Law School Discussion

Specific Groups => Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students => Topic started by: P.U.S.H on October 17, 2006, 11:29:34 PM

Title: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: P.U.S.H on October 17, 2006, 11:29:34 PM
I just want to know if I'm teh onyl one that finds his statements offensive, if not just plain ignorant.

http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/europe/10/17/britain.blair.ap/index.html

"People want to know that the Muslim community in particular but actually all minority communities have got the blanace right between integration and multiculturalism."

My response: WTF? So it's the responsibility of a minority group to make the majority feel at ease with their mere PRESENCE?

Anyone else's thoughts?
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: chewy06 on October 17, 2006, 11:37:04 PM
The european muslim situation is completely different than anything America has seen or probably will ever see.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: nosnud on October 17, 2006, 11:38:38 PM
I think he's right.  

And I think you're twisting his words a lot.



Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: P.U.S.H on October 17, 2006, 11:48:06 PM
I didn't twist anything. I quoted him and gave my initial reaction.

And considering there is such a strong Muslim presence in the UK, I think the onus is on the prime minsiter to watch what he says and be aware of how statements can be construed, rightly or wrongly, as insensitive to the religious beliefs of the women that wear veils.

And I'm not commenting about teh situation in America, chewy06. However, when I was younger and attended a Catholic school, a Muslim girl was also there, and wore her veil. There was nothing said to her, and in fact, it allowed her to share what was unique about her and her  family's personal beliefs.

I simply think Blair's comments sound judgemental and ignorant of all the aspects of wearing a veil. Many Muslim women I know wear one because they want to, not because they are forced, and they do it in reverence to their religious beliefs. Yes, their religious beliefs separate them from the majority in the UK, but those differences should be recognized, not demonized.

Furthermore, Blair speaks as though he's got honest "evidence" that assimilation bodes well for minority groups. Where and when?
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: chewy06 on October 18, 2006, 12:06:24 AM
You are not showing any knowledge of the European situation. You are basing your reactions on if they were said in America to American minority groups.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: P.U.S.H on October 18, 2006, 12:49:54 AM
You are not showing any knowledge of the European situation. You are basing your reactions on if they were said in America to American minority groups.

I'll concede the fact that I'm an American, but actually I'm reacting to a world leader making a sweeping statement about minority groups in his country - a leader which also has power and say so in global affairs.

I think the opinions he holds about minorities, especially religious minorities, reflect the same attitudes he would express in response to global affairs.

Blair should be mindful of how his words can be construed, just as all people should, when addressing as sensitive an issue as religious expression. JMHO.

But since you think that opinion is not reflecting the "European situation" care to enlighten me about what is unique about the Muslim/European situation that makes such unsupported and general statements acceptable?

 
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: redemption on October 18, 2006, 06:17:56 AM
You are not showing any knowledge of the European situation. You are basing your reactions on if they were said in America to American minority groups.

What "European situation" are you alluding to?
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 06:26:10 AM
Quote from: Hopes-n-Dreams
Furthermore, Blair speaks as though he's got honest "evidence" that assimilation bodes well for minority groups. Where and when?

I think there is plenty of "evidence" to demonstrate the negative results for minority groups who fail to assimilate, both for the minority groups as well as the country as a whole; the best example in Europe being France. 
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: parsley on October 18, 2006, 06:26:59 AM
The Islamic diaspora in Europe is completely different than the diaspora in the United States.  The Islamic community in the US is highly integrated comparatively -- they speak English, participate in the economic and social life of the country, etc.  But in Europe, the consolidation of the Islamic community is leading to separate Islamic communities that  watch only Arabic television shows, get all of their news from Arabic broadcasts, do not speak the language of the countries they live in, and withdraw from economic and social life outside of the Islamic communities.  There is, believe it or not, persecution from both sides.  In some areas, women are not allowed to wear the hijab; in others, students are assaulted for attending school during Ramadan.

They have a huge problem on the horizon...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_France
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Londonistan_%28term%29
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,6903,1593282,00.html
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: redemption on October 18, 2006, 06:40:47 AM
It scares me that people who are applying to/enrolled in law school don't already know this ^

Haha. Don't be scared. I'll look after you.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: nosnud on October 18, 2006, 08:04:53 AM
I didn't twist anything. I quoted him and gave my initial reaction.

And considering there is such a strong Muslim presence in the UK, I think the onus is on the prime minsiter to watch what he says and be aware of how statements can be construed, rightly or wrongly, as insensitive to the religious beliefs of the women that wear veils.

And I'm not commenting about teh situation in America, chewy06. However, when I was younger and attended a Catholic school, a Muslim girl was also there, and wore her veil. There was nothing said to her, and in fact, it allowed her to share what was unique about her and her  family's personal beliefs.

I simply think Blair's comments sound judgemental and ignorant of all the aspects of wearing a veil. Many Muslim women I know wear one because they want to, not because they are forced, and they do it in reverence to their religious beliefs. Yes, their religious beliefs separate them from the majority in the UK, but those differences should be recognized, not demonized.

Furthermore, Blair speaks as though he's got honest "evidence" that assimilation bodes well for minority groups. Where and when?

You're taking a very progressive, non-offensive statement about how the balance should be right, and saying some ridiculous crap implying that what he said was racist and ignorant.  That's misconstruing his words, twisting them in your little head to make a stink. 

Regardless of whether they want to wear a veil, Blair is merely saying that assimilation is important, and that's the best way to prevent extremism from spreading to disenfranchised young Muslim men that are easily convince to blow themselves up for the sake of another misconstrued statement from the Quran.  See, twisting words is dangerous.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: redemption on October 18, 2006, 08:09:45 AM
Eh, y'all are close to making me enter this thread for real.

hopes-n-dreams -- you're right about everything you've said so far. This sort of topic just attracts the C-Span call-in types, that's all.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: nosnud on October 18, 2006, 08:14:12 AM
Eh, y'all are close to making me enter this thread for real.

hopes-n-dreams -- you're right about everything you've said so far. This sort of topic just attracts the C-Span call-in types, that's all.

Hello, friend!

Please don't pwn me.  I don't have any stake or real position in the argument, but I wish people assimilated and got along better, that's all.  I'm all about the love.  Pass the dutchie to the left hand side.  When in Rome.  You know. Stuff like that. 
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: parsley on October 18, 2006, 08:24:43 AM
Quote
Blair should be mindful of how his words can be construed, just as all people should, when addressing as sensitive an issue as religious expression.

No, appealing to the lowest common denominator is what we do here in the US.  No need for other world leaders to have to talk like their audience is a room full of third graders.

I've never called into a C-Span show (I always catch those suckers pre-recorded!) but if it means that we do a lot of nerdy, complicated things like read a lot of books with a lot of words and facts in them and articles and other thinking stuff before commenting... well, maybe. 
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: redemption on October 18, 2006, 08:32:01 AM
Hypo --

If you or your sister were to decide to move to, say, Eritrea, should you or she have to undergo a cliterodectomy?

Or, if you or she were to move to Saudi Arabia, should you or she be made to wear a burqa?
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: parsley on October 18, 2006, 08:38:16 AM
We're talking about the quote, though.  Not his opinion on head scarves.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: nosnud on October 18, 2006, 08:39:22 AM
We're talking about the quote, though.  Not his opinion on head scarves.

Yeah that's basically my point. 
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: redemption on October 18, 2006, 08:39:36 AM
We're talking about the quote, though.  Not his opinion on head scarves.

And the difference is?
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 08:41:56 AM
Hypo --

If you or your sister were to decide to move to, say, Eritrea, should you or she have to undergo a cliterodectomy?

Or, if you or she were to move to Saudi Arabia, should you or she be made to wear a burqa?

Immigrants who decide to move to a foreign country should understand that it is not the country that has the responsibility to alter itself for those who want to come, but rather the immigrants should be accepting of that country's laws and traditions.  I did not live in Italy and expect that Italy start to celebrate the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving.  If I moved to a country in the Middle East, it would be my responsibility to accept its culture; not obligatory for that country to alter itself to support my way of life.

Your first example is exceedingly extreme, but yes... if a woman wanted to move to Saudi Arabia, she should understand that it is expected of her to wear a burqa.  If a potential immigrant doesn't like the way of life of a particular country, no one is forcing he/she to go there.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: parsley on October 18, 2006, 08:48:07 AM
There's a pretty big difference between a policy and a general call for balance between integration and what are becoming nearly autonomous communities within a country.  Integration doesn't have to necessarily be conforming, but could be accomplished with dialogue, compromise and education.

The OP took offense to the general call for balance between integration and multiculturalism, and said nothing in the original post about head scarves.

