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  1. #31
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    Which is precisely why we have this misconception. We feel like we're very conservative in comparison to a lot of Europe--and in some ways we are--but with a handful of exceptions like Sweden that just continues to trail blaze their own path, that feeling leaks into all aspects of life. We mistakenly think that things are magically better in Europe because the things that follow those 'welfare states' tend to be the ideals that are progressive. This.. just really isn't the case. While there is progression in general, there are still just as many bumpy roads and faults over there. The grass is still grass.
    While you might say that "things [seems] magically better in Europe", I do not believe in magic.

    I'd rather make the hypothesis that "average" powers and "average" countries are more eager to try to understand and test practical solutions while observing their neighbours's political life. It's exactly what happened in France: we observe what is happening in Germany, in Spain, in Italy, in Scandinavia, in the Benelux. And occasionally, our neighbours may serve us as role-models. Even a small country like Switzerland could teach a lesson or two about democracy to continental powers like France, Germany or Great Britain.

    This is exactly what happened there. Once again, France is only following Sweden's tracks and experience.

    But the truth is I fear that in their current state, the United States might be too proud and too powerful to understand this lesson well. This also might explain why they could feel so politically isolated within the Western cultural world, sometimes. Because indeed, it's a backward country compared to its closest neighbour, Canada : their constitution hasn't changed much in more than two centuries. The United States, politically speaking, are the most politically conservative democracy (to the point of being reactionary) of all the developed countries. Yet, it seems that they do not want to acknowledge it, that they still consider that everybody should imitate them, and that it would be a disgrace to imitate someone else.


    Everyone who likes their home feels like it is the best home ever. I feel like that's a bit of child hood that never leaves people.
    Yeah, we know, you hate the US and all of it's arrogance and pride and overly patriotic shit. You find every opportunity to slip that "Fuck you 'murica" into your posts as possible. We get it.
    But America has some great merits to it regardless of how you personally feel about it and its inhabitants' enthusiasm and mindsets.

    There is a reason we have a complete influx of au pairs from France here in Houston, TX that don't want to leave the country and go back to France. There is a reason people want to come here still. Despite all the flaws and negativity you see, we still have a lot to offer the rest of the world. Arrogance is ugly on anyone, but I also feel it is subjective what people consider to be arrogant in the first place. We're far too arrogant for you--but I bet Australia is pretty arrogant in comparison to Japanese culture. It's all relative. So, let's lay off the "Eff Murica" stuff and focus on the OP.
    There's an expression for you: being in denial!

    Of course even Texas has a lot to offer to the rest of the world. But the point is that you do not seem to consider that the world has something to offer to Texas (not even mentioning the US).
    We also have a lot of American citizens currently living in Paris, and a lot of them are amazed by the the local quality of life compared to their home country. It's the same in Australia, and it's no wonder Sidney and Paris are often competing in "best quality of life" international rankings. Paris is a wonderfully beautiful city, but when I visit my friends at the University of Texas (in Austin), I feel no contempt nor pride, and am amazed by their work (especially about urban ecology, since the UT-Austin researchers have been historical pioneers in this field).

    Neither Victor or me are genuine US haters. In fact we love your nation, we are thankful that you exist, and both Australia and France shall remain your best allies, the best friends you can ever dream of. But unfortunately, your patriotic feeling blinds you to the point of not understand why.

    And while speaking of prostitution, I noticed you failed to notice the French context even if I tried to refer to it. More than 80% of the current prostitutes in France have no passports, and come either from Africa or Eastern Europe. Technically speaking, yes, they are treated, used and sold like slaves by their pimps. This is modern slavery.
    Maybe you could visit us in Paris, if you want to understand what I'm talking about?

    You'd be welcome.
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  2. #32
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLD View Post
    Maybe that was the case in Kennedy's day. But in October 1976 I floated down with the US Seventh Fleet from South Korea to Australia and took part in Exercise Kangaroo II under the auspices of ANZUS.

    Kangaroo II ran Oct 21-30, 1976, and involved more than 32,000 troops from the US, Australia, and New Zealand. They said it was the largest amphibious exercise in Australia since WWII. My unit did an amphibious landing, camped in the outback for a week or so, and then at the end of the exercise the Seventh Fleet fanned out for liberty calls all over Australia. My unit was given two weeks of shore leave in Brisbane.

    Since then they conducted more Kangaroos every couple of years, then the Crocodile series of exercises, and currently they are conducting Exercise Talisman Saber on a regular basis.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exercise_Talisman_Saber

    New Zealand pulled out of ANZUS back in the 90s because it didn't want nuclear-powered or nuclear-armed ships docking at its ports; I remember that it caused a big stir in the US press because ANZUS was such a long-standing arrangement and such a cornerstone of US policy in the Pacific. But even with NZ out of the picture, the ANZUS treaty itself remains in force today, and military relations between the US and Australia are still alive and well.

