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Chocolateuke
05-29-2001, 10:44 PM
I know this may not have anything to do with Aikido at all except harmony. I have notices that a lot of people are form other countries and I was wondering what there thoughs of life the universe and everything. I was also wondering what they thought about people in the US and stuff like that. you see at school people talk about other countries as of them and they are far away and pull o bunch of bull . I have found out that most people in other countries know more about america then americans know about america. it is sad but true. My World cultures teacher went to chile for a vacation and there were some people from Germany and they talked about current events and history and things of that nature.I was just wondering what other countries think about america and stuff. ( danm I cant spell) also I mean this to be no offence and I love learning about other countries form people in that country because they know the area better than our teachers do so... I was just curiouse.

oh by the way if you you can ask us questions to who knows maybe we can me just that much closer on the net!

Anne
05-30-2001, 10:08 AM
Dear Dallas,
nice idea, what would you like to talk about first?

yours
Anne

ian
05-30-2001, 01:49 PM
Well, though it hasn't got anything to do with Aikido, I think a difficulty with the U.S. is that their news is pretty much based on the U.S. May have something to do with the size of the country. Over here in Europe we tend to listen to whats happening in other countries (inc. the U.S.) 'cos it has such a direct affect on us. For example in the UK we were worried about a down turn in our economy because of the U.S. down turn, and we also know about the energy crises because Bush is using this as an excuse to carry out environmentally unfriendly practices (e.g. drilling in a wildlife reserve in the arctic, removing the necessity for a deposit by mining companies which normally prevents them damaging the environment, backing out of the kyoto agreement and investing in increased fossil and nuclear fuel use.)

If you think the U.S. has high fuel prices you want to live in Europe (esp. the UK)!

[end of rant]

Ian

Chocolateuke
05-30-2001, 10:44 PM
ya didja know that the gas prices here in california are going to be around 3 bucks a gallon this summer? I am a new driver ( been havingin my drivers licesns for 8 mounths now) and I will deffinetly hurt my Aikido transportation because my nearies dojo is 18 miles away. I live in the country you see but we have been reading about bio desil wich is you make fuel from cooking oil. it is clean for the envirement and you call smells good to! but yeah I always wanted to go to the UK (espesialy Germany because I am about 50% german maybe more and Scotland because I am fasinated by their culture.) I would also Like to go to englined for stone henge but oh well I dont grow money but the net is cool to learn bout those places!! Anyone else??

JJF
05-31-2001, 03:46 AM
Hi Dallas!

Yeah - I'll have a go... :)
Just to add a comment to your thougts about the eco-diesel car - yes it's true. In Denmark (very small country about 5.000.000 inhabitants) there's a couple of those driving around on an experimental basis. They polute very little smell like a barbecue restaurant, and are not very expencive. Even better is the experiments with cars that drive on liquid hydrogen. They release nothing but whater into the enviroment but they are still very expencive, and there is no fueling installations on the gas stations yet (requires pretty high-tech stuff with robots and such).
When it comes to us knowing a lot about US - well we simply have to. The US government could afford to not care about Denmark one bit (maybe they don't) but we must follow the development in the US very carefully since it very much influence us both when it comes to enviromental and financial issues. Actually it scares the h... out of me that Bush has been elected. It seems like he doesn't give a damn about global and enviromental issues and that he couldn't care less about the european countries. Sometimes I even fear that he is just a puppet controlled by the Oil-industry. He is a powerfull man that can influence the whole world - including me, but there is very little I - or for that matter Denmark as a country - can do about the things he decides.
Enough grumbling for now.... If you ever go to UK concidere visiting Denmark as well (not very far away). We have a few very good aikido-instructors, some rather nice sights to see and we are allways ready to have a good debate about aikido, the global situation or any other subject for that matter. ;) Please feel free to mail me or post more questions about my view upon pretty much any subject - I LOVE to air my opinion ;)
Have fun!

Anne
05-31-2001, 05:01 AM
Oh yeah-the gas prices. I never had a car because it was too expensive. But right now I don't think I ever will unless they start to produce cars driving on cheap alternatives. Gas prices had a major increase here not only because of the oil prices but of a new eco tax, too. Not a bad thing, but many people complain... I live in a city where you can get to most places by bus or bike, so for me it's not that bad.

I think the reason that people from other countries like Germany or Denmark know so much more about the US than Americans about Europe is very simple: to me and others, English is a foreign language. I started learning English at grade five (10 years old). And of course we learned by stories and reports on every aspect of live (school, politics, economy, history, leisure activities, travel, literature,...) and we all had a student's subscription of "Time Magazine" for years.
My two main subjects during my last two years at school (grade 12/13) were English and history. In English, we did a lot of politics and literature, the main book being "The Great Gatsby" and it's connections with the American Dream, for example. In history America's past and recent politics were one of the three major themes, too.
And there are at least two American TV stations available (on cable TV CNN and NBC, maybe more on satellite).

As JJF said, you can mail me, too, if you want to discuss anything. And- if you visit JJF in Aarhus, Kiel is only a 3 hours drive away....

yours
Anne

ian
05-31-2001, 07:12 AM
I can't believe you think $3 a gallon is a lot. My maths might be wrong in the conversion (and I think U.S. gallons are different from UK gallons) but we pay 80 pence a litre over here. If there are 8 litres to a gallon (which I suspect) that is Ģ6.40 a gallon. Which probably works out at around $9 a gallon.

Also, the average European lives unsustainably to the extent that we would need three 'planet earths' to sustain our lifestyle. However in the U.S. it is at least 5 'planet earths'. The U.S. is by far the least sustainable country in the world per capita (per person).

I'd definately agree with the use of fuels derived from vegetable (or animal) products since they are CO2 neutral (i.e. they absorb as much CO2 in production as they give out in combustion). I know in S.America (Argentina?) they use ethanol as a fuel to power cars and that is derived from distilling brewed vegetable matter.

Ian

chrisinbrasil
05-31-2001, 03:50 PM
Hi,
One very interesting aspect of American culture is the lack thereof. Americans live in a self-centered economy which has, through financial power, become virtually unaccountable to the rest of the world. The U.S. of A doesnīt spend as much time learning or even observing other countries because frankly, it doesnīt need to, itīs at the top of the food chain (for now). Many Americans, for instance, still think of Brazil as Amazon Rainforest, indians, and piranas. Then you ask them about Africa and they picture skinny black Tuutsi tribesmen carrying long spears and running around grasslands hunting lions. Itīs incredibly tragic but true. Though the places and people I mentioned above do exist in those places, they are an ever decreasing minority. South Africa boasts one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with modern skyscrapers and state-of-the-art technology in selected industries. São Paulo, Brazil, is the fourth (I believe) largest city in the world. Americans donīt need to know much outside their backyards, so they just donīt learn it. For example, do you know what the U.S.īs major natural resources are? Doubtful... Do you know the names of all the mountain ranges in Europe? REALLY doubtful... Another pearl... Most people in the world speak AT LEAST 2 languages. Americans canīt even speak (or write) in their own. With the advent of the internet and other globalizing technology, these things have begun to change. They are changing, and exposing the world, and most Americans, to the fact that they canīt just sit back and learn nothing. They need to become part of the educated world. There are exceptions, but you and I both know that they are very few. These are just some cultural aspects, we havenīt even begun to talk about politics and business. You wouldnīt believe some of the things the American government does then tries to hide. The Americans donīt see most of it, or are fooled into thinking itīs for their own good. This could go on forever. You wanted an opinion... well thereīs mine. Sorry for the rant. By the way, you may think Iīm a nazi or anti-American terrorist or something, but Iīm not. Iīm American, Iīm just sympathetic to the realities of people in other countries... unlike most (North)Americans. :)

JCK
05-31-2001, 04:43 PM
Hello All,

I believe Mr. Wilson is quite correct in his description. A lot of people would see his response as a kind of "slam" against the United States; however, I was taught a long time ago that the truth hurts a large majority of the time and I do think that his general description is very accurate.
I would go a step further and say that the majority of Americans don't really care what happens in the rest of the world (as long as it doesn't effect them). I live in Ohio and many people that live here complain about the weather, the environment (no beaches, etc.), and don't really know what real suffering is all about.
Americans like to blame consequences on everyone and everything else without taking the responsibility for their actions. The media has created an "instant society" by glorifying the wrong things and I am really embarrassed by the "American arrogance" when speaking with people from all over the world. If anything, our society, has taught me what is important in life by glorifying the opposite of what I wish to seek. There is always an exception to every rule. Thank you for listening,
Jeremy King

Chocolateuke
05-31-2001, 11:11 PM
Thx for all the post keep it up!! I aggre about that most americans are pretty self sentered. my parents once took me to a city in mexico that was really really poor. I was pretty depresed then they told me that that is not even teh worst of it, so They try to make it so I am not so self sentered. But some times I forget :(
but hey anyhow here is and intresting question: What country do you think will become teh dominate country of the world after the US. some of my friends say nothing will replace the US I usally say look at rome and Egypt and Greece they were wonderful, and powerful countries and they fell so.. and we seem to already be on the down fall after 200 years ( more but it is easy for me to remember that year.) especialy after we elected bush! I didnt vote not old enough my dad said if bush wins the election ( which as we all know he did) it will show how stupid and easly influenced people are. well gotta go.

oh by the way I dont mean to offend any Germans out there but I have a question. I am learning bout WW2 and I was wondering what do you think about the war?? I say WW1 was lame on americans part because after all the countries were tired and ready to give american came in all fresh and just slapped Germany and Austria around like a kid. but I bet if america came to invade Germinay in both wars Germany would have won. but thx for all the time

ian
06-01-2001, 08:30 AM
Mmm, I'm not German but English, and there is nothing more anoying than American Films which depict the U.S. as this great power who won world war II for the rest of us. Even some of the more recent films (e.g. the one on decrypting the German's secret code) convert English successes into U.S. ones. I think that many aspects of American culture involve trying to make people feel good about themselves. Very positive, but often unreal and tends to establish this concept of you're either a winner or a looser. I think most people in the UK are the opposite and they don't stop moaning about how shit everything is and generally have more sympathy with people at the bottom of the pile and despise anyone who is succesful.

