Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Flopsy Bunny Nations

By Madeleine Kando

It is said the effect of being too affluent is ‘soporific’. To have so little want of the basic things in life, like food, shelter and good health, that it seems a distant dream to have to do without those things. Some nations have at one time or another been exposed to the soporific effects of too much comfort. Other nations never had that luxury. (I doubt that a country like Haiti ever did suffer from a soporific mindset).

Countries that are affluent for an extended period of time start to take their level of comfort as the norm. The inhabitants of such nations remind me a lot of Flopsy Bunnies. They are overcome with slumber most of their lives. They wonder why other nations are poor. ‘What are we doing right?’ they ask themselves. ‘What are they doing wrong?’ Thus, being affluent creates a lot of hot air, like gas bubbles rising to the surface of a soup.

Flopsy Bunny nations love to criticize. They like to think of themselves as very special. Their flopsy nature makes them prone to self-agrandisement and unless someone pinches them real hard (in the shape of a good old famine, an earthquake or a flood..) so that they wake up from their soporific slumber, they will never admit to just being pampered and plain lucky.

I didn’t know this until I decided to venture outside of MY flopsy bunny garden patch . I did this on a whim, mind you. I was a flopsy bunny myself. I liked the luxury of a soporific life style. Basking in the sun after a heavy meal of my favorite lettuce. Knowing that my Flopsy Bunny country would safely tuck me in at night. My Flopsy Bunny garden patch was my world and I did not want to venture into the rest of Mr. McGregor’s garden.

I had heard horror stories of bunnies disappearing there and put in a rabbit pie. Of bunnies getting sick and not being able to get health care because they couldn’t pay their doctor bills. Of bunnies going without lettuce because they had lost their patch, and no one there to take care of them.

‘Thank God I don’t live in Mr McGregor’s garden’ I thought. But I was also curious. Mr. McGregor’s garden sounded a lot more exciting than my Flopsy Bunny neighborhood. ‘What was wrong with just taking a peek?’ I told myself. So I did. I peeked. The more I peeked the more exciting it seemed to live there. Forget about the rabbit pie. I could outrun any old McGregor. So I packed my basket and my umbrella and squeezed under the garden gate.

I had some close brushes with disaster, like the time that I had to go on food stamps to buy lettuce. But on the whole, I never regretted my decision to leave my flopsy bunny nation. Mr McGregor’s garden turned out to be as exciting and expansive as I had imagined it. Moving there sure gave me some battle scars. But I am no longer a flopsy bunny and living the soporific life style of my youth would not fit me any more.

I do not begrudge flopsy bunnies their affluence. More power to them. But they are confusing luck with superiority and their tendency to lecture the less affluent is what I abhor. leave comment here

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Skype Etiquette

by Madeleine Kando

One of the things I hated the most when I was a child was to be interrupted. Whether it was finishing a drawing, carefully removing a scab on my injured knee or watching a cartoon, being forcefully interrupted was very difficult for me.

My life consisted of present moments and not being able to complete the three natural steps of beginning, middle and end of a process caused havoc on my mental state. It made me angry and frustrated. I had not developed the art of delayed gratification yet.

Let’s face it, even now, I detest being interrupted. That is why I hold my breath every time my dear husband enters my work space. He is not only very good at interrupting but it is clear that he considers me as one of the many items around the house that are at his beck and call, like the coffee machine or the toaster. When he needs it, it’s there. When I answer with an irritated grunt to one of his interrupting questions, he is surprised. Coffee machines aren’t supposed to do that.

In the good old days I could hold off on my favorite activities until he had left for work. I thought: ‘Oh well, only two more hours and I can focus uninterruptedly on my bookkeeping, my writing, my planning the garden…’

Those were the good old days. Those were the pre-skype days. Now people have the ability to interrupt me long-distance any old time they please. Some of them are on to me and know that I am glued to my computer 24/7 like siamese twins. Coffee machines, computers.. it’s all the same to them. We are interruptable.

I don’t know if it’s a Mac thing, but the sound of an incoming skype call is worse than the ‘all hands on deck’ blare on a submarine. It jolts me out of my concentration and I feel like I have to scramble to attention and salute.

Although I do not like ‘before noon video’, my mom gets very upset if she cannot see me during a skype call. But she is in Holland and at 1 pm her time I am sitting at home, unwashed, uncombed, barely conscious.