    Just saying.
    This is true. Our whole defence posture is based on the ANZUS treaty.

    But it serves the interests of the USA rather than Australia. For instance, we had a long standing opposition to a whole country, West Papua, being handed over to a violent, muslim dictatorship. But in spite of our long term protests, the USA gave a whole country over to a dictatorship who had just murdered from 800,000 to 1,000,000 of their own citizens. And not only have these mass murderers not been brought to trial they boast about their killing to this day. And it was the USA who gave the go ahead for the killing to commence.

    And although we have a thousand billion dollar economy that has been growing for 23 years we can't defend ourselves and rely on the USA to defend us. The USA does provide us with protection but it is a protection racket.

    Relying on the USA we spend less than 2% of our GNP on defence. If we increased it to 6%, we could more than adequatley defend ourselves.

    But this would not suit the USA which wants us to remain a client State.

    And it is plain we delude ourselves to think the USA will defend us.

  3. #33
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    @Mole: At first you said that the US had forgotten about Australia; now you say that the US oppresses and exploits Australia.

    Oh well, whatever. As you please.

  4. #34
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    It's exactly what happened in France: we observe what is happening in Germany, in Spain, in Italy, in Scandinavia, in the Benelux. And occasionally, our neighbours may serve us as role-models. Even a small country like Switzerland could teach a lesson or two about democracy to continental powers like France, Germany or Great Britain.

    This is exactly what happened there. Once again, France is only following Sweden's tracks and experience.
    They're not the only country. A lot of citizens from many countries are looking to Sweden in envy right now. The US is not exempt from that.

    But the truth is I fear that in their current state, the United States might be too proud and too powerful to understand this lesson well.
    In the case of the OP, we took the lesson of prostitution being bad long before France ever picked it up. To speak more generally, I don't think it is immediately that we are too proud to learn from another country. But everything has pros and cons.. and what works for one country might not work for another.

    The city I was in in Uganda didn't have any problems with pedophiles. Last incident they had was 9 years ago--when they caught the guy, they tied him to a pile of ants and covered him in honey until he died of ant poisons and bites. That works for them--but it wouldn't work for us to put a stop to pedophiles around here. That's a really extreme example, but my point is that what works for one culture may not work the same in the other.

    I am highly interested in details like the documentary saying Denmark is the happiest place on Earth--but they are also completely homogeneous. The things that work in Denmark reflect what is in their society. We have a much wider population, and spread of cultures, than most counties have to deal with.. I'm not saying we wouldn't take a good idea if we saw one--but the way we take it, and how long it takes, and whether it would work with our own society and culture, that is a different story.

    There's an expression for you: being in denial!
    Of course even Texas has a lot to offer to the rest of the world. But the point is that you do not seem to consider that the world has something to offer to Texas (not even mentioning the US).
    I don't know if you noticed. But I'm not, nor have I been, knocking France in any way, shape, or form. I'm not trying to assert anyone is superior to anything. I am saying they're behind the curve on this subject, and that they tend to be on many progressive subjects. This is regardless of what is going on in the rest of the world. I'm replying to an OP saying France isn't really the place to take lessons from on progressive social issues--they're getting it from other countries.

    I don't see how my saying they are not the shining star example the OP made them sound to be that I'm somehow implying Texas, or the US, is this superior super world power on all issues and topics and that everyone needs to learn from us.

    Seriously we're not even talking about the US here and yet ya'll just want to insist on throwing it in there wherever you can. It's a self fulfilling prophecy--you're looking for superiority complexes where there are none. I have never once knocked on any thread's doors and started spouting "Oh Btw here's why I think France or Australia is stupid and the US rocks despite the fact ya'll aren't discussing that.."

    What I am precisely saying here is that we've had it illegal forever now--and it didn't really do shit for us. It didn't fix ANYTHING--and made some aspects worse.

    We also have a lot of American citizens currently living in Paris, and a lot of them are amazed by the the local quality of life compared to their home country. It's the same in Australia, and it's no wonder Sidney and Paris are often competing in "best quality of life" international rankings. Paris is a wonderfully beautiful city, but when I visit my friends at the University of Texas (in Austin), I feel no contempt nor pride, and am amazed by their work (especially about urban ecology, since the UT-Austin researchers have been historical pioneers in this department).
    Right, I know that, because I travel a lot. I've seen how beautiful France is, it's why I want to go study there. I don't want to stay in one spot. My point was to illustrate that the US is not this vacuum of just pure suck. There are people from places (like France: the one he was trying to make out to be so amazing in the OP) that absolutely love it here in the US. Just like any expat, they're living there for a reason or another.