I'm not a historian but I would say the financial aid that the U.S. contributed during WWII was far more important than the actual fighting they did - Australian, Indian , British, French (and others) were fighting for a long time before the U.S. got involved (and that was only because they were upset with their cargo ships being sunk by Germany).

Ian

JCK
06-01-2001, 10:13 AM
As I said before, I think there are several things wrong with American society and one of my biggest problems is with the wasteful attitude of everyone. We live in a disposable society where it's okay to use something and when he or she is done with it - they throw it away. We have about 10% of the world's population but use about 75% of the food available. It reflects, in my eyes, the way the general public feels about other cultures and countries as well. Instead of blending and learning from other cultures Americans tend to dismiss everything else as "un-American" and therefore not useful. Most people forget that it's those same differences that made America in the first place.
At the same time I think it is very dangerous to become "multi-cultural" and to separate people by differences because you create racism, hatred, animosity, and a whole mess of other problems. It is a very fine line to be different, yet the same - it's called having an open mind. Believe it or not, my friends from all over the world, the main problem with America (this is my opinion) is not the government but corporate America. In a nutshell, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
Corporate America shells out the money to promote political candidates that have their interests only; and, when the candidates get into office they usually do what the corporate sponsors want them to do - which is keep the money flowing to a select few - and society (with the technology that was available 50 years ago: to clean up the environment, save a whole bunch of electricity, eliminate waste, etc.) as a whole does not advance like it should. Many people in America (and maybe all over the world) would be surprised to know about some of the technology that is available but because the patents have been bought out by corporate America, that technology is being suppressed and the rich continue to get richer. The Government (Laws and Procedures set in motion by the Founding Fathers) are designed to reflect the people that the nation elects. Unfortunately Corporate America knows this and continues to put candidates in office that help their causes - the Almighty Dollar. Our Government is only a reflection of corporate America.
It's only my opinion and it's coming from my own experience. I have a History Degree from a small college in Northeast Ohio here in the states and have had some experience with government work (specifically for the Treasury Department). I have been practicing martial arts for almost ten years and am looking forward to everyone's responses. I do love the United States but I am very saddened because the Founding Fathers envisioned something totally different for the country than what it is today. As I also said before - there is always an exception to every rule. Not all of us Americans are blinded by tunnel vision.

Sincerely,
Jeremy King

chrisinbrasil
06-01-2001, 01:01 PM
Well, now... thatīs a great, and difficult, question. There are many countries which could potentially head up the world, but I really donīt see it happening real soon. Despite the fact that the U.S. companies arenīt leaders in every field, the U.S. would have to suffer some MAJOR setbacks and make a chain of really bad foreign and domestic policy decisions to lose its grip on the worldīs windpipe.

JCK
06-01-2001, 01:31 PM
If anyone is going to topple the United States it will be the United States' own people that will do it. I think that more and more Americans want to be proud to call themselves Americans more than anything - and not to be embarrassed by it. I know that I am one of these people.

Jeremy King

Jim23
06-01-2001, 03:19 PM
Jeremy,

Which country do you admire and why?

Jim23

JCK
06-01-2001, 03:56 PM
Hello Jim,

I read a lot of your posts, opinions, and ideas for quite awhile now and I must say that you definitely get people thinking. Most of the topics that I read closely were usually dealing with Aikido as an effective M/A - a lot of interesting things to ponder, eh? I guess you could call me a "lurker" because I choose to read and listen more than to get involved in a discussion (the more that I think I know - the less I really know). I think that for me I can absorb more by observing than debating specific topics. I also think that there are many other "lurker's" reading and I chose to respond to this one (excellent post) because I think it's very interesting and very important at the same time.

Anyway, that's a hell of a good question. I've been sitting here at work thinking about it and it's definitely not easy. I believe that I admire time periods in history as well as specific people rather than generalize (which is very hard to do) and put groups into categories. The German word for it is zeitgeist (sp? - corporate America makes me stupid during the day) and it's roughly translated as, "the sign or spirit of the times" which means, as tough as it is, to try to find out what it was like during a specific time period - very difficult but, as a history major and historian, very interesting. A good example of this (I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talking about) would be the decision to drop the Atomic Bomb on Japan. There were so many factors involved (and you could debate them forever) but what a lot of people today fail to realize is that the "feeling" of the subject at the time was very different than it is today. I don't think people look at it that way today. I know that I've basically done everything except answer your question, and honestly, I don't think I can respond to what you or anyone else might be looking for. A hell of a good question - makes you think.

Warm regards,
Jeremy King

Jim23
06-01-2001, 04:26 PM
Hey Jeremy,

First of all, don't take me too seriously -- ever. I don't.

There is no perfect country or time -- never has been. Just ask ten people from any place at any point in time what they think of where they live, and I'm sure that you'll get as many different answers/opinions.

Compare a corporate exectuive to a teacher to a construction worker (to whatever) and look at their worlds and their views. Now try that with different countries, races, religions, etc.

One man's aikido is another's Taekwon-Do.

Enjoy what you like and try to change what you don't or life will be hell.

Jim23

JCK
06-01-2001, 04:29 PM
Jim,

Interesting response - I think you just summed up why I choose to read instead of post. Have a good weekend. The "lurkers" will be watching and reading. :)

Jeremy

Sid
06-01-2001, 04:45 PM
This one has ot be unique - I live in what is, most probably, one of the more interesting backwaters of the world - South Africa. Most eclectic mix of cultures you are going to find anywhere.

And a healthy mix of the martial arts(cept I could never find kyudo) :)

Sid

Jim23
06-01-2001, 05:03 PM
Originally posted by JCK
Jim,

Interesting response - I think you just summed up why I choose to read instead of post. Have a good weekend. The "lurkers" will be watching and reading. :)

Jeremy
Jeremy,

Post as often as you like. You make more sense than many others.

Just realize that what you say is just an opinion (like this is mine). If you understand that, you'll be ahead of many people.

Jim23

mj
06-01-2001, 05:31 PM
Wow!... Intelligence, wisdom, humility, prophecy and humour. I've died and gone someplace better! (America? hehe?)
As others have said, there is no perfect place or time.
Yes, the main problem with the US is corporate greed and corruption, but that isn't exactly original.
Yes the politics stink, again... not original.
I doubt any other countries today could do much better. With the possible exception of some Scandinavian ones, IMHO.
I suppose the real problem in the world today is people, and the awesome number of us, and how far we have gone from Nature. A good thing? Bad? Hell, I don't know, I'd argue with myself about it. Politicians, Media, Entertainment... they all distract us somehow. I'll be honest, I am very anti American, but I don't let that get in the way of the facts. Like someone already said, the internet helps us all talk to each other, makes a BIG difference.
As to the two World Wars, America stayed out until everyone else was bankrupt, then picked a side suitable to their own needs, and 'fixed' things to their own advantage. But who wouldn't? It would be nice if they could... see, I don't know. The Land of Opportunity seems to be the Land of Wasted Opportunity. But maybe in a small way, that is everybodies life, up to a point. America is to blame for a LOT in the world today, but I'm not sure anyone else would do a better job. Bring on the future, bring on the past. Just someone do something...
Oh, I know... :ai: :ki: :do: ... it's a start
Damn, now I'm depressed :confused:

Erik
06-01-2001, 05:35 PM
Originally posted by ian
I'm not a historian but I would say the financial aid that the U.S. contributed during WWII was far more important than the actual fighting they did - Australian, Indian , British, French (and others) were fighting for a long time before the U.S. got involved (and that was only because they were upset with their cargo ships being sunk by Germany).

Ian

I have to take exception here and also agree a bit as well. The political climate prior to WW2 was one of "that's Europe's War!" There were very strong feelings in the US as a holdover from WW1 and our involvement there. The average US citizen didn't want any part of "that European Conflict". Hence, it delayed our involvement in the way.

As to US economic involvement, well, that was absolutely critical. No one was bombing us and it allowed us to produce material at a rather amazing level relative to other countries.

As to whom was hit hardest in the war, it was very clearly the Soviet Union. For more information on casualties by nation see

http://www.stokesey.demon.co.uk/wwii/casualty.html.

Expect to be surprised by a name or 2 on this list. Sadly, no one will ever know how many of the Soviets who died were killed by their own countrymen. Stalin was easily on par with Hitler.

Now to the exception part. Many countries were involved in the war, often most of those are forgotten. However, the 3 main players in the end were England, the USSR and the USA. The USSR held it's own against Germany and possibly could have won WW2 without help from the West. As it was, they certainly didn't get much anyway. However, without US involvement, one wonders if the USSR bothers to stop at Germany? Maybe, they don't even get there without involvement from the USA. Maybe Germany fights them to a draw. Either way, it's a much different world.

