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American Freedom vs European Freedom

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By Ben Cohen

For all our readers who love a good debate - check out the back and forth between our U.K Editor Nick Lang, and two ticked off American readers. The argument centers around the article Lang wrote: "Is American news the reason why everyone thinks the Yanks are stupid?"

I've posted the comments first, then Nick's response after:

From David in Scottsdale:

So Nick - while you dumb ass Europeans are still trying to figure out
what the word "freedom" means, we 'stupid' Americans have been
inventing, developing, and sharing most of the technology that your
sorry ass uses. Ever been on a plane, ridden in a car? Oh yeah - polio vaccine, cancer treatment, dialysis, etc. Let's see, while we're at it - we win the majority of Nobel Prizes. We lead the world by a LOT in GDP. We give billions of dollars to other countries and never ask for anything in return. I could go on but your attention span might not be able to withstand the onslaught of accuracy. Just something to think about the next time your stupid, egotistical
ass decides to trash the ONE country on this planet that can guarantee
your right to be a fool publicly.

From Aurora:

So Nick, please tell us how the
English escape brainwashing by the British press! If it is true that we
Americans are "stupid" and brainwashed, then the English must suffer a
common fate...or have you done away with all TVs as you have guns? To
answer your question, NO American TV is NOT the reason Europeans
think the Americans are stupid. The Europeans think Americans are
stupid, because Europeans have a different mind set consisting of state
run social policies that rule their lives...they can't imagine why
Americans DON'T want to be like them...with their 3 weeks paid
vacations and government paid retirement programs. What they fail to
see, is that all the really great European super stars in medical,
Internet,& business fields are flocking to the USA where the real
rewards are for hard work and creativity.(not to mention lower taxes).
Funny, we just can't stop millions of people wanting to immigrate to
this "Stupid" USA. Go figure...

From Nick Lang:

Well, David in Scottsdale and Auroa, it seems that you are both very defensive about two things: being stupid and Europe.

I would like you both to re-read my post and take particular notice
of the part where I defend Americans against the accusation of
stupidity, and also to note that I did not mention Europe, but that it
is the whole world that has this attitude towards Americans.

David: I agree that America has given the world lots of technology,
and many things that we all rely on everyday. But that really doesn’t
have anything to do with the issue whatsoever. America’s contribution
to science and technology is entirely irrelevant to the matter of the
media brainwashing of unenlightened Americans. Yet your defensive and
angry rant seems to prove my point rather nicely, so thank you from the
bottom of my European heart.

Just another point of thought David; just how exactly is it that
America guarantees my right to be a fool publically? It’s about time
that frustrated, flag-waving Americans really examined this bizarre
idea that America somehow single-handedly invented and now defends
‘freedom’ for the rest of us ungrateful and apparently powerless
countries. Surely the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights has done
more to defend the freedoms and rights of people all around the world
than the current American government has done for anybody, anywhere.

Ironically, you may want to do a bit of research on the European
Union and learn about the rights and freedoms it has invented and now
defends for its member states.

America is not the white knight of freedom for all the poor and
ungrateful peoples of the world. This idea is a completely fabricated
neo-conservative notion created by a string of deluded governments. Get
over it.

Auroa: I’m not sure I like the idea that if you own a TV you are
automatically considered to be brainwashed. You don’t seem to give too
much credit to the power of individuals over their own psyche.

I would be lying if I said that we didn’t have an alarmingly large
amount of Brits who rely solely on The Sun for their political views
and news (if you can call it that). This newspaper (again, if you can
call it that) is part of the Murdoch empire, along with Fox News which
caters to very much the lowest common denominator of political

The point I was making is that in America it’s actually very hard to
find a genuinely neutral news show to watch for your daily fix of world
knowledge. We have mind-numbing news in the form of Channel 5, and
dumbed-down commentary from BBC News; however our news on TV does not
outwardly promote any political parties, does not whole-heartedly
support the cause of troops fighting questionable wars oversees and
does not emotionally blackmail its viewers to feel a certain way about
events that unfold.

News is news. It’s about fact, not opinion. It is how we learn about
current events in a plain and neutral way. It is not supposed to be a
method of political, nationalistic and sometimes even religious

One final thing Auroa; you make a valid point about the influx of
people to your shores. But you yourself unintentionally give the real
reason for this. It is not that people just aren’t ‘free enough’ in
Europe, it is because of the low tax you mention. That is why it is
generally only rich people going your way.

The rest of us actually really appreciate having state run systems –
like living benefits for people on low incomes, housing for the
homeless, improving state schools and free healthcare for all. The
trouble is that these things cost money, and the problem with many rich
people is that they are generally very tight-fisted. They don’t like
seeing their hard-earned money going to help the less fortunate, so
they flock to your fine country which ensures that the rich get richer.
Now that's good capitalism!

Maybe you should go to one of your many poor neighbourhoods and ask
them how much they enjoy their great American ‘freedom’. Isn't it funny
how a supposedly Christian country does so much to reward the rich and
so little to protect the poor?

“You cannot serve both God and money.”

(Matthew 6:24)

“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?”

(1 John 3:17)

“Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

(Matthew 19:23-24)

I could go on…

I hope this addresses your concerns gentlemen. Would anybody else like to add anything?