America vs Europe



  • <FONT size=1>

    I find interesting the differences between the American and European cultures, especially in regards to food and eating. I was in Europe not too long ago and was shocked at how people viewed the dining experience over there. Their portions were so small. Their drinks were small. Everything was smaller. And they didn't quite grasp the idea of an all-you-can-eat buffett. I received a lot of odd stares at a pizza shop because I was going back for my 4th, 5th, and 6th slices when most people were still nibbling on their first. Also, in some areas it is common to have a glass of wine with a meal. In the U.S. it's a glass of wine and then down the whole bottle. Another time I went to a European burger king and got their "large" coke, which equates to a super-small in the U.S. I wanted to ask for a refill but I felt so out of place doing so...so I never found out if Europe even allows them. The Europeans must view the American dining experience as "binge eating". They must think that every meal we have it has to be a feast. (Which in most cases is true.) Whilst in Europe I wanted to supersize everything. I wondered why everyone over there was so stingy with the food.

    Hey Katja, what do you think about this?

    </FONT>


  • I love eating. I've had meals where I have a glass of wine without
    downing the whole bottle (or anymore than just a glass for that
    matter). I'm a lover of fine liquers (not liquor, there is a
    difference) and I especially love food. I'm not fat in the least. I
    actually get off my ass and work that food off, unlike most Americans.



  • I have an America vs. Europe question. How many people in Europe are on high-speed internet versus dial-up? I ask that because you would be surprised how many people in the U.S. are still using 56K (and lower) connections to the internet.



  • I have a cable connection and everyone else whom I know have cable or ADSL too. The old modem connections seem to be history here.



  • US meals a feast? No, US meals are an obscene waste of food.

    And no, we don't do refills you greedy git.

    [pi]



  • < I find interesting the differences between the American and European
    cultures, especially in regards to food and eating.
    >



    First off, you're painting 20-odd cultures by the same brush, which is not fair in the slightest.

    The English are nothing like the French, and the Scotish are nothing
    like the Germans, people who live in Scotland are not English, just
    because Scotland & England are both part of the UK, infact, most
    Scotish people would beat you up for saying they're English. (On a
    side-note, I'm English, not British, and definately not European).



    < I was in Europe not
    too long ago and was shocked at how people viewed the dining experience
    over there. Their portions were so small. Their drinks were small.
    Everything was smaller.
    >



    Yes, you are right. Compared to America, most
    European countries have "small" portions. This is because most people
    who live in Europe are of smaller build, and wouldn't be able to eat
    what you consider a large meal.


    < [And] they didn't quite grasp the idea of an
    all-you-can-eat buffett. I received a lot of odd stares at a pizza shop
    because I was going back for my 4th, 5th, and 6th slices when most
    people were still nibbling on their first.
    >



    Not sure about on the "main land", but in the UK, we have many, many
    all-you-can-eat places, (at least where I live), and I wouldn't even
    notice (nor be counting) the number of times another person would be
    going to get more. Personally I keep returning until I am pleasantly
    full (then I go and get another plate full to get my money's worth [;)])



    Also, I know in places like France, and Portugal, meal times are taken
    very slowly, and enjoyed thuroughly, where as in the go-go culture of
    the US (and other countires/cities), meals must be consumed quickly,
    inorder to get on with the day (and resuraunteers shove you out the
    door when you're done)



    < Also, in some areas it is
    common to have a glass of wine with a meal. In the U.S. it's a glass of
    wine and then down the whole bottle.
    >



    I don't drink wine, so I can't comment on this.



    < Another time I went to a European
    burger king and got their "large" coke, which equates to a super-small
    in the U.S. I wanted to ask for a refill but I felt so out of place
    doing so...so I never found out if Europe even allows them.
    >



    My local Burger King has the drink machine on the public-side of the
    counter, so you can refill as often as you like, but generally if
    they're behind the counter, you're out of luck. There's not many places
    that do let you have free refills (although they are becoming more
    popular - mainly in American-style eataries (TGI's, Pizza Hut, ..) -
    which is great!



    < The
    Europeans must view the American dining experience as "binge eating".
    They must think that every meal we have it has to be a feast. (Which in
    most cases is true.) Whilst in Europe I wanted to supersize everything.
    I wondered why everyone over there was so stingy with the food.
    >


    Everyone I know who has been to America (including myself) thinks the
    American portions are large. But we expect that. Everything in America
    is bigger. The roads, the cars, the cities, the pollution levels
    ([;)]), so on the opposite side of things, everything on our side of
    the pond is much smaller. I wouldn't say we ae stingy with food, we
    serve what we can eat, you can obviously eat more. There's no point
    giving someone 20 chicken nuggets, when they can only manage 6, it'd
    just go to waste.



    Also, in the UK, most fast-food places are retracting their Super-Size
    menu options, as the government are trying to get us to eat more
    healthily, because they think we're getting too fat. I think that's a
    good move, as for only 50p more, you can digest and extra 500 calories!
    (or whatever) Not the smartest idea in the world. Also, they've stopped
    putting salt on the fries by default, another attempt to kerb dietary
    problems before they get too bad.