I have tried to broach the subject of skype-etiquette. I have told her that I am not ready for my close-up at 6 am in the morning. I don’t want to have to stare at her for 20 minutes, as if nothing else exists in my morning hours. They are hard enough to get through until I reach a state of semi-humanity.

So now I am ready to instate some skype rules and email them to my family:

1) Do not skype me at 5 o’clock in the morning to ask me: ‘why are you awake?’

2) Text me before you push that darned green call button and give me an early morning heart attack.

3) Don’t skype me to tell me that you don’t have time to skype me.

4) Don’t walk away from a skype conversation to make yourself a cup of coffee.

5) Let’s not get into: ‘You hang up first. No, you. No, you. No, you’.

I shouldn’t complain. Skype has allowed me to communicate with my very dispersed family like nothing else has. But talking on the phone sure has advantages. Telephones are so much more forgiving. You can multi-task (like pick your nose and talk politics at the same). You can look bored and still sound extremely interested in your interlocutor’s banalities. You can scratch any taboo part of your body. And above all, you don’t have to be combed, washed or dressed. How many times have I not conducted a very important business conversation in my underwear? You try that with skype and you will end up in jail for indecent exposure. leave comment here

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Should All Americans be Blamed for Some Idiots Among Them?

By Tom Kando

There is this brouhaha about what retired Marine General John Sheehan said in congressional testimony on March 19: He accused the Dutch Army of having allowed the Srebrenica massacre during the Bosnian War, because of too much acceptance of homosexuality.

The Dutch are mad. Some swear to never visit this country again, assuming that General Sheehan speaks for all of us, stateside.

But here is the problem: True, General Sheehan’s accusation was laughable. The Dutch allowed the Srebrenica massacre of nearly 10,000 Bosnian civilians not out of excessive homosexuality, but out of cowardice. (I didn’t say it. A famous Dutch author and good friend of mine did).

However, what makes me climb the wall, is the knee-jerk European tendency to pick and select absurd statements or behavior by a few Americans, and to generalize them to all of us. Forgetting already that we elected the first black head of state of any Western nation, that today twice as many people support the President as oppose him, that the Health Care debacle victimizes nobody more than the American people, that the Tea Party folks only represent a minority of Americans, many Europeans are already returning to what feels instinctively most comfortable to them: ridiculing America.

So, seeing that Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders wants to get rid of Muslim immigrants in the Netherlands, that former gay political leader Pim Fortuyn was assassinated, as was Van Gogh’s great- grandson Theo, should I decide to never set foot again in that horribly intolerant country?

To criticize an entire group on the basis of the features of one or some of its members is called: stereotyping. All Jews are misers, right? It is called bigotry and prejudice. It is wrong. Look it up in the dictionary.

So here is my question: are ALL Americans idiots, or only some of them? According to many Europeans, it’s the former. According to me, the latter.

And another thing: Not all Europeans are idiots, either. leave comment here

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Will this country NOT have a proper health care system because of religion?

by Madeleine Kando

If the health care reform package makes it through The House tomorrow it will be a miracle.

It will be a miracle because what the passing depends on is a group of 21 members who are now ‘on the fence’. So I have been trying to find an answer to this question: ‘Why are these lawmakers against the health care bill?’ In my na├»ve mind, they must have a very good reason to be against it.

So I have spent hours and hours searching for the answers. Well, during my search I have discovered that 14 out of the 21 members that are ‘on the fence’ have stated that the ‘abortion provision’ in the bill is the main reason they are voting against it.

Can you imagine?! More than 60% of these representatives are going to vote against the bill because of this provision? It will make them potentially stop our country from moving towards a civilized way of dealing with health care? (Many of them are members of the so-called ‘Stupak dozen’).

You know, I came to the US many decades ago. But one of the main reasons I truly hesitated was because of this one fact: a barbaric, inhumane health care system that, back in my own country we found appalling. Holland already had a very sensible, cheap, single payer system (which is now a hybrid of private and public option).

If the reason for these 14 members were something other than the fact that the new bill might use taxpayer money to fund abortion I would listen to their argument and weigh the pros and cons. But they would rather let 45 million Americans go without health insurance than see one tiny part of their tax cover an abortion procedure.

