Wikipedia:Reference desk archive/Humanities/2006 August 8

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4 suites cards[edit]

how is it that each suite of cards in a deck represents a historical king? thanks00:27, 8 August 2006 (UTC)(hobgoblin)

Try King (playing card). Also, you can sign your postings using four ~s, but chances are you'll just see an IP number. Vitriol 00:39, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Our article refers to an interesting page that, as is usual almost everywhere, never tells why but only how. So your question, still unanswered, is very original and deserves something. Good luck! And then, if someone, circa 1377, decided to put kings in a deck, he had no other choice than historical (or mythical, but well-known) kings, because science fiction and fantasy were discovered very very later. -- DLL .. T 18:21, 8 August 2006 (UTC)


I try to make it a rule to avoid at all costs posting questions regarding issues for which I have passionate views.

Yet here I make an exception, because the question seems so simple and the answer seems so inexplicably unnatainable.

About a year ago, Israel withdrew from Gaza. Of course, admittedly, Israel keeps an extremely close watch on the "Palestinian Entity of Gaza" (for lack of a better term), and even occasionally engages in military incursions in an effort to keep rockets from being launched into, and suicide bombers from entering Israel, from Gaza.

Yet, despite Israel's withdrawal, Gaza is still referred to as an "occupied territory" of Israel. How can a territory be "occupied" when it's no longer "occupied"? Loomis 02:14, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm no expert on the situation, but it seems that the intro lead in the Gaza Strip article has a pretty good explanation for this. Ziggurat 02:27, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the link, but it doesn't seem to answer my question at all. It actually seems to repeat my question. Israel withdrew, but maintains control over Gaza's airspace. But then again, the US/UN maintained control over Iraq's airspace in the "no fly zones" for much of the '90s, yet it was never considered to be "occupying" those parts of Iraq at that time. The international community considers the area to be occupied, but ever since Israel withdrew, it disputes this, quite logically it would seem. Once again, the territory is not "occupied" by Israel in any physical sense whatsoever, yet the international community still considers it to still be "occupied". I'm still confused. But thanks anyway, Ziggurat. Loomis 11:03, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

I was looking at the "Israeli-occupied with current status subject to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement - permanent status to be determined through further negotiation" part specifically; I expect this has something to do with this, from the page on the disengagement: "Because the Palestinian Authority in Gaza does not believe it has sufficient control of the area at this time, foreign observers such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, Human Rights Watch and various legal experts have argued that the disengagement will not end Israel's legal responsibility as an occupying power in Gaza." Ziggurat 11:20, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Another way to view this is that Israel still controls access to and from Gaza. (Israel has blocked the opening of an airport or seaport in Gaza. Because it surrounds Gaza on all but one side, it controls those land borders. Gaza's only non-Israeli border, the Rafah crossing to Egypt, has been periodically closed by Israel and remains closed at this time. [1]) Thus Gaza is in some sense under Israeli control. Even if the territory is not physically occupied by Israel, its borders are. This was not the case in Iraq when it was subject to "no fly zones" enforced by the United States and United Kingdom. During that time, Iraq's land borders remained open, as did its seaports and air access to Baghdad, which was outside the "no fly zones." Marco polo 13:41, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

This is ã good and interesting question. I would think of this in this way : what country is Gaza part of now? I am no expert, but as far as I know, Israel does not recognize the "Palestinian territories" as a country. Evilbu 13:29, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for all the interesting points.
Evilbu makes an interesting point. Indeed, the Israeli government doesn't yet recognize Gaza as being (at least part of) a country yet. But on the other hand, the Palestinian government doesn't recognize Israel as being a country, and doesn't appear to have any intention to ever recognize Israel. The issue is occupation and withdrawal, so I can't see how Israeli "recognition" is relevant in this context.
The international community has called for Israel's withdrawal from the territories for decades now. Leaving aside the West Bank for the time being, and given the interesting points from all of you, what, in your opinions, must Israel do to finally be considered to have "withdrawn" from Gaza, understanding, at the same time, that the Palestinian government has openly declared war on Israel? What in your opinions would Israel be required to do to be "legally" recognized as having completely withdrawn from Gaza, while, at the same time, excercising its "legal" right to defend itself from an entity which has openly declared war on it? Loomis 23:45, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Loomis, your questions spotlight the difference between legality and justice, legal status and rights. You are right in implying that Israel's legal obligation to end the occupation conflicts with its right to defend itself under the present circumstances, although many observers believe that Israel's actions go beyond self-defense. I will depart from a statement of facts to state my opinion that the only way for Israel to fully withdraw from Gaza and fully end the occupation would be to open comprehensive peace talks with Hamas, whom a majority of Palestinians have chosen as their representative. A negotiated peace would entail sacrifices on both sides and would have to satisfy the desire of both sides for justice. There can be no real peace without justice. The peace would have to address the economic grievances of the Palestinians, such as land expropriation and water rights, as well as the status of Jerusalem. Marco polo 15:52, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Another related question. I hope that despite my well known personal views, these questions are viewed as nothing other than honest and sincere, and not to push any POV. I'm sincerely incredibly curious about the position of non-Jewish, non-Zionists.
The current situation in Lebanon is obviously extremely controversial. I've heard enough of the "extremist" views on both sides. I'm really just curious about the views of moderates who don't have much of a bias either way, and who are unfortunately given very little press.
Clearly, (and both sides admit to this,) this whole thing began with a cross border raid by Hezbollah, from Lebanon into Israel, kidnapping two Israeli soldiers and killing eight. Katyusha rockets then began to land in indiscrimate areas of northern Israel as they have been constantly been landing on a periodic basis for the last six years, during a period when Hezbollah was given the opportunity to arm itself. We all know what happened next: Israel acted, and to many this action has been criticized as "wrong", or "excessive" or "against international law", or even "a war crime".
I ask each of you: Go back a few weeks to before Israel first reacted. The Hezbollah has just killed eight and kidnapped two Israeli soldiers. Katyusha rockets are beginning to fall once again. What would you consider to be the "proper", "legal" thing for the Israeli government to do, given its responsibility to protect its citizens from harm? Loomis 03:14, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Again, this is a question that asks for opinion more than facts. So here is my opinion. Israel's first step should have been to go to the UN and ask that its force along the border of South Lebanon do its duty and stop the attacks by Hamas. Israel should have made a similar demand of the Lebanese government. Also, in my opinion, Hezbollah's demand for a prisoner exchange and an evacuation of the Shebaa Farms area were not unreasonable. Israel could have negotiated these things through the Lebanese government in return for a Hezbollah withdrawal from South Lebanon and a plan for its disarming, with the threat of an Israeli military response as a negotiating chip. Only if these negotiations failed should Israel have taken military action. The action should have involved more troops on the ground rather than aerial bombardment that is more likely to cause civilian casualties. What has brought condemnation from many quarters has been the disproportion between civilian casualties and damage to infrastructure on both sides. This has brought charges that Israeli military action was "excessive." Charges of Israeli war crimes involve accusations that Israel has deliberately targeted civilians in an effort to depopulate South Lebanon. I do not know enough about the details of the Israeli military action (nor probably does anyone but the Israeli commanders) to know whether such accusations are true. Marco polo 15:52, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

I thank you for your open and honest reply, Marco. And please don't be concerned about "crossing the line" between facts and opinion, the line is quite a bit fuzzier than most people would like to believe. With my legal background, I recognize that the interpretation of "what the law is", while dressed up as a "simple factual matter," is in reality an excercise in human interpretation, an excerise that, even with the most conscientious of interpreters, inevitably involves some "opinion".

I hope you realize that I'm trying to be as NPOV as possible. I'm doing so because I don't want this to be an argument, even a friendly one, because arguments tend to get polarized, obscuring the possibilty of arriving at real solutions to real problems. What I want is as cold and logical an analysis as possible. As such, I'll try my best to refrain from as much "argument" as possible. Despite the above paragraph, I'll try as best as possible to stick to the "facts".

Although the accusations concerning the targeting of civilians is rather disturbing, I don't think it would be appropriate, considering the non-argumentative nature of my question, for me to adress them.

I'll simply quote Hezbollah's leader: "There is no solution to the conflict in this region except with the disappearance of Israel". Hamas holds pretty much the same position. These are indeed the founding principles of these organizations. With that in mind, I can't understand what could possibly be accomplished through negotiations. But I feel I'm veering into the realm of "argument", which I promised I would avoid. I just can't understand what at all can be gained by one attempting to "negotiate" with an organization that was formed with the goal of one's destruction.

Once again, I welcome any and all responses, especially any commentary or criticism anyone is willing to offer regarding the previous paragraph. Thanks again. Loomis 21:50, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

My response:
1) Being surrounded isn't the same as occupation. If so, Lesotho is also occupied.
2) Not only is negotiation with a terrorist organization (one which seeks to maximize civilian casualties) dedicated to your destruction not productive, it's idiotic, only giving it legitimacy and ensuring it's growth and increased terrorism in the future. Negotiations with the PLO were similarly idiotic.
3) What should Israel do ? Invade with ground troops, move the entire (mostly Shia) population out of Southern Lebanon, up to the southern part of Beirut, destroy all the housing, and occupy the zone. HOWEVER, DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, ALLOW JEWISH SETTLERS TO MOVE IN ! That would just put Israel in the position of having to protect them.
4) Tell Lebanon that if they again allow Hezbollah to occupy the new border and fire missiles, that Israel will push further into Lebanon and move the entire population out of Beirut, as well. Then, if the Lebanese don't do their part, do just that.
5) Move all Jewish settlers out of the West Bank. If they refuse to go, arrest them. Jewish and Christian fundamentalists are just as much of a problem as Muslim fundamentalists.
6) Permanently control all access to Gaza, the West Bank, and Lebanon, to prevent any weapons from coming in.
7) Develop a weapons system that can destroy a missile launch site automatically, by tracking the trajectory of a the missile and identifying the launch flash, before the terrorists can flee the area.
8) Arrest all the leaders of Hamas (political as well as military). Being elected does not mean they have the right to declare a terrorist war against Israel and remain protected.
9) The UN, international community, and even the US will object. Launch an effective PR campaign to counter this, asking "what would you do if terrorists on your borders launched missiles into your country on a regular basis ?". Include lots of pics of damage and deaths in Israel, to counter all the coverage in Lebanon. PR is just as important as the military campaign, don't ever forget that.
10) Don't ever tear down the security wall, that's all that prevents constant suicide bombings.
Incidentally, this problem of a country which claims sovereignty over an area yet refuses to actually control the area is not unique to Lebanon. Pakistan also contains provinces in the west which are controlled by terrorists and warlords, not the government. They should either occupy it by a major military force capable of defeating their enemies, or else abandon those provinces, leaving them to the US or others to deal with. As is, those regions are nothing but a liability to Pakistan. StuRat 19:32, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Thanks Stu. Just to start off, I just feel I have to point out one relatively small misconception you may have about Israel. I don't think your third point (I see you seem to like the "power-point" style "bullet-point" method of making a point :)) about the prospect of Jewish settlements being established in southern Lebanon is as much of a concern as you do. This is a common misconception. Many in the Muslim world believe that Israel has expansionist ambitions. Some even claim that the two blue stripes on the Israeli flag represent the Nile and the Euphrates rivers. All nonsense.

Here there's a lot of both theology and psychology involved. Actually, I think a lot of it has to do with what psychologists would term "projection". The Muslim world of today, according to their faith, would ideally like to see the entire world become Muslim. Put simply, Muslims go to heaven whereas infidels go to hell. The same goes for Christianity, at least in its classical sense. Either accept Jesus as your lord and saviour and thus go to live with him in heaven, or reject him and surely you'll go to hell. According to this logic, the world population should ideally convert to Christianity, if anything just to save their souls from eternal damnation. It appears, though, that there is a difference between the two, as Christianity seems to have evolved, to some degree, to question the legitimacy and rectitude of going around trying to convert the world to Christianity, whereas Islam has yet to experience this stage in its development.

