Apart from all the tech stuff going on at Mix07 last week I met a guy there who really brought it home to me that America really is the land of extremes.
It started innocently enough. I was sharing a breakfast table with a bunch of guys. I introduced myself and one of the guys said “You are on the Euro – you must be loving it over here then; everything is so cheap”
Stupidly I responded with “Yup, we have a lot to thank George Bush for”
Well, that set him off on a bizarre, sick, rant I will never forget.
First off, it wasn’t George Bush who was to blame for the state of the economy, it is Alan Greenspan, I was told. George Bush has done nothing but good for the US.
In any case, the United State economy has never been stronger, I was informed.
I didn’t ask “then why is the dollar so weak”. I did bring up the US’s massive foreign debt though. This was dismissed as inconsequential given that as a percentage of GDP, it has been higher in the past.
Next rant, the Euro is a failed experiment I was informed. It hasn’t been tested. As soon as there is any problem in the Eurozone, it will completely fall apart bringing down the European economies with it!
Then we started to get more bizarre. The war on Iraq is really a war on Islam. Islam is the most hate-filled religion in existence. It is the only religion which preaches killing non-believers. There are three occasions in the Koran where it specifically says that if you can’t convert an infidel, you must kill him.
I tried arguing that in the bible it says “an eye for an eye” which can be taken as a validation of retribution. I was quoting out of context, it seems. This guy’s answer was, seriously, nuke them all!
This led us on nicely to the death penalty. He just could not understand how “you Europeans don’t have the death penalty”. At this point I could have brought up the fact that the US is the only Western country executing criminals and it still has the highest rate of violent crime. No, I stopped arguing with him at this point as I was losing my appetite.
Finally, the majority of crime in the US is because of Mexicans. Mexicans have a violent culture. Mexico city is the most violent city in the world. They come to America and because of their innate violence, they end up in prison. According to this guy, Mexicans outnumber all other nationalities in US prisons.
I left the table.