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Old 18.12.2010, 16:45
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Re: Absolutely disgusted with American politics and the state of living here....

Great to hear from Ms.M. I fully agree with yur comments about distractions and the power of mega-corporations. However, mega-corporations and corruption exist everywhere including Switzerland. In Switzerland it is even more about not what you know but who you know. I tried to get involved in politics in Switzerland, I wasn't very successful although I did get to sit at the Stammtisch. Swiss politics is politics for the Swiss by the Swiss and you will not have the power of a vote. Perhaps other would like to explain the concept of the Stammtisch.Then you might like to research the farmer's lobby in Switzerland, Nestle, Banks. However,if you like the Amish style of life (with less prudishness when it comes to nudity) or a clean city that runs like clockwork (you are expected to live similarly) then Switzerland may be for you. Remember cleanliness is next to godliness, Swiss visitors are known to run their fingers along sills. You may be spied on in the beginning, by the neighborhood watch scheme, any suspicious activity where you don't conform, like parking in the wrong place can be reported to the police. In fact in some cases the neighbors may be asked to keep watch. For very young kids- idyllic village life, if the village accepts foreigners.
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  #102  
Old 18.12.2010, 16:53
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Re: Absolutely disgusted with American politics and the state of living here....

Just wrote this long post that I lost ... gaaaahhhh. Probably for the best. It boiled down to ... this move would be VERY difficult (based on my current experience of jumping through hoops with a LOT of help from work). Just finding a place to live that will also "accept" you is hard.

Why not move to Minneapolis, shop at Whole Foods/farmers markets, listen to NPR, join a local foods movement and a free-range kids movement, work at the university, send your kids to a Waldorf school ... and you'll have a positive experience for a lot less hassle.
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  #103  
Old 18.12.2010, 16:55
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Re: Absolutely disgusted with American politics and the state of living here....

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Great to hear from Ms.M. I fully agree with yur comments about distractions and the power of mega-corporations. However, mega-corporations and corruption exist everywhere including Switzerland. In Switzerland it is even more about not what you know but who you know. I tried to get involved in politics in Switzerland, I wasn't very successful although I did get to sit at the Stammtisch. Swiss politics is politics for the Swiss by the Swiss and you will not have the power of a vote. Perhaps other would like to explain the concept of the Stammtisch.Then you might like to research the farmer's lobby in Switzerland, Nestle, Banks. However,if you like the Amish style of life (with less prudishness when it comes to nudity) or a clean city that runs like clockwork (you are expected to live similarly) then Switzerland may be for you. Remember cleanliness is next to godliness, Swiss visitors are known to run their fingers along sills. You may be spied on in the beginning, by the neighborhood watch scheme, any suspicious activity where you don't conform, like parking in the wrong place can be reported to the police. In fact in some cases the neighbors may be asked to keep watch. For very young kids- idyllic village life, if the village accepts foreigners.
Or you could move to Ticino rather than the north side of the Alps and avoid all that (plus have better weather, better food, etc.), AND you wouldn't need to learn SwissGerman!

Tom
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  #104  
Old 18.12.2010, 17:02
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Re: M Rader's wife

MS Rader...
yes, Switzerland is absolutely beautiful. You are right.

But don't kid yourself. Corporations are extremely powerful here as well... the green god (albeit here it ain't green) is well and alive here.

Just think about our Best chocolate makers in Vevey. They do and undo the life of the whole region. They however advertise very smartly.
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  #105  
Old 18.12.2010, 17:08
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Re: Absolutely disgusted with American politics and the state of living here....

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Not exactly. US citizens are required to file taxes wherever they are living. There is an allowance of $91,000 per person that is not taxed after deducting all of your living expenses abroad (rent, utilities etc). Chances are very good that between you and your wife you would not be making $182,000 after rent, utilities and a host of other items they let you deduct. In that case, while you file taxes, you pay nothing.
Just a minor quibble - the exclusion is not exactly per person, it is per income.

