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Topic: What does it mean to be American?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 29 2013, 8:26 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Inspired by a comment and mentality that infuriates me, I create this thread.

I am a mutt, a blend of many ethnicities, although all of them to my knowledge are of Caucasian decent. I am Norwegian, Scottish, Prussian (German), Brit and some Neanderthal.

I have American relatives dating back to the 1700's and immigrant relatives from the mid to late 1800's. I have relation that fought in Vietnam, WWII, WWI, the civil war and served peacetime. (possibly revolutionary too, but I don't have that researched enough)

I grew up in an area with a strong Norwegian and German influence. I have been to several polka parties (yes really) and have living relation that speak Norwegian and some that only spoke broken English when they lived here. We celebrated Syttende Mai and ate lefse. The flag of Norway was flown with the American flag.

http://westbysyttendemai.com/ (for those wondering what syttende mai is)

Yet we were all proud Americans. We just had a heritage, knew it and were proud of it.

In fact, isn't that what makes and made America great? Diverse ethnicity, or the fabled melting pot? Ideas and cultures from all over the world bringing their best ideas over to make us a better nation? (excluding slavery, please stay on-topic)

Am I any more or less American than the Indian doctor just out med school? Or the Hispanic American, some who have been here since before we were a nation?

Really, what does it mean to be a United States Citizen? And when do we start accepting that we are not all of the same bloodlines, yet we bleed together nonetheless.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 29 2013, 8:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Reading the various posts, to some, being American means not being born somewhere outside the US.

Critical of your nation because you truly believe it can be better? Being foreign-born means forever having your loyalty questioned.

Actually, I really couldn't care less. The sad part is that our country has more than a few -- decades of education not withstanding.  Just ask Obama about 'birthers'.   :;):


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 29 2013, 9:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(wycanislatrans @ Nov. 29 2013, 8:26 pm)
QUOTE
Yet we were all proud Americans.

"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 29 2013, 9:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Oh come on Ben, I believe I know who you're talking about and saw the post in question. It was pretty clear
from that post that the said poster was simply f***ing with you (he specifically said I was, indeed, taking
a tongue-in-cheek "cheap shot" approach back there
to Hikerjer).

I mean to literally take what he said would mean to take out his entire history of posting which would be total
counter to that literal taking of what he said.  The said poster has somewhat of a reputation of posting while
drunk so to speak(He said "as I am wont to do when left alone for a few minutes with a heavy load of tryptophan,
augmented with a small glass of pinot grigio" to Hikerjer). Ya he likes to push buttons every so often(he has
done it to me and it could be said that sometimes I do the same) because I think he finds it amusing. So
his response about you I'm fairly confident had nothing to do with him actually believing you're not as American
as anyone here. I mean I thought it was obvious


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 29 2013, 10:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Dennis The Menace @ Nov. 29 2013, 6:22 pm)
QUOTE
Oh come on Ben, I believe I know who you're talking about and saw the post in question. It was pretty clear
from that post that the said poster was simply f***ing with you (he specifically said I was, indeed, taking
a tongue-in-cheek "cheap shot" approach back there
to Hikerjer).

I mean to literally take what he said would mean to take out his entire history of posting which would be total
counter to that literal taking of what he said.  The said poster has somewhat of a reputation of posting while
drunk so to speak(He said "as I am wont to do when left alone for a few minutes with a heavy load of tryptophan,
augmented with a small glass of pinot grigio" to Hikerjer). Ya he likes to push buttons every so often(he has
done it to me and it could be said that sometimes I do the same) because I think he finds it amusing. So
his response about you I'm fairly confident had nothing to do with him actually believing you're not as American
as anyone here. I mean I thought it was obvious

Far too often, prejudices are masked as "humor".  You know, I was just kidding with you, can't you take a joke...

Read his posts.  His beef was that he thinks I am too critical of our country -- too often.  You know, "But Ben is Chinese...". And then when others put the guy on the spot for what he wrote, it then became 'hey, I was just f____ around'.

The point isn't a matter of black and white.  I have no doubt that the vast majority of Americans view foreign-born US-passport holders as fellow Americans.  BUT come times of disagreements, doubts not just of logic or reasoning -- but of loyalty -- creep up...


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wycanislatrans Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 29 2013, 11:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(HighGravity @ Nov. 29 2013, 7:21 pm)
QUOTE

(wycanislatrans @ Nov. 29 2013, 8:26 pm)
QUOTE
Yet we were all proud Americans.

