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December 15, 2003

Why we hate America
Posted by Teresa at 03:07 PM *

We don’t, of course, but dweeblings from the far right keep saying we do. It’s a bizarre but persistent habit of theirs.

Why do they do this? Simple. On the one hand, they can believe that we have a malign, groundless, irrational, and hitherto unsuspected hatred of America. This serves to explain why we keep criticising the Bush administration, the conduct of the war, and other follies and misdeeds.

On the other hand, they can admit the possibility that we had and have some good reason to be saying these things, in which case they’ve been played for suckers. If this were a Chuck Jones cartoon, this realization would briefly make them transmogrify into asses, just to make the point clear.

They don’t like that thought. It’s in breach of the basic social contract of the freepi and dittoi, which states that they always get to think they’re the smart guys, no matter how stupid they suspect they’ve been. This leaves them needing to believe that all those critics and dissidents hate America—even the ones who are lifelong public servants, or have served or are currently serving in the U.S. military, or who find the idea that they hate their country a specimen of Totally Alien Thought.

Duh!

Comments on Why we hate America:
#1 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: December 15, 2003, 04:05 PM:

Do I hate America? Certainly not.

Have I been frequently embarassed recently to be an American? Certainly...

These are vitally different emotions...

#2 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 15, 2003, 04:25 PM:

What's more, all them America-hatin' librals want Saddam to go free even after what he did on 9/11.

And they're weak'ning the Earth's magnetic field.

#3 ::: Kim Wells ::: (view all by) ::: December 15, 2003, 06:10 PM:

OOH I totally hate getting into political discussions. Cause I have freaky can't pick a side opinions (I'm officially a libertarian, I think, and that just makes me WEIRD).

So I just hum quietly to myself and think of kittens. It might work when you get someone yelling "ditto" at you. Or whatever the folks on the left would yell. Either way. :) Just a little helpful advice from a political avoider and habitual enabler/pleaser type.

#4 ::: Carlos ::: (view all by) ::: December 15, 2003, 06:17 PM:

Psychological projection on their part, surely?

Based on their statements, I can easily believe that they have a "malign, groundless, irrational" hatred of America -- their embrace of tyranny, love of violence, and intolerance of dissent make it obvious.

C.

#5 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: December 15, 2003, 06:47 PM:

I see it [being an American] as coming from a sometimes loud and boisterous family--sometimes you love them, and sometimes you wish they'd all just shut up.

I disagree with my parents. I think they sometimes do things the Wrong Way. I think they have their habits that could be considered counter-productive, insular, or narrow-minded. I think they are a little too traditional at times. And I--like many a young whippersnapper--think that when I grow up, I'll do things differently.

Does this mean that I HATE my parents? Gods, no. I love my parents--similarly, I love my country. Sometimes it does things that infuriate me--even theoretically doing things in my name, though I never asked it to. Sometimes I think the country needs to be a little bit more proactive towards certain issues. I want to help my country be better. I want it to get along with other countries--which I also love in their own way.
*cough*Canada*cough* I want my country to be a part of the global community. I really want to be proud of my country (and sometimes I really am.)

My country has quirks. It has things like disappearing states, beautiful scenery, really awesome rock formations, interesting and tasty cities, small towns, writers, artists, athletes, people of every stripe, shade, and colour. There's a lot to love about this country--but if I see a flaw or two that could be fixed, it doesn't mean I love the whole any less.

#6 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 15, 2003, 07:37 PM:

I could not hate thee, Bush, so much
Loved I not America more.

The reason I hate BUSH is that he's destroying the country I love. Teresa, you'll know what I mean when I say he's like the vampire trying to bite my best friend: if he succeeds, there will be nothing left of the one I love so much, except the outward image; and that image will be inhabited by evil.

#7 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: December 15, 2003, 07:39 PM:

I think I disagree. If they're suckers, they first change into a big lollipop with the word "SUCKER" emblazoned on it. After that, they can briefly donkify in order to emphasize the point.

#8 ::: sennoma ::: (view all by) ::: December 15, 2003, 07:48 PM:

donkify

Don Quixote's lesser known cousin. Tilted at pinball machines, rode a horse called Uptheante.

#9 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: December 15, 2003, 08:21 PM:

Osama, Hey Sama, Sama, Sama, O-
sama, Osama, Hey Sama,
They've caught Saddam, Bush thinks that he's Von Damme,
Sama, Osama Hey, who's the threat?

Tell the public to be quiet
Bush treats public speech as riot
For public talk
Might hurt his stock
Tell the rabble who protest
That they are traitors, Bush knows best
They are a curse
They make things worse

Osama, Hey Sama, Sama, Sama, O-
sama, Osama, Hey Sama,
Bush sends jobs offshore, lay off millions more
Sama, Osama Hey, who's the threat?

Why waste goodwill starting foreign wars,
Terror will not end with these invasions,
If ev'ry Ba'athist died Al Qaeda still continues,
The poor and desperate there are more of ev'ry that day:

Osama, Hey Sama, Sama, Sama, O-
sama, Osama, Hey Sama,
Where's bin Laden's now, who cares, up's the Dow,
Sama, Osama Hey, who's the threat?

#10 ::: Alan Bostick ::: (view all by) ::: December 15, 2003, 11:26 PM:

Teresa, Kip: Those sound a lot more like Tex Avery than they do Chuck Jones.

#11 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: December 15, 2003, 11:36 PM:

Stefan, I don't think there is credible evidence that Saddam even KNEW Bin Ladan. I certainliy don't think Bin Ladan would ever want to support Hussein. or vice versa. They stood for so widely different things. And while Mr. Hussein probably thought the 9/11 attacks were a good thing, he certainly probably had absolutey nothing to do with them.

That's one of the things that aggravates me about this whole thing. Besides the general public being so flipping ignorant.

But this is probably the most political thing I'm going to be wllling to state. I figure the American people get what they vote for, because I certainly never get to (I've never voted for something/somebody that's won....except for Mrs. Carnahan....)

#12 ::: Paul Comeau ::: (view all by) ::: December 15, 2003, 11:40 PM:

In the words of Mr. Chesterton:

"'My country, right or wrong' is a thing no patriot would ever think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying 'My mother, drunk or sober.' "

#13 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 01:18 AM:

Your browser must have filtered out the [satire][/satire] tags around my post, Paula.

#14 ::: Yonmei ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 04:47 AM:

I get accused of hating America a fair bit. Once by someone who I actually thought was friend enough to ignore political differences - and when he accused me of it, I actually shut up and thought about it for a while, because it's easily to ignore rude idiots, but this guy wasn't being rude or an idiot: he honestly thought I hated America.

I've visited Baltimore, Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, New York. I have friends in all those places and more. I've met with kindness and warmth there from strangers. There are Americans I really like and admire whom I've never even met: Alison Bechdel, Joanna Russ, Ursula K. LeGuin, Octavia E. Butler, to name but a few.

I loathe, hate, and despise much US foreign policy over the past twenty years. I don't want to exaggerate, and twenty years is as long as I've been personally aware of US foreign policy. I hate Donald Rumsfeld with a passion that astonishes me - I usually reserve that kind of hatred for domestic politicians. But most of the things I hate about American foreign policy, most of my American friends hate too, most of the time.

So I concluded, and told Tom, no, I don't think I do hate America.

On the other hand... I am undoubtedly guilty of a turn of phrase that many Europeans are guilty of, the habit of muttering "bloody Americans" - and not meaning either the large number of Americans I like, or the small number of American politicians/religious maniacs I dislike. Just, um... the tourists. And this does not mean dislike, or even distaste: just a stereotype American tourist who can't seem to quite understand that this is not America, and we do things differently here, and that is not a bad thing.

#15 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 07:29 AM:

Two comments from the papers today:

Saddam getting his oral exam, caption: "Search for Bin Laden continues".

In the other, after the capture of Saddam, Bin Laden retains the Middle-East Hide-and-Seek title.

#16 ::: lightning ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 08:13 AM:

What I find disturbing from the "hate America" crowd is the sheer terror that they seem to live in. It's like their Innermost Essesces are tied to everything that God-Emperor Bush says and does. I haven't seen such terror since the Civil Rights days, when the whites-only crowd were convinced that blacks were getting legal permission to rape all white women, right now and all at once.

It's also interesting to note which side uses images of, and threats of, violence. I don't think I've seen any from the Left ....

#17 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 08:33 AM:

Dammit, Paula L., now I'm gonna have that stuck in my head all day.

Brilliantly done, though.

#18 ::: PZ Myers ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 09:40 AM:

There are lunatics on the far left, so I don't consider my side as one without potential for sin.

I think one difference is that leftists see violence as a shameful sign of failure, while some on the right see violence as vindication. The former is self-limiting negative feedback, the latter is self-amplifying and leads to escalation.

On the net, I definitely I haven't seen anything on the left that is as virulently nasty as the worst of the right-wing sites, and what I find most troubling is not that they exist (extremist loons will always be out there), but that they are tolerated and even supported by the more moderate right-wingers.

#19 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 10:38 AM:

I guess I don't see criticism of the government's foreign policy as a simply left-right deal--particularly since I happen to be neither. (I was born a Reagan Republican in the state of Utah--you don't get a choice really about what party you are raised to be in Utah. My mother and I had a vocal disagreement the first time she caught me voting for a Democrat. She would plunk down Republican propaganda on the table for me and my younger sister to read and explain to us who we should vote for. When we voted for somebody different, the howls could be heard around the neighbourhood.)

I know lots of people on both sides, and some of the lefties I know have some delusion that Bush is doing a great job, and have crossed the fence. And some of the righties I know feel otherwise and have crossed the fence in the other direction. Me--I think I'd prefer to vote by issue and not by party, so I try to find the candidate that gets most of my issues in one basket, and I vote for them. (Needless to say, the Republican party will NOT have my vote next election.)

Of course, extremism of any variety raises my hackles.

#20 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 10:57 AM:

Alan, I don't have a lot of time now -- just checking in while a big print job is running -- but the example that keeps coming to my mind is actually from a Bob Clampett cartoon with Bugs & Elmer, his last at WB, "The Big Snooze." Oh well. Time to go change the paper.

#21 ::: Jason ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 11:43 AM:

Yonmei - I am very much with you on the "bloody Americans" bit. Not that I mutter it myself, but... well, let's just say that I am rarely so embarassed and aggrivated by my countrymen as when I am travelling outside of the United States. At the moment, and for the past five days, I have been staying in Moscow and I have passed an excessively large number of the type of American tourist you describe and I have cringed with every one.

I stand out here as a foreigner, no doubt about that, but I've been mistaken for Canadian, British and Dutch solely on the grounds that I'm polite, that I make an effort to learn the customs and speak the language and that I don't loudly criticize the much-beloved native landmarks.

And as a person who deals, daily, with the ever increasing difficulty foreigners of every nationality have in receiving a visa to enter the United States, I am not going to comment on American foreign policy, lest I lose myself to some sort of hideous rant.

But therein lies the issue. I doubt any of us hate country. It's those particular stupid Americans that are causing us grief. The trouble is just that the far right are often the victims of our criticism and vitriol, and really, no one likes to be a victim.

#22 ::: Derryl Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 12:42 PM:

A certain Mr. Card has very strong opinions on this very matter. Who'da thunk he was a Democrat?

D

#23 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 01:07 PM:

Weighing in as someone who loves the country, but occasionally is dismayed by the countrymen....

In 1968 I was in Prague, a week before the tanks came in. I cringed when an American tourist rapped the knee of a cherub on a Large reliquary in St. Vitus Cathedral (an amazing Gothic building) and said "They sure knew how to build them in those days, didn't they?"

This is of a piece with some folks dealing with current foreign policy. A tiny bit of appreciation thinly veiling a complete incomprehension. It's not _wrong_, but the perspective is so ... parochial? And I'd like to think our diplomats should have a wider perspective.