The 182,000 deduction works if both partners make over 91,000. But if one partner is not employed the family can only claim an exclusion against the employed person's income. If one person earns 1,000,000, and the other 10,000 you can only claim an exclusion of 101,000 - the 91,000 against the million earner's income and 10,000 against the 10,000 income. So you would owe US taxes on the rest.

And FYI, you lose a portion of the exclusion for every day spent doing business in the US; if you are required to travel to the US with any frequency that can take a chunk out. (We have lost over half the exclusion several years.) You may also be liable for state income tax if you spend any time working in the US.

And, be aware that not all your Swiss taxes paid are deductible against your US liability; you can carry over credits for (IIRC) 5 years, but if you have not been able to use the credits in those 5 years you could start to lose them.

In total, most people will pay - either to the US or to Switzerland - roughly what you would have paid to the US alone had you remained a US resident. Some end up paying a good chunk more. As always, YMMV - speak with a professional experienced in both tax regimes before you get too far in your plans.

Bottom line - low taxes are really not a reason to consider moving to Switzerland for US citizens. At best it's a wash - and you might end up paying more.

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  #106  
Old 18.12.2010, 18:18
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Re: Absolutely disgusted with American politics and the state of living here....

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Just wrote this long post that I lost ... gaaaahhhh. Probably for the best. It boiled down to ... this move would be VERY difficult (based on my current experience of jumping through hoops with a LOT of help from work). Just finding a place to live that will also "accept" you is hard.

Why not move to Minneapolis, shop at Whole Foods/farmers markets, listen to NPR, join a local foods movement and a free-range kids movement, work at the university, send your kids to a Waldorf school ... and you'll have a positive experience for a lot less hassle.
We are surrounded by research institutes, very mixed group of friends racially, politically, economically. Avid fans of NPR, PBS, WMHT. Great school, active parental involvement, PTO. Average Sat scores 650, 94% go to college, 2% got to Military, 90% staff have masters/PhD's. School hold open lectures, adult ed and amazing performances, unbelievable facilities fully equipped (gym room, 4 gym halls, swimming pool, theatres, language labs, workshops, TV studio, visits by professional sports players.

Local library holds regular lectures open to public involvement, free training for the citizenship exam, ESL and literacy courses, plus Great Decision, nuclear debates, literary tours etc. Beautiful countryside, hiking skiing, boating, kayaking arts, history,museums, rich wildlife,. I have redtailed hawks, humming birds, Pileated woodpeckers, foxes, deer, skunks, racoons, possums, flying squirrels in the back yard. Skiing 1/2 hour , 1 and 1/2 hours for bigger slopes. Supermarkets increasing their natural/wholefood sections, co-ops, farmstores, markets. Far less red tape,so easy to do pretty much any sport cheaply. Here I am very politically and volunteer involved! Gas is cheap. Our house costs 1/4 price of an equivalent Swiss house and very well built (massive girders,2 breeze block walls+ brick) Husband likes Walmart and Lowes 5 minutes drive away. Golds Gym membership max $75 for 3 months.

Problems LONG COLD WINTERS, college education is expensive. pervading fear of unemployment, public transport health care, insurance getting marginally better but still sucks, obesity epidemic, bad drivers, alcoholics, guns, hunters (we get offered lots of free venison, elk) most people great!
You will probably drive everywhere. Miss my family and London buzz.
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  #107  
Old 18.12.2010, 18:45
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Re: Absolutely disgusted with American politics and the state of living here....

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I tried to get involved in politics in Switzerland, I wasn't very successful although I did get to sit at the Stammtisch. Swiss politics is politics for the Swiss by the Swiss and you will not have the power of a vote. Perhaps other would like to explain the concept of the Stammtisch.
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You may be spied on in the beginning, by the neighborhood watch scheme, any suspicious activity where you don't conform, like parking in the wrong place can be reported to the police. In fact in some cases the neighbors may be asked to keep watch. For very young kids- idyllic village life, if the village accepts foreigners.
just some total nonsense again

yeah..... of course you can move to small rural conservative village as a foreigner and expect to mix up politics and not beeing spied by neighbours ?!?!?!?!