(To Blair, the head scarf is symbolic of all the wider problems I talked about earlier. His comments actually made no reference to the case of the teacher in the news.  And it's an entirely different debate on the particulars of balancing religious freedom and somebody's ability to accomplish their job.)
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: parsley on October 18, 2006, 08:49:10 AM
Argh, I really should proofread when I'm going back and forth between two things...
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 08:51:05 AM
Argh, I really should proofread when I'm going back and forth between two things...

You can always use the "Modify" button. ;)
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: chewy06 on October 18, 2006, 08:53:07 AM
The Islamic diaspora in Europe is completely different than the diaspora in the United States.  The Islamic community in the US is highly integrated comparatively -- they speak English, participate in the economic and social life of the country, etc.  But in Europe, the consolidation of the Islamic community is leading to separate Islamic communities that do not watch Arabic television shows, get all of their news from Arabic broadcasts, do not speak the language of the countries they live in, and withdraw from economic and social life outside of the Islamic communities.  There is, believe it or not, persecution from both sides.  In some areas, women are not allowed to wear the hijab; in others, students are assaulted for attending school during Ramadan.

They have a huge problem on the horizon...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_France
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Londonistan_%28term%29
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,6903,1593282,00.html

Thank you.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: redemption on October 18, 2006, 08:55:12 AM
There's a pretty big difference between a policy and a general call for balance between integration and what are becoming nearly autonomous communities within a country.  Integration doesn't have to necessarily be conforming, but could be accomplished with dialogue, compromise and education could be helpful.

The OP took offense to the general call for balance between integration and multiculturalism, and said nothing about head scarves.


What does the bolded part mean? Could California hippies, for example, or New York Hasidim, be considered semi-autonomous communities?
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: redemption on October 18, 2006, 08:56:10 AM

Immigrants who decide to move to a foreign country should understand that it is not the country that has the responsibility to alter itself for those who want to come, but rather the immigrants should be accepting of that country's laws and traditions.  I did not live in Italy and expect that Italy start to celebrate the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving.  If I moved to a country in the Middle East, it would be my responsibility to accept its culture; not obligatory for that country to alter itself to support my way of life.


This para is weak.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 09:02:16 AM

Immigrants who decide to move to a foreign country should understand that it is not the country that has the responsibility to alter itself for those who want to come, but rather the immigrants should be accepting of that country's laws and traditions.  I did not live in Italy and expect that Italy start to celebrate the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving.  If I moved to a country in the Middle East, it would be my responsibility to accept its culture; not obligatory for that country to alter itself to support my way of life.


This para is weak.

Uhhhhh... the idea is pretty sound, but thank you drive thru.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: parsley on October 18, 2006, 09:06:06 AM
Quote
What does the bolded part mean? Could California hippies, for example, or New York Hasidim, be considered semi-autonomous communities?

I'd say that middle America doesn't get California hippies... but the comparison is weak.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2004/01/26/do2601.xml

"European countries are not organically immigrant societies. The groups that went to America in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries did so specifically to become Americans...European countries have none of this melting-pot principle. You cannot become German or Italian with the same ease with which you become American. Also, into this very different European environment came a very different sort of immigrant - people who had no interest in assimilation at all.

They came as settlers, wanting to establish their own communities; at best they favoured a merger - at worst, a takeover. Their approach was nurtured by notions of multiculturalism, a creed appealing to intellectuals, administrators and enforcers, but having almost zero appeal to the home population."


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_veil_controversy_in_France
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/10/05/wmuslims05.xml
"Muslims are waging civil war against us, claims police union"

I went to a national security conference this summer where studies on Islamic communities in France were discussed by the researchers, but I'm not sure that they've been published yet.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 09:11:15 AM
Yet another example of what happens when immigrants aren't assimilated...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/10/17/wfrance17.xml

Crisis talks over gang attacks on police
By Henry Samuel in Paris
(Filed: 17/10/2006)


The French government yesterday held crisis talks with community leaders in an effort to halt mounting violence in suburbs around Paris, amid news that gangs of youths, mainly of North African descent, were intensifying attacks on police.

Dominique de Villepin, the prime minister, ordered his interior and justice ministers to "toughen up" sentences for those found guilty of assaulting officers, following a meeting with community leaders.

His announcement followed a series of violent incidents over the past weeks, culminating in the ambush of three police officers on Friday by youths in Epinay-sur-Seine, north of Paris.

advertisement"These guys came to kill. They wore balaclavas, and had baseball bats and iron bars," said Joaquin Masanet, the general secretary of the powerful UNSA police union.

The three officers from the anti-crime brigade, BAC, entered the Orgemont housing estate after an anonymous caller reported a violent car theft.

Once inside, their exit was barred and they were set upon by around 50 youths, who pelted the men with stones. Iron bars smashed their windscreen. They tried to reverse, but a second vehicle boxed them in.

The criminals fled only after the officers fired live ammunition into the air and police reinforcements arrived.

One of the officers, Christophe Estève, 30, had two teeth knocked out and needed 30 stitches in his jaw. He was discharged from hospital yesterday.
 
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: redemption on October 18, 2006, 09:15:06 AM
Parsley --

Don't quote me an opinion piece from the Torygraph, I want to know what you think.

European countries are about as "organically immigrant" as any society or group of societies has ever been.


Talk to me about the Hasidim. Should they toe the balance and wear jeans?

Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 09:18:26 AM
Eh, y'all are close to making me enter this thread for real.

hopes-n-dreams -- you're right about everything you've said so far. This sort of topic just attracts the C-Span call-in types, that's all.

Another pathetic generalization of which you seem to be very fond.

Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: parsley on October 18, 2006, 09:19:20 AM
If I've already read a piece where somebody's already said the point I'm getting at concisely, what good is reinventing the wheel?

And I don't know a damn thing about the Hasidim's community.  But the hippie comparison doesn't hold, and I would imagine the Hasidic Jewish comparison doesn't hold either because the American national culture is completely different from the French national culture... 
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: redemption on October 18, 2006, 09:20:42 AM
If I've already read a piece where somebody's already said the point I'm getting at concisely, what good is reinventing the wheel?

And I don't know a damn thing about the Hasidim's community.  But the hippie comparison doesn't hold, and I would imagine the Hasidic Jewish comparison doesn't hold either because the American national culture is completely different from the French national culture... 

Use google images. It's not hard. I'll be waiting.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: parsley on October 18, 2006, 09:24:28 AM
I know what a Hasidic Jew dresses like, Red.  But I'm not familiar with the conflicts of the NY community with integration into American life. 

I think talking about the European situation IN CONTEXT is important.  So I can't help but find most of your examples irrelevant.  The acceptable balance between integration and individual cultures in the United States is completely different from an appropriate balance in Europe, and the examples you bring up are not at all similar to the Europeans.

The closest population in the US in similarity would, I think, be the new Hispanic immigrants because of its a highly concentrated population and the language and cultural barriers.  But even that is so dissimilar that it isn't a very useful comparison.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: nosnud on October 18, 2006, 09:28:02 AM
Kel loves orange soda.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 09:34:49 AM
Quote from: goaliechica
And no, you don't have to expect the Italians to celebrate the Fourth of July or Thanksgiving, but I would find it offensive if they forbade me from celebrating them in their country.

Agreed, as long as these celebrations were not directly in opposition of the laws of the "host" country nor threatened the "host" citizens.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: redemption on October 18, 2006, 10:14:51 AM
I know what a Hasidic Jew dresses like, Red.  But I'm not familiar with the conflicts of the NY community with integration into American life. 

I think talking about the European situation IN CONTEXT is important.  So I can't help but find most of your examples irrelevant.  The acceptable balance between integration and individual cultures in the United States is completely different from an appropriate balance in Europe, and the examples you bring up are not at all similar to the Europeans.

The closest population in the US in similarity would, I think, be the new Hispanic immigrants because of its a highly concentrated population and the language and cultural barriers.  But even that is so dissimilar that it isn't a very useful comparison.

Ah, yes. Europe is Europe after all.

So, what about saris and salwar kameez in London or Paris?
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: redemption on October 18, 2006, 10:15:55 AM
Did I kill it by being too even-handed? Or does no one want to play once Red leaves?  ;)

I find it really interesting that so much of the debate ends up focusing on the headscarves, which are just such a superficial piece of what's really going on. I think maybe it's easy to get people on your team when by playing the "women are being oppressed" card without really giving a damn about the women themselves. I really thought Jack Straw's comment was ridiculous and offensive, and the suspension of the teacher is even worse.

See, goaliechica? This is why you're one of my favorites even though you're mean to me.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: redemption on October 18, 2006, 10:17:15 AM

Couldn't agree more. I live in the Los Angeles area where English is rarely spoken anymore, and because my only foreign language study is in Italian, I am at a bit of a disadvantage around here.  Pretty odd, I think.  Also, think of what it costs this country to accomodate EVERYONE.

