3
   

Who is editing wikipedia?

 
 
tinygiraffe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Sep, 2007 11:17 am
on the one hand blatham, you're right. i have to think we have at least a small number of graces (i didn't say saving ones, yet) but we could use a lot more.

on the other hand, the main things that stop countries from being noble and great are nationalism and arrogance. get too caught up in how other nations are inferior to your standards, and in a couple centuries you'll be where we are (unless of course you just don't have the resources.)

but then your dollar is way up, isn't it? or is ours just down... we're told our economy is doing well, i'm quite skeptical.

good luck with it, i've always loved canada, even if we've both been known to drag a few american natives down without any just cause. also, despite my mild defense of "culture" here, i have to warn you not to force too much of it on yourself, or it'll be "as canadian as apple pie..."

then the only good thing will be that we can get your pie and i'm sure it will be excellent- you don't want canada to ever be: "like america, but slightly more polite."
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Sep, 2007 03:45 pm
blatham wrote:
Happy to be and to stay incurious and uneducated. And he'll be finally laid to rest in the bosom of the Glorious Heroic Benevolent Homeland. American...North Korean...he could be happily either.

And there's this lovely bit...
Quote:
I like the U.S. culture. No apologies. I just like the U.S. culture.

That's gansta rap, of course, and the thriving US pornography industry, and blacks being dragged behind pickup trucks, and the Hell's Angels, and the tobacco industry hiding their own research on health matters related to their profitable products, and gay bath houses, and wife-swapping, and the Catholic Church protecting child molesters, where infant mortality rates are higher than 32 other nations including Cuba, Cypress and Portugal...etc


Don't be silly. I have a right to like the culture of the country that I was born in. I don't have to be a citizen of the world. I'm too old for gangsta rap. I don't have to criticize the country that gave my family a home for 125 years. Sorry, your indictment is specious.
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Sep, 2007 03:52 pm
tinygiraffe wrote:
Quote:
I really have no interest in non-western cultures/religions/societies.


except of course, when picking a target for american weapons and occupation, naturally. who better to play armchair general than someone that doesn't even think the rest of the world is worth mention?


Where was I playing armchair general? I just don't criticize my country. That's not my job to criticize my country, nor should it be my job.

Your accusation is false, since I don't "pick any targets for American weapons or occupations." Don't empower me with false accusations.
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Sep, 2007 04:30 pm
blatham wrote:
Happy to be and to stay incurious and uneducated. And he'll be finally laid to rest in the bosom of the Glorious Heroic Benevolent Homeland. American...North Korean...he could be happily either.

And there's this lovely bit...
Quote:
I like the U.S. culture. No apologies. I just like the U.S. culture.

That's gansta rap, of course, and the thriving US pornography industry, and blacks being dragged behind pickup trucks, and the Hell's Angels, and the tobacco industry hiding their own research on health matters related to their profitable products, and gay bath houses, and wife-swapping, and the Catholic Church protecting child molesters, where infant mortality rates are higher than 32 other nations including Cuba, Cypress and Portugal...etc


I just noticed your "location":

Location: Vancouverite in Manhattan...helping out

You're enjoying Manhattan I hope. It's so nice of you to help out. The U.S. (NYC) needs all the foreign help it can get: Mexicans, Russians, Asians, Indians, South Americans, British, Germans, French, Israelis, Arabs, Pakistanis, etc., etc. Naturally, not being native born U.S. citizens, they don't have to be criticized for liking their life in the U.S.

However, if I, as a native born U.S. citizen likes the U.S., I have to have a tirade directed at me for any negatives perceived about my country?

Perhaps you need to see more of the U.S. than Manhattan. Like the South. Spout your social criticism there and you would get agreement, since the South is socially conservative. But, don't criticize the President, if you have any criticisms for U.S. foreign policy. That might not play well there.

But, enjoy your stay in Manhattan. And if you like the ambiance, the sophistication, it was earlier family members that made it such a lovely place for you to enjoy. If you're not aware, every token booth also gives free bus maps of Manhattan that also serve as a street map.

Visit Grant's Tomb on Riverside Drive up near Columbia University. You might appreciate the history.
0 Replies
 
tinygiraffe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Sep, 2007 06:18 pm
Quote:
Where was I playing armchair general? I just don't criticize my country. That's not my job to criticize my country, nor should it be my job.