Cheers,
Tom

#24 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 01:46 PM:

I suspect many of Bush's supporters LIKE "parochial." It's comfy and familiar and non-threatening.

Many of diplomats probably do have the wider perspective you're looking for. At least, the ones who have been serving for more than two years. Thus the neocons' venomous attitude toward the State Department.

#25 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 03:14 PM:

Yonmei -- as a New Yorker, the comment "goddam tourists" has passed my lips more than once. Goofballs standing AT the corner while they decide which way to go; standing on the left side of escalators, ignoring prevailing pedestrian traffic.

Some are from Europe (you can tell by the way they hold their faces even if they don't talk) but the bulk are from the US Midwest. Whole FAMILIES of them. Ewww.

#26 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 04:01 PM:

When I lived in Wisconsin, the newspaper had a Travel feature "boasting" about the high percentage of WI dwellers who never left the state. I think the point they were trying to make was that Wisconsin was such an astounding place that everything a person could want for travel was there. This is patently untrue, since once you've been to the House on the Rock, the ren faire and the Mars Cheese Castle (and possibly the Mustard Museum, which I missed) you've hit the highlights of the state as I see it.

(now I'm going to get flamed by Cheeseheads.)

I seem to remember reading that before he ran for President, our current Head Monkey had never left the country. If this is true (and I'm too lazy to check while I'm at work) it explains an awful lot about his worldview. Well, that and the Evangelical position that the UN is the "One World Government" referred to in Revelations that will herald the coming of the Anti-Christ.

#27 ::: Anne ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 04:01 PM:

Xopher, what's wrong with standing at the corner?

Signed,
a Texan who doesn't walk real much

#28 ::: Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 04:14 PM:

Anne, I think Xopher is referring to the fact that at a corner, on a sidewalk, you've blocking two streams of foot traffic where they cross. If you stop a ways back from the corner, you're only blocking one stream of foot traffic, so it's easier for people to get around you.

This is pure hypothesis on my part, since "nobody walks in LA".

#29 ::: Stephen ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 05:04 PM:

Oddly, for a really stupid guy, President Bush seems to win a lot.

Kinda makes you fools look stupid, doesn't it?

#30 ::: Mandy ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 05:08 PM:

My day is too exhausting to comment on the political, but I must say, nerdycellist, that I am a Midwestern gal and I do love the House on the Rock, the ren faire, and the Mars Cheese Castle. Good times.

#31 ::: Carlos ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 05:24 PM:

Nerdycellist wrote:

[on Wisconsin]

"(now I'm going to get flamed by Cheeseheads.)"

Yes, you are.

bcdfghjklmnpqrstvwxyz: rearrange at will.

C.

#32 ::: Kevin Andrew Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 05:53 PM:

Tom,

This seems to be a meme that reoccurs regularly in reality. A friend of mine told me about being in the middle of a French cathedral when a Texan near him looked up at the vault and remarked, "Boy, they sure knew how to pour cee-ment in those days."

Then again, I think everyone has occasion to be apalled and embarrassed by their fellow citizens. It's just that when you're in a foreign country, it becomes that much more apparent, and you feel the need to put on the "We're not with STUPID --->" T-shirts (cf. The Dixie Chicks speaking as Americans and Texans).

#33 ::: Kevin Andrew Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 06:11 PM:

Oddly, for a really stupid guy, President Bush seems to win a lot.

Yes, it's amazing what nepotism will do for you, isn't it?

It also helps if you try changing the rules of the game after you've started playing. Usually, that's called cheating, but if you're just concerned with winning, what do you care?

If you're concerned about winning, it also helps to go for something other than a fair fight, like: "I bet my rottweiler can eat your rabid chihuahua."

Kinda makes you fools look stupid, doesn't it?

I'm curious as to your definition of "fool" and "stupid." It probably doesn't match mine.

#34 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 06:16 PM:

Carlos,

Your cogent argument extolling the virtues of both Beer and "The Pack" has been duly noted, but I am still of the opinion that the best thing about Wisconsin is its relative proximity to Chicago. (although come to think of it, I could use a nice Leinenkugel BerryWeis right about now.)

I have lived all over this country; Oregon, Montana, Utah, Illinois, New York, Wisconsin, and California. I have visited many other states, and am looking forward to visting many others. I vote. I love this country. But sometimes I think that my own financial insolvency and the lack of readily availble ingredients for chocolate chip cookies are the only things tying me down.

Oh, and the last time I was in the UK, I was delighted to find the German tourists much more embarrassing than the Americans.

#35 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 06:21 PM:

Anne, Jeremy got it right. Except that most places in NYC you can actually be completely out of the pedstream. People in most other places don't have to think too often about blocking pedestrian traffic; most of the bad tourist behavior comes of just not realizing how crowded it is here.

Oh, I thought of another one: going upstairs (or upescalator) with your long stick umbrella tucked under your arm. Rude because it physically endangers people behind you (who will be pushed forward by the people behind them).

Kevin, while I agree with you, DNFTT.

#36 ::: Simon ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 07:03 PM:

Xopher wrote "The reason I hate BUSH is that he's destroying the country I love" and got it in one. Bush does not equal America. To hate Bush is not to hate America. To love Bush is to hate America, because Bush hates what America stands for, or used to.

Texan Anne's not understanding what's wrong with standing at the corner in NYC is a good example of how far lack of comprehension can go. In a quiet town this won't get in anybody's way. But one doesn't need much experience with NYC - I don't have much experience with NYC - to know what levels of pedestrian havoc that could cause.

For my own example of lack of comprehension: Tom Whitmore, what exactly was the tourist in Prague failing to comprehend? That the glory of the old cathedral is more than the quality of its construction? (It seems to me that whether s/he was failing to appreciate that depends on how you read the comment.) Or was it a failure to appreciate that the tanks were about to roll (a fact easily predictable), and that this was no time to stand around gawking at cathedrals? Or something else?

Nerdycellist wrote of "'boasting' about the high percentage of WI dwellers who never left the state." Most of the people I know in WI leave the state for several months each winter to hide out in FL. Of course, they can afford it.

#37 ::: Tom Becker ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 09:42 PM:

The right wing live in another country that also happens to be called America.

#38 ::: monkey_boy_george ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 09:58 PM:

An off topic comment, re a Particles link:
http://nielsenhayden.com/lighter/archives/2003_12.html#004186

in regards to the "amazingly lame" (i agree!) nader page.

1) nader doesn't have a campaign, according to the page it is an exploratory committee, therefore;

2) he can't have a page like those that the candidates have, he can't compete with him -- he would become a candidate then. to do certain interactive things, or to run a basic blog, to assert positions -- is all against the rules set by the FEC for an exploratory committee.

3) if nader -- whatever you or i think of him running -- if he were to run, it's not late in the campaign season for him, an independent (he's not a registered green, and its not late given how late the green convention is anyway) yet either.

it is a dry page. it has to be pretty much, given the law.

and then there is the debate about nader in general. of course, dean is no progressive and kucinich, braun and *cough* sharpton aren't going to be the DNC darlings. but the perception (not backed by ANY of the numbers) that nader is a 'spoiler' probably makes him not a valid candidate... he's done shit to disspell that rumor. too bad, 'cause he's a "progressive" who is all about efficiency and good government -- not big government. a fuckin' dead-on civil libertarian in many ways.

i would expect nader followers -- if he has any this time around -- to adopt an open platform for blogging and article posting and hopefully some open community building, and make quite a site (if a little overwhelming in terms of pure text -- rhetoric and data)

it's worth criticism, and yeah -- it IS lame -- but now there is some context.

#39 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 10:52 PM:

Kevin, you're feeding a troll when you respond to "Stephen".

Actually, I think "Stephen" may be using a macro to post his comments. I've seen virtually word-for-word phraseology used in other right-wing posts, under other IDs, on other boards.

(Hey, rig up a pull-down menu with ten or twelve all-purpose troll-posts, and you can go trolling farther, faster and with more hits.)

#40 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2003, 10:57 PM:

I knew a woman in Sussex County, New Jersey who was 60+ years old and had never left the COUNTY she was born in. Or, I knew OF her; my girlfriend at the time knew her.

I said: "Sheesh, take the woman to Morristown and buy her lunch at the Greenhouse or something."

Feetnote: Morristown was the county seat of Morris County, the next county over. Driving time from this woman's home: 40 minutes. The Greenhouse was a popular lunch spot in Morristown.

I mean, it's not like we lived in the middle of Montana or something. If this woman had gotten in her car and started driving at noon, by 1:30 she could be throwing her car-keys to a parking attendant in mid-town Manhattan.

And now that I think of it, I once talked to a guy who hadn't left Manhattan Island in 13 years. That's parochial too -- only if you live in Manhattan, you don't think that way.

#41 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2003, 12:13 AM:

From my home, you can make it to Yosemite in just over two hours, San Francisco in three, and Monterey in three and a bit (with Big Sur less than an hour beyond that).

And I know people who were born here, have spent their entire lives here (50+ years), have never visited any of these areas, and have no plan to. But they have been to Disneyland . . .

If this is tourist season, why can't I shoot some? is still a favorite T-shirt around here -- just don't let the Chamber of Commerce catch you in it.

#42 ::: Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2003, 01:33 AM:

Bruce, the obvious clue that "Stphn" is posting canned comments is that no one else in this discussion has made any mention of Bush's intellectual capacity, either to praise it or mock it.

#43 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2003, 01:52 AM:

Simon --

What offended me then, at the age of 15 (and still offends me now, though I have more comprehension): here this fellow is, in (at a total guess from many years out) in his 40s or older, looking at a reliquary that's many more times older than him than I am, and he feels no respect (see, tap the cherub on the knee with a knuckle) for it other than to kick the tires? In a setting that makes Grand Central Station (a noble building, IMO) look just a little cheesy? If he'd just said it, fine. If he'd said it with a slightly awed touch, also fine. But with a tactile dismissal -- no. No reverence.

Even then I wasn't a Christian. Even then I knew that reverence for the past's splendors was appropriate (and now, knowing more of the costs and the pain involved, I have reverence of a different sort which still does not include hitting a piece of artwork that can probably be damaged by me hitting it).

It was clear to me at that time that he was trying to bring it down to his level. I could be wrong -- it was clear to me then. And even then, I knew that was wrong.

I've seen many people do the same kind of levelling since. It still feels wrong.

#44 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2003, 02:15 AM:

Tom Whitmore - To be honest with you, I didn't get any disrespect from your description of what the man said. They DID know how to build 'em in those days. But of course I wasn't there, and I didn't pick up on tone of voice or body language.

My wife and I have traveled quite a bit in Britain, and we've found our fellow American tourists to be quite well-behaved.

#45 ::: chris ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2003, 03:38 AM:

Ugly American to Hotel desk clerk in Portugal, 1998, on being quoted a room rate in Escudos:

"What's that in REAL money?"

(Squirm)

Desk clerk, without missing a beat, offers immediate conversions in Euros (at that date a business currency only), Sterling and Swiss Francs...

#46 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2003, 07:03 AM:

I was in the comments on a RW blog the other day, and they were writing about how desperately disappointed The Left were that Saddam wasn't out somewhere plotting the destruction of the United States (because we're clearly the ones most comfortable with soldiers dying, I guess).

Someone posted in support of this thesis that even though all the lefties they read said that they were pleased Saddam was captured, they all said something like "but this doesn't solve all our problems"

A few hours earlier, George W. Bush had made a statement much fawned over in the right blogosphere wherein he said, basically, he was pleased that Saddam was captured, but this doesn't solve all our problems.

When the identical statement is admirable in one person and proof of treason in another, we're not talking about reasoned analysis.

It's manicheism and it's just flat dumb.

#47 ::: LNHammer ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2003, 10:52 AM:

Oh, and the last time I was in the UK, I was delighted to find the German tourists much more embarrassing than the Americans.