It is simple: if you want to live in any given country, YOU adapt. Period.



This wasn't worth posting. Just so you know. For the future and whatnot.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 10:18:53 AM
Uhmmmm... somebody screwed up the "quote" function, because President Baccaga did not write that. :)
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 10:21:22 AM
Uhmmmm... somebody screwed up the "quote" function, because President Baccaga did not write that. :)

Oh... Well... Then consider my comments directed at whoever DID write it.

Beth whoever... but you should have known they weren't from me; you know I don't live in LA... :)
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: parsley on October 18, 2006, 10:47:05 AM
Quote
Clearly, the customs of Muslim immigrants are not (yet!) against the law,

Except in France!

Quote
So, what about saris and salwar kameez in London or Paris?

Salwar kameez are fashionable!  The whole dress over the pants thing was big here with hippie chicks a few years back.  The veil? So out of style.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: ry on October 18, 2006, 01:06:27 PM

hopes-n-dreams -- you're right about everything you've said so far. This sort of topic just attracts the C-Span call-in types, that's all.

AHHHH, transforming an interesting subject of debate into a right/wrong dichotomy, and then resorting to an ad hominem.  I think I see a bourgeoning political career here!  ::)   
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: redemption on October 18, 2006, 01:33:07 PM

hopes-n-dreams -- you're right about everything you've said so far. This sort of topic just attracts the C-Span call-in types, that's all.

AHHHH, transforming an interesting subject of debate into a right/wrong dichotomy, and then resorting to an ad hominem.  I think I see a bourgeoning political career here!  ::)   

Is that a bad thing? Weren't our Founding Fathers politicos? Isn't Extremism-in-the-Defense-of-Liberty a good thing? etc. etc. ad nauseam. Whatever other slogans apply (Baccaraga help me out, please)

Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: redemption on October 18, 2006, 02:34:36 PM
Alright. Here's the correct answer.

Those of you who think that Blair had a point would not make the same argument in support of banning the Yarmulke, the sari, the tutu, etc. You're focused on the veil. Why? Because it's a muslim thing.

As an aside, it has little to do with "being foreign": many, and probably most, of those who wear veils are native-born (i.e. born in Britain) and young. It is the equivalent of the revival of pentecostalism here. Unless, of course you want to tell those that have immigrated, say, thirty years ago that they cannot wear the veil, and that their children can. The would be an interesting position to hold, but I think that it would strain your intellectual resources to defend it.

Okay, so those darned muslims. Being a muslim thing isn't enough to hold your attention, though. You would presumably not want to force muslims living in Britain to, say, eat pork. (Although, the definition of Libertarian is so flexible these days that who knows, maybe you would tell them what to eat as well as what to wear.)

In any case, let's assume that you'd be willing to let them eat pork. So, back to the veil. Why the veil? Let's speculate a little. Maybe you think that veils are worn by "fanatics" who are going to "blow you up". Is that it? Kilts are jolly and veils are scary? Are those great big beards that the men wear scary too? Shall we chop them off? And, because we can't tell the difference between a sikh and a muslim, should we have all those Sikhs in London and Birmingham, Oxford and Bournemouth, York and Cardiff unfurl their turbans and cut their hair? Just in case?

That's kinda a good starting point for a discussion.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: nosnud on October 18, 2006, 02:36:09 PM
Honestly I think everyone should comply with their employer dress code.  If they don't like it, or if they aren't allowed to take their funny hat or whatever off, then get another job. 
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: ms on October 18, 2006, 02:45:49 PM
Alright. Here's the correct answer.

Those of you who think that Blair had a point would not make the same argument in support of banning the Yarmulke, the sari, the tutu, etc. You're focused on the veil. Why? Because it's a muslim thing.

As an aside, it has little to do with "being foreign": many, and probably most, of those who wear veils are native-born (i.e. born in Britain) and young. It is the equivalent of the revival of pentecostalism here. Unless, of course you want to tell those that have immigrated, say, thirty years ago that they cannot wear the veil, and that their children can. The would be an interesting position to hold, but I think that it would strain your intellectual resources to defend it.

Okay, so those darned muslims. Being a muslim thing isn't enough to hold you attention, though. You would presumably not want to force muslims living in Britain to, say, eat pork. (Although, the definition of Libertarian is so flexible these days that who knows, maybe you would tell them what to eat as well as what to wear.)

In any case, let's assume that you'd be willing to let them eat pork. So, back to the veil. Why the veil? Let's speculate a little. Maybe you think that veils are worn by "fanatics" who are going to "blow you up". Is that it? Kilts are jolly and veils are scary? Are those great big beards that the men wear scary too? Shall we chop them off? And, because we can't tell the difference between a sikh and a muslim, should we have all those Sikhs in London and Birmingham, Oxford and Bournemouth, York and Cardiff unfurl their turbans and cut their hair? Just in case?

That's kinda a good starting point for a discussion.

Nice post, a little extra on to that is the fact that the problem most have with veils is that they consider them to be forced on women. Given the demographics of the types of Muslims that live in England this simply isn't the case. I have included an article from the Economist, if it has already been posted I apologize.

http://www.economist.com/world/britain/displaystory.cfm?story_id=8035904 (http://www.economist.com/world/britain/displaystory.cfm?story_id=8035904)
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: redemption on October 18, 2006, 02:48:19 PM
the problem most have with veils are that they consider them to be forced on women. Given the demographics of what types of Muslims who live in England this simply isn't the case.

Correct. ty
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 03:01:51 PM
I am not going to get into Britain because I am not very familiar with the laws of that country.  However, I do know something about Italy and there is a law in effect that any individual cannot conceal themselves in a public atmosphere to the point where it is impossible or difficult to identify that individual (there are obvious exceptions such as during Carnevale, etc... but in "everyday" life, this holds true).  This law is applied to all people of all creeds, and recently Muslims in Italy have protested against banning these veils in the public square even though this law is not nor never was focused strictly on Muslims.

This is a fine example of a point that I made several posts prior in which I stated that there is nothing wrong whatsoever with a particular minority (or immigrant) group practicing their customs and traditions in the "host" country as long as those customs do not conflict and threaten the law of the land.  In this particular case, Muslims continue to protest despite the fact that there is nothing about this law that is directed solely towards them, which subsequently leads to backlash against Muslims within the country.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: ms on October 18, 2006, 03:04:54 PM
Ah well the more people that are unhappy with veils the more women will wear them. The veil thing does not matter to me, but what does bother me is that they continue the cycle. This is only going to alienate more people, and in the long run cause more problems.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: redemption on October 18, 2006, 03:15:32 PM
I am not going to get into Britain because I am not very familiar with the laws of that country.  However, I do know something about Italy and there is a law in effect that any individual cannot conceal themselves in a public atmosphere to the point where it is impossible or difficult to identify that individual (there are obvious exceptions such as during Carnevale, etc... but in "everyday" life, this holds true).  This law is applied to all people of all creeds, and recently Muslims in Italy have protested against banning these veils in the public square even though this law is not nor never was focused strictly on Muslims.

This is a fine example of a point that I made several posts prior in which I stated that there is nothing wrong whatsoever with a particular minority (or immigrant) group practicing their customs and traditions in the "host" country as long as those customs do not conflict and threaten the law of the land.  In this particular case, Muslims continue to protest despite the fact that there is nothing about this law that is directed solely towards them, which subsequently leads to backlash against Muslims within the country.

Help me out: how is this in any way related to the topic of this thread or to this discussion in any way at all?

Italy, burqas, laws; rather than Britain, veils (i.e. headscarves), and customs -- just so that you can make the point that "muslims" "protest" against "neutral" laws (exceptions notwithstanding) and that there is a "backlash". Familiar tropes, and quite boring ones at that.

Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 03:19:59 PM
I am not going to get into Britain because I am not very familiar with the laws of that country.  However, I do know something about Italy and there is a law in effect that any individual cannot conceal themselves in a public atmosphere to the point where it is impossible or difficult to identify that individual (there are obvious exceptions such as during Carnevale, etc... but in "everyday" life, this holds true).  This law is applied to all people of all creeds, and recently Muslims in Italy have protested against banning these veils in the public square even though this law is not nor never was focused strictly on Muslims.

This is a fine example of a point that I made several posts prior in which I stated that there is nothing wrong whatsoever with a particular minority (or immigrant) group practicing their customs and traditions in the "host" country as long as those customs do not conflict and threaten the law of the land.  In this particular case, Muslims continue to protest despite the fact that there is nothing about this law that is directed solely towards them, which subsequently leads to backlash against Muslims within the country.