As it was, Western Europe was largely freed because of involvement by the US. England does not invade Europe with the US, nor, to be frank does the US invade Europe without England as a base. It was very much a team effort in that regard but after D-Day, the vast majority of troops in the West were from the US.

I'd just like to add that you were right about the code stuff. I believe you are referring to U-571 and it irritated me as well.

Originally posted by mj
As to the two World Wars, America stayed out until everyone else was bankrupt, then picked a side suitable to their own needs, and 'fixed' things to their own advantage. But who wouldn't?

Sorry, that's just wrong.

Erik
06-01-2001, 05:46 PM
I wanted to put a slightly different slant on things. The main reason, at least in my eyes, as to why the USA is the way it is, is because we don't have any natural enemies. Our neighbors are either friendly or third world powers. Our nearest enemies have been a globe apart with a large body of water between. I think that has a lot to do with why we are so isolated in our viewpoints. Still, I doubt we really do any better with Canada or Mexico, so maybe that really isn't it either.

I won't go into our politics. They suck and our president is an idiot. Make that IDIOT! IDIOT! IDIOT! IDIOT!

mj
06-01-2001, 05:54 PM
Hi Erik, you were probably doing your last post when I was. (The big ones)
But it isn't wrong. Look at the timing of American entry into the wars. If it's right against wrong, do what you think is right, don't stand back and watch. But anyway, that wasn't you or me was it? War is an extension of politics, peace bro.
It was a long time ago. (Let's not get modern!) PEACE BRO!

Erik
06-01-2001, 06:09 PM
Originally posted by mj
Hi Erik, you were probably doing your last post when I was. (The big ones)
But it isn't wrong. Look at the timing of American entry into the wars. If it's right against wrong, do what you think is right, don't stand back and watch. But anyway, that wasn't you or me was it? War is an extension of politics, peace bro.
It was a long time ago. (Let's not get modern!) PEACE BRO!

Yea, we should like have a chat or something. Agreed, it's over with but history is a pet peeve of mine as it gets so badly mauled. Particularly here.

You are right though, we are better served finding solutions.

PS: You are wrong, at least in regards to WW2. ;)

Chris Li
06-01-2001, 06:48 PM
Originally posted by JCK
As I said before, I think there are several things wrong with American society and one of my biggest problems is with the wasteful attitude of everyone. We live in a disposable society where it's okay to use something and when he or she is done with it - they throw it away. We have about 10% of the world's population but use about 75% of the food available.

And how much of the world's food (and wealth) is generated in the United States? In fact, the per capita calorie consumption in the US is lower than countries like Greece and Ireland, and the percentage of food wasted per capita in the US is also lower then in those two countries. Additionally, per capita food wastage in the US pales when compared to that of many other nations - Japan for one has a per capita food wastage that is anywhere from two to three times the US figures, depending upon the study.


Corporate America shells out the money to promote political candidates that have their interests only;

Would you expect them to shell out money to politicians that don't have their interests in mind? It's a free country, and you are free (as they are) to support whatever political candidate that you choose, or to organize a group of people to support that candidate. Just as the group of stockholders who own a corporation do. It seems that your main complaint is that the corporations are better at doing this then you are, but is that really their fault?

Best,

Chris

Jim23
06-01-2001, 09:44 PM
Originally posted by Chris Li


And how much of the world's food (and wealth) is generated in the United States? In fact, the per capita calorie consumption in the US is lower than countries like Greece and Ireland, and the percentage of food wasted per capita in the US is also lower then in those two countries. Additionally, per capita food wastage in the US pales when compared to that of many other nations - Japan for one has a per capita food wastage that is anywhere from two to three times the US figures, depending upon the study.

Chris,

Don't be so hard on Jeremy for having an opinion, he's not completly wrong.

Do you have any facts to back up your statements?

Jim23

Chocolateuke
06-01-2001, 10:21 PM
Wow a diversaty of opoion and topics! All I really have to say about the second world war is I wonder if Hitler did ever have any nationalistic goals unlike our governments that talk and then act compleatly different. who knows I just dont want to get into a holocaust debate becaue i get it at school and I dont want people to get hurt. anyhow I have heard that americas strength is in its aggraculter ( farming ect), does anyone know this as a fact I just heard it at school but I like to streach things :) anyhow, Jim Q for you. what is your idea of a perfect society ( which there never has been one for over 12 thousand years)? anyone can answer this. this is exciting learning about other peoples form other cultures opion while usually I only hear the American opinion on things here. well thx

Chris Li
06-01-2001, 11:34 PM
Originally posted by Jim23

Chris,

Don't be so hard on Jeremy for having an opinion, he's not completly wrong.

Do you have any facts to back up your statements?

Jim23

According to the World Resources Institute, an ecological advocacy organization, average daily per capita calorie consumptions are:

Greece
3689

Ireland
3630

United States
3609

The Population Reference Bureau, a non-profit foundation researching population, estimates the percentage of food lost or wasted at around 40 percent in Greece and Ireland, and at around 25 to 30 percent in the United States (that figure is around 27% according to the USDA).

Waste in Japan varies according to the study, but most figures that I've seen are over 40% (for food products). The government is encouraging recycling, but there is no history of it in the culture, so most things just get thrown away. Packaging is extreme, by US standards, so much so that there are laws dictating what percentage of the product can consist of packaging (around 30%, if I recall correctly).

No problem with having an opinion, but it's just a little too easy to take pot shots at straw men with what are really a very complex set of issues. Yes there is substantial waste in the US, but that's a worldwide trend in developed countries, nothing that the US has a monopoly over.


Best,


Chris

Erik
06-01-2001, 11:54 PM
Originally posted by Chocolateuke
Wow a diversaty of opoion and topics! All I really have to say about the second world war is I wonder if Hitler did ever have any nationalistic goals unlike our governments that talk and then act compleatly different. who knows I just dont want to get into a holocaust debate becaue i get it at school and I dont want people to get hurt.

I'm not understanding your question. Hitler constantly lied about his intentions and he most definitely had nationalistic intentions. If you clarify, I can probably address your question.

Jim23
06-02-2001, 09:28 AM
Interesting stats Chris. I find them a little difficult to accept, however, I have no reason to doubt them or you.

Originally posted by Chris Li

Yes there is substantial waste in the US, but that's a worldwide trend in developed countries, nothing that the US has a monopoly over.

The US does have a monopoly in another area though: cultural colonization.

The one thing Americans understand better than anyone else on this planet is how to create desires for things no one needs or even has time to use. They make it almost impossible for folks to be satisfied with what they already have. America doesn't simply ignore other people’s cultures and traditions -- it makes the very concept of history obsolete.

I think people in different countries look up to American culture with a mixture of awe and anguish. The increasing ubiquity of the American brand in their lives makes them feel leery. America is both a role model and a warning, quite often it's the thing they want to emulate AND it’s the thing they want to avoid the most!

Which country is this person in? She works on an iMac, subscribes to America Online, watches CNN, uses a Visa card, buys Calvin Klein fragrances, wears Gap or Levi's jeans, Ralph Lauren T-shirts, Nike sneakers and thinks it's cool to meet friends for ice cream at the Häagen-Dazs café. These brands, which help define her self-image, are all American creations.

It's a new form of cultural colonization -- other cultures love American brands, but they distrust the tidings that come with them. It’s like a fatal attraction.

Solution: study aikido.

Jim23

Chocolateuke
06-02-2001, 10:49 AM
ok here is what i am asking if hitler had nationalistic goals. sure he lied but was he trying to make Germany better for Germans and not himself? I really dont know and have heard arguments saying he was and he was just being selfish. what do ya think?? he was trying to make a better country or a better place for hitler?? I just sometimes wonder...

mj
06-02-2001, 11:17 AM
Oh, it was definite he was only looking after himself, Chocolateuke. He furthered his career by stoking up hatred in his country against different people, then stoked up hatred by making Germans hate other countries and so on. (That, of course, is very basic!)

As to you wondering sometimes...
Quite right. Question everything, all the time. Believe what you SEE to be true, take anything else only as a possibility to be tested and tried. And once you've done that, question the things you have SEEN, just to be sure.

Good luck.

Erik
06-02-2001, 11:39 AM
Originally posted by Chocolateuke ok here is what i am asking if hitler had nationalistic goals.

No, if about it. The answer is yes.

sure he lied but was he trying to make Germany better for Germans and not himself? I really dont know and have heard arguments saying he was and he was just being selfish. what do ya think?? he was trying to make a better country or a better place for hitler?? I just sometimes wonder...

On some level I think both. There is no question in my mind that Hitler was after world power and domination. If you read the early history of the man I think this is pretty clear. He wanted a better place for Hitler and the methods didn't matter.

On the other hand, I also think that at least on some level, he really thought he was making the world a better place by conquering other countries, killing Jews and expanding his philosophy. In his insane world, those things did make the world better. Also, there were many health innovations (including an anti-smoking campaign amongst others), he pulled the German economy out of recession and made Germany a world power. So, on some level, he did make things better for Germans.

Also, it should be noted that many of the countries involved in WW2 were not exactly noble themselves and the idea of conquering (lack of a better word) other countries wasn't as anathema as it is today. The USSR split Poland with the Germans and the Balkans were none to pleased when Soviet tanks rolled through. England and France rolled over on Czechoslovakia in 1938 (talk about picking a winner). It shouldn't take 3 guesses to figure out why England was fighting in places like Africa and Asia. Same thing applies to France in Asia. Values were a tad different then.

