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Will, wouldn't you say Quebec is more socialist in outlook that Toronto (ontario) or Vancouver (BC)?
Tax evasion is widespread, and the worst offenders are the richest people. Maybe if they paid a fair share, and maybe if it was spent on social services and public infrastructure (like it's supposed to be), the rest of us wouldn't feel so royally screwed. Romney paid 12% on $250 million income. Steve Jobs never paid any taxes at all.
Back to Greece, this is the result of bankers shorting sovereign economies. They make money through destruction, much easier and far more profitable than creating something good (which is by definition at odds with crapitalism).
Nobody talks about Iceland, where citizens refused to bailout the banks and the government and constitution were replaced. Or how the IMF came in to help the new govt. "fix" the economy and set the country back again before they were thrown out.
The debate is quite interesting but many comments are just missing the point ...
I've never been to the US and i visited europe several times especially cities like Barcelona, Madrid, Paris... and other small cities. I noticed in all these places that people are just fine and the life there is quite luxurious comparing with big African cities. so the point is whether you live in the US or Europe you just got to appreciate what you have, and if you say your governments are corrupted i shall suggest you take a look at southern African countries for example. So stop complaining about stuff like NOT HAVING AN SUV, i mean come on people who are, are just suffering from a very deep lack of sensibility. oh and there's another thing people that complain about high taxes in Europe, i believe it's the same thing in US with the insurance agencies ! Another point for Europe, when you say EUROPE it's not just one big country like a lot of people think it's many countries combined in one word, therefore you have an amazing cultural diversity in each country that i personally enjoy every time i go to Europe. Of course US have this cultural diversity thing too but when immigrants come to America they just get along with one way of life :"the American way of life", and other cultural backrounds take few generations to disappear. I'm not saying europe is better than US all i want to say is that your comparison should be based on personal social studies and not just on clichés (BTW you have a lot of those in both europe and US !) So I think from a social point of view that we all have to discover other cultures especially architects because there's no other thing that could lead us to a better understanding of the world in which we live,ways of life and life itself...
wouldn't you say Quebec is more socialist in outlook that Toronto (ontario) or Vancouver (BC)?
I'm answering for myself. Quebec may be more socialist, but it's also more libertine. Chalk it up to the Gallic sensibilities. Since it's all cold up there, it's the only place in Canada I'd want to live. Toronto and Van show more of their English roots. Ontario uses an emblem that looks like the British crown for their highway markers and Vancouver is just politically correct and smug. Plus, the Quebecois say some crazy shit. When the secession Referendum was a hot potato, some mucky muck or cabinet type said "We do not need to speak French. We need French in order to speak." They don't want to become homogenized and have the world's most beautiful language taken away from them. I thought that was funny. When Montreal's mayor Jean Drapeau was spending money on the Metro and the Expo, and money was for investment and development was shifting to Toronto at that time, he was asked if he was concerned about this. Drapeau said "Let Toronto become Milan. Montreal will always be Rome." That is hilarious, at least to me. BC might have the scenery, ON may have the NYC of Canada, but QC wins the contest for charm hands down.
I'm answering for myself. Quebec may be more socialist, but it's also more libertine.
but why do you insert your "but" in there? as if you understood my question as an implied criticism of quebecois socialism. not at all; personally, i am all for a good socialism and a good welfare state. i don't see a contradiction between socialism and openness.
from my viewpoint, i didn't find montreal charming. i liked it (and might be moving there soon) but its not a city of charm even considering the old town (keep in mind i'm not from the US). i hear quebec city is more charming. i also liked ottawa, although its smaller and less metropolitan. i like the very casual feel of residential neighbourhoods and its trusting interface with the streetscape. very cute and friendly. oh and the colours of the maple trees are beautiful.
socialist egalitarian vibe + libertine attitude = joie de vivre. That's Montreal's calling card: joie de vivre.
Yes, Quebec City is more charming, for its history and storybook appearance, not to mention has a location within a river valley and is hilly. Montreal may not be as charming, but it is unique for a major city. And how it is that you might be moving there? I don't know if Americans can sort of sign up and move to Canada. In fact, I am stunned at all the new immigrants in Canada when I'm there, some of whom are not degreed nor affluent, and wonder what the criteria is for getting in.
is it its calling card? yes, i hear many US americans see it that way. its all relative. if you come from a rat-race culture saturated with crappy food -if you forgive me for that description- , i guess yes, you might see a slogan for something else as a calling card. there were some not so joyeux looking people around, drug addicts and whatnot. still, an interesting city with an interesting melange of people and cultures.
