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can we drop the word...

i'd like to seriously request that posters discontinue referring to other posters as the spelling "Nazi" or thread "Nazi" or the like. if you wonder why i may take great offense to the belittlement of the word "Nazi", consider if you were a child of the only surviving memer of her entire family, who were killed slowly and savagely by "Nazi"s. yes, i am sensitive, but not TOO sensitive, just sensitive enough to understand the meaning and offensiveness of the term "Nazi". thank you for taking the time to read this.

Sat. Feb 17, 9:08am

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I for one have never used the work except in the way of refering to that political party or to Germany under the regime of that political party. I support the OPs request. We are intelligent people, and can find other ways to express what we mean. If we dilute what the word means, then we dilute what people went through, and we dilute our consciousness that it could happen again. I support this request which was given in a polite and respectful manner.
mariarose

Saturday, February 17, 2007, 9:16 AM

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While we are at it...

might as well drop, ghetto, gyp or jipped, white trash, trailor trash.

I think asking, even politely asking, it is too much to ask of people to drop any word, especially since many don't even know where the word derived from and it's true meaning.

White trash is used to describe a white person who lives like "trash" and ghetto used to describe a Black person in many negative ways. But I bet many don't realize, ghetto is the term used for the housing projects many Jews were forced to live in, how it was applied to urban Blacks is beyond me.



Saturday, February 17, 2007, 9:27 AM

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It originally did not apply to the blacks themselves but to the housing developments that so many were in. As the Jews were unable to leave the Ghettos in15th and 16th Century Italy, outside of certain circumstances, so were they unable to leave the Ghettos in Nazi Germany outside of certain circumstances.

Although urban blacks were not trapped in the ghettos in the same way, there certainly have been many, many barriers to rising to a better life, some of which must have seemed unsurmountable to many of them.
mariarose

Saturday, February 17, 2007, 10:19 AM

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Godwin's Law strikes again

See link below. The use of the word "Nazi" is inevitable.

Link

Saturday, February 17, 2007, 1:46 PM

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Incredibly interesting link, thank you for that.
It may or may not be inevitable, but I still think it is counterproductive to overuse it, and we are such an intelligent group of thinkers,writers, doers, that we can find some way to comply with the OP's respectfully stated request. I know it in my heart.
mariarose

Saturday, February 17, 2007, 1:54 PM

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OP, thanks for your post. I support you 100%.

Saturday, February 17, 2007, 2:50 PM

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Jerry Seinfeld really got the ball rolling with the whole "Soup Nazi" thing. After that, the cat was (Meow!!) out of the bag.

I'm not persuaded by your "i'm offended" plea. I am sick and tired of people prohibiting the use of language based on their belief that they are offended. It is how discourse, honest discourse, has come to a screeching halt in this country.

When is the last time someone spoke honestly about a subject like race in this country. Nobody, except a comedian like Dave Chappelle. Course he is black, so he is "allowed" to comment on the subject. His is also black and the "victim", and in this culture the victim owns the narrative.

I have had enough of the victims owning the narrative.

Saturday, February 17, 2007, 3:03 PM

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There is certainly some real meat to your point of view, 3:03. I have to say that I also am tired of victims being professional victims. I love open, honest discourse. But this is an issue where a word is being misused, and in being misused, is losing its value to honest discourse. It is also losing the impact it could have to stop an atrocity from ever happening again. I dare to speak my mind on many issues, certainly race relations also, and if someone has something to say that opens my eyes to something that I had not believed, or thought of. I gladly hear him or her. But I am uncertain that Soup Nazi, or Word Nazi, Or Dairy Nazi is open and honest discourse that will not destroy the horror that is behind the real word, Nazi
mariarose

Saturday, February 17, 2007, 3:26 PM

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I associate "Nazi" primarily with intolerance and unfounded superiority, and that is how it's used in our vernacular. Perhaps a more contemporary term would be "Soup Extremist" or "Dairy Fundamentalist", but they don't roll off the tongue as easily, and don't sound as clever. Besides, there are plenty of people who'd have an issue with that too.

Down with the Anti-"Nazi" Nazi, I say -- and enjoy the richness of our language under First Amendment while we still have it.

Saturday, February 17, 2007, 7:32 PM

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I work for Jewish people, and they and I use the word "nazi" once in a while. Words change their meaning over time. Accept it and move on.

Saturday, February 17, 2007, 9:27 PM

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No soup for you!