So, back to your question. I think your answer is both. However, I don't think many would debate that the world is a much better place with one less Hitler in it.

PS: In regards to the Jews. History is filled with examples of less than noble treatment of that community. In no way is this meant as a defense of what went on in Germany, it's just to point out that few countries, if any, have a clean slate in their history.

Chris Li
06-02-2001, 05:05 PM
Originally posted by Jim23
The US does have a monopoly in another area though: cultural colonization.

The one thing Americans understand better than anyone else on this planet is how to create desires for things no one needs or even has time to use. They make it almost impossible for folks to be satisfied with what they already have. America doesn't simply ignore other people’s cultures and traditions -- it makes the very concept of history obsolete.

I think people in different countries look up to American culture with a mixture of awe and anguish. The increasing ubiquity of the American brand in their lives makes them feel leery. America is both a role model and a warning, quite often it's the thing they want to emulate AND it’s the thing they want to avoid the most!

Which country is this person in? She works on an iMac, subscribes to America Online, watches CNN, uses a Visa card, buys Calvin Klein fragrances, wears Gap or Levi's jeans, Ralph Lauren T-shirts, Nike sneakers and thinks it's cool to meet friends for ice cream at the Häagen-Dazs caf. These brands, which help define her self-image, are all American creations.

It's a new form of cultural colonization -- other cultures love American brands, but they distrust the tidings that come with them. It’s like a fatal attraction.

Solution: study aikido.

Jim23

Not new at all, just the price of success. It's happened before - how many people emulated the British empire, or Rome? Why do you think so much blatant imitation of Chinese culture became a part of Japanese culture?

Best,

Chris

Jim23
06-02-2001, 05:58 PM
Yeah, I thought about history also. The difference here is that these are corporate brands that have been heavily marketed worldwide (maybe there's no difference, just the times).

There has been a progression from trademarks to trustmarks to lovemarks. It's the emotional connection that lets US corporations go out and conquer the world!

Consumers own the brands (or so they think), they must have them. So, don't get in their way!

The US are the current masters at branding.

Jim23

JCK
06-02-2001, 07:11 PM
Hello People,
My old mentor once told me that the study of history is the search for patterns. He used to say that it's the patterns that are important - not the specific statistics.

Jim, I think you're on to something there when you talk of "branding" things of all kind. Could Aikido, or any other martial art for that matter, also be placed in that category?

Makes you wonder - of course, like Jim said before, it's only my opinion and everyone should feel free to agree or disagree. Please also understand that I am not preaching at anyone or would like anyone preaching at me. I know how I feel about history and how to study it. I know how I feel about my Aikido as well - but that is also a totally different topic too, eh? Or is it?

JCK

Jim23
06-03-2001, 06:39 PM
Originally posted by JCK
Hello People,
... when you talk of "branding" things of all kind. Could Aikido, or any other martial art for that matter, also be placed in that category?
JCK

Is Aikido a brand/can Aikido be branded? Everything can be branded. Even individuals are brands -- look at Kennedy or Gandi or Hitler (or yourself)! Movie stars are heavily branded also.

How about an individual named Morihei Ueshiba -- the masterbrand of aikido (there is also a system of family brands and subbrands here too).

To simplify, a brand is merely a promise. Well, actually: a promise, trust, transaction and fulfillment.

Don't confuse branding with marketing though. A rich brand is a gestalt made of multiple messages, associations and character traits. A brand is what results from marketing consistency: the customer comes to expect that the brand will continue to display the same characteristics, and this expectation creates a covenant between the brand and the customer.:o

Oh yes, Aikido is a strong brand. Question it harshly (it's effectiveness, etc.) and people get very upset -- objectivity often flies out the window (my son acts the same with his brands).

Aikidoka own their Aikido. Don't try to take it from them or even criticize it. I love my Aikido also, but aikidoka can't punch worth s**t. ;)

That's our lesson for today kids -- now go train!.

Jim23

mj
06-03-2001, 06:44 PM
:p
My wife will punch the s**t out of you with no MA training, Jim
(Aikidoka could punch, if only they stopped doing silly ones in practice...)

Jim23
06-03-2001, 06:55 PM
Originally posted by mj
:p
My wife will punch the s**t out of you with no MA training, Jim
(Aikidoka could punch, if only they stopped doing silly ones in practice...)
Ha Ha. I'm sure she could -- women always know where the *pressure points* are. No rolling pins allowed!!

I agree about the ones done in training.

Jim23

JCK
06-04-2001, 06:52 AM
My mentor also told me several years ago that opinion that is not based on fact is bullsh*t. What is fact? Finding the truth. How do you find the truth? Question and explore everything. He also said that you know you're on the right track when you stop listening to people and go do some research on your own to find the truth. He said that people can be guides - not teachers. Am I talking about History or Aikido or both? Time to go do some research of my own.

Jeremy

P.S. Hey Jim - here's one to put into your Zen quote book. "What did the Zen Master say to the hot-dog vendor?"........................"Make me one with everything." nuk nuk nuk

JCK

Anne
06-04-2001, 12:22 PM
- Dallas,
I don't know how far your studies are already, so here some surrounding informations.
Germany started WW1 because it wanted a pice of the colonial cake, too and had an emperor who didn't know anything about foreign politics and diplomacy. After Germany lost, the winning nations decided on the "Versailles treaty" without allowing Germany to take part in the negotiations. Germany was forced to sign. This treaty meant huge reparations to be payed (if this treaty would have been kept without changes, Germany would have paid the last installment about ten years ago). These included not only money. Many important industrial plants and much of the railway system were taken apart and transported mainly to the Soviet Union.
Germany wasn't only broke but had lost a big part of its industrial infrastructure.
Nevertheless, a young democracy developed, called the "Republic of Weimar". The problem was, that some parts of its constitution weren't thoroughly thought through and that there were many conservatives who believed that Germany didn't win WW1 because of German traitors who surrendered too early.
Much of the rebuilding of Germany was financed by a complicated credit system. Most of the money came from America via England and Switzerland.
Just when the Weimar Republic had gained some stability (it never had much...), the world economy crisis hit. First, it was an American problem but came to Europe when America demanded the repayment of its credits. The consequences were the same as in the US: many people were unemployed, whole families starved and the inflation rate was so high that those workers who still had a job were payed daily and had to carry their wages in wheelbarrows to the nearest shop where a loaf of bread costed a several billion marks. If they came too late, their money wouldn't buy even that.
In this time Hitler entered the political stage. He made his way up more or less in harmony with the constitution of the Weimar Republic, which, as I said before had some serious flaws regarding emergency cases like this economy crisis. Hitler used this emergency laws to seize power. He was backed by the old conservatives who distrusted democracy anyway.
Most of the German people didn't know about his ideas that time. Hitler wrote his book "Mein Kampf" in jail, so why read it. He won the people by simply fulfilling their basic needs: he gave them jobs and something to eat. That the jobs were in the armaments industry and building highways for troop transports, why bother if it saves your desperate family from starvation.
These people were just normal human beings...!
And like all human people, they were highly sensitive to mass phenomenons. Not only Hitler himself but also his minister of propaganda (!) Joseph Goebbels were able to captivate masses and conduct them like an orchestra. People listenend because Hitler had fulfilled his promises to end the economy crisis. So why not believe him, especially if he tells you that you are superior to other people and that your future is the leadership of the whole world. People were thankful and ready to follow.
What helped Hitler, too, was the fact that this times weren't the information age we're used to. Propaganda was easy because most people had to go to the cinema to watch a weekly news summary for information. Hitler enforced indoctrination by distributing a cheap radio so that everyone could hear his speaches. Especially children were easily captivated by youth organizations that promised adventure and many friends.
In this pre war time during the 1930's, Hitler could have been stopped by other nations. I don't think that his nationalistic ideas were unknown. The preparations for war were easily to be seen, too. E.g. the highways weren't build for a mobile nation like today but for tanks, reinforcement and supplies. But nobody seemed to believe that Hitler would go as far as a new war. And obviously Hitler was very good at deceiving other politicians, like the British foreign secretary Chamberlain who met Hitler and came back convinced that this man wanted nothing but peace.
Other nations like the Soviet Union saw the danger and made their own kind of preparations by signing a nonagression pact with Germany that included the splitting of Poland between both parties.
The outcome of WW2 was a much closer call than most people think. If Hitler hadn't been a crazy fanatic but an experienced military leader, the outcome might have been different. One of the things that broke the sweep of the German forces was that Hitler underestimated Russias potential. German soldiers had invaded a good part of western Russia when Hitler decided to split his armies. This proved to be fatal and was against any military battle strategy. He decided to go for glory and wanted to conquer three important cities, including Stalingrad, at the same time. Therefore he had to split his armies which meant to destroy a closed front line. The smaller German forces got stuck and had no equipment when the Russian winter came. Russian soldiers on the other side were used to the conditions and had better reinforcements and more supplies than Hitler had thought. This was Russias chance and the Red Army used it.
Now, Germany was on retreat on the eastern front and had to take supply from their western forces which weakend the armies that kept France... When England and America landed in France, Germany couldn't keep both fronts and was finally defeated when the Soviets took Berlin and Hitler, his wife Eva and the Goebbels family committed suicide.

