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September 17th, 2007, 17:45
Originally Posted by Myrthos View Post
Does that mean only Americans can criticize the US? Or talk about what is wrong with it?
No, of course not. I was responding directly to Prime Junta.

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on. But it don't snow here. It stays pretty green. I'm going to make a lot of money, then I'm going to quit this crazy scene. — [Joni Mitchell]
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September 17th, 2007, 17:52
Originally Posted by Myrthos View Post
Does that mean only Americans can criticize the US? Or talk about what is wrong with it?
I think the point of frustration is the appearance that for PJ the subject of all topics in this forum is 'the US, what it wrong with it, discuss'. He comes across as making no bones about being anti-American, and will bash others for citing sketchy sources then defend his own sketchy sources by saying either that he is a victim of attacks, that the quality of the source doesn't deny the validity of the the underlying claim, or that the person asking the question is merely in denial.

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September 17th, 2007, 18:19
Originally Posted by Squeek View Post
Look who's talking: The self-proclaimed anti-American. You introduced that phrase to these forums, remember?

There's plenty wrong with America, and we Americans tend to talk about it a lot. We just don't enjoy it when obnoxious fools from other places take pot shots at it.
Still you keep taking pot shots at me instead of discussing the topic at hand. Should I take that as conceding the point?
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September 17th, 2007, 18:37
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
I think the point of frustration is the appearance that for PJ the subject of all topics in this forum is 'the US, what it wrong with it, discuss'. He comes across as making no bones about being anti-American, and will bash others for citing sketchy sources then defend his own sketchy sources by saying either that he is a victim of attacks, that the quality of the source doesn't deny the validity of the the underlying claim, or that the person asking the question is merely in denial.
(1) If you consider the OECD, the UN, and the Pew Research Institute "sketchy sources," would you care to explain what source in your book is not sketchy?

(2) Could you kindly provide an example of me bashing someone for citing sketchy sources?

(3) When pointing out that ad hominem is a fallacy, I was responding to your attempt at invalidating *my* claims due to *my* perceived biases — not defending my sources. You're entirely reasonable to demand that I justify any claims I make, e.g. by sourcing them. You're also entirely reasonable to question the biases of my sources. However, I believe that the ones I've used — as listed above — should qualify as "serious" sources, not ones coming from a fringe group with a clear agenda. If you believe otherwise, please explain why.

I don't think this line of discussion is likely to be very useful or interesting, by the way, since it's about me rather than the issues at hand.

What else? Yes, I'm an avid America-watcher. And yes, "what's wrong with it" makes for a more interesting conversational subject than "what's right with it:"

Me: "The American system of higher education in the hard sciences and engineering has an amazing capacity to attract geniuses and bringing out the best of them. The rest of the world should take note."

Squeek & txa: "Uh-huh."

Me: "American culture has a marvelous capacity to absorb new influences and groups without erasing their identity. Very few other cultures are as open to accepting people who are overtly different. This is something most countries should try to emulate."

Squeek & txa: "Uh-huh."

Me: "Where most cultures see success as something to be envied or sponged upon, Americans see success as something to be emulated. If we could find a way of combining this attitude with a social/political system that provides a European-style safety net, our societies could profit greatly."

Squeek & txa: "Uh-huh."

Me: "America has done an enormous amount of good for the world in saving Western Europe from Soviet domination and rebuilding it with the Marshall plan. For this, we remain grateful."

Squeek & txa: "Uh-huh."

Me: "George W. Bush's government has done more to fight human trafficking than any government in the world ever."

Squeek & txa: "Uh-huh."

Jeez, I could go on for a quite a while, but you get the picture, I hope.
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September 17th, 2007, 18:45
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Still you keep taking pot shots at me instead of discussing the topic at hand. Should I take that as conceding the point?
This isn't discussion, anymore. It's become debate for you, somehow. I made my point. You can take it any way you want.
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September 17th, 2007, 18:59
Originally Posted by Squeek View Post
This isn't discussion, anymore. It's become debate for you, somehow. I made my point. You can take it any way you want.
I take that as a "yes." Thank you for conceding so gracefully.
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September 17th, 2007, 20:16
Reducing it all to personalities is fruitless. Every country, every business model, and every person can benefit from constructive criticism, while destructive personal attacks just remove common ground.

People not in the U.S. have a different vantage point, a different background, and are often effected by U.S actions, so they have every right to voice their reactions and opinions, (and of course, we have every right to react in turn.)

What would be the point of having a discussion if everyone argued from the same premise? Freedom of speech means having to listen to things you don't personally agree with. I look on these discussions(debates or whatever) as opportunities to understand how other people think. It's too easy to make the assumption that other people share your perceptions even about the most fundamental things; sometimes they do but more often that assumption will lead to some major surprises down the road.

'kay guys—flame on.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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September 17th, 2007, 20:49
true all native americans were hardly stewards, but many of their leaders were (which can hardly besaid about todays's) and their culture and spirituality were directly linked to the health of the earth. plus even wiping out animals is hardly as detrimental as wiping out plant life which are far more crucial to the earth not becoming a heaping pile of refuse. off course i am mainly refering to the smaller tribes and other nomads. civilizations like the aztecs and mayans to me are a whole different bag. human sacrafices give paganism a bad name as well.

and i could be pulling this number out of my rear, but i believe their were hundreds of unique tribes alone in california at one time.
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