"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."

Quoting the Bible and using it for an agenda? Taking me out of context on purpose? Would it make you feel better if I said "proud to be Americans?"

If that's what you got out of my post, you failed to read it properly or I failed to convey the context. I think it's the former. If you want to quote scripture, please at least take it seriously.



Here's the thing. Some of you are here just to blah, blah blah. Maybe hoping to get a rise out of someone or satisfy some immature urge. It's pathetic. Really it is.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 29 2013, 11:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ben2World @ Nov. 29 2013, 10:45 pm)
QUOTE

(Dennis The Menace @ Nov. 29 2013, 6:22 pm)
QUOTE
Oh come on Ben, I believe I know who you're talking about and saw the post in question. It was pretty clear
from that post that the said poster was simply f***ing with you (he specifically said I was, indeed, taking
a tongue-in-cheek "cheap shot" approach back there
to Hikerjer).

I mean to literally take what he said would mean to take out his entire history of posting which would be total
counter to that literal taking of what he said.  The said poster has somewhat of a reputation of posting while
drunk so to speak(He said "as I am wont to do when left alone for a few minutes with a heavy load of tryptophan,
augmented with a small glass of pinot grigio" to Hikerjer). Ya he likes to push buttons every so often(he has
done it to me and it could be said that sometimes I do the same) because I think he finds it amusing. So
his response about you I'm fairly confident had nothing to do with him actually believing you're not as American
as anyone here. I mean I thought it was obvious

Far too often, prejudices are masked as "humor".  You know, I was just kidding with you, can't you take a joke...

Read his posts.  His beef was that he thinks I am too critical of our country -- too often.  You know, "But Ben is Chinese...". And then when others put the guy on the spot for what he wrote, it then became 'hey, I was just f____ around'.

The point isn't a matter of black and white.  I have no doubt that the vast majority of Americans view foreign-born US-passport holders as fellow Americans.  BUT come times of disagreements, doubts not just of logic or reasoning -- but of loyalty -- creep up...

Oh good Lord. Cry me a river. The fact is that you do post threads almost exclusively that are critical of US policy. Not that that's not needed from time to time, but don't pretend you have no agenda.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 29 2013, 11:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(HighGravity @ Nov. 29 2013, 8:18 pm)
QUOTE

(Ben2World @ Nov. 29 2013, 10:45 pm)
QUOTE

(Dennis The Menace @ Nov. 29 2013, 6:22 pm)
QUOTE
Oh come on Ben, I believe I know who you're talking about and saw the post in question. It was pretty clear
from that post that the said poster was simply f***ing with you (he specifically said I was, indeed, taking
a tongue-in-cheek "cheap shot" approach back there
to Hikerjer).

I mean to literally take what he said would mean to take out his entire history of posting which would be total
counter to that literal taking of what he said.  The said poster has somewhat of a reputation of posting while
drunk so to speak(He said "as I am wont to do when left alone for a few minutes with a heavy load of tryptophan,
augmented with a small glass of pinot grigio" to Hikerjer). Ya he likes to push buttons every so often(he has
done it to me and it could be said that sometimes I do the same) because I think he finds it amusing. So
his response about you I'm fairly confident had nothing to do with him actually believing you're not as American
as anyone here. I mean I thought it was obvious

Far too often, prejudices are masked as "humor".  You know, I was just kidding with you, can't you take a joke...

Read his posts.  His beef was that he thinks I am too critical of our country -- too often.  You know, "But Ben is Chinese...". And then when others put the guy on the spot for what he wrote, it then became 'hey, I was just f____ around'.

The point isn't a matter of black and white.  I have no doubt that the vast majority of Americans view foreign-born US-passport holders as fellow Americans.  BUT come times of disagreements, doubts not just of logic or reasoning -- but of loyalty -- creep up...

Oh good Lord. Cry me a river. The fact is that you do post threads almost exclusively that are critical of US policy. Not that that's not needed from time to time, but don't pretend you have no agenda.

The point isn't whether one has an agenda or not.  The point is that the question of loyalty creeps up far more often for minorities and the foreign born.

Not sure why I am even responding to you -- you do get a rise out of criticizing anyone and everyone, don't you?  Blows my mind how you use the Bible to tear down another -- and completely out of context!!


