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Old 08-21-2012, 09:01 PM   #141
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Thanks Axver and BoMac for researching!

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Originally Posted by Moonlit_Angel View Post
I was going to say, many Americans are lucky if they can find their own state on a map, let alone any other country.
Many Americans are lucky if they even know how many U.S. states there are.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:37 PM   #142
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Guys...guys. Have you considered maps for everyone as the solution to this problem?
what are you, some kind of socialist?

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When I was in the US, I thought mentioning Lord of the Rings would do the trick. Initially it did. People were all "oh yeah, I've heard of there! Saw the movies!"
Please tell me they did not go on to ask you about hobbits.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:37 PM   #143
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Let me ask you Axver since you would know better than anyone, does Bono give this speech everywhere?
No.

Though he's not averse to sucking up to countries with other speeches.

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In Auckland is it, "New Zealand is not just a country, it's an idea"? If not it seems like, to be consistent, you should mock Bono just as hard as Rep. Ryan.
You clearly haven't seen how harsh I've been on Bono elsewhere in the forum!

I don't take him particularly seriously, let's put it that way.

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Not founded on blood or soil but the creed that the individual's sovereignty be recognized, not the government's. Exceptional indeed.
I don't see how that's exceptional to the US.

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As to Wakefieldianism, not claiming to know very much about New Zealand's political history
New Zealand historian here. G'day.

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but--America's first act as a country was to fire a king. Again from the Declaration of Independence.
And how long was that after your first settlement was founded? If we're just going by your British heritage, then 1607. That's 169 years before the Declaration of Independence. What was the first act of those settlers? I'm not sure that fits in with your narrative. Took quite some time for your colonies to build up to the Declaration of Independence. By contrast, 169 years after formal settlement of New Zealand began in 1840 is 2009.

New Zealand lacks a discrete date of independence or a formal independence process, so we're going to have trouble if we're going to debate on the basis of expressing certain ideas at independence. What I was saying was that your country is not the only one underpinned by ideas, and that New Zealand's foundation and 19th century settlement was heavily motivated by certain ideas. If we're just going to stick to ideas put forth in a discrete official document, then I guess there's no debate to have, though I don't think that ideas are confined in such a way. New Zealand's progression to independent statehood was gradual. To clarify, the most common date given is 1907, so 67 years after 1840. Even the most ungenerous reading would give New Zealand as independent in 1947 (107 years). New Zealand was obviously not independent before 1856, when responsible government was granted, but I would suggest that New Zealand was de facto independent by at least the 1890s.

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Correct me if I'm wrong but the New Zealand idea, chiefly masterminded by Edward Gibbon Wakefield, was... let's join the British Empire.
Quite wrong. Given that Wellington was settled in defiance of the British parliament, Wakefield was not all too fussed about that sort of thing - he wanted to found his ideal society and if he had to go it alone, he would. Britain declaring a claim to New Zealand and founding an "official" settlement in Auckland was something of a pain in the arse to the early settlers. Wellington and Auckland have hated each other ever since. The Wakefield settlers expected the full political rights of Englishmen (along Chartist lines) and were livid to find they were now settling a crown colony with a nominated Governor.

The Wakefieldian idea of systematic colonisation emphasised the independence of the individual, working the land to gain prosperity, and class mobility. Colonies were to be established with land sold at a "sufficient price" - capitalists and entrepreneurs would be able to afford it and employ labourers, who would be able to quickly gain prosperity and independence, buy their own land, and employ further labourers. It was to create a society with enough capital AND enough labourers, but without trapping labourers to a permanent underclass. It was an idea in reaction to 19th century English society.

By the 1850s, Wakefield's ideas declined in significance and gave away to the idea of New Zealand as an Arcadia, a land of natural abundance that gave virtue to those who worked it. I suppose you could say the idea underpinning New Zealand in its gradual progression to independence - be it in Wakefieldian settlements or later - was the idea of "getting on". The greatest virtue was for a person to gain an independency by acquiring property (typically on the frontier) and working the land for their own gain and financial independence without a master. This was an atomised society, the world of "man alone".

So if you want a country settled on principles of equality of opportunity and personal independence - welcome to New Zealand. Settlers came to New Zealand because of ideas, Wakefieldian or Arcadian, not because of blood or soil or force.

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We fired a king, you hired one.
So, no, we didn't hire a king. Couldn't have anyway, since the British monarch at the time was Queen Victoria.

