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Old 19.07.2014, 19:10
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Re: Interview with new US Ambassador

Religion, gender, color and creed have absolutely nothing to do with the way one performs a job or a responsibility.

You're underlining a specificity and in doing so you're isolating it as if it should be treated differently than any other entity.
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Old 19.07.2014, 19:13
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Re: Interview with new US Ambassador

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The ancestors of many Mennonites and Amish came from this part of the Old World and many can already speak German...
the Mennonites and Amish would be far too modern and progressive for life in Switzerland.

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Old 19.07.2014, 19:18
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Re: Interview with new US Ambassador

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In the past 20 years, three of eight (37.5%) US Ambassadors to Switzerland have been Jewish: M. Larry Lawrence, Madeleine Kunin and now Suzan LeVine. This is a high percentage if one considers that Jews make up around 2% of the US population.
So? I couldn't care less about her religion. And based on all the threads in this forum about the problems US citizens seem to face here sometimes because of FATCA, I think there are much more important things than the distribution of the ambassador position under the religious communities according to their size in the US.

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To mix things up in the future, I would support appointing a Mennonite to the post. I might even go along with an Amish. The ancestors of many Mennonites and Amish came from this part of the Old World and many can already speak German. It would be like a homecoming.
Another highly successful Swiss export product: religious leaders and practices. The Amish are actually named after Jakob Ammann. So much about the not so influential Swiss-American diaspora...

There are now already Amish tourists in Switzerland searching for their roots, so why not.
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Old 20.07.2014, 01:02
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Re: Interview with new US Ambassador

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Because it is so disproportionate, it looks like favoritism (or affirmative action). I would say the same if 3 of 8 US ambassadors were Mennonites or Mormons or Lutherans, 0.1%, 2% and 2% of the US population, respectively.
Yes, Jews are better educated and more successful at all the other jobs than Mennonites too.
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Old 21.07.2014, 15:40
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Re: Interview with new US Ambassador

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I love how she just comes out with "met my Rabbi" as if that sort of talk is acceptable in mitteleuropa.
I was sort of let down when there wasn't also a priest, a minister and a bar involved in the story
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Old 21.08.2014, 18:42
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Re: Interview with new US Ambassador

Suzi, the US Ambassador to CH and FL, was interviewed by the Liechtensteiner Volksblatt. The complete interview is in the printed edition only. Link to the on-line introduction:

http://www.volksblatt.li/nachricht.aspx?id=77555&src=vb

If the Migros Magazin interview is the benchmark, the Volksblatt interview won't be worth reading.
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Old 24.08.2014, 17:00
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Re: Interview with new US Ambassador

Today's Sonntagszeitung (paper edition) has a full page devoted to LeVine (you see only a snippet at the bottom of the page of the on-Line version, unless you are a paying subscriber). It is practically devoid of any substance so I wouldn't recommend that anyone actually takes the trouble to read it.
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Old 24.08.2014, 17:10
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Re: Interview with new US Ambassador

I really do not understand the hype of this thread.
She has just started, there's a learning curve, give her a fair chance at doing a good job.
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Old 24.08.2014, 20:23
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Re: Interview with new US Ambassador

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Outside the snooty urban centres, Swiss people have a pretty solid - if occasionally confused - appreciation of American culture.

The USA, for all its faults, is still the "coolest" country on the planet. Plenty of culture there to be shared.
Do you really believe your own words? Or what of kind of social environment are you part of, I may ask consequently ...

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For an upper 0.1%-er, Mrs LeVine was certainly roughing it back in her student days (or so she said). A more recent portrait of her European travels presents a slightly different picture:

"Tuscany, Italy - Our luxury family bike trip

By Suzi LeVine
Eating my chocolate torte and having it, too

My husband Eric and I had grown quite addicted to luxury bike trips before we started building our family. On these trips, we'd ride over stunning terrain from one 5-star hotel to another while being loosely trailed by a van filled with chocolate, fresh fruit, biscotti and, oh yeah, water. At night, we'd sip wine late into the night with other trip members and the following morning, stumble out to breakfast whenever we chose to rise...."

http://www.parentmap.com/article/tus...mily-bike-trip

I'm certainly hoping that a US ambassador is not considered "inviolable", like some monarchs.
Probably she made the wrong, but widespread assumptions among the many Ugly US-Americans that in such a rich country as Switzerland showing off your wealth and ability to live a luxury life would be somehow appreciated. Well, she couldn't think more erronously. Just her second profound Fettnapf (to drop a clanger) just at the start of her "job", after her more than stupid chatting-up by greeting her (none-theless US-american) employees with a somewhat Swiss German "Gruuzi mitenand". I wonder how many Swiss works among her employees and US-american soldiers. Besides, it was not even expressed in a Bernese idiom. Comparable to when a Swiss ambassodor would greet his work force with a deep Texan slang in Washington.