Sunday, February 18, 2007, 1:16 AM

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"It is also losing the impact it could have to stop an atrocity from ever happening again."

Yeah, that must be why the entire world is doing nothing about genocide in Darfur. Because Americans have misused a word.

Atrocities happen, will happen again. When someone like Bush attempts to roll back a genocidal dictator (not going to debate his motive), the world screams in protest. There is zero incentive for any political leaders to do anything ever. It simply is not worth it.

Unless perhaps, rich white people were in danger. Then I suspect we'd see some action. Black people in Africa without oil, forget about it. By your logic, if we restored the word Nazi back to its proper meaning, then the world would view genocide differently. If only it were that easy.

Sunday, February 18, 2007, 7:33 AM

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Very interesting link on Godwin's Law, thanks poster.

7.33, you're the first person I've heard on the subject who echoes my thoughts. I remember Oprah (and I'm not bashing her, she does so much for Africans) saying that she was disgusted at herself about "letting" the Rwanda genocide go unnoticed. Less than 10 years later, the same thing is happening in Darfur, and very few people seem to give a rats ass. Move a few countries over to Nigeria (oil) and it would get a lot of attention. (Not saying that NIgeria doesn't have problems...but they're not killing one another at the same rate.)

I know that many people view Africans as backward. "They're a bunch of savages, and if they want to kill each other, that's their business." But surely, if they were white (let's say Bosnians, who I consider to be white, I'm not sure if they're strictly classified as such) the situation would get more attention.

It all boils down to self-interest, me thinks. It's a sad indictment on human nature... and as you say, "Nazi" situations will probably continue to occur for generations to come.

Sunday, February 18, 2007, 3:29 PM

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I totally agree with the OP

Monday, February 19, 2007, 12:39 AM

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gee, i guess i did not realize how important it is for some people to continue to use a word on this particular website, in this particular forum, that they know brings about evil memories and images for someone, maybe lots of people. yeah, you as americans have a "right" to use whatever language, no matter how offensive, pretty much wherever you want. but even at the request of a fellow member on a site that is support-driven, some refuse to change. having a right is one thing, having respect is another-it does not take away anything from anyone to find a different word, and not in all conversations, just here, but it does show a great amount of decency. i have seen others request that a comment ought to be reworded so as not to come off as offensive and these requests are honored, for the most part. it seems a lot of fear exists with regard to losing a right to free speech.

Monday, February 19, 2007, 9:16 AM

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"You as Americans"? Well, if it's my pet peeve to be on the receiving end of criticism by foreigners who don't appreciate our freedoms, will you just go away? Hm, I don't think so. As such, I will continue to use words like Nazi rather than walk on eggshells around a few high-maintenance people who get off on making others alter their behavior and language to make them feel special.

Monday, February 19, 2007, 10:50 AM

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Go ahead and use nazi, just use it in the right way. Someone making a request does not fit the word nazi. someone who insists on her own way all the time does not fit the word nazi.

Yes, we have free speach, and if we do not use it responsiby, we will lose it.

Monday, February 19, 2007, 10:55 AM

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op here.

i just wanted to respond that i do not "get off by making others alter their behavior and language to make" me "feel special." i simply put out a request that you can choose to honor or not. i am not trying to change your life or ask that you walk on eggshells. i do not wish to strip anyone of their identity or deny anyone their rights. i guess i just wanted to point out that "Nazi" is not some generic term like "extremist" or "warrior", but actually refers to a real-life regime that existed and had an effect on real people. go ahead and continue to use the word. or don't. i know that a request is just a question, not a demand and i respect your freedom to use whatever word(s) you find fitting. it's nice, though, isn't it to know what effect your words can have?

Monday, February 19, 2007, 11:11 AM

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10.50 - And you wonder why foreigners don't like Americans????

I live in the U.S., and know that the majority of Americans are really good people (I'm not, American that is). I appreciate freedom of speech, not having had it in my country. But I don't appreciate arrogance. This country has many great attributes (its people being foremost)... but when I brush up against people who think that somehow being American makes them better than others? Thanks, but no thanks.

Monday, February 19, 2007, 12:39 PM

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to 1050:

are you an American as a result of your having been born in the US or did you do something great to achieve that nationality? how do you benefit others with your freedom of speech? do you? do you believe that because you have the right to do something, you are required to do that thing without taking into account the effect it may have on others?