I want to be understanding of America’s value system. I want to forgive this nation’s reactionary streak. I don’t want to be a judgemental free-thinking ex-european. But this goes beyond the pail. If the health care bill doesn’t pass tomorrow, I will know who to blame and I will not forgive. leave comment here

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Is America Going Fascist and Gay?

By Tom Kando

They recently held a “How to take back America”Conference. Mike Huckabee, Phyllis Shlafly and many Republican congressmen were in attendance, along with many Tea Party folks, and 84-year old Kitty Werthmann, who had immigrated from Austria long ago. She lectured the gullible little Midwestern ladies in tennis shoes, that the Obama administration reminded her of the rise of Hitler in her native Austria and Germany!
Indeed, one of the conference’s keynote themes was that the Obama administration was causing America to be taken over by “Fascism and the Gay Agenda.” And then, they proceeded to use “Fascism” and “Marxism” interchangeably, as if the two were synonymous.

This is incoherent! These folks have things upside down, or what? They either know nothing about history and politics, or they feel that the American public is so ignorant that this stuff will fly.

They themselves have much more in common with classical European Fascism than anyone since Father Coughlin in the 1930s and Joe McCarthy in the 1950s.
Any freshman in Poli Sci 101 knows that:

1. Fascism is radicalism from the right.
2. Fascism is an expression of middle-class discontent.
3. Marxism and other forms of socialism are radical movements from the left.
4. They are expressions of lower-class and working-class discontent.
5. Hitler was brought to power by Fascism.
6. The Russian Revolution was Marxist.
7. Fascism and Marxism are mortal enemies.
8. Fascism is nationalist: The Nazis were vehemently opposed to internationalism. They quit the League of Nations.
9. Marxism and Socialism are internationalist.
10. Fascists believed that God was on their side.
11. Marxism is atheist.
12. Fascism is militaristic.
13. Fascism is racist.
14. Fascism is homophobic. Before his onslaught on Jews, Hitler exterminated the gays.
15. Fascism is for traditional family values (Only three roles for women: Kinder, Kuche und Kirche).
16. Fascism is cosy with the conglomerates. Remember Krupp, Siemens, IG Farben and all the other corporations that supported the Nazis?

I personally loathe Soviet Marxism, and I see much value in the traditional family format. But my God, stop confusing everything! You may accuse Obama of being a social democrat, but a fascist? This reminds me of when Joe McCarthy called Eisenhower a communist. This is not only lunacy, but it’s the pot calling the kettle black, to wit:

If fascism comes to America, it’ll be precisely these folks who bring it on: Look at the list above: They are on the right; they are overwhelmingly white middle-class; they are nationalists; they are deeply religious; they support military intervention; they hate the country’s first black President; they are anti-gay; they are pro-life and pro traditional family values; they support the corporations. The Tea Party and the “Take-America-Back” folks are a replica of the angry white middle-class which brought Hitler to power in Austria and Germany. leave comment here

Friday, March 12, 2010

Where Did Max Go?

by Madeleine Kando

Our little dog Max died. His little body has turned to ashes. He is in a little box which we will get today in the mail. We will bury him next to his brother Remy, under the dogwood tree that we planted in the yard, just for them.

But where did the rest of Max go? The intelligence and curiosity in his beautiful brown eyes, his desire to be scratched on his back, his excitement when he knew we were going to go for a walk in the woods? Are those things going to arrive in the mail too? These questions have haunted me since Max died.

Could it be that max’s existence has actually physically changed the neuron cells in my brain? That they have been imbued with a little maxness while he was living with us? So in that sense max is living beyond his own physical self. In me, in Karein, in Hans, in all the people who knew him and loved him. All the people he made so happy in the course of his life.

To Plato, the greatest philosopher of all times, ideas are more real than the thing they represent. Or at least more durable. To him Max would have been subordinate to the idea of Max. But ideas cannot feel, enjoy, suffer.. that is what the physical entity has the power to do. And once that is gone..

The idea of us follow us around, like elongated shadows on the ground. Max’s shadow is still here, when I go to the forest, when I feed my cat, when I walk by his favorite couch. His shadow will remain, maybe fade a little after a while.

