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Old 05-29-2001, 10:44 PM   #1
Chocolateuke
Dojo: Muhu Dojo
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People in other countries

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!

Dallas Adolphsen
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Old 05-30-2001, 10:08 AM   #2
Anne
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Smile

Dear Dallas,
nice idea, what would you like to talk about first?

yours
Anne

"You have to do difficult things to grow." (Shoji Nishio Sensei)
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Old 05-30-2001, 01:49 PM   #3
ian
 
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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
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Old 05-30-2001, 10:44 PM   #4
Chocolateuke
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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??

Dallas Adolphsen
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Old 05-31-2001, 03:46 AM   #5
JJF
 
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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!

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 05-31-2001, 05:01 AM   #6
Anne
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Smile

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


Last edited by Anne : 05-31-2001 at 02:58 PM.

"You have to do difficult things to grow." (Shoji Nishio Sensei)
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Old 05-31-2001, 07:12 AM   #7
ian
 
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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
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Old 05-31-2001, 03:50 PM   #8
chrisinbrasil
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Cool US vs. The World

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.

At your service,
Christopher Wilson
Hito no tachiba wo kanga eru.
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Old 05-31-2001, 04:43 PM   #9
JCK
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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
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Old 05-31-2001, 11:11 PM   #10
Chocolateuke
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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

Dallas Adolphsen
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Old 06-01-2001, 08:30 AM   #11
ian
 
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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
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Old 06-01-2001, 10:13 AM   #12
JCK
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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
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Old 06-01-2001, 01:01 PM   #13
chrisinbrasil
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Question Who's next?

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.

At your service,
Christopher Wilson
Hito no tachiba wo kanga eru.
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Old 06-01-2001, 01:31 PM   #14
JCK
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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
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Old 06-01-2001, 03:19 PM   #15
Jim23
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Jeremy,

Which country do you admire and why?

Jim23

Remember, all generalizations are false
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Old 06-01-2001, 03:56 PM   #16
JCK
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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


Last edited by JCK : 06-01-2001 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 06-01-2001, 04:26 PM   #17
Jim23
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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

Remember, all generalizations are false
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Old 06-01-2001, 04:29 PM   #18
JCK
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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
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Old 06-01-2001, 04:45 PM   #19
Sid
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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
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Old 06-01-2001, 05:03 PM   #20
Jim23
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Quote:
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

Remember, all generalizations are false
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Old 06-01-2001, 05:31 PM   #21
mj
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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... ... it's a start
Damn, now I'm depressed

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Old 06-01-2001, 05:35 PM   #22
Erik
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Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Last edited by Erik : 06-01-2001 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 06-01-2001, 05:46 PM   #23
Erik
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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!

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Old 06-01-2001, 05:54 PM   #24
mj
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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!

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Old 06-01-2001, 06:09 PM   #25
Erik
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Quote:
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.
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