Monday, February 19, 2007, 12:51 PM

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10:50 here. I'm a dual national, with a deeper appreciation than most for being American by birth. I would describe myself as more condescending than arrogant, for what it's worth. I'm sick of "first worlders" who think that they have some innate superiority because their nation has a longer recorded history. Let's call them Culture Nazis for lack of a better term. If the world was a playground, America is the giant target of choice these days for jealous little kids with pebbles to throw. I get tired of watching and listening to these "little kids" who join in the fun because it's the cool thing to do and then come running for a little support or protection when a real bully shows up. I don't have a lot of respect for those who participate in this dynamic. Sadly, that describes the vast majority of non-Americans who don't live here.

I rarely feel pride in national identity, since that seems largely tied to politics. Take that out of the equation and I'm proud of our resilience, innovation and roll-your-sleeves-up approach while simultaneously embarrassed by our growing spoiled-brattiness, compulsive behaviors, and misuse of religion.

So, to bring this full-circle to the widespread use of the word "Nazi": I'd say that the Germans shouldn't play loose and free with it, but we, as the good guys who lost 200,000 soldiers in the European theater of WW2, have earned a little lexical leeway.

Monday, February 19, 2007, 3:39 PM

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you sound like you're not just full of sh*t, you're also full of yourself. how do you know you have "a deeper appreciation than most"?! and who in this thread is speaking (writing) as a "first worlder"? let go of your hatred and embrace the opportunity to communicate without offending. it's the American way.

Monday, February 19, 2007, 4:02 PM

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"Well, if it's my pet peeve to be on the receiving end of criticism by foreigners who don't appreciate our freedoms..."

what foreigner is criticizing you? what foreigner has expressed a dislike for your freedoms? where are you even coming up with this? i get the impression that you've been waiting for a forum to spout off in, not that you are directly responding to anything written here.

Monday, February 19, 2007, 4:06 PM

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10.50 you have issues.

Where did Americans come from? First world countries, in part at least. Unfortuantely, since getting here, some of them have become intolerant, arrogant and self-righteous. Kinda like you're coming across...

Monday, February 19, 2007, 4:35 PM

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OK, words to avoid for 2007:

Nazi
Blogosphere
Red State
Blue State
Uber
Trim Spa
Trump-tastic
any mention of any European country and the inability of it's female citizens to gain weight.
Carbs
long, lean, dancer muscles
"targets belly fat"
"easy weight loss"
Anna Nicole Smith
Brittney Spears
Calorie burning sodas
diet water
For 2007, "binge" is forbidden. However, "purge" is OK.
Holistic
Modified Atkins
lose weight without diet or exercise
Fascist
First worlder.

So, now, I expect someone to give it their all and use ALL of these words in one coherent post.

Monday, February 19, 2007, 5:03 PM

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4:02, you need to work on your deductive reasoning. I mention my dual nationality - there's a clue that maybe, just maybe, I've spent enough time immersed in another culture to know what I'm talking about in order to earn that passport. And your ignorance of what "first world" refers to is laughable. It's, um, the opposite of Third World. I'll bet Wikipedia could help you out with that if you're still clueless. And chances are that if you have regular access to a computer and this website, you're a First Worlder.

4:06, you need to read the thread before you "spout off". Specifically, read what 9:16 wrote that marked her as a non-American. Then look up the word "analogy" so that you can at least attempt to understand that I was making a comparison. See? It all makes sense now.

4:35...I guess I should have said "first world foreigners", but I thought I was already getting too wordy. It's not fun taking criticism from people whose asses we bailed out of various wars, whose business interests we've protected despite their disapproval, and who think a flushable hole in the floor passes for a toilet (heh, sorry, couldn't resist that one, France/Italy/Japan/etc).

Monday, February 19, 2007, 5:20 PM

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Oh come on, can't we use Anna Nicole Smith for at least one more week before we get sick of it?

Monday, February 19, 2007, 5:22 PM

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The Nazi said to the trumptastic french chicks - whose modified diet of water has given them long, lean, dancer muscles - "Will you red and blue uber-states
ever target belly fat? Look at Anna Nicole Smith... her calorie-burning binge with Briney Spears, has shot her into the blogosphere!"

The director of Trim Spa, Atkins, said "I lose weight without diet or exercise, i.e it's easy weight loss. Carbs and sodas allow me to purge holistically."