I think that most Germans knew that Hitlers nationalistic policy included deportation and mass murder but chosed to ignore it as long as their own secluded little universe of a nice family, a home and a job was untouched which was fatal but perfectly normal human behavior that happens every day on various scales. It's strange how far people can go for this, even if it means to loose every other value and to live under a dangerously insane dictator who ruined the lives of millions of people.
And on the other hand- and far worse- are those who didn't only know every detail of Hitler's plans but had the power and influence to prevent him- and did nothing. The
saddest example are the churches where the majority did not only back Hitler but went at great lenght to prove that Jesus wasn't a Jew but member of the superior races, too.

This is just a "rather short" summary. If you want to know more details, you can mail me privately so that we don't block this forum.

yours,
Anne

mj
06-04-2001, 01:02 PM
Anne.... Wow!

JCK You've made me very sad :(
I want a Mentor too.

JCK
06-04-2001, 01:06 PM
Hey Mark,

Sorry about that, didn't mean to bring you down. Actually so do I - he passed away in the Spring of 1997. I lost quite a bit of experience that day.

Jeremy

mj
06-04-2001, 01:09 PM
JCK, I apologise, my reply was meant in humour. God, now I'm sad AND guilty, ****.

JCK
06-04-2001, 01:14 PM
Don't sweat it.:cool: He's probably laughing at me right now. Probably got a million ways to rip my opinions apart.

JCK

Jim23
06-04-2001, 02:14 PM
Originally posted by Anne

Not only Hitler himself but also his minister of propaganda (!) Joseph Goebbels were able to captivate masses and conduct them like an orchestra.


"All advertising, whether it lies in the field of business or politics, will carry success by continuity and regular uniformity of application."

A contemporary business leader or branding/identity expert didn't say this -- Adolf Hitler said it and practiced it. The problem was with his product.

Jim23

Erik
06-04-2001, 03:25 PM
Originally posted by Anne
Snipped!


Nicely done!

chrisinbrasil
06-05-2001, 04:07 PM
You know, itīs ironic that with all this chit-chatting about brands and marketing and dominating societies with media, the thread has moved through WWI, WWII, and Hitler. Yet another token of Hollywoodīs power on present day civilization. The Pearl Harbor wave has obviously taken over... if not for that movie, I really doubt this conversation wouldīve migrated toward war, of all things. Think about it. Its everywhere, everyone is talking about it.

In response to Chris Liīs post, I would have to argue that despite the "free country" status that the U.S. enjoys, what was most likely meant by whoever it was that posted it was that the rich U.S. Corporations support certain initiatives which will help them, without many checks. Obviously, they arenīt going to give money to people who are against them, but when they want things that are in their best interest and not in the poepleīs, then there is a huge problem. Generally, the people who are against them donīt have the money to invest to make the dice roll favorably for themselves. If the Corporations have the peopleīs best interest in mind, which is uncommon but happens, then there is no conflict. The problem most definately arises when the government is controlled by the Corporations which in turn increase their margins of profit or change society by (de)regulating things. Many times, it has been painstakingly obvious that the government officials are mere pawns in a much richer, corporate game. As examples I can cite the Prezīs recent idiocies. The world is laughing at him for trying to be Mr. Military for absolutely no good reason, and Americans are too, for his willingness and desire to favor oil companies as his big ENERGY PLAN! Heīs a clown to many (if not most) Americans, including the ones that voted for him. He could care less what people think, he got to power and wouldīve kept railroading people if Jeffords hadnīt gone independent. Enough said. I think itīs simplistic of someone to purposely not understand what is meant by "the corporations give money to the people who favor them". They do, and itīs usually wrong. I mean, cīmon... justify lobbying!!!
Cheers.

JCK
06-06-2001, 07:19 AM
Mr. Wilson,

It was I who said that about Corporate America being the biggest problem in the United States today. You are on the right track with what I was implying and you nailed the points that I was trying to make. I am a corporate executive (for now.... and at least in the loose sense of the word) and I have first hand accounts of how Corporate America is poisoning our society; that poison is slowly trickling into the world's major arteries and veins and what is sad is that people are led to believe that huge companies are good (and necessary) because they provide people with the means to make a living.

It's about what color you are in the world but it's not about black or white or this religion or that religion or this nationality or that nationality - it's about how green you are - by this I mean - how much money do you have. I also believe that you nailed the second biggest problem in the U.S. today - the media. These two problems are so intertwined it would be hard to distinguish between the two of them after a certain point. The media shows a lot of a favoritism and that was evident in the past election: Why wasn't Ralph Nader allowed to debate his points after he gained enough signatures to be on the ballot in every state? He had to purchase a ticket to this event and they still wouldn't let him discuss his points. It doesn't matter if your name is Gore or Bush because they're both players on the same team. Makes you wonder.

I understand what Mr. Li was getting at but unless you have a lot of money to start with, it's very difficult to bring in the people who are actually going to benefit society as a whole. Jim23 asked me what societies that I admire and I didn't really give him an answer. I would say that I admire societies that care about advancing "society as a whole" rather than put the emphasis on "keeping up with the Jones' " or "trying to get ahead". Get of ahead of what? That's what I would like to know. The technology that would greatly change society for the better (clean up pollution, reduce waste, etc.) has been available for fifty years or more. Mr. Wilson - another good post. Mr. Li - good rebuttal.

Jeremy King

Chris Li
06-06-2001, 06:02 PM
Originally posted by chrisinbrasil
In response to Chris Liīs post, I would have to argue that despite the "free country" status that the U.S. enjoys, what was most likely meant by whoever it was that posted it was that the rich U.S. Corporations support certain initiatives which will help them, without many checks. Obviously, they arenīt going to give money to people who are against them, but when they want things that are in their best interest and not in the poepleīs, then there is a huge problem. Generally, the people who are against them donīt have the money to invest to make the dice roll favorably for themselves. If the Corporations have the peopleīs best interest in mind, which is uncommon but happens, then there is no conflict. The problem most definately arises when the government is controlled by the Corporations which in turn increase their margins of profit or change society by (de)regulating things.

And who owns the corporations? The people own the corporations. There isn't a single major corporation in the US that isn't publicly traded. Anyone can buy their way in and that gives anyone the right to add their voice when corporate policy is made - convince enough shareholders and the corporation will do what you like, but you have to make a good case :-).

Best,

Chris

mj
06-07-2001, 12:44 PM
Owning a few hundred or thousand shares in a company with many billions, whatever you would like to think, is not a position of power. And to say that 'anyone' can buy their way in... well. Perhaps you should look more closely at your poverty, pollution, environmental, educational and health levels, before speaking for everyone in the country.
Also, although being 'free', the US government decides which countries you are allowed to travel to.
Most shareholders only listen to the money in their hands, just miniature versions of the business interests that put the money there.
However, there are positive sides, too. I just don't feel that they outweigh the damage done. Especially to us in other countries, who, to be honest, also deserve a vote in the US! (Oh dear...)
Peace.

chrisinbrasil
06-07-2001, 04:43 PM
Originally posted by Chris Li


And who owns the corporations? The people own the corporations. There isn't a single major corporation in the US that isn't publicly traded. Anyone can buy their way in and that gives anyone the right to add their voice when corporate policy is made - convince enough shareholders and the corporation will do what you like, but you have to make a good case :-).

Best,

Chris

Do you really believe that all you have to do is own some shares and you can start making decisions? Thatīs rich. Anyone owning enough shares to make any difference wouldnīt want to make the necessary changes. How exactly do you suggest contacting these "enough shareholders" you mentioned so that changes came about? By asking the corporation for a list of shareholders and start calling them from the phonebook? Also, If a person owns 49% of a company, he/she still isnīt majority and canīt make decisions without board approval. Frankly, your arguement didnīt make much sense to me this time around. cheers

Chris Li
06-07-2001, 06:38 PM
Originally posted by mj
Owning a few hundred or thousand shares in a company with many billions, whatever you would like to think, is not a position of power. And to say that 'anyone' can buy their way in... well. Perhaps you should look more closely at your poverty, pollution, environmental, educational and health levels, before speaking for everyone in the country.

And a single vote in a country of hundreds of millions isn't worth anything either? Hmm, so much for democracy. Also, a person with a billion shares is still a person, and is entitled to lobby for their opinions and intrests, are they not?

Are there problems with poverty, pollution, environmental, educational and health levels in the US? Sure there are, but compared worldwide the US doesn't come off badly at all - worst then some, probably (depending on the category), but a whole lot better then most. Name me a single country that doesn't have some domestic problems. Now name some countries that have a greater immigration demand than the US. Hmm...




Also, although being 'free', the US government decides which countries you are allowed to travel to.

There are a very few countries for which standard US Passports are not valid (usually war zones). You can still go there (it's not a crime), but the US government won't issue you a passport to do so. That's pretty much in line with most governments worldwide. Your point is?


Most shareholders only listen to the money in their hands, just miniature versions of the business interests that put the money there.

Just about everyone (shareholder or not) votes by their wallets, which makes sense - you want to vote for things that will improve your well being. What's wrong with that?

Best,

Chris

JJF
06-08-2001, 05:07 AM
I would like to add a few comments. First of all: Jeremy! I'm very happy to read your posts. Aparantly there are SOME people in the US that mannage to be sceptical towards the message of those who holds the power.

