#14: The car was invented by Carl benz, the internal combustion engine by Nikolaus Otto, the Diesel engine by Rudolf Diesel (all Germans)
But none of them figured out how to make any of those things cheaply enough for the less than fabulously rich to afford them. That was a purely American achievement.
#12: Most other countries have similar festivities
Maybe you didn't read closely enough: "Thanksgiving celebrates prosperity, which most nations have only at fleeting moments."
Many countries may have similar festivals, but few of them have consistently had something to celebrate throughout their entire lifespan. In all our 200 years as a nation and the colonial years before that, we've only had one decade lacking in prosperity. How many nations can say that?
#13: That's the reason why you have so many overweight people
#9: Might be another reason for the overweight people problem (ever wondered, how many calories there are even in Diet Coke?)
No, that's the old dieting myth: "If you eat less, you'll lose weight." The reason we have so many overweight people is that our idea of "work" is sitting on our asses staring at computers all day. Farmers can eat all the hamburgers and drink all the coke they want and still stay fit and trim.
#10: What culture?
Again, you apparently weren't paying attention. We have all the good parts of most everyone's culture grafted onto our own. And don't mind the fact that it was our culture that pretty much invented civil rights and modern democracy. Yeah, we got a bit of help on that from the Brits, but they've still got kings and nobles, and we don't.
#7: One Word: Guantanamo. So much for respecting other peoples' freedom.
We hold those people at Gtmo because they were trying to take freedom away from others. If we didn't respect other people's freedom, we wouldn't bother to capture and hold prisoners, we'd just nuke anyone who disagreed with us. And there's no country in the world that could stop us from doing so.
Do you think we pay ludicrously high gas prices because we don't have the power to conquer the entire OPEC block and pump the oil ourselves? Guess again.
Do you think we call for peace and disarmament talks with North Korea because our military isn't strong enough to just waltz in and overthrow their government? Not at all.
Do you think we spent all that time pleading with France and Russia to let us invade Iraq because we weren't capable of doing it by ourselves? Heck, we *did* it by ourselves, we don't need no stinking NATO!
On the same subject, why do you think we tolerate the current situation in Iraq? We have enough firepower to blow the terrorists to hell a hundred times over. We don't use it because we'd hurt a lot of innocent people in the process, and overwhelming force like that simply offends our sensibilities.
Twenty years ago, we couldn't launch nuclear missiles because we had a Mutually Assured Destruction situation with the Soviet Union. But the USSR is gone now, its nuclear power is all but kaput. So what's stopping us from launching nukes now? Simple: we believe it would be wrong to do so!
According to some scientists who claim to have worked at a certain military base that apparently doesn't exist even though you can clearly see it from the nearby mountains, we even have operational alien spacecraft at our command. Okay, even I am skeptical about that one, but what if it's true?
If you think our government abuses its power now, just think what it would be like if Osama bin Laden were running things!
#6: ever wondered why you have so many murders in your country?
The first murder in history was committed without the use of any weapon whatsoever, and few of the murders in America are committed with weapons legally purchased under the gun control laws we do have (indeed, many are committed without any gun at all -- knives and automobiles seem much more popular). Banning alchohol didn't stop people from drinking, banning drugs hasn't stopped anyone from getting them, and I daresay banning guns wouldn't stop people from killing with them. It would however prevent honest and law-abiding citizens from defending themselves when attacked by a murderer with an illegal weapon.
Criminals prefer unarmed victims; politicians prefer unarmed peasants. Besides the right to defend ourselves from criminals, the right to bear arms is the right to overthrow our own government if it ever gets entirely out of our control. The root of any government's power is its ability to kill, therefore to maintain a democratic state of affairs the government must be equally threatened on behalf of the people. All of you who live in countries without the right to bear arms: the only thing keeping your government from imposing martial law and becoming a dictatorship is the threat of more powerful countries intervening to restore your freedom. You'd be naive to think otherwise. If a country with no such fear, like America, were to take away its citizens right to bear arms, thing would quickly go downhill for everyone. I'd rather have the right to defend myself and accept that some will abuse that right than to be at the mercy of a government-controlled military.
And if you count abortion, government oppression, and the various other kinds of legalized murder present in many countries, not to mention all the murders that go unreported due to other countries' poor law enforcement, America's relative murder rate would probably take a significant nosedive.