The fascist left peertrainer, and the first worlder too.



Monday, February 19, 2007, 5:24 PM

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10.50 - 10.35 here. Does being a pseudo-intellectual make you happy? Sarcastic, condescending and inherently arrogant people tend to think they're smarter than everyone else. That is not the case. They're usually very insecure and fearful...hence all the loud rhetoric.

Your argument is so full of holes I don't know where to start. And I'm not going to. Changing a narrow-minded person's mind is not what I'm here for.

Monday, February 19, 2007, 5:30 PM

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Sorry...above post was from 4.35, not 10.35

Monday, February 19, 2007, 5:32 PM

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wow... 5:24... so much, so wrong... You have a career ahead of you writing unblockable spam.

Salut!



Monday, February 19, 2007, 5:52 PM

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Ah, 5:30, sounds an awful lot like the pot calling the kettle black. Unfortunately, you were unable to differentiate between pseudo-intellectual and the jaded voice of experience. But hey, at least you didn't lower the tone by swearing, with or without prim little asterisks.

5:52, look up the word "spam" so you can use it appropriately in future.

Monday, February 19, 2007, 6:37 PM

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I totally agree. Using terminology like this can diminish teh horror that one SHOULD hear when they hear the word Nazi.

Monday, February 19, 2007, 7:33 PM

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wow. i actually am on the same website as someone who came from another culture to live in America! who would have thought that could ever happen? that person must appreciate, more than most, the freedoms that my ancestors died to protect, like that person's ability to come here and live.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 9:11 AM

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i find it a little ironic that i started this thread to guard against a single word that, to me and many others, outright offends. and look what a simple request has turned into. a thread of hatred laden comments and insults.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 9:14 AM

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9:14 am poster- actually it has turned into a lively debate about speech, which in my mind is one of the most important rights we have as Americans.

It seems that you are expressing displeasure that some are disagreeing with you. But there are two sides to every issue- that is what makes this interesting.

As they say in New Hampshire, Live Free or Die!!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 10:46 AM

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9.11, some of us came here for reasons you may not have considered. And some of us "foreigners" stay here for reasons you may not appreciate. I came here because my company is headquartered here. I would've been even happier to make the move to a different country. The reason I'm living here permanently is because I married an American, i.e. the only way for us to be together is for me to stay here (we can't move to my country because his kids are here). My husband is ex-military, so I have some understanding of what many Americans have sacrificed for their country. That doesn't mean I agree with the way the American government conducts itself in terms of international affairs. It is my OPINION that the educational system in this country is lacking (in many ways). Instead of being taught to question, and to think for themselves, kids have the "America is the greatest, biggest, best, only" philosophy drummed into them. They way in which they are taught history through American-tinted glasses is a little scary. The end result is that many Americans truly believe that wars in foreign countries are about "spreading democracy" and so forth.

If it's any consolation, I'm just as critical of my own country's government. Nowhere is perfect... But debating, questioning, and commenting on a country's flaws is good. It gets people thinking outside the box... and freedom of the mind is the greatest freedom of all.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 11:03 AM

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The US and the US Military has literally saved the world many times over. And continues to do so. For our dead, for our sacrifice, all we get is crap from other countries.

This feeling is the root of the emotion and reaction, when we tell others to go "pound sand." It is a feeling that many lack perspective and appreciation and remain blinded by ideology or pure envy.

You go to the heart of America, and scratch the surface of the often quiet and respectful "average American." These folks are more rural than not. Patriotism and sacrifice run deep. They may be very critical of the US government from time to time. But when you show ingratitude or worse, you can be sure what they are thinking of you.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 11:30 AM

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To 9:14

People are protecting their rights to free speech. Sometimes that becomes a heated discussion. Understandable.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 11:50 AM

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along with rights come responsibilities. like knowing when to exercise a little integrity with respect to others. why do you feel so threatened by the idea of choosing a different word to express yourself?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 11:57 AM

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if someone asked that you refrain from using the Other "N" word, would you adamantly defend your right to use it? or realize that you are not being asked to relinquish a right, but being asked to use discretion in mixed company, if nothing else.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 11:59 AM

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What is the other N word? "NeoCon"? Because Nazi seems archaic to me. After the unilateral bombardments of last summer, and given the situation they've created in the West Bank, surely "Zionist" is the modern day term for that kind of armed and agressive Nationalist movement?