To those of you who keep using the argument that US might be bad but other countries are worse. That is no excuse. It's like saying "I know I killed a guy but this other guy killed 6, so I can hardly be blaimed". Clean up your own back yard before sitting back pointing your fingers with a smug expression on your face....

and finally Chris:
You wrote:
"Just about everyone (shareholder or not) votes by their wallets, which makes sense - you want to vote for things that will improve your well being. What's wrong with that?"
You seem to equal financial wealth with well being - which is very far from my ponit of view. In my opinion it doesn't make sense. I vote for my well being, but my idear of that concept is clean water, clean air, food that isn't genetically manipulated or sprayed with poision and a society that takes care of the indviduals instead of promoting the strong and well off while the poor is left behind. These things don't come free - we have one of the worlds highest tax-rates, and not everything is ideal - but as least some of us keep trying to improve. I regard that not as a choice but an obligation.

I'm probably going to get spammed big time for this. So be it. It's important to me.

Chris Li
06-08-2001, 08:06 AM
Originally posted by JJF
I would like to add a few comments. First of all: Jeremy! I'm very happy to read your posts. Aparantly there are SOME people in the US that mannage to be sceptical towards the message of those who holds the power.

To those of you who keep using the argument that US might be bad but other countries are worse. That is no excuse. It's like saying "I know I killed a guy but this other guy killed 6, so I can hardly be blaimed". Clean up your own back yard before sitting back pointing your fingers with a smug expression on your face....

My point was that EVERYBODY's back yard isn't in such great shape. The US back yard is worse then some, better then most. If it matters, the US was the one being pointed at, not the one doing the pointing here.




and finally Chris:
You wrote:
"Just about everyone (shareholder or not) votes by their wallets, which makes sense - you want to vote for things that will improve your well being. What's wrong with that?"
You seem to equal financial wealth with well being - which is very far from my ponit of view. In my opinion it doesn't make sense. I vote for my well being, but my idear of that concept is clean water, clean air, food that isn't genetically manipulated or sprayed with poision and a society that takes care of the indviduals instead of promoting the strong and well off while the poor is left behind. These things don't come free - we have one of the worlds highest tax-rates, and not everything is ideal - but as least some of us keep trying to improve. I regard that not as a choice but an obligation.

I'm probably going to get spammed big time for this. So be it. It's important to me.

People vote for the things that they want - I used the word "wallet", but you could substitute any of the above environmental concerns. If you get enough people to agree with you then those concerns will come to the front - if not then they won't, that's the freedom of the system. It's no use blaming it on the corporate boogyman, because the corporate boogyman is nothing other than ordinary people.

Best,

Chris

JCK
06-08-2001, 09:06 AM
Chris,

Just because the majority supports an idea doesn't make the idea right (The Holocaust comes to mind as an example). Money and the taste for power has a way of corrupting "ordinary people". My whole point to my post(s) is that American society could be a lot better than it is (you're right it is not all bad).

I love America and the way the Founding Fathers wanted it to be but the topic was started to educate each other on how all of our societies and cultures differ (the positive and the negative ways). Since this in an Aikido Website I'm looking at things from an Aikido point of view. One of the basic Aikido principles is loss of ego and letting go of material items, and I'm afraid, Corporate America does not support that idea.

Warm regards,
Jeremy

Jim23
06-08-2001, 11:09 AM
The problem with the US, is that it is a bit like that obnoxious kid in the schoolyard. You know the type. The one who knows everything, does everything right, lives in the best neighbourhood and likes to push others around ... blah, blah, blah.

When they get older, they work at the best company, have the best kids, the best lifestyle, etc. (that's before the heart attack or divorce).

Whenever I'm on vacation outside of the US, it's pretty easy to spot Americans. Usually by their weight, dress, volume and taste in food.

No wonder so many people have a problem with Americans.

Hmm ... I'm a little amazed that it's such a hot issue in this forum -- aikidoka are usually pretty reserved people (except when the US or guns are discussed).

Jim23

chrisinbrasil
06-08-2001, 11:16 AM
Originally posted by Chris Li


My point was that EVERYBODY's back yard isn't in such great shape. True
The US back yard is worse then some, better then most. Not True

People vote for the things that they want - I used the word "wallet", but you could substitute any of the above environmental concerns. If you get enough people to agree with you then those concerns will come to the front - if not then they won't, that's the freedom of the system. It's no use blaming it on the corporate boogyman, because the corporate boogyman is nothing other than ordinary people.

Best,

Chris

To me, you seem to be a bit biased and misinformed. Youīve oversimplified the matter I think.

mj
06-08-2001, 12:14 PM
Hehe, my backyard is the worst... I hate gardening.
Some other not so pretty ones are.. Nicaragua, Iraq,Iran, West Bank, Bosnia, Columbia, Scotland, Vietnam, Korea etc (ad nauseum). I'm not making a political point here (?)
I'm saying would you want to live beside someone who dumps all their crap in YOUR backyard all the time.
As ChrisinBrazil said, you are oversimplifying the arguments, and thus your responses. I think you are doing this to avoid what is being said. However, you are perfectly entitled to your opinion.
(Incidentally, the rest of the world objects to paying over the odds for petrol, just so you can have it cheap! :))
Peace.

Jim23
06-08-2001, 12:17 PM
Originally posted by Chris Li

People vote for the things that they want - I used the word "wallet", but you could substitute any of the above environmental concerns. If you get enough people to agree with you then those concerns will come to the front - if not then they won't, that's the freedom of the system. It's no use blaming it on the corporate boogyman, because the corporate boogyman is nothing other than ordinary people.

Shareholders invest in corporations to make money.

People are busy living their lives, earning a living, etc. Do you think that the average person is going to take on a major corporation and try to change its policy? Even senior executives know better. Senior executives and middle management (normal people away from work) are usually concerned about performance, promotions, etc. They want to improve company profits and increase company growth, or whatever they've been hired to do.

Real change comes from swaying public opinion! Not by casting a 0.00002% vote at a shareholders' meeting, where most shareholders are concerned with net earnings and dividends (or the typesize used in the financial statements).

Jim23

mj
06-08-2001, 01:02 PM
Wow... Jim that would be excellent!
Do you think she would really come over and do that for me? :p
I'll go and tell my wife right now... man she's gonna be really happy now...
Get off my back for a while, even...

Jim23
06-08-2001, 01:11 PM
I don't know what you're talking about.:confused: :D

Jim23

chrisinbrasil
06-08-2001, 02:28 PM
Have another beer Mark... :)

Erik
06-08-2001, 02:35 PM
First off, large corporations are not solely the province of the US. The names below are all in the top 25 of Fortune magazine's 1998 listing of the world's largest companies. It may have changed, and it should be noted that the top 4 are US companies (which I didn't list). There are 17 not based in the US.

Daimler/Chrysler
Mitsui
Mitsubishi
Toyota
Itochi
Royal Dutch/Shell Group
Sumitomo
Nippon Telegraph & Telephone
Marubeni
AXA
BP/Amoco
Volkswagon
Nippon Life Insurance
Siemens
Allianz
Hitachi
Matsushta
Nissho Iwai

Secondly, if you don't like the evil corporate entities then don't buy their products. Why do you buy their products? In general because they are cheaper or better than you can get locally. I will contend that it's much more the former than the latter. I would even say that it's almost always the former.

Who owns the companies? A lot are owned by you and I in the form of mutual funds, certainly in the case of the large US corporations. Why are companies so greedy about profit and stock price? Because yahoos like us pull our money from a poorly performing mutual fund which inspires the mutual fund to pull it's money from poorly performing companies which lowers their stock price. Ultimately, folks, this all comes back to us. If we don't like how a company is run, or a mutual fund is run, we should find alternatives and there are alternatives.

The world's population is voting and it's voting with their money.

Erik
06-08-2001, 02:44 PM
Originally posted by Jim23
Hmm ... I'm a little amazed that it's such a hot issue in this forum -- aikidoka are usually pretty reserved people (except when the US or guns are discussed).

I was thinking of starting a thread on history books, Japan and Nanking. Wonder how that would go over?

Jim23
06-08-2001, 03:02 PM
Erik,

How about one on the history of aikidoka running major corporations.

By the way, I have nothing against large corporations -- they're a fact of life. It's just that some people have odd views about them. They are simply lovey-dovey, believe our sincerity, money makers, that really care about everyone. Honest.

Jim23

Erik
06-08-2001, 03:19 PM
Originally posted by Jim23
How about one on the history of aikidoka running major corporations.

I can start that thread. The founder of NexTel (not sure of their world presence but they are a major corporation) is an aikidoist. I used to train with the guy, although his knees gave out. The last time I saw him was after his shodan test and he couldn't walk the next day. I think he's doing something in South America these days as he sold his stake in NexTel.

Stupid me, for not becoming his best friend.

Jim23
06-08-2001, 03:33 PM
I guess if he decided to merge with another company, that would be harmony! As opposed to a hostile takeover (karate), or it could be more of a game, like TaekwonDo.

I'm losing my touch. Geez ... must be Friday.