I found the same in Iceland, tho' I wasn't exactly delighted to find any embarrassing tourists. Of course, I only met two other Americans—both also from Tucson—so the sample was not exactly rigorous. Iceland did a lot for my German skills.

---L.

#48 ::: Carlos ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2003, 11:09 AM:

Nerdycellist,

You didn't ask for a cogent argument in favor of the Packers and beer. Rather, you gave a set of personal preferences and implied that you were somehow *better* than the people of Wisconsin because of them.

Again, bcdfghjklmnpqrstvwxyz.

IMO, this is part of what the wingnuts pick up on when they refer to "hate". I'd call it mild class contempt, myself.

C.

#49 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2003, 01:34 PM:

Jeez. The minute I go off to New Jersey for a day and a half to see a LOTR marathon, I get a semi-troll.

Stephen, the answer is no, it doesn't make us look stupid. Looking at politics solely in terms of winning vs. not winning is stupid. Thinking that you can be part of the "winning side" by supporting politicians who don't respect the democratic process is very stupid indeed.

We're all little guys, relatively speaking. Honest elections, respect for the people's right to know, transparent policy-making processes, public servants who are answerable for their actions, the rule of law, and democracy itself, are institutions that exist to give all of us a fair shake, great and small alike.

If you think it's in your interest to slight any of those values -- if you think your interests will continue to be served, and you're therefore willing to sacrifice the rights and interests of the people you perceive as being on the "losing side" -- then you're both stupid and corrupt. You're not on that "winning side". You're a little guy, same as the rest of us. Respect for all our rights is the only way to preserve all our rights, yours included.

Leaders and counselors who want you to support them while they dispense with democracy are not your friends. They don't respect you. In fact, they don't care about you at all. What they think you are is a sucker. Furthermore, if you think Georgie Boy wins all the time, they're right: you are a sucker.

Try to cultivate a long-term memory. It'll do you a world of good.

#50 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2003, 02:52 PM:

I hate America because of that song about the horse with no name. Not even a melody, just tranced-out whining on two or three notes. Over and over.

#51 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2003, 03:50 PM:

Kevin, I was made infinitesimally uncomfortable by the story about the Texan in the French cathedral. Is there any chance it was someone like me? When I was at Stonehenge I deliberately put on my best American accident and said "What I don't understand is, if National Trust wasn't going to maintain Stonehenge, why did they bother to build it in the first place?" just as we were passing one of the site's long-suffering employees. On the other hand, I wouldn't have done it if tourist inanity at Stonehenge didn't achieve levels that are almost worth a visit in their own right

#52 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2003, 04:36 PM:

The inane American tourist thing goes way back.

Even allowing for some comedic exaggeration, the folks travelling with Samuel Clemens on the first-ever package tour of Europe and the Holy Land (Innocents Abroad) were pretty obnoxious.

#53 ::: Anne ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2003, 05:09 PM:

Jeremy and Xopher: Thank you, gentlemen. It became obvious once I thought about it. I'm not sure why I couldn't translate my Paris pedestrian experience--maybe because I usually know where I'm going, or because Parisians don't really allow one to hesitate! They start crossing en masse before the light finishes changing, and they often don't limit themselves to the official crosswalks. Does that sound familiar?

#54 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2003, 05:19 PM:

Stphn, by the way, is Stephen Thomas, who professes expertise in Direct Authoring, Lingo Programming, Shockwave, Teaching & Software Training, HTML Coding, Photoshop, Illustrator, SoundEdit & Premiere, Web Page Design, JavaScript & Java Programming. Look at his webpages and judge for yourself. Personally, I think he ought to fix that fragment of raw HTML where his e-mail link is supposed to be.

He and his wife Myrna also constitute a musical act tht's either called Shouting Thomas or Shouting Thomas and the Vixen. They've recently been putting together a new CD at the "Midnight Modulation" studio in upstate New York.

None of this explains why he feels it's appropriate to post rude trollage in weblog comment sections; but that's never easy for anyone to explain.

#55 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2003, 11:41 PM:

Just for the record, the Tor editor who graciously put me and Teresa up at his New Jersey home so that we could pig out on Tolkien movies at a nearby mall theater is a fellow who proudly displays, in his living room, the paving tile that memorializes his family's participation in the finances of the Green Bay Packers.

He also knows how to pack for a mall movie marathon, being a veteran of many a tailgate party.

So we won't be dissing any Packers hereabouts.

#56 ::: David Moles ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2003, 01:34 AM:

Despite my deep-seated resentment of the Packers for repeatedly pushing the 49ers' faces into the mud and then stepping on them over the years, you have to respect a team that’s actually owned by its fans.

#57 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2003, 04:08 AM:

David: As a Cowboys fan since about, oh, 1960, I refuse to give the Packers anything at all.

MKK

#58 ::: aj hall ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2003, 05:23 AM:

Actually, I'll always remember standing in line to get into Evensong at Kings, Cambridge, and the American tourist in front of me looked at the chapel and commented: "Gee, it reminds me so much of West Point." Which made me really keen to see West Point on my next visit to the US,. if convenient.

#59 ::: Carlos ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2003, 10:49 AM:

Hypothesis: the Green Bay Packers are a fandom.

http://www.loc.gov/bicentennial/proimage/wi-8-1.jpg

#60 ::: Bill Humphries ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2003, 12:25 AM:

Carlos: Packers a fandom, oh yes, most definitely.

Teresa: I'm wondering if Stephen is the victim of the comment variant of a joe-job. Our names and URLs might be adorning the links to troll posts throughout Blogistan.

Tom: You were in Prauge before the crackdown? Shit. That's a story I'd love to know more about.

Kip: I'm sure they don't like being remember just for that Horse with No Name song either.

#61 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2003, 03:43 PM:

All these comments about dumb American tourists and people who never travel away from home are making me somewhat uncomfortable, as if the real point of the thread is not how dumb THEY are but how much smarter WE are.

Class snobbery, as someone else in this thread said.

And yes I know that I participated in this thread too.

The guy who rapped the religious statue with his knuckles and said, "They sure knew how to build them in those days" -- how do we KNOW that he was being disrespectful? Maybe he was simply inarticulate, and expressing admiration in the only way he knew how. Note that he was, in fact, expressing admiration -- albeit not admiration in a way that we would like him to, or about the quality of the cathedral that we would admire.

Although, in fact, one of the things that any American admires about a European cathedral is the fact that it has been standing so long, and that it is still in such good condition. Because we are a relatively young country, we are not used to having buildings lying around that are centuries old. In Long Island, where I grew up, houses dating back to 1900 were considered historical landmarks, and got written up in the local newslaper; in England, they don't even qualify as particuarly interesting. A buidling in England has to be at least 300 years old before anyone will even cross the street to look at it.

Signed,
Mr. Cranky

#62 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2003, 03:54 PM:

A buidling in England has to be at least 300 years old before anyone will even cross the street to look at it.

Reminds me of Eddie Izzard's routine about American landmarks:

"Some of these buildings are over fifty years old!"

"No! No one was alive back then!"

#63 ::: Kevin Andrew Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2003, 05:26 PM:

Teresa,

There's a possibility that the Texan was making a joke when he mentioned the cathedral being a product of a cement mixer, but this is a second-hand anecdote related by a friend in college so I can't say for any certainty. And while it's distressing to think of anyone being that ignorant, I remember my aunt from Germany loudly telling everyone the fact that pineapples grew on trees until disabused of this notion.

Then there was the case of my seventh grade English teacher reading us "The Call of the Wild" and pronouncing the name of the French sailor, Francois, as Fran-koys instead of Fran-swa. I politely corrected her after class, pointing out the cedilla on the c and saying it was something we were just taught in French (not mentioning that it was something I'd learned some years earlier).

So, yes, I hope it was a joke, but I strongly suspect and would hardly be surprised if it wasn't.

However, at least it was appreciative.

#64 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2003, 07:29 PM:

One very late thought...what I find most strange about this is that we're getting blasted for reporting the things the whackading right wingers have been warning us about: runaway government spending, destruction of civil rights, disasterous foreign policy.

Go figure.

PS: is it possible that the troll posting as "Stephen" is not, in fact, that person?

#65 ::: bad Jim ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2003, 11:06 PM:

One lamentably frequent commenter at Calpundit wrote that he considered unbiased, objective and analytical coverage of the war in Iraq to be anti-American.

#66 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 20, 2003, 10:25 AM:

Actually, I'll always remember standing in line to get into Evensong at Kings, Cambridge, and the American tourist in front of me looked at the chapel and commented: "Gee, it reminds me so much of West Point." Which made me really keen to see West Point on my next visit to the US,. if convenient.

"Gee, you remind me of your son." A reasonable statement, if you met the son first. When it crosses the line into "Hamlet? Nothing but a lot of quotes strung together!" then it's stooopid.

#67 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 20, 2003, 10:27 AM:

Randolph: only if the other person is posting from his IP address, right, Teresa?

(This is possible but unlikely.)

#68 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 21, 2003, 02:30 AM:

Right. Only I forgot to cross-check that. Remind me to do it in the morning...

#69 ::: Fraud ::: (view all by) ::: December 21, 2003, 05:05 PM:

America Is A Bully Thats It

#70 ::: Jason ::: (view all by) ::: December 22, 2003, 12:33 PM:

Mitch, it's definately possible that the tourist wasn't being irreverent. And honestly, when you think about it, a certain lack of total irreverence is implied simply by the fact that he was there at all. He had flown how far and paid how much to see this cathedral? That's no small matter.

But what Tom was seeing was, I think, a sort of cultural arrogance. It was acknowledging that although that cathedral really was great it also in some way belonged to the man. You don't, after all, give a sharp rap to someone else's property without expecting them to get a bit upset.

A friend of mine (an American) expressed this attitude really clearly this past week when I took him on his first tour of Red Square, the Kremlin and its surroundings, a place which I've been a few times now. We were standing outside of Lenin's tomb, which was unfortunately closed. His comment was "it doesn't matter, they'll let me in. I'm an American," as if his citizenship gave him proprietary right to enter the tomb even though it was closed.

My friend was, fortunately, only kidding. Many American tourists aren't.

#71 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: December 22, 2003, 03:35 PM:

Jason - I'm still not seeing it, I'm afraid. A single sharp rap doth not irreverence make. And as for the bad behavior on the part of American tourists -- I don't see that as an American thing, I see it as a tourist thing.

The worst behavior we've seen in our trips to England was not Americans -- I can't think of a single example of badly behaved American tourists on any of our trips -- it was done by the English themselves. The couple who fed Cheez Doodles to the miniature horses grazing in a field, despite the presence of "Please Don't Feed The Horses" signs every frickin TEN FEET -- English.

Likewise, outside of York Minster we were waiting to meet my sister-in-law, and three young drunken slobs were shouting and swearing to each other across the great distance. Drunken Slob #3 stepped back ... back ... back ... to take a picture -- all the while shouting swear words back and forth with her companions -- and, finally, when the two photo subjects were ready, they turned around and MOONED THE CAMERA. In a crowd! With the York Minster in the background! They were English too.

#72 ::: bchan ::: (view all by) ::: December 22, 2003, 07:24 PM:

94Oh, if ONLY we could be as cool as the Europeans.94

Pardon me while I vomit.

And yeah, I voted for George W. Bush. Je ne regrette nien.

#73 ::: befool ::: (view all by) ::: December 22, 2003, 08:56 PM:

How can any free thinking person not hate America, the way it kills and treats it own people, what will they try to do to anyone with freedom. Because in the land of the free (USA)you are not free, not free to have a voice. Keep up the killing, maybe the goodwill you got after S11 will totally dry up.

#74 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 22, 2003, 09:44 PM:

Bchan, Befool, local custom tolerates vigorous language -- but not when it's the first thing you say. I'll make both of you the same offer: Send me a civil note, and I'll reinstate your ability to post here. Until then, you're blocked from doing so. But if I never hear from you because you were just committing drive-by rudeness -- well, no loss to the conversation.

