Dear America,

Talk about anything and everything here within reason.
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gestalt   10 kW

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Re: Dear America,

Post by gestalt » Dec 15 2012 4:16pm

veloman wrote: The reality is that there are many ways to slaughter people.
this is the thing that drives me crazy about what the "war on terror" has done at home for us yanks, if you're trying to tell me that the reason we haven't had any foreign terrorist attacks here since NY is because our government is so good at it you're nuts. spend a lot of time on the streets and all over the country you'll see what an easy target we are...even on a budget. and there is no amount of extra cameras and security checkpoints that can do anything but let big brothers belt out a little more and ours in.
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Re: Dear America,

Post by Jeremy Harris » Dec 15 2012 4:32pm

gestalt wrote: this is the thing that drives me crazy about what the "war on terror" has done at home for us yanks, if you're trying to tell me that the reason we haven't had any foreign terrorist attacks here since NY is because our government is so good at it you're nuts. spend a lot of time on the streets and all over the country you'll see what an easy target we are...even on a budget. and there is no amount of extra cameras and security checkpoints that can do anything but let big brothers belt out a little more and ours in.
One thing the "war on terror" has done, both for the US and the UK, is create a lot of seriously pissed off people, some of whom will, sooner or later, be looking to start the whole cycle over again.

The arrogance of the West, and the violent interference in other cultures, cannot ever work to reconcile differences and reduce the threat of terrorism. All we are doing is creating a new generation that believes we are violent suppressors of their culture.

I can understand the US belief that violent intervention in other countries is OK in order to secure oil, I can't understand our involvement. We learned a lot of hard lessons when we had a global empire - if you piss people off by intervening or ruling their country, sooner or later they get their own back. Seems like we didn't learn that lesson very well last time.
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Re: Dear America,

Post by sk8norcal » Dec 15 2012 5:45pm

Thud wrote: The kid who did this was on the lowest rung of middle class,(the working poverty class) His mother was a "teachers aid" (a job that pays less than a "check out" clerk in most areas of the country)
http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Repo ... 120058.php
Peter Lanza, a vice president of taxes for GE Energy Financial Services, declined to answer questions from reporters in front of his home in Stamford in the Westover section of the city.

Lanza has worked as tax specialist and had served as an adjunct professor at Northeastern University in Boston since 1995.

A neighbor said Peter Lanza had recently remarried.

According to court documents, Peter Lanza was required to send significant alimony payments to Nancy Lanza, including monthly payments of $10,000 a month and increasing to a minimum of $12,450 up until 2023.

The court documents list Peter Lanza's gross weekly income as $8,556 and that he was required to pay all of Adam Lanza's college and graduate school expenses.

Read more: http://www.newstimes.com/news/article/R ... z2FAB7DwNK

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Re: Dear America,

Post by TylerDurden » Dec 15 2012 5:58pm

Killer’s Mother, His First Victim, Was a Gun Enthusiast, Friends Say
By MATT FLEGENHEIMER and RAVI SOMAIYA
Published: December 15, 2012
New York Times


NEWTOWN, Conn. — She was “a big, big gun fan” who went target shooting with her children, according to friends. She enjoyed craft beers, jazz and landscaping. She was generous to strangers, but also high-strung, as if she were holding herself together.

Nancy Lanza was the first victim in a massacre carried out on Friday by her son Adam Lanza, 20, who shot her dead with a gun apparently drawn from her own collection, then drove her car to Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he killed 26 people, 20 of them small children, officials said.

Their family had been disrupted by divorce in 2008. Ms. Lanza split from her husband of 17 years, court records show, and he moved out. Adam stayed with his mother. His former high school classmates said they believed that he had Asperger’s syndrome or another developmental disorder. Ms. Lanza had an older son, Ryan, who did not live with them.

News reports on Friday suggested that Ms. Lanza had worked at the elementary school, but at a news conference on Saturday, the school superintendent said there was no evidence that Ms. Lanza had ever worked at the school as a full-time or substitute teacher, or in any other capacity.

The authorities said it was not clear why Mr. Lanza went to the school.