-America still has the death penalty and an execution rate comparable to China
So we don't want to keep serial killers around to drain our resources and possibly escape from prison and kill even more people. Is there something wrong with that?
A cold-blooded murderer cannot be reformed. A person capable of killing another person without remorse simply has no conscience left to them. Anyone who says otherwise is either naive or has an agenda. Imprisoning such people for life is not economically feasable at this time (what with all the resources being devoted to preserving useless wildlife and providing professional couch potatoes with unearned salaries -- and of course giving loans to other countries who never pay us back so they can subsidize their
lifelong prisoners), plus there's the possibility of escape, even the attempt of which would doubtless result in more killings.
Maybe it's more "civilized" to abolish the death penalty. Maybe it's more "civilized" to keep it. Just who decides what "civilized" means, anyway? The only entity I can think of with the authority to make that determination is God, and nearly all gods seems to approve of or even demand the death penalty for murder at least. Any claim made by a human, or even a group of humans however large, would be as hypocritical and self-important as you accuse Americans of being.
But that's exactly what I do not like in oh so many Americans: That hypocrisy, that damned feeling of being better than anyone else!
Excuse us for having some national pride. But you know, I don't see it saying anywhere on that page "14 Reasons Why America Is Better Than Any Other Country In the World"; it simply says "14 Reasons Why America Is Great". I don't imagine that America being Great precludes any other country from being Great as well, perhaps even for some of the same reasons. It's really not that specific or objective of a word. Maybe you think it was claiming that we're better than anyone else because that's what you would have said yourself?
You do know that most verbs in languages that use conjugation are regular: in other words as simple as English in that respect, the only difference is whether the modification has a space involved or not.
Not quite as simple, not nearly as flexible. Even regular verb conjugation usually involves a whole new set of suffixes different from the standalone words with the same meanings, and those suffixes often change slightly depending what you combine them with. In English, verbs are modified by common, everyday words that are not exclusive to verb phrases. Also, having separate words provides more options than being locked into a fixed set of suffixes; if you need to express something different from the usual forms, you don't need a different syntax to do it. Indeed in some languages it is impossible to express anything beyond the standard conjugations.
Not to mention the single msot difficult thing for non-native speakers to learn: PRONUNCIATION. In Spanish, a letter always sounds the same, so even if you don't know what you are saying, its very easy to read written Spanish out loud if you knwo the pronunciation rules.
That's what I mean by our spelling rules being ridiculous. It's not that our pronunciation is difficult (in fact it's very simple), it's that our spelling doesn't match up with it. Again this is a consequence of our vocabulary being derived from several different languages, all of them using an alphabet that wasn't designed for any of them. We've got some words spelled according to Spanish rules, some according to French, some according to German, all mixed in with several regional spelling systems from medieval Britain. If you separate the words by language of origin, they're pretty consistent within each group. Not that that makes it any easier to figure out.
The other major cause of the spelling issue is that some pronunciations have been simplified over the years, but the spellings didn't change with them. Thus we end up with a lot of vestigial letters that once made a sound, but are now silent. The fact that we've outgrown some of our own spellings is more evidence of the language's level of evolution.
If you learn English verbally, without trying to become literate at the same time, it's actually much easier than most languages. All our phonemes are fairly simple to reproduce, we don't worry about trivial sound differences like whether you make "sh" against your teeth or in your throat, we don't inflect words without reason, pitch and cadence don't matter, and our grammar is very loose and flexible.
The mind boggles: I guess you're referring to homosexuals and artifical vaginas.
Sarcasm aside, I'm referring to torches (something you set on fire), and flashlights (something with an electric light bulb). I'll grant that "flashlight" doesn't sound nearly as refined as "torch", but we Americans like to differentiate between flammable objects and non-flammables ones (as knowing the difference can be terribly important for personal safety), besides which we just don't like to use words that already have meanings for new inventions that their meanings don't apply to.
We also aren't on the whole terribly concerned with appearing sophisticated and elegant if it gets in the way of more important things, which can't usually be said of the British.
I might have also mentioned that "elevator" is a noun while "lift" is a verb...
