the pros to sort through the psychology and stick to the facts.

  206. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Gene
    RE: Quibble

    “Big difference.” — Gene

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  207. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Matt
    RE: Too Much Thinking

    “Is it just me or does “Just a leftist” think too much? And isn’t this the problem with the libs? Sorry dude, I’m sure youa good guy and I appreciate your trying to “understand” everyone, but it’s not that complicated.” — Matt

    You may be onto something there. Corroborating evidence in their thinking that (1) President Bush is an ‘idiot’ and (2) those of US who voted to re-elect him are ‘morons’.

    Frankly, thinking on it, I prefer the KISS principle; Keep It Simple, Stupid. Things are generally not as complicated as people tend to make them.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [The problem with the KISS principle is that I keep encountering people who transpose the Ss.]
    P.S. Thanks for the compliment.

  208. Chuck Pelto Says:

    P.P.S. This brings to mind a point about the French and Dutch. Their lack of action in dealing with the insurgence of Muslim immigrants in a manner that would keep out the radical elements, is an example of how “nuance” and “complex thinking” results in inaction. The long term consequence being what we are seeing in the Netherlands now; burning schools, mosques, churches and murder.

    [A lack of planning is no substitute for inaction.]

  209. Thebastidge Says:

    Questioning

    Earlier I wrote:
    We (most veterans) find Kerry not credible on matters of defense and the military. Most of us have doubts about his official record, and his self-aggrandizing public statements. We have doubts about his courage, character, and comm…

  210. James Stephenson Says:

    Germany, 1986-1989.

    I went to East Berlin in 1989, before the wall came down. It came down when I got home and it made me realize I had made a difference.

    Any soldier who wanted to get laid, well not counting the ones in the Support Battalions, had to get off post. Heck spent a ton of time off post. Went to Holland, Spain, France, Italy, and New Years 1989 in London. My favorite was Spain went there twice and it was great both times.

    Lived with a woman in Bamberg, Germany, I say woman, she was 30, I was 21. I understand a little German and speak a little as well.

    Came back worked for a German company that would take us to their HQ in Berlin every year for a meeting. It was awesome to see how the city had changed.

    js unless you actually served you know little of what you are talking about.

  211. David Says:

    “Any soldier who wanted to get laid, well not counting the ones in the Support Battalions, had to get off post.”

    Talk about American diplomacy at its best – LOL

  212. OverMatter Says:

    Travelers Are Not Always Tourists

    This Vodkapundit post brings up a great perspective shift in the Red vs Blue state debate and also notes that “the reader comments added to my post just below are a facinating read. Many of them are first-person accounts of

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