    Personally, I go to Pizza Hut and order a large stuffed crust pizza
    just for myself; or get two meals from KFC, just because I can. But
    that's me. (although saying that, my New Year resolution is to reduce
    my take-away intake from 2/3 a week to 2 a month - doing well so far,
    only had 2 in January).

    I dislike McDonalds because their food is sh*t, "real chicken" in
    nuggets that cost about 1p each to make - I think not, and their
    burgers are like cardboard. Yuck.



    Anyway I digress. Europe is different from America in many ways. But
    then England is different to Frace is different to Germany. We're all
    different, that's what makes us interesting [:)]





    And that's my 2-pence



  • wow, that post was a lot longer than I thought...



  • @CPound said:

    I have an America vs. Europe question. How many
    people in Europe are on high-speed internet versus dial-up? I ask that
    because you would be surprised how many people in the U.S. are still using 56K (and lower) connections to the internet.




    At the end of 2004 there were an estimated 6million users in the UK
    using broadband, that's 10% of the population. Although obviously each
    connection serves more than one person, (I would estimate an average of
    3 people per connection), so I would guess 30% of the population has
    access to broadband in their homes.



    In the US there were 32.5million broadband connections, which is 11% of
    the population, again, most connections will have more than one user,
    and thus I would guess 33% of the US have access to broadband.



    So, assuming my sources are correct. The US is slightly ahead of the
    UK. As for the rest of Europe, you can do your own research [:)]



  • <font size="1">@Vitani said:


    Also, in the UK, most fast-food places are retracting their Super-Size menu options, as the government are trying to get us to eat more healthily, because they think we're getting too fat.
    </font>

    <font size="1">So the government has decided to retract the menu options? That sounds like a repressive fascist (no freedom) regime. No offense.</font>

    <font size="1">I'm glad I live in the U.S.</font>

    <font size="1">Can you say secret police boys and girls?
    </font>



  • <font size="1">@Vitani said:


    Also, in the UK, most fast-food places are retracting their Super-Size menu options, as the government are trying to get us to eat more healthily, because they think we're getting too fat.
    </font>

    <font size="1">So the government has decided to retract the menu options? That sounds like a repressive fascist (no freedom) regime. No offense.</font>

    <font size="1">I'm glad I live in the U.S.</font>

    <font size="1">Can you say secret police boys and girls? [H]</font>



  • <FONT size=1>Stupid quoting tool. This is what I meant you to see...</FONT>

    <FONT size=1>So the government has decided to retract the menu options? That sounds like a repressive fascist (no freedom) regime. No offense.</FONT>

    <FONT size=1>I'm glad I live in the U.S.</FONT>

    <FONT size=1>Can you say secret police boys and girls? [H]</FONT>



  • Heh, I find this whole forum ammusing in how poor it is [:)]



    The government isn't forcing anyone to do anything (at least, so they
    tell us), it's just McDonalds retracted their Super-Size options at the
    same time the government was on about us all getting much fatter (and
    took the salt out of fries to coinside with an ad campain involving
    snails from the Health Dept. about too much salt being bad for you -
    I'd like to point out at this time that too much of anything is bad for you)



    I think they're just trying to do what's "best" for the consumer, as
    health is a hot topic in the UK atm, also it's publicity, and
    McDonalnds needs that, as their food is awful.



  • @Vitani said:

    Heh, I find this whole forum ammusing in how poor it is Smile

    I agree. It is quite "poor". Probably because most of the posts are made by ignorant Americans (of which I am one). I totally understand how other countries would get frustrated at the complete ignorance of the U.S. populace.



  • That easily accounts why USA is facing an obesity epidemic today.



  • <FONT style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #efefef">It's all about the [pi] in the U.S.</FONT>

    <FONT style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #efefef">So much so that it will make you [+o(].</FONT>



  • I never had trouble getting enough to eat in Europe, but the drink sizes were very stingy, especially juice, soda or water.  I also noticed that everybody drank bottled water -- never tap water -- a practice that has unfortunately made it to these shores in recent years.  I was told that the reason is they didn't have safe drinking water from a tap until fairly recently, and so were just in the habit of buying bottled water. 

    Remember the heat wave France had last year and all of the people who died?  I remember thinking - probably 'cause all they drink is wine, coffee and maybe a thimble full of water or so a day.  It's called DEHYDRATION, folks.  When it's hot, you sweat more and you have to drink plenty of fluids. 



  • There's a lot more to it than mere hydration. As a Canadian, I melt in
    heat that people in Texas, Arizona and Nevada would find pleasant. By
    the time the temperature hits 38C (as close to 100F as makes no never
    mind), I will become physically ill regardless of the amount of fluid I
    drink. By the same token, I wander around in shirtsleeves in weather
    that puts parkas on those same "dry heat" folks. That's called
    acclimatization. Drink all you want -- if your body is not equipped to
    deal with dumping excess heat, you will stroke out. If you are forced
    to spend any significant time (weeks) in temperatures that are ten
    degrees Celsius higher than anything you've faced before without the
    benefit of air conditioning, you will die. (By the way, the
    temperatures involved were at and above 40 degrees -- which is not only
    higher than body temperature, but higher than the commonly-accepted
    fatal fever temperature.)



