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  1. #41
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinkerbell View Post
    I'll take your word for it (my US history is pretty sketchy), I was basically agreeing with you that there is nothing lilly white about US history, but that is true of almost all countries. History is written by the winners there are horrors in all countries developments....

    The UK had its own cadre of flamboyantly homosexual spies for the Soviet Union.
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  2. #42
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    How long has it been taught that the Vietnam war was either won or was a respectful draw?
    uh, never, in my experience. We were always taught that the United States gave up after the cost and social upheaval became too great in the eyes of the public. The Vietnam War has always been touted as the first war that the United States lost (the Battle of New Orleans having made up for earlier failures in the War of 1812 ).

  3. #43
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    I would also like to note that, in my experiences as a student, censorship through omission and blatant bias was a two-way street, and the books most critical of the United States were usually the biggest offenders. I wouldn't assume that the textbooks in question are any more truthful than the vague preferences of this lady would be.

  4. #44
    Senior Member tinkerbell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    uh, never, in my experience. We were always taught that the United States gave up after the cost and social upheaval became too great in the eyes of the public. The Vietnam War has always been touted as the first war that the United States lost (the Battle of New Orleans having made up for earlier failures in the War of 1812 ).
    Was it taught that the US brutally invaded a country by force in order to promote it's own agenda? Which is certainly how the world could look at this point in history.....

    I always get very twitchy over what is happening in Africa and the "right" thing for the people there... if left to their own devices it could be another century before the infrastructure matures to the point that peace is common place. It's tempting for the so called developed countries to exploit these countries to get deals on natural resources...

  5. #45
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinkerbell View Post
    Was it taught that the US brutally invaded a country by force in order to promote it's own agenda?
    If by "brutally invaded" and "its own agenda" you mean propping up unpopular South Vietnamese governments and fighting to prevent a North Vietnamese take-over attempting to impose odious communism through "one man, one vote, one time" (a system that would later result in millions of boat people and years of economic stagnation coupled with high levels of government repression), all for the purpose of containing global communism, then yes. And yes, Mai Lai is always mentioned.

    Out of curiosity, do you consider the Korean War as another example of the United States "brutally invading a country by force in order to promote its own agenda"? Its technically true in that case, as well, and just as simplistic, misleading, and prejudicial. When the history books (or newspaper articles, depending on your age) you've read portray American motives and actions in the worst possible light, do they at least mention the information that leads others to alternative conclusions?

  6. #46
    Priestess Of Syrinx Katsuni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raindancing View Post
    I don't mean that American is bad, I just mean that the way school taught people to think about America in school wasn't accurate.

    For anyone to claim their country is 'greatest' seems laughable to me... It's not like there's an objective standard to measure against. *shrug* I guess I find patriotism annoying.

    (not that any of this is the sole domain of America of course. I haven't had in depth experience of many countries, but New Zealand has its fair share of issues too )
    Every country has their share of issues, unfortunately, and the quote that "the winners write the history books" is sadly kinda true, though to be more accurate, it's "the survivors" write the history books... as we cannot hope to overcome history, only to survive it.

    That being said, in this quote above, I wanted to point out there *ARE* objective standards to measure against.

    Things like Gross national product per capita, education as a whole, coverage of medical facilities, unemployment rates, etc.

    Across the board, the USA has not been in the top 5 in several decades, and canada has lost it's #1 position about a decade ago, not sure if it ever got back up there but I doubt it due to medical issues and brain drain issues, plus the economy as a whole.

    In any case, there is actual objective quantification of "the best". The USA is usually hovering down around 20-8 depending on the year. Last I checked, the top countries in the world were almost all in the netherlands region.




    Now then, in terms of whitewashing, it's just foolish. "Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it". If yeu ignore the warnings of the past, ignore why situations occured in the first place, and do the same thing over and over again... well... the definition of insanity according to einstein was to repeat the same action over and over, yet expect a different result.

    To be able to get a different result, one must first understand whot the action taken was, why it was taken, and whot led up to the decision to take that action in the first place.