Unlike Christianity and Islam, according to Judaism, everybody ends up in heaven. Jew or non-Jew. It's actually a lot more complicated than that, but I'll leave it at that for now. Everyone knows that unlike Christianity and Islam, Judaism is a totally non-proselytizing religion. It's true, if you really, really, really, really want to become Jewish you can convert, but otherwised it's discouraged, and Jews certainly don't and have never gone about trying to convert the world.

Why am I going into all of this? I return to the psychological concept of "projection". The Muslim world is convinced that Israel has expansionist ambitions, when it clearly doesn't. Why are they convinced of this? Projection. Since Muslims would like to see an exclusively Muslim world, they assume Jews would like to see an entirely Jewish world. The Muslim world is essentially "projecting" its own world view onto Jews. Ideally, modern day Israel would like to exist on the same territory as ancient Israel. It's true, this includes the West Bank, and that's why so many fundamentalist Jews are so eager to settle there.

But Jews have no interest in Lebanon. Lebanon was never part of ancient Israel, and so Jews, even fundamentalist, would have no interest in settling there. Look at the Sinai peninsula. That too was never part of ancient Israel. That's why Menachem Begin, despite his extremely hawkish mentality, had no problem giving it back to Egypt in return for peace.

Aside from that little point that I just felt I had to take a great deal of time to clarify, I agree with everything else you've said. 100%. Unfortunately I doubt the rest of the world would accept your suggestions. They'd label you as biased in favour of Israel, anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, anti-Palestinian, anti-Lebanese, and just basically a mean person, which you clearly aren't. Thanks for your response and all the points you made, especially #2. That one was the most refreshing. Finally a voice of reason. And I realize I've moved beyong the NPOV nature of the original question. I just feel I've gathered enough NPOV opinion that it's ok now to have a totally POV discussion at this point. And as always, I welcome all responses and criticisms, positive or negative. So argue away! Loomis 23:43, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

I think we also are in agreement that any Jewish settlers trying to move into the Lebanese buffer zone should be stopped, you just doubt that there will be any. We do, however, disagree on Zionism, with me being opposed to the formation of Israel and you supporting it. However, it's here now, and it's completely unrealistic to expect them to abandon their country, so the world needs to find a way to deal with it, as Egypt has. As for world opposition, that's a PR problem, as I said. Israel needs to take out full page ads in newspapers and magazines around the world, showing the carnage in Israel, and asking "What would you do if this happened to your country ?". StuRat 23:55, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Well, last time Israel occupied southern Lebanon, I don't recall any settlements being built there, and I don't even recall any Jews showing any interest in settling there at all.

But more importantly Stu, I have to say that I appreciate the fact that you seem to have introduced to me a position that I never thought existed. I had always assumed that to be anti-Zionist was pretty much synonomous with being anti-Israel. I had also assumed that anti-Zionism was basically an all-out rejection of the fact that Jews did indeed once have a nation in Palestine, a full rejection that Jews have any legitimate claim to even part of that land, as well as the position that Israel should cease to exist. In fact I still believe that the bulk of "anti-Zionists" hold this position. But your position seems to be unique (or perhaps not, perhaps many hold your particular view, I'd be particularly interested in finding out if that is indeed the case).

Correct me if I'm wrong, but your position seems to be an acceptance that Jews did indeed once have a nation in Palestine, that they were indeed unjustly expelled from that land, that they do indeed have a legitimate claim to that land, and that Israel is indeed a legitimate country. Your self described "anti-Zionist" stance would seem to be merely an issue of pragmatism and practicality. You seem to simply believe that it was a bad idea for Jews to assert what you seem to recognize as their legitimate right, only because the establishment of a Jewish State in the heart of the Muslim world could only spell trouble, and as such, would have a negative impact on world peace, and as well, would ultimately be a bad and perhaps even catastrophic move for the Jewish people themselves.

That's what your position seems to be to me, and it is indeed a fascinating position, one that, as I said, I never realized had existed. Unlike classic, hard-core anti-Israeli anti-Zionism, which is mostly based on historical revisionism and just plain anti-Semitism, your position, if I have it right, though I still disagree with it, is one that I can nonetheless respect. Please tell me if I indeed have it right. Loomis 00:03, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

You've got it mostly right, but seem to have missed one thing. While Jews have a certain right to the land of Palestine, so do Arabs. Therefore, in addition to the pragmatic reasons, Israel should not have been formed due to the denial of rights to the Palestinian who were there at the time. Instead of the partition plan, a single, secular country welcoming all religions and ethnicities equally should have been formed. That said, we can't turn back the clock now. As for me having a unique position, I was of the opinion that many Jews were themselves anti-Zionists. StuRat 22:16, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Stu, since your view is largely based on pragmatism and does not appear in away way to be anti-Jewish, or even anti-Israel, I can't help but respect it. What you're basically saying is that both Arabs and Jews have a legitimate claim, which I actually agree with.

However, as a pragmatist, I can't see how you can realistically envisage a "single, secular country welcoming all religions and ethnicities" as having any hope of survival in remaining as such. I think it was you who said earlier that invading Iraq and trying to turn it into a democracy was a stupid move on the part of the US because it just wasn't realistic. With the Sunnis, the Shi'a and the Kurds, all bitter enemies of each other, the inevitable result would be civil war, after which some dictator would end up on top, and we'd be pretty much back to the status quo ante. I apologize if it wasn't you who said this, but it would seem that this would be your view anyway.

In any case, pragmatically speaking, if, as you suggest, such a secular state was founded instead of the State of Israel, do you honestly believe that it wouldn't ultimately decend into civil war as well? Do you honestly believe that the Palestinian people would respect the claim that the Jews have an equally legitimate right as they do?

Of course not. Yes, the UN could have set up a "secular State of Palestine," and then left Palestinian Arabs and Palestinian Jews on their own to keep the state secular and democratic and welcoming to all peoples etc. But do you actually believe that, left to it's own devices, this state would remain this way? Of course not. The Palestinians, backed up by their Arab brethren would take the earliest possible opportunity to kick out the Jews, or at least relegate them to second class citizens as they have in every other Arab state, and proceed to establish some form of dictatorship, named something like "The Arab State of Palestine". As a pragmatist, do you disagree? Loomis 16:37, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

That was me who said that about Iraq, yes. However, the Jews and Palestinians actually got along with each other pretty well before Zionism (under the Ottoman Empire). Another factor was when the house of Saud, who are Salafis, captured Mecca, leading much of the Arabian peninsula toward a level of fundamentalism, which, by now, not even they can control. These two factors, however, the rise of the Salafis and the Zionist movement, were related. The sense of injustice among the Muslims led them to become more fundamentalist and violent than they had been originally. If we could set the clock back a century or so, we could have prevented this vicious spiral from ever starting. I guess I'll go fire up my time machine now, so your lights might dim a bit... :-) StuRat 23:36, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

It seems that, though we seem to disagree on details, we're pretty much in agreement on the fundamentals (not to be confused with fundamentalism!). Both Jews and Palestinians each have a legitimate claim to the land, and in a perfect world, the land would be shared by both.

Yet this doesn't solve the unfortunate fact that the Jews, for their very survival, require a safe haven. Just as an example, had Israel been established just ten years earlier, in 1938 rather than 1948, the entire Holocaust would never have happened. The Germans would start to act a bit scary, with the brownshirts and kristallnacht and whatnot, and the Jews would simply figure "this is too much, it's time for us to go" and leave for Israel. (Not to mention the prospect of seeing the newly formed IAF whipping the asses of the Luftwaffe!). But I'm afraid I'm veering off into the realm of fantasy. Unfortunately Israel did not exist at that time and so the Jews had nowehere to go except to the death camps, where some six million were gassed and cremated.

I guess it boils down to a matter of priorities. Either live and arguably displace some locals, or remain totally vulnerable to every possible anti-semitic regime that seems to arise, and likely die in great numbers in doing so. It's a matter of picking the lessor of two evils. If it were me, I'd choose to live even if it means, arguably, forcing some locals to relocate (I restate arguably because Israel remains 20% Arab. Had Israel actually had a racist policy of throwing out all non-Jews, why would so many remain today? It would seem far more likely that most Arabs relocated for reasons only they can explain, perhaps the prospect of living in a Jewish State was an intolerable one, I don't know. What I do know is that Israel never practiced any sort of ethnic cleansing. No Arabs were simply "lined up and shot" as the term "ethnic cleansing" would imply, nor were any forcibly deported. Again, if that were indeed the case, why would Israel remain 20% Arab, with all the civil rights that Jewish Israelis enjoy?). That said, I'll restate the question. You're a pragmatist, if you had the choice between arguably displacing some locals, or remaining vulnerable in a very hostile world that seems to time and time again develop novel excuses to harass you and kill your people in vast numbers, what would you choose? Loomis 01:20, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

While there were some countries which were dangerous for Jews, there were also many safe places, like most of the Americas, so it wasn't necessary for Jews to go to Israel. And Palestinians were massacred, such as in the Deir Yassin massacre. While Jews were also massacred in the 1948 war, you could see why Palestinians, once the war had been lost, would conclude they had better leave (temporarily) or would be killed. The idea would have been to return once the violence ended, but they were never allowed back in. The 20% are the descendants of those who stayed, despite the obvious risk to their lives. StuRat 02:27, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

You say that there were many "safe places" for Jews. Why then did these "safe places", including our two great countries (Canada and the US) turn away Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, such as is exemplified by the tragic story, which I've brought up several times, of the SS St. Louis?

I've also mentioned before that the history of the oppression of the Jewish people is not a simple predictable one, but rather a cyclical one. The pattern repeats itself over and over and over again. It even goes back all the way to Egypt! One Pharaoh took a liking for us and welcomed us with open arms. His rebellious son, thinking his father a fool, took an especial dislike for us. But that's biblical, and I know of your views on the veracity of the Bible!

Nonethleless, the pattern repeats itself over and over in relatively "modern" history. Once a Spanish king took a similar liking for the Jews, and so they settled there, figuring it would finally be a great place to settle down and live in peace. Then came the Spanish Inquisition. The same goes for Poland and the Russian empire, when a certain king or Tsar decided to take a liking for Jews, but once he died, his son, figuring his old man to be the fool, decided to give his ok and in fact encourage pogroms.

And so the pattern repeated itself over and over and over again in pretty much every country in Europe and the Arab world.

Then came Germany. A rather "enlightened" society. Surely such an "enlightened" society would never turn against us, so we flocked there.

Then of course came Hitler.

Now you're saying the Americas are a fine place for Jews to live unharrassed for the long term. I hope you're right. But I wouldn't bet my people's life on it. As they say, "those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it".

That's why Israel is necessary.

But Stu, I feel I may be doing something wrong here. My conscience is bothering me a bit. I spoke of how Judaism is a non-proselytizing religion, and how we make it a rule not to set out to convert others.

Stu, you're clearly a very intelligent guy, but more importantly, you have a very respectful and respectable view about my people and our homeland. I feel that I may be pushing too hard.

It would be wrong of me to keep on pushing and try to "convert" you (not that I'd ever be able to, but the "pushing" is still wrong) into agreeing with Zionism.

I fully respect your opinions, and I even find them quite refreshing. I sincerely don't want to try to change how you feel.