  • Okay, I have an American vs Europe question.

    If you're an American, is it right to go to a European country, walk up to several "locals" and say "Give me some pound man! Whassup baby! You in the hiz-ouze!"

    (And while you were doing this, you would be trying to perform some sort of "rap handshake" with them.)

    Is it right to do that? Do you think they would appreciate this infusion of American culture?

    Katja? Thoughts on this?



  • Hey, CPound, try that in Amsterdam and they will pound your nose, steal
    your wallet, kick your nuts and put a small amount of pot on your
    unconsious body so the local police just thinks you're just one of the
    many American junks who came here to score.

    And if you're really unlucky, you might feel some pain in your ass because your mugger happened to really like you... [:O]



    Or let me put it differently... The best thing Americans do here is
    spending lots of money on drugs, hookers and in the local bars. We need
    them because they are the bread and water for all the criminal elements
    in town. European junks don't go to Amsterdam because they know they
    get mugged there. They go somewhere else to score.

    Americans just visit Amsterdam with a sign on their back saying "Rob
    me, I'm stupid."... Just shows Europeans are smarter than Americans.[;)]



  • Why is it that Europe has so many muggers? You would expect that of America, but Europe? You would think they were more civilized over there.



  • Muggers in Europe ARE more civilized. Most of them only take on
    foreigners. Especially those who think the Netherlands is a real drugs
    paradise seem to be welcome victims here...[:P]



  • That makes me wonder...why are there so many drugs in the Netherlands?



  • Simple. Too many foreigners who just want to buy it. [;)]

    Actually, the Netherlands doesn't have as much drugs as you think. Because certain kinds of drugs have been legalized here, they've lost their appeal to many of the youth here. Especially with local schools where kids are educated and learn all they need to know about drugs. It's not a taboo subject here. It's open for discussion and if you talk about it long enough, it just gets boring... [:^)]

    Many drug dealers here just get their biggest profits from foreigners...



  • @CPound said:

    Okay, I have an American vs Europe question.

    If you're an American, is it right to go to a European country, walk up to several "locals" and say "Give me some pound man! Whassup baby! You in the hiz-ouze!"

    (And while you were doing this, you would be trying to perform some sort of "rap handshake" with them.)

    Is it right to do that? Do you think they would appreciate this infusion of American culture?



    Is it even "right" to do that to poor innocent Americans either?


  • @aogilmor said:

    I never had trouble getting enough to eat in
    Europe, but the drink sizes were very stingy, especially juice, soda or
    water.  I also noticed that everybody drank bottled water -- never
    tap water -- a practice that has unfortunately made it to these shores
    in recent years.  I was told that the reason is they didn't have
    safe drinking water from a tap until fairly recently, and so were
    just in the habit of buying bottled water.



    Most people in the UK drink tap water, although the bottled water "culture" seems to have spread over here in the past few years (or at least, people filtering tap water), our tap water's been safe to drink for decades, I can't comment on the rest of Europe though


  • I also just drink tap water. They've even done a quality test here in
    the Netherlands, comparing several brands of bottled water and
    tapwater. They wanted to know which was cleanest. I believe tap water
    here made it to the top-5 of best types of water. [;)]



    One of the water companies also did a nice trick once. They decided to
    just sell the tapwater in bottles and people actually bought what they
    could get for free from their tap. Some even called it better than tap
    water, until they learned it was just tap water in bottles. And since
    the water company happens to be the one who delivers the tap water in
    the first place, there was no case of foul play here... [<:o)]



    The quality of Dutch tap water is of a very high quality and has been
    for quite a long time. However, drink tap water in spain or france and
    you will regret it. You'll probably end up half your vacation in the
    toilet.



    Btw. Dutch tap water comes partly from the big rivers here and part of
    it is groundwater, pumped up from great depths. The water is then
    thoroughly filtered and tested to see if it's really clean. Even our
    river water is pretty clean, yet not really drinkable because of the
    livving things that swim in it. Our chemical plants and factories are
    not allowed to dump their waste materials directly into the rivers.
    They have to filter it at least, or let it cool down if the water has
    been used to cool down some reactor or whatever. Even our sewer systems
    are filtering the waste before the water is dumped back in the rivers
    again.



  • @Vitani said:

     CPound wrote:

    Okay, I have an American vs Europe question.

    If you're an American, is it right to go to a European country, walk up to several "locals" and say "Give me some pound man! Whassup baby! You in the hiz-ouze!"

    (And while you were doing this, you would be trying to perform some sort of "rap handshake" with them.)

    Is it right to do that? Do you think they would appreciate this infusion of American culture?



    Is it even "right" to do that to poor innocent Americans either?


  • Damn can't edit my post above.



    What I wanted to say was that I still have to meet a "poor innocent
    American," at least not the ones in their teens til their 50s. [:P]



  • Scottish tap water is usually very good, although it's been a bit chloriney recently due to a cryptosporidium incident.



    The attitude of most of the people I go hillwalking & camping with
    re drinking from streams (mine as well) is "if you can't see a dead
    animal upstream, it's probably safe to drink". I don't think it's got
    me into trouble yet.