Interviews with friends, neighbors and local residents, and an analysis of public records, revealed details of Ms. Lanza’s life and death. To some, she was a social member of the community, a regular at Labor Day picnics and ladies’ nights out. To others, she was a woman dealing with a difficult son and maintaining a public face “with uncommon grace.”

Many of those who knew her were at a loss to describe what she did for a living. (Her ex-husband is an executive at General Electric.)

Ms. Lanza, 52, was a slender woman with blond shoulder-length hair.

She often went to a local restaurant and music spot, My Place, where she sat at the bar, according to a manager there who gave her name only as Louise. Ms. Lanza typically came to My Place alone, said another acquaintance, Dan Holmes, owner of Holmes Fine Gardens, a landscaping company in Newtown, who also met her at the bar.

At craft beer tastings on Tuesday evenings, he recalled, she liked to talk about her gun collection.

“She had several different guns,” he said. “I don’t know how many. She would go target shooting with her kids.”

Law enforcement officials said they believed that the guns were acquired lawfully and registered.

Ms. Lanza spoke often of her landscaping, Mr. Holmes recalled, and later hired him to do work on her home.

Last week, he dispatched a team to put up Christmas decorations at her house — garlands on the front columns and white lights atop the shrubbery.

After the work was complete, Ms. Lanza sent Mr. Holmes a text: “That went REALLY well! Two people took care of the gardens and gutters and one decorated. Very efficient and everything looks great! Thank you!”

Jim Leff, a musician, often sat next to her at the bar and made small talk, he said in an interview on Saturday. On one occasion, Mr. Leff said, he had gone to Newtown to discuss lending money to a friend. As the two men negotiated the loan, Ms. Lanza overheard and offered to write the man a check.

“She was really kind and warm,” Mr. Leff said, “but she always seemed a little bit high-strung.”

He declined to elaborate, but in a post on his personal Web site, he said he felt a distance from her that was explained when he heard, after the shootings, “how difficult her troubled son,” Adam, “was making things for her.”

She was “handling a very difficult situation with uncommon grace,” he wrote.

She was “a big, big gun fan,” he added on his Web site.

Neighbors recalled Ms. Lanza as sociable, a regular at Labor Day picnics and “ladies’ nights out” for a dice game called bunco.

“We would rotate houses,” said Rhonda Cullens, 52, a neighbor since Ms. Lanza moved to Newtown with her husband and two children. “I don’t remember Nancy ever having it at her house.”

Ms. Cullens said Ms. Lanza had never discussed an interest in guns with her, but spoke often about gardening — exchanging the sorts of questions typical of the neighborhood: What can you plant that the deer would not eat? Is such maintenance worth the trouble for a house like the Lanzas, perched on the back of a steep hill and scarcely visible from the street?

“She was complaining, ‘Here, I’m doing all this landscaping up here and nobody can see it,’ ” Ms. Cullens recalled.

But for many of those on Yogananda Street, where the Lanzas lived and where the police had cordoned off much of the block on Saturday, the recollections about Ms. Lanza were incomplete.

“Who were they?” said Len Strocchia, 46, standing beside his daughter as camera crews came through the neighborhood. “I’m sure we rang their door bell on Halloween.”

He looked down the block, then turned back to his daughter. “I’m sure of it,” he said.

Susan Beachy and Thomas Kaplan contributed reporting.
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neptronix   100 GW

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Re: Dear America,

Post by neptronix » Dec 15 2012 6:39pm

Well, i guess things are clarified for me, then.
I think the next course of action is to reduce access to jazz and craft beers.
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Re: Dear America,

Post by melodious » Dec 15 2012 7:24pm

neptronix wrote:Well, i guess things are clarified for me, then.
I think the next course of action is to reduce access to jazz and craft beers.
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Re: Dear America,

Post by Joseph C. » Dec 16 2012 12:19am

dogman wrote:Other things are different, nearly every game is kill humans. Sure, we played kill games when I was young, but the idea was always kill evil persons, within the framework of a war sanctioned by the state. Vid games now are all shoot em all, sort em out later shit.
I believe the video game/violence thing has been done to death and still no link has been shown. Until there is strong evidence to suggest otherwise video games do not cause violent sociopathy.

