American Values

Why I could not team up with the Republicans

I am quite concerned about several aspects in the politic of the democratic candidates for the presidency, especially their tendency against globalization and in support of American protectionism. Another problem I have with them is their huge dependency from public sector unions.  But look to the attached YouGov polls published in the Economist!

One of the points is striking and alarming:  To the question if creationism should be taught in public schools, 80% of Republican voters answered yes, but also 50% of Democratic voters.  Devastating!

American way of life

Trash production

One of the habits of US citizens I cannot stand very much is the production of rubbish my using disposable material whenever eating in a place for less than 50 Dollars/person. Even in the elegant Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles I had to beg to get my Cappuccino served in a porcelain cup instead in one of this disgusting polystyrol containers. I am not knowledgeable enough to decide if the environmental effect of washing all the porcelain cups is more severe than the disposal of all the rubbish, but I just don't like it.

Internal Globalization

I am Back to the United States. This time on holidays; we picked up Matilde at UCLA (which is the LA part of the same University to which belongs Berkeley) and we will travel California for two weeks. After 3 days in Los Angeles another difference between Europe and the States seems clear to me: The United States are much more "internally globalized". I had read, that going from one neighbourhood of LA to another is like crossing the border between San Diego and Tijuana.

USA - Typical? - Some snatches from my Trip in June 2007

If you want to confirm all your prejudices adverse to the USA, you can do so travelling the rural part of the country and the peripherical areas of bigger towns: oversized cars, bodies, cups, shopping malls...... proposal of food intake from the morning to the evening, hotels directly at the side of the highway- USA today as breakfast companion. But there is no need to stop at such observations. One might also register the 250 million Dollars, Cornell University raised from private donors or the new zero energy building of the Cornell Administration.

Still existing soft power

I had today a meeting with the group of the Gramene research project at Cornell University. The head of the group Panka Jaiswal is from India. The other group members I met were from Taiwan, China and Eritrea, no US American.
I know, there are many people who take this as a weakness of the US American System. The research is based on the presence of PhD Students and Postdocs especially from Asian countries. You can see this also as an expression of the strenghts of the American system. It has still enough softpower to attract the talented people from all over the world.

Protesting against George W or for the USA?

In the occasion of George Ws visit to Rome the entire left went to the streets to demonstrate against the America President. Obviously neither a visit of Mr. Putin nor of Mr. Ahmadinejad nor of Mr. Omar al-Bashir would have triggered a similar reaction. The ideological status of the left is painful and embarrassing. But I felt also embarrassed by Marco Panella's idea to organize a counter demonstration to support the USA. Couldn't we get a free, indipendent, not subaltern but admiring position regarding the European offspring on the other side of the Atlantic?


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