That being said, if you'd like to continue this debate for pure intellectual reasons that would be great. But please realize that at this point, even if you disagree with everything I say, I'll still regard you as a true mensche. Loomis 05:01, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

You were exaggerating earlier when you said the very survival of the Jews depends on Israel, you've managed to survive for millennia without one, and could continue to do so indefinitely. Would there be periods of anti-Semitism in some countries, sure. Does this mean all Jews everywhere would be killed ? Absolutely not. Nazi Germany created a situation where millions of Jews tried to leave in short order, which was more than many countries felt they could absorb (and seeing how it messed up British Palestine, they weren't exactly wrong in that assessment). I would have suggested a meeting of the Allies to determine quotas each could handle safely, so they could absorb the millions of asylum seekers.
I fear you are viewing security from one point of view only, military strength. It's also important to avoid driving a billion plus Muslims into a murderous rage against all Jews, however, which is precisely what Zionism has done. And please take a look at that article on the Ottoman Empire, you will find Jews were treated quite well (as were Christians), by the Muslims, until Israel gave them a reason to hate all Jews (and by extension, the supporters of the Jews, the Christians). Also, please look at the article on Zionism, where you will find that many Jews opposed Zionism, especially early on. StuRat 08:07, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Ok, ok! I'll look at the articles! But you seem to think I'm entirely ignorant on those subjects. I have some family who originated from Yemen, (part of the Ottoman Empire,) where they tell me that amongst many, many similar laws, a Jew was not allowed be seen riding on a camel if a Muslim were to pass by on a camel, as that would mean that the Jew would apparently be physically "equal" to the Muslim. The Jew would therefore have to get off his camel and walk by the Muslim on foot, so as not to "insult" the Muslim. I suppose that getting off a camel is a far cry from being murdered, and more of a 19th century equivalent to "sitting at the back of the bus". In that respect I suppose, relative to the pogroms and the Holocaust of Europe, Jews were indeed treated "quite well". It just gets a bit frustrating, or, rather, infuriating, to always have to "sit at the back of the bus".

I also realize that many Jews were opposed to Zionism. Many still are. I never said I didn't know of this.

Regardless, I'm just a bit surprised that you seem to be getting so frustrated or even angry with me here. I told you that I think you have a very respectful and respectable view, and I wasn't lying. I still think that. I just don't understand all the frustration. I'm a pretty well educated guy on the subject, and I have my views. You have your views. I respect your views, I just disagree. Why all the frustration? Loomis 09:37, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm not angry or frustrated, although I was perhaps a bit disappointed when you came back with the same unfounded exaggeration that I had disproven long ago: "Yet this doesn't solve the unfortunate fact that the Jews, for their very survival, require a safe haven [by which you meant Israel]". Also, regarding Zionism, you said you thought my view (pro-Jewish, anti-Zionism) was unique in the world, so I merely pointed out that not only is it not unique, but many Jews hold the same opinion. StuRat 19:08, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

You're right, I seem to have miscommunicated my point. In fact it may be as simple as one misleading word: "the". I said "the" Jews, for their very survival, require a safe haven, implying that somehow without Israel, "the" Jews, not as "individuals", but rather as a "collectivity", would face extinction. That's not my point at all. No matter how many Jews are killed, there would certainly remain some to carry on. I should have omitted the word "the". My point is that many, many Jews, as "individuals", require a safe haven for their very survival. I brought up the point that had Israel been established only a decade earlier, some six million of these "individuals" would have avoided death. Even the Nazis couldn't exterminate all the Jews, and they surely put in the greatest conceivable effort, so how could I possibly believe that the existence of the Jews as a "collectivity" would be at risk? Of course not! Of course the extermination of all the world's Jews is not only unlikely, but would seem to be an impossibilty. You asked whether not having Israel would "mean all Jews everywhere would be killed? Absolutely not". I couldn't agree more. But hidden in your statement seems to be an admission that while most Jews would be safe, at least a certain number, without the option to flee to a safe haven, would in fact be killed for no reason other than the fact that they're Jews. "Would there be periods of anti-Semitism in some countries, sure". Is this acceptable? Is it acceptable that Jews should inevitably face the fact that they're destined to go through period after period where they'll be killed in rather large numbers? I certainly don't think so. It's really those individuals who would otherwise be dead if not for the existence of the State of Israel that I'm concerned with. If you look back to the last 58 years of Jewish history, despite all the wars, the terrorism etc., the amount of Jews (or at least the percentage) who have been killed at the hand of others for simply being Jews is certainly less than any other 58 year period in the last millenium or two.

And yes, I've taken you up on your suggestion to read the article on Zionism. I'm quite well versed in the tenets of Judaism. I've known for quite some time that according to many so- called "ultra-orthodox" Jewish groups, the Satmars for one, but far more bizarre, the Neturei Karta group. As the article points out, this group of 1000 to 5000 of what I can only describe as the most bizarre Jews in the world has actually participated with the PLO in its attempt to destroy Israel! I'm aware of all these groups, as well as such secular Jewish anti-Zionist nutjobs as Noam Chomsky.

I think you misquoted me. I never put it as you just did that I found it unique to be "anti-Zionist/pro-Jewish". In fact that's extremely common. Rather, what I said was that it seemed to be a unique position to be "anti-Zionist/pro-Israel". Specifically, I said: "I had always assumed that to be anti-Zionist was pretty much synonomous with being anti-Israel". Anti-Israel, not anti-Jewish. I've read the article beginning to end several times and I still can't find one person or group who is "anti-Zionist/pro-Israel" as you seem to be. I still find your position rather unique.

One last thing: Quoting from the first paragraph of the article on Zionism: [T]he modern movement was mainly secular, beginning largely as a response to rampant antisemitism in Europe and in many parts of the Muslim world during the 19th century. Yet you say Jews and Arabs got along quite well before Zionism. There seems to be a bit of a contradiction here.

Yes, that seems to contradict the article on the Ottoman Empire. Lacking any specific examples of "rampant anti-Semitism", I can only assume that it was written by a pro-Zionist who was exaggerating the type of "get off your camel" rule you talked about in Yemen, to make it sound as bad as pogroms. StuRat 01:54, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

That said, I'll toss yet another olive branch. Although I really enjoy debating you, this debate is begining to turn sour. I really want to avoid any ill-will between us. While the issue is interesting, if it will only breed more ill will, it's not worth it. I'd rather just forget about the whole thing and move on to something we can both agree on, such as, for example, picking on Europeans! :--) Loomis 00:09, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Well, certainly some Jews would be killed somewhere in the world if there was no Israel. Then again, many Jews have been killed precisely because there is an Israel, and I would bet far more will be killed once the Palestinians get their hands on some WMDs. I can't think of a single genocide which was prevented or stopped by the existence of the state of Israel. Also, some people of every ethnic group and religion are killed, regardless of whether or not they have a homeland. Is it always worse for those who lack a homeland, like Gypsies (Roma) and Kurds ? I don't think so.
Now, if you want to go find Dirk and give him a wedgie, I'm all for that, LOL. StuRat 01:10, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Ethiopian Symbology[edit]

I found an ethiopian symbol at this website and I am curious about it's meaning. The symbol is the central one on the page featuring four eyes radiating diagonaly from a square located in the center of a larger diamond shape with fluer-de-lis type shapes extending from the border. I am an American artist who uses symbols as a sourse of insperation. Any information would be greatly appriciated as I have a difficult time finding anything about this particular symbol.

Thank you for your time and efforts Wiki Volunteer!

-- 02:56, 8 August 2006 (UTC)Michele

Doesn't look like anyone's found anything for you  :( I looked around for a while, but it isn't exactly my specialty. Sorry, and good luck! --Bmk 04:38, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

mother teresa[edit]

could anyone please help in finding out schooling of mother teresa? i need whole information about schools she went to...and some of her work experiences. i will be thankful

According to this site she attended went to a public school in Skopje (then part of the Ottoman Empire), and also classes at her parish. Her biography as a Nobel laureate mentiones "a few months' training in Dublin" where she was an 18-year old novitiate, but gives no hint as to the nature of the training. In these biographies you can also read that she taught geography at St. Mary's High School in Calcutta. And this biographical book chapter gives some more detail. --LambiamTalk 06:01, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

International Borders[edit]

Nations define their borders, correct? Where can I find those definitions? Is it contained in domestics laws or does the UN keep records of this stuff? I can't seem to find this information for any nation. Idealy, I'd like to see a database of all nations of the world and how they define their borders but I doubt such a thing exists. Pyro19 04:27, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

In many cases the border between two nations will have been defined in a treaty, or parts of the border in separate treaties. For example, the border between Maine and New Brunswick is defined in the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842. --LambiamTalk 05:36, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

please include my bipo in your data base. thank you. john dayal, india[edit]

Dr. John Dayal Member, National Integration Council, Government of India

Human Rights, Civil Society and Freedom of Faith Activist Editor, Author, Documentary Film Maker, India

Religious Memberships: National President: All India Catholic Union (Founded 1919) Secretary General: All India Christian Council (Founded 1999) President, United Christian Action {Founded 1992)

National Convenor: United Christian Forum for Human Rights (founded 1998) Member: Justice and Peace Commission, Catholic Bishops Conference of India Member: National Coordination Committee for Dalit Christians Member, Governing Body: Chetanalaya, Delhi Catholic Archdiocese, New Delhi

Professional Media): Former Editor in Chief & CEO, The Delhi Mid Day, New Delhi, India Former Editor in Chief: The Indian Currents (Former Editor or Senior National or Foreign Editor of Sunday Mail, Sunday Observer, Amrita Bazaar Patrika, Link, the Patriot etc since 1968)

Former Chairman, the Delhi Press Accreditation Committee Former Treasurer, Editors Guild of India Chairman, Critics Jury, International Children’s Film Festival, Hyderabad Member, Selection Committee, India International Film festival Director, United Vision Pvt Ltd (Documentary Films) Member, World Assoc of Christian Communicators, Geneve Member, UCIP International Catholic Press Association, Geneve Member, ICPA Indian Catholic Press Association Member, Indian Press Association Member, Delhi Union of Journalists

Professional (Academic): Chairman of the Governing Board, and former Treasurer, University of Delhi SSN College Ex Vice President, Board of Directors, and Chairman, Education Centre, New Delhi YMCA Ex Member, Board of Curricula, Dept of Journalism, Guru Jambeswar University, Haryana Curricula formation in Journalism - Delhi University and Autonomous institutions Visiting Faculty: IIMC, several universities Former Member, Technical Committee, National Youth Policy 2020, Government of India Director, Centre for Policy Research & Communication, New Delhi

Author/ Edited Anthologies: Gujarat 2002 – Untold and Retold Stories (Media House) 2002 For Reasons of State (with Ajoy Bose) (Vision Books) 1977 Commissions of Enquiry (With Ajoy Bose) 1979 Indian Cinema Superbazar (Ed: Aruna Vasudev)(France) Ethics of Peace (Ed: UCIP) 1995 Wadhwa Commission (Ed: Dr. M P Raju)(Media House) 2000 Christians in Indian Democracy – Challenges and Opportunities (Hindi) In Press 2006 Default Relgion – a critique of secularism in India {scheduled to be published in 2007}

Awards: First International Staines Memorial Awards for Human Rights in South Asia The New Leader Award for Excellence in Journalism Numerous National Media and Human Rights awards

Keynote addresses: Several National and International Media and Human Rights Conferences since 1972

Personal: Born New Delhi, India 2nd October 1948, Educated at St Stephen’s College, University of Delhi (Physics), Diploma in Journalism, Doctor of Divinity, (HC) Human Rights.

Began Journalism in 1968 as Freelance writer and Film critic, worked for national newspapers at all levels, from Junior Subeditor, Reporter, Chief reporter, Political, Diplomatic and Parliamentary Correspondent in India, Lead Writer, European Chief of Bureau in London of the Observer Group, India, former Editor in Chief and CEO, the Delhi Mid Day, New Delhi’s only English language Afternoon newspaper.

As a young reporter in the early Seventies, brought out the first investigations in drug addiction among university youth in Indian, paedophilia in Delhi and police brutality

Reporting on Hindu-Muslim violence during the ‘Seventies and Eighties, John Dayal quickly developed a reputation for fairplay and accuracy, and for deep investigations into the role of the Police/State apparatus as accessories and co-conspirators on behalf of the majority community/ Industrialists/State apparatus in violence against Muslims and other religious minorities, Trade Unions and others. John Dayal has covered dozens of major riots between Hindus and Muslims, and Hindu and Sikhs in the Eighties.