Your accusation is false, since I don't "pick any targets for American weapons or occupations." Don't empower me with false accusations.


and don't take me literally far past any point where it's obvious i'm not being literal.

do you or do you not defend the iraq war? if you agree with it and say nothing, that's one thing. if you actually defend it, and don't even care about the rest of the world it's being fought in, that's reprehensible. my apologies if you never make such arguments, and i imagined them. occasionally we only think we remember something. it happens.
0 Replies
 
aperson
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Sep, 2007 06:35 pm
There was a recent scandel when a computer in Air New Zealand was used to change the article about the tragic crash of flight 901 into Mt Erebus, making it seem as if Air NZ was not to blame.
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Sep, 2007 09:02 pm
tinygiraffe wrote:
Quote:
Where was I playing armchair general? I just don't criticize my country. That's not my job to criticize my country, nor should it be my job.

Your accusation is false, since I don't "pick any targets for American weapons or occupations." Don't empower me with false accusations.


and don't take me literally far past any point where it's obvious i'm not being literal.

do you or do you not defend the iraq war? if you agree with it and say nothing, that's one thing. if you actually defend it, and don't even care about the rest of the world it's being fought in, that's reprehensible. my apologies if you never make such arguments, and i imagined them. occasionally we only think we remember something. it happens.


Don't interrogate. I thought I already explained; I don't criticize my President nor my government's actions. It's like asking someone if they criticize a parent.

I defend my country, in that it is my country. The individual actions are none of my business to criticize. And, don't have the audacity to tell me I have to be concerned about the rest of the world, or you will call that "reprehensible."

There are many in the rest of the world that would just as well see me dead. Don't try to tell me I must care about a world that includes many self-centered, clannish, bigoted, tribal, ethnocentric, or racist people. I'll be concerned about who I choose. Get off your soap box!
0 Replies
 
tinygiraffe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 12:10 am
okay, i won't tell you to be human either.

if my parents were torturing people without making formal charges, because they might have information, i'd question my parents too. i won't hold you to any more standards, since you don't have any i can possibly build any arguments from. if you'd lived in germany in the 1930s, you'd just be following orders. you wouldn't ask about the pillars of smoke, that would be like questioning a parent. i get it. it's been real enlightening.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 06:46 am
Those who don't question their government about anything will get a government that does anything.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 09:03 am
tinygiraffe wrote:
on the one hand blatham, you're right. i have to think we have at least a small number of graces (i didn't say saving ones, yet) but we could use a lot more.

on the other hand, the main things that stop countries from being noble and great are nationalism and arrogance. get too caught up in how other nations are inferior to your standards, and in a couple centuries you'll be where we are (unless of course you just don't have the resources.)

but then your dollar is way up, isn't it? or is ours just down... we're told our economy is doing well, i'm quite skeptical.

good luck with it, i've always loved canada, even if we've both been known to drag a few american natives down without any just cause. also, despite my mild defense of "culture" here, i have to warn you not to force too much of it on yourself, or it'll be "as canadian as apple pie..."

then the only good thing will be that we can get your pie and i'm sure it will be excellent- you don't want canada to ever be: "like america, but slightly more polite."


tinygiraffe
I've been married twice, both times to American ladies. We've now moved from Manhattan (about thee years there) to Oregon. I've lived for a while down south (Dallas) as well but otherwise the Vancouver area has been home.

One could go back through the several thousand posts I've written here or on a previous board and not find a single instance of Canadian flag-waving. I have almost zero use for, or respect for, nationalist fervor. There is, I confess, a species of Canadian pride which relates to the earlier sentence...we tend to be proud of not being proud. It's an irony. But it seems to me the most benign sort of pride attainable.

I absolutely love most americans. But that's true with people I've met anywhere in the world I've been. Americans, as individuals, are unspecial.