Jim23

aikilouis
06-08-2001, 05:00 PM
I am a bit surprised to see that this thread is leading to a debate over the merits of market economy. To my knowledge, the US did not invent it , are not its only representatives (the big business has gone global a long time ago), and have a much more complex image in other countries than the face of insolent wealth.
The American Way of Life as it is proposed to us also includes a set of values that has been prominent over the 20th century, but we can feel free to criticize it (from the outside, and from our own cultural point of views if we are not american) when some try, consciously or not, to make it a standard for the world.
It seems to me that because of its relative prosperity America tends to find itself beyond criticism : they have the best political institutions, laws, economic system, values, and culture. They accept to be questioned from the inside, because the system reforms itself, but not from the outside, otherwise they take the worst foreign examples to prove that outside is much worse than home (the Holocaust, the totalitarian regimes, the third world miseries).
Do not get me wrong : two thirds of my CDs are by american artists, and I have been waking up at 2 a.m to watch the Superbowl (49ers forever) for the last 12 years. But let's meet face to face, and you will see at once that I am no true blue American, and I do not intend to be.
But if I am a bit hard on the USA, like many French people, it is only because we care for the Americans. We know what we owe them (I still get the wet eye every time I see the "Marseillaise" sequence in "Casablanca"). We can recognize talent when we see it, and they have lots of it. They are a young nation (200 years old, France is 1000), and we sometimes envy their enthousiasm and spirit of initiative.

Louis R Joseph

mj
06-08-2001, 05:41 PM
Hi Aikilois
My own view isn't one of economies, political systems or anything like that. My own opinion, and it certainly isn't shared by a lot of people here, is that just now the US has to much influence. Especially since the end of the cold war. It's not good for evolution to have one all powerful being. Of course, any power/civilisation/entity etc if all-powerful can do good. It has just never historically been proven to be true. What we now call 'market economy' or 'globalisation' used to be called imperialisation, or maybe insinuation.
We just had an election in the UK and one party has total power... they had it last election and didn't impress people much after that. But then, neither did the party before them (!)
Balance... it's lacking just now.
Everyplace.

mj
06-08-2001, 05:42 PM
Sorry, I meant Aikilouis. Apologies.

Chocolateuke
06-10-2001, 11:23 PM
wow man!!!!! i thought I was dreaming when I saw 71 replies... anyhow my mom was looking at this when I was looking at it to :) she goes wow Dal you started a long thred! anyhow you can tecnecly buy a company by getting 51% of the shares of a company but not many people can do it. Thanks Anne for the edicational post on WW2 and WW1 in fact I have been learning it at school ( which is why I wanted to know other countries perspectives on that issue) If you know any good books on the two wars you could post them!! one thing my dad brought up that some people say that your name is like a coorporation. why? because when you are born in the US you birth certifercet says your name in all caps. on every government paper your name is in all caps so it is not your name ( it sounds like it) but really your coorperation. My dad says he has heard people say that your coorperation is taken away when you have a birth certifercet. so when you go to trial and the judge says will BINKY HEAD 3 stand up to be represented or what ever they are really saying your coorperation and not your name in wich the case is that you are not being on trial unless you want to reperesent your coorperation! ouch that is confusing :>) well it was a long road trip and he said that he does not believe it! I dont know if it is true or not but hey its something to talk about.

Anne
06-11-2001, 02:41 PM
Dear Dallas,
I'm not familiar with books about WW1/2 in English but maybe you would find this one interesting: "Children's Wartime Diaries-Secret Writings from the Holocaust and World War II" by Laurel Holliday, published by BCA. It's like the famous "Diary of Anne Frank" but with several shorter notes by children from age 10 to 18. I have a hardcover edition which was a bit expensive, maybe it's now available as paperback.

I think, that we all can be very thankful that WW2 was won by the "good guys". But there is one thing that really annoys me: that the war isn't over in people's minds. I'm 25 years old, my parents were both born 1945. This war was the war of my grandparents. But as long as hatred and predjudices are passed to younger generations in all involved countries, the war isn't over yet. What I mean is, that e. g. when in England European ("white") and asian youths hunt each other as happening just right now in Leeds, it's a minor article in the international section somewhere in the middle of the average German newspaper. If something like that happens in Germany, you can be sure to find it on the front page of certain British papers the headlines being something like "the huns rise again", "the Ugly German is back" or "a new Hitler on the street".
My old school has a partnership with an English school in Reigate near London and organizes regular school exchanges. The year after I had been to England (and I loved it!), two boys of my school were beaten up by a street gang just because they were speaking German.

I think it's more than fair that survivors of the holocaust are now payed a "recompensation" by the German government and the industries that used slaves and I think they should do it quickly before all the people left die. But I also think, that this war has to end in people's minds, too. The sooner the better. WW2 is not to be forgotten, of course, but there should finally be peace for all.

yours
Anne

Erik
06-11-2001, 02:51 PM
For more book than you probably want, I'd suggest:

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany
by William L. Shirer

It's roughly 1500 pages but it can be found in paperback for under $10.00. It goes over the whole thing in great detail.

Jim23
06-11-2001, 03:32 PM
Hi Anne,

History never forgets -- and not just WWll.

The deeper the wound, the longer the memory.

Jim23

Anne
06-11-2001, 03:52 PM
Dear Jim,

one more reason to work on the healing instead of ripping these wounds open over and over again.

yours
Anne

Jim23
06-11-2001, 04:08 PM
Hi Anne,

I agree. We shouldn't blame the innocent or add fuel to the fire. At the same time, we shouldn't forget the lessons taught by history (ie. slavery, holocaust, Cambodia, etc., etc.).

Let the healing begin.

Jim23

Chocolateuke
06-11-2001, 07:52 PM
ya anyone need any advil?? anyhow I agree but the media and our governments make so much off peopls suffering that they seem to have to throw it at us constantly. it is sad really because when I saw peral harbor the movie was good... but when I went to school people all the sudden said I hate Jappes. I went whoa there now they made it so the jappes didnt want to attack as much as we would want to be attacked. ah but my head hurts so... well have fun healing tonight i will pray for a brighter future

and remamber today is a great day to be you!

ian
06-13-2001, 05:44 AM
A good remedy for the anti-Japanese feeling might be for them to visit the Hiroshima memorial.

Ian

ian
06-13-2001, 05:48 AM
P.S. Often suffering in war is used to justify negative feelings i.e. persecuted people often become persecuters themselves.

Also, some of the worst attrocities are not recognised as such (e.g. the Jewish holocaust is nothing compared to the numbers killed during the communist revolution in the USSR (13 million died?)).

Ian

Chocolateuke
06-13-2001, 08:59 PM
accually here in america the government teaches that 20 million people died then just recently the counting people are saying 30 million people died in the USSR during Stalins rule. I dont care really when 2 people die from mureder or force starvation or overwork ( ie slavery) I say that is evil. NO I dont Want a debate over the numbers because it gets ugly after a while. well thx

Erik
06-13-2001, 09:31 PM
Originally posted by ian
Also, some of the worst attrocities are not recognised as such (e.g. the Jewish holocaust is nothing compared to the numbers killed during the communist revolution in the USSR (13 million died?)).

Ian

One of the reasons Hitler considered attacking the USSR is because Stalin purged the army. He figured it was weak. Pretty much if you were an officer in the late 1930's you didn't see the early 40's. That exaggerates, but not much. The worst enemy the army faced was its leader.

Stalin is easily #1 in the killer category.

JCK
06-14-2001, 08:32 AM
Does it really matter after a certain point? Sokaku Takeda Sensei, also suffering from paranoia, killed a number of people. What's the difference between Joseph Stalin and Takeda Sensei (as far as the killings are concerned)? What does everyone think?

Jeremy King

Anne
06-18-2001, 02:43 PM
I think that after a person has crossed that border of killing someone on purpose it makes no difference how many victims follow.

yours,
Anne

mj
06-18-2001, 03:06 PM
It may matter to the victims, though...

Jim23
06-18-2001, 03:44 PM
I agree with mj.

What's worse, to kill one or 3 million elephants?

Jim23

Anne
06-18-2001, 04:10 PM
Originally posted by Jim23
I agree with mj.

What's worse, to kill one or 3 million elephants?

Jim23

And I thought THAT point was clear enough. JCK was referring to the murderer's mind/attitude/psyche. At least that's how I understood his post.

yours,
Anne

JCK
06-18-2001, 04:26 PM
You are correct, Anne. I'm not saying that you are incorrect Jim. I was looking at Erik's statement that Stalin was #1 at killing people. I'm not so sure the two men were different when it came to taking lives (I'm not really taking the "self defense" argument into account). Stalin suffered from paranoia and so did Takeda Sensei.

My question was aimed more towards both men's actions. I don't think it's fair to say that one killer is worse than another just because his or her tally sheet is longer. It's like picking the lesser of two evils. Sort of like the politics in the United States. :) LOL! I guess that good can come out of anything.........Takeda Sensei was extremely influential on O'Sensei was he not? Kind of like, one cannot experience happiness unless he or she experiences sadness. More things to think about.

Jeremy King

Anne
06-26-2001, 03:32 PM
O.k, maybe we can find a more pleasant topic than war and murder.

One of my new found American relatives is just visiting Europe for two weeks and we still try to meet... . I found him and his family by looking for my surname on the internet and we found out that we are quite closely related...
I would like to know what you on the other side of the Atlantic ocean think about Europe. Have you been over here some time, are you interested in European history, would you try to find "old world" relatives and find out something about the roots of your family, etc.

yours,
Anne

chrisinbrasil
06-26-2001, 08:06 PM
There are few things I can think of that I would enjoy more than going to Europe, which is exactly where I might move to in December; Germany, to be more precise. I think that Europe is on to something with the European Union, but they should probably review their anti-trust policies. I am not sure that killing the GE-Honeywell merger was much more than paranoia and seizing an opportunity to exert policy power. Politics and business aside, Europe remains one of my dream destinations. I will rather enjoy living in Germany if everything does work out. Most European people I have met are courteous, well-educated, and open-minded. A nice bunch.
Any good Aikido schools in Germany? Nevermind, I'll check the Aikiweb directory, but would love some recommendations.