John Dayal covered the ethnic violence in Sri Lanka, and the war in West Asia in several assignments in the ‘Eighties, and has reported widely from the countries of South Asia. He was among the handful of reporters covering the proceedings of the Uruguay round leading to the GATT, TRIPS and TRIMS agreements.

John Dayal was therefore well placed to be the first to document the anti-Christian violence when it first began in the mid Nineties. After reporting on the State discrimination against Christians converted from India’s former untouchable castes, called Dalits, John Dayal published the first Unofficial Report on Violence Against Christians in 1997, cautioning the community and the government that the hate campaign that had been started by right wing and neo-fascist political groups, collectively called the Sangh Parivar, could escalate into a major crisis. In 1998, his Unofficial White Paper on anti Christian Violence made international headlines. The large-scale destruction of Churches in the district of Dangs in the State of Gujarat during Christmas week in December 1998, and the burning alive of the Australian Missionary Graham Stuart Staines and his sons Timothy and Philip tragically showed the accuracy of his sociological prediction.

Dayal was member of three committees of enquiry set up by the Indian National Commission for the Minorities during 1997-98, and his reports for the commission are rated highly for their substance.

Always associated with of the Indian Human Rights movement, John Dayal after 1997 became the International and national face of the Christian human rights movement together with Delhi Archbishop Alan de Lastic, with whom he co-founded the United Christian Forum for Human Rights which was subsequently adopted by the Catholic, Protestant and Evangelical churches as the ecumenical Christian human rights organisation. He has appeared before many national and International Human Rights organisations and agencies to speak about the Indian and South Asian Human Rights, Religious Freedom and Media affairs.

A Catholic and the National President of the laity organisation All India Catholic Union, founded 1919, which represents India’s 16 million Catholics, John Dayal edited its official magazine Vishal Jagruti for three years till 1999. To involve NGOs, independent chuirchs and para church organisations in human rights and civil liberties, John Dayal with Joseph de Souza (President) and others helped co-found the All India Christian Council. He is also closely associated with major national human rights movements including the Citizens Forum, Delhi, and several Human Rights and civil Liberties organisations.

John Dayal today is today internationally accepted as a major spokesman of the Christian Community and Civil Society in India and is interviewed regularly on the Indian and global print and electronic media. He is also deeply involved in the international anti-nuclear weapon and peace movements.

John Dayal is married to Mercy M John, who enthusiastically supports, and often finances, his human rights work. They have two children, Karuna and Jason.

Christian and Community activity and participation:

1. Founder National Convenor, United Christian Forum for Human Right, representing the Catholic, ecumenical and Evangelical Churches and NGOs. Active in Peace, Justice and Human rights issues since 1970. Was active in struggle against human rights violations during the Indian Emergency (1975-77).

2. As member of several Commissions of Enquiry of the National Commission for Minorities, Government of India was instrumental in investigating and writing the reports in cases of violence against minorities, and especially against Christian communities. Investigated human rights violations, police torture and state and administrative connivance in anti-Christian violence in several Indian states.

3. One of the key pointsmen in the human rights monitoring, action and documentation on minority affairs in Indian Subcontinent.

4. Key role in assisting South Asian Churches evolve a response to the Nuclear tests by India and Pakistan.

5. As member of the National Coordination Committee for Dalit Christians set up by the apex Catholic Bishops' Conference of India and the National Council of Churches in India, have been active in the struggle to secure constitutional rights for the poorest of the poor in the community in India.

6. Active in Ecumenism and inter-faith dialogue, particularly on issues of Peace, Justice and Human Rights and the Pluralistic Culture of India.

7. As the Secretary General of the All India Christian Council and National President of the All India Catholic Union, and their spokesman on political and public affairs, articulated the aspirations of the community with distinction at the national and international level. Constant monitoring of the national political and community scene and timely responses have helped the community persuade the Government of India and of several states to roll back inimical legislation and regulations that violated the Indian Constitution secular guarantees.

8. Have assisted the Al India Chritian Council, the All India Catholic Union and various churches in modernising their communications structures, making use of contemporary electronic and cyber technologies.

Sounds notable enough (maybe), but might need a bit of Wikifying... I wonder what others think. - THE GREAT GAVINI {T-C}
Well he certainly gets plenty of Google hits and probably is worthy of an article. But this is not it; see WP:Autobiography. Nevertheless, by submitting this, Mr Dayal has inadvertently included himself in the "data base" for ever. Perhaps someone who has actually heard of him before could consider starting an article.--Shantavira 08:06, 8 August 2006 (UTC)


Hi, I am having difficulty finding relevant information on Borroloola NT, I found your website has great info, but I wanted more info on census data etc. Was wondering if anyone can help me...ABS website doesnt seem to recognise borroloola! Thanks very much! Tara

What exactly are you looking for? This link to the ABS website lets you download a zipped Excel file with basic demographic information for Borroloola from the 2001 census. No Jedi are listed. --LambiamTalk 19:00, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
You may also find this google search of the abs site useful. Natgoo 19:54, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Citizenship by birth[edit]

If a pregnant woman living in Country A goes on vacation to Country B, and gives birth while on vacation, does the baby become a citizen of B and not A? If so, how does the woman usually get the baby back into the country pending the lengthy (assuming Country A is anything like Canada or the U.S.) immigration process? NeonMerlin 13:05, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Doesnt the child just get dual citizenship? Philc TECI 13:51, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
See jus soli. — Gareth Hughes 14:13, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
This depends entirely on the laws of Country A and Country B. It is impossible to generalize. Every nation has its own laws on citizenship. Many nations recognize dual citizenship, but not all do. Your best bet is to explore the websites of the government agencies responsible for citizenship in Countries A and B. Or, if they don't list the rules on their website, contact them by phone or mail.
Most nations will grant citizenship to a child whose parents are both citizens, even if the child was born in a different nation. Most nations will grant citizenship to that child even if only one parent was a citizen, especially if the child is raised in that nation. I can't speak for Canada, but the United States grants citizenship to any child born in the United States, even to a noncitizen mother illegally present in the United States at time of birth, even if the child is then raised elsewhere. However, if that child performs certain acts associated with citizenship in another nation, the child may lose its U.S. citizenship. See this official website for details: [2].
A child with citizenship in Country A may of course travel to Country A at any time, assuming that the child is able to travel alone. However, a child with citizenship in Country A may travel to Country A with a non-citizen parent only if the parent has permission to enter Country A (for example, with a tourist visa). Marco polo 14:22, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
I believe the general rule is that if one is born in a country, one automatically becomes a citizen of that country. I've also heard that this rule has only one exception: Saudi Arabia. Being born in Saudi Arabia of non-Saudi citizens is the one place where citizenship is not automatically bestowed on any person born in that country. Of course this information may be dated, and possibly even erroneous. So please don't take it as actual fact, but merely something that, if memory serves me correct, is true.
Another thing I should mention is that it was only relatively recently that the US allowed its citizens to have dual citizenship. I would only suspect that dual citizenship is not universally accepted.
Still, I'm a bit hazy on those last two points as I'm only dealing facts that I only vaguely remember hearing of, so I think I'll have do a bit of research to double check. (In other words, don't quote me on it!) Loomis 22:14, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Quite a few European countries (eg Germany) dont grant citizenship to the children of two foreign immigrants. And France, which used to, recently changed the law in that direction as a result of pressure from anti-immigrant groups. Jameswilson 00:58, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

As I said, I'm quite hazy on this subject. I stand corrected. Loomis 02:51, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

D'accord. There was a big campaign in Ireland too a while back to remove that right. I dont know how it ended up. Jameswilson 03:45, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Ireland used to grant citizenship to all born within her borders, but that was changed some years ago. They had a referendum, a fairly significant majority voted to not grant citizenship simply on being born there. At the time that was going through, one of the arguments was that Ireland was the only EU state to grant citizenship on the principle of location of birth (although since the 10 member enlargement, I don't know if that would still be true today) Mnemeson 10:50, 9 August 2006 (UTC)


Who was the first person to set foot on Antarctica, and when? The article doesn't seem to mention this. EamonnPKeane 14:51, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Jules-Sébastien-César Dumont d'Urville in 1840. - THE GREAT GAVINI {T-C} 15:01, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
It is hard to find reliable sources, and I'm not sure how reliable the web site cited above is, but Dumont d'Urville was probably not the first to set foot on Antarctica. The Wikipedia article History of Antarctica states that Edward Bransfield of the British Navy went ashore on the Trinity Peninsula in 1820. Bransfield certainly sailed around the Trinity Peninsula, but I cannot find any sources confirming that he went ashore. However, several sources, such as this one state that seal hunters went ashore in Antarctica in the 1820s. Specifically, according to the linked source, American sealers commanded by John Davis went ashore in 1821. Marco polo 17:01, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
I thought that Marco Polo only set foot on China. -- DLL .. T 18:07, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Stackpole was given a book belonging to descendents of Christopher Burdick of the Huntress of Nantucket. Under clippings pasted in the family scrapbook was Burdick's log of his journey to the far south and his landing on February 7, 1821, at Hughes Bay south of the Orleans Strait, accompanied by Capt. John Davis in the Cecilia out of New Haven. This is the first documented landing on the mainland, although according to second-hand' accounts, Captain McFarlane in the British ship Dragon may have landed earlier.

Shapeley, Deborah (1985). The Seventh Continent: Antarctica in a Resource Age. pp. p. 27.  EricR 18:31, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Bruce credits John Briscoe as being the first man to touch shore within the Antarctic Circle, at Adelaide Island, in 1831. Bruce, "The Story of the Antarctic," SGM 10 ( February 1894): 59. Edouard A. Stackpole claims that Captain John Davis, an American whaler, made the first landing on 7 February 1821, but the evidence is inconclusive. Davis put ashore, but there is no indication that he did so on the continent rather than on an island off the coast. See Stackpole, The Voyage of the Huron and the Huntress ( Mystic, Conn.: Marine Historical Association, 1955), 51.

Baughman, T.H. (1994). Before the Heroes Came: Antarctica in the 1890s. pp. footnote p. 133. EricR 18:48, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Obsessive compulsive personality disorder[edit]

I would appreciate any help you can give me! I have searched to no avail the historical background and the time frame when obsessive compulsive personality disorder was recognized by the field of psychology. Can you help? Thank you so much for any contribution to my search Maureen

There has been a time when hard psychology (reeducate, do no help to understand) and drug companies decided to gain power by declaring that psychological problems were mature to enter their respective (and financially juicy) fields. Whence your child is disordered. -- DLL .. T 18:06, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Does anyone know where I could find the origination of the disorder? Who discovered it or began implementation? What date was it first recognized by the field of psychology?

Thank you


I'm sorry if I was of poor help. There are hints too : the correlation must be good with the growing results of drug companies. As for who discovered that good idea, I'll try to help more. -- DLL .. T 19:58, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
OK, did you search your OCPD question on the web ? the oldest book in this specialized site is "Salzman, Leon (1968). The Obsessive Personality. New York: Science House. " Doest that help ? -- DLL .. T 20:05, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Thank you so much!! This is an unbelievable site!

