…is like being in a classroom full of GOPers spouting right wing talking points.

No, it’s not the instructors – some of them are progressives trying to drag the UK into the 21st Century.  Their ideal of patriotism is different than the United States.  They don’t threaten their citizens into proving their notion of Britishness, like our own government does when sensing dissent.  It’s probably why Britain has a dozen political parties to choose from.

I sensed we are globally disdained, but seeing it up close and personal, I have to fight back the urge to apologize for Americans over here complaining about everything and anything, including politics.  The whole purpose of this trip was to study British politics and European Union politics, plus the effects of globalization. It’s difficult to defend the current POTUS (and did I say they want Obama to win this thing, because they don’t want to deal with McCain and his temper tantrums?) 

Today, we started to discuss globalization and trade agreements.  It is easy to see why some trade agreements fail and some succeed, but from where I sit, NAFTA, CAFTA and the recent trade agreements give away the store, generate profits for corporations, but gives nothing back to the American economy or the consumer.  I discussed the human rights aspects of these trade agreements, and some of my classmates came from regions in the country that were hit the hardest by the trade agreements…and insist that it was the companies’ fault.

I don’t know – all I see are jobs leaving this country at an accelerating rate, and from what I’ve read in the trade agreements, there’s no accountability or enforcement/inducements for compliance among the signatory partners.  I mentioned that – and heard crickets chirping.

Our instructor backed me up on this, stating the willingness to address issues like human rights, accountability and enforcement/inducement, works well in the European Union because member states know there’s hell to pay for non-compliance with what the Union members have agreed to.  At that point, some of my classmates decided they were going to be ugly Americans, and hold to the “My Country; RIGHT OR WRONG” when discussing the effects of NAFTA and CAFTA on our economy.

But they conveniently (like Fox Noise), fail to quote the whole thing.  I believe (and you can correct me) the quote goes:

“My country, right or wrong; when right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right.”  Carl Schurz

I would like to enlist JJP readers to help me out.  The next two days, we’re going to hear lectures from the University of Pretoria Professor, dealing with African integration and trade development that will be facilitated by the European Union.  I think they want to deal with Africa to the extent that when time comes, Africa may be lobbied to either join the EU or receive benefits in some manner.  I want your questions to present to Dr. Maxi Shoeman, the lecturer coming from the University of Pretoria.  I really want to represent, y’all, and bring my A-game to the discussion (not that I haven’t been doing that, anyway).

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