As for patriotism and sacrifice, neither of these is a yard stick by which to measure a country's worth. Presumably the loyal citizens of the the Third Reich were big on both of those attributes.

Go and read about Operation Ajax (and what was that if not American *ideology* played out on the world stage?). Are you really suggesting that blatant destruction of another country's fledgling democracy - or any of the countless other coups your America has undertaken and the resulting bloody dictators they've propped up and the chaos they've created - are reasons for the rest of the world to be grateful to you? Grateful?
Nauseous is more like it.

And discretion be damned. In recent times we've been asked to tolerate being "shocked and awed" by patriotic armies burning foreign children, or ripping them to pieces with cluster bombs, or torturing and detaining the countless and nameless. Wake up! Tolerating someone else's choice of words should be a piece of cake compared to tolerating the violence and destruction your taxes are paying for.

If saying what you think means laying your own grave, then so be it.
I write what I like.
-powerfrau

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 1:35 PM

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however you choose to understand the word "Nazi", it is far from "archaic". WW2 was less than 70 years ago and still fresh in the minds of many. just like charity begins at home, so does tolerance.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 1:42 PM

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To 11.30

"The US and the US Military has literally saved the world many times over."

That's exactly what I'm referring to when I say viewing history through tinted glasses. America followed a policy of isolationism during WW2, until such time as their self-interest was threatened. They didn't enter the war to save anyone else... I'm not saying they don't have the right to defend themselves, on the contrary. But please don't make it out like America's entry into the war was about altruism.

I'm GENERALIZING here, but this is what many foreigners perceive (based on roughly 15 years of extensive travel to numerous countries with different cultures):

- Americans assume that democracy (which is a misnomer, the US is a republic) is what everyone in the world should want. To some, democracy doesn't make any sense at all, and they have the right to adopt their own political philosophy.

- It's all about oil...and that's ok. But when oil interests get presented as "doing good for the world"... it's just hypocritical

- American people are often (not always) insensitive to other cultures. Who wouldn't want sit-down toilets, for example? Well, lots of people, actually. If you're accustomed to using a "hole in the ground" as someone mentioned, then a sit-down toilet is extremely uncomfortable and foreign. Who on earth says the Western way is right?

I could go on. But I want to make one thing clear. As I said before, debate about American culture is a GOOD thing, as is criticism of other cultures. I've had discussions like this (both on PT and in real life) before, and occassionally somebody says something that challenges my perception. If it's valid, I'll consider it, and concede that they're right.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 1:43 PM

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Powerfrau, you go gurl :-)) I particularly like this part:

Are you really suggesting that blatant destruction of another country's fledgling democracy - or any of the countless other coups your America has undertaken and the resulting bloody dictators they've propped up and the chaos they've created - are reasons for the rest of the world to be grateful to you? Grateful?

You know, I sit on both sides of this debate. I think Americans are given a hard rap, sometimes unjustifiably. On the other hand, the inability to understand why the American government is detested so vehemently, is equally difficult to comprehend.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 1:54 PM

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"To some, democracy doesn't make any sense at all, and they have the right to adopt their own political philosophy."

Agree fully. Some examples of those for whom democracy makes no sense, and they are adopting their own political philosophy:

-Kim Jong Il
-Hugo Chavez
-Vladimir Putin
-Osama Bin Laden
-Mahmoud Ahmedinejad
etc
etc
etc




Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 2:13 PM

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All of whom are branded megalomaniacs by BUSH, the biggest megalomaniac of all!

Take a look at Palestine. US says "you guys must have a democratic election" but when the "wrong" team is elected, the politicians are up in arms.

For some, dictatorship works. We may not favor it, but for them, it's what they're used to - and they have every right to accept the status quo without intervention from a meddling foreign government.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 2:19 PM

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What is it about the left that defends and justifies tyrants?

Would you prefer to live under any of those guys listed? Do you think there is not a single person in North Korea (aside from the leadership) that wouldn't literally cut off an arm or a leg to live in New Jersey? Under BushHilterChimpyMcBurton even?

Bush is one of the greatest champions of freedom the world has ever seen. He has liberated two, Iran is next (no matter what you whiny haters think).

At some point, 20 years from now or more, there will be an arc of freedom and prosperity that spreads from Lebanon across to Pakistan. It will still be messy- but there will be one man above all who will deserve and be given the credit- George W Bush.