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However,if you like the Amish style of life (with less prudishness when it comes to nudity) or a clean city that runs like clockwork (you are expected to live similarly) then Switzerland may be for you. Remember cleanliness is next to godliness
hahahaha... what a crap!

Switzerland has one of the highest atheist percentage of its population. Personal believe is absolutely NOT a topic in politics.... ehm, which country are you posting from again?

Now you really made me angry by dissing my Swiss wife and friends.
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  #108  
Old 18.12.2010, 19:30
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Re: Absolutely disgusted with American politics and the state of living here....

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just some total nonsense again

yeah..... of course you can move to small rural conservative village as a foreigner and expect to mix up politics and not beeing spied by neighbours ?!?!?!?!



hahahaha... what a crap!

Yes in the US you can, my neighbors have never been asked to spy on us by the police.Actually I was a member of the neighourhood watch as almost immediately. At the citizenship ceremony, to which friends and family were invited, we were applauded and given a speech about our civic responsibility to get involved in politics, it is a wonderful happy occasion.

Free citizenship courses to prepare for the exam are available at the local library, I didn't see that in Switzerland. As a Swiss you are also expected to vote. When you become a Swiss however there is no ceremony, no welcome speech, no emphasis urging you to use your vote. Until recently the village or neighbours would decide on whether you could be allowed citizenship or not. Some districts Appenzeller innerrhoden and ausser rhoden are still divided along catholic, protestant borders. Women only recently got the vote and are still trying to catch up.

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Switzerland has one of the highest atheist percentage of its population. Personal believe is absolutely NOT a topic in politics.... ehm, which country are you posting from again?
When I came to the US I was not immediately asked my religion on official forms so that they could collect the religious tax for the church. I suspect that one of the reasons that the atheism figures are so high is because people don't want to pay the church tax. Some church based communities are wonderful.


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Now you really made me angry by dissing my Swiss wife and friends.
Sorry I knew this would happen,but I criticize every country. Switzerland is a beautiful country, very clean streets, much to be admired in terms of punctuality, banking and baking. Ghettos not as big as the US and most of the gun problem is limited to suicides.
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  #109  
Old 18.12.2010, 20:24
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Re: Absolutely disgusted with American politics and the state of living here....

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As a Swiss you are also expected to vote.
Actually, that is the number one reason I chose to become Swiss!

I find the Swiss system of direct democracy a vast improvement over other systems.

And, I wanted to do my part to keep Switzerland out of the EU!

Tom
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  #110  
Old 18.12.2010, 20:38
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Re: Absolutely disgusted with American politics and the state of living here....

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I have indeed. The heat is really the main factor keeping me from seriously considering it, though not having to learn a new language is keeping it in the running. I moved from Florida to New Jersey to escape the heat. I am a much bigger fan of cold, which I imagine Switzerland can provide me with plenty!
If you like cold how about 25to 35 below zero ,Celsius that is ,just drive north till you hit Ontario
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  #111  
Old 18.12.2010, 20:58
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Re: Absolutely disgusted with American politics and the state of living here....

Become Amish?
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  #112  
Old 18.12.2010, 20:59
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Re: Absolutely disgusted with American politics and the state of living here....

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Just left California for Switzerland - but it's all about the job for me. I didn't really want to leave the US but no-one was offering this kind of opportunity to me there. It's easy to get sucked into 'the US is going to hell' stuff but at least you get to flush the toilet when you want to (which you don't in Switzerland). I have moved around a lot - Europe and US - and it is easy to pin your hopes on a place and then be disappointed. If you've not lived in Europe, you won't understand how free the US is - by comparison Europe can be very oppressive. But that's a personal comment. And I agree, leaving friends and family can seem attractive but it is hard and it takes a great deal of effort to set up a new life anywhere.
Cant say i have ever had a restriction on when to use the toilet in Switzerland, or shower either.
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Old 18.12.2010, 21:21
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Re: M Rader's wife

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You guys will definitely be safe from the evil pharma, bio-chemical, and agro companies here in Switzerland.
And today's award for sarcastic irony (or ironic sarcasm) goes to ... Patuleko!
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  #114  
Old 18.12.2010, 21:26
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Re: Absolutely disgusted with American politics and the state of living here....