Yes but it is part of their culture, and so they should protest. I can totally appreciate a safety issue, and that might be a reason to keep the law, but from their standpoint can you blame them. I mean there are plenty of safety issue laws in this country that Christians have tried to change, and very often succesfully.

Yes, I can blame them.  No one forced them to move to Italy and they certainly should have been aware of and accepting of the laws and regulations of the country before making the decision to translocate.  Would I be justified in moving to Iran and protesting against Islamic law because it's not part of my culture?  Not at all.  It would have been my responsibility to accept the country; not the responsibility of the country to accept me.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 03:22:48 PM
Quote from: red
Help me out: how is this in any way related to the topic of this thread or to this discussion in any way at all?

Italy, burqas, laws; rather than Britain, veils (i.e. headscarves), and customs -- just so that you can make the point that "muslims" "protest" against "neutral" laws (exceptions notwithstanding) and that there is a "backlash". Familiar tropes, and quite boring ones at that.

If you'll go back a couple of pages, you can see that I had written something and goaliechica had responded to which I had never countered.  I'm not concerned whatsoever with what you had posted regarding Blair and Britain and God knows whatever else.  Thanks though.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: BrerAnansi on October 18, 2006, 03:27:50 PM
I am not going to get into Britain because I am not very familiar with the laws of that country.  However, I do know something about Italy and there is a law in effect that any individual cannot conceal themselves in a public atmosphere to the point where it is impossible or difficult to identify that individual (there are obvious exceptions such as during Carnevale, etc... but in "everyday" life, this holds true).  This law is applied to all people of all creeds, and recently Muslims in Italy have protested against banning these veils in the public square even though this law is not nor never was focused strictly on Muslims.

This is a fine example of a point that I made several posts prior in which I stated that there is nothing wrong whatsoever with a particular minority (or immigrant) group practicing their customs and traditions in the "host" country as long as those customs do not conflict and threaten the law of the land.  In this particular case, Muslims continue to protest despite the fact that there is nothing about this law that is directed solely towards them, which subsequently leads to backlash against Muslims within the country.

Yes but it is part of their culture, and so they should protest. I can totally appreciate a safety issue, and that might be a reason to keep the law, but from their standpoint can you blame them. I mean there are plenty of safety issue laws in this country that Christians have tried to change, and very often succesfully.

Yes, I can blame them.  No one forced them to move to Italy and they certainly should have been aware of and accepting of the laws and regulations of the country before making the decision to translocate.  Would I be justified in moving to Iran and protesting against Islamic law because it's not part of my culture?  Not at all.  It would have been my responsibility to accept the country; not the responsibility of the country to accept me.

The highlighted portion makes me want to hear your take on foreign policy...more precisely, America's current foreign policy...seriously...
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 03:31:13 PM
Quote
The highlighted portion makes me want to hear your take on foreign policy...more precisely, America's current foreign policy...seriously...

Any points in particular?  I prefer a general foreign policy that I guess would be considered isolationist, and hence you can probably guess that I'm not thrilled with the F.P. of this current administration...
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: parsley on October 18, 2006, 03:31:25 PM
Red -- Thanks for stooping to come talk with us and give us the "correct answer." 

However, you shifted the original conversation -- about whether Blair is being outrageous for suggesting that minority groups should balance integration and multiculturalism -- to whether European countries should ban the veil.

Do I think they should? No.  So why are you shifting everyone on the side of higher levels of Muslim integration in the European population to being veil-banners?

There are also real fundamental differences between the conflict with Islam and Western society that are unlike any other example you like to list.  The Islamic population in some European countries is huge, especially those under the age of 25.  And that segment, especially in Europe, (as you note) is becoming more fundamentalist in their views.  The radicalization is then reinforced by only watching Arabic television shows and getting news only from Arabic news sources.  The return to the veil is a symbol of that.

If you read fundamentalist Islamic scholars, you'll find that not only are young fundamentalist adherents prohibited from integrating into Western cultures (think Sayyid Qutb's writings on America), but that radical youth are taught that the mere EXISTENCE of Western civilization is incompatible with Islam.  It's pretty hard to integrate when everyone outside of your community is considered Jahili.  To act in accordance with fundamentalist faith is to not identify as European and to work against their countrymen.  So there's a tension here that can't be dismissed or trivialized.

You reference evangelical Christians.  But evangelical Christian fundamentalism in America is tightly woven with concepts of nationalism and is not at all incompatible with self-identifying as both "fundamentalist Christian" and "American".  However, for the young Islamic fundamentalists the most salient community is "Islam", which has its own concept of "nation" -- one formulation of which is a renewed caliphate. 

I'm not trying to be lame and give everyone a history lesson, but I do think in your rush to be right and for me/us/etc. to be wrong, you're shifting the conversation to your terms and simplifying the problem to black and white.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: BrerAnansi on October 18, 2006, 03:37:53 PM
Quote
The highlighted portion makes me want to hear your take on foreign policy...more precisely, America's current foreign policy...seriously...

Any points in particular?  I prefer a general foreign policy that I guess would be considered isolationist, and hence you can probably guess that I'm not thrilled with the F.P. of this current administration...

Define isolationism...and comment on its relevance and sustainability in the current world climate...
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: FossilJ on October 18, 2006, 03:38:28 PM
Quote from: Hopes-n-Dreams
Furthermore, Blair speaks as though he's got honest "evidence" that assimilation bodes well for minority groups. Where and when?

I think there is plenty of "evidence" to demonstrate the negative results for minority groups who fail to assimilate, both for the minority groups as well as the country as a whole; the best example in Europe being France. 


The question is, who's to blame for these "negative results"?
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: redemption on October 18, 2006, 03:41:53 PM
Red -- Thanks for stooping to come talk with us and give us the "correct answer." 

However, you shifted the original conversation -- about whether Blair is being outrageous for suggesting that minority groups should balance integration and multiculturalism -- to whether European countries should ban the veil.

Do I think they should? No.  So why are you shifting everyone on the side of higher levels of Muslim integration in the European population to being veil-banners?

There are also real fundamental differences between the conflict with Islam and Western society that are unlike any other example you like to list.  The Islamic population in some European countries is huge, especially those under the age of 25.  And that segment, especially in Europe, (as you note) is becoming more fundamentalist in their views.  The radicalization is then reinforced by only watching Arabic television shows and getting news only from Arabic news sources.  The return to the veil is a symbol of that.

If you read fundamentalist Islamic scholars, you'll find that not only are young fundamentalist adherents prohibited from integrating into Western cultures (think Sayyid Qutb's writings on America), but that radical youth are taught that the mere EXISTENCE of Western civilization is incompatible with Islam.  It's pretty hard to integrate when everyone outside of your community is considered Jahili.  To act in accordance with fundamentalist faith is to not identify as European and to work against their countrymen.  So there's a tension here that can't be dismissed or trivialized.

You reference evangelical Christians.  But evangelical Christian fundamentalism in America is tightly woven with concepts of nationalism and is not at all incompatible with self-identifying as both "fundamentalist Christian" and "American".  However, for the young Islamic fundamentalists the most salient community is "Islam", which has its own concept of "nation" -- one formulation of which is a renewed caliphate. 

I'm not trying to be lame and give everyone a history lesson, but I do think in your rush to be right and for me/us/etc. to be wrong, you're shifting the conversation to your terms and simplifying the problem to black and white.

Dude -- I lived in France for a year and in England for three years.

But I'm glad we're making progress. Caliphate and Qutb. See? Your knickers are showing. You're scared of "da muslim" aren't ya? Kilts are fun, saris are cute, tutus are exotic, and headscarves are scary.

(I wonder if skinned heads are scary too?)


Anyway. Yes. Sign of the times and all that. You people watch too much cable TV and know too few different kinds of people. Crack open a book; you'll be glad of it.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: FossilJ on October 18, 2006, 03:42:09 PM
Hypo --

If you or your sister were to decide to move to, say, Eritrea, should you or she have to undergo a cliterodectomy?

Or, if you or she were to move to Saudi Arabia, should you or she be made to wear a burqa?

Immigrants who decide to move to a foreign country should understand that it is not the country that has the responsibility to alter itself for those who want to come, but rather the immigrants should be accepting of that country's laws and traditions.  I did not live in Italy and expect that Italy start to celebrate the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving.  If I moved to a country in the Middle East, it would be my responsibility to accept its culture; not obligatory for that country to alter itself to support my way of life.

Your first example is exceedingly extreme, but yes... if a woman wanted to move to Saudi Arabia, she should understand that it is expected of her to wear a burqa.  If a potential immigrant doesn't like the way of life of a particular country, no one is forcing he/she to go there.


