AMSTERDAM, CITY OF THE FUTURE PAST
Amsterdam was wonderful, the real spirit of New Europe. Three Russians playing the Toccata in D Minor on accordions (!) for American tourists. Crowds dressed all in orange (for Holland) trading cheers with crowds of guys dressed in red (for Czech Republic). Teenage boys singing something from the Magic Flute. Gangs of teenage girls on pink bicycles, dressed in pink. Now that they're not warring on each other, Europe seems like a terribly civilized place.
I realized that the Repubicans are right. If America is like a man, Europe is like a woman. But women are cool, and they often get their way without anyone getting their nose bloodied. And they rarely go off half cocked. So the Republicans have missed the point of their own slam.
The other amazing thing about Holland is that grass and magic mushrooms and prostitution are all legal... and yet civilization does not collapse into anarchy. Amazing, huh?