Why is America great?

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Re: Why is America great?

Post by Zooropa » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:26 pm

My comment was not directed specifically at Newcastle.

I hope my previous frank and spirited comments over the years shows that im not backward in coming forward so hopefully this point will be conceded.

But, i am by no means excluding Newcastle either.

I could trawl old posts to find examples but i wont.

Newcastle mentioned the various Brexit debates and this has many examples of how Newcastle suggests that Brexit is not an all together good thing because he doubts the UK's ability to operate outside of the mafia, certainly our debate on the point of WTO demonstrates this.

Greatness in anything as complex and varied as a nation is very relative.

For example, i would never describe the fact that i am back living with my mother and very objectionable brother as anything like "great" but compared to a cardboard box outside Leicester train station then the assessment becomes very different.

5 points in support then.

1). I did, for quite some time have a desire to live in Egypt a little later in my life but the law, and more importantly how it is applied made me drop that idea.

Im a straight shooter, i like order, black and white processes. I like a static and clearly defined line when it comes to the law so that i can stay on the right side of it.

This does not exist in Egypt, from what i can gather, you are only protected by the law for as long as it suits the authorities, you can find yourself on the next flight out if they so wish with little or no avenue of protest or redress.

The UK has a proud tradition of due process and anybody legally here in the UK cannot be carted off so easily.

And what is more you can gain access to legal representation and a sympathetic media ( not all but certainly some ).

Our law system has and continues today to be adopted and admired, it is often the benchmark by which other law systems are measured.


2). Our language is the widest used on the planet, one of the most beautiful and complex languages ever created. Exploited beautifully in drama by Shakespeare and in literature by Dickens, centuries later they continue to beguile and entertain the world over. Our contribution to the arts upon the world is undeniable.


3). Our innovation, ingenuity and invention has cast a shadow over the world that will never diminish. Great scientists such as Darwin, Newton and Dawkins, engineers such as Brunel and Stephenson. Scientific breakthroughs such as DNA, our understanding of Gravity and light.

4). Our advances in social fields that large parts of the world still have failed to grasp.

Modern democracy, one person one vote, votes for women, the abolition of slavery, the NHS, parole, the right to a fair trial, freedom to worship, freedom to gather, freedom to protest.

5). Fish & Chips.



This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,--
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

Shakespeare - King Richard II.

Your honour, ladies and gentleman, the defence rests.



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Re: Why is America great?

Post by newcastle » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:14 pm

Some good points there, Zooropa, in support of the 'greatness' of Britain....particularly our legal and parliamentary systems and our role in scientific and social developments.

Fish & Chips (I really fear for your arteries) carries about as much weight with me as the Morris Dancers mentioned in the Express list....but then it was made tongue-in-cheek. I assume.

If I feel , on balance, that we will fare less well economically outside of the EU than in it, that is not "knocking" Britain's abilities trade-wise. Merely a view who's correctness, or not, we won't know for some years. Maybe you feel the substantial numbers of economists and business leaders who share my view are misguided pessimists. Time will tell.

But the question was (to paraphrase) "is Britain great". In some respects it is....in others, perhaps not. We still sell vast quantities of weaponry to dodgy regimes and, of late, our attitude to genuine refugees has been less than generous despite being one of the world's wealthiest nations.

An easier question to address would be "how does Britain rank in 'greatness' compared to other countries". I suspect our assessments wouldn't differ much. I can't think of a country that I hold in higher regard across a broad range of criteria whilst it would be easy to rattle off dozens that fail miserably in comparison.

Quoting John of Gaunt's speech from Richard II is all very well, but it continues :

"This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,
Dear for her reputation through the world,
Is now leased out, I die pronouncing it,
Like to a tenement or pelting farm:
England, bound in with the triumphant sea
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds:
That England, that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
Ah, would the scandal vanish with my life,
How happy then were my ensuing death!"

By the time we near the end of the passage, Gaunt decides to come out and tell us, "Hey, guess what? That was the old England. Today, under Richard II's reign, England is "bound in with shame" because Richard has "leased out" royal lands.

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Re: Why is America great?

Post by Zooropa » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:46 pm

newcastle wrote:Some good points there, Zooropa, in support of the 'greatness' of Britain....particularly our legal and parliamentary systems and our role in scientific and social developments.

Fish & Chips (I really fear for your arteries) carries about as much weight with me as the Morris Dancers mentioned in the Express list....but then it was made tongue-in-cheek. I assume.