Countries don't have cultures.  They only have farcical, arbitrary political boundaries.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: BrerAnansi on October 18, 2006, 03:49:24 PM
Red -- Thanks for stooping to come talk with us and give us the "correct answer." 

However, you shifted the original conversation -- about whether Blair is being outrageous for suggesting that minority groups should balance integration and multiculturalism -- to whether European countries should ban the veil.

Do I think they should? No.  So why are you shifting everyone on the side of higher levels of Muslim integration in the European population to being veil-banners?

There are also real fundamental differences between the conflict with Islam and Western society that are unlike any other example you like to list.  The Islamic population in some European countries is huge, especially those under the age of 25.  And that segment, especially in Europe, (as you note) is becoming more fundamentalist in their views.  The radicalization is then reinforced by only watching Arabic television shows and getting news only from Arabic news sources.  The return to the veil is a symbol of that.

If you read fundamentalist Islamic scholars, you'll find that not only are young fundamentalist adherents prohibited from integrating into Western cultures (think Sayyid Qutb's writings on America), but that radical youth are taught that the mere EXISTENCE of Western civilization is incompatible with Islam.  It's pretty hard to integrate when everyone outside of your community is considered Jahili.  To act in accordance with fundamentalist faith is to not identify as European and to work against their countrymen.  So there's a tension here that can't be dismissed or trivialized.

You reference evangelical Christians. But evangelical Christian fundamentalism in America is tightly woven with concepts of nationalism and is not at all incompatible with self-identifying as both "fundamentalist Christian" and "American".  However, for the young Islamic fundamentalists the most salient community is "Islam", which has its own concept of "nation" -- one formulation of which is a renewed caliphate. 

I'm not trying to be lame and give everyone a history lesson, but I do think in your rush to be right and for me/us/etc. to be wrong, you're shifting the conversation to your terms and simplifying the problem to black and white.


She also referenced Hasidic Judaism...but I suppose the parallels are more obvious to some than others...
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: FossilJ on October 18, 2006, 03:52:58 PM
 :D :D :D

Anansi, you damn cynic!
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 03:53:55 PM
Quote
Countries don't have cultures.  They only have farcical, arbitrary political boundaries.

I disagree.  You are certainly right on continents such as Africa, but there is a distinct Italian culture (I know I frequently revert to all things Italian...).  While there are certain small regions within Italy where there is some level of French and German influence (Valle D'Aosta and Trentino Alto-Adige respectively), an overriding Italian culture exists throughout the country.  There might be a certain level of regionalization, but that is relatively slight.  Even in countries where regionalization is more defined, a general melting of those regional cultures exists within that particular country (again, there are exceptions), even if some overlapping is present (i.e. Italian and French elements on the Franco-Italian border, etc.).
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: BrerAnansi on October 18, 2006, 04:00:01 PM
Quote
Countries don't have cultures.  They only have farcical, arbitrary political boundaries.

I disagree.  You are certainly right on continents such as Africa, but there is a distinct Italian culture (I know I frequently revert to all things Italian...).  While there are certain small regions within Italy where there is some level of French and German influence (Valle D'Aosta and Trentino Alto-Adige respectively), an overriding Italian culture exists throughout the country.  There might be a certain level of regionalization, but that is relatively slight.  Even in countries where regionalization is more defined, a general melting of those regional cultures exists within that particular country (again, there are exceptions), even if some overlapping is present (i.e. Italian and French elements on the Franco-Italian border, etc.).

So let me get this straight...Region A = Region B, except when it doesn't??...
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: redemption on October 18, 2006, 04:00:31 PM

So let me get this straight...Region A = Region B, except when it doesn't????


lol
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 04:01:43 PM
Quote
So let me get this straight...Region A = Region B, except when it doesn't??...

Exception in cases such as countries in Africa (for which I already conceded that no national culture exists).
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: FossilJ on October 18, 2006, 04:02:09 PM
Quote
Countries don't have cultures.  They only have farcical, arbitrary political boundaries.

I disagree.  You are certainly right on continents such as Africa, but there is a distinct Italian culture (I know I frequently revert to all things Italian...).  While there are certain small regions within Italy where there is some level of French and German influence (Valle D'Aosta and Trentino Alto-Adige respectively), an overriding Italian culture exists throughout the country.  There might be a certain level of regionalization, but that is relatively slight.  Even in countries where regionalization is more defined, a general melting of those regional cultures exists within that particular country (again, there are exceptions), even if some overlapping is present (i.e. Italian and French elements on the Franco-Italian border, etc.).

Such "melting of regional cultures" is the exception, as are countries that have defined "cultures".  In any case, a few bad apples spoil the bunch.  

And even Italy's boundaries hinge on random historical contingency -- you think di Cavour and Garibaldi didn't capitalize on the arbitrary political decisions wrenched by conflict between other European powers (Austro-Hungary and Prussia come to mind)?

And what about Lega Nord and Due Sicilie today?

Countries don't have cultures.  Cultures have cultures.  Countries are political states with arbitrary boundaries.  Sometimes they contain a fairly homogeneous culture.  Sometimes they don't.  It's a matter of coincidence -- Italy is one of the very few possible exceptions (and I don't even truly think it is an exception; at least, not in the way you want it to be).

Also, your comment regarding African states is a tad ignorant.  
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: BrerAnansi on October 18, 2006, 04:07:22 PM
J, shush...
Nampa, Idaho = Astoria, Queens...the President has spoken...
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 04:15:31 PM
Quote
And what about Lega Nord and Due Sicilie today?

What about Lega Nord?  Lega Nord exists primarily because of wealth distribution fostered in Rome from the relatively rich north to the poor south.  It has basically nothing to do with culture.  Sure, there are slight differences between la Padania and Palermo but those differences are slight and are the exception.  Have you ever lived in Sicily?  Do you know anything about Sicilian culture?  I have lived there for two years and my girlfriend is Sicilian, so if you really know something about why Due Sicilie exists, let me know.

Quote
Also, your comment regarding African states is a tad ignorant.  

Why ignorant?  If there's any place where your statement that countries only have "farcical, arbitrary political boundaries" holds true, it's in Africa, where during the period of African conquest and colonization, European powers divided lands (and hence ethnic groups) without any regard whatsoever to historical tribal boundaries, alliances, etc.  There are many places in Africa where individuals care much more about their ethnic identity than any affiliation to a particular country.  
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: redemption on October 18, 2006, 04:18:02 PM
Oy vey.  :D


 :-X
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 04:19:06 PM
J, shush...
Nampa, Idaho = Astoria, Queens...the President has spoken...

Uhh... did I ever state that there was a national culture in America?  I don't think so.  I conceded that some countries do not have a national culture.  Furthermore, extremes on the spectrum don't mean a whole lot... statistically, they're generally not even considered.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: BrerAnansi on October 18, 2006, 04:25:44 PM

There might be a certain level of regionalization, but that is relatively slight.  Even in countries where regionalization is more defined, a general melting of those regional cultures exists within that particular country (again, there are exceptions)


Exception in cases such as countries in Africa (for which I already conceded that no national culture exists).


Uhh... did I ever state that there was a national culture in America?  I don't think so.  I conceded that some countries do not have a national culture.  Furthermore, extremes on the spectrum don't mean a whole lot... statistically, they're generally not even considered.

When the exceptions start to outnumber the data points...maybe it's time for a new hypothesis...
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: parsley on October 18, 2006, 04:36:43 PM
Quote
Dude -- I lived in France for a year and in England for three years.

But I'm glad we're making progress. Caliphate and Qutb. See? Your knickers are showing. You're scared of "da muslim" aren't ya? Kilts are fun, saris are cute, tutus are exotic, and headscarves are scary.

(I wonder if skinned heads are scary too?)


Anyway. Yes. Sign of the times and all that. You people watch too much cable TV and know too few different kinds of people. Crack open a book; you'll be glad of it.

Oh, wow, gee.  That added a lot to the discussion.  Why use facts when you can just claim omniscience and employ misdirection and ad hominems?

Arguments become a lot easier when you act like you're on FoxNews.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: FossilJ on October 18, 2006, 04:39:49 PM

There might be a certain level of regionalization, but that is relatively slight.  Even in countries where regionalization is more defined, a general melting of those regional cultures exists within that particular country (again, there are exceptions)


Exception in cases such as countries in Africa (for which I already conceded that no national culture exists).


Uhh... did I ever state that there was a national culture in America?  I don't think so.  I conceded that some countries do not have a national culture.  Furthermore, extremes on the spectrum don't mean a whole lot... statistically, they're generally not even considered.

When the exceptions start to outnumber the data points...maybe it's time for a new hypothesis...

