Early uses Aztec women are handed flowers and smoking tubes before eating at a banquet, Florentine CodexThe history of smoking dates back to as early as BCE in shamanistic rituals. Smoking in the Americas probably had its origins in the incense-burning ceremonies of shamans but was later adopted for pleasure, or as a social tool. Before modern times these substances have been consumed through pipeswith stems of various lengths or chillums.
Democracy There are many differences between the two countries in their approach to democracy. The German system gives more power to the parties, since they decide which candidates to place on the list from which the parliamentarians will later be drawn.
Parties finance the election campaigns; the candidates themselves do not need to raise substantial amounts of money. In return, there is very high party loyalty in the German parliament. Parliamentarians vote their conscience only on rare, very important questions; most of the time, they vote the party line.
Parties are financed by the taxpayers according to the proportion of votes they received, by donations from big business, and by membership dues. By contrast, Congress persons in the US are much more independent: Once in Congress, the legislators can vote their conscience on virtually every question.
American politicians are almost constantly raising money for their next campaign. Since they are free to change their voting pattern on almost any topic, moneyed interests have much more political influence than in Germany.
The majority system in the U. A little-known and blatantly unjust feature of the US system is "redistricting", also called "gerrymandering". The country is divided into congressional districts, one for each member of the House of Representatives. The person who wins the most votes in a district gets the corresponding seat in the House.
Every 10 years a census is carried out, and then the state governments go to work and redraw the congressional districts, purportedly to make them all the same size. The real reason is of course to keep the other party out of Congress: This same game takes place every ten years, and it seems to outrage no one but me.
It is often believed that the position of President in the US is a very powerful one; this is wrong. Essentially all he can do is set foreign policy including start warswrite or change administrative rules and sign or veto laws written by Congress, where the majority is often hostile to the president.
By contrast, the Chancellor in Germany is elected by the parliament, the Bundestag, which means that a majority is behind him and most every law he wants to enact will pass, because of the above mentioned party discipline.
Most laws, the ones not affecting the German states, do not have to be approved by the second chamber, the Bundesrat. The precise rules about which laws have to be approved by the Bundesrat are quite obscure, and nobody seems to know them.
The American parties are located to the right of their German counterparts. Some people at the right end of the American Republican party are so extreme that they would probably be under surveillance in Germany.
There is no social democratic party to speak of in the US; it is the biggest and oldest party in Germany, and indeed all parties in Germany are social democratic to some extent. Even though US politics are located to the right of German politics, there is a very real sense in which Germany is more conservative.
New technologies and new ways of doing things are embraced much more enthusiastically in the US. Even conservatives will often propose quite radical policy changes, such as throwing out the whole income tax system and replacing it with a national sales tax.
On a whim, some states will introduce gay marriage and others will put a prohibition against it into the state constitution.
Things appear to move much slower in Germany. It is not very well known in Germany that most US states have systems of direct democracy, where citizens can bring up ballot measures if they raise enough signatures. There are no restrictions on the contents of these measures: Local prosecutors, sheriffs, and judges are also often directly elected by the citizenry.
In Germany, these are all appointed, not elected. Despite all of this, large segments of American society ignore the political process altogether. I can see three possible reasons for the low voter participation in the US: Security The term "freedom" is ubiquitous in the political and public debate of the US; it is indeed a very important, if ill-defined, concept for ordinary Americans.
By contrast, Germans like their security quite a bit and are uncomfortable with the dichotomy Freedom vs. They like to be able to plan ahead for long periods of time.
In fact, when told that in the US one can be fired when getting severely ill or for no reason at all -- so-called "at will" employeesat which point the health insurance coverage is also lost, puzzled Germans ask "But how can people live like that?A subjective comparison of Germany and the United States I grew up in Germany, lived there for 26 years, then moved to the United States in As a follow-up to Tuesday’s post about the majority-minority public schools in Oslo, the following brief account reports the latest statistics on the cultural enrichment of schools in Austria.
Vienna is the most fully enriched location, and seems to be in roughly the same situation as Oslo. Many thanks to Hermes for the translation from timberdesignmag.com timberdesignmag.com is the place to go to get the answers you need and to ask the questions you want.
Men are happier than women—period. Yes, there are plenty of miserable, depressed men and there are plenty of women who are truly happy, . Latest breaking news, including politics, crime and celebrity.
Find stories, updates and expert opinion. A subjective comparison of Germany and the United States I grew up in Germany, lived there for 26 years, then moved to the United States in