Up to you.

#75 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2003, 03:30 AM:

Befool - America is a great nation. We are not the only great nation in the world, but I like to think we are one of the better ones.

Like almost all nations in the real world, we do good things and bad things. We are going through a bad spell right now, which tests my pride at being an American, but I am confident that we will get through it, due to the hard work of good people. Bush will lose the election of 2004, and will be sent back to Texas.

Have we committed atrocities? And recently, too? You bet we have. Name me a country with a vigorous foreign policy that hasn't. That doesn't mean atrocities are right. People who committ atrocities should be brought to justice.

Outrage is cheap and easy.

#76 ::: Jason ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2003, 03:22 PM:

Mitch - Amen. As for the other, earlier comment, I think it's just a matter of perception: what I've seen versus what you've seen.

It might also just be because I associate physical contact with a level of intimacy beyond that which your typical tourist has any right to assume, but I think that's just my archaeological background talking.

#77 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2003, 08:38 PM:

If that was a drive-by, won't befool again.

#78 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2003, 10:05 PM:

Bchan would rather be as cool as the Japanese, I92m guessing.

#79 ::: dave ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2003, 12:58 AM:

being british I find the subject of america very interesting as we have been forced into sucking up to bush's politics by our leader who in no way represents all but the tiniest of minority of our public. It is all too easy to criticise us just as it it is all too easy for us to criticise americans.
I am absolutely not making this up
I was watching a programmme the other day called "david blaine: above the below". My brothers friend had two of his american friends along to visit my house who were staying with him over xmas. One of them sat for twenty minutes surprised that he was not white when they thought that he was. He was even more surprised when we explained that he had stood for thirty hours at the top of a large pole in NYC and then jumped off. eventually he said, "how did he run the country when he was in that box for 44 days".
This is by far from an isolated incident.
I lived with 4 american girls before who brought dozens of their american friends round to my flat and they would constantly say things like "manchester is so lame man. like the subway in america is so much better than over here", "You're city is like so lame, how can people actually go out here" (Manchester being one of the musical and cultural capitals of europe). Don't get me wrong I AM NOT IN ANY WAY TRYING TO START AN ANTI-AMERICAN ARGUMENT I have been to america and enjoyed the place and the people, but it just seems to me that americans are too patriotic to the point that it is disrespectful and offensive to other cultures.

#80 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2003, 05:08 AM:

dave: "Don't get me wrong I AM NOT IN ANY WAY TRYING TO START AN ANTI-AMERICAN ARGUMENT I have been to america and enjoyed the place and the people, but it just seems to me that americans are too patriotic to the point that it is disrespectful and offensive to other cultures.

Dave, if your true intent is not to start an anti-American argument, then the best strategy for achieving that goal might be to not insult Americans.

Also, I like the part where you said that Americans are disrespectful and offensive to other cultures, which was, itself, a rather disrespectful and offensive thing to say. And here I thought irony had gone out of fashion with the 90s.

What's even more ironic is that you're saying this in a forum that has a lot of British people in it, and, moreover, many of us Americans who participate in this group are stone Anglophiles.

I expect you'll come back (assuming you're not a drive-by troll) and say that what you meant to say is that SOME Americans are offensive and disrespectful, but that is not what you actually said.

#81 ::: Sam Lynn ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2003, 02:03 PM:

Nerdycellist: {{once you've been to the House on the Rock, the ren faire and the Mars Cheese Castle (and possibly the Mustard Museum, which I missed) you've hit the highlights of the state as I see it. (now I'm going to get flamed by Cheeseheads.)}}

As a Chicagoan who's had to put up with being dragged up to see the redneck Cheesehead relations for the last 30-odd xmasses, let me just say,

*SNORK* *SPLUTTER* *SNORKSNORKSNORKohgod*

That @#!$$ Cheese Castle... (in the recently-finished-now-trying-to-snag-an-agent manuscript of mine, I noticed as I edited over it that the Questing Characters seem to be eating quite a lot of cheese along the way: convenient trailfood, or subliminal childhood association between traveling and roadside cheese stands? Alas, the world may never know if I can't get the @!#$$ cover letter done soon...)

#82 ::: dave ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2003, 12:15 AM:

Mitch

"Also, I like the part where you said that Americans are disrespectful and offensive to other cultures, which was, itself, a rather disrespectful and offensive thing to say. And here I thought irony had gone out of fashion with the 90s."

If you want to be pedantic, including the word 'also' at the start of this statement means that saying:-

"Dave, if your true intent is not to start an anti-American argument, then the best strategy for achieving that goal might be to not insult Americans."

is reffering to other parts of my comment.
Lets see what else I wrote.

1 An introduction explaining that it is all too easy to criticise americans

2 Some anecdotes about my experience with americans.

I am assuming that the insult you were referring to was part 2

Let me refer back to December 22 at 3.35pm, lo and behold, you yourself wrote some derogatory anecdotes about people you had met in Britain.

And here I thought irony had gone out of fashion with the 90s.

Please, please, please don't start a silly "My countries better than your country" argument. (See the way I expected what you might put in your next post there!)

The point I was trying to make was not that all americans are like this, its just that when somebody acts in this way it kind of stands out and unfortunately if they are from a different culture where this kind of behaviour is steroetype, it can lead one to believe that this is not uncommon.

The discussion forum is called "Why we hate america", I was just giving a possible source of where this dislike may come from.

#83 ::: dave ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2003, 12:22 AM:

As for Sam
WOW
That is some codsh*t you are talking there mate. You wouldn't be able to get me some of whatever you were on while you wrote that would you?

#84 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2003, 02:38 AM:

Dave, a missionary once explained to me that the Holy Ghost goes to bed around ten or eleven at night, and after that you're on your own. It's theologically unsound, but a useful observation nonetheless.

#85 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2003, 10:34 AM:

Dave - I pointed out bad behavior by English people. You pointed out bad behavior by Americans, and then said this is how Americans act.

I predicted you would come back and say that no, what you MEANT to say is that this is how SOME Americans act. And, by gosh, you did it. I hope this is a sign I'm going to be right a lot of the time in 2004.

#86 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2003, 11:16 AM:

Mitch, well, that means he's not a drive-by troll, right? Also, dave may be correct that tourist dorkiness is a source of hatred toward America. A source, not THE source.

dave, this thread was originally about liberals, especially American liberals, being ACCUSED of "hating America" by the sort of people who equate hating BUSH (which I for one certainly do) with hating America (which I certainly don't).

#87 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2004, 12:45 PM:

"dave" on December 31, 12:15 AM:

"The point I was trying to make was not that all americans are like this"

"dave" on December 29, 12:58 AM:

"it just seems to me that americans are too patriotic to the point that it is disrespectful and offensive to other cultures"

In other words, actually, the point you were trying to make was that "all americans are like this." Which is what Mitch Wagner called you on.

It's possible that you really don't know what a categorical statement is, or what it means. But while the rest of us can sympathize with your disability, we really can't be reasonably expected to translate from your private language.

#88 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2004, 01:13 PM:

Teresa: The Holy Ghost's curfew just keeps getting later and later. By the time I was a wee child, I was told that the Holy Ghost goes to bed at midnight. (And then I asked, "In which timezone?")

Patrick: Is a categorical statement anything like the hasty generalisation fallacy? Related to? I would guess as much from the context, but I'm not used to that particular term.

#89 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2004, 01:58 PM:

The Holy Ghost goes to bed in the timeline's holes, those gaps between the ticks and tocks of the clock, and sleeps the hole night through.

All categorical statements and hasty generalisation are false.

My son owns passports from 3 countries. There are times when it is better not to claim to be American. If everyone in the world had citizenship in several countries, would that eliminate war? "I can't fight them, I live there."

"We have met the enemy, and it is us."

Myself, I belong not to the America of George W. Bush, but to the America which invented the Bill of Rights, jazz, baseball, rock & roll, the internet, the Human Genome Project, and landing people on the Moon.

#90 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2004, 06:59 PM:

I personally hate America because it's too hard to spell. I never can remember how many K's to put in.

#91 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2004, 03:04 AM:

Other cultures don't dislike American tourists for collectively being too patriotic. They object to our government's policies, and our corporations' depredations; but in general, most of them can tell the difference between institutions and individuals.

The way the world works is not a secret.

Elizabeth, the H.G. is getting to stay up until midnight now? There's liberalization for you.

#92 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2004, 08:37 AM:

When I was a kid, we only had the Holy Ghost between noon and 5 pm from Monday to Friday, and for two hours on Sunday morning. The rest of the time, we had to made do with second-hand deism and invoking the Great Spirit. And we liked it!

#93 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2004, 07:41 PM:

Yeah, well when I was growing up we didn't have any Holy Ghost at all. You know what we made do with? Kindly spirits! That's right, kindly spirits. Why, they could hardly save you from drowing on dry land in midsummer.

And you kids today think you've got it tough.

#94 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2004, 07:41 PM:

drowning. drat.

#95 ::: Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2004, 12:08 PM:

Hey, Xopher, when I was a kid, we didn't even have any N's. But did we complain? Nooo!

#96 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2004, 01:12 PM:

You have N's? You don't have to gnaw the extra leg off your M's or W's? Criminently! How long has this been going on?

#97 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2004, 01:51 PM:

Jeremy: "Hey, Xopher, when I was a kid, we didn't even have any N's. But did we complain? Nooo!"

We complai'd, istead...

#98 ::: steve irwin ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2004, 06:50 AM:

down with america

#99 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2004, 08:16 AM:

... erm ... and we Aussies all hope y'all don't take Steve Irwin as a representative of the general Australian population.

But I digress - was going back to earlier parts of the discussion:
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt

"My country right or wrong" is like saying, "My mother drunk or sober". -- G.K. Chesterton

"To be a patriot, one had to say, and keep on saying, 'Our Country, right or wrong,' ... Have you not perceived that that phrase is an insult to the nation?" -- Mark Twain
(Remarking on his opposition to the Philippine-American War, which " The War Prayer" is one lasting reminder of -- see my burbles if you wish at March 25, 2003 and October 10, 2002 )

In Far Horizons of July 1999 ("Babylon 5 -- Creating the Future" at www.rastus.force9.co.uk/B5Floyd.html ) Robin Floyd has a few currently pertinent things to say about some of the themes & messages in B5 (made 1993-1998 & with an episode called "The War Prayer" and a Ministry of Truth, among other references) such as choice & community. One is turning about the saying "Power can't be given, it must be taken" in a character's speech "Nobody takes power. They're given power by the rest of us".

Another piece which shows some themes have been with us for quite a while is Orwell's "Second Thoughts on James Burnham", 1946 also printed as "James Burnham and the Managerial Revolution." It is about the ideas of an American who published, during WWII, The Managerial Revolution, The Machiavellians: Defenders of Freedom & an essay, "Lenin92s Heir" who, Orwell says, wrote along the lines

Capitalism is disappearing, but Socialism is not replacing it. What is now arising is a new kind of planned, centralised society which will be neither capitalist nor, in any accepted sense of the word, democratic. The rulers of this new society will be the people who effectively control the means of production: that is, business executives, technicians, bureaucrats and soldiers, lumped together by Burnham, under the name of 93managers94.

Meanwhile, Ben Tripp in?/on? Counterpunch www.counterpunch.org/tripp06142003.htm ("They Just Don't Want to Know: Of Dissidents and Dissonance" June 14, 2003) points out the love America/hate America cognitive dissonance:
... the Founding Fathers (now Foundling Fathers, sorry guys) ... established a series of checks and balances to ensure that human weakness didn't get in the way of human affairs. We've done away with said checks and balances, mostly, and so the brilliant system of setting three separate branches of narrow self-interested shysters against each other, thus to ensure the common good will be served in the resulting scrum, has broken down.

How does this cause cognitive dissonance? Because people don't want to believe it, at any cost. They are desperate to believe it's all going to work out fine...