According to the article Obsessive-compulsive disorder, it was recognized before Freud so there may not be a good answer to your question. It seems it was recognized usually as some type of possesion by evil spirits in earlier times and slowly more scientific views came about. Nowimnthing 20:12, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
You should distinguish between Obsessive-compulsive disorder and Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. With OCD it is pretty much clear to everyone in the sufferer's environment that something is amiss. OCPD is like the extreme end of a fluid continuum, most of which is considered normal, and it is difficult to indicate a boundary where the behaviour becomes "abnormal". --LambiamTalk 20:54, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Being clearly obsessed by drug companies, I invite you to look at Sisi syndrome before it disappears. -- DLL .. T 19:07, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Victorian Era Portraits[edit]

I would like to know why every picture of a female from the victorian era looks like they have no shoulders, are slightly overweight, have big eyes, and are not attractive. I find it hard to believe that we've changed from that to what we are today. Any answers welcome. Thanks Bubbles13hm 19:40, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Attractiveness is in the eye of the beholder. Definitions of beauty can change, what you call slightly overweight was then considered a sign of health/prosperity (the poorer you were the skinnier you were because you were starving.) Now we live in a time of such plenty, at least in the Western world, that even the poorest of our population can be fat. As for their beauty I think some of the portraits are of beautiful women, some are not. I guess it is up to the individual. Nowimnthing 20:17, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Definitions of beauty have changed from hundreds of years ago. In earlier times, men who were overweight and pale were considered very attractive and desirable because their appearence suggested that they were rather wealthy affluent, being able to avoid manual labor in the outdoors.
And around late 19th / early 20th century, when only the rich could afford to go on holiday (southern Europe in winter) and the poor started working more in factories than outdoors, a dark skin tone was associated with wealth (for whites, that is). And when sugar was expensive, having rotten teeth was a sign of wealth, so people blackened their teeth, or so I've heard. I have never seen that on a portrait, though. DirkvdM 06:20, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Looking for decent maps throughout (modern) history[edit]


does anyone know a site (or an article here?) where you can either type in a year (like 1925) and find a world map, or at least find many maps categorized by time?

I am asking because yesterday I was watching a documentary about de Gaulle and his relations with other leaders, and when planning a campaign in Africa, he was looking at a completely different map. So I understand now how weird it is to look at my world map when trying to understand history.

If for instance, I were to to understand international politics in 1963 or whatever, a world map of that year would be extremely useful.

So if anyone has any useful links or whatever, I will be very interested.

Evilbu 19:50, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

And we could have pages here like "Political world in 1925", &c. Very nice request (no ideas, though). -- DLL .. T 19:55, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Try Ancient world maps and Library of Congress Map collections. There are a lot more links on Maps that will probably get you what you need. Nowimnthing 20:22, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
My all-time favorite online map collection is the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection from UTexas. It's a truly amazing resource - maps of all types from all parts of the worlds throughout history - and well organized, too. For instance,here is their section on historical maps of Africa. They also have an excellent links section at the bottom of all the map lists. Lots of other good sites. --Bmk 21:29, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
About seven years ago I saw a professor used some commercial software which would allow you to view political maps of the world (or just of Europe?) for any point in time (you could run it like a movie). It was pretty neat stuff. Searching around, I think it was Centennia Historical Atlas Software, which is limited only to Europe and the Middle East (and not cheap, and from the screenshot doesn't look like it has been worked on lately), if you're interested. --Fastfission 22:55, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Everybody Hates America[edit]

I kind of had an idea that a lot of people around the world didn't like the US but it became very evident to me last night. I was playing COD2 on XBOX Live early in the morning and it was mostly Europeans I was getting matched with. Anybody who is familiar with XBOX360 knows that your country you're in is displayed in you player profile. Almost all saw that I was from the US and they all talked smack and blamed me personally for the war in Iraq. When I joined the American Team on one game, everyone switched to German and they all pwnd me bad. Why does everybody hate America? Thanks. schyler 21:55, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

You are playing a game where kids attempt to ridicule each other based on the little information they have - mainly a username and country of origin. They make fun of your country of origin and you assume that everyone hates your country. The truth is that most people do not hate America. If that were the case, we wouldn't have immigration problems. I've been to many countries as both a civilian and a Marine. I know from first-hand experience that while the fat rude American tourist deserves to be hated, most people still admire America as a country even though they disagree with the politicians. In fact, most people who are not American understand that the President is powerless and Congress is to blame for almost every foreign relation problem. Americans, sadly, will never ever understand that. We will have the same thieves in Congress forever. --Kainaw (talk) 22:10, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
The US has just a few percent of the world population. If the immigration is 1% of the US population (which would be huge) that would be a few tenths of a promille of the world population. Not quite an indication that most people love the US. DirkvdM 18:24, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, in the case of the Iraq War, the President (and, specifically, his dark side, Dick Cheney) convinced the US Congress to vote to approve the war. Actually, I don't know of any war the US ever fought against the wishes of the President. StuRat 23:03, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

But they aren't kids. The majority of them are adults (mid-20's probably, but adults nonetheless) and I encountered this in every game I played. All 23 of them. schyler 22:46, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

The US is the world's only superpower. It is also currently being run by an administration which has taken very controversial international stances and is waging a controversial occupation in the Middle East. It is also seen as a key supporting ally of Israel, who is involved in its own controversial war. So whatever you think about the US (and the rightness or wrongness of said policies), it is understandable that at the moment, many (not all) Europeans find it pleasurable to denigrate it—whether you want to attribute it to envy, spite, reasoned politics, or whatever else, is up to you. See anti-Americanism, for a more detailed discussion. The real tragedy in this sort of thing is that the individual becomes abstracted to the level of the state — that is, you get blamed for things you had nothing directly to do with (or may in fact personally oppose). Much this is not a new phenomena, and it works both ways. --Fastfission 23:03, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Do you want a list? I'm not trying to be rude but honestly, ranging from the good, to the poorly based, to ridiculous, there are a lot of reasons. There is no good reason to hate america as such, but a lot of people have a strong dislike for the attitudes, cultures, lifestyles, isolationism, treatment of other countries, and ignorance of america, and americans. I think personally the majority of americans are perfectly good people. However there are aspects which do not appeal.

I would disagree with the statement that america is the worlds only superpower, I think that is an extremely ignorant and arrogant thing to say, and there is no basis for it, I would agree that america is the only sizeable military force looking to constantly excercise this.

Note that "only superpower" doesn't mean "only world power". However, the economic and military power of the US was only rivaled by the Soviet Union, since WW2. Since it no longer exists, that does leave the US as the sole superpower. StuRat 23:38, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
I didn't think I'd have to link to superpower, but I guess I do. It's amazing how often that people who are quick to call others ignorant show their own lack of knowledge in the same breadth... --Fastfission 02:54, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
I suppose the misunderstanding here is based in the habit of only looking at opposing superpowers. And until a decade ago the EU wasn't big enough yet. Add to this StuRat's comment and there you are. DirkvdM 07:58, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

The fact is however wrong it is, it has been stated that more than a third of the world population personally dislike america and americans (I dont know how reputable the source was, but it was reported off BBC news, so it want bollocks). A lot of people have niggles, issues, dislike, and some even hatred of the things I have mentioned, and these are taken out on americans, wether they display the disliked qualities or not.

A lot of the ignorance is mocked on the internet with spoof news reports interviewing americans, most commonly mocked is the percieved geographical knowledge (or lack of) which the american sterotype has. People who refer to muslims as "daiper heads", think that a mosque is a kind of animal, things of that nature, and talking about war, asking people which country should be tackled next as part of the war on terror invites such answers as "Italy", "Germany", "the whole middle east, ther nothing but trouble", "canada" and "Jus nuke 'em all".

It may not be right, but america has the most dislikable sterotype of all of them. And a lot of the criticised aspects of american culture, results in a lot of abuse for americans who wander amongst thos who are not their fans. Philc TECI 23:22, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