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 29 2013, 11:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(wycanislatrans @ Nov. 29 2013, 11:10 pm)
QUOTE

(HighGravity @ Nov. 29 2013, 7:21 pm)
QUOTE

(wycanislatrans @ Nov. 29 2013, 8:26 pm)
QUOTE
Yet we were all proud Americans.

"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."

Quoting the Bible and using it for an agenda? Taking me out of context on purpose? Would it make you feel better if I said "proud to be Americans?"

If that's what you got out of my post, you failed to read it properly or I failed to convey the context. I think it's the former. If you want to quote scripture, please at least take it seriously.



Here's the thing. Some of you are here just to blah, blah blah. Maybe hoping to get a rise out of someone or satisfy some immature urge. It's pathetic. Really it is.

You're too testy. Calm down. I was simply pointing out the fact that you're only offended by Gabby's comments toward Ben because you are a "proud" American.  It's not an insult to point out that someone is not a dyed in the wool American. Ben travels internationally, is Chinese-American, and is capable of seeing things from a non-American perspective. That's useful on occasion…occasionally. Gabby's comments were the result of Ben's comments being less than occasional. Other than Ben's religious comments, I appreciate seeing his perspective because it is something different than the status quo. But there's definitely an agenda.

(This is the most sensitive political forum I've ever seen on any site. What's up with that?)
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 29 2013, 11:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ben2World @ Nov. 29 2013, 11:22 pm)
QUOTE
Not sure why I am even responding to you -- you do get a rise out of criticizing anyone and everyone, don't you?  Blows my mind how you use the Bible to tear down another -- and completely out of context!!

Out of context? That seems to be a popular argument from the religious when it's used in context. I'm defending you Ben. Chill out.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 30 2013, 2:06 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ben2World @ Nov. 29 2013, 10:45 pm)
QUOTE

(Dennis The Menace @ Nov. 29 2013, 6:22 pm)
QUOTE
Oh come on Ben, I believe I know who you're talking about and saw the post in question. It was pretty clear
from that post that the said poster was simply f***ing with you (he specifically said I was, indeed, taking
a tongue-in-cheek "cheap shot" approach back there
to Hikerjer).

I mean to literally take what he said would mean to take out his entire history of posting which would be total
counter to that literal taking of what he said.  The said poster has somewhat of a reputation of posting while
drunk so to speak(He said "as I am wont to do when left alone for a few minutes with a heavy load of tryptophan,
augmented with a small glass of pinot grigio" to Hikerjer). Ya he likes to push buttons every so often(he has
done it to me and it could be said that sometimes I do the same) because I think he finds it amusing. So
his response about you I'm fairly confident had nothing to do with him actually believing you're not as American
as anyone here. I mean I thought it was obvious

Far too often, prejudices are masked as "humor".  You know, I was just kidding with you, can't you take a joke...

Read his posts.  His beef was that he thinks I am too critical of our country -- too often.  You know, "But Ben is Chinese...". And then when others put the guy on the spot for what he wrote, it then became 'hey, I was just f____ around'.

The point isn't a matter of black and white.  I have no doubt that the vast majority of Americans view foreign-born US-passport holders as fellow Americans.  BUT come times of disagreements, doubts not just of logic or reasoning -- but of loyalty -- creep up...

Yes I'm very familiar with "it was just a joke" posts.  My observation, however, is most of the time the
"it was a joke" posts are used to save face after some poster makes an idiotic comment and tries to convince
anyone reading what he wrote that he didn't actually mean it rather than to hide prejudice.  I certainly haven't seen
Gabby use it in that way and it would be inconsistent, as I said, with the rest of his posting history. Just
what kind of prejudice do you think Gabby has? Predice against Chinese? Because if so you're essentially calling Gabby
a racist bigot agains chinese and I see no evidence on that.  If not then spell it out the prejudices.

I will say, Ben, you do have a propensity to use certainly labels against people like "fanatic" or narratives
convening the same impression as "fanatic"(like the time you compared Tom to Khomeini) and now "prejudice"
even when the application of those labels and narratives have been without merit each and every time.  Also
HG is right. I mean while taking our country's foreign policy to task is always good when its merited(and often
times it is) its become almost like a mindless knee-jerk response from you that seems to lack any kind of fresh
perspective.  I think what maybe Gabby and HG are referring to is that you sound like a broken record("American
Arrogance"..blah blah blah)


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 30 2013, 2:24 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(HighGravity @ Nov. 29 2013, 8:36 pm)
QUOTE
Out of context? That seems to be a popular argument from the religious when it's used in context. I'm defending you Ben. Chill out.