#100 ::: america lover ::: (view all by) ::: January 22, 2004, 06:59 PM:

First of all . I am from the middle east , saudia Arabia . I do not hate America but I love my people (all Moslims in the world ) . And I say them killed evry day by american army. so I hate that army and wish to kill ( explode ) my silf just to kill that army. that is it

#101 ::: america lover ::: (view all by) ::: January 22, 2004, 07:01 PM:

First of all . I am from the middle east , saudia Arabia . I do not hate America but I love my people (all Moslims in the world ) . And I see them killed evry day by american army. so I hate that army and wish to kill ( explode ) my silf just to kill that army. that is it

#102 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 22, 2004, 07:50 PM:

Hi there, iowra8@hotmail.com. For a minute there I thought you might be somebody spoofing me, but your IP address checks out as being from Saudi Arabia via Sky2Net.

I see that you're very angry, but please don't blow yourself up. Here's my reasoning: You've seen pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge, in the San Francisco area? It's a huge, high bridge. In the years since it was built, a lot of people who wanted to kill themselves have jumped off it. Surprisingly, thirty or so of them have survived.

Someone who went around and interviewed them found they all said the same thing: Right up to the point where they did it, jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge seemed like a good idea. But as soon as they'd gone over the edge, that changed, and they desperately wished they hadn't done it.

I've thought a lot about that. It seems to me that if every one of those survivors wished they hadn't jumped, chances are all the other jumpers thought that too. And that makes me further wonder whether people who are so distraught and angry that they become suicide bombers don't have that same last-minute thought, and desperately wish they hadn't done it.

#103 ::: america lover ::: (view all by) ::: January 22, 2004, 10:28 PM:

Your point is very clear lady . But I want to tell you something ( you have understood me wrong ). I am not a bad man I never support killing people ( never never never support killing children and women ) . but that is what U.S.A army did in Iraq and Afghanistan . In Afghanistan they said " we meant to kill bin Laden and his groups " but, is that really what happened ? no, they do not even know his place . In Iraq They said we meant to kill Saddam and his bad government " but is that what happened ? no, they did not kill him nor his government . And I want to ask you a question plase : Do you know that U.S.A army used nuclear arms In Iraq and Afghanistan . all area there and some part of K.S.A are dirty by that nuclear arms now .so, do you have the answeer for what we live then ?
I hope God help U.S.A ( and the world ) from there army.

#104 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 22, 2004, 10:45 PM:

america lover, nukes are one thing you can't hide, at least once they go off. We'd be detecting them over here, from heightened levels of radioactive particles in the air. Also, not all of the embedded reporters would have kept their mouths shut about such a thing.

Not to mention a seismic effect. And a loud bang.

If you think about this for a few minutes, you'll realize it couldn't be true. This should lead you to doubt all other information from the same source, be it rumor, Al Jazeera, or official news sources.

Bright Blessings.

#105 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 23, 2004, 12:14 AM:

A.L., I have no reason to think you're a bad man. You don't sound like one.

I have seen the photos of dead women and children, and old men, and middle-aged guys who were just trying to get some work done. Also bulldozed trees, and smashed cars, and wrecked houses and businesses and infrastructure, which are not in the same class as dead human beings but are our livelihoods and the work of our hands, and so have years of human life and hope tied up in them.

How are the water systems? The people who write the network news here didn't grow up in deserts, and they don't really understand water.

I grew up in a desert, but now I live in New York City, and I want to see Osama bin Laden brought to justice. The ashes of the dead rained down on my roof and in my street, that day. And we have noticed, here in the States, that though the war in Afghanistan was supposedly for the purpose of going after bin Laden and his cronies, that job was abandoned before it was finished, and the promised rebuilding of Afghanistan never took place.

We truly have noticed that. We've also noticed that George Bush never talks about Osama bin Laden if he can help it. Everything is Saddam, Saddam, Saddam. He's said it so often that a lot of people have gotten the idea that Saddam Hussein had something to do with the 9/11 attacks. Others remember that that's not true.

We, too, would like to know what the war in Iraq is about. George Bush's explanations change every week. The excuses about Weapons of Mass Destruction get stupider all the time. If they wanted to know about WMDs, why did they target Chemical Ali's house with long-distance rockets? That's where the records were kept. Nor did they try to secure the site afterwards. The news reports on the destruction of that house were filed by normal journalists, who reported that women and children were rummaging through the place. Anyone could have secured that site. If we wanted to know about WMDs, why didn't we do it?

Some things we know: That George Bush and his advisors wanted a war with Saddam Hussein long before the events of 9/11. Also, that on the day of the attacks -- before the dust had settled, or the blood had dried on the stones -- they were trying to figure out how they could use those events to foment war with Saddam.

I bitterly resent it. Saddam didn't attack my city and kill my neighbors. Osama bin Laden did. They didn't care about that. They just cared about using it for their own purposes.

Our military is hesitant to say so openly, but I have reason to believe they despise this war. They'll go where they're sent and do what they're told, and take pride in doing the best job they can, but they're neither fools nor villains. If you want to know who made the war, who's responsible for the needless suffering in Afghanistan and Iraq, it's George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney, and their cronies and advisors. They're liars and murderers, and they've done all this harm for their own aggrandizement, amusement, and profit.

We hope to vote them out of office this year. They'll surely lie, and many of us suspect they're planning to tamper with the balloting process. But we may succeed in throwing them out anyway; and if not this time, then next time.

Aside from the question of who's to blame, the only place where I disagree with you is the use of nuclear weapons. I think what you must have heard about were the slugs of depleted radioactive material used as projectiles. They're good for that because they're so heavy. Over here we keep being told that this depleted nuclear material is harmless, but I also keep hearing suggestions that that's not true, so I'm keeping my ears open.

Still, Xopher's right; if the U.S. had actually set off an explosive nuclear device, the rest of the world would have spotted it almost immediately. I don't know what Japan and France would have done in such a situation, but -- like a nuclear bomb -- it would have been something you couldn't miss.

Do please keep writing. My rule here is that the only real sins are incivility, inaccuracy, and being a bore. I'll tell you right now that it would be very difficult for you to be boring.

#106 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 23, 2004, 12:37 AM:

Jim Macdonald points out to me that daisycutter bombs can produce mushroom clouds without the use of nuclear reactions. The principle here is that any sufficiently large explosion inside an atmosphere will produce a mushroom cloud.

Daisycutters are huge bombs, filled with a 50-50 mixture of potassium permanganate and aluminum, with a parachute on their rear end, and a four-foot-long triggering mechanism on their noses. They were developed as a way of clearing helicopter landing areas in the jungles of Southeast Asia without leaving a crater that would fill with water. They turned out to be useful for other purposes as well.

If you've ever seen a good fireworks show, the "blinding flash and deafening report" portion at the end was produced by a quantity of daisycutter mixture that would fill a matchbox. Basically, a daisycutter creates a huge fast-moving energetic explosion shaped like a ginger cookie. The shock wave does the real damage.

And that's enough techno-neep out of me for tonight.

#107 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: January 23, 2004, 02:28 AM:

To add a bit from a slightly different perspective...

I grew up on US Army bases, here and there. My mother now lives in a town in Texas attached to a large base where is housed an armoured division, among other similar, um, army things. My younger brother is a sergeant attached to that AD, whose job it is to keep the tanks and so forth in good working order.

I went with my partner to visit my mother a few months before the Iraq invasion. I asked my brother to give us a tour of the base, since I thought my partner might be interested. My brother showed us the works-- street blocks of vehicles to which were attached varying sizes of cannon (they all had names, I suck at remembering that stuff) and bridging devices.

While he was pointing out the features of each set of rolling armour, he mentioned that the paint used to coat them was made with depleted uranium. And that so were the bumpers on the jeeps, and other bits.

What he said was, this stuff is harmless. If it wasn't, they wouldn't use it in everything. They told us it was harmless. Those folks who make such a fuss about it don't understand the science of it, it's just a remarkably dense material good for making armour sheathing.

I kept my mouth shut; I wanted to hear what he said, not argue with him. And that's what he said about DU. That's what he's been told.

This is just my recollection, though. He took us past rank upon rank of armoured vehicles, ranging from little jeeps through the ones with artillery cannons and several kinds of tanks and personnel carriers and the bridging things and more. It was like a May Day parade, except we were moving and the army stood still. And it went on and on; I was immensely relieved when we finally turned away and headed off to a shooting range where we watched tanks try to hit surprise targets.

But I kept trying to make sense of the DU thing. I knew DU is used to coat projectiles, and why. I think it's terrible, but I think bombs are terrible, so perhaps my perspective isn't totally aligned with that of the Pentagon or even the regular rank and file. What worried at me then, and does still now, is not so much that DU is used so ubiquitously, but that it is used so AND the personnel who work with those vehicles are encouraged to treat its presence so casually.

Anyway, if radioactive readings in a given area in Iraq have jumped significantly, this could well be because an armoured unit happens to be sitting there. They wouldn't have to do anything. That doesn't mean they haven't, of course.

#108 ::: america lover ::: (view all by) ::: January 23, 2004, 06:25 AM:

In this report I will tell you some reasons make us ( In Saudi Arabia ) hate U.S.A ( I just hate its Army ) :

1 - we ( in K.S.A ) have a very bad government.They steal our mony , dumb our mouths , deflect our persuasions and our history and do more bad things in this country . believe or not U.S.A government support them and deal with them as friends . U.S.A government cares to keep them leaders of the country .
2 - what happens every day in Palestine makes us very angry and makes us eruptive against Israel and their strategic ally ( U.S.A) . every day Israel army kills some people ( even children and women ) from us there . ( why ?) because of their strategic ally help . Do you know how many times U.S.A government use ( the veto right ) against condemnation ( just condemnation ) Israel ?
3 - have you seen that guy who lost his 2 sons in a bus burning by using U.S.A army rockets (on all chanels not just on Aljazeera ) that scene reoccurs every day in Iraq And happened many times in Afganestan during U.S.A army and governement wars against us .

#109 ::: cd ::: (view all by) ::: January 23, 2004, 06:38 AM:

Pericat: DU isn't exactly used to coat projectiles - it's used as projectiles; it's a high density and cheap material. Though I see tungsten carbide is coming back, as it's easier to work with and can be machined with greater precision.

You shouldn't treat it casually, but neither should you treat any heavy metal (lead, cadmium, etc) casually.

As for health risks, see for example "Depleted uranium: what is the health risk?" and "Medical Effects of Depleted Uranium" (both have the same author and make mostly the same point, but include some facts not in the other).

#110 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 23, 2004, 02:13 PM:

america lover, there are those of us here in the US who are acutely and painfully aware of these issues. KSA makes terrorists for export, and yet they're one of our "friends." This is because they have oil.

Our current president (such as he is) is an oil guy. He owes a lot to oil interests. They're not going to allow the relationship with KSA to deteriorate, no matter what your government is doing. And he's a scumbag in his own right besides.

As for hating our Army, please remember that they're obeying orders. Under our law they have to do what the President says, even if it's idiotic, foolhardy, or immoral, and even if the President in question is a deranged moron (or a stupid lunatic, whichever). They may not behave perfectly on the ground, but believe me when I say each and every one would rather be home in New Jersey, or Arizona, or even Ohio than where they are.

So don't hate our Army. Hate our government--we do.