I honestly think it has a lot to do with jealousy and the corresponding lack of self-esteem of the rest of the world. (Note that I'm not American myself). The US is not only the world's only superpower, it's also the richest, most prosperous country in the world, and I believe its prosperity is well deserved. The Americans, generally speaking of course, are a hardworking, independent thinking and conscientious people. As well, they haven't seem to have fallen into the hyper-pacifist, "Chamberlainian" trap as most Europeans (with the notable exception of the British,) and even most of my fellow Canadians have. When circumstances require it, and all other routes have failed, if the "right thing to do" requires the use of force, they'll use it, reluctantly I should add, and despite the open and free protestations of a very vocal minority of dissenting citizens. The world hates America because they wish they had its strength. Not simply its military strength, but far more imporantly, its strength of character. Notwithstanding all of the above, the US may be a great country, and a great place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there! :-) Loomis 00:19, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
The world soon forgets about all the good things the US has done, so here is a short list:
1) Started the anti-colonial movement with the American Revolution, and later finalized it after WW2 by refusing to support the colonial powers of England and France in their war with Egypt over control of the Suez Canal.
2) Provided freedom and sources of income to millions of immigrants, such as many from the Irish Potato Famine.
3) Played a minor role in winning WW1 and a major role in winning WW2, including changing two genocidal empires (the Nazis and Japanese empire) into peaceful members of the world community.
3a) Rebuilt Europe and Japan followed WW2 with the Marshall Plan. StuRat 21:24, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
4) Was pivotal in bringing about the collapse of the Soviet Union (by initiating an arms race which bankrupted it and opposing them in Afghanistan), bringing freedom to hundreds of millions in Eastern Europe.
5) Ended the genocide committed by Serbia against it's neighbors.
6) Paid, and continues to pay, the bulk of the cost of defending it's allies, such as Japan, South Korea, and Europe.
So, while the US has committed some mistakes, I can't see how those can be compared to all the good it has done, which adds up to "saving the world", especially during WW2. StuRat 00:53, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Cherry-picking positive (or pseudo-positive; I'm not convinced that #1 is terribly correct at all in the history of US foreign policy, where it was often colonial in everything but name) points is no more honest or enlightening than cherry-picking negative points. Both are terribly incomplete, terribly deceptive ways to think about a country, its history, and its present affairs.
Well, this was an attempt to balance the discussion by showing the "other side of the story". I knew I could count on the rest of the world to provide all the reasons they hate the US (although an Italian gave me the most obscure reason: "because you have telephone wires on poles above ground, instead of burying them underground"). StuRat 21:15, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, that does have a rather third-world connotation to Europeans. DirkvdM 11:22, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Along with that I have to say (as I think I have before) that I find your grasp of history to be poor. Personally I don't give the US a terribly strong role in the collapse of the Soviet Union; Soviet economics never worked out anyway, and I suspect that the falling prices of oil in the 1980s owed more to its financial crises than did anything Reagan proposed. In any case I think the role of internal Soviet politics (Gorbachev, Yeltsin, the hardliners) should not be underestimated—totalitarian regimes have existed for decades after they became economically bankrupt in the past and present. And I think it goes too far to say that the US "brought freedom" to those in Eastern Europe — I think it devalues their own contributions, much of which were done completely without US support. And we now know what the end-result of our giving arms to helpful mujahadeen was. You've given the US all of the credit in things in which there were other major participants (say, World War II?), and have air-brushed over even the positive things. If this is supposed to be the "best argument" in favor of the US, then perhaps the anti-Americanism is justified. ;-) Kidding aside, I think there are better things that one could credit the US with (#1 funder of science, technology, and medicine, anyone?), but all the same, I think that a balanced approach, one that does not dismiss the very awful things the US has done as just "mistakes", but attempts to take a more holistic view will be more convincing on the whole. --Fastfission 02:54, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Without opposition from the US, the Soviet Union could have easily defeated what remained of Europe after WW2 and then conquered the world. Instead, they were forced to spend an enormous portion of their wealth to keep pace with the US militarily. StuRat 21:15, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Stu, thats exactly the kind of attitude that the world hates about america, the view that we owe you one fore WWII (we dont get any of this crap from russia), or that bringing down the soviet union was a good thing. Living conditions in eastern european countries are worse now, WORSE, the soviet union was good for its inhabitants, where housing and food were human rights. The fact is americans no more deserve credit for anything, than a modern german should be ashamed of themselves for WWII. Both are in the past. A lot of people need to get over themselves. Philc TECI 12:09, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
I believe that living conditions are improving in Eastern Europe, especially for those countries which have joined the EU, such as Poland. Freedom is also it's own reward, even if no economic gain is immediately realized. StuRat 21:15, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Yeh, they are improving from the pitiful state they fell into after the break up of the sovie union. There are empty housing blocks in russia, because the people that need them cannot afford them, so they fall into disrepair, huge potential housing facilities empty, thousands of homeless people. How fair does capitolism sound now, not very fair to me, in communist russia, these people would have been assigned these houses and the state would have paid for them. What freedoms do americans excercise that anyone in any MEDC doesnt. Freedom is not its own reward, as with opportunitues, the freedom to choose between them is nothing. Being free in squalor, is worse than being conformed in healthy living conditions. In countries where people are not rich, the valued thing is the ability for you and your children to survive, not freedom. That is why when there is no prospect of survival, even in a democracy, a strong leader often rises and takes control through revolution, see saddam, mussolini, tito, stalin, hitler and lenin. These people did not fight for freedom, but, amongst other things, for the right of every one of their people to survive. Despite the fact some of them went on to do some questionable things once in power. Democracy doesnt work where people dont have time for it, example, Iraq will not work under democracy, it needs swift descisive good faith action, and even if it is not the most effective action, if it helps at all, Iraq can start digging its way out of a hole, however at the moment, its tending towards civil war, where the sunnis and shi'ite will fight, on either side a strong military leader will arise, and then after the war, the victor will be dictator of Iraq, and he will pass harsh punishments on the peoples of the losing side. Ring any bells, the war in Iraq has just reset the counter to step one, civil war, and the arisal of a dictator. The country is not ready for democracy. I dont believe any country has developed from a low level of development under a democracy. Almost every country where democracy works the people are all already living in acceptable condiditions when the democracy is installed. Sorry to ran and drift from the initial subject, but however much I like all of the american people I have met and spoken too, I have so many issues with so many aspects of america. Philc TECI 02:36, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
LOL at "Despite the fact some of them [Saddam, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini,...] went on to do some questionable things once in power"; quite the understatement there ! As for Russia not being well off now, that's because it's not a democracy, but more of an oligarchy, favoring the rich instead of voters. This is also true of some other countries in Eastern Europe. As for countries which have developed democracies from a low economic level, pretty much all of the defeated countries (and some of the winners) in WW2 did just that. Germany, Japan, Italy, Austria, etc., were in economic shambles, and had little or no history of democracy, yet were each reformed and turned into productive, democratic members of the world community. So much for your theory. As for Iraq, the problem there is it has no reason to be a country, but rather three. Unfortunately, Kurdistan is opposed by the Turks, Shiitistan would likely be annexed by, or controlled by, Iran, and Sunnistan would be largely without a source of income, as most of the oil fields are in the other two regions. StuRat 18:37, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Germany - Kaisers, previously diss-associated group of small states.
Austria - A monarchy (remeber good ol Franz Ferdinand?)
Japan - Emporers
Italy - Monarchy, Deposed by Mussolini
All of these countries developed under non-democratic systems, they were in shambles because of a preceeding war, not because of poor economic structure, democracy runs a country, but it doesnt develop one. The countries after WW2 were not un-developed, they just had damaged infrastructures, and their was the education, and systems already in place that could get the country going again once the war was over. Philc TECI 17:40, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
If Europe had tried to rebuild itself after WW2, without help, it would have run into many obstacles: "We need to rebuild the factory, but to do that we need to hire workers, but the roads are impassable, so we need to build a road first, but we can't afford to hire workers to build roads and can't pay for the materials until the factory is up and running so we can sell some goods." A similar thing can happen to a family that has a house/business fire. If they don't have insurance and get no help from the community, they can become homeless and poverty-stricken as a result. StuRat 19:57, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
I just have to weigh in here and second Stu. "Hitler...fought for the right of every one of [his] people to survive?" If my memory serves me correctly, and I admit my memory might be a bit fuzzy on WWII, but I'm reasonably certain that there just might have been a few of Hitler's "people" who didn't seem to share in this right. Loomis 22:25, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Yea, same for most of the others Phil listed. What history books is he reading ? StuRat 22:33, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
You've taken it out of context, I said during their rise to power they fought for the right of every one of their people to survive. This is true, a lot of the people I mentioned rose to power through countries with desperately unfair wealth distribution or collapsed economies, gaining public support on the pretence the would rectify this, and help the poorer gaurentee their survival. But my point was this was their promise, what they did once in power is a seperate matter, because once they were in power public support was no longer such an issue. I stand by what I said, because I also specified their people, not the countries people, by which in case of saddam I mean the division of muslims that supported him, not the ones he was trying to annihalate, and in case of Hitler, white christian native germans. I'm talking about promises that gained public support, not actions. Philc TECI 17:40, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

And that, Stu, is part of the problem. It's basic human psychology. To take one of your examples, the Americans were clearly the heroes in WWII by essentially, without exageration, literally saving the world from decades or perhaps centuries of tyranny (although I can't resist including the British, another great people, with their "never surrender" attitude; true people of character). But to resent the hero is a basic human trait.

The French/American rivalry is a perfect example. While the disagreements of today may be totally unrelated to WWII, deep down in the French psyche there must be a sort of subconscious insecurity. ("Why didn't we have the strength of character that the British and the Americans seem to have had to have put up more of a fight against Hitler? Why did we act like such cowards and surrender so quickly, only to proceed to so shamefully collaborate with the Nazis? Why did we act so pathetically?")

Of course the French hate the Americans. They hate them because the Americans showed strength when they showed cowardice. They transform their low self-esteem into hatred for those stronger and braver than them.

And that, Stu, in a nutshell, is why I fully and unconditionally support GWB and the war in Iraq. :--)) (Talk about a non-sequitur!) Loomis 02:38, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

This is a very lucid and convincing explanation of why the French hate the Americans. I see one little problem however. I don't think it is true at all that the French hate the Americans. --LambiamTalk 07:17, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
See, however, the BBC poll I linked to below. DirkvdM 07:58, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Many people may only be familiar with stereotypes of Americans and American cities they've seen on TV: the shallow airheads of LA, the angry crowds in New York, and the hicks and buffoons in Texas. They've also probably seen the "Is our children learning?" speech. Others may hate America due to the obnoxious and irritating loud-and-slow-talking tourists that come to their nations. Some of the others might just be joining in due to the fun of it. (Just theories.)
Re Kainaw's while the fat rude American tourist deserves to be hated. Nobody deserves to be hated. Despise their behaviour if you want, but surely we're a mature enough world to make distinctions between what people do and who they are. JackofOz 02:31, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Yikes! I'd be careful if I were you Jack! Apparently, on top of all the rest, he's a Marine! Loomis 02:46, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Ooooooh, I'm scared now. JackofOz 06:52, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
First Loomis tells me that I'm not allowed to refuse to save the life of people I don't like. Now Jack tells me I can't even hate anyone. What kind of hippie-lovefest is Wikipedia turning into? I bet nobody here even has a sense of humor anymore!
If you've ever travelled abroad, you risk having the same experience that I did - you are trying to blend in with the locals and enjoy yourself. Then, a fat sunburned idiot screams at a clerk because he can't speak English and demands special treatment because he's an American and the U.S. will bomb their country and turn it into a parking lot if they don't start treating Americans with more respect. After that, it is surprising how well I was accepted. Canada and Mexico are expected to be nice because they are close. But, I was surprised how nice people in Panama, Columbia, Brazil, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Turkey were. They would often invite me to their home for dinner. Often the older people couldn't speak English, so the younger ones would translate. In Norway, I had many people asking to practice "American" with me. I was instant friends with nearly everyone I met in South Korea, China, and the Phillipines. The only country I've ever been to where I was not accepted and, for the most part, treated like a dog unworthy of stepping foot on their soil was Israel. Perhaps they've had one too many fat rude American tourists. --Kainaw (talk) 13:20, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
That's three! I know two people who have been to Israel and they both hated it there. One was a philosopher, who has a very open mind when it comes to other ideas and cultures, but he considered the Israelis very rude (and that is saying somehting because he knows me :) ). The other had gone to Israel for some humanitarian purpose but, once there, switched sides ad started rooting for the Palestinians. DirkvdM 17:27, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
I also find Israelis rude. It's a common response to a visit to Israel. Personally, I put it down to 60 years of worrying if they're going to be wiped out by their neighbours. --Dweller 08:36, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
I've known one Israeli personally, and he seemed quite polite to me. I believe he was a secular Jew, BTW, if that matters. StuRat 18:51, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Are Palestinians (and Lebanese and what have you?) equally rude then? This is not a rhetorical question. DirkvdM 11:37, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
I have to say, when the Palestinians were filmed dancing in the streets after 9-11, I found that to be more than a little bit rude. And to think the West was financing the Palestinian government, under Arafat, at the time. Fortunately, that era has now ended. If Iran wants to finance the terrorists, then they can damn well pay for the daily needs of the Palestinians, as well. If not, we may even end up with Palestinians selling the latest weapons they get from Iran, so they can actually afford to feed themselves. Maybe they will even sell the weapons to the Israelis, LOL. StuRat 19:02, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
3 years ago, the BBC did a survey among 11,000 people in 11 countries, including the US. under the name "What the world thinks of America". The results can be seen at There are some interresting (and puzzling) results. Such as Indonesians having a very negative attitude towards the US, but totally agreeing with their stance on AIDS (more so than the USians themselves). I wonder what caused that. And only a small majority of USians agree with the policy of the US on Palestine and Israel - all the others disagree, including Israel! (mind you, this was three years ago). In general, the stance of France (negative) and the UK and Israel (positive) is as expected. But I didn't expect Russians to be so negative. I wonder if that is a remnant of the socialist rule (unlikely) or more recent developments. Canada is more positive than one might expect and South Korea is either very positive or very negative. A striking lack of nuance there. Also striking is that only one quarter of Israelis and Koreans find their own country more cultured than the US. There is a question about arrogance, but this is best illustrated by this question. For every question as to whether copying the US would be a good idea, US citizens invariably agree most.
And of course there's the military power. Overall more people find the US more dangerous than Iran (but less than Al Qaeda). Striking here is that South Koreans consider the US to be more dangerous than North Koreans. But they also think (more than others) that US presence in the region brings peace and stability. I have no idea how to explain that one. Finally, a small majority think Iraq will benefit from the fall of Saddam, but larger majorities think the US shouldn't have invaded and that the result will be a US-influenced regime or even a US colony. Sort of like 'the right thing was done but by the wrong force', I suppose. DirkvdM 07:24, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
In response to StuRat's enumeration of the great things the US have done: 1: The US did support French colonial rule in Vietnam. 3: The European countries were also pivotal in ending the two world wars. It's just that until recently they weren't united and therefore not counted as one. It's easy to be influential when you're big. 4: The Russians brought about the change themselves. For once, the US did not influence a regime change in another country. :) DirkvdM 07:58, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
An important aspect here is size and rooting for the underdog. First the USSR was the big superpower next to the US. Now the EU is. The USSR was percieved as the big bad, wbich reflected positively on the US. That has gone now. It remains to be seen what the EU is going to do with its power and if that will in a decade or so result in just as bad an image for the EU. If not, then there is more than size at play here. DirkvdM 07:58, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
I never picked you for an infracaninophile, Dirk, but miracles do happen.  :--) JackofOz 09:54, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Another word I have to remember! I was of course talking about people in general, but I suppose I am a bit of an infracaninophile too. DirkvdM 12:20, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Uhm, I think this is going offtopic, schyler complained that he was seen as personally responsible for the war in Iraq. There are a couple of things about the AVERAGE American that can be irritating :

