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12 February 2016


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Betting against the US and expect the demise of the republic has been a losing proposition for a long time. I don't expect that to change anytime soon, no matter how much "noise" is considered.


Well, there is an aboriginal museum in Washington, and it is actually right next to the capitol (couldn't be closer). The National Museum of the American Indian.


Pat, thank you for the insights. They mean a great deal to me. I am aware of much of the history but not at the level of expertise you have.

To support the forward progress of Americanization, I can state that my first years of schooling featured the singing of "Oh Canada", in French, right after the Pledge of Allegiance. The Baltimore Catechism was provided in both languages.

I would have placed the threshold of fully American with my Dad and Mom, rather than with myself but that is a matter of time. I do want to say that I never heard the mantra of best country and world policeman uttered by my parents. The love of being American was deep in both of them, particularly in my Dad. But I heard these messages in the general concourse of our culture as well. Movies, TV shows, press, it was continuous.

There was no doubt of my serving either. My father and uncles and their peers had served, some in direct combat units. I had cousins to follow as examples, as well. I never thought of myself as anything else but a citizen.

I also want to say that as I served, traveled and became a young adult, I did continue to hear the mantra of best country in the world and world policeman. I came to understand that this was not just part of life in a small Maine town but a cultural current that was everywhere.


Lucky Americans...

Seperated by 2 vast oceans, away from many deadly foes.


that's too bad. Worked a few years in Burlington (2000). Aaargh. Lived on Grand Isle, so did most business in St. Albans in order to maintain a sense of hope + promise.

Trey N

Major correction: the 1861-1865 war in North America was NOT a "civil war." Such a conflict occurs when two parties are fighting to gain control of a central government to rule over a country. The Confederate States of America were not seeking to capture Washington DC and rule over the Northern states -- they were fighting to escape political control and economic exploitation by those Northern states.

When they lost that struggle, the Southern states did indeed suffer rule by a "foreign occupying power" trying to impose a "radically different and hostile culture" -- for over a decade an invasion of northern carpetbaggers was supported by the bayonets of a Federal army of occupation in the Southern states. Their goal was clearly stated in the term used to describe this effort: "The Reconstruction Era." The Southern culture was to be uprooted and remade in the image of the damnyankees.

And you state that all this occurred without a "violent imposition." What do you call entire cities burned to the ground (Atlanta GA, Columbia SC, Richmond VA) and states destroyed economically (LA was the richest state per capita in the US in 1860; it's been listed among the poorest ever since)as well as entire regions (the Shenandoah Valley burned out by Sheridan in 1864)?

Trust me, many Southerners today are not "lacking historical conditioning of continental warfare." We remember how our grandfathers died defending their homes from foreign invasion, leaving their widows and children to starve after yankee vandals swept through the countryside burning and looting everything in sight (Sherman's March to the Sea and Meridian expeditions only exceeded in devastation by Sheridan's torching of the Shenandoah Valley).

I don't know where you're from, Smoothie, but you have a major misconception of the facts concerning the War for Southern Independence (also appropriately known as the War of Northern Aggression). There was absolutely nothing "civil" about it, in any sense whatsoever of that word.



"too bad" refers to "all gringos now."

hope for + promise of the new generations.


what replaces priest-ridden?



Hedonism. pl



Yes. That kind of nationalism was universal across the land and French Canadians accepted it as part of their assimilation. pl


Just for the record . . .

You took me to task severely about a year ago for my saying there’s no goddam way that the French outside of Quebec would allow Quebec to secede without a fight. I have a lot of relatives in Alberta. I go up there all the time. I also speak French, as luck would have it. There are towns you can drive through that don’t have a single sign in English. (Most of them surround the capital, Edmonton, widely, but it’s the small French towns that I’m talking about, mainly east and south of the capital, out in the sticks.) Everyone speaks French. All government services are in French; they don’t even bother with English. Ditto the government service handouts. Renoir’s (the French painter) descendants moved to rural Alberta four+ decades ago to make artisanal cheese, and another, the famous French Belgian chocolatier Callebaut, settled in rural Alberta first in the 60s or 70s before expanding their business throughout western Canada. The Renoirs and Callebauts didn’t go to Quebec; Quebec isn’t the only historically French area in Canada. It’s just the biggest. And most concentrated. And (was) most oppressively religious.

