Author: Crissie Brown

Morning Feature: Scattered Reflections, Part II – On There, From Here

Ideology aside, George W. Bush would not have been elected Chancellor of Germany. Neither would Barack Obama. Neither would have had enough political experience to be tapped as the leader of his party, and that’s how the Chancellor is chosen. The difference is not simply structural. It reflects our different political expectations. (More) Scattered Reflections, Part II – On There, From Here This week Morning Feature will offer some scattered reflections on the past month. Yesterday I shared some Fritzflüstern (Fred Whispering) experiences on how Germans see the U.S. Today I’ll share some thoughts on European politics. Tomorrow I’ll try to tie it all together. Saturday is Christmas, so we’ll take a break from politics to review a 1st century blog from Judea recently unearthed by our Department of Pseudoarcheology. As I wrote yesterday, most Germans don’t expect their government to solve difficult problems quickly. That may be partly a longer view of history. In Germany you are never more than a few kilometers from some centuries-old historical site. In Heidelberg you can eat in a restaurant – Zum Weissen Schwanen – that has on one wall the names of every brew master who has worked there since the restaurant opened … in 1398. (No, that is not a typo.) Being so steeped in history puts today in a different perspective. But the structure of the German government also...

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Campus Chatter – December 23, 2010

A Visit From St. Nicholas, also known as The Night Before Christmas, was published today (1823). Also, the Federal Reserve was created (1913), the first transistor demonstrated (1947), and the Tokyo Tower dedicated (1958). And Slovenians voted for independence from Yugoslavia (1990). Greetings and social banter here. Good morning!...

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Morning Feature: Scattered Reflections, Part I – On Here, From There

“Germans are more cynical about our leaders,” Fritz said. “We don’t expect them to solve big problems quickly. Our government works by consensus. Our major parties differ in details, but have the same basic ideas. We know change happens slowly.” His name wasn’t really Fritz, but that’s German for “Fred.” (More) Scattered Reflections, Part I – On Here, From There This week Morning Feature will offer some scattered reflections on the past month. Today I’ll share some Fritzflüstern (Fred Whispering) experiences on how Germans see the U.S. Tomorrow I’ll share some thoughts on European politics. Friday I’ll try to tie it all together. Saturday is Christmas, so we’ll take a break from politics to review a 1st century blog from Judea recently unearthed by our Department of Pseudoarcheology. The U.S. news of the past month seemed dominated by the debate over extending the Bush tax cuts. I kept up with events here through Noontime News and BPI’s news feeds, but I also watched and read some German news. I didn’t see any German stories about the tax cuts, though there was a TV piece comparing America’s unemployment crisis to similar problems in some European countries. Mostly I talked with Germans: friends of German Beloved, whom we were visiting, and others I met on trains and in markets. “A very European outlook.” Fritz said that after I said I see...

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Campus Chatter – December 22, 2010

President Thomas Jefferson’s Embargo Act passed today (1807). Also, the Non-Intercourse Act repealed the Embargo Act (1809), the Dreyfus Affair began (1898), and the Lincoln Tunnel opened (1937). And Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe replied to a surrender demand at Bastogne with one word: “Nuts!” (1944). Greetings and social banter here. Good morning!...

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Morning Feature: A Solstice Carol, Reprised

The BPI Squirrel is our roving correspondent, when he’s not working on his thesis in 21st Century Political Nuttitude. He hosts our campus soapbox, Furthermore!, and is the most noteworthy (and crankiest) member of our staff. From a year ago, we reprise his debut…. (More) On the first day of Solstice, a squirrel said to me: Come dance around my tree. +++++ On the second day of Solstice, a squirrel said to me: Watch out for my nuts, but Come dance around my tree. +++++ On the third day of Solstice, a squirrel said to me: Don’t wake the baby! Watch out for my nuts, but Come dance around my tree. +++++ On the fourth day of Solstice, a squirrel said to me: Who are all those people? Don’t wake the baby! Watch out for my nuts, hey, That’s NOT dancing ’round my tree. +++++ On the fifth day of Solstice, a squirrel said to me: GETT OFF MYY LAWWWN! Who are all those people? Don’t wake the baby! Watch out for my nuts, hey, That’s NOT dancing ’round my tree. +++++ On the sixth day of Solstice, a squirrel said to me: Put some frigging clothes on. GETT OFF MYY LAWWWN! Who are all those people? Don’t wake the baby! Hey, those were my nuts, and You can’t dance around my tree! +++++ On the seventh day of...

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