It was


If I feel , on balance, that we will fare less well economically outside of the EU than in it, that is not "knocking" Britain's abilities trade-wise. Merely a view who's correctness, or not, we won't know for some years. Maybe you feel the substantial numbers of economists and business leaders who share my view are misguided pessimists. Time will tell.

I do!

But the question was (to paraphrase) "is Britain great". In some respects it is....in others, perhaps not. We still sell vast quantities of weaponry to dodgy regimes and, of late, our attitude to genuine refugees has been less than generous despite being one of the world's wealthiest nations.


If others had done nearly as much historically and now ( in the case of most of the stable countries in the region of many of the affected areas) then there would not be a refugee crisis and you wouldnt be able to tee off on a nation thats already done more than many, many others. I reject your criticism on this point, its disingenuous and belittles our contribution in this area.

An easier question to address would be "how does Britain rank in 'greatness' compared to other countries". I suspect our assessments wouldn't differ much. I can't think of a country that I hold in higher regard across a broad range of criteria whilst it would be easy to rattle off dozens that fail miserably in comparison.

You could be right but i dont think it would be any less subjective

Quoting John of Gaunt's speech from Richard II is all very well, but it continues :

"This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,
Dear for her reputation through the world,
Is now leased out, I die pronouncing it,
Like to a tenement or pelting farm:"

By the time we near the end of the passage, Gaunt decides to come out and tell us, "Hey, guess what? That was the old England. Today, under Richard II's reign, England is "bound in with shame" because Richard has "leased out" royal lands.
Pedantic and unbecoming of you my friend, i could have selected any number of quotes - Henry 5th for example and in any case it was quoted for its beauty and in support of the above point re our literature not in support of Britain's greatness.

The original was adequate for the point i was making.

Of course Britain is not without fault and self inflicted chipping away at our greatness, il be the first to concede that, New Labour for example.
Last edited by Zooropa on Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why is America great?

Post by A-Four » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:29 pm

:py
HEPZIBAH wrote:
A-Four wrote:
In the near future, I hope to write up on here a subject post on 'broad church' and I certainly do not mean the TV program, ...
Can't wait. I do hope I don't miss it. I seem to miss so many of the posts that you promise us all. Even the posts you refer to in a historical context I never seem to find.
Oh let's be real here, when have you ever really been serious on any subject I have ever written on this forum. Any of the usual crass statements that come my way, I usually ignore, but then again I usually ignore those 'drop of a hat' members who seem to suddenly appear from no where, like yours, though previously silent for days past.

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Re: Why is America great?

Post by HEPZIBAH » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:20 am

A-Four wrote::py
HEPZIBAH wrote:
A-Four wrote:
In the near future, I hope to write up on here a subject post on 'broad church' and I certainly do not mean the TV program, ...
Can't wait. I do hope I don't miss it. I seem to miss so many of the posts that you promise us all. Even the posts you refer to in a historical context I never seem to find.
Oh let's be real here, when have you ever really been serious on any subject I have ever written on this forum. Any of the usual crass statements that come my way, I usually ignore, but then again I usually ignore those 'drop of a hat' members who seem to suddenly appear from no where, like yours, though previously silent for days past.
A-Four, you regularly claim to be to busy to post. Some of us actually are.
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it is what you do with what happens to you.
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Re: Why is America great?

Post by Horus » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:37 am

Has it rained? I must get my torch out and search for slugs :urm:
Image

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Re: Why is America great?

Post by newcastle » Sat Apr 29, 2017 5:16 am

But the question was (to paraphrase) "is Britain great". In some respects it is....in others, perhaps not. We still sell vast quantities of weaponry to dodgy regimes and, of late, our attitude to genuine refugees has been less than generous despite being one of the world's wealthiest nations.


If others had done nearly as much historically and now ( in the case of most of the stable countries in the region of many of the affected areas) then there would not be a refugee crisis and you wouldnt be able to tee off on a nation thats already done more than many, many others. I reject your criticism on this point, its disingenuous and belittles our contribution in this area.
I don't think it is wise to draw attention to Britain's historic record in relation to the current refugee crisis. As far as the middle east is concerned, the arbitrary carving up of the region by Britain and France post WWI is at the root of many of today's problems. The Balfour Declaration led to the creation of a permanent abscess in the region in the shape of Israel. With regard to Africa and the Indian sub-continent, the legacy of British colonialism again lies behind conflicts and economic woes now giving rise to refugees.

With regard to our current financial/humanitarian contribution to the disadvantaged, it is true that we are one of the few countries to meet its overall commitment to foreign aid (0.7% of GDP) and our cash contribution to Syrian refugees is second only to USA. However, with regard to actually taking in Syrian refugees, according to an Oxfam report we have accepted just 18% of our "fair share".