New York was a delight. We lived on the upper east side and had a small jewelry store there as well (my wife, she's also a psychoanalyst, and I make the pieces). But New York is a unique place, really almost a city state in the classic sense. It is, of course, populated by an enormous percentage of people who aren't americans, legally or culturally. In that sense, its cosmopolitanism, it is perhaps the least American city. But the converse is true as well, in the melting pot sense. In interesting ways, New York bears many more similarities to Vancouver than it does to Lubbock or to Kansas.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 09:10 am
foofie said
Quote:
That's not my job to criticize my country, nor should it be my job.


That's an interesting understanding of the relationship between citizen and his/her government. I assume the principle would hold true for an Iranian or a North Korean or, a tg alluded, for a german citizen in 1935?
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 01:54 pm
blatham wrote:
foofie said
Quote:
That's not my job to criticize my country, nor should it be my job.


That's an interesting understanding of the relationship between citizen and his/her government. I assume the principle would hold true for an Iranian or a North Korean or, a tg alluded, for a german citizen in 1935?


Bernie - pick another year! In 1935 the Nazis passed new laws for the protection of the environment and protection of animals Smile

Quote:
1935 wurde im Ressort des "Reichsforstmeisters" Hermann Göring das "Reichsnaturschutzgesetz" verabschiedet. Mit dem Gesetz sahen sich viele Naturschützer damals am Ziel ihrer Wünsche.....

http://www.grueneliga-berlin.de/rabe_ralf/rabe_archiv_2002/10_11_2002/nationalsozialismus.html
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 05:20 pm
parados wrote:
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
You can sky-write your ridiculous comments in letters the size of a house and I would not understand them any better.

Pasting the dictionary definition of "fair" doesn't respond to my question (in other than a glib way).

No word is obscene unto itself. It is always the use and context that matters.

You indicated that America lost it's "fair" share of lives in WWII. Fair based on what? The extent of it's interests? The measure of it contribution to the cause of the war?
I said..
Quote:
WW2 is the ONE war that Americans actually lost a fair number of soldiers
Since "use and context" matter perhaps you should stick with my use and context and not some fictional use that you want to argue against. Your attempt to change what I said to "It's fair share" is nothing but an attempt to drastically change the meaning of what I actually said. You need only substitute the correct meaning for the word "fair" to understand what I said.


Quote:

Your comment also implies that America has lost other than its "fair" share of lives in other wars. I'm betting dollars to donuts that you don't believe America has lost more than it's "fair" share of lives in other wars.If this is so then you are implying America did not lose it's "fair" share of lives in WWI, Vietnam, Somalia, Iraq etc.
Since I never said the word "share" I don't see how you can even make your argument.
Quote:

If it is not so than we agree and why are you giving me grief?
Because you are arguing about something I never said, you deserve grief. If you keep it up you deserve more than grief, you deserve ridicule. (Adjectives only modify nouns in the sentence they are in. They don't modify words not used in the paragraph or words not used on the page.)

Quote:

What was America's "fair" share of lost lives in WWI? Considering that our country was not under attack and that we gained very little in comparison to the Brits and French by defeating The Axis, we should have "fairly" lost more lives?
I never said anything about "fair share".
Quote:

What is it with you folks?

"America has done some horrible things too!"

"America isn't perfect you know!"

"America isn't as great as you think it is!"

Do you tell your brother the same thing about your mother?

"Mom isn't perfect you know!

"Mom has done some lousy things too you know!"

It would be OK if you folks applied the same harsh light equally to all nations. In fact if you did, America would still come out ahead. But...you don't.

Cuba ain't so bad and neither is Hugo Chavez. Mao and Lenin were no Hitlers. Hell, for some of you they were no George Bushes!
That's a lovely strawman. Is your entire argument going to be against things I have never said?
Quote:

Obviously America is not perfect, and yes it has things of which it should be ashamed, but why is it so hard for you to give credit where credit is due?
Funny, you attacked me for saying almost the exact same thing you just said. I said it this way.
Quote:
Yes, that is true to some extent. But any time a country rationalizes its actions based on the premise that it can do no wrong it can't be too far from doing wrong.
and this
Quote:
The US has warts. Yes, it is better than some countries but it isn't somehow the best country that has ever been.