Anyway, I'm not sure I have the time to participate in a lengthy, sustained debate, so this may be the only detailed contribution I make.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:49 PM   #144
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Many Americans are lucky if they even know how many U.S. states there are.
When I was in primary school in New Zealand, one year we had a trainee teacher working in our class who was from the US. Our actual teacher thought this would be a great chance to teach us about world geography, so we had to do a report on two countries - the US (or perhaps it was a state of our choice within the US, I forget now) and one other country.

... said trainee taught us that the US has 52 states. :facepalm:

I recall trying to figure out what the two extra states were (I think I put down DC and Puerto Rico, and I couldn't remember if Long Island or Rhode Island was a state) before this misinformation was corrected.

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Please tell me they did not go on to ask you about hobbits.
Haha, fortunately it was just things like "wow, is the whole country that beautiful?" (yes, yes it is), "do you know anybody who was in the movies?" (yes, yes I do), and "did you see any of the sets?" (yes, yes I did).
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:01 PM   #145
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We did see a kangaroo in our court the other day (major shock, I live in suburbia, about 30 mins drive from the nearest mountain range), so that did fulfill a stereotype.
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:10 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by Axver View Post

So, no, we didn't hire a king. Couldn't have anyway, since the British monarch at the time was Queen Victoria.


Thanks, bedtime here so I'll read your post again tomorrow but, well, you got me there.
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:11 PM   #147
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Thanks Axver and BoMac for researching!
I researched; I suspect Axver did not.

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what are you, some kind of socialist?
Canadian.
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:11 PM   #148
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We did see a kangaroo in our court the other day (major shock, I live in suburbia, about 30 mins drive from the nearest mountain range), so that did fulfill a stereotype.
Was it a ... kangaroo court?



Thank you, I'll be here all week.

(When I lived on the Gold Coast, we had kangaroos, wallaroos, and rarely potoroos venturing into our backyard, which in fairness was a total wilderness in the foothills of the Hinterland. Plenty of snakes too. Mmm, stereotypes.)
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:36 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by anitram View Post
Bono also regularly says "The world needs more Canadas" every time he is here.
Oh dear, one's enough!!

Quote:
You will also note that Ryan said that the US was the only country based on an idea. Which is not what I've heard Bono say.
But Bono only says it about America, so same difference.
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:43 PM   #150
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... said trainee taught us that the US has 52 states. :facepalm:
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:44 PM   #151
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I've always rolled my eyes and grimaced at Bono's "America is an idea" bluster. (Particularly when he phrases it--and of course he's said it in some form or another many, many times--as "Ireland, where I come from, is a country, not an idea. But America is an idea!") As if Irishness weren't also an idea, and as if Americans weren't as subject as anyone else to the pull of a place, a legend and a way of life that's intimately known and familiar. I know that's not where he's headed with it, but still, there's a certain irony in someone from a country that's suffered so much from imperialism arguing for a cosmopolitan humanitarianism on the basis of a binary like that. This is a digression though.


Thanks for the brief overview of "the New Zealand idea," Axver; that was very informative.
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Old 08-22-2012, 12:24 AM   #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl View Post
Many Americans are lucky if they even know how many U.S. states there are.
Also a good point.

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Originally Posted by Axver View Post
When I was in primary school in New Zealand, one year we had a trainee teacher working in our class who was from the US. Our actual teacher thought this would be a great chance to teach us about world geography, so we had to do a report on two countries - the US (or perhaps it was a state of our choice within the US, I forget now) and one other country.

... said trainee taught us that the US has 52 states. :facepalm:

I recall trying to figure out what the two extra states were (I think I put down DC and Puerto Rico, and I couldn't remember if Long Island or Rhode Island was a state) before this misinformation was corrected.
...and they were a trainee teacher, you said?

Ay, yi, yi.... That is pathetic. I'm sorry.

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Haha, fortunately it was just things like "wow, is the whole country that beautiful?" (yes, yes it is),
That's all the more I need to know.

Did I mention I'm dying to visit that part of the world someday?

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Originally Posted by Axver View Post
"do you know anybody who was in the movies?" (yes, yes I do), and "did you see any of the sets?" (yes, yes I did).
Ooh, wow, really? Neat! Would love to hear the stories behind that sometime.

(Is this the point where I admit that I've never seen more than a few moments of any of those movies at best ?)

