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Life and Times of an itinerant slacker in Sacramento. Thrills, Spills Galore coming soon. Not to mention lots of opinions.

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Friday, February 12, 2010

A Thoughtful Immigrant's Perspective

Sometime the perspective of a thoughtful American who himself immigrated from Post-War Europe can really "blow my mind".

This afternoon I listened to an exchange between an older retired physician and Tom, a friend who is a recently retired State University Professor. Tom grew up in post-war Holland, and he has lived and worked in California long enough to have a clear view of what America and Americans are all about.

As soon as he found out Tom was a professor from the State University, the retired doctor and his wife repeatedly asked Tom questions like, "So, what's REALLY behind this anti-university trend we see in the Legislature and the budget."

It seemed to me the older couple was pimping Tom for some kind of anti-intellectual conspiracy theory, or maybe a short lamentation about American anti-intellectualism.

The first few times the question was mildly paraphrased and completed, Tom's answers were rather bland and politic, since, after all, who wants to get into a debate when there's no winner's prize.

After several exchanges of conversation Tom said something like this,"Well, you see, there are a lot of Government programs we'd like to pay for. We were once a rich country and we paid for all these programs, prisons, university, and other programs. Now, we are not so rich, and we can't pay for all these programs."

Tom's blog, The European-American Blog, is full of pretty thoughtful stuff. It's a good blog.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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I must enjoy shouting into a vacuum, but I think about getting my act together one of these days. My mom says I am very handsome and intelligent.

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