Quote:

Please don't give me the BS that is people like you, pointing America's problems that keeps it great. You like to point out it's problems. Admit it.
You just pointed to the fact that the US has things it should be ashamed of. Does that mean you like to point out the US's problems? I on more than one occassion agreed that the US is better as a superpower than many countries might be. But it seems you prefer to play "make believe" instead of dealing with reality.
Quote:

Why else would Foofie not simply accept your vague argument about your nationality?
There wasn't anything vague about it. It is simple grammar. "We" has a meaning that can't really be misconstrued and is hardly vague.
Quote:

Why can't you simply state you are American? While you're at it you might also say you are proud of it, but I suspect that's not the case at all
I see you absolutely refuse to discuss what I have said and instead want to make up an argument so you have something to argue against. Meanwhile as you went off on your tangent about what I didn't say you failed to discuss what YOU said in defense of a premise that you don't seem to even agree with.


So while 118,000 American deaths in WWI was not a "fair" number of casualties, 408,000 in WWII was?

118,000 American soldiers lost their lives in a European War and that doesn't rise to the "fair" quantification.

Whether you use "fair" as "equitable" or "sizeable," your comment remains obscene.

What is the best country that has ever been? Do you have such a problem with people suggesting it is because you have your own favorite?

I would like to understand why you and nimh (and others) find it so objectionable that someone might contend the the US is the most benign superpower the world has ever known.

If it is because there is clearly a more suitable candidate than please share same with us.

Or is the cynicism you cultivate so effective that it has overpowered your Liberal penchant for relativism and degree?
0 Replies
 
tinygiraffe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 05:21 pm
Quote:
One could go back through the several thousand posts I've written here or on a previous board and not find a single instance of Canadian flag-waving. I have almost zero use for, or respect for, nationalist fervor.


oh, i wouldn't really hold it against you. canada is fantastic. it's just that if it does hold itself too highly, it begins to encounter the problems of the other countries that do. i think my point was hypothetical, but i'm sure that on some tiny scale it already happens with some people.

Quote:
There is, I confess, a species of Canadian pride which relates to the earlier sentence...we tend to be proud of not being proud. It's an irony. But it seems to me the most benign sort of pride attainable.


we're in total agreement- the whole thing Smile

Quote:
I absolutely love most americans. But that's true with people I've met anywhere in the world I've been. Americans, as individuals, are unspecial.


ah, maybe it's our particular unspecialness that makes us special.

anyway, no worries- i was just making a point, if either of us remembers what it was Smile it's not a big deal. if we took more pride in not being proud, we might be better off. what it would take to make us special? i don't know. america is special as far as i can tell, but it's too proud when it shouldn't be, and probably not proud enough when it should.

if i knew the answers to these questions i might have solutions too, but i don't.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 10:09 pm
High Seas wrote:
blatham wrote:
foofie said
Quote:
That's not my job to criticize my country, nor should it be my job.


That's an interesting understanding of the relationship between citizen and his/her government. I assume the principle would hold true for an Iranian or a North Korean or, a tg alluded, for a german citizen in 1935?


Bernie - pick another year! In 1935 the Nazis passed new laws for the protection of the environment and protection of animals Smile

Quote:
1935 wurde im Ressort des "Reichsforstmeisters" Hermann Göring das "Reichsnaturschutzgesetz" verabschiedet. Mit dem Gesetz sahen sich viele Naturschützer damals am Ziel ihrer Wünsche.....

http://www.grueneliga-berlin.de/rabe_ralf/rabe_archiv_2002/10_11_2002/nationalsozialismus.html


Hi beautiful. Hugs from both of us. We miss ya.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 10:14 pm
tinygiraffe said:
Quote:
anyway, no worries- i was just making a point, if either of us remembers what it was it's not a big deal. if we took more pride in not being proud, we might be better off. what it would take to make us special? i don't know. america is special as far as i can tell, but it's too proud when it shouldn't be, and probably not proud enough when it should.


Permit me to recommend Anatol Lieven's "America, Right or Wrong...An Anatomy of American Nationalism". I think you'd appreciate the fellow's work.
0 Replies
 
tinygiraffe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Sep, 2007 01:58 am
always. i'll keep it in mind.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Sep, 2007 07:46 pm
Remember when

Foofie wrote:
For those who think I'm wrong, just using arithmetic, count up this country's losses during all the wars we've been in (many for the benefit of others). We've earned our superpower position, and our economic hegemony in the world. [..]