  • Am not sure about the water in the streams here but since they are far,
    far away from their original mountain springs, I assume there have been
    plenty of dead animals upriver. You don't want to drink water from our
    streams here in the Netherlands! Not unless it is properly filtered.

    Besides, during a biology class we once made a field trip and we
    examined the water of a local canal under a microscope. And I must say
    our water is very alive... [;)] If your stomach can handle it, you can
    probably live on water alone here, if you can swallow enormous
    quantities...



  • Hey Katja, do you know anybody in Amsterdam who uses expressions like "hiz-ouze!" and "Whassup!" like Americans do?

    Does the typical Netherlandese person try to "act" American?



  • If some Dutch guy acts like an american, he'll get robbed or they start selling him dope... [:P] Or some transvestite prostitute will offer his services to him... [:S]

    There are a few people in the Netherlands who seem to admire the American way of life but don't worry... We'll beat those crazy ideas out of them soon enough... [;)]

     

    To be honest, America isn't as popular here as it used to be, I think.



  • I'm actually really happy to hear that.

    I figured that sooner or later the whole "Americans-are-so-cool-let's-buy-their-jeans-and-movies-and-music" attitude [+o(] would take a rest.



  • Koffiee,

    The "freedom" comment...the US is extremely free compared to other countries. Saying that US businesses have slaves for employees is not accurate. Slaves do not have a choice. In the US you are free to quit a job at any time and find a new one. Are US businesses cruel? Depends on how you look at it. They exist for the purpose of making money at the lowest cost. I have heard people call US businesses fascist and things like that...but really it's just cut-throat capitalism. And I can't see why anyone would have a problem with that. Reason being, in the US you or I could be the CEO of that company making tons of $$$. You can be a rich or poor person here. It is up to you. And even if you fall on hard times, you can always get back up and become a millionaire. This is not a caste system. You are not shoved into some class where you need to remain for your entire life. This is not a marxist system. You are not rewarded according to your "means of production". As a matter of fact, you can do very little (and contribute very little to society) and still have millions of dollars thrown your way. You have to love that. And oh yeah, I love the fact that we don't have secret police breaking down our doors because we "published the wrong thing" or "opened our mouths when we shouldn't have". I think the US is the best country in the world. You are probably just jealous.



  • Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose....



    Oh, and you've gotten the Marxist "means of production" thing all
    wrong. Like it or not, Marx's DESCRIPTION of economic behaviour (not
    necessarily his PRESCRIPTION for change) is, was, and shall probably
    forever be, accurate. You may have heard it restated elsewhere as "The
    Golden Rule -- he who has the gold makes the rules". I'm continually
    amazed at the way so many Americans are taken in by any propaganda that
    uses the words "feedom" and "liberty". Freedom only belongs to people
    who have the power to exercise it, and no, not everybody who is in a
    bad labour situation can drop everything and move on -- unless they
    also grant their dependants "freedom".



    Oh -- there is more aggregious action these days by American "secret
    police" than in any other Western nation, thanks to the special powers
    granted by the Patriot Act, and I daresay the victims of the
    McCarthy/Cohn era might have a thing or two to say about freedom in
    America as well. Oh, that's right -- they were saying a thing or two
    about freedom in America when they were arrested.



    Try not to take any of this too personally. We know the kind of
    propaganda you are fed throughout your life, from childhood to the
    State Of The Union speeches. Just take a real, serious look around at
    the options that are available to real people in real situations, and
    try to keep in mind that equality is a legal fiction, not a daily
    reality. People can lift themselves out of the depths, but only those
    who have extraorinary abilities (whether that be talent or
    determination). There is a bit of a caste system -- do you really think
    that Paris Hilton would make it on her own?



  • @Stan Rogers said:

    Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose....

    Oh, and you've gotten the Marxist "means of production" thing all wrong. Like it or not, Marx's DESCRIPTION of economic behaviour (not necessarily his PRESCRIPTION for change) is, was, and shall probably forever be, accurate. You may have heard it restated elsewhere as "The Golden Rule -- he who has the gold makes the rules". I'm continually amazed at the way so many Americans are taken in by any propaganda that uses the words "feedom" and "liberty". Freedom only belongs to people who have the power to exercise it, and no, not everybody who is in a bad labour situation can drop everything and move on -- unless they also grant their dependants "freedom".

    "Bad labour situation"? See, that's part of the problem. Countries other than the US have this conception that work is equivalent to a "labour camp". When I think of "labour" I think of mindless drones pounding away, producing some product for their evil overseers. And all the while these drones are fearful for their very lives. This is not the case in the US. We do not go to "labour camps". We go to work, which is essentially a job, which can come and go at any moment. The concept of a job is fleeting. It is not a permanent government-decreed sort of thing. I'm glad I cleared that up.

    And regarding not being able to drop everything and move on because of dependents...that's simple. Discipline yourself and just save some money...and then drop everything and move on. It just takes discipline.

