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The French

By Oz_Media ·
I don't want to be tagged as pro French NOR do I want to be tagged as anti French.
In my 34 years, I've been to France about 25 or so times, mostly when living in England. I've never met a French person that I didn't like, on the contrary, I've found the French people to be very happy and welcoming.

NOTE: I've met MANY French Canadians who I didn't like, but that's not the topic.

Living on the absolute southernmost island in England, it is only 4 hours to France by ferry.

It is now assumed by SOME, that Brits don't like the French. Why would the British be seen as people who don't like the French?

Is it the same as Americans not liking the French because they wouldn't fight with American's in Iraq?

Secondly, if they didn't WANT to fight alongside of British or American troops, why would they be disliked?

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What? More French - English wars?

by maxwell edison In reply to The French

Have any other two nations had more conflicts (wars) against each other more than the French and the Brits? The 100 years war was between those two. All those French-Anglo wars. The wars between them in the 18th and 19th centuries. And now the French are very pro EURO (and European Union), while the Brits are cold on the idea.

In their thousand plus years of history, have there been more years of peace or war?

With the history of war between those two nations, I guess I wouldn't be surprised if there's generally no love lost between them.

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Intersesting point

by Oz_Media In reply to What? More French - Engli ...

REBUTTAL WITHOUT PREDJUDICE:


Amazingly enough, I find MOST British people couldn't give a damn what has happened in the past. Britain has a LOOOOOOOOONG history, if they were to hold grudges against all the enemies, British people would be standing alone.

I find that British people have become accustomed to other countries having differences to theirs and accept the fact that they are just that; OTHER countries with different people living in them and different people running them.

France is one of the favorite vacationing spots for Brits and the people are generally kind to each other, with the odd exceptions of course.

Being American, perhapse you can tell me why so many Americans turned against France and have attempted to boycott wine? (by buying it and pouring it away) That one I know even you don't think was effective.

Was it just becasue they wouldn't go to war in Iraq? Canada got a similar reputation for not joining in but your welcome to pour Canadian beer away.

What I'm getting at, Max, is that I think there are a lot of people who have biased opinions toward Canadian's, French or ??? just because everyone else has.

That's like me saying that I don't like East Indians, (because in East Vancouver, East Indians were hated for years).

Are people jumping on the bandwagon here?
Do you think that if I asked several Americans WHY they hated the French, perhapse only one or two could actually tell me?

Lastly, if it was because the French didn't join the coalition, why choose to dislike France? The country doesn't make decisions, it's government does. I am sure there are other reasons, I just haven't heard of any other than "France is a passive nation full of pussies".

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I can't speak for all Americans

by maxwell edison In reply to Intersesting point

I can only speak for this one. And contrary to what you may believe, there's really no "bandwagon" on which the "hate the French" folks jump on. (There are plenty of Americans who hate other Americans and love the French.) And, generally speaking, there really is no single bandwagon for anything. Here's how I'd suggest it is. About 50% of Americans are apathetically disengaged when it comes to matters of national and/or international policy. Sure, Jay Leno can sway their opinion, but generally speaking they don't know anything about anything, and they really don't care to know; they don't vote, and they couldn't tell you the difference between our two major political parties; they have no idea how things really work, especially the economy and/or the basis for our government, and they are happy just remaining ignorant and well fed. Of the remaining 50%, about 30% each will fall in lockstep behind their political party, and the remaining 40% will swing the political climate one way or the other. So to summarize, we have (give or take) 50% who don't give (or don't know) a rat's ***, 15% are Republicans, 15% are Democrats, and 20% are unaffiliated and/or third-party.

Many people, by the way, think it's being enlightened and/or open minded by claiming to be unaffiliated. Personally, even though I'd like to be included in that group (especially since I'm enlightened and open minded), since I'm a realist and I understand that we currently have an entrenched two-party system, and that the party in the majority has control over the committees, the appointments, and the agenda, I'll admit to being party guy. (But I don't automatically believe in all things my party stands for. I'm against the death penalty, for example, while my party - and my president - favors it.) Someone who votes for "the person" and not "the party" doesn't understand that the right person of the wrong party doesn't have a snowball's chance in **** against the wrong person of the right party. I would love to have a Democrat Party versus a Republican Party debate. Not the usual rhetoric, but a more thought provoking discussion concerning the basis on which all political opinions are based - smaller government versus bigger government, personal responsibility versus collectivism, merits of social engineering or not, equality of outcome versus equality of opportunity, the entitlement of one which infringes on the liberties of another, and so on. (Any takers? I'll take the conservative Republican side. But on a different thread)