#111 ::: TSM ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2004, 01:12 AM:

D ht mrkkk nd hr's sng frm th 80's tht hld dr t m hrt!:

Kll mrcns
Kll ll th flg wvng rd bldd yng Ynk bs
Strng thr trss p nd s thr dcks s ts
Nk vr .S. ct, blw thm t th sk
vr sngl fckng Ynk dsrvs t fckng d
Thn gt ll th mthrs nd vr ppl p
nd gn thm dwn wth M-16s md t thr s
Rnd p vr .S. ctzn, ll xcpt th Jws
Tk tht lt t srl nd wp tht lt t t
nd thn gt ll th Vtnms tht wr nplmd t dth
nd vrn frm l Slvdr nd Cb nd Chl nd th rst
n s "Lk, th Ynks r gn, th wrld s nc gn fr
N mr nplm, n mr C…, n mr Wndd Kn"
nd whn th r ll clbrtng, nk th fckng lt
nd thr'll b lts f jlld gsln n vr bb's ct
nd thn ld n M-16, gv t plnt f flng
Pt t t r tmpl, blw r brns nt th clng

#112 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2004, 12:05 PM:

Christopher, I think it was some kind of lame-ass parody of freep fantasies about lefties. If it weren't intended as a parody, it would have been many times lamer than it was, but that can't have been the case, since so concentrated a mass of lameness would necessarily have collapsed inward on itself.

There weren't any words in it you didn't already know.

#113 ::: Karmic punk ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2004, 06:11 PM:

Hello, I am 14 years old and living in U.K

I cant help but feel some dislike towards America for what they are doing in Iraq, sometimes I even hate America, thats not to say that my country doesnt have it's problems.
After reading through all the posts here I see some interesting arguments, but then after reading the messages from America Lover
None of the silly arguments about what we think of America matter, we should be more concerned about what's happening in the Middle East and what America is letting happen in the rest of the world, I think it's leaders should just for one moment forget about how much money they will have in there back pocket and start doing somehting about people like America Lover wanting to blow them selfs up and kill the American army along with themselfs.
I also think it's time that
something is done about the amount of pollution
being produced in America, the government makes it to easy for petrollium companies to destroy the world.
If I remeber correctly Bush did not sign the Kyoto agreement to reduce the pollution levels because it was
'Infringing upon the American way of life'
Then I supose the American way of life is to live in a world of global warming and polluted air.
I just wonder how Bush or anybody working for the petrollium companies can honestly look in to their childrens eyes and tell them they have a safe futre.

#114 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2004, 06:44 PM:

If I remeber correctly Bush did not sign the Kyoto agreement to reduce the pollution levels because it was 'Infringing upon the American way of life'

Naw. It was just "flawed." Do you think our President would ADMIT that it's about letting big companies burn whatever they want in whatever quantity they choose?

Besides, you can't really blame the American people for Bush. Remember, we didn't vote for him.

Do you think I should hate UK for what it did to Bobby Sands and the other hunger strikers, a decade before you were born? No, I hate Margaret Thatcher for that. Or for the massacre at Drogheda? No, I'd hate Cromwell for that if hating someone that long dead wasn't kind of a remote exercise.

A lot of my fellow Irish-Americans do hate "the English" AKA "Sassenach" for those things, and think it justifies sending money to the IRA. See how that goes? That I think they're wicked fools, I should hope goes without saying. An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.

I agree about pollution, petroleum companies, suicide bombers etc. So do many people here (on this thread, in America, etc). But when you say you "sometimes hate America," I think you mean the American people (e.g. me), or the American system (which is flawed but excellent, or was before the Bushies started pissing into the well).

Unless you're prepared to personally accept the hatred of the worldwide community for every act of Tony Blair, Margaret Thatcher, British Petroleum, and Tesco, please don't blame ME for the actions of Dubya, Haliburton, and WalMart. Fair?

Please do hate Dubya, Haliburton, and WalMart, though. I certainly do.

#115 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2004, 01:23 AM:

Hi, AL. Sorry about the stupid dustup with TSM. I'll agree that in a lot of ways your government is no prize. They pull some of the same tricks Bush & Co. do over here -- distracting the citizenry with gaudy, inflammatory issues that don't really affect national policy, while they're busily enriching themselves and a few of their friends.

Historically, our government has too often given the al-Saud their uncritical support, but I'm hearing that questioned more and more often. However, the Bushes have long had such an indecently cozy relationship with the al-Saud that I've more than once heard it described as "vassalage". If those creeps get reelected, we and you both are in for another four years of religious extremism, loud pointless political non-issues, and an entrenched system whereby the rich get richer and the poor get slogans.

The Palestinians are absolutely determined that they're not going to be made to go away or disappear. I can sympathize. However, the Israelis are likewise not going to be made to go away or disappear, and I sympathize with them, too. Extremists on both sides are consciously inflicting the kind of harm that won't be forgotten for generations. It doesn't matter whether their side's sins consist of dealing with rock-throwing kids by pulverizing their long bones, or blowing up hotel dining rooms full of families celebrating a religious holiday; either way, what they want isn't to achieve peace, it's to beat the other guy. Everybody else gets caught in between them, and the guys in the middle aren't getting any saner.

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq continue to be terrible to contemplate. I see no reason for them to be any less mourned than our own casualties from the 9/11 attacks.

#116 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2004, 03:54 PM:

AL, I'd just like to say that I also agree with everything Teresa just said.

#117 ::: america lover ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2004, 05:18 PM:

I want to discuss two subjects with you .
And I want to tell you something before that. I am living here in Saudi Arabia and you are living in U.S.A ( that place I like ) many thousands kilometres away . There are no reasons for us to lie or to cover the truth because I can stop writing in this site or you can prevent me writing here . In other words , no one is going to win and no one is goning to lose . so let us write the truth and only the truth .
first subject is about 9/11 . who do you think is behind this bad calamity ? Bin Laden ? OK why did you compare between that and civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq ? may be you want to say : " muslims nations are behind what happened in 9/11 and they are all responsible " .
Do you think the war against Afghanistan is allowable just because a man from them attacked U.S.A ?
who must pay the price ?
and who really paid that price ?
The second subject is about Palestine case .
lady "Teresa Nielsen Hayden" , I am not that good in English but I think I understood these two sentences you said :
1- I can sympathize with Palestinians.
2- I sympathize with Israelis .
I think if you want to tell the truth , you can say that:
* Israelis have an army but Palestinians do not.
* Israelis have a country but Palestinians do not.
* Israelis have started 3 wars and we have started 1 which was for getting our lands back .
* Israelis came to our lands as ( occupiers ) more than 50 years ago .
We lose some people every day in Palestine ( please! watch the T.V or ask those americans who were in Palestine to help people ) . Here is my question guys ( Is our blood cheaper than theires ? ) . You said there are Palestinian extremists , could you name some of them please ?

PLEASE! TELL ME ABOUT A NEW SUBJECT THAT I CAN WRITE WITH YOU ABOUT IT ON THIS SITE .

#118 ::: BRSLR ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2004, 10:30 PM:

Y stpd mrcns, Sddm hd NTHGN t d WTH 9/11, t ws SM, whr s SM. th WR n rq ws sgn f dsprtn.

th rcnt ttcks n mrc wr hld s ttcks n frdm nd dmcrc. lthgh nt dmcrtc, th sqnc f trgts, th mrcn smbl f pwr nd cmmrcl trd, th Pntgn, hd f th mltr nd th Frgn Plc ffcs, d nt shw n ttck n Dmcrc bt vr spcfc ttck n mrc.

T hr mrcn's clm tht n sch ttck n mrc s n ttck n frdm tslf s t clm tht mrc s snnms wth frdm, whch s ngh t mk n nn-mrc crng nd wndr f th spkr hs vr vn lft hs cntr. Th trgts ttckd wr nt cns f Dmcrc, th wr pllrs f mrcn cmmrc, mrcn mltr pwr, mrcn gvrnmnt (fld ttck) nd mrcn frgn plc.

"Mr Bsh sd th S hd bn "wknd t dngr" nd "clld t dfnd frdm"
"Tlbn fc S wrth"

Th ttcks r wrng, msgdd nd dsprt, bt th r nt n ttck n frdm. Ptntll cmng frm cntr tht hs bn fght vr, bmbd nd ttckd b mrcn pwr fr vr 30 yrs, th ttcks r mr f dsprt ttmpt t strk bck t mrc n prtclr, n n w th cn rthr thn n pr ttmpt t ttckng frdm tslf.

Th lngg mpld stnks f knd f ptrtsm kn t cmplt ndffrnc t th rst f th wrld nd gnrnc f mrc's wn prblms. Thr s vr shw, mch, slf-grtfng knd f rghtsnss n mrcn spch bt thmslvs whch ppl thr ssm s ntntnll rnc nd vr th tp, r th r shckd nd nd p thnkng tht mrcn's ctll thnk lk tht. vn wld b shckd f thght th mn t cmmnct thngs n th w th d, smtms, lk t pt t dwn t dffrncs n r sg f nglsh, rthr thn thnk tht Prsdnt Bsh rll fls tht mrc hs bn "clld t dfnd frdm". Th mnt f slf lvng ltrtr n mrcn cltr s ssmd b mn t b n ndctn tht mrc's ppltn dp dwn fl bd bt thr cntr.

srl, whch rcvs vr 3 bllns dllrs mltr spprt frm mrc, s vr mch htd mngst th rb wrld. Prhps th Wst, mrc n prtclr, thnks tht srl s strnghld, r stblzr n th mddl st, bt t's prsnc nd t's cntnl cnflcts wth t's nghbrs sch s Pkstn hv csd srl t bcm t b sn s nthr Stn, stt cntrlld b mrc.

MRCNS GT FF F SRL'S DCK, JWS ND MSLMS R FGHTNG, N N S RGHT. STP DFNDNG TH JWS, CS Y HV N RSN T.

FCK S VV BRSL/PRT RC

#119 ::: nk S ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2004, 09:17 AM:

y m brtsh ctzn nd wrtng n hr s my vws cld gt crss. S s lnd f drgs,crm nd prtsttn. Th mrcns thnk th rl th wrld bt th "bll" thrd wrld cntrs nd th brng thr cntrs n th prblms .g brtn nd spn. wh dn't fght thr wn wrs

#120 ::: Blk Chnc ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2004, 04:21 AM:

Gd Blss Prsdnt Bsh. Th Bsh dmnstrtn 2004. Thnk gd fr th nvsn f rq.

#121 ::: Adam ::: (view all by) ::: May 07, 2004, 06:19 AM:

"What's more, all them America-hatin' librals want Saddam to go free even after what he did on 9/11" - some idiot called stefan

(# 1- "librals" is spelled liberals. if u want to critiscise something, it's only polite to spell it correctly. you fool)

and # 2

Really stefan, tell me what proof u have that saddam committed the acts of 9/11, im sure when i watched the news for weeks after the WTC attack, they were all saying "osama bin laden did it" but he couldnt be found so the blame is shifted somewhere else. Een the FBI webpage removed the 12 pics of suspected terror suspets from their website ... because they were'nt the right suspects, but the papers were still printig them in the new year. To scare stupid people like you.
Thats odd huh, maybe the government of america's blatant inablity to tell the truth about who did it makes people hate them. Maybe it annoys arabs all around the world, such as afghani's and iraqi's. Stefan do you not see see how your ridiculous inability to think for yourself and believe whatever hysterical propaganda-fied crap you read makes you look clever?
Stefan, you are an advert for the uneducated american... inspiring fellow americans to stay in school.
Do you maybe see why the REST of the world is starting to think your country needs to start respecting the turf OUTSIDE of its shores.
Oh and recently, we see what the stars and stripes really stand for, your troops are pscychopathic, barbaric torturers with the same G.I. Joe metality we saw in Vietnam. Yet another reason people world wide are disgusted with your policies. We all saw your troops painting missles with "for saddam" and "this is for 9/11" when it wasnt even anything to do with iraq. What a good advert for your troops intellect. They dont know why or who they are attacking ... they just like he fun of it.... they get to play with some of the $40 Billion a year in weapons that George W. Bush buys.
Now is the the time to realise that when americans start making statements like the ones you make, which are uneducated, wrong and plain arrogant considering all the shit America is causing for the rest of the world... that makes people fucking HATE YOU.

#122 ::: Bartikus ::: (view all by) ::: May 15, 2004, 02:23 AM:

I am an American who tends to lean to the right on many issues however....I have found that my own "I am an American therefore I am the shiznit in this world" attitude is just as dangerous as "There is nothing lower than an American" attitude in the world!