The instant Quebec secedes, it would mean all these municipalities will revert to English-only and the indigenous French are screwed, so they actively resist it. (Not to mention that hundreds of thousands of bilinguals in Alberta and BC, many of whom are Quebec transplants, will lose their jobs, government, resort, marketing, etc.) These are people who have occupied the province and the west for centuries, since the time the Jesuits first developed it starting in the 17th C. Some of these municipalities are French, some are Indian (woo-woo Indian) AND French. But they’re French Canadian and damn proud of it. (The province also has a history, since 1900, of Doukhobors and Mennonites, mainly in the southern half. Seeing entire families of Doukhobors protest in the nude is a kick, something this sect does; the Dukes are Ukrainian.)

I was told that before Trudeau Père legalized English and French as official languages there were almost as many French elementary- and high-schools in Edmonton as there were English to service the needs of the community. Alberta didn’t have the suffocating Roman Catholic Church government heavy-hand that Quebec had. In Quebec, the church-controlled govt gave 40 acres of land free to any couple who produced 14 kids. That’s how Céline Dion’s family got to be that large: Maman pumped them out like clockwork. And this continued through the 1950s IIRC until women said pho-cue. It’s how the RC Church kept a lock on the people, and grew the flock. Alberta historically had no such restrictions, and land was dirt cheap, sometimes free for the taking, and plentiful.

Apart from the Acadians (we call their brethren Cajuns here) in the eastern provinces, another pocket of French Canadian population is in the Northwest Territories (if they still call it that, dunno’). They are fiercely wedded to their land, and they, too, actively resist the idea that Quebec should secede because they don’t buy the idea that Quebec is the only French part of Canada, and 350-plus years of recorded history bears that out.


Duh! Not cowrie shells??

So what. If the Chinese don't trust their government and currency, they'll get out of it. That's what capital flight means. Capital controls is how governments try to gate their citizens from bailing their failed policies.


"Companies don’t want renminbi and individuals don’t want renminbi,” said Shaun Rein, the founder of the China Market Research Group. “The renminbi was a sure bet for a long time, but now that it’s not, a lot of people want to get out.”

Chris Rogers


Whilst China has made great strides since 1979 one cannot deny that it has come at great environmental cost, never mind the human cost associated with speaking out against Beijing's leaders.

As for the Middle Class in two countries you have named, namely Hong Kong and Singapore, at this juncture in time economically speaking many are howling and find themselves in the same condition as peers in the USA, essentially inequality extremes are large and many now cannot afford a roof over their heads. both Hong kong and Singapore - well ordered societies by any definition - have witnessed riots and public outcries the middle classes ability to put a roof over its head all but disappears.

By way of example only last week - Monday evening during the Chinese Lunar new year holidays - we had a major disturbance in Hong Kong where shots were fired by the police. It certainly does not look rosy where I sit in Hong Kong, its difficult for small businesses to make a buck and much of our incomes are eaten away by highly inflated mortgages and rentals.

Indeed, when i first arrived in Hong Kong prior to the change of sovereignty in 1997 there was visible anti-British sentiment, that has vanished with many now speaking fondly of British Rule, which for many, especially the poor, was more favourable than what we have today - indeed, many now desire a Hong Kong independent of China and on par with that other Chinese dominated City State Singapore.

As a Brit, I'd favour the independent route as its far too easy for locals to blame Beijing rather than its own oligarchy which profits greatly from the power and wealth it extracts from HongKongers.

Singapore presently has its own economic woes, its property and Real estate bubbles popping about two years ago.

William R. Cumming

Fred! Who is Hispanic is always an interesting question for me! Note that 90% of those fleeing Cuber after 1959 could pass as culturally white in the USA or Canada. Hispanics are truly a rainbow culture.

William R. Cumming

See today's NYTimes [2/14/2016]! Agreement with your analysis!


"You took me to task severely about a year ago for my saying there’s no goddam way that the French outside of Quebec would allow Quebec to secede without a fight" I don't remember that discussion. Do you have a date? BTW, after watching the GOP food fight last night, the young Trudeau doesn't look too bad. pl


IMHO Americans seem to favor "the chosen ones" more than the Red Man.

After all, what has the latter "contributed" to modern-day 'progress?'


