There is a definite gap opening between America and Europe ...
... not least of all - the cost of getting between the two.
The Reg has a new favorite cyberpunk sci-fi writer/ubiquitous tech pundit of the future. And a new favorite blog for professional excellence in public speaking, speech-writing, and executive communications. Yesterday, at a future-happy tech conference in San Diego, cyberpunker Bruce Sterling did the podcast thing with a blog …
After 10+ years of a liberal elite pseudo-socialist government in the UK, and 30-odd years of an undemocratic unelected federal corrupt bureaucracy foisted upon us by lying politicians, it ain't just Americans who can't afford to live here - us poor bloody natives can't, either.
Be fair, the two places are getting further away from each other. Just don't take your new laptop with you. It'll save you about a grand buying another one (or two if you're daft enough to buy one over there and try to bring it back).
Boffin icon? Well, plate tectonics, Mid Atlantic Ridge and all that boring geological stuff...
It's the thrilling fast-paced adventures of N - a cybernetically enhanced supermodel whose anger-management chip failed after she was trapped in an exploding cyberloo. Pursued across Europe by the Laguna deathsquads, her only hope lies with Professor KW, the British pioneer of the cyborg society. I've heard there's also a hot, hot, hot sex scene with sulty transatlantic temptress P and an intelliDyson.
And it's called the North Atlantic.
We send them your tired, our poor, our huddled masses and some underaged not-Talibanii and they send us bad weather and pictures of Darth Vadar's mam:
"There are things Europe has to offer that are harbingers for the general human future,"
Yep. Lethal skunk !
"There is a definite gap opening between America and Europe in terms of coverage because Americans can't afford to live there."
Yep. No coverage here for a loan when you got 0 income. No exception (yet?) for US citizen.
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To say there is a definite gap opening up between Europe and the US- is bullshit of the highest order. The US, who love to advertise themselves as a "melting pot" try to portray a homogenous vision of what being an American is- to the rest of the world. Europe on the other hand, is not cut from the same cloth. We are 27 different nations- some of whom chum up to their neighbours, others of whom have nasty memories of being invaded and governed by others (by the way its Norway, even if its not an EU member, I had in mind there- but there are numerous other examples, many closer to home). We have the socialist nirvana of the Scandinavian countries- but mind boggling taxes, which are actually paid when due, thanks to a widespread tradition of conformity- versus a me-too French model- but no-one wants to work, or pay taxes- versus the bizzare black market the further South and East we go......
To try to reconcile a gulf between the US and the EU is nigh impossible- as the gulf between the different EU states far exceeds any common ground we have with each other, never mind with our cousins across the water.
Have you ever tried reading the EU constitution- commonly known as the Lisbon Treaty (since those ingrates in France and the Netherlands saw fit to vote down the original version........) Compare it to either the French declaration of rights- or indeed the US constitution. The caveats have caveats attached to them- and precedents both in previous treaties, regulations and judgements, have fleeting mentions randomly scattered around the document to so obsfusciate the document that it is meaningless to an EU citizen. Meanwhile- only the Irish are allowed to vote on the EU constitution- as the politicians don't trust their own citizens elsewhere to vote in favour of it (they were unable to overturn an Irish Supreme Court Judgement requiring a referendum- but at least with the Irish- if they don't vote the right way- the government will send them back to do it again and again until they do (as happened with previous EU treaties (notably the Nice Treaty)). Ever wonder why Gordon Brown hasn't put the EU Constitution up to public scrutiny and a vote in the UK- because it hasn't a snowballs chance in hell of passing public scrutiny- thats why.......
Meanwhile- the EU presidency's of Slovenia and France have colluded to avoid any contentious issues arising in early 2008, trying to keep the EU off the radar as much as possible (the average person on the street has the memory of a gnat after all). How long will it be before our EU does in fact begin to resemble the US- with a common agricultural policy, a common taxation policy, police forces that can aprehend beyond their own territories (along the lines of the FBI), a common intelligence agency (the US presume interpol to be the poor cousin of their agencies anyhow- along with the national agencies particularly of the UK, France and German).......
You know- if he comes back in 10 years time, while it might not be a policestate, the differences between the US and the EU might be purely cosmetic........
The Nice treaty had a load of militarism in it and the Irish voters rejected it because it is a neutral country. When that clause was whipped out the treaty was passed by an overwhelming majority. That's democracy for you.
Your average EU citizen can apply themselves to their education and get all the way through University regardless of background. That's just not available to people pretty much everywhere else. What more do you want? Unless you really do want to be mollycoddled from cradle to grave.
The US constitution is regarded as a holy sacred document written by gods messengers to man, by their more primitive descendants. It's so badly written and useless that the only good bit is an amendment.
Of a european superstate, it's only a matter of time when the strategic interest in natural resources by the US and China would upset european economic progress. This is why a superstate with trans border laws and regulations is essential for us to move forward, I guess back in the early days of the American revolution the Texans were also against the idea of a Federal Europe, you don't really want the UK to end up like Texas do you? 65% of the population is obese, the borders are largely ineffective...oh wait :P
"Really trying to figure out what the EU does is really hard - and boring"
Over here we call that "stating the bleedin' obvious". Yet another example of the gap in understanding if that's supposed to be an insight.
The trouble for any observers these days is that all the really useful, exciting stuff (free trade, border control, military cooperation, cross-border taxation regulations, screwing over the third world by providing generous farm subsidies internally etc.) has been done and it now whiles away it's time debating the length of the EU standard nail, the colour of underpants the proposed EU president is allowed to wear on a Tuesday and other such matters of earth-shaking importance.
Some posters acknowledging that the pessimist posts are not always widely believed and can be misleading - when you encounter them enough, it's hard not to start and wonder just where the "merry" in merry old England came from :p
@Shane McCarrick - Melting pot? Nah - I prefer "mixed salad" If you travel around a bit over here, you'll find the tomato parts still taste tomatoey, the cheese parts are still cheesy, with lots of bland lettuce filling in the gaps
@ImaGnuber - Surely what is written by The Moderatrix is, by default, the truth ;)
The 'merry' was always intended ironically. My feeling is that anyone with any gumption got up and left England - all that are left seem to be spineless oiks who spend their time whining about how crap everything is and how they'll treat everyone else the same way while they complain about the demise of civil society and how awful the weather is.
At least the yanks can fake politeness.
Of course I'm an Australian (though sadly no convict heritage) so you can just ignore me until I buy all your newspapers/tv stations/governments.
America's (that's the US) has a lot of historical ties to Europe but increasingly the newer ones are to Central and South American and Asia. So its not surprising that Europe is fading a bit.
I'll take issue with the US Constitution being 'badly written'. Its actually rather clever for the year. The Constiution proper is more like the articles of incorporation of a late 18th company, its missing the Bill of Rights (the first set of Amendments).
"My feeling is that anyone with any gumption got up and left England - all that are left seem to be spineless oiks who spend their time whining about how crap everything is and how they'll treat everyone else the same way while they complain about the demise of civil society and how awful the weather is."
Well, them and the Australians serving behind the bar.
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