Agree with yolland, kickass other post of yours there, by the way.
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Old 08-22-2012, 12:31 AM   #153
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I've always rolled my eyes and grimaced at Bono's "America is an idea" bluster. (Particularly when he phrases it--and of course he's said it in some form or another many, many times--as "Ireland, where I come from, is a country, not an idea. But America is an idea!") As if Irishness weren't also an idea, and as if Americans weren't as subject as anyone else to the pull of a place, a legend and a way of life that's intimately known and familiar. I know that's not where he's headed with it, but still, there's a certain irony in someone from a country that's suffered so much from imperialism arguing for a cosmopolitan humanitarianism on the basis of a binary like that. This is a digression though.
We Irish are a self-loathing people, you have to understand.
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Old 08-22-2012, 12:54 AM   #154
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Thanks for the brief overview of "the New Zealand idea," Axver; that was very informative.
Thanks yolland! Apologies for the thread hijack. I know this is getting terribly off-topic!

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That's all the more I need to know.

Did I mention I'm dying to visit that part of the world someday?
You'll never regret a trip to the South Island in particular. I'm going there next week and I'm thoroughly excited. It's mostly for work, but I'll be in the middle of a wine region so ... let's just say I'm leaving space in the suitcase for souvenirs.

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Ooh, wow, really? Neat! Would love to hear the stories behind that sometime.
Oh it's really nothing exciting. I know a few people who were extras - e.g. my friend's mother and her horse were in the battle of Pelennor Fields - and one of my aunts works in film and television production so she did a bit of behind-the-scenes work (don't remember what now ... I've only seen her a couple of times in the last decade). Plenty of scenes were shot near my hometown. Part of Helm's Deep was built in a quarry about ten minutes from my father's place, so we drove past that a fair bit.
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Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
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"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 08-22-2012, 09:28 AM   #155
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More Joe The Plumber?

Ryan says he clings to guns and religion, invokes 'Joe the Plumber'
By NBC’s Alex Moe

CARNEGIE Pa. -- At a steel manufacturer in Western Pennsylvania Tuesday, Congressman Paul Ryan took some swipes at President Obama, serving up red meat on guns and religion and even Joe the Plumber and "spread the wealth."

“Hey, I’m a Catholic deer-hunter," Ryan said at Beaver Steel just outside Pittsburgh. "I am happy to be clinging to my guns and my religion."

The comments the presumptive GOP vice-presidential nominee made referenced remarks Obama made on the campaign trail back in 2008.

“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them," Obama said then speaking at a San Francisco fundraiser four year ago. "And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are going to regenerate, and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Making his debut in the Keystone State today, Ryan -- an avid Green Bay Packers fan -- came out waving a Pittsburgh Steelers' "Terrible Towel” as he entered the venue with more than 2,000 people in attendance and proclaimed his passion for football.

“Wow. You know, these things are intimidating on TV,” Ryan admitted about the gold towel he then placed in his back pocket.

Steelers owner Dan Rooney, by the way, is currently serving as President Obama's ambassador to Ireland.

Speaking in front of a large “We did build IT!” sign, the seven-term congressman also gave the crowd another 2008 flashback, telling the crowd about Joe the Plumber.

“You know, every now and then President Obama sort of drops his veil," Ryan said. "He’s less coy about his philosophy. He sort of reveals his true governing policy, what he really believes. Remember back in 2008, remember the guy Joe the Plumber? Remember when he said, you know, ‘We wanna spread the wealth around’? It’s this belief that the economy is some fixed pie, that there’s only just so much money in America, it’s fixed, and that the job of the government is to redistribute the slices of the pie. That’s not true.”

These lines from Ryan on President Obama’s 2008 campaign are new to the congressman’s stump speech.
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Old 08-22-2012, 03:11 PM   #156
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I'm pretty sure any Wisconsin politician would be stoned to death if they dared admit their favorite football team was anything other than the Packers.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:57 PM   #157
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“Hey, I’m a Catholic deer-hunter," Ryan said at Beaver Steel just outside Pittsburgh. "I am happy to be clinging to my guns and my religion."
*Smacks forehead* Oh, for cripes' sake...

Also, yeah, no more Joe the Plumber. Please.
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:58 PM   #158
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Here's a link to audio of Irish President Michael D. Higgins arguing with a Tea Party member (American, of course) over healthcare and foreign policy.

A Tea Partier Decided To Pick A Fight With A Foreign President. It Didn't Go So Well.

This is the original radio show:
Newstalk Media Player
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:07 PM   #159
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I've never been more proud of the Irish blood in me
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Old 08-22-2012, 11:10 PM   #160
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Me too
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