    There's alot of complex things which need to be factored in. Excessive nationalism makes yeu look bad to the rest of the world (zomg USA is #1!!!!LOL! does not impress anyone, especially when there's many valid arguments to the contrary). So, too, does ignoring yeur faults and pretending yeu're perfect. The first step to fixing a problem is admitting yeu have a problem to begin with. The USA's education system would flat out abhor the alcoholics annonymous if it were treated as an alcoholic... because it refuses to accept that anything was ever done wrong at times.

    And for those stating that the states doesn't have a bloody or cruel history, may I note that slavery wasn't abolished until nearly 100 years after most other first world countries, that blacks and women's rights, and now gay rights, have always lagged far behind the rest of the civilized world, that the USA has a bad habit of thinking it knows whot's best for everyone and trying to enforce such at gunpoint regardless of desire to be controlled... the states has a massive saviour-complex at times, and often it's morals are even weaker than those it's trying to save.

    The bible belt's not much better than the middle east, other than that they don't have any enemies directly next to their boarders that they can shoot at. If yeu dropped the bible belt into the middle of the middle east, trust me, they'd act no more civilized than anyone else. The only reason they don't look quite as bad is that there's no really concentrated enemies to take their hatred out on.



    Now, despite stating all this, I don't really have many issues with the states at all. It really IS a fairly nice place to live, compared to much of the world. I'd consider it significantly below that of the netherlands, canada, and several other locations, but in comparison to ex-ussr countries, middle east, china, and virtually all of africa, yeah it's a MAJOR step above.

    I just absolutely loathe the whole smug superiority and holier-than-thou attitude that the states has a bad habit of giving off. Especially when much of it's unwarrented. The USA's significantly behind alot of the world in terms of modernization, technology, information, censorship, human rights, medical coverage, education at a grade school level, overall education at a post-secondary level (20 of the top 50 universities in the world are american, but the AVERAGE coverage as a whole isn't as great, it's very spiky, some are very good, most are below average, it doesn't even out as well as people want to think).

    I know alot of americans, on the board, from other locations, and most of them I get along with very well. I served in the tech support (and previously billing center but they changed it) for USA customers of cable television for 2.5 years. During that time I literally interacted with TENS OF THOUSANDS of americans. (somewheres around 26,000 in theory, probably less but somewheres around there) And to be perfectly blunt, the vast majority of them were good peeps. They weren't overly rude, they weren't bigoted, and they weren't fanatical. And then... there were cases where I had people trying to convert me to their religion over the phone, I had one guy going on about his racist tendancies and how he blamed his cable issues on black people, I had another insisting all redheads are psychopaths (sadly he wasn't too far off from that mark due to selective genetic breeding as most redheads got killed off at one point, leaving their genes only in the hands of a few individuals). In short though, I generally found that I LIKE most americans, but gawd yeu have a few people in the lower states that just OOZE asinine behaviour, and although their numbers are few, they are so freaking loud they drown out the crowd of perfectly reasonable people.

    That being said, I do have respect for the good americans who manage to remain so despite their country's overall arrogance. Those who can see beyond their whitewashed view of the world are in fact better for it. Those who refuse to accept their flaws and overcome them will never be better than they are, and they aren't that great to start with if they can't handle simple concepts like that.

    In any case, canada and the USA, I've discovered, are very similar in a great many ways. The overall people themselves are very similar, but we have our differences. I think the most commonly quoted difference, though, is a total lie. People seem to have this image that canadians are nice people, and very helpful and kind; yet in practice of living here, I've seen as many rude jerks and elitist pricks as anywheres else. The states has a reputation for closed minded bigots with a bad temper, which is also (mostly) false. The ratio of nice to jerk is probably fairly similar in both countries, though I do think that canada may be a bit higher up on the scale due to economic views (help others in their time of need, vs let them rot and look out for #1 in the economic policies shows this better than most). But it's far from a black and white canada=nice,USA=jerks. Hardly the case at all.