Well, there's an attitude there, in Montreal. And it's a different attitude than in Toronto or Vancouver. It's palpable, at least to me. And I like it way better. Had I become more familiar with the city earlier in my life, I would have attempted to do something so as to be able to live there. Heck, I didn't even know what McGill Univ. was until I was on vacation and came off one of the bridges in a rental car and found myself looking right at it.
Actually, the only reason the US might be better than Europe is for immigrants. The US is still far more tolerant than most of Europe in that sense...
Unless you're Muslim, or Pakistani or ...
Intolerance is universal. Whether govts institutionalize it is more better issue to ponder. There's lots if it (intolerance) in Canada. Maybe we're more polite about being racist but its still there. Our govt however takes in people from all over the world. It's one of the things that makes it a great nation.
No idea if Quebec is different from rest of Canada. Could be. I liked visiting Quebec and Montreal but for olde-timey cities i liked living in Halifax more. Better culture (university town!) and much nicer than Vancouver, which is a bit too sanitized lately. Pity the east coast economy is so poor.
Socialism is great. We have a pretty good socialist govt here in Japan. Also very libertine. Much more free here than in USA on almost every count. Not sure why people assume those concepts are opposites.
About the op and its ridiculosity. Yeah of course. Whole thread is a big joke.
"Far 'mo betta"
FYI. FOX News in full of shit! You should change the channel once in awhile.
I have a hard time believing you have lived in Europe.
How old are you and where are you from in the states?
The Romney low tax rate is because his earnings are all taxed at the lower rate for capital gains and other passive types of income, set up by Bush II exactly for the Palm Beach / La Jolla / Upper East Side crowd who generate that type of surplus disposable income when in their golden years, yet need it the least. They also have Medicare, and with a cheap wraparound plan, their health needs are covered, including days in the nursing home, at which point they are close to expiration anyway. Tax THEM more. I'm surprised Obama hasn't touched the tax rates. From a theoretical standpoint, these people provide the dollars which fuel investment and the recycling of money in the economy through all their investment holdings. However, that sort of thinking also drained the coffers. On the other hand, Dems tend to tax more and spend more. Where the happy medium lies is unknown. It's trial and error. It's also a lot of number crunching, something the bureaucratic MPAs can do. I think even the MBAs don't want to touch that stuff. At any rate, it was a great day when we learned that the Romney dynasty would NOT be occupying the White House. I didn't know "these people" even lived in Massachusetts. I think 4 out of his 5 kids have Ivy League MBAs and the fifth studied business before going to med school. They are avarice on 10 legs, not counting the parents and the products of their prolific procreation.
The above comment doesn't refer to me, since I don't watch FOX news. At any rate, Greeks are inherently xenophobic. They have their very own religion and alphabet, so they feel like a distinct entity from other Europeans. In fact, that was a baseline for the flick "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," which one can only watch one time. In Europe's south, the other slightly xenophobic folks are the Portuguese, largely because Spain has been hassling them for centuries and because they lost their prominence on the European stage after the Golden Age of the Discoveries. That's why they have the fado, their own version of the blues - to wale about their sense of loss and tragedy. I love that country and there are some wonderful people there, and they are more reserved than the Spaniards, which is great when you want peace and quiet. However, there are some pills among them, and the biggest was a surly working class chick from Fall River MA (a major Portuguese handout) on the shuttle bus with her immigrant parents from the Porto airport arrivals curb to the rental car center. There are all these culturally normative ways of looking at the world in each European country, and this is more interesting than their economic problems, and less depressing. In Italy, it's the nationwide obsession with "la bella figura."
Sorry for the rant, but travel + culture = architecture, in a way.
It was for the topic author harald
I think the US is still more tolerant than most other western countries for Muslims and Arabs.
observant: BO is one of THEM. He wouldn't be where he is if he wasn't.
Thanks, Miles. I figured as much. I don't trust any politician. As a person who likes to craft things in my small life, I can't comprehend someone who has that level of lust for power, fame, and influence.
Correction on my previous post above:
Fall River MA (major Portuguese hangout), and NOT
Fall River MA (major Portuguese handout)
Couple of documentary films everyone should see:
Orwell Rolls in his Grave
And this clip of testimony on vote rigging before the Ohio State Legislature.