This Bush hatred is a lot like Reagan hatred. I remember my mother crying when Dukakis lost, and all their friends wringing their hands over the Big Mean Menace that was Reagan. He is lionized now, and credited with boosting America's economy and winning the cold war.

So whine and lash out all you want at Bush and America. He is getting it done, and Americans get it done while everyone else sits back and bitches.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 2:31 PM

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Oh god, that's not even worth a rational response.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 2:35 PM

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it's funny to be an american and be told what i think and how i see the world. i do not support the bush administration or it's actions with respect to foreign policy (or domestic policies for that matter). to label all americans as having certain thoughts and qualities is prejudiced.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 2:39 PM

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2.31, do you not find it strange that anti-American sentiment is pretty much universal? Even political allies are not exactly pro-America. They just know which side their bread is buttered.

Your opinion reminds me a lot of a particular conservative religious element in the US, who claim that they're right and everyone else is wrong (religiously speaking). In terms of pure numbers, do you not think there is some validity in the fact that the world unites in its dislike of American foreign policy? Is it possible that the majority may be seeing something you're not?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 2:52 PM

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Wow, it took you all long enough to start Bush-bashing. I was sure it would start yesterday. Very predictable. Ho-hum, next thread...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 2:56 PM

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2:31 - In addition to everything you said being completely ridiculous, I take particular exception to: "What is it about the left that defends and justifies tyrants?"

That's the kind of BS that gets thrown around without absolutely NO basis in reality. Are any liberals out there lining up to hold hands with Kim Jong Il? It's absurd.

For example, why do conservatives get to say "tax and spend liberals" when it was REAGAN and W. that got us into record setting deficits? (sorry this has turned into a political debate but it really makes my blood boil!)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 3:06 PM

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2.31 - one other thing. Please get over the idea that anyone non-American wants to live in "New Jersey" or wherever. Contrary to your belief, there are more people out there who wouldn't want to be American than those who would. Again, many Americans see non-American lifestyles as uncomfortable, when in fact they're not. The entire world doesn't crave a climate-controlled environment, with processed GM food, ridiculous litigious spats, and a national obsession with eliminating bacteria. If N. Koreans wanted the "American Dream" do you not think they wouldn't oust Kim and get on with it?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 3:16 PM

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An interesting book to consider: "Lies my History Teacher Told Me" by James Loewen. As The Economist (a rather right-wing publication, not so?) puts it:

"In an easy, readable style, the author vets 10 topics (from Christopher Columbus to the Vietnam war) and bewails how American textbooks distort them. Although he sometimes adopts a tone of high political correctness, he often proves the textbooks and teachers wrong."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 4:02 PM

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3:16...ah, indoor plumbing, paved roads, mattresses, insect-free faces and rodent-free homes...absolutely, give me some of that. I'm sure the 50% of the world's population (most of India, China, Africa, even South America) that would sneer at your teenage idealism.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 4:08 PM

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Though I think this debate about American culture is very interesting, I wanted to make a comment to the original topic.

How hard is it to find a different word to use if you know it is going to offend someone? I don't think that is giving up free speech. It's just being polite and respectful. When did "nice" go out of fashion in favor of "empowered"? I just don't think the two are mutually exclusive.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 4:11 PM

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4.08, please go back and re-read my previous response. You don't seem to be understanding my point.

"indoor plumbing, paved roads, mattresses, insect-free faces and rodent-free homes..."

You're assuming that because these things are desirable for you, other cultures feel the same way. Why do people who sleep on the floor have less back issues than those who sleep on mattresses? Why should we try and decimate the insect population, so that we don't have itchy spots on our faces? I mean, let's just meddle with absolutely everything so that we're not inconvenienced in any way.

Take the concept of time, for example. The Western world gets frustrated beyond belief with Africans and Indians, amongst others... because of their lack of urgency. Those Africans and Indians view America's punctuality-driven society as completely futile... a waste of energy, and not conducive to quality of life. Both arguments are valid... which you don't seem to get?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 4:21 PM

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4.08, out of interest... have you visited any other countries for extended periods of time...i.e. long enough to speak to various economic and social groups within those countries? Have you been to China, India and South America? Maybe you have... I'm just wondering.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 4:23 PM

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All I know is that people from all stripes world over, come here and absolutely thrive. There are a ton of Iranians, especially in Los Angeles, kicking butt. Black immigrants now have the highest income of anyone in Queens. Indians, Russians, etc etc. They see something beyond the pull of their local identities.