Although try telling that to all the hack psychologists pumping out nonsense on TV and radio. And psychology is a field which has a long list of charlatans disguising hypotheses as theories such as what Messrs. Freud, Jung and Lacan did with not a shred of proof in any of their works. So the hacks have form.

The majority of these murders are probably caused by two-factors:

Jeremy's point about cultural determinants is interesting but no point applying it to a country that doesn't have it already deeply instilled. It is too late for that at this stage anyway so it is time to remove the handguns and the automatics and don't let any one with high risk factors possess any gun. The Wild West was over long ago, if it ever existed in the first place, time to move into the 21st century and start voting on referendums.

The other issue is of course mental health being so poorly understood and so poorly treated. Which brings us back to the first point - too many hacks and not enough professionals in the mental health area.

Even today the myth still persists that people who eventually kill themselves after suffering throughout their lives with severe depression are somehow 'weak' when the opposite is true. It takes a very strong person to live with such pain for so long - others would fold very quickly.

The latter problem effects virtually every country.
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Re: Dear America,

Post by MikeFairbanks » Dec 16 2012 12:48am

A couple things I'd like to add:

1. America is the third most populated nation in the world, behind China and India. That's a lot of people. We have 300,000,000 people here that we counted two years ago (not counting the approximately 20,000,000 who are visiting without checking in first).

2. As a result, we have no national identity. The Japanese are Japanese, for the most part, and the same goes for most nations (not all), but we are so diverse in our culture that we don't see America for its people. We see it as a country, a land, a flag, a government, and a few songs, but unfortunately, there are tens of millions (really over a hundred million) or so who see those who agree with them as Americans. We have a large contingent of folks who don't want to accept that we are all Americans, even if we think differently, believe differently, or look differently.

3. I mentioned this before, but this nation started with conflict from the get-go. We not only went after the Indians immediately, but we went after each other immediately. I'm talking murder, cannibalism and more in our very first colony (Jamestown...well, it was the first permanent English colony....the other one disappeared).

4. It's been the wild, wild west ever since, including the worst war in American history in which we butchered each other over slavery and are still fighting that darn thing all these years later with millions of people going nuts less than a week after Obama took office, forming that crazy bunch that pretends to be upset over a lot of things that really mean, "dang, he's black."

5. And the guns? They now outnumber the people. Isn't that nuts? We're a paranoid culture, riddled with fear over our medicines, hotel pillows, and anyone with a camera that changes lenses. I certainly don't own one (a gun, that is. I actually have a camera that changes lenses).

6. Mental health is the biggest issue here. Those who admit they suffer from it (which are the only honest people in the world) are often the very ones you shouldn't fear, and the people who claim to be mentally healthy all the time are the ones you need to think twice about.

Mental health is 100% physical. There's nothing mysterious, supernatural, or unscientific about it. You and I have a brain, and it gets sick a lot. Your brain is the most complex organ in the body. It's not demons that infect it (evil) or the way your mother over-cleaned the house or toilet trained you.

The brain gets ill, just like your back, your skin, your reproductive system, etc. And sooner or later we're going to accept this and learn to visit a psychiatrist yearly for a checkup like we do a primary physician. Why ignore the most important organ?


We have a lot of growing up to do.


But since you asked us to stop killing each other, know that I never have and never will. I'd rather die than kill. I can accept my own death. I cannot accept the taking of someone else's life. I won't do it. I'm not saying I'm incapable. Everyone is capable, but there's no point to it. People should just use the middle finger if things are bad enough and walk away.

Geesh.


The bottom line is this: To make the world a better place you have to be willing to love everyone, and I mean everyone. No matter how nasty someone is, you have to love them. Be the MLK or Gandhi you know you can be. Seriously, if you cannot love everyone you have no love for anyone. That's a fact.

In my strong opinion, hatred toward anyone is hatred toward everyone, including yourself. People are people, and until the lovers outnumber the haters we'll continue having these kinds of problems.