  • persistently referring to the United States of America as America (something schyler demonstrates)(as if those other countries aren't worth talking about)
Come on, don't forget that everybody refers to them as America, North-American, and Americans. It isn't they who impose that. Flamarande 14:45, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't. And considering the hefty discussions at articles about 'America' we aren't the only ones. Most people go along with it because there is no comfortable alternative (unless 'yankee', 'gringo' and 'camarron' count) and they can't be bothered. DirkvdM 17:27, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
So you won't mid if someone uses "Holland" or "Dutch" right? You appear to be a minority and are simply reinforcing my point. I like "US-citizen". Flamarande 18:06, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Of course I don't mind people using the word Holland. If that's what they mean, that is (and not 'the Netherlands'). I think 'Dutch' is a somewhat confusing term (too much like 'Deutsch'), but at least it isn't ambiguous. 'US-citizen' is a well constructed, but somewhat too awkward word. I'm still doubting between 'USer', 'USian' and 'Usonian'. DirkvdM 11:22, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
  • basically being monolingual and expecting everyone in another country to speak English (I've even seen teenagers who go to a ticket booth in a station and ask the man "Do you speak English?" and when he makes a gesture saying no, they just without any respect turned away and said "Yeah, great." Forgive the man for not learning every language spoken at this ticket booth?)
English is not "every" language, English seems to be the language of the present and of the future (like it or not) and teenagers are always arrogant. They even might easily have been Western Europeans and not from the US. Flamarande 14:45, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
At a New Zealand hostel there was this USian who got really pissed off because the proprietor wouldn't accept US dollars. DirkvdM 17:27, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
The arrogance of teenagers is plain fact (We are the new cooler generation which will not repeat the (stupid) mistakes of the old one - ever heard that line?). That US-citizen was simply an ignorant as*. Nevertheless you appear to concede that English is not "every" language.
Yes, but that's merely a reason to give that language a try. Not to assume that everyone has to understand (let alone speak) it. DirkvdM 11:22, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
  • added to that, some are nonlingual as they write stuff like "what of you done" "who's there teacher" and "I wan't", when I am on international forums I can quickly identify US'ers.
Poor spelling is standart for teenagers everywhere (It is suppossed to be cool or elite = Leet, you know?). Flamarande 14:45, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
These examples aren't. DirkvdM 17:27, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
They may not be cool, but teenagers (ans early 20's)everywhere make such mistakes in every language. Sorry, but I can't give you any Dutch examples (you might offer us some though). Flamarande 18:06, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
  • poor geographic knowledge, even concerning countries like Israel, Iraq and Taiwan
Compared against whom? Ignorance is present everywhere (even in Euope). And "our" knowledge of American ignorance is a bit biased. Our "cultural superiority" towards the American cultural imperialism is nationalism with a new facelift Flamarande 14:45, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Not the same but related - I bet most West Europeans will know the geography of the US better than that of Russia. But that's cultural imperialism, one that Evilbu forgot to mention, except the other way around. DirkvdM 17:27, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
I meet a German which didn't knew if Portugal was an independent country or not (same continent). Flamarande 18:06, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Reminds me of when I visited the Netherlands, (this is pure coincidence Dirk, I swear! Not aimed in any way at you!) some locals asked me where I was from, I told them Canada. They then asked me if I came by car or by plane. Loomis 22:40, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, they might have reasoned that Canada is in America and that America, Netherlands isn't too far away. Also, you could have come by car in a boat. Not a popular option across the Atlantic, I imagine, but still possible. And why should I be offended by this? Or did you miss all my anti-nationalism rants? I short: them is them, me is me. I couldn't care less if they would have been Egyptians. DirkvdM 11:22, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
I realize that, I just wanted to make sure you wouldn't think I was taking a cheap shot at you. As for the rest of what you said...about how they might have reasoned...I'm guessing that was an example of that sense of humour that you have that I can't seem to get? Am I right on that? Loomis 12:50, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Yup. DirkvdM 05:50, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
  • looking down upon nations that have a far better educational and social welfare program. I've been to the USA and to my amazement they were collecting money for schools! Where my aunt lives, daycare centers for infants are funded by the lottery...
Nevermind that Europe (like Japan) is turning into a continent of old pp and nobody really knows how to pay the social welfare program we are so immensly proud of. Flamarande 15:14, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
What do you mean 'we' don't know how to pay for it? We've still got it, so apparently 'we' do (although that depends on who you mean by 'we'). DirkvdM 17:27, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Dirk are you for real? We have less and less kids in Europe and more and more old ppl. Many European countries (like Germany) are making huge reforms in that sector because they don't know how to fund these social systems. Flamarande 18:06, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Don't ask a philosopher if he's real. :) Demographics are indeed presented as a problem, but there's really just one thing that needs to be changed and that is the pension age. People stay fit longer, so they can work longer. So a reform is needed to adapt to changing circumstances, but that doesn't mean the system is failing. It just needs to be upgraded. DirkvdM 05:50, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Actually, there's a fair amount of immigration in Europe nowadays; it's just that, like the U.S., the people who are living there already oppose them virulently. ColourBurst 17:38, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
It must be a small portion of the population which is opposed to all immigration, as in the US, or immigration would be banned, wouldn't it ? StuRat 20:05, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
  • being the only people on earth for whom "foreign film" seems to be a universal term
Well, at least they are honest about it. We Europeans call them by other exotic names (besides funding ad absurdum European films which are blantantly ignored by us.) Flamarande 15:14, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Are you trying to prove it's not just the USians who can't spell? :) DirkvdM 17:27, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
If you read my userpage you will notice that I have merely an advanced knowledge of the English language. Flamarande 18:06, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Hey, you corrected the error. That's foul play! Maybe your Wiki is also 'merely advanced'? :) DirkvdM 11:22, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

These are of course stereotypes, not every US'er is like that. But I wanted to answer schyler's question which seems more concerned with attitudes towards the average US'er than the USA government. I myself have family living in the USA, who married US'ers and some even adopted the USA's nationality. So it's not that I hate these people due to these annoyances. Evilbu 11:36, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Here's a useful link for why "people hate America" (assuming that they do). And here's a far better link. Enjoy. (If you're only going to read one, read the second one.) --Dweller 12:15, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Dweller, how can you say the second link is better than the first. The first still tries to give a reasonable explanation in a systematic way. The argument about the second one about homosexuals is absurd : how come they aren't allowed to marry while they are in Belgium, the Netherlands,... And "Venezuele just sits there" I'm sure what to think. We've reached a low if we have to commend the USA for not invading a country. Evilbu 13:42, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Erm, language barriers are awkward, aren't they. The second link is (I assume/d) intended to be humorous. --Dweller 14:07, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
First of I don't belive that everybody hates the US: I rather believe that way many ppl have a Love-hate relationship with the US. You have to simply realize that being "Anti-USA" is quite fashionable these days with Guantanamo and Iraq. And what were you expecting? Eternal gratitude? Unconditional support in absolutly everything no matter what? Undying loyalty? Don't be soo bloody naive: people (and especially nations) don't work that way. Even if your country owes something to the USA (liberated by the GI's of the Germans or the Japanese during the WWII) time passes and and a whole new generation arrives who wasn't even born at that time and which might be fascinated by the USA, but won't fell any gratitude towards it. Add to that a little nationalism, plain double-standarts, ingratitude, envy, diffrent attitude towards religion, arrogance based upon our "superior" culture compared to the US cultural "imperialism", etc. All peoples and countries have such attitudes. It is simply a Love-hate relationship.
Then add to that a "really smart" president. That guy is the perfect embodyment of all caracteristic we really hate in the political establishment: the born-again Christian which disbelieves science, the arrogant as* which for the sake of the industry totally ignores the enviroment while everybody is truly afraid of the clima-change. The self-rightous WARdemocrat who believes that he can impose democracy through the barrel of a gun. The hipocritical politician who proclaims that he only wants to save the world from Saddam Hussein (another devious dude) while it is so obvious that oil is what really matters. And at his side? The power-behind-the-throne (Dick Cheney), the mouth-of-Sauron (Donald Rumsfeld) and the stupid bimbo (Condolenza Rice). What a pack of of lying and ignorant politicans (they can't even lie in a believable manner!). It is SOO easy to despise these guys.
And what do they do? Patriot Act (Rights? What rights?), Guantanamo prison (Again: Rights? What rights?), Invasion of Iraq under plainly unconvincing reasons (Proof? What Proof? and the "devious WOMD which the Sadam soo cunningly hid before the invasion" ARGH) and blatantly ignoring the UN (Nice. Real nicely done, NOT.). That invasion is big clusterfuc* which is turning into a nightmare. The majority everywhere (except in the US) was against this invasion (inquiries being worth what they are worth). They certainly blame and feel betrayed by lying local politicians like Tony Blair, Aznar and Howard but they blame the US even more (because the US "convinced" the local politicians into this mess).
And that administration gets elected not once but twice ! (let's even forget the 1st election) by the American ppl. So in final analyses the blame falls upon the the American ppl (by the way I don't share this view but I don't blindly love the US either). Why shouldn't they fell a bit of irrational hatred towards the US? Flamarande 14:45, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
simply put, the USA could take a particularly deep fall precisely because of their high prestige after all their great deeds throughout the 20th century. In five years, the current USA have managed to squander a lot of credit accumulated by the generations of their parents and grandparents, and the world is reacting more strongly when a trusted ally turns "evil empire" on them than wrt dodgy nations they never trusted in the first place. dab () 16:21, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Can I add my two cents in to this behemoth of a post-turned-debate? Please understand that I'm not commenting on the posters here - just the general state of the world. I think the entire idea of a country is ridiculous. Pretend for a moment you are looking back from the far future when we've finally managed the basic task of living together in peace. Can you imagine how infantile our little games of drawing lines on the map and playing spy and waving pieces of fabric around must seem? What is it that fellow said... "patriotism is the last resort of the scoundrel". At best, I hope this era of nations and patriotism is a bad dream between the dawn of intelligence and the unexplored future. We're all humans on this unimaginably tiny speck of dirt orbiting in a vast emptiness. We all need to get real. -- 13:58, 9 August 2006 (UTC) PS: Again, that was not directed at the nice folks debating here. Just the world in general.

"Imagine there's no countries, it isn't hard to do". --Dweller 14:07, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
And no religion too. --Kainaw (talk) 14:13, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Be a dreamer and then be suprised and amazed that the real world works along mysterious evil ways. Be rather a Real-politiker and really study politic, economics, religion, warfare and most importantly history (and really try to understand the other side - hard but indespensable). You will come understand that this world of *hit is very, very, very slowly turning into something better. Flamarande 14:55, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
That used to be a very popular view of history. It was known as the Whig School of History. Unfortunately, the barbarism of World War One discredited the idea that we're all progressing. And then World War Two's excesses of inhumanity consigned the idea to the dustbin of historiography. --Dweller 15:18, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
To be replaced by "good old" political correctnesa and plain double-standarts? Both WWI and WWII ended and the world is still improving (I am not forgetting the dead, but fact is that the world is simply better compared to before WWI or WWII). And the barbarism of WWI and WWII finally really showed the world that: "War is hell." Something which had been always denied before under blatant propaganda-lies like "heroism", "glory" and "national honour".
Still the devil is in the details: Simply be a realist (like in Realism (international relations)), and acknowledge that everybody (and every nation) is after his own piece of the pie, and that everybody lies when we really have to. We aren't angels, we also are demons in equal mesure. We are simply humans and sometimes we err, fear, hate, decieve, love and help each other. In the end civilization and morals are but a thin veneer which easily cracks (acknowledging that is the first step in finding what we really are - plain humans). (Almost) everything depends upon the circunstances. Flamarande 15:58, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

War is hell, the closest form I have had to endure was the wound in his shoulder (from WWII) my grandfather suffered from for decades. But it's a bit simplistic to just impose peace once and for all. There are many insane people out there, but some do have a reason. "Those against peace, usually have peace against them". Evilbu 16:05, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