I just posted a link to this post on the Members email list of the American Psychoanalytic Association. Along with the link I wrote:

One could call it an excellent piece of "applied psychoanalysis" but I don't much like that term. I prefer 'extra-clinical PsyA' or 'extra-mural PsyA - in any case, I think of it as work in which PsyA explicitly encounters culture and history.

Dr. Michael Brenner is Professor Emeritus of International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh and Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic
Relations, SAIS-Johns Hopkins (Washington, D.C.). He was the Director of
the International Relations & Global Studies Program at the University of
Texas until 2012.



"That's why you're getting out of the ME and pivoting to where the population and growing middle class is. "

Meanwhile our middle-class is shrinking. The only thing not shrinking for it is the bills to help out foreigners. Enough already. Raise taxes on your own people and give the defense burden to your own military.

Babak Makkinejad

I think England has been the best in the world in making money for centuries.

William R. Cumming



Major correction: the 1861-1865 war in North America was NOT a "civil war." Such a conflict occurs when two parties are fighting to gain control of a central government to rule over a country. The Confederate States of America were not seeking to capture Washington DC and rule over the Northern states -- they were fighting to escape political control and economic exploitation by those Northern states.

I am Russian. It seems this melody has no ending. No, US Civil War was as civil as any other civil war is (Spain, Russia)--same people, same culture, same language, same behavioral matrix, just different vision of its own statehood fighting each other. No foreign powers involved in invasion and imposition of external control or rule is not in play--that what Civil Wars are. In this sense US Civil War is absolutely not unique. Somebody tries for secession other disagree--bang. Russian Civil War anyone (granted, of course, that Russia saw the whole collection of foreign occupiers)? What about both Chechnya Wars? Totally Civil and totally, with their own twist, anti-secession wars. What you described is within the limits of a definition of generic civil war. Spanish Civil War, apart from "delivering" same scale of victims and casualties as US Civil War and having major powers (Germany, USSR) being involved in it, still remains civil war. Having said all that: United States didn't face any serious external force in war on its territory since, frankly, ever. Of course, there was the War of 1812, but compared to actual War of 1812, which saw slaughter and destruction on unprecedented scale (Just Battle of Borodino alone, in 8 hours 37 000 French and 51 000 Russians KIA) it was a backwater of sorts.

Now, neither US elites nor American public are conditioned by the continental warfare, since United States last time saw it precisely in 1861-65, that is 150 years ago. This was one off and no living memory remains of it. Now we take a look at Europe and the picture changes dramatically, starting from Coventry and London, which were bombed to sh.t and going to the East, the more we move to the East the more the scale of destruction and atrocity grows, more to the East--more of that. Most importantly, this all happened 70 years ago, many people who saw it, experienced it, fought in it are still alive, the memories of that are as vivid today as they were 30 years ago. Most importantly, this was NO civil war. It also conditioned (with different outcomes) even West European political elites and public. I will omit here what it lead to. These are all experiences which has no ground in the US. It is a historic fact and we see today how it plays out. Now, if you want to see the difference, this is Moscow 2015, the Immortal Regiment March on the 70th Anniversary of Victory--this is how real impact of the war looks in the peaceful times.


All that, as Richard Pipes wrote, is beyond comprehension for most Americans and that is the fact of life. Nothing for or against, just simple obvious fact. Will Atlanta march like this? You know the answer.


Seperated by 2 vast oceans, away from many deadly foes.

This is America's massive win in the geopolitical lottery--an incredible location. It could also be her downfall since both Sea Control and foreign military bases are not simple arithmetic, it is a very complex doctrinal calculus in the emerging multi-polar world.

Babak Makkinejad

I agree with you, the March of the Immortal Regiment cannot have any analogue in any European state - save perhaps England. By the way, I heard some Englishmen marched in Moscow.

I also think that excepting myself and a few others, no one in Western states has any grasp of the emotional and historical content of the idea of "The Rus" to the Russian people. That lack of knowledge and appreciation will be one of the causes of World War III.


And my father, S/S US Army Air Corps, stationed in Connington-on-Tyne during WWII, told of the British officer who was impressed by my Dad's knowledge of British history. My father explained that he learned it in college, and ventured to ask if the British studied US history. The reply was. "What history." If Americans feel 'exceptional', I guess they come by it honestly.

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