Defending me, eh?  Hard to tell sometimes...   :;):


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 30 2013, 7:24 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

George Carlin has some interesting things to say about national pride

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OnWnwwxNPA
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 30 2013, 7:40 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

wycanislatrans
QUOTE
Really, what does it mean to be a United States Citizen? And when do we start accepting that we are not all of the same bloodlines, yet we bleed together nonetheless.


This is a very broad topic - so the best we can hope for, in my opinion, is to address a few of the major points.

I would start by pointing out that Americans have culture that encourages everyone's voice - the First Amendment tradition. Pornography and threats and a few more types of especially repulsive speech are restricted. But in general. Americans can be critical of their government and leaders without fear of being jailed or punished. And the American government and leadership listens because American citizens vote.

An outsider could easily come to the conclusion by reading and listening to the US media that America is a terrible place with incompetent and corrupt leadership. That's because Americans and their media focus on problems and freely criticize in an effort to make things better in America. This constant, pretty much unrestricted by government, "Monday morning quarterbacking" of government, police, politicians, and just about everybody serves to make Americans strive to improve.

Citizens are very well informed in America and have learned to sort through the media hype. Politicians have learned that in the long run they will be held accountable by an informed voter. That doesn't mean that in the short run the wealthy can't exert undue influence. But in the long run, a knowledgeable voter will prevail.

All this constant debate and transparency results in an America that continues to incrementally improve. No sooner is debate on one "problem" concluded than another taken up. This constant chaos SEEMS like a nation in the process of rapid decline. But the opposite is really the case.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 30 2013, 9:36 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

(This is the most sensitive political forum I've ever seen on any site. What's up with that?)

All that time walking in the wilderness alone tends to bring out the feminine side , hence we are all sensitive, introspective navel gazers, and end up being overly polite and tender.  

Or, not.


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"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

- John Kenneth Galbraith
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 30 2013, 10:00 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(wycanislatrans @ Nov. 29 2013, 7:26 pm)
QUOTE
What does it mean to be an American?

If you have lived in the United States and in your heart you call it home, you are an American.

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We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.
-- Native American proverb
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 30 2013, 10:53 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Bass @ Nov. 30 2013, 6:40 am)
QUOTE
Citizens are very well informed in America and have learned to sort through the media hype. Politicians have learned that in the long run they will be held accountable by an informed voter. That doesn't mean that in the short run the wealthy can't exert undue influence. But in the long run, a knowledgeable voter will prevail.

All this constant debate and transparency results in an America that continues to incrementally improve. No sooner is debate on one "problem" concluded than another taken up. This constant chaos SEEMS like a nation in the process of rapid decline. But the opposite is really the case.
However, IMHO, the bolded part is the most important. There is every opportunity to become "well informed", yet there are still many who are poorly informed, led by their noses by media, or, as in the case in question here, insufficiently informed about complex issues to the point that they simply repeat "buzz words" and post the same damned chart over and over.

And if he can't get even the simple stuff right:

(Ben2World @ Nov. 29 2013, 9:45 pm)
QUOTE
Far too often, prejudices are masked as "humor".  You know, I was just kidding with you, can't you take a joke...

Read his posts.  His beef was that he thinks I am too critical of our country -- too often.  You know, "But Ben is Chinese...". And then when others put the guy on the spot for what he wrote, it then became 'hey, I was just f____ around'
.

NOTE the original post and date:

(Gabby @ Nov. 28 2013, 10:59 am)
QUOTE
Not that I'm suggesting a "subtext", of course... :^> However, he is Chinese...and we never hear about any women from him. Coincidence? (I think not.)

NOTE the subsequent post and date:

(Gabby @ Nov. 29 2013, 10:51 am)
QUOTE
I was, indeed, taking a tongue-in-cheek "cheap shot" approach back there - as I am wont to do when left alone for a few minutes with a heavy load of tryptophan, augmented with a small glass of pinot grigio - but, yeah, I think Ben has every right to his opinion...
As clearly indicated - but I guess you missed that in your collective "rush to judgment".