And no country is immune. The Aussies and the Kiwis have blood on their hands for their own crimes, as do the English, Spanish, Koreans, Japanese, Indians, French, and the Americans. I heard the Germans pulled a few bloody murders here and there as well.

Such is the nature of the human being, a vile and disgusting primate that needs to simply grow up and learn to love.
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Re: Dear America,

Post by biohazardman » Dec 16 2012 2:01am

Purposely killing children is by far the most heinous crime I can think of. Just plain evil in my book. Hard to say why he did it doesn't really matter as it is already done. Most seem to elude to the fact that guns don't kill people, people do. It's the same with cars and any other inanimate object. Many major changes happening at an alarming pace throughout the world that take us farther from the being that created us and the things he teaches although many here may disagree from what I have seen in some poles taken on the forum. I see the attack on morality by our media and government and subsequent disintegration of the family unit as one of the main causes of the rising plague of violence and not just here in the USA. Yes, the US is very populated in comparison to most of the world so things will happen more frequently here. But lets remember we are free to report and sensationalize it all the best we can as well. That being said the world hears more of what's going on because there is an abundance of media people here and they are very active, it makes them money, and communication is very open. Cameras and cell phones are everywhere so not as much as much gets missed because of it. My prayers go out to the survivors of the massacre and the many more who are traumatized and weighed down by the senseless act.
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Re: Dear America,

Post by jonescg » Dec 16 2012 3:01am

Great post, Mike F.

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Re: Dear America,

Post by dh-paule » Dec 16 2012 3:31am

jonescg wrote:Great post, Mike F.
oh yes, a great post !
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Re: Dear America,

Post by Jeremy Harris » Dec 16 2012 4:44am

I'll add my applause to that above for your post, Mike.
Please ask questions on the forum, rather than by PM, as it helps others and you'll get a better range of answers.

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Re: Dear America,

Post by Lessss » Dec 16 2012 6:18am

The human brain is the end product of evolution and well nature has a bad attitude of "frock it ship it, it's good enough for now" for a long time now.
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Re: Dear America,

Post by knoxie » Dec 16 2012 6:33am

Yes great post Mike

One of the saddest events that I have heard of in a very long while, the two things I find so sad about it is 1, that it happened and 2, that it wont change one thing about gun ownership a 1000 kids could die it wont ever change over there, we use the word fundamentalism a lot these days normally associated with acts of terror, this is a pure act of terror based around the ridiculous and outdated fundamental constitutional right to be armed, what about the fundamental right to life? shouldn't that be the overriding right of everyone ?

Think about it? when you watch your kids open their xmas presents this year :(
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Re: Dear America,

Post by dogman dan » Dec 16 2012 7:54am

Obviously violent TV shows, video games, hate talk radio, etc have little effect on sane people. I was thinking but not stating thier potential to affect crazy people. My comment about vid games was a hip shot, like a guy born and raised in the wild west.

No telling what the real cause of this is. Clearly shooting up the school is becoming a fad with crazy folks. OH JOY.

John Brunner (sci fi writer) predicted all this many decades ago, calling them Muckers, for increasing numbers of people running amok from the strain of modern life.

Really sad though, that somebody gets so crazy they think shooting a bunch of innocent kids at a school is the answer. This is an order of magnitude worse than a hazed teen wanting revenge on the school. OK the guy hated mom, but what the hell did those kids do?

Re gun controll, it works in some cultures and not at all in others. Look how good total illegality of all guns works in the narco culture of northern Mexico.

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Re: Dear America,

Post by etriker » Dec 16 2012 8:09am

dogman wrote:Obviously violent TV shows, video games, hate talk radio, etc have little effect on sane people. I was thinking but not stating thier potential to affect crazy people. My comment about vid games was a hip shot, like a guy born and raised in the wild west.

No telling what the real cause of this is. Clearly shooting up the school is becoming a fad with crazy folks. OH JOY.

John Brunner (sci fi writer) predicted all this many decades ago, calling them Muckers, for increasing numbers of people running amok from the strain of modern life.