    @Stan Rogers said:

    Oh -- there is more aggregious action these days by American "secret police" than in any other Western nation, thanks to the special powers granted by the Patriot Act, and I daresay the victims of the McCarthy/Cohn era might have a thing or two to say about freedom in America as well. Oh, that's right -- they were saying a thing or two about freedom in America when they were arrested.

    Ok, here's the deal on "secret police". We do indeed have freedom of speech and writing in the US. You just can't be stupid about it. Why on earth would you press the envelope by saying/publishing anti-government slogans during a time of international crisis and terrorism? Like the Dixie Chicks for example. What the !@#$ were they thinking? That was just moronic. You can say/write what you want, but c'mon, be smart and loyal to the country you live in. If you don't like it you can always leave. No one is keeping you here.

    @Stan Rogers said:

    Try not to take any of this too personally. We know the kind of propaganda you are fed throughout your life, from childhood to the State Of The Union speeches. Just take a real, serious look around at the options that are available to real people in real situations, and try to keep in mind that equality is a legal fiction, not a daily reality. People can lift themselves out of the depths, but only those who have extraorinary abilities (whether that be talent or determination). There is a bit of a caste system -- do you really think that Paris Hilton would make it on her own?

    Propaganda? I would say just the opposite. Try complete lack of information and education. The American public school system is just about worthless, so why even bother with propaganda? The people will lull themselves into a stupor without education. So, nope, no propaganda here. Just sheer ignorance.

    Finally, the caste system. Paris Hilton just happened to be born into a wealthy family. That family could lose its fortune just like that. And then gain it back again. But then again, you don't have to be a Hilton. You could be a complete nobody with no background whatsoever and you could create an empire of your own. Discipline, determination, and a marketable idea is all you need.

    God bless America.



  • Actually, there is still a caste system -- there's a difference between
    old and new money, and it generally takes more than a generation to get
    into the "old money" camp. Paris Hilton is more than rich, she's Old
    Money (unlike her television tag-along, who is like so-o-o nouveau).



    "Bad labour situation" doesn't (necessarily) imply forced labour camps
    or anything of that nature. It can refer to things like working 25
    hours a week for the locally-mandated minimum wage at two separate jobs
    because 40 hours at one job would require that the employer pay
    benefits. Move on? Not so fast -- moving on requires something to move
    on to and adequate funding to bridge the gap between from and to. Lost
    jobs in Tennesse may be replaced by new jobs in California, but that
    doesn't mean that out-of-work Tennesseans can afford to pack up and
    move to California. Yes, there are a lot of success stories, but there
    are a lot more stories that don't feature success quite so prominently
    in the plot. Even the robber barons of times gone by realised that one
    had to throw the peasants a bone once in a while to keep them from
    revolting. The new breed of capitalist won't be with a company long
    enough to care whether or not it survives into the next year -- this
    quarter's bottom line is all that counts, and that hurts a lot of
    people in ways that the freedom to move on can't make up for.
    (Generalisation, yes, but no more than any you've made.)



    And yes, you are bombarded on a daily basis by propaganda. We get the
    same propaganda here thanks to media spillage across the borders.
    That's not just television and movies, but children's books, school
    texts, and so on. Okay, maybe your public education sucks, but it sucks
    with its hat off, it's hand over its heart and reciting the Pledge of
    Allegiance. Your history lessons may not always be completely accurate,
    but they are certainly patriotic.



    Which brings us to "America -- love it or leave it". Freedom of speech
    is supposed to be about dissent, not the legal right to use profanity
    on the air. It's about ideas. Somehow, that's been lost. All rational
    people realise that there are some things that go beyond the pale, such
    as inciting people to genocide, or signalling troop positions in
    wartime, but simply disagreeing with the current government's actions
    does not in any way qualify as "reasonably restricted speech". In point
    of fact, it is the DUTY of every loyal American to voice dissent --
    remaining quiet betrays the principles upon which the country was
    founded.



  • @Stan Rogers said:

    And yes, you are bombarded on a daily basis by propaganda. We get the same propaganda here thanks to media spillage across the borders. That's not just television and movies, but children's books, school texts, and so on. Okay, maybe your public education sucks, but it sucks with its hat off, it's hand over its heart and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Your history lessons may not always be completely accurate, but they are certainly patriotic.

    Just what sort of propaganda would that be exactly in tv, movies, children's books, school texts, etc.? I'd really like to know since most US high schoolers don't know who George Washington is...can't name another country besides Mexico...cannot even locate their own state on a map...etc. etc. What are we being brainwashed with exactly? Britney Spears? Reruns of Fear Factor? You mentioned the Pledge of Allegiance...I thought that was banned along with school prayer? I suppose what is actually taught (and retained) in schools is patriotic...whatever that may be, but then again isn't every other country in the world patriotic as well? I don't see that as a bad thing.

    @Stan Rogers said:

    Which brings us to "America -- love it or leave it". Freedom of speech is supposed to be about dissent, not the legal right to use profanity on the air. It's about ideas. Somehow, that's been lost. All rational people realise that there are some things that go beyond the pale, such as inciting people to genocide, or signalling troop positions in wartime, but simply disagreeing with the current government's actions does not in any way qualify as "reasonably restricted speech". In point of fact, it is the DUTY of every loyal American to voice dissent -- remaining quiet betrays the principles upon which the country was founded.