I so want to believe in the permanency of Max’s shadow. It wouldn’t diminish the sense of loss I feel from the loss of his physical body. His wagging tail, the color of his fur, his big chihuahua ears. His ability to make us all so happy, just by being Max.

But what am I babbling about? Max is gone. He is truly gone. Max cannot enjoy the fall leaves any more. He cannot enjoy chasing the mailman. He cannot enjoy eating, sleeping, peeing. I, at least, can still enjoy the idea of Max. I can mourn the idea of Max, but Max cannot feel anything any more. That is the truly sad part. The IDEA of one’s self is a gift to others, but the actual self, since it just IS, once it isn’t any more, it’s gone for good. leave comment here

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Food: the Fallen Angel

by Madeleine Kando

I like to eat. I like to drink. I also like to not eat. Not eating is what we do most of the day, but to the people who make a living at selling food that is potentially dead time. They would like it if we spent more of that dead time eating. I watch programs about the ‘food industry’ and how they supposedly have got us all by the balls. They stuff their products with taste enhancing chemicals that would make an old leather shoe taste good.

They add bright colors, sweet smelling aromas, soft texture (who wants to have to chew their food!) and many addictive substances. How can you blame them? That’s what they do: they want us to spend more time eating and work less hard doing it.

But eating what exactly? Food in my opinion is something that you have prepared, not something that you find in a package. That to me, is pretend-food. Pseudo-food. Play-food. In fact, there is a whole trend called ‘edible crafts’. It is very popular amongst pre-school teachers, using food to create art projects.

Imagine for a moment that the food you buy these days would be air. Air comes in different flavors: you have hospital air, sub-way air, mountain air, pine forest air, latrine air..

Luckily our capacity to discriminate between the foul air of a latrine and the air we breathe on a mountain top is still intact. We would not put up with our environment being filled with latrine air. We would leave and live somewhere else. We would organize protest marches, design air filters… anything to revert back to the original ‘normal air’. 

What I am saying is this: what happened to our ability to distinguish between food and pretend-food? Yes, it’s true. Sugar, corn starch, caffeine, msg.. they are all addictive. But so are succulent pears, camembert, ripe melons.. (You might call me crazy, bu I myself, am addicted to sesame seeds and sweet rice, I kid you not).

Nobody forces us to buy coke, oreo cookies, lucky charms.. It would be a lot cheaper if we took more personal responsibility for what we put in our mouth. But that would not be good for the ‘anti-food industry’ industry. The experts who make a living at telling us what not to eat.

Food has become our enemy. It used to be our guardian angel. It protected us against death. Now the angel has tumbled down, has been trampled on, its white wings broken, dirty, unable to lift itself out of the gutter. And looking down on this fallen angel, with a smirk on their faces are fear, gluttony and ignorance. leave comment here

Monday, March 8, 2010

Can You be Patriotic and Progressive?

By Tom Kando

For a number of years during the middle of my career at the University, I acquired the reputation of being Conservative. This was the kiss of death in that environment, and as a result I was ostracized by a majority of my colleagues for many years. But the charge was a malicious slander.

Here is what my position has always been - back then, and now: I love America and the American people. This magnanimous country has given me everything, as it has given so much to millions of others and to the rest of the world. The American people are the most generous people in the world. But they are naive and easily swayed. Those who sway them are a plutocracy of powerful and grotesquely rich men who have no soul and who value only one thing: $$$$$$$$$$. This “elite” has no love for the country, for its fellow citizens, or for human beings anywhere. Their only value is unlimited greed.

American culture is forever individualistic. Americans praise individual responsibility, courage, honesty. Admirable qualities, which at the same time makes them ineffective in improving the collective welfare of all Americans, including the lowliest among them. The focus tends to be on the winners, and losers are ignored.

At the University, I was surrounded by America-haters. When America was floundering overseas under the weak leadership of President Carter, I called for greater strength and national resolve. Many of my colleagues preferred to burn American flags. During the Cold War, I saw no salvation in Marxism, but many of my colleagues did. When legitimate movements such as feminism, civil rights and gay rights were sidetracked into absurd political correctness, leading to speech polices, unfounded sexual harassment charges, “affirmative action” appointments of incompetents, non-starters such as proposals for reparation payments for slavery, the disparagement of heterosexual monogamy and parenthood, and meaningless “identity politics,” I criticized these trends. And I continued to loath anti-Americanism, both overseas and at home.