There's no mistaking our attitude to immigrants has changed in recent years and the distinction between economic migrants and genuine refugees is sometimes lost.

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Re: Why is America great?

Post by Zooropa » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:35 am

Are you going to add Pakistan to the charge sheet Newcastle?

A country that was formed in simlar circumstances and for much the same reason.

Isnt it curious (it isnt really and we all know why) how its always Israel thats used as the example and not Pakistan.

And lets be honest, Pakistan is hardly a model of peace and stability is it?

Just how long is Britain's colonial past going to be used as a reason for all this instability?

What about the Ottomon Empire, it has a imperialistic record to match our own but yet again, not a squeak.

Fact remains that the planet is a huge place and if everybody in it had done their bit in the past we wouldnt have a crisis now.

This country also has a proud record when it comes to disaster in terms of the sending of expertise and aid to affected regions.

The amount we do and the donations the people of this country give often shames the rest of the world.

It is galling that in some cases the help and aid that is s sent would not be reciprocated had it been Britain that had had the disaster.

Its likely that, the people of these countries would be more likely to be dancing in the streets than they would putting their hand in their pockets to help.

We are not perfect and there is much to criticise but there are other countries who should be before we are.

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Re: Why is America great?

Post by newcastle » Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:19 am

Just how long is Britain's colonial past going to be used as a reason for all this instability?
Answ : For as long as an historical fact remains an historical fact.

Incidentally, the creation of Pakistan from a country in which Hindu and Muslim had co-existed for centuries, came about largely as a result of two centuries the British occupation of India and our efforts to exit swiftly once the cries for independence had become deafening. Not our finest hour.
If others had done nearly as much historically........... then there would not be a refugee crisis
YOUR WORDS. You were the one who brought up history and now have to cast about for other perpetrators/victims when it's pointed out that our historical record is nothing to be proud of..

The topic is British 'greatness'. If you want to discuss our record in comparison to that of others, then that's a different topic. I've already said it's not difficult to find countries with a worse record.

By far the largest numbers of refugees currently come from Syria and Afghanistan, two countries where Britain has been involved both historically and, more recently, militarily.
Last edited by newcastle on Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why is America great?

Post by Zooropa » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:13 am

As its all relative, you cant point to this countries failings as a mark against greatness if you are not going to do the same with potential rivals.

After all, a mark of greatness is a reflection of superiority over others.

Which is why i draw comparisons between this country and others.

Discussing this countries record in comparison to others is the only effective way of assessing greatness objectively.

If you are only assessing this country then you are not going to get an intellectually honest view of greatness by omitting comparison.

You seem to be confused on the criteria required to define greatness - it demands comparison.

Attitudes to immigrants and refugees would be helped if people didnt lump immigrants in with genuine refugees.

Perhaps we can discuss the apparent mystery regarding refugees and how, remarkably, it seems to affect far more young males of fighting age than it does older men, women and children.

Understanding this rather strange anomaly may also help attitudes as well.

My friend, there is no need to capitalize points you want to make - i can read them just as well in lower case :up

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Re: Why is America great?

Post by newcastle » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:39 am

You seem to be confused on the criteria required to define greatness - it demands comparison.
I beg to differ. Zimbabwe is a "great" country....compared to North Korea. Greatness should be measured in isolation, or at least in comparison to an ideal norm.....not just as a position in a league table.
After all, a mark of greatness is a reflection of superiority over others.
Really?? That makes America the greatest county there has ever been, or likely to be. This thread is sadly lacking in a coherent definition of 'greatness'.
Attitudes to immigrants and refugees would be helped if people didnt lump immigrants in with genuine refugees.
Indeed...and it's a glaring fault in the attitude of many British who seem also to confuse refugee with terrorist.
Perhaps we can discuss the apparent mystery regarding refugees and how, remarkably, it seems to affect far more young males of fighting age than it does older men, women and children.
Do you have any facts to support that extraordinary statement? As a generality regarding refugees per se, it is blatantly false. Remember - most refugees are in camps in the countries bordering areas of conflict. As regards the influx of refugees to Europe there's no mystery. It is to be expected that the younger male members of a family will try the arduous and dangerous sea and land crossings ahead of the women, children and old men, hoping to establish themselves before bringing their relatives.

I find laughable the narrative - promoted in the tabloid press - that many of the refugees are jihadis.
Last edited by newcastle on Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why is America great?