Really sad though, that somebody gets so crazy they think shooting a bunch of innocent kids at a school is the answer. This is an order of magnitude worse than a hazed teen wanting revenge on the school. OK the guy hated mom, but what the hell did those kids do?

Re gun controll, it works in some cultures and not at all in others. Look how good total illegality of all guns works in the narco culture of northern Mexico.
This is why it happens.

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Re: Dear America,

Post by Jeremy Harris » Dec 16 2012 8:15am

But where is that strain in modern life, and why should it be greater in the US than anywhere else in the Western World?

Many European countries have been suffering a much deeper recession that the US, with higher levels of unemployment, property prices crashing and in a lot of European countries there is the added pressure of massively greater population density than in the US.

There has to be something deeper in the collective US psyche that creates this fundamentalist view that killing people is, in effect, acceptable, as it is just a part of the US cultural heritage.
Please ask questions on the forum, rather than by PM, as it helps others and you'll get a better range of answers.

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Re: Dear America,

Post by etriker » Dec 16 2012 8:27am

Jeremy Harris wrote:But where is that strain in modern life, and why should it be greater in the US than anywhere else in the Western World?

Many European countries have been suffering a much deeper recession that the US, with higher levels of unemployment, property prices crashing and in a lot of European countries there is the added pressure of massively greater population density than in the US.

There has to be something deeper in the collective US psyche that creates this fundamentalist view that killing people is, in effect, acceptable, as it is just a part of the US cultural heritage.
I sure don't know.

And what is it in the English culture that would make a person want to shoot a coyote ?

Is it that ya'll shoot foxes and a coyote looks like a fox ?

I would never shoot a coyote unless it was attacking the wife or kids. Same with a human.

Break into my home and attack my disabled wife and I will fill you full of lead. Dog or human.

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Re: Dear America,

Post by HAROX » Dec 16 2012 8:30am

Far be it from me to understand anything, except for faith and "what it is". My daughter, along with every other kid who has experienced the horrors so far in the 21st century, has to grapple with these elements, faith and reality.
After all these generations, ugly is still ugly. A man in a black suit means the same thing to a six year old today as it did 500 years ago. We are wired for discerning ugly stuff.
Maybe my daughter will help make the NRA a relic, along with DAR and KKK and other meaningless clubs of the past. She sure as hell knows who MLK was, and I'm stunned by her sense of reality.
Forget about me, and long live my daughter.

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Re: Dear America,

Post by salty9 » Dec 16 2012 8:50am

"Right to life" in the US today extends only to the wealthy, the lucky and the unborn.

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Re: Dear America,

Post by HAROX » Dec 16 2012 9:02am

salty9 wrote:"Right to life" in the US today extends only to the wealthy, the lucky and the unborn.
A pleasure to read you on this. You're talking about three gates.
wealth
luck
unborn
in the US, I came out the gate differently. my daughter is self wired to stare down a crackhead and get through it. no argument here. the wealthy lucky ones are those who get reborn out of the gate, and i'm not talking about the lord, tho' maybe i am, about everyone's respect for life, and right to it, even on the street.
if you're prewired for disaster and survival, the little things seem to fade away, and maybe living on the street heals the bigger sickness caused by being held up from going out the gate. so to speak.

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Re: Dear America,

Post by etriker » Dec 16 2012 9:14am

I am sorry the teachers that died did not have a gun and know how to use it because they died trying to save the kids and did not have the power to do so.

The kids had no one that could protect them from the crazy person with guns that walked right in the door.

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Re: Dear America,

Post by Thud » Dec 16 2012 9:38am

Jeremy:
There has to be something deeper in the collective US psyche that creates this fundamentalist view that killing people is, in effect, acceptable, as it is just a part of the US cultural heritage.
I can't think of anything or any where where its acceptable to kill another human other than in defence of your own life.
(& was frankly shocked at the collective cheer when the assasination of Osama Binladon was annouced......so much for the concept of a trial or international juctice....a extreamest fxxker IMO but we threw away any illusion of idealism we may have had)

But you have a point of perspective that is better triangulated than my own (being in the thick of it as it were) There is a sign on a lot I rode past every day as a child heading to school that said "Trespasser's will be shot" I allways thought it was harsh but nevr really considered the ramifications or the de-sensitizing effect it may have.