Your other points:

When it comes to the French, I believe (okay, I've heard) that the French are the ones who stereotypically hate Americans. Even before all this recent French flap, it was a well known "fact" that the French generally thought Americans lacked grace and culture, were a bunch of ignorant gun-slinging cowboys, and were unqualified and ill-equipped to be a super power. If anything, the French are generally opposed to anything and everything American, not the other way around. Moreover, France was once a super power, but they are no longer. There has to be some chapped French derriere that they have been relegated to "has been" (and never will be) status.

You said, "so many" Americans were boycotting French wine by buying it and pouring it out. What do you mean by "so many"? You've mentioned this quite a number of times and implied that this was some wide-spread phenomenon. To the contrary, I certainly didn't buy any French wine just to pour it out, nor do I know anyone who did. I did hear the story about it, but it wasn't a big thing. My guess is that it was a very isolated and very small group (or groups) of (stupid) people just wanting to make a statement. (What a wasate of good wine.) I would also guess that fewer than 100 people or so participated. Can you shed any light on what really happened and by how many? Whatever it was, it was certainly not "so many" that it was anything of significance at all. It was just one of those cute news stories that really didn't mean anything, but grew legs nonetheless.

But wine - that's another reason the French hate us (U.S.). Our California wine industry is coming (has come) of age, and is gaining respect - and market shares - world wide. First we replace France as a super power, then we give them a run for their grape dollar. (More chapped French derriere.)

I don't hate the French. I've even met some French people, and I've liked them all (especially "her"). Moreover, I still have french toast for breakfast, french fries for lunch, but I'll have that California merlot with my steak.

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Eloquent

by Oz_Media In reply to I can't speak for all Ame ...

Nice response Max.

You wonder why I say "jumping on the bandwagon".

A recent accuaintance on mie moved here from Alabama. We were having a few wobbly pops the other night and while flicking channels, I passed channel 7 (Canada'a French Channel {{French Canadian channel that is})and he said "ah, F-ing french make me puke". I asked him why he hated the French, he said "it's becuase of all the fluffy, faggy, French stuff. They are total woosses and won't fight alongside the States"

It sounds to me like he's just jumping on the 'I hate French' bandwagon without a clue as to why.

Now this could be just because of his education and where he was raised, poor neighbourhood/ghetto in Alabama but I get this impression everywhere, when talking to Americans. They don't like the French and don't really know why. It's a pet peeve of mine when people can't make up their own mind, as you well know.

The "so many Americans", you're right, was as it was portayed on the news. We get Canadian, European and LOTS of US news stations here so I just browse to find a middle ground.

Your explanation of your political stand also makes more sense now, I was just talking about the Death Penalty yesterday. I don't feel stringly about the DP because the justice system makes too many mistakes and incarcerates the wrong people WAY too often. A guy was recently released after 9 years on death row, the actual killer was inside the same prison with him. He was sentenced to die, I believe, in the mid 80's. If they HAD killed him in the 80's, the actual killer may have never been found, and another peron would have wrongfully died.

People like Canada's Clifford Olsen (don't know if that was big US news or not) would be a good candidate for a death sentence, BUT until they can get the courts and laws straight, I wouldn't want to see them condem people to die, there's just too many flaws.

And yes California wines are getting better, have you tried BC wine from the Okanagan? It is becoming very highly esteemed and is rapidly replacing California wines in Western Canada (much cheaper but still not quite Aqua Velva priced but close). If you're a wine drinker, I say try a BC wine (Mission Hill, Peller Estates) they are becoming world famous these days.

Thanks for the civil chat,
OM

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I am with ya max

by MallardtooXX In reply to I can't speak for all Ame ...

"Not the usual rhetoric, but a more thought provoking discussion concerning the basis on which all political opinions are based - smaller government versus bigger government, personal responsibility versus collectivism, merits of social engineering or not, equality of outcome versus equality of opportunity, the entitlement of one which infringes on the liberties of another, and so on. (Any takers? I'll take the conservative Republican side. But on a different thread)"

I too am a conservative and would love to debate the issues!!!!