Post by Zooropa » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:54 am

newcastle wrote:
You seem to be confused on the criteria required to define greatness - it demands comparison.
I beg to differ. Zimbabwe is a "great" country....compared to North Korea. Greatness should be measured in isolation, or at least in comparison to an ideal norm.....not just as a position in a league table.

Neither are if you add in some genuine contenders for comparison - like i said, its all relative
After all, a mark of greatness is a reflection of superiority over others.
Really?? That makes America the greatest county there has ever been, or likely to be. This thread is sadly lacking in a coherent definition of 'greatness'.

Perhaps "superiority" wasnt the best word to use, i will retract it in favor of "achievement". Having said that i think USA is a great country.
Attitudes to immigrants and refugees would be helped if people didnt lump immigrants in with genuine refugees.
Indeed...and it's a glaring fault in the attitude of many British who seem also to confuse refugee with terrorist.
Perhaps we can discuss the apparent mystery regarding refugees and how, remarkably, it seems to affect far more young males of fighting age than it does older men, women and children.
Do you have any facts to support that extraordinary statement?
https://www.rt.com/news/343753-germany- ... tatistics/

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles ... o-many-men[/color]


Facts are still facts even if one doesnt like them or if they dont support an argument.

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Re: Why is America great?

Post by newcastle » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:06 am

Your response came whilst I was expanding my earlier post. Remenber I only have one hand to type with :lol:
Do you have any facts to support that extraordinary statement? As a generality regarding refugees per se, it is blatantly false. Remember - most refugees are in camps in the countries bordering areas of conflict. As regards the influx of refugees to Europe there's no mystery. It is to be expected that the younger male members of a family will try the arduous and dangerous sea and land crossings ahead of the women, children and old men, hoping to establish themselves before bringing their relatives.

I find laughable the narrative - promoted in the tabloid press - that many of the refugees are jihadis.
I can't open the RT link....nor would I be keen to. That organ of Russian state -funded anti-western propaganda has zero credibility in my book.

My amendment dealt with the demographic imbalance regarding the European influx and I see nothing mysterious or sinister in it.

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Re: Why is America great?

Post by Zooropa » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:07 am

I dont see how you can seek to speak for all the refugees re their thinking - surely this is based on your own thought process?

If i were to apply my own thought process then i would never leave my family in a dangerous situation, id leave with them and face whatever a new country threw at me together with them.

Do you have evidence that this is indeed their thinking?

Truths stretched, distorted and spun into falsehoods does not make the original fact false.

I have not suggested that all or most refugees are terrorists or have ill intent.

Due to inadequate screening we dont have the first idea - another source of the current attitude i would say.

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Re: Why is America great?

Post by Dusak » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:08 am

My reference to Britain being ''Great,'' was from my perspective of growing up and enjoying the benefits of freedom of movement, freedom of speech and so on contained within this once green and pleasant land. It lost its greatness when war broke out between Thatcher and the miners and unions and so on until this present day. IMO.
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Re: Why is America great?

Post by Zooropa » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:10 am

newcastle wrote:Your response came whilst I was expanding my earlier post. Remenber I only have one hand to type with :lol:
Do you have any facts to support that extraordinary statement? As a generality regarding refugees per se, it is blatantly false. Remember - most refugees are in camps in the countries bordering areas of conflict. As regards the influx of refugees to Europe there's no mystery. It is to be expected that the younger male members of a family will try the arduous and dangerous sea and land crossings ahead of the women, children and old men, hoping to establish themselves before bringing their relatives.

I find laughable the narrative - promoted in the tabloid press - that many of the refugees are jihadis.
I can't open the RT link....nor would I be keen to. That organ of Russian state -funded anti-western propaganda has zero credibility in my book.

My amendment dealt with the demographic imbalance regarding the European influx and I see nothing mysterious or sinister in it.
I agree re RT - however, the article quotes official German figures and data which could be verified. Your one hand constructs sentences and grammar far better than my two - i wouldnt worry my friend.


Link now working - worth a read if only to get the claims which can then be verified later.

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Re: Why is America great?

Post by newcastle » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:26 am

I have not suggested that all or most refugees are terrorists or have ill intent.
Mmmmm....funny then that you refer to
.... the apparent mystery regarding refugees and how, remarkably, it seems to affect far more young males of fighting age....
As I've said, you don't have to be a mind reader to realise why a long and arduous exodus would see a preponderance of the young and fit seeking a better life. I've seen the demographic breakdown and don't dispute it.

