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Old 10-18-2006, 12:18 AM   #16
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No Australian dentist would write such malarkey!
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Old 10-18-2006, 12:51 AM   #17
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hahahahahah!

It's nice sentiment, but a bit gag worthy...hahahahah

*starts singing ameeeerica. ameeeeeeerica with tear in eye*
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Old 10-18-2006, 07:50 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by blueeyedgirl
No Australian dentist would write such malarkey!
Damn right.

The last line especially is a sack of untrue nationalistic crap. Americans are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom? I literally laughed out loud. Last I checked, other countries are considered to be more free, and as a New Zealander, I certainly don't get the impression that Americans are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom after the whole ANZUS fiasco. The American government, the elected representatives of the American people, sought to ignore New Zealand's sovereign freedoms and tell us what can and can't enter our territorial waters, and when we pointed out that's a breach of our human freedoms, the US acted in a completely juvenile manner and suspended its ANZUS treaty obligations to New Zealand!

I will not truly think well of the US (or at least the representatives it elects) until New Zealand receives a formal apology from the government of the United States for trying to infringe upon our sovereignty. Embodiment of human freedoms? That may wash with some people, but it won't wash with me.

/rant
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Old 10-18-2006, 08:44 AM   #19
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Not too long ago I posted a query about the virtue of patriotism. This post and the replies speak to the issues I was raising in that post. Implicit in the "What is an American concept" is the idea that some countries (to be precise--two) are in a sense "owed " patriotism by the entire world.
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Old 10-18-2006, 10:53 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by blueeyedgirl
No Australian dentist would write such malarkey!
That's what I thought when I read it.
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Old 10-18-2006, 10:57 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Axver


Damn right.

The last line especially is a sack of untrue nationalistic crap. Americans are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom? I literally laughed out loud. Last I checked, other countries are considered to be more free, and as a New Zealander, I certainly don't get the impression that Americans are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom after the whole ANZUS fiasco. The American government, the elected representatives of the American people, sought to ignore New Zealand's sovereign freedoms and tell us what can and can't enter our territorial waters, and when we pointed out that's a breach of our human freedoms, the US acted in a completely juvenile manner and suspended its ANZUS treaty obligations to New Zealand!

I will not truly think well of the US (or at least the representatives it elects) until New Zealand receives a formal apology from the government of the United States for trying to infringe upon our sovereignty. Embodiment of human freedoms? That may wash with some people, but it won't wash with me.

/rant


why do you hate freedom?



and, come on now, the ANZUS treaty has worked out really rather well for you, hasn't it? all that money you don't have to spend to defend your coastline?
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Old 10-18-2006, 11:05 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Axver

The last line especially is a sack of untrue nationalistic crap. Americans are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom?
I wouldn't say it was untrue of the Canadians though. They've always been prepared to help out other nations with the minimum of fuss and never asking for anything in return.

As for America...I think we all have valid reasons to disagree with the idea that they selflessly help out all and sundry without asking for a thing in return but on the other hand, many of us do owe America real gratitude for actions they've done in the past.

I think the thing that annoys many of us though is that America doesn't let us forget that we owe them gratitude either.
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Old 10-18-2006, 11:11 AM   #23
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okay, to be a bit serious, and to be honest, i think the whole point of the essay, and i understand that other nations are rightly going to feel a bit of resentment towards it, is that Americans and Canadians have no myth of origin. placing aside the First Nations/Native Americans (yes, a problematic concept, i know), both are nations of immigrants where the "idea" of what an American or Canadian is becomes attached to intangible qualities as opposed to race, ethnicty, or religion.

i'm never in my life going to be Chinese.

but any Chinese person can become 100% American or Canadian, no questions asked, and no sense of nationalism or "essence" that you get in most of Europe, as in, there's an "essential" Frenchman, or an "essential" German.

identity is far more self-defined and self-created in North America than it is in other parts of the world.