    Dissent? You mean disagree, right? And not try-to-form-your-own-republic-just-because-you're-different? In US history they called that the secession...the Confederacy. They were rebels which divided the nation in two. It was not one nation, but two separate nations. If the rebels had not been crushed then we would have a North US and a South US. Dissent can go too far. You are from Quebec, no? You should know all about living in a state which desires to be independent. But how would that work out exactly? You would have big ol' Canada and then the tiny independent state of Quebec. Ask yourself, to what purpose? Just so you can be "different"? Anybody with a cause and a following can declare their own republic...



  • The American labor force is relatively "free" and expensive at the same
    time... so what do American companies do? Export the capitalist
    exploitation to countries that need the money, or are willing to put
    their people under such exploitation.



    A lot of it goes to the Chinese who get paid about 1/10 the cost of a similarly skilled American laborer.



    So much for freedom.



  • One -- I am not a separatist, and you obviously don't understand the
    language, governance and religious issues that could persuade some of
    my fellow citizens to become separatists. The people of this part of
    what is now Canada were subjugated in much the same way as the
    Catholics of Ireland, and it's surprising that there hasn't been more
    violence over the years. Things have changed enormously since I was a
    child, but I can still understand the desire to be (as they say)
    "maître
    chez nous". I live in Quebec; I am not "from" Quebec (see, other people
    have mobility rights as well), but I remember a time when young people
    were told to "speak white". And yes, dissent may involve seccession
    when it seems necessary -- remember that whole 1776 deal?



    That still doesn't explain why apologising for your government's
    actions when they are not acting in a manner you approve of (which is
    all that Natalie Maines did) should be suppressible speech. The only
    real criticism she deserved for what she said was to be taken to task
    for the error about where Dubya is from (Connecticut, not Texas).



    Very little of what you've been saying has been anything but Jingoism
    -- the mindless repetition of the empty slogans that deceitful
    politicians have been feeding you for more than two hundred years. (You
    don't think that there was anything other than economics behind the
    Revolution, did you? John Hancock was trying to evade taxes, not
    proclaiming eternal philosophical truths.)



  • @Stan Rogers said:

    Very little of what you've been saying has been anything but Jingoism -- the mindless repetition of the empty slogans that deceitful politicians have been feeding you for more than two hundred years.

    And by the same token, much of what you have been saying has come across as sheer Socialism...almost Communistic if you ask me.

    Between your comments and the Belgian guy's comments...all I have to say is wow. Are you guys trying to start a revolution? Cause that stuff is so 20th century...



  • Ah, I get it -- everyone in a free society is allowed perfect freedom
    of religion, conscience, association and speech until they disagree
    with The American Way (whatever that may mean in the political vogue of
    the time), at which point they are declared Communist (or Fascist, if
    the current popular leaning is a little to the left) and silenced.
    That, my friend, is as far from freedom and liberty as you can get.
    That's really quite Orwellian.



  • @Stan Rogers said:

    That's really quite Orwellian.

    What is "orwellian" is a Communistic society, where big brother is always watching you...forcing you into re-education camps when you go astray...or the gulag.

    You don't have that in the US. The US is not Communist and hopefully never will be.

    Do you know why other countries bash the US so much? Why they hate it so? It's because they're jealous. They "experiment" with different types of societies...Communism, Socialism, Fascism, etc. and none of them work. And they wonder why. Is it because the US is a democracy? Nope. It's because the US is a democracy mixed with a whole bunch of Capitalism. Other countries absolutely hate that. Meanwhile, while steam is coming out of other countries' ears [:@], the US parties...and wines and dines [B][D]...and listens to Britney Spears and Eminem...and watches Fear Factor...and then (get this) exports it to other countries and they buy it [:P]...making the US wealthier...and more free to expand.

    Try capitalism in your country and see if it works. [*-)]



  • First off, CPound is by far my favorite person on this board.





    Second off... the U.S. is not a democracy. Everyone must understand
    that. Democracies do not work; much like socialist, communist, and
    fascist societies. The U.S. is a representative republic. You will lose
    the argument if you try to argue against it. The government here is
    cross between a democracy and a republic. That's the only kind of
    society that will maintain itself. Every world power is a
    representative republic (or slight variation of). Monarchies are
    failures (look at the Queen of England, King of Spain, every dicatator).



    The world has to face it. Capitalism and our brand of democracy are the
    only way to fly if you want to be more than a speck of a country that
    much of the modern world does not bat an eyelash at.



    Maybe parts of the world look on your society as improper and absurd,
    much like you look on the U.S.'s society. This is how we live because
    we can. We are a rich and prosperous nation. We like things big: cars,
    meals, dreams. And so what, what has come from our large appetites? Our
    big cars? Our big dreams? The best chef in the world, some of the most
    powerful cars, the micronization of computers. We've become a world
    power using the tools and foundations that our forefathers placed
    before us. I agree with CPound when he says that the rest of the world
    is jealous. Your societies force you to eat little and keep your ass in
    line. Germany alone is communistic when it comes to owning weapons. You
    can't be scared of what might happen in the future.