There's an argument that straying far from the conflict area (and the surrounding camps) is partly to do with economic opportunity rather than pure fear of death......but I would hate to see us distinguishing genuine refugees from conflict zones on such subjective criteria.

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Re: Why is America great?

Post by Zooropa » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:35 am

newcastle wrote:
I have not suggested that all or most refugees are terrorists or have ill intent.
Mmmmm....funny then that you refer to
.... the apparent mystery regarding refugees and how, remarkably, it seems to affect far more young males of fighting age....
As I've said, you don't have to be a mind reader to realise why a long and arduous exodus would see a preponderance of the young and fit seeking a better life.

There's an argument that straying far from the conflict area (and the surrounding camps) is partly to do with economic opportunity rather than pure fear of death......but I would hate to see us distinguishing genuine refugees from conflict zones on such subjective criteria.

Oh i see, your claims dont require facts and mine do! - A level playing field?

I can remove the "fighting age" phrase if you like but it wont really alter the facts. Even so, it is also a fact that serious crime has been comited by "refugees". I dont see how arguing the amount is going to alter my claim re the imbalance. And as i said i would never leave my family in a dangerous situation. Your way of thinking would make more sense to me if the reason for leaving was to seek economic improvement which brings us back to attitudes towards immigrants and refugees.

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Re: Why is America great?

Post by newcastle » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:09 pm


Oh i see, your claims dont require facts and mine do! - A level playing field?

I can remove the "fighting age" phrase if you like but it wont really alter the facts. Even so, it is also a fact that serious crime has been comited by "refugees". I dont see how arguing the amount is going to alter my claim re the imbalance. And as i said i would never leave my family in a dangerous situation. Your way of thinking would make more sense to me if the reason for leaving was to seek economic improvement which brings us back to attitudes towards immigrants and refugees
I though I'd agreed the demographic imbalance and proposed a rational explanation. I've mentioned the economic element driving the wider diaspora.

Now we have the old canard of crimes committed by refugees.......I do not subscribe to the view, nor do the statistics support, the suggestion that refugees are terrorists or criminals in significantly greater numbers than the population of their host country.


Perhaps "superiority" wasnt the best word to use, i will retract it in favor of "achievement". Having said that i think USA is a great country.

Accepted!

It's apparent, my friend, that our perceptions regarding USA differ significantly :lol:

Much as I would like to visit its natural wonders, ,my only experience has been a very unpleasant stop over in LA.

I can't imagine ever wanting to live there long term for a host of reasons and the inauguration of Trump as its president has done nothing to improve my perspective.

The fact I've preferred a third world, religion-obsessed dictatorship is one of those mysteries that defies rational explanation. I may refer it to a shrink one day :lol:

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Re: Why is America great?

Post by Zooropa » Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:04 pm

newcastle wrote:

Oh i see, your claims dont require facts and mine do! - A level playing field?

I can remove the "fighting age" phrase if you like but it wont really alter the facts. Even so, it is also a fact that serious crime has been comited by "refugees". I dont see how arguing the amount is going to alter my claim re the imbalance. And as i said i would never leave my family in a dangerous situation. Your way of thinking would make more sense to me if the reason for leaving was to seek economic improvement which brings us back to attitudes towards immigrants and refugees
I though I'd agreed the demographic imbalance and proposed a rational explanation. I've mentioned the economic element driving the wider diaspora.

Now we have the old canard of crimes committed by refugees.......I do not subscribe to the view, nor do the statistics support, the suggestion that refugees are terrorists or criminals in significantly greater numbers than the population of their host country.


Accepted, however, the committing of crimes as long as they are in line with the local populace numbers does not make them any more acceptable and should not be tolerated. Yet another example of why there is a lack of sympathy from some of the public. Im glad you stopped short of a full on "sugar and spice" attitude to refugees although i wished you had slammed on the breaks a tad earlier.


Perhaps "superiority" wasnt the best word to use, i will retract it in favor of "achievement". Having said that i think USA is a great country.

Accepted!

It's apparent, my friend, that our perceptions regarding USA differ significantly :lol:

Much as I would like to visit its natural wonders, ,my only experience has been a very unpleasant stop over in LA.

I can't imagine ever wanting to live there long term for a host of reasons and the inauguration of Trump as its president has done nothing to improve my perspective.

The fact I've preferred a third world, religion-obsessed dictatorship is one of those mysteries that defies rational explanation. I may refer it to a shrink one day :lol:

America wasnt formed yesterday, what about John Brown, Abraham Lincoln and Mark twain? Happens i think i would have felt the same way if the Clinton dynasty had continued.

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