The world's not improving. They called WWI "the war to end all wars", but along came WWII. After WWII the world looked at the Holocaust and said, "ooh, never again", but we've had horrendous genocides since. Fact is, human beings are no different. Go tell the Rwandans that WWI "finally showed the world that: "War is hell"." Sadly... --Dweller 16:11, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

I never said that the world is perfect, it still has a long, long long way to go. The problem is that too many ppl naively believe in unreal statements like "the war to end all wars" and then somehow get amazed that the world is still far away from a global peace. Well I am truly sorry, but we still are far far away from that. But a 100 years ago there were more similar massacres than today. Fact is that today almost nobody really cares what happens in Africa (sad, but true). This is a simple fact, and to simply deny it is simple political correctness. We mostly care for ourselfs, then for our family, then our friends, then our country, then our culture/religion, then our race/continent (it isn't as easy as that but you can get my point).
Few care for Africa and no "white" politician or President is going to gain votes for sending troops into Africa (as Mogadisho has clearly shown). If they gained votes for that they would have sent them. But imagine the Rwandan genocide had happened 100 years ago. You (or anyone) wouldn't complain at all or fell the least ashamed about it. We would be rationalizing that those "heathen savages" have to be subjugated/colonized for their own good by our "superior Christian white country/ppl". The images on the TV have a minor impact upon our lives but still we can't simply deny them. It will take a long time until all countries can impose internal peace but we are getting there. Flamarande 16:57, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
PEACE! DirkvdM 17:48, 9 August 2006 (UTC) Peace symbol.svg
I believe in peace though skilled negotiation (diplomacy) and, if really needed, superior firepower. You want peace? Then you have to accept RESPONSABILITY. If you know that a cause is just and worthy you have to defend/fight for it. Peacenik's are cowards who hide behind soldiers and cops to protect them, their family, and their property. After the soldiers and cops have fought, killed, and even died for them, they simply wash their hands and call them murderers. Accept respnsability for your vote and your goverment. Flamarande 18:28, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Are you reacting to the peace sign? I don't know if I should take this personally since I have no idea if I am a peacenik (what ever that means). I have in my life only taken part in one anti-war demonstration becuase it was 'handy' and it was about a subject I really had an opinio about. More importantly, I've never been in a situation where I would have to take responsibility for violence, so I haven't a clue how I would react. I do vote, but based on different issues, so that doesn't count. I wouldn't know whether it is a good idea that the Netherlands have a military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. For such issues I listen to the UN, placing the responsibility where it should lie. And the Dutch are in Afghanistan under the UN flag, so that's 'fine' with me. Anyway, this isn't about protection of me, my family or my property. DirkvdM 11:55, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
I believe "peacenik" is a disparaging slang term for a pacifist, as in one that refuses, on principal, to use force to stop genocide, and thus allows it to continue. StuRat 20:14, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

WOW! I never expected this kind of return. Just under 50 posts! I greatly appreciate reading everybody's viewpoint. I also liked the poll from the BBC a lot. It was very surprising, enlightening, and informative. I don't like when I'm in a different country and fellow vacationers/tourists talk slowly and get mad if somebody doesn't speak English. I never thought that that could be a reason for people hating America though. I've been to Mexico and it was thououghly embarassing for my parents to be acting that way. "Weeee (points at everybody at the table) wooould liiike sooome comida." It's just terrible. Thank you all. schyler 17:20, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, that was quite a discussion. Nice work schyler :) --

Well, speaking slowly is part of my "monolingual" complaint. As soon as someone learns a different language (just the fundamental basics) you start to learn what is different and what not. Speaking slower or repeating will not do it, cutting out useless words like "we", "if", "also", and lots of gestures can do the trick...

Edit : it's not because I gave a lost of reasons for being annoyed by some US-ers, I don't want to talk to them. Apart from my family, I engage in play and discussion about all sorts of things with US-ers on an almost daily basis. Evilbu 18:16, 9 August 2006 (UTC) Evilbu 18:07, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

i simply cant let americans think that we europeans envy them. yes america is rich but you also have an embarrasingly high crime rate, massive social inequality, emit more carbon than you know what to do with and well, the list goes on (i havent covered health care, addiction to oil etc). the fact simply remains that (btw i'm british), the european electorate doesnt want to give up our quality of life for some uber-capitalist money making machine - the politicians who suggest such things invariably lose. 18:36, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

I have to think there will eventually be a backlash in the US against a world that hates it. For example, we continue to pay for the defense of South Korea, with 40,000 troops on their border with North Korea, despite polls and politicians in South Korea saying they hate us and want us gone. At some point, I can see us actually leaving South Korea to it's fate, and letting North Korea invade. Perhaps if we did this, once or twice, the rest of the countries under our protection would learn to show a little gratitude. StuRat 21:35, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Wow! Quite the rant-fest I missed out on! I thought I could go on and on about nothing but this is clearly out of my league! All the freaky ideas! All the self-contradictions! All the logical fallacies! All the absurd arguments! All the factual inaccuracies! I feel like a kid in a candy store! I don't know where to begin! ... So I won't. :-) Loomis 23:09, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

"The US is not only the world's only superpower, it's also the richest, most prosperous country in the world, and I believe its prosperity is well deserved. The Americans, generally speaking of course, are a hardworking, independent thinking and conscientious people." I read an article about that, on Yahoo! News. It said that most Europeans get around 8 weeks off a year (or more), while the vast majority of Americans almost always take 2 weeks off, and even then they squeeze in a tiny bit of work here and there while on holiday. Sadly, I don't have a link to that article. I'm sure if you searched in the Business News or something on Yahoo! you could find it. Ah, but personally, even though i'm an American, I can't help but strongly dislike America, and most Americans-- a lot of people here are arrogant and ignorant. Sure, there are people like that in Europe (as well as the rest of the world) too, but since i've not got a chance to visit the land I come from (ethnically i'm British) I can't say how rampant they are, or if they're as common in Europe as they are in America. --Rainsey

You seem to have begun by quoting me in preparation for a counter-argument, yet you don't seem to have presented any counter-argument, only futher evidence that the American people are even moreso a hardworking, independent thinking and conscientious people. Are you agreeing with me? I'm confused. Loomis 06:56, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
USians are certainly hardworking. There seems to be a concensus in the business world that Europeans work more efficiently but not quite as hard (the term 'daytime job' is closely connected to the US - Europeans normally have only that). That (plus the amount of citizens of course) is a major cause for the wealth of the country. Independent thinking I'll skip (it's true in some sense, but there's also a strong communal feeling). And conscientious - if you mean all sticking to one idea and following that through then yes, it's true. But put that way it sounds more like a bad thing (as Basil Fawlty would say "This is exactly how nazi Germany started"). And the way the US is fucking up the Earth with its overconsumption is not very 'conscientious' if you ask me. DirkvdM 08:04, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

First of all, why do we have to be so insanely PC and refuse to call them Americans? That's what everybody knows them as, and that's what they are. You're a European, and I'm a North American Canadian, so I would think that if anyone would be offended by the term "American" being used for citizens of the US exclusively, us Canadians would be the first to be offended. But we're not, not at all. It's odd how this same kind of thing seems to happen so often. If I were to call a Black-Canadian friend an "African-Canadian" s/he would only look at me with a completely puzzled look. ""African-Canadian"? What the hell's an African-Canadian? I'm Black!" Same goes for my many Chinese-Canadian friends. When I remark about the fact that the term "oriental" is now considered derogatory by white people, they look back at me with that same puzzled look and respond: "oriental is latin for "eastern" right? Why the hell would I be insulted for being called "eastern", even in latin?"

As for Europeans working more efficiently...well, I suppose we'd now have to get into the question of which Europeans we're talking about. Perhaps it's true for some European cultures, but it's definitely not true for others. I remember being in France with a friend in a rather medium-sized town looking to do some grocery shopping. It was a weekday and it was about 2:00 in the afternoon. We finally came across a grocery store and pulled on the door to try to get in. "Desolé, mais nous sommes fermée pour midi...S'il vous plait revennez aprés 16:00" ("Sorry, but we're off for lunch now...please come back after 4:00pm"). What the...? Is this what you're refering to as "European efficiency"? If you ask me it's rather inneficient for an entire supermarket to take several hours off for lunch (and very likely several glasses of wine) when they could be serving potential clients.

Since you skipped independent thinking I suppose I'll skip it too. But as for conscientious, it doesn't seem at all about "sticking to one idea". Quite the extreme opposite I would say. The American people seem to find a reason to protest pretty much anything and everything their government does. Their government goes to war, they protest. Their government doesn't go to war, they protest. Their President authorizes a simple B&E into the offices of his opposing party's campaign team, he's ultimately forced to resign. Their President gets a BJ in the Oval Office, he's impeached. And people actually go so far and refer to the current administration as some sort of dictatorship. Believe me, if W would go so far as to simply utter the words at some press briefing: "see that guy over there, I want him dead" he'd be arrested and handcuffed by the DC police in a matter of seconds, and thrown out of office by congress faster than you can say the words "High Crimes and Misdemeanors". We're clearly not talking about blind obedience here. Quite the opposite. Loomis 00:41, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Why are different or shorter working hours less efficient? That is actually sort of my point - the same production done with less work is more efficient. You seem to mix up 'efficient' and 'effective'. Efficiency can be effective, and so can hard work. They're different approaches. I don't know about that French town (rather rural, probably), but in Spain it used to be normal to take a siesta in the afternoon for a meal and a nap, which makes sense in a hot climate. Then at night they work late, eat late and stay up late because they don't need that much sleep because they slept during the day. I believe there has been some research showing that this is a healthier lifestyle. And it certainly makes more sense in their climate. So there is a fair bit of resistance to the ongoing adaption to the rest of Europe (actually Northern Europe). But I suppose globalisation will win this one. Different peoples have different customs. That they don't follow your customs doesn't mean they're wrong. If you're the outsider, you should adapt. Don't be so 'American'. :)
With 'conscientious' the big question is whose sense of conscience we are talking about. Again, different people have different customs. To me, ruining it for everyone else isn't very conscientious. In the US there is indeed a strong countering force. Actually, it's a lot stronger, as evidenced by Earth first and the Rainbow family, but the reason for that is that their voices are not heard, so they shout louder and become more extreme. And the reason for that it that the US don't have a proper democracy (oh irony) - you can choose any of two colours, as long as it's blue. DirkvdM 09:23, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
"Not a proper democracy" ? That's quite rude. Any person can run under any party in the US. Third party candidates frequently run and sometimes win. Having two parties who win the vast majority of elections has some disadvantages, but so does having a huge number of parties. You can end up with coalition governments including some truly bizarre parties almost nobody voted for. StuRat 22:12, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
Where and when did that ever happen? Anyway, if they got seats in parliament, they represent a fair share of the population and if other (major) parties want to join in a colaition with them then they can't be all that bizarre. Anyway, their influence will be proportional to the votes they got. What's wrong with that? Still 'One man one vote'. Except that one also gets a choice. And yes, the truth can be rude. That's why I am so often considered rude. DirkvdM 19:48, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, they missed out on my business (the French supermarket). Losing sales seems like the very definition of inneficiency, at least when we're talking about the retail industry. But if it's their culture to lose sales, and be less efficient, in favour of better enjoying la bonne vie, I'm not arguing with it. It's their culture and you're right, I'm the one who should be forced to adapt to their inefficiency. Loomis 02:58, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

I just have to say that I find it quite ironic. On the one hand you claim to despise nationalism, and you deny being proud to be Dutch. Fair enough. But at the same time you seem to be so proud to be European, never missing an opportunity to point out evidence of, for lack of a better term, European cultural superiority over American cultural inferiority. Perhaps you're not proud to be Dutch. But you certainly seem extremely proud, even smug, about the fact that you're European. Is this perhaps "nationalism" reinvented? Loomis 03:17, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

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