Well, this made my point before I had a chance to state it.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: redemption on October 18, 2006, 04:47:19 PM
Oh, wow, gee.  That added a lot to the discussion.  Why use facts when you can just claim omniscience and employ misdirection and ad hominems?

Arguments become a lot easier when you act like you're on FoxNews.

I'm saying to you that a LOT of muslim women wear veils. A LOT. In Malaysia as well as in Lyons; in Jakarta as well as in Luton. Know what I mean? Wearing veils has NOTHING to do with Qutb, salafism or the caliphate. It is a mark profound ignorance and a sign of deep-throating political propaganda (I wonder that you don't gag; do you swallow?) to think otherwise.

I posed straight-up questions, and you gave me non sequiturs in response. I expect nothing from Baccaraga, but I did and do expect you at least to show some honesty and sophistication in this and other discussions.

These are mostly young people -- 3rd generation Brits & Frenchies. They wear headscarves, for goodness sakes. That's it. Much in the same way that little old Italian-origin ladies in Clapham do; like little old Irish ladies do in Liverpool. It is a mark of their faith and of their tradition.

A few posts back, I suggested a starting point. Why veils and not pork. I suggest you think on that, at least a little bit.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 04:50:12 PM

There might be a certain level of regionalization, but that is relatively slight.  Even in countries where regionalization is more defined, a general melting of those regional cultures exists within that particular country (again, there are exceptions)


Exception in cases such as countries in Africa (for which I already conceded that no national culture exists).


Uhh... did I ever state that there was a national culture in America?  I don't think so.  I conceded that some countries do not have a national culture.  Furthermore, extremes on the spectrum don't mean a whole lot... statistically, they're generally not even considered.

When the exceptions start to outnumber the data points...maybe it's time for a new hypothesis...

Someone said that a national culture did not exist.  I don't have to prove that all countries have a national country to demonstrate my disagreement; one country would suffice.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: FossilJ on October 18, 2006, 04:50:38 PM
You seem to be obstinately avoiding the point of the argument.

Quote
And what about Lega Nord and Due Sicilie today?

What about Lega Nord?  Lega Nord exists primarily because of wealth distribution fostered in Rome from the relatively rich north to the poor south.  It has basically nothing to do with culture.  Sure, there are slight differences between la Padania and Palermo but those differences are slight and are the exception.

This point actually strengthens my argument.

They want to secede and arbitrarily draw up new boundaries.  Clearly Italian culture can't keep the country together by itself.  That's because the two are separate ideals.  The former is a sociological entity.  The latter is a political entity.  They are related, but not necessarily so, and there are no specific causal ties between them.  

Have you ever lived in Sicily?  Do you know anything about Sicilian culture?  I have lived there for two years and my girlfriend is Sicilian, so if you really know something about why Due Sicilie exists, let me know.

Oh man.  You know, many of my friends are black -- I lived with blacks for thirteen years!  Anything you say about blacks is going to be absolutely useless as a result.  I don't even need to address your point.

Quote
Also, your comment regarding African states is a tad ignorant.  

Why ignorant?  If there's any place where your statement that countries only have "farcical, arbitrary political boundaries" holds true, it's in Africa,

No, it's everywhere.  I'm not giving you a narrative in the history of empires.  That's relevant, but a separate string of thought.

I'll continue, anyway.

where during the period of African conquest and colonization, European powers divided lands (and hence ethnic groups) without any regard whatsoever to historical tribal boundaries, alliances, etc.  There are many places in Africa where individuals care much more about their ethnic identity than any affiliation to a particular country.  
[/quote]

I'm not going to argue too much about this, because it's irrelevant to my point, and I honestly don't think there are many examples of political states made up of single, unified nations.  

I suggest you re-read your African history, starting in the mid-1950s.  Not every state turns out to be Algeria or Angola.  Your point is generally true regarding ethnic groups, but then, that point is generally true across the entire globe.  Which is something you refuse to acknowledge.  Why, I don't understand.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 04:52:08 PM
Quote
Well, this made my point before I had a chance to state it.

Not really.  Italy has a strong underlying Italian culture; just because there are slight regional variations doesn't mean that a national culture fails to exist.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: FossilJ on October 18, 2006, 04:53:29 PM
Someone said that a national culture did not exist.  I don't have to prove that all countries have a national country to demonstrate my disagreement; one country would suffice.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, Doctor Putwordinmouth!  This is not at all what I said.

I said that countries do not have cultures.  Nation and state are two separate things entirely.  
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 04:53:51 PM
Quote
I expect nothing from Baccaraga

As I expect less than nothing from you, red.  Nice try on the spelling though; rather ignorant, given that I'm sure you didn't take the time to actually understand what "baccaga" means.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: FossilJ on October 18, 2006, 04:55:55 PM
Quote
Well, this made my point before I had a chance to state it.

Not really.  Italy has a strong underlying Italian culture; just because there are slight regional variations doesn't mean that a national culture fails to exist.

So then you're clearly not understanding my argument, nor are you understanding BrerAnansi's.



(By the way, I also made provisions that stated there are exceptions to the rule that countries don't have cultures.  I'm being nice by doing so -- in a strict semantic sense, I don't need to, but I understand the tendency to conflate "nation" and "country".  So you proving an exception to the rule is somewhat puzzling -- it's redundant.)
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: FossilJ on October 18, 2006, 04:58:39 PM
Quote
I expect nothing from Baccaraga

As I expect less than nothing from you, red.  Nice try on the spelling though; rather ignorant, given that I'm sure you didn't take the time to actually understand what "baccaga" means.


Baccaga?  Isn't that those flaky Greek pastries?  Good stuff...
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: BrerAnansi on October 18, 2006, 05:01:48 PM

Someone said that a national culture did not exist.  I don't have to prove that all countries have a national country to demonstrate my disagreement; one country would suffice.

Let's pretend for a moment that we're in an alternative universe where this is what he said...even if you had come up with one compelling example (which if you're keeping track...you haven't) that "national culture" it could quite reasonably be seen as an exception (in the way your theory allowed for exceptions before it became clear that more countries were exceptions than not)...so no, one country would not have sufficed...

Edit: LSD needs to stop eating my responses...
Edit 2: J said it already...
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: parsley on October 18, 2006, 05:02:21 PM
Red --
Sorry, I meant that "To Tony Blair", veils are a symbol of fundamentalism.  Veils are only tangentially related to salafism.  But the resurgence in fundamentalism is.

I have already said that I think it's freaking great for them to wear veils.  Fine by me.  I've not taken a stance on whether or not they should be prohibited from wearing veils, so I don't see why I should be asked to weigh in on whether Muslims should be forced to eat bacon.

And, for the record, most of your questions were about examples that I don't think bear much relevance.  So I sought to bear

You've spent more time mocking than offering anything of substance. ("You're a nerd who watches CSPAN!", "You quoted an article!! You must be unoriginal!", "You swallow, not gag!", "You're profoundly ignorant!", "Read a book!", "You're incapable of sorting through propaganda!") Having a better vocabulary than an eight year old doesn't mean you're much above schoolyard bullying.

Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 05:05:25 PM
Quote
They want to secede and arbitrarily draw up new boundaries.  Clearly Italian culture can't keep the country together by itself.  That's because the two are separate ideals.  The former is a sociological entity.  The latter is a political entity.  They are related, but not necessarily so, and there are no specific causal ties between them.

Clearly the Italian culture is strong enough, because secession is no longer a goal of Lega Nord and has not been for at least five years.  Check out La Padania if you want to brush up on your current events.  I actually have contact with Roberto Calderoli if you want to learn first hand.

Quote
Oh man.  You know, many of my friends are black -- I lived with blacks for thirteen years!  Anything you say about blacks is going to be absolutely useless as a result.  I don't even need to address your point.

You spew out organizations that you know nothing about and have no clue as to their real motives just to try to improve your argument; the fact that you looked it up on the Internet doesn't mean that you understand it whatsoever... you're like those who think they know all about the mafia when in reality they "non hanno niente da fare" with the mafia.  Just as I could never truly understand life as a black man...

Quote
I suggest you re-read your African history, starting in the mid-1950s.  Not every state turns out to be Algeria or Angola.

Okay, let's not forget about Burundi, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Somalia, and all the other African nations that have suffered through (or continue to suffer through) intertribal strife since national independence.  Thanks for coming through.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 05:07:02 PM
Quote
Baccaga?  Isn't that those flaky Greek pastries?  Good stuff...

Not close.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: FossilJ on October 18, 2006, 05:08:34 PM
Red --
Sorry, I meant that "To Tony Blair", veils are a symbol of fundamentalism.  Veils are only tangentially related to salafism.  But the resurgence in fundamentalism is.

