No, Germany's and other European countries' economic/social systems could never work in Amurika because they are social democracies and anything that contains the hated "S" word (socialism) is avoided like the plague here. Better to be a dumb and backward Amurikan with inferior public schools, crumbling infrastructure, high unemployment, overpriced health insurance sold like a commodity, and low wages than to even think about dipping our toes into those evil socialistic waters. We might be dumb and backward but by Gawd we're proud to be Amurikan and capitalist to the core. Our way sucks for 99% of us but as long as we keep the one-percenters happy we'll keep doing it our way, thank you. Gawd bless Amurika!
For anyone who might be interested: there is an excellent documentary on the dangers of concussions, primarily in football, but inherent in many other sports as well. It's called "Head Games." I saw it on Netflix streaming but it has been a while ago, so I don't know if it's still available there.
I'm dumbfounded to see no comments! I really thought there would be a heavy response to this article. David Cook, you make some valid points about Americans' love (obsession) for football, but I think that to become a martyr and give up watching and being a fan is like spitting into the wind. Football is too much engrained in the American psyche to think that one or a few individuals' giving up watching it is going to make one iota of difference. Still, I suppose if one's conscience is troubled by taking pleasure in the viewing of it, then ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
As for the concussion aspect of it, even with the risks and dangers being exposed now more than ever, there doesn't seem to be much of a drop-off in kids and young men of all ages, from grammar school to the pro-level, eagerly participating in the sport. The best that can be hoped for, I think, is that there continue to be measures, both technological and rules-oriented, put in place that minimize concussions as best they can.
As violent as football is (it's as close we can come to actual gladiatorial combat without the blood and the killing), it is still quite humane with regards to the sportsmanship that is evident. There are far more instances where the participants are basically good sports than there are times when they give in to unchecked violence towards their opponent. And at least we can take heart in knowing that the vast majority of football fans prefer to witness good sportsmanship instead of excessive violence between opponents.
I believe that one would do better to target professional "wrestling" as a peculiar American perversion instead of football.
Not sure what's going on here but if you notice, a large portion of Pam Sohn's article has also been removed. It's not just the comments. I got a laugh out of connie's follow-up comment that "someone is obviously afraid of me." Yeah, connie. About as afraid of you as a yapping Chihuahua. You really think the universe revolves around you, don't you?
"It takes bravery for a person to make such a decision and go through with it."
Admittedly, that is a pretty brash and overly generalized statement, attributing more nobility, perhaps, to suicide than it rightfully deserves. The point is that sometimes it can indeed be a noble act, requiring courage to follow through. Other times it can be an impetuous and perhaps even a cowardly escape. Like most things in life, there is always that grey area, with the deed being relative to the circumstance and the individual.
The problem with teen suicide is that teenagers are almost always the victims of relentless peer pressure, bullying, raging hormones, and a distorted self-image, all of which combine to wreak havoc with their emotions. It is difficult for them to see how profoundly their life will change, and usually for the better, in just a few short years. So it is truly tragic for them to succumb to the temptation to end their life at such a young age.
You want to talk about old strategies and policies that don't work? Well, let's talk about the failed policy of supply-side economics, aka "trickle-down." We have tried it, kept trying it, and continue trying it to this day....and IT DOES NOT WORK. Yet Republicans and conservatives keep worshiping it and pushing it, as if it were the Holy Grail of economic policy. In the periods (spurts) of a seemingly robust economy that we have briefly enjoyed over the past three decades, ever since Reagan went gang-busters with deregulation and decreased taxes, the wealth has gone almost exclusively to the top, not just trickling upward but gushing upward, while nothing but crumbs have trickled down to the poor and the middle class.
Yes, "entitlements" like welfare and food stamps have increased, not because of liberal policies but because the conservative mindset has plagued this country with its failed policies and they refuse to admit failure and cling in desperation to their ideological delusions. Socialism is not only NOT evil, as most conservatives would have us believe; it is going to take a heaping helping of socialistic policies, like improved (and free) public education, federal spending on the rebuilding and revamping of infrastructure, an enforced and significantly increased minimum wage, socialized health care, and substantially increased taxes on the rich, to get us out of this toilet bowl or conservatism that we have been mired in for too long now.
Plato, I completely agree with you about euthanasia for humans, at least for those with terminal illnesses. But there is a huge difference between that and someone considering suicide from depression or emotional turmoil. As for Robin Williams, we don't know how much of a factor his recent diagnosis of Parkinson's disease had to do with his decision to take his life, or was it his long-running battle with depression...or a combination of factors that were causing him such mental strife?
LibDem, your point is well taken, but at the same time I think that Norman Crowe's letter is valid and worthy of being printed. Too many people are too quick to label suicide a "cowardly" act or, as many Christians consider it, a "sin." But it is impossible to get inside the head and heart of anyone and know clearly why they made the choice to take their life.
Certainly nobody wants to say or do anything that would somehow enable, or worse yet encourage, teens - or anyone of any age, for that matter - to follow through with their suicidal tendencies. But I don't think that labeling any and every suicide as a cowardly act is going to necessarily discourage those who are seriously considering it. Anyway, it's a fine line to tread, between seemingly validating suicide and doing whatever is possible to discourage it in those who might be vulnerable.
Mr. Whittaker, you make some good points about our oligarchic system of government. America has indeed become an oligarchy, with the system rigged to benefit the rich and big business. But you lost me entirely on "remove illegals." Certainly there are some of them who are deserving of removal but many, if not most, of them are guilty of nothing more than being here in the first place, which is a mere misdemeanor. They came here for the express purpose of making a better living and it was our porous borders, the eagerness of business owners to hire them, and lack of a clearly defined immigration policy that allowed them to enter and to remain. In the meantime they have been living peacefully and contributing to the productivity of this nation, working hard at jobs that most Americans don't even want to do.
We will never solve the immigration problem until hard-nosed Republicans and WASPs fearful of losing their dominance cease and desist with their punitive attitude and approach the problem with fairness and practicality instead.
Mr. Wiliams, a God who sanctions slavery, misogyny, genocide, rape, and incest, as he did all throughout the Old Testament, is deserving of all the blasphemy any right-minded person can heap upon him. Furthermore, a heavenly father who creates an eternal hell for his disobedient children should be the first to burn in it. You do not worship a God of love, sir, you worship a friggin' tyrant and a sadistic maniac.
As for Jesus not attending a homosexual wedding "unless it was to preach repentance or pronounce judgment," how do you know what Jesus would do? He contradicted himself on just about everything he ever said, so how can you be so sure? You worship the sort of Jesus you WANT to believe in, as most of you cherry-picking Christians do.