-duck

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you've got it wrong Max

by youasked In reply to I can't speak for all Ame ...

I have lived and work in France for a few years and they don't hate the Americans. Though, I must admit that many Americans are ungracious and unappreciative and arrogent towards other nations..Especially, when the President is anounced as "The President of the Free World" Like who voted him in? If this isn't arrogance then I'm not sure what is..listen with the ears of anothers and for others, then possibibly we will have learnt something. If we are hated, let us reflect inward and ask why? But to say "it's because they are jealous of our way of life" Oh really!!! This does not make sense. Every person loves their own country the best, irregardles.

Saying that we are the biggest and the best and the most powerful is a lot of ....well!!!..I can't think of how to say it politly so I wont. But firstly, we are not the biggest..secondly, we are not the best. Thirdly, we are not the best country in the world to live in..Canada is #1 and USA is #6..check it out with the UN stats.

It's nice to think that our country is the best..but I haven't met a person yet who does not feel the same about his or her country. However, the reality is, that our influences comes from many sources and as the saying goes "no man is an island" no matter how hard we try. The arrogance of thinking there is only "WE" in this world, is contrary to the cosmos of things that are. The "WE" that I think of is this.."we are all in this world together" and none of us have been here before and none of us will be here again, so let's help each other and life will be a lot better for all the "WE's" in this World, also let us be humble because one day we will all be needing help. As the saying goes "****" happens.

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What have I got wrong?

by maxwell edison In reply to you've got it wrong Max

I'm not going to suggest that I'm always right about everything, and I don't mind "standing corrected" when it's warranted. I'm always looking to be enlightened, to learn new things, and I'm very open to those who can point out flaws in my thought process and subsequent contentions. But I think you read into my message some things that were not there. For example, you suggested I was wrong when you stated that the French don't hate Americans. Well, I never said that they did. I did say, however, that they "stereotypically" hate Americans. There's a big difference. (Stereotype: An idea that many people have about a thing or a group, an idea which may often be untrue or only partially true.)

What's interesting about your message, however, is that you went on to do the very same thing I did - that is stereotype Americans as being, "ungracious and unappreciative and arrogant towards other nations". But at least I qualified my comment as a stereotype while you did not. I'm an American, and I'm not "ungracious and unappreciative and arrogant towards other nations". You went on to justify your comments by saying, "Especially, when the President is announced as The President of the Free World". Well who suggested that? Did the president of the United States himself suggest it? When and where did he do that? I suggest to you that you are mistaken, and he did not suggest it. So please, provide some proof the he or anyone in his administration suggested such a thing.

Some other points. You said, "If we are hated, let us reflect inward and ask why." With all due respect, I think you have it backwards. If someone "hates" it's the person that hates who should look inward and ask themselves why. For example, person A hates person B because of the color of person B's skin. Who should reflect inward, person B? I think not. There will be people and groups of people who hate and will always hate Americans. The hate is in their makeup, not mine. In the case of the Islamist extremists who hate us, perhaps we should reflect inward and ask why, then make the necessary changes to turn their hate into love. All we would have to do is treat our women like slaves, force them to cover from head to toe, and keep them uneducated and oppressed. Perhaps we should change our policy towards Israel and start sending our own suicide bombers into their country to **** up their busses and cafes. Perhaps we should come out with a statement that says that the only good Jew is a dead Jew. Perhaps we should abolish out capitalistic system so everyone lives equally in poverty - except the religious elite, of course. Perhaps we should do those things - and more - just so they don't hate us.

You went on to say, "we (America) are not the best country in the world to live in. Canada is #1 and USA is #6. Check it out with the UN stats". On this point, I have a couple of requests. Please provide a link to the United Nations article that suggests such a thing. I would be very interested in reading it, and I'm sure the UN has a web site with such a document. In addition, please provide the criteria used to make such a determination. I see these sorts of things all the time comparing different U.S. cities or states. Utah or Iowa might be the best state in which to live if you consider one set of criteria (cost of living and the educational system, for example), while New York and California might be the best when considering a different set of criteria. Is Las Vegas, Nevada the best city to live in because of an extremely high employment rate and no state taxes, or is Topeka, Kansas the best because of the quality of life, or perhaps San Diego, California the best because of the nice weather year round? Those kinds of things are very subjective - something the United Nations is not, especially when it comes to matters concerning the United States.