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People are getting greedier everywhere. Switzerland although small has the greatest gap between rich and poor. There are poor Swiss, but even more poor foreigners, who don't always show in the statistics as they may be considered non-resident. I presume that Switzerland may have one of the most embedded press they tow the patriotic line. very clean everything gets swept away. An old book but still worth a mention: The Swiss wash whiter here a messy translation of an interview with Jean Ziegler but you may get the gist of it:

http://translate.google.com/translat...%26prmd%3Divns[

I hope that the OP isn't a troll who just wants EF'ers to air Swiss dirty laundry in public.
It may be (I haven't looked) that the gap between rich & poor is "the greatest in the world" but I think we need a bit of perspective here. Being poor in Switzerland is not the same as being poor in other parts of the world. If I were in a grumpier mood I might actually get offended by what you wrote.
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  #115  
Old 18.12.2010, 21:43
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Re: Absolutely disgusted with American politics and the state of living here....

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It may be (I haven't looked) that the gap between rich & poor is "the greatest in the world" but I think we need a bit of perspective here. Being poor in Switzerland is not the same as being poor in other parts of the world. If I were in a grumpier mood I might actually get offended by what you wrote.
Actually I think the gap between the rich and the poor is accelerating in the US - And what's alarming is that the middle class is simply disappearing- in the US. I'm sure there are countries where the gap is even larger. Proportionally, I'd find it hard to believe that the gap between rich and poor is larger in Switzerland. But who knows. I think the important issue here is not the size, but the rate at which this gap is growing in the US.
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Old 18.12.2010, 21:43
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Re: Absolutely disgusted with American politics and the state of living here....

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It may be (I haven't looked) that the gap between rich & poor is "the greatest in the world" but I think we need a bit of perspective here. Being poor in Switzerland is not the same as being poor in other parts of the world. If I were in a grumpier mood I might actually get offended by what you wrote.
I'm not sure if it's greed or uncertainty. Every country/society has a certain percentage of highly motivated people who seek money and/or power. Switzerland is no different, but they are perhaps more subtle about it. The truly wealthy aren't flashy. This is not the case in the US, where how much you earn is a topic of conversation. Here in Switzerland, it's simply 'not done'.

These are uncertain times. There may well be a lot more fear in society and this doesn't have a positive influence.

The US is going through a difficult phase. An unpopular politician (perhaps a bit of an overreaction) was replaced by a new one who promised everything (probably in good faith) but is now having trouble delivering on all these wonderful ideas. This generated huge degrees of dissatisfaction.

I was born in the US but have spent over half of my life in Switzerland. I find that I truly love both countries for what they are, but they are so different and so utterly unique in so many respects that it is fascinating to experience both. Would that it be possible to combine the best aspects of both and jettison the negative aspects. I think it's easy to become frustrated with one's country. My recommendation to MRader: stop reading the newspapers for a least three months. When the news comes on the TV, turn it off. You will be surprised how quickly it all becomes so unimportant.
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  #117  
Old 18.12.2010, 22:33
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Re: Absolutely disgusted with American politics and the state of living here....

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Yes in the US you can, my neighbors have never been asked to spy on us by the police.Actually I was a member of the neighourhood watch as almost immediately. At the citizenship ceremony, to which friends and family were invited, we were applauded and given a speech about our civic responsibility to get involved in politics, it is a wonderful happy occasion.
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Free citizenship courses to prepare for the exam are available at the local library, I didn't see that in Switzerland. As a Swiss you are also expected to vote. When you become a Swiss however there is no ceremony, no welcome speech, no emphasis urging you to use your vote. Until recently the village or neighbours would decide on whether you could be allowed citizenship or not.
okay, my last try
here we got two totally different identities:

US self-conception = bigness, immigration, freedom, small state, different races and cultures, individualism
(well, it looks like things are gonna change right now)

Swiss self-conception = smallness, political separation from abroad, strong state, regulation, social welfare, national consciousness in neutrality and independence

I dont wanna judge either way moraly, but most Swiss believe that exactly these values made them one of the most successful countries - and they cant be totally wrong.
So of course the Swiss have much more sceptisism against foreigners as do the US...(so far at least).... and you cant expect a ceremony when given the passport - like you do in the US as if you get the ticket to freedom (in the past at least)

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Some districts Appenzeller innerrhoden and ausser rhoden are still divided along catholic, protestant borders. Women only recently got the vote and are still trying to catch up.
alright, now I understand your Amish people reference. Appenzell would most likely fit the Amish....hahahaha
You got my mercy for choosing the most conservative but most irrelevant part of the country. I give you that point.

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When I came to the US I was not immediately asked my religion on official forms so that they could collect the religious tax for the church. I suspect that one of the reasons that the atheism figures are so high is because people don't want to pay the church tax. Some church based communities are wonderful.
no one wants to offend you,
thats 1. for the statistics (as Swiss like government oversight and control, see above)
and 2., if you actually belong a church, like to get married there, baptize your children or bury granny, they logically also want some money

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Sorry I knew this would happen,but I criticize every country.
your criticism is highly appreciated, as long as you stay with the facts. EF is not Fox News

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Old 18.12.2010, 23:23
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Re: Absolutely disgusted with American politics and the state of living here....

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I tried to get involved in politics in Switzerland, I wasn't very successful although I did get to sit at the Stammtisch. Swiss politics is politics for the Swiss by the Swiss and you will not have the power of a vote. Perhaps other would like to explain the concept of the Stammtisch.
- In most countries, politics is for nationals of the country in question.
- The Stammtisch is just the table in a local restaurant or pub or bar where the "habituées" tend to meet. In traditional places, it is the large table near the service-desk where at times also the managers sits down to talk with his best guests. But it is not a political instrument


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,if you like the Amish style of life (with less prudishness when it comes to nudity) .
the Amish as far as I know are strictly religious people, and so not exactly what happens in Switzerland. True, if you like the Amish lifestyle and happen to be Catholic, you can join one of those monasteries still in business in Catholic Cantons
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Old 18.12.2010, 23:35
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Re: Absolutely disgusted with American politics and the state of living here....

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As a Swiss you are also expected to vote. When you become a Swiss however there is no ceremony, no welcome speech, no emphasis urging you to use your vote.
-
"Expected to" is the word. Participation in elections and votings usually varies between 30% and 60%. I however do not see any reason why there should be a formal ceremony when somebody becomes a Swiss citizen.

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Until recently the village or neighbours would decide on whether you could be allowed citizenship or not. Some districts Appenzeller innerrhoden and ausser rhoden are still divided along catholic, protestant borders. Women only recently got the vote and are still trying to catch up.
- no, the neighbours could not decide about citizenship applications
- a heavy majority of Swiss people live in "communes" of more than 10'000 inhabitants and in these "cities" it was not the electorate who decided but relevant authorities
- women are still trying to catch up ? Not yet up but already having the majority in the federal government ?
- Appenzell is special and both Appenzell are proud of being special But in general, people are not divided along denominational borders. It is noteworthy that very popular longterm city president of Luzern was a Protestant and that longterm highly popular Zurich city-president Josef Estermann was a Catholic







Sorry I knew this would happen,but I criticize every country. Switzerland is a beautiful country, very clean streets, much to be admired in terms of punctuality, banking and baking. Ghettos not as big as the US and most of the gun problem is limited to suicides.[/QUOTE]
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  #120  
Old 18.12.2010, 23:41
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Re: Absolutely disgusted with American politics and the state of living here....

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True, if you like the Amish lifestyle and happen to be Catholic, you can join one of those monasteries still in business in Catholic Cantons
I really appreciate your factual elegance
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