The world should reflect on it's impact on America but also and maybe even more so....America should open her eyes to it's impact on the world!

There is nothing wrong with being proud to be an American....just make sure that our pride is not vain. Give credit where credit is due....but do not be afraid to reflect on America's weaknesses too!

I am an American.....but I am first and foremost a human being......who share this world with alot of other human beings. We must not forget that!

#123 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: May 15, 2004, 10:04 AM:

I'd believe you more, Bartikus, if you actually cared about grammar. That's one of my prejudices.

(It's as possessive; "alot" as a word; s/v agreement on "share(s); I'll forgive one as a typo, but three is a bit beyond my limit for grammatical _faux pas_s [an interesting question as to how one marks the plural of a foreign infixed phrase!] in one very short post without serious substantive comment.)

#124 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: May 15, 2004, 11:14 AM:

6 reasons not to hate America
by
Jonathan Vos Post

I pledge allegience to the flag
of the United States of America,
and to the republic for which it
stands, one nation, under baseball,
football, and basketball, which
sent men to the Moon, indivisible,
with jazz and rock & roll for all.

#125 ::: Kw ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2004, 12:05 AM:

mrc hmm th sd f ll vl th src t chs n dstrctn?? blv th r n th pblc bt th ppl wh rn mrc, why n th lst 50 yrs hv wrs bn bg prt f th ppl f th wrlds lvs?? bcz f mrc, mrc s prnd cntr ts lk th lnl bll t schl, h thnks h's tgh h gts wht h wnts bt f fllw hm hmw hs scrd lttl b, n thts wt mrc s scrd f th wlrd scrd f wt t hs crtd, why ds mrc cvr p s m8ch dnt thnk w shd n whts hppnng? th trth hrts smtms bt ts th trth. m nt fr cmmnsm bt m nt gnst t ts jst nthr wy f rnnng th cntr jst lk cptlsm, cld g n 4v, bt mrcns s th ht sm n ll, ndrstnd hm kllng nncnt ppl s vr wrng, bt wh s rll t blm??? mrc s th brng t n thmslvs, why dd mrc pt sddm n pwr? why dd mrc spprt rq thn rn n th wrs?? drng th rq wr wth rn sddm sd blgcl wpns n hs wn ppl n msll vllgs n tht ws mr thn 20 yrs g n yt th mrcns lv hm thr, ts bt pwr n mrc wnts t ll bt lk vr bll sm n vntll stnds p nd thts whn th sht hts th fn!

#126 ::: john ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2004, 05:49 AM:

Frankly It doesnt matter what any of u think regarding hating america or not. What matters more is perception and at the moment most people perceive you americans to be war mongering suv-gas-guzzzling ignorant wombats. Some of the responses here could back that up whielst others couldnt. Most non-americans (like me) just cant understand how this so called 'great nation', with all its good morals and supposed heroism, is infact just as moraly defunct and untrustworthy as any other nation in the world. Might does not make right.

Things like the marshall plan werent so much as 'we want to help war torn europe' as much as it was 'if we have to fight the russians well do it on their soil'. How would americans enjoy english, french or german troops stationed in their countries armed to the teeth and spying on them? If certain anti american sentiment has arisen from the outside of america, its no wonder. Jealousy and envy arent facets of humanity that necessarily produce love, neither is arrogance and slander. Just because some might not approve of what u do doesnt mean we hate you, it means we see a falibility that we get told historicaly we have had and have, is as much a part of america as it is in us. Perhaps its time for some internal anlysis and not a them vs us attitude.

#127 ::: john ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2004, 05:58 AM:

In reference to Theresa, maybe before you start over sympathising you should get some knowledge on what has and is going on in palestine. The Israelis treat the palestinians like shit. When the palestinians ran the country israelis were treated as equals. Before there was ever a Palestinian terrorist there were ben gudion yitzak rabin and others that were bombing palestinians and brithish madate troops alike. Sympathy is worthless its action thats required, and your government is today in the process of allowing the one and only country in this world that is an occupier to continue occupation and make territory seized sovreign to their rule. And no im neither muslim nor palestininan (if you think one entails the other learn some more).

#128 ::: john ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2004, 06:41 AM:

excuse all my grammar and typos ive had a few drinks

#129 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2004, 10:34 AM:

The effect of the alcohol, friend john, is not limited to your grammar and typing. Some of what you say is frankly incoherent; most of the rest has been said over and over in the thread. And the first sentence of the main post is "We don't, of course;" I wonder if you read it?

I'd be interested to see what opinions you express when you HAVEN'T had a few drinks, and have read the entire thread. Seriously, come back and do that, would you?

And I don't think anyone here thinks all Palestinians are Moslems; I for one went to grammar school (in America) with a Palestinian Christian kid. He was obnoxious personally, but I was pretty clear on his religion, because he kept yelling at people who thought he was a Moslem. So it wasn't an uncommon assumption, but that was in the 60s.

#130 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2004, 02:08 PM:

I'm finding myself reminded of a phrase borrowed from a dear friend:

"Have you ever considered divorcing your spouse? - Hell no! Murder them? Sure. Divorce? Never!"

It's a perfect summary of how you can love and be frustrated, but still want to be a part of a greater whole.

#131 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2004, 02:53 PM:

xeger:
I first read that phrase in a story about a long-term study at Harvard on what characterizes good mental health. The researchers noted that there were many studies on abnormal-psych, nobody seemed to be paying attention to what constitutes normal psych, so they studied a large group of Harvard grads over many years, and that response came from one of the followup questionaires [1]. A similar idea is that you are allowed to think about strangling your children, as long as you neither fixate on it, nor take steps to act on it.

[1] Believing that Harvard grads make a good research population for "normal" is, of course, a fatal flaw in the study.

#132 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2004, 04:49 PM:

"John" is clearly suffering from massive context failure, and insofar as he seems to be lecturing Teresa, he clearly hasn't got any idea what she actually thinks--about Israel or anything else.

Googling while drunk. It ain't pretty.

#133 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2004, 04:51 PM:

Um...I'm presuming that PNH is meaning "john" and not "John." Heh.

#134 ::: american ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2004, 03:11 AM:

I am American. I hate America.

#135 ::: Xopher finds drive-by troll ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2004, 11:01 AM:

Yep, one post, bogus email, stupid vapid comment. DBT in my book.

#136 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2004, 08:40 AM:

What do the Drive-By Truckers have to do with anything? Oh, yeah, now I remember--they hate America, too:


ROAD CASES
(Hood / DBT)

Got them pretty road cases
Protect our asses, protect our faces, protect our guitars, protect our amps.
Got them pretty road cases throw them out an airplane and they'll just bounce

Paint our name on them road cases, stencil and white spray paint
"Drive-by Truckers" on every one or maybe just "DBT"
Gonna get ourselves a big tour bus, maybe even an airplane
Fly around the world and back.
Hope it don't run out of gas.

Got them pretty road cases…

Someday we'll hock our road cases, when we don't need them anymore
To pay off that big cocaine dealer (the only thing they're useful for)
One day we'll sell our road cases, when we don't need them anymore
When we outlive our usefulness,
The only thing road cases are useful for.

Got them pretty road cases.

#137 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2004, 10:50 AM:

You got it, Christopher. Leaving this thread open sometimes makes me feel like a biologist dipping his little collecting net into pond water.

Liked the lyrics.

#138 ::: eluzai ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2004, 08:04 PM:

now i dont "hate" america, i dont truly agree with its foundation either, a bunch of guys who said we know freedom and they owned slaves.so its foundation is hipocritical and a lie.i hold a contempt for the pompous asses that control this "buisness" or "government".a supposedly "free" country that has the highest murder rate and the highest number of people incarcerated than any other country.i dont hate america so to speak, but i dont care much for the assholes in charge.

#139 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2004, 11:05 AM:

As usual, this thread is a magnet for, mm, insufficiently thoughtful comments. For instance:

"a supposedly 'free' country that has the highest murder rate"

1. Colombia, 0.63 per 1000 people
2. South Africa, 0.51 per 1000 people
3. Jamaica, 0.32 per 1000 people
4. Venezuela, 0.32 per 1000 people
5. Russia, 0.19 per 1000 people
6. Mexico, 0.13 per 1000 people
7. Lithuania, 0.10 per 1000 people
8. Estonia, 0.10 per 1000 people
9. Latvia, 0.10 per 1000 people
10. Belarus, 0.09 per 1000 people
11. Ukraine, 0.09 per 1000 people
12. Papua New Guinea, 0.08 per 1000 people
13. Kyrgyzstan, 0.08 per 1000 people
14. Thailand, 0.07 per 1000 people
15. Moldova, 0.07 per 1000 people
16. Zambia, 0.07 per 1000 people
17. Seychelles, 0.07 per 1000 people
18. Zimbabwe, 0.07 per 1000 people
19. Costa Rica, 0.06 per 1000 people
20. Poland, 0.05 per 1000 people
21. Georgia, 0.04 per 1000 people
22. Uruguay, 0.04 per 1000 people
23. Bulgaria, 0.04 per 1000 people
24. United States, 0.04 per 1000 people

Source: Seventh United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems, covering the period 1998-2000. Full stats here.

There's nothing to be particularly proud of in the fact that the US has a lower murder rate than Colombia, Belarus, or Zimbabwe. But there's no excuse for spreading misinformation, particularly when the actual figures are accessible by the simple expedient of googling "murder rate." (It was the second result. Gosh, that was difficult.)

#140 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2004, 11:42 AM:

Patrick:

Another false meme is that things are more dangerous now in America than ever before, including murder rate. Do you know what decade of the 20th century had the highest murder rate in America? I think that I do -- one of my students told me a decade ago, in a discussion of why politicians and the media want us to be afraid, and I checked those data.

#141 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2004, 06:00 PM:

Patrick says:

As usual, this thread is a magnet for, mm, insufficiently thoughtful comments.

Oh, Patrick--have you not heard Southern Rock Opera? If we lived in the same city, I'd forcibly loan you my copy.

#142 ::: n nglsh Rprsnttv ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 07:45 AM:

Stfn Jns ::: (vw ll by) ::: Dcmbr 15, 2003, 04:25 PM:
Wht's mr, ll thm mrc-htn' lbrls wnt Sddm t g fr vn ftr wht h dd n 9/11.

y fckng dt, sddm hd nthng t d wth 9/11 - h ddnt vn hv ny wpns f mss dstrctn, th ntr bss fr th wr n rq - nstd th mrcn gvrnmnt nw jstfys thr wr by syng tht h ws cndctng rsrch, whch pprntly s cmpltly nccptbl. bt whn fcd wth sprpwr sch s mrc, wth stpd sht fr prsdnt lk bsh, srly y'd wnt t fnd wy t dfnd yr cntry?!?! sddm ddnt vn psss th cpblty t lnch ny mssls nywhr rmtly nr th wstrn wrld, hs mn wrry ws hs nghbr rn. nw dnt gt m wrng, dnt gr wth sm f th thngs sddm hs dn, bt dtst th wy tht th mrcns fd bllsht t th rst f th wrld t ttmpt t jstfy thr rsn fr nvdng rq - nd w ll knw th rl rsn thy dd t ws fr th l. th mrcns sd tht thy wld rstr pc t rq, frm nw gvrnmnt nd mk lf bttr fr ll cncrnd, nd yt, vr yr ltr trps r stll thr, mr r stll bng dplyd, th mrcns hv nt hndd cntrl vr t th rq's, nd thy cnt vn dfnd thr wn ppl n thr s-clld "sf" grn zn. nd tny blr, th brtsh prm mnstr, s hrdly ny bttr. bsh sys jmp, nd h sys hw hgh, rgrdlss f th fct tht h dspts t. nd mst (nt ll, mnd y) f th mrcn pblc r s cmpltly fckng nv bt whts hppnng, thy lv n thr wn lttl drm wrld whr bsh s pprntly prfct - ws wtchng th nws th thr nght, nd thr ws n rtcl bt smll mrcn twn, fll f rpblcns - ws DSGSTD whn yng mrcn grl sd, n th sbjct f bsh, "vry tm h spks t jst wrms my hrt..." jss fckng chrst, hw STPD cn y b?!?! th wrld wld b bttr plc wtht bsh, nd prbbly wtht mrc n gnrl. wk p ll y mrcn dts, lk t th wrld rnd y nd s hw mch VRYN hts y. m spclly.