No, I wasn't "drunk" (at least not via alcohol), but thanks for pointing out the obvious, Dennis. I haven't been around here for some time, and T-Day afternoon was empty of obligations. Let's face it, some people simply see what they want to see, despite any evidence.

And, no, Ben, I'm not just saying you're "too critical of our country". I'm saying, as has been repeatedly pointed out in the past, and as I myself pointed out in that second post I excerpted above, you are too simplistic and way too repetitive in your accusations. Try looking more closely at the issues involved - read something about national income accounting and what "debt" is - and where it came from. It's a complex issue, and "cut, cut, cut" is beyond stupid. The "national debt" isn't the same thing as "family debt". At least some of what is counted, for instance is "intragovernmental". The majority is public investment in the US as a secure asset by those with funds which they wish to render both reasonably productive while still being within the most secure investment arena they can find. Despite our continued, Republican-induced, financial difficulties, the US is still considered relatively "safe" as an investment.

At best, I'm simply saying you're being naive. You've probably been misled by the "debt hawks".
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 30 2013, 11:04 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Gabby @ Nov. 30 2013, 10:53 am)
QUOTE

(Bass @ Nov. 30 2013, 6:40 am)
QUOTE
Citizens are very well informed in America and have learned to sort through the media hype. Politicians have learned that in the long run they will be held accountable by an informed voter. That doesn't mean that in the short run the wealthy can't exert undue influence. But in the long run, a knowledgeable voter will prevail.



However, IMHO, the bolded part is the most important. There is every opportunity to become "well informed", yet there are still many who are poorly informed, led by their noses by media, or, as in the case in question here, insufficiently informed about complex issues to the point that they simply repeat "buzz words" and post the same damned chart over and over.

I don't think there is good evidence that the average voter is well informed. Most vote based on the party affiliation.

Perhaps we should have a system where you go to the polls and are asked specific questions about various policies, at which point a computer then determines which candidate you should vote for.
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(HighGravity @ Nov. 30 2013, 10:04 am)
QUOTE
I don't think there is good evidence that the average voter is well informed. Most vote based on the party affiliation.
IMHO, a few years of experience on this forum would make you begin to think that. Severe cases of Dunning-Kruger are rampant, even in those who believe they read extensively enough and "know" the relevant subjects required.

(HighGravity @ Nov. 30 2013, 10:04 am)
QUOTE
Perhaps we should have a system where you go to the polls and are asked specific questions about various policies, at which point a computer then determines which candidate you should vote for.
This has been suggested before, I believe.

I've often thought that a system in which we only voted for local people we actually knew, who then voted for people at the next level that they knew, would be best. But, that is pretty much how our system works already, at least some parts of it - the "most representative" parts. Well, even the "executive" is still arranged to be that way, though it's mostly "nonfunctional" except in rare cases, and many view it with some doubt, if not outright malice.

Reading in Chinese Communist history some years back, I found out that a very "localized" election system is, in fact, exactly how the Communist Party elected Party officials in the very early years, using Party Cadres to guide the politically naive peasants. There was a very big problem with lack of education that could only be overcome by having a system that worked from the bottom up, and in a very overt "verbal" way - one that the peasantry could fully understand.

There are many times when I believe that our own "peasantry" is worse.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 30 2013, 2:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

While at Electronic Data Systems, an employee from the Chennai India office came here for a temp assignment that lasted almost 2 years.  My wife and I became good friends with Arun and his wife Subi and their daughter Abi.

Honest, hard working, courteous, smart, reliable....all the "good" adjectives you could use to describe someone.

All 3 loved America and desperately wanted to stay.  But after 2 years, EDS ordered him to return to India.

I remember his last day at EDS.  I walked with him out of the building.

When we got to the parking lot, he turned to me, put his arms around me and began to cry almost uncontrollably.  His shoulders shook.  Tears welled up in my eyes.  I was too choked up to even say a word.  

But,  I was thinking about how many American-born citizens I knew who contributed so little, and how I would love for Arun to trade citizenship with them, and ship them to India. Arun wasn't born here.  Nor was Subi, nor Abi, but they would have been the best of True Americans.


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My favorite compliment: "GrandPa, I've seen other old men, and their faces are a whole lot cruddier than yours is".
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 30 2013, 5:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(HighGravity @ Nov. 29 2013, 9:32 pm)
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You're too testy. Calm down. I was simply pointing out the fact that you're only offended by Gabby's comments toward Ben because you are a "proud" American.  