i really think that's all the guy was getting at, though i certainly agree that his phrasing and wording, especially at the end, is far too misty-eyed and too sentimental to be taken too seriously.
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Old 10-18-2006, 11:19 AM   #24
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A powerful message. I think whilst America is mitigated in its freedoms somewhat, (as Asver pointed out) I do believe that relatively speaking, Americans and various other Western countries (especially Australia) are as close to the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom as we'll see. And compared to the people on the other side of the fence, that well and truely is the case.
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Old 10-18-2006, 12:47 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511

but any Chinese person can become 100% American or Canadian, no questions asked, and no sense of nationalism or "essence" that you get in most of Europe, as in, there's an "essential" Frenchman, or an "essential" German.

identity is far more self-defined and self-created in North America than it is in other parts of the world.
I mostly agree with this, except for the "100% American or Canadian, no questions asked" part. I think the perception of "American or Canadian" as being of European descent exists to some degree, although it's far better than in Europe.

For example, after a recent Winter Olympics, The Seattle Times published "American Beats Kwan" as a headline even though Kwan was born in the US.
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Old 10-18-2006, 04:51 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by ntalwar


I mostly agree with this, except for the "100% American or Canadian, no questions asked" part. I think the perception of "American or Canadian" as being of European descent exists to some degree, although it's far better than in Europe.

For example, after a recent Winter Olympics, The Seattle Times published "American Beats Kwan" as a headline even though Kwan was born in the US.

while i agree that the default race for an American is white -- though i'm not sure, as African-American culture seems to be wildly popular world-wide -- i don't think i understand the point with the headline. everyone knows that Kwan skates for the US ... i think she was beaten by a fellow teammate, so maybe it was just clumsy wording?

and, absolutely, prejudice and igorance and idiots abound everywhere, but i do think that North America does a good job of letting people create their own identities. perhaps this is true in Australia as well, i can't speak to that. but i do think this does stand apart from Europe -- as wonderful as Europe is -- and this is something Europe is currently grappling with, how to be European without "being" European.
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Old 10-18-2006, 07:16 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511


prejudice and igorance and idiots abound everywhere, but i do think that North America does a good job of letting people create their own identities.
Absolutely

The chain letter speaks more about idealism than anything...I think we're in short supply of that these days.

Specifically about the US: I've certainly got problems with that country, along with most of the world. But if you dig a little deeper, there's a whole lot of intruing stuff going on there right now. Control of government is pretty much up for grabs with the midterm elections coming up. People are polarised on the issues like never before. But the backbone of the division, democracy, stands to get stronger when everything plays out.
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Old 10-18-2006, 08:08 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
i think the whole point of the essa......is that Americans and Canadians have no myth of origin...... both are nations of immigrants where the "idea" of what an American or Canadian is becomes attached to intangible qualities as opposed to race, ethnicty, or religion.
That's how I read it as well.

Quote:
Originally posted by angelordevil
The chain letter speaks more about idealism than anything...I think we're in short supply of that these days.
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Old 10-18-2006, 11:08 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
okay, to be a bit serious, and to be honest, i think the whole point of the essay, and i understand that other nations are rightly going to feel a bit of resentment towards it, is that Americans and Canadians have no myth of origin. placing aside the First Nations/Native Americans (yes, a problematic concept, i know), both are nations of immigrants where the "idea" of what an American or Canadian is becomes attached to intangible qualities as opposed to race, ethnicty, or religion.

i'm never in my life going to be Chinese.

but any Chinese person can become 100% American or Canadian, no questions asked, and no sense of nationalism or "essence" that you get in most of Europe, as in, there's an "essential" Frenchman, or an "essential" German.

identity is far more self-defined and self-created in North America than it is in other parts of the world.

i really think that's all the guy was getting at, though i certainly agree that his phrasing and wording, especially at the end, is far too misty-eyed and too sentimental to be taken too seriously.
Good points, Irivine.

People in other parts of the world do tend to associate being American with being white (or possibly black). I certainly experience that living where I do. In fact, that the chain letter might have been addressing that very assumption.
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Old 10-20-2006, 08:08 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511



and, come on now, the ANZUS treaty has worked out really rather well for you, hasn't it? all that money you don't have to spend to defend your coastline?



Its sad, really. Talk about mindless, baseless, and pretentious 'nationalistic crap'.
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