I have already said that I think it's freaking great for them to wear veils.  Fine by me.  I've not taken a stance on whether or not they should be prohibited from wearing veils, so I don't see why I should be asked to weigh in on whether Muslims should be forced to eat bacon.

And, for the record, most of your questions were about examples that I don't think bear much relevance.  So I sought to bear

You've spent more time mocking than offering anything of substance. ("You're a nerd who watches CSPAN!", "You quoted an article!! You must be unoriginal!", "You swallow, not gag!", "You're profoundly ignorant!", "Read a book!", "You're incapable of sorting through propaganda!") Having a better vocabulary than an eight year old doesn't mean you're much above schoolyard bullying.




Even if you're correct, I don't see the point of your bickering.  If veils are a symbol of fundamentalism to the man, then those who have claimed that this is a bigoted notion on Blair's part (and those include red) are absolutely correct.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: BrerAnansi on October 18, 2006, 05:10:24 PM

You spew out organizations that you know nothing about and have no clue as to their real motives just to try to improve your argument; the fact that you looked it up on the Internet doesn't mean that you understand it whatsoever... you're like those who think they know all about the mafia when in reality they "non hanno niente da fare" with the mafia.  Just as I could never truly understand life as a black man...


Your real motive in entering this as a response would be helpful...
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 05:13:29 PM
Quote
Your real motive in entering this as a response would be helpful...

Sure.  Discussing an organization of which you no little/nothing about and attempting to use it as evidence in an argument in the way that the poster is doing with Due Sicilie is without merit, given that he obviously does not comprehend the reasons for its creation and what it stands for.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: FossilJ on October 18, 2006, 05:14:16 PM
Quote
They want to secede and arbitrarily draw up new boundaries.  Clearly Italian culture can't keep the country together by itself.  That's because the two are separate ideals.  The former is a sociological entity.  The latter is a political entity.  They are related, but not necessarily so, and there are no specific causal ties between them.

Clearly the Italian culture is strong enough, because secession is no longer a goal of Lega Nord and has not been for at least five years.  Check out La Padania if you want to brush up on your current events.  I actually have contact with Roberto Calderoli if you want to learn first hand.

Are you going to actually address the point today or are you going to keep name-dropping instead?  

At least paraphrase my point for me so that I know you understood it.

Quote
Oh man.  You know, many of my friends are black -- I lived with blacks for thirteen years!  Anything you say about blacks is going to be absolutely useless as a result.  I don't even need to address your point.

You spew out organizations that you know nothing about and have no clue as to their real motives just to try to improve your argument; the fact that you looked it up on the Internet doesn't mean that you understand it whatsoever... you're like those who think they know all about the mafia when in reality they "non hanno niente da fare" with the mafia.  Just as I could never truly understand life as a black man...

Nor does it mean you understand it, Mister Sicilian Girlfriend.  Again, I wonder why you become so obstinate and defensive and refuse to comprehend the point being made.

Okay, actually, here I understand it.  I was mocking your tone.  Meh.  This is all irrelevant, anyway.

 
Quote
I suggest you re-read your African history, starting in the mid-1950s.  Not every state turns out to be Algeria or Angola.

Okay, let's not forget about Burundi, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Somalia, and all the other African nations that have suffered through (or continue to suffer through) intertribal strife since national independence.  Thanks for coming through.

Wow.  Way to provide me with more evidence for my argument.  Thanks.

(Also, listing more states that have "suffered through intertribal strife" adds absolutely nothing to this particular tangent, other than proving what we both know and have admitted -- that there are African states with intertribal strife.  Again, redundant.)
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: parsley on October 18, 2006, 05:16:41 PM
That's not even what the whole thing was about!  Apart from any of his other views on that or any other subject, it was Blair's comment on the ideal of balancing integration with multiculturalism.

I said that such a call for balance, given the European climate, was appropriate.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: BrerAnansi on October 18, 2006, 05:18:20 PM
That's not even what the whole thing was about!  Apart from any of his other views on that or any other subject, it was Blair's comment on the ideal of balancing integration with multiculturalism.

I said that such a call for balance, given the European climate, was appropriate.


Appropriate for whom??...
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: FossilJ on October 18, 2006, 05:19:33 PM
Quote
Your real motive in entering this as a response would be helpful...

Sure.  Discussing an organization of which you no little/nothing about and attempting to use it as evidence in an argument in the way that the poster is doing with Due Sicilie is without merit, given that he obviously does not comprehend the reasons for its creation and what it stands for.

I'm not going to pretend to be an expert, but I suppose a statement by the movement itself would suffice:

Quote
Our point of view is unorthodox, we believe the Two Sicilies to be --still today, after 146 years of occupation-- an "internal colony" of Italy, and that historically, culturally, linguistically, southern Italy constitutes a Nation on its own. If you believe acritically in the propaganda of "Risorgimento" and do not like to hear a different point of view, then this site is not for you.

I highlighted the important part so you can discuss it with your girlfriend and fellow Sicilians.



(from www.duesicilie.eu, formerly www.duesicilie.org)
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 05:22:50 PM
Quote
Are you going to actually address the point today or are you going to keep name-dropping instead?  

At least paraphrase my point for me so that I know you understood it.

That you like to integrate names of organizations into your argument of which you no little or nothing?

Quote
Nor does it mean you understand it, Mister Sicilian Girlfriend.  Again, I wonder why you become so obstinate and defensive and refuse to comprehend the point being made.

Okay, actually, here I understand it.  I was mocking your tone.  Meh.  This is all irrelevant, anyway.

Riiigggghhhhttt... well, I'll take my chances and assume that my experiences in Sicily (where I have a business, where I have lived for a couple of years, where I have had discussions with people from different walks of life throughout the island regarding this particular issue, where I "ho da fare" with the mafia, etc.) give me at least adequate ability to understand it quite well, and certainly better than you...
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 05:25:59 PM
Quote
I highlighted the important part so you can discuss it with your girlfriend and fellow Sicilians.

Yes... now you understand it (especially the motives behind it) because you Googled it and read a statement on the Internet.  Awesome.  Cugghiumi.  Maybe you could Google that in as well and see what pops up...
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: FossilJ on October 18, 2006, 05:28:09 PM
Quote
Nor does it mean you understand it, Mister Sicilian Girlfriend.  Again, I wonder why you become so obstinate and defensive and refuse to comprehend the point being made.

Okay, actually, here I understand it.  I was mocking your tone.  Meh.  This is all irrelevant, anyway.

Riiigggghhhhttt... well, I'll take my chances and assume that my experiences in Sicily (where I have a business, where I have lived for a couple of years, where I have had discussions with people from different walks of life throughout the island regarding this particular issue, where I "ho da fare" with the mafia, etc.) give me at least adequate ability to understand it quite well, and certainly better than you...

This is not a point I disputed, or will dispute.  

What part of "irrelevant" do you not understand?

Quote
Are you going to actually address the point today or are you going to keep name-dropping instead?  

At least paraphrase my point for me so that I know you understood it.

That you like to integrate names of organizations into your argument of which you no little or nothing?

No, seriously.  My original argument, regarding countries and cultures.  Because I still have not seen evidence that you comprehended what I was saying.  I've danced down these tangents enough.  I actually want to have a discussion with you, not the mud-slinging that's going on right now (yeah, we're both equally guilty -- but the snipes are fun, aren't they?).
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: FossilJ on October 18, 2006, 05:29:16 PM
Quote
I highlighted the important part so you can discuss it with your girlfriend and fellow Sicilians.

Yes... now you understand it (especially the motives behind it) because you Googled it and read a statement on the Internet.  Awesome.  Cugghiumi.  Maybe you could Google that in as well and see what pops up...


Dude.  It's the organization's own website.  I'm just telling you what they say. 

I repeat: IT IS THEIR WEBSITE. 
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 05:48:15 PM
Quote
I highlighted the important part so you can discuss it with your girlfriend and fellow Sicilians.

Yes... now you understand it (especially the motives behind it) because you Googled it and read a statement on the Internet.  Awesome.  Cugghiumi.  Maybe you could Google that in as well and see what pops up...


Dude.  It's the organization's own website.  I'm just telling you what they say. 

I repeat: IT IS THEIR WEBSITE. 


*Yawn*  Dude.  I know where you found it.  The point is, you don't understand it.  Reading a one liner on the Internet simply doesn't get the job done.

That's the last you're going to hear about it from me.  I'm tired of repeating the same sh!t; if you're ever in Sicily and you're genuinely interested in the group and what it stands for, let me know... I'll put you in touch with someone that could definitely help.

That's all for tonight folks...
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: FossilJ on October 18, 2006, 05:50:19 PM
Quote
Quote
At least paraphrase my point for me so that I know you understood it.