    My point was to say that the US doesn't suck that badly, like Mole was trying to illustrate because you can paint his US-hate with a brush every time he posts. That it has many positive influences and reasons for people to still find it a comfortable and viable option.

    Neither Victor or me are genuine US haters. In fact we love your nation, we are thankful that you exist, and both Australia and France shall remain your best allies, the best friends you can ever dream of. But unfortunately, your patriotic feeling blinds you to the point of not understand why.
    I hope you mean your as in the general 'you' and not me specifically. Because you don't know me at all. But I know for a fact Victor holds no love for the US despite Australia holding love for it. He's been posting here a long time now, and anyone who thinks Victor likes the US hasn't been paying attention to his post history. He finds the place perverse and backwards.. which is fine, honestly. But I'm trying to have a conversation about France, and using my own country as an example of a point I'm making, and this quickly it derails into US fluff.

    And while speaking of prostitution, I noticed you failed to notice the French context even if I tried to refer to it. More than 80% of the current prostitutes in France have no passports, and come either from Africa or Eastern Europe. Technically speaking, yes, they are treated, used and sold like slaves by their pimps. This is modern slavery.
    Maybe you could visit us in Paris, if you want to understand what I'm talking about?
    I was in Paris in August. I saw the jailers walking around the Eiffel tower selling things illegally and running away from the police. I saw the girls walking the street. The problem isn't just in France. It is everywhere. I don't know if *you* noticed, but many prostitutes in the US have the same issue--they get imported from other countries, or lack a green card, and are lied to and sold into slavery. I see documentation about it all the time.

    My only point was that making prostitution ILLEGAL ALWAYS punishes the prostitutes--even if they say it doesn't on paper. It didn't fix anything in the US to have it illegal. It won't fix anything in France.
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  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    I don't know if you noticed.. but it is human nature to forget history. We have to make active effort to remember the things from our past. And, just like some people hate studying math despite its importance, many people dislike studying history of any sort--regardless of its importance. That isn't an American thing. Everyone forgets their own history.
    My country is based on history whereas your country is based on ideology.

    And your ideology is revolutionary. And the first impulse of revolutionaries is to take us back to year zero and abolish history. And this is precisely what your revolutionary Noah Webster tried to do.

    But this is tragic for you as the meaning of every word in English depends on its history.

  6. #36
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    My country is based on history whereas your country is based on ideology.

    And your ideology is revolutionary. And the first impulse of revolutionaries is to take us back to year zero and abolish history. And this is precisely what your revolutionary Noah Webster tried to do.

    But this is tragic for you as the meaning of every word in English depends on its history.
    Please. Don't try to imply that Australians are all super awesome at their history homework from school and retain the knowledge and actively study it in their free time. That's just an absurd concept. Just like any other society--you have experts, people that care more casually, politicians that have forgotten, and people who don't give a shit about history no matter what.
    Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
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  7. #37
    Senior Member Forever_Jung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    My country is based on history whereas your country is based on ideology.
    I don't buy that. America is very steeped in its own historical lore. I accidentally learned a ton of American History from the cultural spillover alone. I know more about the history of their presidents than I do about the history of Canadian Prime Ministers.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    Please. Don't try to imply that Australians are all super awesome at their history homework from school and retain the knowledge and actively study it in their free time. That's just an absurd concept. Just like any other society--you have experts, people that care more casually, politicians that have forgotten, and people who don't give a shit about history no matter what.
    Oh please, we live our history day by day. Our institutions are historical and our very language is historical.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forever_Jung View Post
    I don't buy that. America is very steeped in its own historical lore. I accidentally learned a ton of American History from the cultural spillover alone. I know more about the history of their presidents than I do about the history of Canadian Prime Ministers.
    Naming Presidents is a schoolboy view of history.

    History consists of large social movements like the Renaissance and the Enlightenment that changed the world.

    And history consists of the slow historical development of institutions.

    History consists of the history of science, the history of ideas, and the history of child rearing.

    History consists of the history of writing, manuscripts and printing and now the history of the electronic media.

    History consists of the freeing of slaves, women and children.

  10. #40
    Senior Member Forever_Jung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    Naming Presidents is a schoolboy view of history.

    History consists of large social movements like the Renaissance and the Enlightenment that changed the world.

    And history consists of the slow historical development of institutions.

    History consists of the history of science, the history of ideas, and the history of child rearing.

    History consists of the history of writing, manuscripts and printing and now the history of the electronic media.

    History consists of the freeing of slaves, women and children.
    I know. I was just giving an example to illustrate how inundated I was by their history. I have learned a lot of other things about their history too. They have a very rich mythology for such a young country.

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