#143 ::: Tracina ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 08:04 AM:

Oh, look, a drive-by troll who entirely ignored the content of the thread, and furthermore, doesn't know what sarcasm is. Naturally, he doesn't post his attacks under his name, oh, no.

#144 ::: Bill Blum ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 08:35 AM:

Wow. I actually got one of the letters from the Guardian's "Operation Clark County"...

I need to buy a postcard today to send back to England, letting them know "thanks for the sentiment, but I've already filled in my absentee ballot."

#145 ::: n nglsh Rprsnttv ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 09:41 AM:

lt m gss... yr bth mrcn...

#146 ::: Sam Dodsworth ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 10:15 AM:

Well, I'm British - and you're letting the side down.

#147 ::: n nglsh Rprsnttv ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 10:19 AM:

lttng th sd dwn?!? m smply vcng my wn pnns, r s frdm f spch nccptbl nwdys???

#148 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 10:21 AM:

Don't blame America. We voted for Gore.

#149 ::: n nglsh Rprsnttv ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 10:22 AM:

yp, nd stll bsh mngd t gt t b prsdnt... crrptn nyn???

#150 ::: n nglsh Rprsnttv ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 10:23 AM:

yp, nd stll bsh mngd t gt t b prsdnt... crrptn nyn???

#151 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 11:04 AM:

I don't like anonymous provocateurs, and I don't like your choice of fake addresses.

So far, your IP address has been 62.231.144.82.

You can either behave yourself and have a real conversation, or you can learn about local customs and practices the hard way. It's up to you.

#152 ::: Alice Keezer ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 11:07 AM:

Hmm. I'm pretty sure the British got the memo about the severe political polarization of America. I'm almost positive I read an article about it on bbc.co.uk just a few months ago.

Unless this, too, is sarcasm.

(Translation for the capitalization-impaired: Yes, we know. We're doing all we can to change the current system. Try arguing with some Conservatives. If my opinion is any indication, most of us are going to read your posts and say, "And?")

#153 ::: n nglsh Rprsnttv ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 11:17 AM:

d pprct f y ddnt pst my p ddrss nln whr t cn b ccssd my nyn, ncldng hckrs. m sr y cn pprct ths. nw, fr ll ths ppl wh wnt t mn t m, fnd st wth ttl f "why w ht mrc", nd s pstd my pnns n th sbjct. f y dnt lk t thts yr prblm, tk th st dwn. fl vryn s nttld t thr wn pnn, nd f y dnt lk mn thn gnr t, t dsnt cncrn y. m qt hppy t hv rsnbl dscssn wth ppl n th sbjct, nd f ppl dnt wnt t tlk t m r hr my pnns, thn dnt rd t. ts yr chc, s dnt hv g t m fr mkng my chc. nw tk my p ddrss ff, ts vry fckng stpd f y t pst t p thr n th frst plc.

#155 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 11:28 AM:

If you feel that everyone is entitled to their opinion, my little troll, then why don't you apply that to the opinions expressed in this thread? Which were, in fact, anti-Bush, only expressed in a far more coherent and witty manner than yours.

And before you try to insult me by calling me an American, living in the US does not make me American, it makes me an ex-pat Brit. I do hope you are just a troll fishing for a bite, because if your outburst is genuine, such a level of irony-incomprehension in a Briton is deeply embarrassing.

#156 ::: n nglsh Rprsnttv ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 11:28 AM:

h. vry mtr. tk my p ddrss dwn nw.

#157 ::: JamesG ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 11:36 AM:

My guess is that it is too late. If anyone wanted it, it has already been saved and loaded into a program. Bummer.

#158 ::: n nglsh Rprsnttv ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 11:43 AM:

why shld xprss my pnn n wtty mnnr??? dnt s whl lt f hmr pstd nywhr hr t b hnst. thr ws nthng n-chrnt bt wht sd, xprssd vld pnts nd flngs hv. f y dnt gr wth wht sd thn thts fn, d b mr ntrstd n hrng yr pnns n th sbjct nd ctlly hvng dscssn bt t, rthr thn lstnng t y whn nd cmpln nd thrw ptty nslts t m. why s t s hrd fr y t ccpt tht thr ppl my hv dffrnt pnns t yr wn??? prhps wld lrn mr f y crd t shr yr wn pnns wth m rthr thn tll m tht wht thnk bt th sttn s bllcks.
nd nc mr, wll y pls rmv th pst wth my p ddrss n t, m sr y'd fl th sm f r pstns wr rvrsd.

#159 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 11:54 AM:

This rebuild is taking forever ...

#160 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 11:58 AM:

There now. Much better.

#161 ::: Alice Keezer ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 11:59 AM:

Capitalization-impaired and now vowel-deprived. I like it.

#162 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 12:02 PM:

I don't know, guys. What do you think? Should I shut down this thread?

#163 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 12:04 PM:

How about renaming it to something less likely to attract the psychos in the first place and then shutting it down.

#164 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 12:08 PM:

The English Representative has been a source of innocent merriment to me, though the blood pressure of those who actually tried to communicate with him/her might not think so.

OTOH, the thread is a lot more than 120 days old.

#165 ::: n nglsh Rprsnttv ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 12:09 PM:

jss chrst, y'r fckng pthtc!!! nt n prsn hs ctlly md ny knd f ntllctl rply t wht v sd, ll yv dn s cmpln, nd nw y chng ll my cmmnts nt grbg!!! whts th pnt, ts jst chldsh!!! r y s stck p tht y wnt vn lstn t wht smn ls hs t sy, jst bcs y dnt lk t?!? nbdy hs vn bthrd t pst mr thn n cmmnt n rply t wht v sd, ssm bcs y cnt ctlly thnk f dcnt pnt t mk. cm hr xpctng dscssn, nd prfrbly vgly ntllctl n, bt nstd y thrw ptty nslts nd gnr th pnts mk. rlly cnnt blv hw pthtc y ll r, v ctlly nvr sn sch dsply f ttr mmtrty nd nrrw-mnddnss. dbt ths cmmnt wll vn b ntllgbl, bt dnt cr, v hd ngh f y lt. t hd bn mnth snc ny pst n ths st bfr vcd my pnn, nd 20 dd cmmnts ltr thr hsnt ctlly bn dscssn, jst y lt btchng. why dd nbdy vn bthr t ctlly chllng my pnn wth thr wn nstd f jst whnng??? nd 'll grnt tht m yngr thn ll f y, bng nly 18, nd yt nn f y hv ctlly md snsbl cmmnt. fck y ll.

#166 ::: Alice Keezer ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 12:16 PM:

The last few posts intiated in this thread have been trolls. I think we have plenty of room in the Open Threads for such discussion, if needed.

But then, I'm a relative newbie (still enough of a newbie to be in awe of most of you) and only one voice.

#167 ::: Alice Keezer ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 12:18 PM:

Tom: my blood pressure's fine, discussions about foreshadowing notwithstanding. I'm amused, too.

Though I should really learn to listen to my own advice about not feeding the trolls.

#168 ::: Harry Connolly ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 12:19 PM:

English, you're making yourself look foolish.

Try reading the thread in its entirety before you make a comment. You've missed the whole point.

That's why no one is challenging your opinion. Your initial post was completely misguided.

Good luck to you.

#169 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 12:24 PM:

Dear English Representative:

1. If you want people's opinions, start at the top of the thread and read your way down through it. You will notice, unless you are hard of reading, that the original post, by our hostess, expressed her anger and frustration with those members of the conservative, thought-free portion of this country who couldn't imagine that anyone whose opinions differed from theirs could truly be patriotic Americans. Her use of "Why we hate America" should be read as sarcastic. The comments that follow are a discussion about (for the most part) frustrations over current policy, much of it (but not all) expressed by Americans.

2. Rude anonymous posters to this blog are apt to have their ISP addresses posted by our hostess. All rude posters are subject to the rite of disemvowelment, whereby the vowels in part, or all, of their screeds are deleted, as needed. Both of these are part of the blog-owner's policy of civil discourse and courteous disagreement or else. You are free to express disapproval and dismay over the current administration, as well as the fact that so many are blindly convinced that Bushco. are "doing the right thing". We certainly do, and on many more threads than this old one. You are free to point out the corruption endemic in this administration--we certainly do, and on many more threads than this old one. You are free to urge us to try and do better this time around. We hope we can. However, do not assume that anyone likely to post at this site on a regular basis is likely to be impressed by your vision or political insight, or the manner in which you express these things, based on the examples you've shared so far.

3. Every right-wing troll who's ever stopped by either this thread, or any other in this blog, and expressed themselves as rudely or anonymously as you have has been treated the same way. It is not objection to your opinions you're experiencing, but disapproval of your style of discourse. Our hostess treats this blog as she treats her living room; if guests behave obnoxiously, trip over the cat, and throw their drinks at each other, they get a warning, and then shown the door.

4. Assuming every American likes what we have in power is as ignorant as assuming every Brit likes Tony Blair. I realize that the limp worthlessness of much of the American press these days may make it look like we're that stupid, but we aren't.

5. Get over yourself. We have bigger problems over here than whether or not your feelings got hurt because you found out there's little tolerance for rudeness in our hostess' heart. Trust me, she's done worse to trolls than what you've experienced.

#170 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 12:38 PM:

English Rep:

Please read what fidelio said above. It's a good summary of the local rules.

And remember the following if you choose to post not just here, but pretty much anywhere.

* Read before you post.

* Lurk a while.

* Introduce yourself.

* If none of the other commenters are using fake contact info, don't use fake contact info.

* Don't start off by cursing. Nobody will pay you any attention if you do.

* Match the tone of the blog you are responding to.

Ahhh, youth. Being 18 may buy you a little slack, but I think you may have burned up your stock of tolerance here. Not everyone gets disemvowelled so quickly.

#171 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 12:39 PM:

Petal, this is not a site for people to rant about why they hate America. This is one single comment thread in a blog, a thread with an intentionally ironic title, which might have been apparent to you if you had not been a Googling drive-by poster looking for somewhere to scream abuse at Americans. Note: screaming abuse at Americans without even bothering to check what the site is does not support your claim that you wished for an intellectual discussion. This is one reason why nobody is bothering to attempt to engage you in such.

I'd remind myself not to feed the trolls, but I've got a nasty suspicion that you're the genuine article - a bigot who's proud to be one.

Teresa, we've had some good stuff in this thread from random travellers (I find myself wondering what happened to American Lover), but it does seem to be attracting the people who Google for their obsession and then jump in feet first on the assumption that the entire site is devoted to their obsession. I'd be inclined to shut it down. If they have to go to the trouble of finding another thread to express their opinion, there's a slighter better chance of them noticing that this blog has a broad range of topics for discussion and the rest of us are now discussing the whichness of what in current threads.

#172 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 12:49 PM:

Teresa, given not just the magnetic effect of this thread's title, but also the deluge of disgusting spaminess that has shown up on other old threads lately, I'm inclined to agree that closing this one is worth your while. Unless you just like added aggravation in your diet, to keep the stress enzyme levels up, of course.

#173 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 01:49 PM:

...and now you change all my comments into garbage!!!

Fish.

Barrel.

#174 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 01:53 PM:

There he goes again. What does he imagine is going to happen?

#175 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 02:00 PM:

I think I'll do it, then. If American Lover ever comes back, he knows where to find the conversation.

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