Guaranteed you will never see things the same way again.
having your own religion and alphabet does not signal inherent xenophobia. futhermore, it is ignorant to call it "their own religion" as their church is in communion with the greater eastern ortodox church that includes the russian, romanian, bulgarian...etc churches. they share faith, liturgical practice and so on. and even the greek orthodox church - a seperate theocratic but not theological entitiy- is hardly limited to greece proper. there are considerable swathes of greek orthodox communities in the middle east harkening back to the Constantinople. this, let alone historical egyptian and african outposts and elsewhere.
aside from that, are greeks xenophobic?
i have heard really bad things being said about albanians and black people by greeks. not specifically racial slurs but the accusation that they steal and vandalize. i would therefore tentatively agree that there is racism -moreso now that it has been brought out bu the dire socioeconomic situation. but are they inherently racist - more so than othe British (or even equal to them), for example? i would vehemently disagree. the different is that political correctness does not run in the greek veins. but in temperament, the greeks are generally peaceful very colourful people. this is why i find the Gold Dawn a cancerous tumour in their midst. also the Greece does not attract hoardes of nationalities and strangers as Britain and Germany do. they thus don't have the opportunity to formulate a racially and culturally agnostic platform as do the larger economic hubs.
also, i would not conflate the above with the greek sense of themselves (as you did, observant) which is not only shaped by a glorious hellenic past but also by very tough times since that time. greece was not a rich empire that transformed into a democracy like some of the european powerhouses. the psychological mindset is very different. greece stares at itself with a mixture of pride and disappointment. the degree of self reflexivity is peculair to them and it is understandable and has nothing to do with racism.
So, you are right in that their sphere of influence, via their religion, is larger than Greece, as I know Eritreans and Somalians who identify as Greek Orthodox. How about cliquish instead of xenophobic? I sense that they want you to drop your tourist dollars and be on your way, and are a little too slick in their mercantilism in the process. Their social life in America often revolves around a cathedral, or one of the few churches they have in a given metro area. Some of the old timers have known each other for ever and speak Greek when you are at the Greek festivals, almost ignoring the attendees. As for xenophobia, their lands are being stomped on by those wanting out of Albania, north Africa, and some Balkan areas, and they feel like their fabric is less intact, in addition to their economic position in the EU being challenging, and this sort of siphoning provides additional stress for Greece. The despair in Greece is nothing to take lightly. Southern Europe generally has the lowest suicide rates, owing to extensive family support systems, and those aren't even a safeguard in Greece these days. I have visited Athens and 3 islands. I would love to return. However, in my own xenophobic way, it's not the slam dunk that visiting a country with a Latin rooted language is where I can manage quite well. Greece may look familiar via its biogeographic attributes, but I feel like I am in a very different country. In Portugal, I can hold a conversation and read what is presented to me, so I'll take a stress-free vacation to one that is more "exotic." Also, political correctness is not part of the fabric when different peoples aren't being assimilated into the culture. In Milan, I'm sure some checkpoints are in place, but in Sicily, are you kidding? Political incorrectness is the order of the day, and they are politically incorrect to other native sons and daughters of Sicily. Lastly, it can't be ignored that the Mediterranean European countries don't have the work ethic nor the output of others in the EU. That's not how they roll. However, for those scraping by, they are fat, dumb, and happy, smoking their cigarettes under the palm degrees and indulging in their mistresses for part of the day. If they only calculated how many more Euros they'd have in their wallets if they didn't smoke. They CAN'T afford to smoke.
"However, for those scraping by, they are fat, dumb, and happy, smoking their cigarettes under the palm degrees and indulging in their mistress for part of the day."
i think you've reached a low life level with that remark. i'll pay attention to something else now.
Suit yourself, since you alternate between being very decisive and thin skinned. I have a fair handle on it. I was in Sicily last July, a year ago. There is 27% unemployment. They are at the beach daily, with deep tans, and smoking under their umbrellas ... and I'm wondering how they put a roof over their heads and food on the table. It's a mystery. And, yes, the mistress as a third wheel is part of the culture and the more adventurous, influential and/or affluent guys want more than just their wives, and that's why their wives smoke like chimneys, too. They are so functionally dysfunctional that it's a marvel. But if anything that assesses a situation with candor and crassness bothers you, I could see why you'd turn your attention elsewhere.