So I confess to being a patriotic American. I confess that I love America - my adoptive land. I am also a socialist, an environmentalist, I support full equality for gays, I am vehemently pro-choice, anti-gun, and for strengthening the separation of church and state. I oppose three-strikes laws and other mandatory minimum sentences. Only Darwinian evolution should be taught in biology classes, never “intelligent design,” or creationism. Human-caused global warming is a proven scientific fact. I deplore the country’s growing economic injustice, the collapse of the social safety net, of public transportation and education, of the infrastructure, the gridlock in Washington and in Sacramento caused by the Republican Party of No. I favor redistributing wealth and rebuilding the country by raising taxes on the rich and on corporations. America should stop exhausting itself by trying to police the world. It should get out of Iraq and Afghanistan now.

I am a flag-waving patriotic American. The real traitors to this country are the multinationals and Wall Street. They sell out the American worker. They “outsource” our jobs, preferring to hire Indonesian slave labor for 5 cents an hour instead of paying anyone decent wages. They sell out to China and to billionaire oil sheiks.

My progressive patriotism got me in trouble with many of my America-hating colleagues in the academe, and it gets me in trouble with the selfish, greedy folks on the right. Neither of these groups understands that there is no contradiction between being patriotic and being progressive. leave comment here

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Joy of Biking

By Tom Kando

Sometimes it’s good to write about something fun (in contrast to politics) :

I used to run marathons, but when my knees and I got old, I switched to road biking. Now, I go out several times a week for anywhere between 35 to 65 miles, including some excellent climbs in the Gold Country east of Sacramento, i.e. the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. (I also bike in Hawaii, as shown in the picture).I love it.

Today was no exception. I first hit the American River bike trail, just a few hundred yards from our house. After six miles, it starts uphill, on its way to Folsom Lake. There, I take Green Valley Road. This is a beautiful road with several 2 and 3-mile climbs, winding its way up to maybe 2000 feet elevation. It was a sunny, crisp winter day, clear blue sky. You ride up a small valley with a mountain brook at the bottom, torrential and brimful at this time. Sometimes a deer or a coyote crosses the road. Very little traffic, no people. Pine trees and ranch land. About 15 miles up the road you come through Rescue. It calls itself a town, but it’s just a fire station and a grocery store.

Whether you do a loop or return the way you came, riding down is a blast. During the climb up, I average less than 10 miles an hour, but on the way down, I exceed 40. Nothing beats the exhilaration of the wind rushing by your ears, as you approach the speed of an occasional car.

Today, something interesting happened on the way down: For the last ten miles, you rejoin the American River bike trail. This is a 33-mile trail that drops 500 feet from near Folsom Lake to downtown Sacramento. It’s used by hundreds of bikers and runners every day.

Last year, on one of my descents, I was suddenly passed by the full Dutch Rabo team, who shot by me in perfect formation at vertiginous speed, wearing their orange uniforms. It was the day before the Tour of California was to start in Sacramento, and they were on their last training run.

Today, I also experienced some exhilarating passing and jockeying for position, on my way down. A group of hotshots passed me on a short uphill. Uphill is really my weakness. Even women pass me on the uphill, for crying out loud! My excuse is that I only have a two-gear in front, but the reality is that I am in my late sixties.

But on the flat and in the downhill, I go all out. So I caught the hotshots and I passed them. Then they whizzed by me again. At one point, I was passing some tourist biker, and the leader of the hotshots passed me at the same time, hollering, “Left, Left!”

He shouldn’t have done that. He should have waited until I was done passing the tourist. We were tumbling down the hill at close to 40 miles an hour, three abreast, on an extremely narrow and curvy stretch, unable to see around the bend whether oncoming bikers were approaching.

After the last of the hotshots got by me, I gave chase and drafted for a couple of miles. This was on a beautiful flat part called Negro Bar, with a lake on your left and huge cliffs on your right. Somehow, I managed to pass the group, but then they came after me again. The same dude who had passed me three abreast before, once again started screaming “Left!” This time, I screamed back, “I can hear you!’

So then he became rude and said, “Then DO it!” I got a little pissed, and I said, “Hey, you were wrong back there, earlier!” But he was already hundred yards ahead of me, probably didn’t even hear me.