Anne
06-27-2001, 03:23 AM
The problem with the EU is that it's made up of several nations with different cultural heritage, language, history... We have nations over here in states smaller than the average American city and with much less people.And each nation wants to keep as many of their privileges and ways to do things as possible. Another point is that the time since WW2 is the longest period of peace ever in central Europe so there is still some centuries old prejudices to overcome.
And the EU lost and still looses lots of time and resources by arguing over things like the standard curve for cucumbers to have the same number in each standard EU box...!!
Right now many people don't know what to think of the Euro currency and its stability. Especially here in Germany many people fear to loose their money when they have to say goodbye to the DM.

Back to aikido...
There are many good dojos in Germany so it depends on where you will move to and which style you study. Do you know already where you are going to live?

yours,
Anne

JCK
06-27-2001, 09:59 AM
Hello again my friends,

I too have most of my roots in Germany and visiting Europe is one of my dreams as well. It's interesting to hear that W.W.II still is effecting people even though we are losing more Veterans everyday and the one's that are left are getting up there in age. I respect that generation very much for what they did and I wish more people in this day and age would realize the significance of that time period. We owe them probably more than we realize.

Jeremy King

P.S.
W.W.II had a huge impact on Aikido as well - maybe that is why it's been a big topic on this thread.

Anne
06-29-2001, 07:01 AM
Maybe we should have a seminar in Europe...

Anne

JJF
07-02-2001, 08:27 AM
Originally posted by chrisinbrasil There are few things I can think of that I would enjoy more than going to Europe, which is exactly where I might move to in December; Germany, to be more precise.... Europe remains one of my dream destinations.
I know a lot of people who concider USA or south america to be very lucrative places to live, so I guess the grass is allways greener on the other side of the fence... ;)
I will rather enjoy living in Germany if everything does work out. Most European people I have met are courteous, well-educated, and open-minded. A nice bunch.
Yep! that's us all-right. You got us right on the head. You left out our great humor though ;)
Any good Aikido schools in Germany? ... would love some recommendations. I've been to Kiel once at a seminar and I liked the people there very much. They are very nice (just like everybody else in Europe (see above)) and they have a nice relaxed yet dedicated approach to Aikido as far as I can tell. Another great thing about Kiel is, that it is only 3― hours from Aarhus in Denmark where the dojo I practice in is, so you can come visit us :)
Sorry If this got a little out of hand. I'm not really in my most serious state of mind right now....
Hope to see you if you go to Europe!

Anne
07-04-2001, 12:56 PM
Thank you very much, JJF :D !!

yours,
Anne

Levan
08-02-2001, 12:12 AM
Dear Dallas,
Nice to see your post and to know that americans have an interest to other nations. I won't write long, I'll just send you a greeting from my country, which is called Georgia (not US state). My country is in Caucasus and we, Georgians, have a long martial traditions, especially in wrestling. Our wrestling is called "Chidaoba". If you'll have any questions, feel free to apply.

greetings,

Levan

Mona
08-17-2001, 05:09 PM
Originally posted by Chocolateuke
I have notices that a lot of people are form other countries and I was wondering what there thoughs of life the universe and everything. I was also wondering what they thought about people in the US and stuff like that.
Now these are two very distinct questions. Since the first one would generate a lengthy essay about the meaning of life and so forth, let's forget about it. :-) Ask more specific questions, and I'm sure all of us 'foreigners' would love to provide you with detailed answers.
As to your second question...and please keep in mind that this is a personal opinion..
The things that come to mind when i think about the U.S. are the following:
fast-food, hollywood, racism, tanned californian roller-skaters, obese central U.S. inhabitants, violent sports, all kinds of crime, and, naturally, Bill Clinton.:D
I know many americans, and i can assure you, they are kind of ignorant; they know ziltch about history, geography, philosophy, or even music! Their sole and unique interest is their country. hm...but who can blame them? You people really are "on top of the food chain".
I like what your country was like before the XXth century. You had traditions, manners, culture and beautiful buildings.
If someone offered me the green card i would refuse it. I would much rather get a european passport.:cool:
Your media is judgemental and bias.
mmm..what else?
I think it's enough for now..i don't want to be kicked out for telling the *offensive* truth, and i don't want to make any enemies when i haven't even started discussing the only thing we all have in common: Aikido.

~ Mona

Kami
08-18-2001, 04:18 AM
Originally posted by chrisinbrasil
Any good Aikido schools in Germany? Nevermind, I'll check the Aikiweb directory, but would love some recommendations.

KAMI : Hello, Chris!
I don't know where you'll be in Germany but, if you can, look for Welf Quade Sensei's dojo :
http://www.shidokan-hh.de/
He's a very good teacher and friend and he trained in Japan with Yamaguchi Sensei. I'm sure you will like him very much. His Aikido is very combative and strong, just as you like it!:D
Best

Chocolateuke
09-12-2001, 11:20 PM
I know this thred is old and i know we all have been asked this question for the last 48 hours of our lives ( at least here in the states) and I definatly know that there are 2 other post with bout this topic. but sense my original question on this thred is what people in other countries think of America. I was wondering what does teh average person in other countries think bout the world trade center being attacked and the pentagon being hit to?
please speak true from your feelings not what you think we want to hear. cause i was just wondering how the average person round the world thinks. well thankes for your time!

Kami
09-13-2001, 12:44 PM
Originally posted by Chocolateuke
I was wondering what does teh average person in other countries think bout the world trade center being attacked and the pentagon being hit to?
please speak true from your feelings not what you think we want to hear. cause i was just wondering how the average person round the world thinks.

KAMI : "Speaking true from my feelings", I feel that the average person in every country felt sorrow and sympathy for all the innocent people that suffered in that attack.
Opinions about USA involvement in world politics and the possible motivation of the "terrorists" (sic) are quite another problem.
No innocent american deserved to die...
IMO

JJF
09-14-2001, 03:56 AM
I second Ubaldo's post. For my imidiate response see my post elsewhere. I believe (hope) that no one in their right mind could ever condole this attack on innocent civilians.

JCK
09-17-2001, 03:38 PM
It's been an interesting few days here in the United States. I personally knew a person (victim) that was on the flight that crashed in PA. Too many innocent people have already died......we don't need to lose anymore innocent people (and that includes the global community). I think that a lot of people here in America have the feeling that, whatever happens in the future, it probably won't be good.

My condolences to everyone that was or is involved.

Take care of yourselves my friends,

Jeremy

ranZ
09-30-2001, 05:44 AM
Personally i was shocked and horrified watching the WTC collapsed live on TV. A sense of common grief shared by most citizens of the world i believe. But some radical extremists in Indonesia are rooting for Osama. Some says let America eat the fruit of their crimes, etc.

I hate those fanatics and extremists, but in a way i can see what they're really saying. Only now does Americans realize what the real world is like. My country and a whole lot of other countries have suffered those beatings for many many years. Americans as individuals maybe should look outside of America, once in a while (and i don't mean on holidays).

There's this silly story, a foreigner asked a shopkeeper in an electronic shop in NY "Do you sell products from Japan?" shopkeep says "No, only US products." Foreigners continue asking "Do you sell SONY products?" "Ofcourse we do!" answers the shoopkeep.

stealth
10-01-2001, 01:59 AM
Originally posted by Erik
I won't go into our politics. They suck and our president is an idiot. Make that IDIOT! IDIOT! IDIOT! IDIOT!

I have to disagree with you. Though several people do see president Bush as an idiot, it is the opposite. He is a fascist with an intelligent political mind. This is what makes him so frightening.

barnaby
02-11-2006, 06:16 PM
Hello. I have been looking for information on Chidaoba for a long time now and would love to dialogue with you, perhaps off of this forum would be most appropriate. I'm a martial arts instructor with Georgian ancestry and became interested in Georgian wrestling recently. Please let me know if you'd be kind enough to chat. thanks, Barnaby

Taliesin
02-28-2006, 12:25 PM
Going back to the original post I would say US Citizens - are judged far more than citizens of any other country by their President - which is bad news for them at the moment but at least it's something they genuinely can fix.

Dirk Hanss
02-28-2006, 01:06 PM
I do not want to judge - of course I do, but not openly here.

I just try to find some aikido parallels.

Amerika currently seems to look like Sokaku Takeda. He had many enemies and he was very violent. Some sources say that he even killed many people. He did not feel guilty and I cannot state, he was.

But it needed Morihei Ueshiba, who recopgnised that the violence did even increase the number of enemies and thus life threats. So he developped a way to fight as effectively as Takeda's Daito Ryu but not destroying or killing opponents, even to see them rather as opponents than enemies and to understand and even protect them as far as possible.

Let us all hope that America is able to turn to an Ueshiba themselves, and does not to live a long life of fear of terror, while feeding the terror even more.

That does not mean that America is worse than an average country, nor that Sokaku Takeda felt more violent than an average man. Only both of them were able to make their anger and violence reality.

And no - not a single person suffered on 9/11 desereved it.

Peace to all


Dirk