You mean you don't undertsand the concept of dipthongs... "o" is a different sound from "ou"
Yes, "ou" makes the sound "ow", but that's not the sound found in "colour" or "humour", at least not in modern pronunciation. And for that matter, dipthongs on the whole are another artifact of using an alphabet that wasn't designed for the language we're trying to apply it to.
Having said this, then, are you a nudist or a hypocrite?
...I didn't want my post to become overlong, and it wasn't entirely relevant to the thread's topic, so I didn't really explain my meaning accurately.
When humans invented clothing, God's reaction was, so far as I can tell from the Bible, "Well this wasn't my idea, but if you really want to, at least let me teach you how to make them out of better materials than leaves." So clothing certainly isn't forbidden if you personally want to wear it.
Think of it this way: There might be good reason to remove a great work of art from public display from time to time, but it would be wrong to keep it locked up in a storage room *all* the time. The artist created it to be seen, it does no one any good when kept from view. The obligation to the artist can be fulfilled without displaying the work to everyone every second, but it is not fulfilled by displaying it only to a privileged few for a high fee.
And of course, clothing can also be beautiful, can even enhance natural beauty. Since the capacity to create beauty ultimately comes from God, clothing too has a demand to be displayed.
The term "nudist", however, implies some other ideologies besides just going about naked. I've not yet discovered exactly what said ideologies are, but the vague indications of them that I have encountered suggest I would not find them so Biblically-compatible. Obviously that's not enough for me to form a prejudice on, but it's enough for me to withhold endorsement.
I think that "nothing to do with" is obviously false. Just see how many car adverts have pictures of ladies in burqahs...
A woman who exudes sexuality is provacative whether she's dressed in a bikini or a frock. Conversely, most people don't find the nude photographs at domai.com at all provocative. And if "sexiness" were proportional to the quantity of skin showing, why do Catholic school uniforms turn so many people on?
Not to mention that there are large numbers of 100% heterosexual women who like looking at naked women just as much as men do, and a currently somewhat smaller number of straight men who appreciate the aesthetic quality of the male body.
It's obvious, at least to anyone who doesn't think with his dick, that nudity and sex are completely unrelated. Any small relation that does exist currently is created artificially by the taboo itself. We're not born thinking there's anything particularly unusual or interesting about nudity, we're conditioned
to think that way by being banned from seeing people naked except in sexual situations. Those of us who've overcome that conditioning lead much more relaxed and enjoyable lives, not having to worry that we're breaking some moral rule every time our God-given appreciation for beauty tells us to stop and admire a pretty girl or handsome man.
He reveals his ignorance...
A Mexican friend of mine who speaks both Spanish and Portugese told me that Portugese is basically Spanish with a wierd accent, which seems to be backed up by a multilingual dictionary I have. This leads me to believe that, not being fluent in either language myself and observing the wide variety of accents found in Latin America, I probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference from a random TV broadcast or music video. Just because *you* know what language is spoken in Brasil doesn't mean that information has ever been available to me from a reliable source before now.
That said, I do know some fragments of Spanish and a few Spanish grammar rules, and I find most of the latter to be unnecessary complications with no effect on the meaning of the sentence. As an anime fan, I've also studied Japanese and Chinese a bit, and being a medieval folklore buff I've studied some German as well. I've found that as much as I enjoy learning *about* other languages, actually learning to speak them is beyond my abilities. So I'm far from ignorant of other languages, I'm just not fluent in any of them.
And of course, the only true ignorance is believing one knows everything. Such a one asks no questions, because he believes he has all the answers already. I know enough to know that I know very little of all there is to know, so I ask questions in a continual attempt to fill in the dreadful gaps, and dispense freely of the knowledge I already have to help others do the same. You learn something every time you objectively consider another's point of view with an open mind, even if you ultimately determine it to be foolish.
About the 14th reasons why America is so great... they seem more a joke for me.
It's a bad sign when it's so hard to tell irony from seriousness...
For the record, that article is found in the "Serious" column in the Politics sections of John VanSickle's webpage
. If you want to see him joking, try New Mental Disorders
. Another of John's articles which seems relevant to this discussion at this point is Utterances of Pride
Incidentally, if Mr. VanSickle ever runs for president, I will do everything I can to see that he gets elected. If he could get half of his ideas through, America would be considerably better off, though certain whiny bed-wetters would be rather unhappy.