Methinks we have some PhD types on this board. You know, folks who think because they are good at school they know better than others. You are just good at school. The rest of us are busy raising kids, holding down jobs, building businessess. Mundane stuff like that.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 4:32 PM

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4.32, that made me giggle. I was tempted to say the same thing to a poster earlier in the thread.

I'm one of the frequent posters on this thread, and I do have a life... one full of the things you describe. But I believe we should use our intellectual capacities... to question things, to debate issues, to engage with one another, even when we don't agree. Particularly if we don't agree.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 4:39 PM

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4:08 here...

4:21, your post is a joke, right? I mean, seriously, poor little mosquitos?? and who needs a mattress when there's a perfectly good concrete floor?? I think I'd like a little of whatever you're smoking this afternoon.

4:23, I've been all over Asia, Europe, South America, sometimes as a tourist and sometimes to live for months or years. I've changed diapers in a Cambodian orphanage and taught English to factory workers and snotty rich kids alike in the Basque country. I've also been around enough drunk Germans to know that more than a few are sorry the Nazis didn't fully achieve their objective. It's amazing what you can discover about other cultures when the people around you assume that American = stupid.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 5:10 PM

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The Germans are a piece of work. Someone who I consider a friend, and an old coworker- for some bizarre reason I had asked him when we were drinking if he was Jewish. "Jewish!!!?? I am not Jewish, I am German!" was his reply.

I will never forget that. You always hear about how this generation of Germans is different. You find out what people really think when the liquor starts to flow.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 5:30 PM

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4.08, 4.21 here

You take obtuse to a new level. Poor little mosquitoes? That is a TYPICAL American attitude. If it inconveniences me, sorry... Concrete? Ever seen what rural Asians sleep on? A mat, much like the ones used in India. But maybe in Cambodia it's different. Not.

I'm so beyond this debate now. It has gone from an intelligent discussion about different cultures to a bizarre justification of one person's narrow-minded attitude.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 6:12 PM

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4:21/6:12, I've seen people sleep on worse than concrete. Those Cambodian babies I worked with? Yeah, they lived in net bags that dangled from the ceiling to keep them out of the filth on the floor. But by all means, enjoy your romantic notion that even rural Asians sleep on nice futon mats stuffed with insect-friendly banana leaves and clean-smelling rushes, and leave the reality of cultural awareness to us narrow-minded, passport-wielding types.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 7:22 PM

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Sure, we can drop the word. If we want to. But I don't want to, so I won't.

OP, you are indeed "TOO sensitive" despite your claim otherwise. C'mon, its casual use was popularized by a guy named Seinfeld. What other proof do you need that it's safe to giggle?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 8:15 PM

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I don't think anyone will lose track of what Nazi really means, unfortunately people use all kinds of words today as something else. Its just the way it is. I for one have never seen the term Nazi being used here. I am Jewish and America Indian, and have heard so many rude uses of words but thats just the way it is.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 8:50 PM

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Hello 4:32pm: I can't speak for the motives of the Indians and Russians. (Money and employment are often motives. Sure, America's not a horrific place to be, but I also doubt if everyone's ecstatic to be here: there's an entertaining/depressing novel by Hari Kunzru, "Transmission", which describes issues faced by a globalized workforce. In any case, skilled immigrants probably impart as much value as they gain.)

But regarding the ton of Iranian immigrants you referred to: why do you think quite so many of them are here? Because they prefer Magic America to their home country? Or could it be because America helped destroy a chance for democracy in their homeland, sowing the seeds that eventually put these people into exile? As mentioned before, read up on Operation Ajax...

(BTW, glad to hear you have progeny and employment. I'm suitably impressed and have a mental image of you procreating as you make your important phone calls and file your company's taxes and assess your profits and so on. I also have a job, I guess, but no phd, no kids and no business. So, yes, you win!)

Now, 7:22pm, where was the concern for Cambodian babies when Nixon and the good doctor Kissinger (unilaterally and covertly) decided to bomb them for 3 years? Whether they sleep on a hammock or on a mattress, and whether it's in Cambodia or the USA, surely what those kids will miss the most are their dead parents? There's an interesting line in the movie, The Killing Fields, about underestimating "the insanity that 7 million dollars worth of bombing can produce", regarding what the Khmer Rouge eventually morphed into. Someone will probably say that's not America's fault at all. Well here's the thing, we can never know whether that regime would have become what it did without the American bombing campaign because we cannot reverse the bombings. We can't even know if Cambodia would have descended into Civil War without aggressive and selfish American meddling.