Then his buddies came by. They were friendlier, just smiling and saying, “we keep doing this.” (passing each other). Still grouchy, I told them that their leader shouldn’t have passed me the way he did earlier, while I myself was passing someone else. But things were going so fast, this probably also fell on deaf ears. Before I knew it, the group had dropped me and was vanishing in the distance.

Anyway, I had a lot of fun. Great ride, great workout, and there was even a mild altercation to raise the adrenalin level. What more could I ask for? leave comment here

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Mattress Adventure

By Madeleine Kando

I cannot sleep any more. I wake up in the middle of the night in a sweat, heart pounding, mind racing. I have a problem, you see. I don’t know what to sleep on. I am sleeping on a futon, but futons get old, like we do. After 15 years of faithful service mine feels more like a solid piece of rock so I have to retire it. I have been searching for the perfect replacement and this is where my mattress adventure begins.

If you are in the market for a new mattress, you better be forewarned. You are entering the world of mattress shopping at your own risk. I strongly recommend arming yourself with a good bullshit detector, a strong will to survive and above all be prepared to spend countless hours sifting through a veritable deluge of brands, combinations, hype, and mostly false information given by eager salesmen.

Two months ago, when I was still a rookie mattress shopper, I thought: ‘No sweat, I’ll just go get me a good mattress. I heard the name ‘memory foam’ mentioned frequently, so off I went to one of the showrooms and started to look around. Whoah! I couldn’t believe the price-tag on some of those suckers. $2,000 and up? Who on earth wants to sleep on $2,000? So, then I asked the salesman what it would cost to just buy a piece of the mattress. Like maybe the top two inches or so. I don’t really need a club-sandwich to sleep on, I said. That was not possible, he told me, since the whole enchilada is meticulously put together. And he started to explain the function of each layer: air circulation, comfort zones, anti-gravity this, anti-allergy that...

I left the store in a state of total confusion, but I did not give up on my vision of the perfect mattress. So I started to surf the net, looking for my perfect matttress soul mate. I looked at latex mattresses, foam mattresses, memory foam mattresses.. but one’s price was too high, the other’s density was too low and the third’s environmental footprint was too big.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Are Countries with the Most Olympic Medals Morally Superior?

By Tom Kando

The Vancouver games are over. We won the most medals - 37. Here is a partial list, ranking the top 10 recipients:
1. US: 37
2. Germany: 30
3. Canada 26
4. Norway 23
5. Austria 16
6. Russia 15
7. South Korea 14
8. Sweden 11
9. China 11
10. France 11

Another 16 countries got medals, and 56 did not. I’ll skip an attempt to weigh gold, silver and bronze. For example, if we gave 3 points for every gold medal, 2 for silver and 1 for bronze, South Korea would rank #5, ahead of Austria and Russia.

I just want you to ponder the question in the title of this essay.

Right away you say, that’s a stupid question. Correct. It’s a rhetorical question. Which means that the answer is obvious. It is: “No!”

For one thing, were we to look at each country’s medals in proportion to population, the US haul comes out to one eighth of a medal per million population. In contrast, Norway won six medals for every million Norwegians. Austria, 2 per million, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, Croatia, Slovenia, Latvia and God knows who else each won at least one medal per million people. So all these countries would be “better” than America, in a political and moral sense.

But as you already said, the question is idiotic. And you are right. Were I to ask my six-year old grand son whether the number of medals won by each country translates into the country’s “goodness” or badness,” he would probably laugh, understanding the question’s stupidity.

But here is my main point today: Equating Olympic success with a regime’s moral worth has been precisely what dozens of countries have done for decades! There was the USSR and such acolytes as East Germany. For years, those governments cheated and went all out in every possible way to stack the Olympic cards in their favor, to prove that Marxist society was superior. Isn’t that saying “yes” to the question in the title of my essay?

And I am sure that there are lots of people and governments today (China?) which still believe that Olympic prowess is an indicator of national worth and character. Pure chauvinism. So the silly question I asked in jest, is actually one which millions of people would answer in the affirmative.

I personally enjoyed the games a lot. I sometimes rooted for the US, sometimes for the Dutch skaters, sometimes for poor Hungary that didn’t get a single medal. But remember: the only thing that winning many medals means is: you won many medals. Nothing else. leave comment here