I was simply calling out BS and to be honest, Gabby's comment and proliferation of such BS makes me an ashamed American.

But like hinted at in some of the comments on this thread, the world is full of dumb@sses and @ssholes. They exist in China too. I just have a low tolerance for them in my personal life.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 30 2013, 5:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Old Frank @ Nov. 30 2013, 12:46 pm)
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While at Electronic Data Systems, an employee from the Chennai India office came here for a temp assignment that lasted almost 2 years.  My wife and I became good friends with Arun and his wife Subi and their daughter Abi.

Honest, hard working, courteous, smart, reliable....all the "good" adjectives you could use to describe someone.

All 3 loved America and desperately wanted to stay.  But after 2 years, EDS ordered him to return to India.

I remember his last day at EDS.  I walked with him out of the building.

When we got to the parking lot, he turned to me, put his arms around me and began to cry almost uncontrollably.  His shoulders shook.  Tears welled up in my eyes.  I was too choked up to even say a word.  

But,  I was thinking about how many American-born citizens I knew who contributed so little, and how I would love for Arun to trade citizenship with them, and ship them to India. Arun wasn't born here.  Nor was Subi, nor Abi, but they would have been the best of True Americans.

Great post!
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 30 2013, 6:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Anyone who really wants to find out what it means to be an American just needs to get out and walk around the world a bit.

You will find countries where personal freedom does not exist. And, you will find countries where the level of personal freedom is fully equal to that which we enjoy in the U.S.

You will find countries where poverty and hunger are so prevalent that the vast majority of people have no time to worry about anything except when they will eat again. You will also find countries just like ours wherein the majority are living reasonably well.

You will find countries where violent crime is rare and you will find countries, like ours, where violent crime is an everyday reality. You will also find countries where law is almost non-existent and violent crime is totally out of control.

You will find countries governed by dictators, others by monarchs, and others by democracy just like ours.

You will find countries that are godless. You will find others where the majority adhere to some form of religious belief.

You will find that in most countries the majority of people are patriotic and willing to support their government's foreign policy without asking too many hard questions.....just like ours.

You will find countries where immigrants are alternately welcomed and shunned until they "prove" their worth......just like ours!!

I'm 64 years old. I spent 10 years as a US soldier, 7 of which were overseas. In addition, I've been travelling regularly for over 30 years. IMHO, we are just people.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 30 2013, 6:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(solonomad @ Nov. 30 2013, 5:11 pm)
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IMHO, we are just people.

True.

I would like to state truthfully we are a just people, but we're not there yet.


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We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.
-- Native American proverb
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 30 2013, 6:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We are just people.  Except our media and our popular culture both reinforce the notion of American exceptionalism -- awkwardly juxtaposed onto a population where a full 60% don't even hold a valid passport.

My own experience over the years -- Americans infected with this 'exceptionalism' hubris the least are those who have lived abroad and/or traveled regularly -- like Solonomad above.

Click here for stats on US passport issuance.  The good thing is that the State Dept. now issues many more passports annually than just ten years ago.  Now, if we can just get more people to venture beyond London, Paris, Rome, Australia and beach resorts...

Finally, kudos and best wishes to OP -- who will in fact be venturing abroad in just a few more days!  :)


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 30 2013, 8:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(wycanislatrans @ Nov. 30 2013, 4:32 pm)
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I just have a low tolerance for them in my personal life.

As I have a low tolerance for nitwits and idiots.

You started an entire thread to attack me over something that didn't happen. Good luck with that, numbskull.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 30 2013, 8:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Gabby @ Nov. 30 2013, 5:08 pm)
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(wycanislatrans @ Nov. 30 2013, 4:32 pm)
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I just have a low tolerance for them in my personal life.

As I have a low tolerance for nitwits and idiots.

You started an entire thread to attack me over something that didn't happen. Good luck with that, numbskull.

Nitwits, idiots and now numbskull.  How old are you?   :D


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The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.  -- St. Augustine
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 30 2013, 8:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I call 'em like I see 'em.

Seems I was right after all.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 30 2013, 8:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Gabby @ Nov. 30 2013, 5:30 pm)
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Seems I was right after all.

Spoken like a teen with zits on his face.   :D


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 30 2013, 9:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'd like to mention here that this thread was started by your buddies, Ben.

The "teen with the zits" is the OP, not me.
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