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I rather wonder how she is going to raise the appreciation of Switzerland in the US.

Switzerland is not in the NATO, has no Oil and has no important Swiss-American society. I don't know if she understands in what an unimportant country, from an US point of view, she is assigned ambassador to.


If she even manages to establish the difference between Sweden and Switzerland in her home country we should name a mountain or a street or something after her.

But maybe that's just her elevator talk. That is often a little...'optimistic'. Her predecessor even talked about Obama coming around for a visit. Her pre-predecessor was, on the other hand, a little closer to the truth (although not on purpose publicly) when he wrote that Switzerland is

“a very successful but frequently frustrating alpine democracy”.
Well the ignorant arrogance by (Ugly) US-Americans is proverbially well-known among Europeans.

By the way, her predecessor made another point:

"Switzerland was the single largest source of foreign investment into the United States in 2010, and Switzerland is also an important destination for U.S. investment – there is more U.S. capital invested in Switzerland than in China, India, Brazil and Russia combined. Switzerland also plays host to the international or European headquarters of more than 80 major U.S. multinational companies." http://bern.usembassy.gov/trade.html

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Your comment regarding religion / a person's faith is totally out of place.
But I can't help myself, I just can get rid off the idea that her hair style very strongly reminds me about the many, many characters played in countless Hollywood movies about Nazi-Germany where they play a (nonetheless male!) SS officier!

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So? I couldn't care less about her religion. And based on all the threads in this forum about the problems US citizens seem to face here sometimes because of FATCA, I think there are much more important things than the distribution of the ambassador position under the religious communities according to their size in the US.

Another highly successful Swiss export product: religious leaders and practices. The Amish are actually named after Jakob Ammann. So much about the not so influential Swiss-American diaspora...

There are now already Amish tourists in Switzerland searching for their roots, so why not.
Besides the statement of the constantly smiling Donald Beyer above (Switerland invested 177 Billion CHF in USA in 2010), let me give you just a few small numbers:

- Switzerland was the United States' 14th largest goods export market in 2013.

These are more than 50% by EU's largest importer from US in 2013: Germany with $47.4 billion

- Switzerland was the United States' 15th largest supplier of goods imports in 2013.

- Switzerland FDI in the United States (stock) was $204 million in 2012 (latest data available), up 0.9% from 2011.

- Sales of services in Switzerland by majority U.S.-owned affiliates were $70.4 billion in 2011 (latest data available), while sales of services in the United States by majority Switzerland-owned firms were $55.5 billion.
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Old 24.08.2014, 22:04
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Re: Interview with new US Ambassador

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Do you really believe your own words? Or what of kind of social environment are you part of, I may ask consequently .
Rural working class. There are at least two "American style" bars within walking distance of our house, one can often hear country and western music and rock and roll emanating from open windows in the summer and as soon as people hear one speaking English they're eager to know whether one is American and to share their experiences of their holiday in Memphis or New York or wherever.

Normal, ordinary people (in my experience) love America and American culture. City dickheads don't.

I don't hang around with city dickheads.
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Old 24.08.2014, 22:12
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Re: Interview with new US Ambassador

We ain't all bad ya know, a lil' uncouth at times, but usually well-liked
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Old 24.08.2014, 22:14
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Re: Interview with new US Ambassador

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We ain't all bad ya know, a lil' uncouth at times, but usually well-liked
Well, some of these Schweizers ought to be reminded from time to time that if it wasn't for the Americans they'd all be speaking German by now!

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Old 24.08.2014, 22:21
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Re: Interview with new US Ambassador

True that, but it applies to all Europeans.

When just 70 years ago our boys from far flung lost places like Idaho and Kentucky and Indiana, who had never ever heard of the cities of Europe, came to die here at tender young ages of 18, 20 and so on, and now lay in shallow graves in Normandie and elsewhere.... do you think they ever knew that the world might possibly forget?
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Old 24.08.2014, 22:29
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Re: Interview with new US Ambassador

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do you think they ever knew that the world might possibly forget?
60 years of sneaky Soviet propaganda have worked wonders on the received wisdom of this continent.