The USA is a very complicated & unique environment.....& much of the world has no clue how calm it really is here in contrast to the potential for violence.....we have every religious sect...political idealest....race color & creed all trying to get along (or get their voice heard) in an imperfect world run by frail humans.

This melting pot has yet to deliver the level of human atrocities we have wittnessed from the homogenus countries of Africa or even Europe.
Mike F hit the nail on the head......A poor frail Human cracked & did unforgivable damage to many.....I Would rather we focused on a solution to discovering the resons for a human to fall into such a state & take steps to elliminate the conditions for a sick mind to flourish....other than ignor the perpitrator & focus on his chioce of tools.

I don't consider myself a "gun nut" but I do shoot paper targets as often as I get the oportunity on the 100 meter range I have on my property. I have 4 neigbors who shoot Pistols in competition...from coowboy action to military style speed competitions (& one of them is nationaly ranked) I hear gunfire in the evenings from ajacent properties at least 4 times a week..its very normal in my neighborhood.
As get older, I vaule these international forums (at lease this one LOL) I have learned a great deal & hopefully have taught a few what being an american is really like. Any time a tragity like this happens it sparks the "violent Amerca" debate & provides a sounding board for political ideals...gun controll, failed public health systems, or anything really if you have the debate sills.
Call me an optomist, but I choose to ere on the side of personal liberty, the cost is high & it is arguable I haven't paid my dues. (having my grade school children butcherd by a mad-man) untill then all I have is my perspective.
it would be ironic to learn we made thousands of people criminals with the stroke of a pen.....just because some one may have had an alergic reation to some dye in his favorite sweatshirt.
get some......

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Re: Dear America,

Post by Jeremy Harris » Dec 16 2012 10:01am

I think an important aspect of the way that the US is perceived by those from other parts of the world is the effect on international relations.

Every country has cultural stereotypes which shapes the preconceived opinions and views of others. This may range from the alleged lack of a sense of humour amongst Germans, through the carefree classlessness and somewhat male-dominated culture of Australians, through the stiff upper lip, socially conservative, view of the English to the brash and violent stereotype of Americans.

One thing I found when working in the Middle East long ago, was that the local people seemed to feel quite at home with the British, despite the bad blood we created in that region in the past, but they always seemed to be somewhat guarded with Americans, almost as if there was an inherent mistrust. I suspect it was just down to them not seeing the British as a threat, based on what they saw and read every day in the media, but did consider the US a threat. I'm near certain that this feeling wasn't based on the actual behaviour of Americans over there, but on the preconceived ideas they had gained from being inundated with US news of violent events and watching US TV that was similarly skewed towards a violent portrayal of life in America.
Please ask questions on the forum, rather than by PM, as it helps others and you'll get a better range of answers.

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Re: Dear America,

Post by etriker » Dec 16 2012 10:13am

Jeremy Harris wrote:I think an important aspect of the way that the US is perceived by those from other parts of the world is the effect on international relations.

Every country has cultural stereotypes which shapes the preconceived opinions and views of others. This may range from the alleged lack of a sense of humour amongst Germans, through the carefree classlessness and somewhat male-dominated culture of Australians, through the stiff upper lip, socially conservative, view of the English to the brash and violent stereotype of Americans.

One thing I found when working in the Middle East long ago, was that the local people seemed to feel quite at home with the British, despite the bad blood we created in that region in the past, but they always seemed to be somewhat guarded with Americans, almost as if there was an inherent mistrust. I suspect it was just down to them not seeing the British as a threat, based on what they saw and read every day in the media, but did consider the US a threat. I'm near certain that this feeling wasn't based on the actual behaviour of Americans over there, but on the preconceived ideas they had gained from being inundated with US news of violent events and watching US TV that was similarly skewed towards a violent portrayal of life in America.
The Beatles, Stones, David Bowie, the list is too long, tend to make me think very highly of ya'll.

And all the ones that showed up for the Sandy concert ? We love ya'll ! ! ! :)

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