Posted by Jeff from pcp01169382pcs.roylok01.mi.comcast.net (126.96.36.199) on Sunday, September 08, 2002 at 1:52AM :
In Reply to: Re: Hysteria posted by panch from pool0482.cvx25-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net (188.8.131.52) on Sunday, September 08, 2002 at 0:46AM :
You make some interesting points. I heard a story on NPR about how Ireland had a pollution problem... with plastic bags, of all things.
The government, being smart as it is decided to tax the recipient of a plastic bag (say, a consumer at a grocery store) 10 or 20 cents per bag... and in just one year they went from using something like 10 million (yes!) bags a year to virtually none... AND at the same time they started a fund which ended up being over 100 million dollars... from those collected taxes.
The government official interviewed explained that one no longer sees plastic bags along the highways and roads like they did before, etc.
My friend who went to Germany told me how the European shoppers bring their own bags.
My brother travelled across Europe and said that in one month and 12 countries later, he only saw one (yes ... 1) SUV.
My classmates that were born in Europe were doing the math that I am doing now in high school... and they are also ahead in most other subjects.
It seems that Europeans, on the whole, care more about their environment, and they are mostly in control of their government, and their school systems are much better. The average European citizen is more aware of the world around them than the avg. American citizen.
Even when dealing with the Middle East, the EU is usually more balanced when they publicly make statements about the Israelis/Palestinians.
I also heard stories on NPR about how the US unfairly uses tariffs on certain European products (I believe it was because of lobbying from the Steel industry) because the Europeans are more efficient and have less costly products...
In the future I foresee Europe as a whole and the US butting heads... along with "Chinasiapan"... and the other asian countries because of how our country is. Do you think Europe, Canada, etc. will continue to do nothing, or do you suppose that one day they will speak up and demand that the US do what is right with regard to everything that I mentioned?
I mean, they can't force Americans to NOT be stupid but they can impose sanctions, tariffs, etc. of their own.
My friend used to ride the train often... it goes right through the city that I live in... right through main street and I can see the train from my front porch. There is a train station a walking distance from his house (he lives right near me) and after Sept. 11 he could no longer ride the train. Everyone has to go to a different train station 30 miles away to buy tickets for some strange reason... and as a result he doesn't ride it anymore.
In Europe they have the rail which operates mainly on the honor system. No crazy restrictions, no taking away of your rights... you just ride the rail from one country to the next... it's fast and efficient. Their governments don't seem to be encroaching on their rights at all.
Oh... one last story (I love NPR!)... there was a story about a comparison and contrast between Detroit and a city in Florida where large Arab Muslim populations exist. In Detroit, the FBI/CIA/Homeland blah dept. sent out letters politely asking the Muslims to set up times to meet with them. In Florida, on the other hand, the security people busted down people's doors in the middle of the night and dragged them off in shackles... and had undercover agents join Mosques. As a result, many mosques simply stopped having Friday night services because their congregations were too scared to show up.
What a crazy world... dirty hands indeed.
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