    (This next part is pretty much intended for Americans, but foreigners to the States can listen in)

    What if we had not helped stop Hitler or Kaiser Wilhelm? Or how about
    King George? Why would you deny another country the same freedom that
    we have experienced over the past 238 years? Saddam Hussein reigned in
    the same fashion that Hitler did. He needed to be brought down. The
    rest of the world just does not have the testical fortitude that is
    needed to actually make a change upon the face of the earth.



    We have liberated two countries of tyranny and oppression of what we
    once were. Elections have taken place in both Iraq and Afghanistan.



    So, I pose this question Katja and others: What would you do if you
    were suddenly forced to wear a veil and stay at home your entire life
    and be a slave? What if you were scared of your leader because he might
    have your entire family slaughtered in an instant? You would call upon
    the United States... again.



    Be harsh upon the United States if you want, but at least use some facts to back up things that are actually hurting somebody.



  • All I can say is that you have a VERY strangely skewed vision of the
    rest of the world, and of your own history. More than that, you have a
    very strange idea of what constitutes Communism. I believe the word you
    were looking for was actually "totalitarianism". Unless and until we
    can agree on the basic definition of the terms of argument, the
    argument is not worth persuing further.



  • @Jacob K said:

    First off, CPound is by far my favorite person on this board

    [:'(]

    @Jacob K said:

    Second off... the U.S. is not a democracy. Everyone must understand that. Democracies do not work; much like socialist, communist, and fascist societies. The U.S. is a representative republic. You will lose the argument if you try to argue against it. The government here is cross between a democracy and a republic. That's the only kind of society that will maintain itself. Every world power is a representative republic (or slight variation of). Monarchies are failures (look at the Queen of England, King of Spain, every dicatator).

    I thought that would just depend on which political power is in control at the moment, isn't it?

    Besides, a country where you can only choose between Democrats and Republicans doesn't sound much different than a country which has only one political power in control, that you can vote for. I know that on lower levels, the political choices are more diverse but nationwide, there only seem to be two sides to choose from. That doesn't give people much choice, does it?

    @Jacob K said:

    The world has to face it. Capitalism and our brand of democracy are the only way to fly if you want to be more than a speck of a country that much of the modern world does not bat an eyelash at.

    Basically, in a capitalistic country, those who have money rule those who don't. It's what allows Michael Jackson to abuse several young boys and still stay out of prison. It allows O.J. to kill his wife and her new lover without having to go to jail. And if you just happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time then you can end up on death row with several other innocent people. And yes, it has been proven already that several persons in the USA have been executed for crimes they've never committed...
    In a capitalistic country, the political powers just buy control over the country, instead of using force...

    @Jacob K said:

    We are a rich and prosperous nation. We like things big: cars, meals, dreams. And so what, what has come from our large appetites? Our big cars? Our big dreams? The best chef in the world, some of the most powerful cars, the micronization of computers.

    Actually, the USA just buys whatever it needs but doesn't really innovate a lot themselves. For example, the CD/DVD is still a non-USA invention. Designed by Europe and Japan together, to be more precise. Quite a few other things are also just bought from foreign countries, and the USA makes a big profit on this too. For example, the sales of weapons to rebels in certain areas in return for oil, gold and other natural resources. Or easier, putting children at work in many third-world countries making Nike's for very low wages. Now, if the USA was willing to pay decent prices to those people, those areas would have a lot more wealth too. But no, the preferred way is to offer as little as possible and keep those areas underdeveloped so they will have to accept any price they can get.

    Then again, Europe and Russia aren't much better at this either...

    @Jacob K said:

    We've become a world power using the tools and foundations that our forefathers placed before us.

    Are you sure? Without the support of the UK and the militairy support of lots of other countries, the USA would not be able to fight it's currents wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Actually, these are wars that still haven't been won.

    If you look at Iraq then the occupation of this country even made it possible for terrorists to go there. Al-Quada was kept out of the country by Saddam but now he's gone and suddenly it's a breeding place for Al-Quada terrorists. People used to fear Saddam and now they have to fear all those terrorists... If you ask me, nothing much changed.

    And about Iraqi oil... This country should be extremely rich with all they can earn by selling oil yet for some reason, the people still haven't noticed anything. They're still poor, they still have to fear for their lives and they still don't have lots of choices. 

    @Jacob K said:

    What if we had not helped stop Hitler or Kaiser Wilhelm?

    Well, if Hitler wasn't stopped, Germany would be in control over the Arab areas, large parts of Africa and parts of Russia. And they would speak German in the UK. And Japan would control Hawaii and a lot of other Asiatic areas, up to Australia perhaps. And Germany would be pointing nuclear missiles at the USA. And the first man in space would probably be German.

    Besides, if Hitler had not be fighting at two fronts, he might have had a big chance of winning it all too. But he attacked on the Russian front too soon...

    @Jacob K said:

    Saddam Hussein reigned in the same fashion that Hitler did. He needed to be brought down.

    True, but it would have helped more if he was brought down by his own people, without an invading army taking over control and thus making place for other terrorists groups to settle in this area.