And now the US is doing it again, and again, and again, and again. And millions of people worldwide (including millions of Germans) marched against her latest war back in 2003. Whereas, in America, a few thousand gathered here and there, while the patriotic voices prevailed with cries of "nuke the bastards" ("quiet and respectful", eh?), and the rest of the population kept its head down and busied itself with having babies and holding down jobs and building businesses.

Finally, believe it or not, America/"the West" does not have a monopoly on paved roads...unless of course we keep bombing every other country's paved roads to smithereens...maybe that's the motive for all this aggression.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 9:01 PM

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Powerfrau, I was a baby myself when Nixon was at it, but I don't pretend to understand the political machinations of my own era, no less the ones before it. We never know the full story, which is why most of my arguments above leaned more toward the historical than the political.

As for the parents of the Cambodian orphans - well, the mothers were prostitutes who gave them up, often due to HIV status. So if you're in the mood to get on another soap box, I nominate the evils of German, American, British and Japanese men who indulge in "sex tourism" because, heck, it's way more fun to pick on men than each other! But if you'd prefer to go for the jugular of a culture rather than a gender, may I suggest France: they trashed the country with their particularly nasty brand of colonization, which one could argue made it ripe for the evolution of the Khmer Rouge AND human trafficking. And they claim that their women aren't fat.

Now what ever happened to the subject of Nazis, oversensitivity and free speech?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 9:59 PM

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7.22, 6.12 here. Odd. I've been to Asian countries too. In fact, let me join you on your soap box and pat myself on the back for my good deeds (that's what you're doing, right?). I know that rural Indians sleep on mats because I handed them out after the Tsunami hit. Nobody said anything about futons, so please don't make assumptions. Oh, and I'm actually on my third passport, because the others are full.

I was under the impression that well-traveled people were generally more broad-minded, and understood that questioning their view of the world (as taught by their history teachers) was vital. You've proven me wrong.




Wednesday, February 21, 2007, 8:28 AM

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a tv character opens the door to acceptably ignorant word usage. if seinfeld uses "Nazi", so should i. yada, yada, yada.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007, 8:52 AM

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this is just about respect, not loss of your freedoms. a simple request from a fellow member. why is it so hard to be respectful? do you think we are offending the Nazis on peertrainer? be nice to your fellow members, they are here to support you, too.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007, 10:57 AM

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while reading through this thread, i noticed a comment that referred to "foreigners" and being on the receiving end of said "foreigners" criticisms. if you are in america, and i am not, then YOU are the foreigner from my perspective. do you get my drift? we're ALL foreigners to each other if we're from different countries. and if you moved TO america, weren't you once a "foreigner", too? this is a world wide web, people. no one is a native if we're not all natives...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007, 11:51 AM

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hear, hear!

Thursday, March 08, 2007, 4:21 PM

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the topic of insulting each other with language is again at the top of the forum thread list. this particualr thread sharesmany viewpoints about what some call a "right to free speech" and what some call "offensive". it's also being discussed int the mainstream media due to Imus' remarks.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 2:36 PM

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well, history does indeed repeat itself....unfortunately, this is once again a topic in a prominent thread. here's the scathing request to amend our use of a truly offensive word and the reasonable responses.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007, 9:56 AM

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Scathing request??? What does that mean, that you take offense that someone should ask you not to use the word Nazi as applied to so many people in the world nowadays? As far as the Imus remark, that was a disgusting thing for him to say and it doesn't matter if he wasn't serious, you don't go around talking to people like that at any time. A good majority of people have just seemed to have lost the idea of being compassionate for others. Even if you believe in something stupid you say, you don't go around saying stuff like that out loud, people have been killed for lesser remarks and things.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007, 12:18 PM

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It's like you can't control yourself so you're trying to control dialogue in an internet forum. Doesn't make sense.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007, 9:50 AM

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putting out this request is not an attempt to control, it's a way to communicate how language affects each of us. would you use the n-word on this forum and expect it to be accepted without anyone commenting about it? personal freedoms and respect for others can coexist, believe it or not.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007, 10:23 AM

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Oh Queen of Passive-Aggressive...you just want things your way and will cloak it in whatever terms you deem defensible.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007, 10:39 AM

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