What I meant in my earlier post, about the number of losses of U.S. military, was that many of these wars the U.S. was sacrificing its own people for the benefit of other nations. Yes, those other nations lost more people, but they had no choice as to whether to be in a war or not. The U.S. joined wars to save other nations, and in effect sacrificed its own people.


Well, a week or so later, there was noone less than Fred Thompson blurting out more or less the same argument on The Tonight Show:

Quote:
Our people have shed more blood for the liberty and freedom of other peoples … than all the other countries put together.


He is appropriately and articulately smacked down for it - on a number of levels - by conservative blogger Daniel Larison:

Quote:
Fred's Sense Of History

Friday, September 7th, 2007

During his appearance on The Tonight Show, Fred said something that is rather stunningly and obviously untrue:

"Our people have shed more blood for the liberty and freedom of other peoples … than all the other countries put together."

There's nothing terribly edifying in this kind of claim of national nobility-through-high body counts, but you have to wonder what the man could possibly have been thinking that would cause him to say this. Even leaving aside WWI, where the claims to fighting for liberty are a bit more strained (and where all other belligerents lost far more people than America), this claim is demonstrably false. It requires either an amazing ignorance about the past or contempt for American allies in WWII.

Britain and France entered WWII at least officially to safeguard the independence of Poland, which I think gives them some right to claim that they suffered their losses for the sake of the "liberty" of other peoples. In 1940 alone in a war fought on behalf of Poland, the French lost 90,000 KIA, and the British lost over 68,000. The British, Commonwealth and Free French soldiers who died during the war were certainly fighting at least in part for "the liberty and freedom of other peoples," and the number of their fatalities and casualities was necessarily higher than that of the United States. Our casualties were on the order of 600,000 killed and wounded, while British and Commonwealth casualties (not including India's 100,000) were approximately 915,000, which does not include civilian deaths in Britain and France. If we were to judge these losses according to the size of the populations of the different countries, the disparity would be even greater. Given how much smaller its population was, Britain's losses were proportionally over three times as great as ours.

None of this is to minimise the sacrifices that Americans have made. But leave it to some showboating politician to take something noble and admirable and distort it as part of his talking points, insulting the war dead of our best allies in the process. This claim of Thompson's is just the sort of nationalist mythologising that we could stand to have much less of nowadays. It doesn't speak well for the management of foreign relations in any future Thompson Administration that the man has no idea how much the rest of the Allied nations sacrificed in WWII.

P.S. It might also be noted that Americans, like all other nations, did not enter the wars of the 20th century primarily because they were interested in fighting for the "liberty and freedom of other peoples." Those justifications followed once the country was already involved. In the process of fighting for our own national interests, we also happened to be defending the cause of the "liberty and freedom of other peoples," but had we not been provoked and had our government not already been so eager to intervene America would not have done much in the way of fighting on behalf of others' freedom. The reasons given for our involvement in the world wars were those of self-defense and retaliation, just as other nations were technically fulfilling their treaty obligations to allied states or fighting in self-defense as well.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Sep, 2007 07:48 pm
blatham wrote:
Permit me to recommend Anatol Lieven's "America, Right or Wrong...An Anatomy of American Nationalism". I think you'd appreciate the fellow's work.

He wrote a great book about the Baltic states..
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Sep, 2007 08:02 pm
blatham wrote:
foofie said
Quote:
That's not my job to criticize my country, nor should it be my job.


That's an interesting understanding of the relationship between citizen and his/her government. I assume the principle would hold true for an Iranian or a North Korean or, a tg alluded, for a german citizen in 1935?


And, don't forget an American G.I., circa 1966, that was "drafted" into Vietnam. Yes, citizens are not supposed to criticize their respective governments, if the government doesn't value that criticism. There is no reason to play Christian martyr. But, if you want to feed a hungry lion, be my guest.

Just because you don't wave the old maple leaf doesn't mean other people in the lower 48 don't subscribe to the concept of patriotism. Canada is a bad example, since a portion of Canada acts like they are in another country, with another language, yet the country remains together. A high tolerance for ambiguity possibly??? Regardless, since you enjoy the lower 48, at least wish the U.S. good fortune.
0 Replies
 
 

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