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August 12, 2005


Makes sense to me. I've had great debates with people when I'm traveling. Just about every one of them made me rethink my preconceived notions about the US and the rest of the world. And I've always had a very open mind. A man like Bush sitting in a Bancok bar discussin politics with a few South Africans would probably shut down from overload. But at least he'd have his brother around to carry him out after hooking up with a few under aged prositutes.

Of course I've seen the opposite in where the ugly American is incapable of even considering that his opinion is flawed much less wrong. That is more likely how Bush and many new Republicans would react.

The ugly Americans? You mean the people looking for the Hard Rock and complaining that there's not enough ice in their coke and that not everyone speaks English?

They're not travelers, they're vacationers.

You forgot one other great tyrant who doesn't travel: Kim Jong Il.

Boy, that Bush guy, he's in some great company, isn't he?

not everyone speaks English?

I've told you the story of my aunt in Indonesia, right?

Mike S

You haven't told me...

Yes. And it's not just travel to foreign countries that broadens perspective. Visiting the "foreign" reaches of the good ol' USA can work wonders, too. And it's cheap. An Indian reservation without a casino in Idaho, a family-owned organic farm in upstate New York, an unemployment line in East St. Louis, or, maybe, just maybe, the most foreign place of all for George W. Bush - a cemetery in any state of the Union where a family is putting a dead soldier into the ground.

You make a good point. I wonder how much of the country Bush has seen that didn't involve a campaign stop. I've seen most parts of the country, quite a few indian res' without casino's (cave dwelligs were my favorite), probably more vet cemetaries than Bush and no doubt more inner city areas than bush. My guess is the only inner city he visited outside campaigning was his drug diversion one.

When you actualy talk to people around the country, as opposed to hand picked audiances, you do get a more open mind.

Mike: it's worth sharing with the whole class.

This is for emptywheel, those that know can skip it.

My brother got married in 96. The wedding was in Indonesia and my aunt came. We went out to dinner the night before the wedding with my bro's future inlaws. The waiter spoke very little, if any, english.

My Aunt. "Why can't they just speak English?"

Me. " Well, we are on the island of Java. That's where they found one of the earliest fossils of man so we should really know how to speak Indonesian."

My Aunt. Angry stare.

Then there's Fidel Castro, who loves to travel. An exception to the rule or in a different category, one of worldly authoritarians?

Worldly authoritarians, along with Lenin.

There has been a historical cycle of US leaders without world outlook, although societal factors now have universalized experience more than in other centuries.
When Bush first began to speak to the press in 2000 the corps tossed him loaded questions about the peace process in Israel. His impromptu replies framed a laissez faire policy. Within a few months prominent Republicans began using their comments to press to lobby for better education for Bush; those other Republicans were openly fretting about losing rich donors to the Republican Party, i.e., their message to Bush was to be more pro-Israel or more anti-peace process or...ellipsis.
To me that was a key experiential lession for Rove-Bush, as very quickly thereafter Bush began Arab criticism, an easy fallback position given his energy sector business roots.
He had attempted a rudimentary ex tempore learning method which earned him that slap on the wrist; then retrenched.
It took the extremists a full year to gel the World Trade Center attack II.
Who was going to guide him: General Powell.
In term two Bush turned to yet a different, and very intelligent person in Ms. Rice. Yet, here was a gifted student of Sino-Soviet bloc politics.
What a crew. Travel. Ms. Rice loves it, and she appears instructed by it; I actually like her ability to morph and learn; even though clearly she is burdened by the ideological titans which are locked in combat in her inner pantheon.
Who does Bush give her as the key ambassador to the world, Bolton.
DHinMI, you may be onto a very significant and fascinating line of investigative journalism, if you have honed a Google engine somewhere and are prepared to thumbnail out the Early George Bush first term development of foreign policy.
The ethnic stuff is less transparent to me. As one commentator upthread reminds me, Mr. Bush was reported to have traveled to an Expo in San Antone; hear tell, a Democratic part of West TX; home to vast wind farms these days.
Sure puzzles me what is green about wind machines; like sahuaros with boom boxes.

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I feel like a fog, not that it matters. I've pretty much been doing nothing , but eh. Today was a loss. I haven't gotten much done for a while.

We are killing the rainforest

Blame the parents of a murderer parents for the crime

I feel like a fog, not that it matters. I've pretty much been doing nothing , but eh. Today was a loss. I haven't gotten much done for a while.

The U.S.-Mexican border fence works, doesn't work

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