    If I were to choose a place to live, I don't think it'd be the USA though, they're far behind the times in alot of ways, especially on human rights, international policies, and technology. I seriously don't want to pay twice as much for my internet and not even get as good quality in a major american city as I have now out in the middle of nowhere. I don't want to have to live in an oppressive environment where rational thought too often takes a backseat to the religious right, and I most assuredly don't want to be at ground zero when the USA pisses off china and iran badly enough.

    In any case, the states really ISN'T a bad place to live. It's quite a good one compared to most of the world. I just see alot of rather major issues with it, on basic level concepts, that I can't just buy into the hype that it's #1. There's just too many gaping holes in the foundation. It's still probably within the top #10 most of the time, but it definately isn't in #1 like it claims.




    To digress some, as I wander off topic alot, I'd like to get back onto the education dealie.

    If yeu gloss over every military loss, every case of abhorable behaviour, every flawed judgement, and every error, yeu will have learned literally nothing of value. Objective facts are useless without knowing the context in which they apply. Knowing OF the atrocities nazi germany committed is pointless if yeu don't know WHY these occured, and HOW it was possible for them to happen. To be perfectly blunt, the american mindset is very similar to pre-nazi germany, but doesn't have the same level of absolute economic collapse to allow that kind of ridiculous nationalism run rampant. If yeu got to the point that yeur economy was so pathetic that yeur dollar was dropping in value by half on a daily basis, yeu would almost assuredly fall into the same trap that nazi germany did, as the mindset really isn't that different right now. Though yeu'd more likely take it out on the islamic instead of the jews.

    But... that is why we need to understand HOW things occured. The situation right now is slowly edging closer towards a mixture of the errors that caused WW1 and some of the aftermath that caused WW2, and if we don't learn from these mistakes, we're just going to repeat them. The biggest thing now... is to educate understanding, both of the good, and the not so great, sides of our culture, be it canadian, american, swedish, or austrailian, or whotever, if we ignore this though, it will go quite bad once again.

    There are a great many factors that are inherant in the developing of a nation, and a person. Those who can't see how the bad things that happened to, or by them, affect their judgement and growth later in life, will never truly learn from their mistakes.

    Glossing over things and treating the bad things as stuff to be ignored, will only lead inevitably to ruin.

  7. #47
    Senior Member tinkerbell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    If by "brutally invaded" and "its own agenda" you mean propping up unpopular South Vietnamese governments and fighting to prevent a North Vietnamese take-over attempting to impose odious communism through "one man, one vote, one time" (a system that would later result in millions of boat people and years of economic stagnation coupled with high levels of government repression), all for the purpose of containing global communism, then yes. And yes, Mai Lai is always mentioned.

    Out of curiosity, do you consider the Korean War as another example of the United States "brutally invading a country by force in order to promote its own agenda"? Its technically true in that case, as well, and just as simplistic, misleading, and prejudicial. When the history books (or newspaper articles, depending on your age) you've read portray American motives and actions in the worst possible light, do they at least mention the information that leads others to alternative conclusions?
    Ah don't mistake it as a personal view or even one I've read about, but from the external world, any country invading another that doesn't has a direct quarel is indulging in power abuse. It can be seen as such.....

    I was dipitcing the opposite view of how it is probably reported in the US in order to show how it may be seen. Any country invading another country when there is not direct hostilities is abusing its power and enforcing their own values onto people.

    That said, I don't beleive personally the US had good motives for Vietnam.

    Most of the UK history is along those lines - colonise and change society to UK values, assest strip the country etc etc... So called civilisation.... Which to the natve country is really just brutality

  8. #48
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinkerbell View Post
    I was dipitcing the opposite view of how it is probably reported in the US.
    No, that's pretty much how it's reported in the US now.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  9. #49
    Senior Member tinkerbell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    No, that's pretty much how it's reported in the US now.
    To be honest that sulk and is totally disrespectful to the innocent US people sent to fight these wars for an administration fault.....


    I don't agree with the current war, but I wouldn't disrespect those people who are fighting it, its our Governements issue...

  10. #50
    Nickle Iron Silicone Charmed Justice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Yes, it's true. History is written by the Victors.
    And retelling the victor's story to the near exclusion of all others promotes the status quo, and cultural hegemony.

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