    Don't forget, the USA doesn't have enough troops to control the whole area, especially since it's a huge area and the population knows quite well to survive in this area. Saddam had the contacts that would keep the area reasonably clean of opposition, but with him gone and those contacts disappearing, no one has any control over these areas.

    @Jacob K said:

    We have liberated two countries of tyranny and oppression of what we once were. Elections have taken place in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Yet Bin Laden is still not caught and people are killed by terrorists actions every day in Iraq. And things still don't seem to change in both areas. Even worse, it seems the Taleban is gaining power again in Afghanistan, but this time more Guerrila-style. Remember, these people in both countries are trained warriors with lots of battle experience. What they lack in technology, they make up in experience. And that makes them an even match to the average US soldier in many battles.

    @Jacob K said:

    So, I pose this question Katja and others: What would you do if you were suddenly forced to wear a veil and stay at home your entire life and be a slave? What if you were scared of your leader because he might have your entire family slaughtered in an instant? You would call upon the United States... again.

    Don't think so. More the other way around because don't forget, for these wars in Iraq and Afghanistan the USA asked for the help of the rest of the world, and especially their European countries. Those US soldiers aren's as good as you think. Remember, during the first Gulf War, most of those who died during the main ground attack had been killed by friendly fire. And in Afghanistan those same US soldiers had been shooting at quite a few wrong targets including a wedding ceremony and some Canadian troops...

    And now the USA is even considering to attack a third country: Iran... Well, it's no suprise that many countries are now considering to withdraw their troops from Iraq right now. Simply because it seems the USA just want to conquer new areas, not bring peace...



  • @CPound said:

    Hey Katja, do you know anybody in Amsterdam who uses expressions like "hiz-ouze!" and "Whassup!" like Americans do?

    Does the typical Netherlandese person try to "act" American?



    Not in Amsterdam. In the part where I live there are a lot of muslim people and there is a lot of hate against America on the streets. The funny thing is that a lot of teenagers who are muslim and talking hate about America do used these terms, and they all listen to american rap music and dress like these rappers...
    In Amsterdam there is a very special language used by kids, that is a mix of English, Surinam, French, Turkish and Arabic words.
    And it is a trend here to use words for a different meaning, like the dutch word for "cruel" is used to express something that is very nice...


  • @Stan Rogers said:

    All I can say is that you have a VERY strangely skewed vision of the rest of the world, and of your own history. More than that, you have a very strange idea of what constitutes Communism. I believe the word you were looking for was actually "totalitarianism". Unless and until we can agree on the basic definition of the terms of argument, the argument is not worth persuing further.

    Okay then. Here we go...

    According to Dictionary.com, the definition of Communism is:

    1. A theoretical economic system characterized by the collective ownership of property and by the organization of labor for the common advantage of all members.
    2. Communism
      1. A system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy and a single, often authoritarian party holds power, claiming to make progress toward a higher social order in which all goods are equally shared by the people.
      2. The Marxist-Leninist version of Communist doctrine that advocates the overthrow of capitalism by the revolution of the proletariat.

    Let's review, shall we?

    In definition #1, notice the term "theoretical". Hmm. To me that means "not grounded in reality" and/or "fantasy land". Continuing on..."collective ownership of property"...oh, that would go over real well in the US. Finally, "for the common advantage of all members". I see that worked really well for the Russians and the Chinese, huh? How many "members" were sent to gulags or re-education camps? Maybe that should read "select members".

    The second definition is great. It really brings it home.

    a. The "state plans and controls the economy". Do I even need to comment on that? And what's this about "a single, often authoritarian party holds power"? Think Stalin, think Mao. Think oh-you-had-better-do-and-say-as-you're-told...otherwise you're going straight to concentration camp! Wow. Next, "claiming to make progress toward a higher social order"...can you say, garbage? Basically it's let me make you a fantasy promise so you'll support my party, and then when I'm in power I'll purge you. (Yeah, there are always purges.) And the final line "all goods are equally shared by the people"..try that in the US.

    b. This is the fluffy-happy part to the definition. Where the working class rises up and overthrows Capitalism by eliminating (literally) the so-called "social elite" and whomever stands in their way. This usually results in the deaths of millions and then the subjugation of the remainder to a dark and dreary repressed future.

    So, any way you put it, Communism, Socialism, Facism...it's all crapism. The only "ism" I want is Capitalism. Mixed with democracy.

    You know what? I'm in the mood for a triple-deluxe cheeseburger with all the fixings and an extra-large coke...and I think I'll super-size it too. Just because I can. Just because I live in a country where the individual is truly king. America is so awesome. I can taste it.



  • Hehe, it's funny how most americans regard europe as a single country... last time I checked it wasn't. [:P]



  • Actually, we Euro's do make the same mistake about America. But
    basically, it's still just a collection of different states. We Euro's
    are slowly going in the same direction, with our European Community.
    Maybe we'll be the United States of Europe, one day.

    Let's see... Who still have to join? Well, the swiss, of course. Part
    of Turkey. Russia is already willing, apparantly. Several Eastern
    European countries have already joined. Now, if those British wouldn't
    be so stubborn then we're already close to becoming one nation...[;)]


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