As far as your wish that, "we are all in this world together.....so let's help each other". That sure is a nice pie in the sky way of thinking. But it only works if it's unanimous. It's too bad that the people who stole our airplanes and crashed them into our buildings killing our fellow citicens didn't think that way.

So please, tell me again what it is I have wrong.

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In defense

by Oz_Media In reply to What have I got wrong?

Max, in defense of the last post, you quoted:
"Some other points. You said, "If we are hated, let us reflect inward and ask why." With all due respect, I think you have it backwards. If someone "hates" it's the person that hates who should look inward and ask themselves why. For example, person A hates person B because of the color of person B's skin. Who should reflect inward, person B? I think not. There will be people and groups of people who hate and will always hate Americans."

Of course this is true and I agree fully. I think you've taken the comment a little out of context though. I think 'You asked' was referring to a general feeling of non-Americans. What I think you don't realize is that this IS the general feeling towards America and Americans worldwide.

Patriotism is a fantastic power to sustain ANY country, I thin kin the US, Patriotism is just pushed on the rest of the free world as something America has created as a way to show power, as opposed to a way to show support.

People KNOW American's are proud to be American, but when they hear, ALL TO OFTEN, that America is the best, the rest of the free world's people want to be American, people who don't like America are just jealous because they want to live there, America has the strongest and most advanced military in the world etc. they just get tired of hearing it and begin to resent America adn Americans in general.

now, are you implying that this is the fault of the rest of the free world and they should change their opinion or do you think that perhapse this is a sign that Americans need to humble themselves a little and realize that just because they have a LARGE land mass with millions of people, perhapse they aren't THE BEST IN THE WORLD and that America has and will make many inappropriate decisions just as any other country in the world has and will.

If I didn't like my neighbor, I know that doesn't mean my neighbor has to look inside himeself and find his faults (although it is always good to know how you're seen and take a personality inventory once in a while).

If everyone in Port Hardy doesn't like my neighbour, maybe it's IS an indication that he is doing something to **** everyone off and he should re-evaluate his stand.

'You asked' I think was pointing toward the latter, if the rest of the free world sees fault in America and Americans, perhapse it's a good idea to look inward and try to see why.

Is it America's opinion that everyone should accept America and Americans the way they are and if they don't they will be defamed or attacked by the USA or is it better that America and Americans think about how they can be accepted by others and what they are doing to disallow that.

Not everyone fels that your attacks are justified, I have yet to see a single shred of evidence to prove you were justified in attacking Iraq. Especially after training and funding the Taliban then supplying arms to Iraq and Iraq.

Wasn't this all a result of the need to control WHO and WHERE the oil pipline would be built? http://tinyurl.com/n13q

WMD my ***. I think that was just a fear that Bush presented to the people of America to justify actions with other motives.

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My general feeling is this

by maxwell edison In reply to In defense

Whether America acts or doesn't act, whether we pay for something or don't pay, whether we support a cause or not, whether we get involved or remain neutral, whether we go left or right, or up or down, there will be someone, somewhere with their finger on the trigger ready to blast America with criticism for whatever we may or may not do. And since we can't please all of the people all of the time, we can only fall back on our (hopefully) good judgement, base our actions on a core set of principles, and just let the chips fall where they may.

Why is that, you might ask? Well, I don't know and I don't really care. And since I can't do anything about it, it's not worthy of my concern.

It's kind of like you as it relates to anything I post. Whatever I say or don't say, you'll find fault with something.

I shouldn't concern myself with it on an individual basis, and America can't overly concern itself with it on a global basis.

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Another Canadian's opinion

by maxwell edison In reply to In defense

This, from a Canadian newspaper (circa 1970s)

America: The Good Neighbor.

Widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television commentator.

What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional Record:

"This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth. Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even the interest
on its remaining debts to the United States.

When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.

When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped.

The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans.

I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal
the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why don't they fly them?

Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American Planes?

Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon-not once, but several times-and safely home again.

You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking
Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.

When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke.

I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.

Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those."

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