Try telling a fish what water is, though.
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Old 24.08.2014, 22:48
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Re: Interview with new US Ambassador

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Well, some of these Schweizers ought to be reminded from time to time that if it wasn't for the Americans they'd all be speaking German by now!

...or Russian
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Old 24.08.2014, 22:50
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Re: Interview with new US Ambassador

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Rural working class. There are at least two "American style" bars within walking distance of our house, one can often hear country and western music and rock and roll emanating from open windows in the summer and as soon as people hear one speaking English they're eager to know whether one is American and to share their experiences of their holiday in Memphis or New York or wherever.

Normal, ordinary people (in my experience) love America and American culture. City dickheads don't.

I don't hang around with city dickheads.
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Old 25.08.2014, 06:48
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Re: Interview with new US Ambassador

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Suzi, the US Ambassador to CH and FL, was interviewed by the Liechtensteiner Volksblatt. The complete interview is in the printed edition only. Link to the on-line introduction:

http://www.volksblatt.li/nachricht.aspx?id=77555&src=vb

If the Migros Magazin interview is the benchmark, the Volksblatt interview won't be worth reading.


She and her husband give garantee that you get good wine if ever invited to the USA embassy in Bern ................. AND that the wine CH USA trade will flourish
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Old 25.08.2014, 10:04
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Re: Interview with new US Ambassador

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Today's Sonntagszeitung (paper edition) has a full page devoted to LeVine (you see only a snippet at the bottom of the page of the on-Line version, unless you are a paying subscriber). It is practically devoid of any substance so I wouldn't recommend that anyone actually takes the trouble to read it.
You were right about this article, but I read it anyway. A comment that is puzzling concerns her maternal grandfather founding the American Legion. The four founding fathers of the American Legion are considered to be:
Col. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.
Lt. Col George S. White
Maj. Eric Fisher Wood
Lt. Col. William J. Donovan

Her maternal grandfather, according to a written document presented to the US Congress, was a Phillip Fox. I reviewed two American Legion magazines from 1919 and from 1920, which had stories on the American Legion's founding, and did not see the name Phillip Fox. (Other names are mentioned in addition to the above four "founding fathers").

Although it cannot be ruled out that the US ambassador's maternal grandfather founded the American Legion, I can find no evidence of it. Also, considering that he was only about 21 when World War I ended, it seems unlikely that he played a major role in founding the American Legion.

Also, it would be interested to confirm that her grandfather was a regular guest for lunch with US President Harry Truman, as mentioned in the SonntagsZeitung article. From what I can determine, her grandfather Fox owned a building supplies company in Washington DC.
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Old 25.08.2014, 11:48
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Re: Interview with new US Ambassador

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...or Russian
obsessions never stop, do they?
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Old 26.08.2014, 12:02
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Re: Interview with new US Ambassador

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You were right about this article, but I read it anyway. A comment that is puzzling concerns her maternal grandfather founding the American Legion. The four founding fathers of the American Legion are considered to be:
Col. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.
Lt. Col George S. White
Maj. Eric Fisher Wood
Lt. Col. William J. Donovan

Her maternal grandfather, according to a written document presented to the US Congress, was a Phillip Fox. I reviewed two American Legion magazines from 1919 and from 1920, which had stories on the American Legion's founding, and did not see the name Phillip Fox. (Other names are mentioned in addition to the above four "founding fathers").

Although it cannot be ruled out that the US ambassador's maternal grandfather founded the American Legion, I can find no evidence of it. Also, considering that he was only about 21 when World War I ended, it seems unlikely that he played a major role in founding the American Legion.
An early history of the American Legion, "The Story of the American Legion" (1919), includes a Philip A. Fox on the Roster (p. 265) with 1,044 other names. The Roster appears to be the initial membership list.

The book also lists 47 names of "some of the men who initiated the formation of the Legion" (p. 208) but does not include Sgt. Philip A. Fox. Sgt. Fox's name is also not listed as a member of any of the numerous American Legion committees in the book.

Ambassador LeVine's claim that her grandfather founded ("gründete") the American Legion in the SonntagsZeitung's article is inaccurate at best. She made a similar statement in her confirmation hearing written statement to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee that her grandfather "co-founded" the American Legion. I trust that other statements and claims she has made or will make are more truthful.

"The Story of the American Legion", by George Seay Wheat:
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/14478...8-h.htm#ROSTER

Suzan LeVine's written statement to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
http://www.foreign.senate.gov/imo/me...n%20LeVine.pdf
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