That you like to integrate names of organizations into your argument of which you no little or nothing?

No, seriously.  My original argument, regarding countries and cultures.  Because I still have not seen evidence that you comprehended what I was saying.  I've danced down these tangents enough.  I actually want to have a discussion with you, not the mud-slinging that's going on right now (yeah, we're both equally guilty -- but the snipes are fun, aren't they?).



I notice that you leave without having addressed this point.

Shall I consider that surrender of your counterclaims?
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: FossilJ on October 18, 2006, 05:52:42 PM
Quote
I highlighted the important part so you can discuss it with your girlfriend and fellow Sicilians.

Yes... now you understand it (especially the motives behind it) because you Googled it and read a statement on the Internet.  Awesome.  Cugghiumi.  Maybe you could Google that in as well and see what pops up...


Dude.  It's the organization's own website.  I'm just telling you what they say. 

I repeat: IT IS THEIR WEBSITE. 


*Yawn*  Dude.  I know where you found it.  The point is, you don't understand it.  Reading a one liner on the Internet simply doesn't get the job done.

That's the last you're going to hear about it from me.  I'm tired of repeating the same sh!t; if you're ever in Sicily and you're genuinely interested in the group and what it stands for, let me know... I'll put you in touch with someone that could definitely help.

That's all for tonight folks...


I don't need to understand anything beyond the mandate that the group itself espouses.  As far as I'm concerned, that's a pretty simple mandate, and does enough to prove exactly what I said earlier: that culture and country are not the same thing.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: redemption on October 18, 2006, 05:54:55 PM
Eh, you're talking to a wall.

parsley's position seems different to his.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 05:56:40 PM
Quote
I notice that you leave without having addressed this point.

Shall I consider that surrender of your counterclaims?

You shall consider that surrender of my desire to not fester on LSD any further this evening.  If we pick it up at a later date, fine with me.

Quote
I don't need to understand anything beyond the mandate that the group itself espouses.  As far as I'm concerned, that's a pretty simple mandate, and does enough to prove exactly what I said earlier: that culture and country are not the same thing.

Whatever floats your boat, dude.  When you understand that it's not a "mandate" whatsoever, you might be onto something.  Cugghiumi.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: FossilJ on October 18, 2006, 05:56:51 PM
Eh, you're talking to a wall.

parsley's position seems different that his.

It definitely is.  They're not related.

I just won't let smug posters get away with tangents unless they can prove to me that they understood what I was saying and that they actually have a valid counterargument.

Baklava isn't an idiot by any stretch of the imagination, so (unlike you) I expected more from him.  But hey, he's down with the mafia and Italian politicians, so who am I to argue?
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 05:58:01 PM
Quote from: red
Eh, you're talking to a wall.

Nice red.  Nice.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 06:00:15 PM
Quote
Baklava isn't an idiot by any stretch of the imagination, so (unlike you) I expected more from him.  But hey, he's down with the mafia and Italian politicians, so who am I to argue?

bah-kah-GAH... and there's a difference between "being down with mafia" and "having business with the mafia".
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: FossilJ on October 18, 2006, 06:00:57 PM
Quote
I notice that you leave without having addressed this point.

Shall I consider that surrender of your counterclaims?

You shall consider that surrender of my desire to not fester on LSD any further this evening.  If we pick it up at a later date, fine with me.

I will gladly do so.  I must admit, though, that I don't expect any more out of that conversation than I got from this one.  That's because you've now had more than an hour to explain to me that you understand my argument and provide valid and relevant counterarguments, and you've refused to do so, instead continuing the (admittedly fun) snide pot-shots.  

It's your call.

Quote
I don't need to understand anything beyond the mandate that the group itself espouses.  As far as I'm concerned, that's a pretty simple mandate, and does enough to prove exactly what I said earlier: that culture and country are not the same thing.

Whatever floats your boat, dude.  When you understand that it's not a "mandate" whatsoever, you might be onto something.  Cugghiumi.

Jesus, you are a wall.  The organization wrote a statement characterizing itself on the website which it paid to register, build, and maintain.  What, do you want God himself to send Gabriel in a dream?  "Oh, President Baccalagalaga, here are the ten commandments of Due Sicilie!"
  
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: redemption on October 18, 2006, 06:04:29 PM
I just won't let smug posters get away with tangents unless they can prove to me that they understood what I was saying and that they actually have a valid counterargument.


You're in for a long cycle, then  :D

Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: FossilJ on October 18, 2006, 06:05:59 PM
I just won't let smug posters get away with tangents unless they can prove to me that they understood what I was saying and that they actually have a valid counterargument.


You're in for a long cycle, then  :D




Meh.  I've been doing this since I joined about this time last year.  hahahahaha

You should search some of my posts in the old AA boards.  You'll realize why Stan makes fun of me for writing "novels".
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: BrerAnansi on October 18, 2006, 06:08:44 PM

Jesus, you are a wall.  The organization wrote a statement characterizing itself on the website which it paid to register, build, and maintain.  What, do you want God himself to send Gabriel in a dream?  "Oh, President Baccalagalaga, here are the ten commandments of Due Sicilie!"
 

:::giggles:::
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 06:10:24 PM
Quote
I will gladly do so.  I must admit, though, that I don't expect any more out of that conversation than I got from this one.  That's because you've now had more than an hour to explain to me that you understand my argument and provide valid and relevant counterarguments, and you've refused to do so, instead continuing the (admittedly fun) snide pot-shots.  

It's your call.

Before I log off for the evening, let's get something straight.  Honestly, I don't really care much about the original part of this discussion.  What is much more interesting to me is understanding why you would just throw two groups - both of which have some significance for me (especially Lega Nord which we support as a political party and which you completely misrepresented) - into a discussion to illustrate a point when you comprehend little or nothing about these groups.

Quote
Jesus, you are a wall.  The organization wrote a statement characterizing itself on the website which it paid to register, build, and maintain.  What, do you want God himself to send Gabriel in a dream?  "Oh, President Baccalagalaga, here are the ten commandments of Due Sicilie!"

Thank you for proving for the ennesima time that you have no hope of understanding.  
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: BrerAnansi on October 18, 2006, 06:16:39 PM

Before I log off for the evening, let's get something straight.  Honestly, I don't really care much about the original part of this discussion.  What is much more interesting to me is understanding why you would just throw two groups - both of which have some significance for me (especially Lega Nord which we support as a political party and which you completely misrepresented) - into a discussion to illustrate a point when you comprehend little or nothing about these groups.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but you opened the door...he just walked in...

Quote
Countries don't have cultures.  They only have farcical, arbitrary political boundaries.

I disagree.  You are certainly right on continents such as Africa, but there is a distinct Italian culture (I know I frequently revert to all things Italian...).  While there are certain small regions within Italy where there is some level of French and German influence (Valle D'Aosta and Trentino Alto-Adige respectively), an overriding Italian culture exists throughout the country.  There might be a certain level of regionalization, but that is relatively slight.  Even in countries where regionalization is more defined, a general melting of those regional cultures exists within that particular country (again, there are exceptions), even if some overlapping is present (i.e. Italian and French elements on the Franco-Italian border, etc.).
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: FossilJ on October 18, 2006, 06:22:14 PM
Quote
I will gladly do so.  I must admit, though, that I don't expect any more out of that conversation than I got from this one.  That's because you've now had more than an hour to explain to me that you understand my argument and provide valid and relevant counterarguments, and you've refused to do so, instead continuing the (admittedly fun) snide pot-shots.  

It's your call.

Before I log off for the evening, let's get something straight.  Honestly, I don't really care much about the original part of this discussion.  What is much more interesting to me is understanding why you would just throw two groups - both of which have some significance for me (especially Lega Nord which we support as a political party and which you completely misrepresented) - into a discussion to illustrate a point when you comprehend little or nothing about these groups.

Quote
Jesus, you are a wall.  The organization wrote a statement characterizing itself on the website which it paid to register, build, and maintain.  What, do you want God himself to send Gabriel in a dream?  "Oh, President Baccalagalaga, here are the ten commandments of Due Sicilie!"

Thank you for proving for the ennesima time that you have no hope of understanding.  

Brilliant post, President Bacharach.  

So clearly, you had your panties in a bunch over an irrelevant tangent.  You blew up about something which mattered very little to me -- I claimed as much earlier.  Those two groups were quick examples of the possibility that this hegemonous Italian culture-state that you postulated may not be as solid as you think.  

That Lega Nord has changed in the last five years doesn't matter -- the fact is, at one point, it looked to secede.  I explained to you why that matters in the context of my argument in a previous post -- as usual, you conveniently ignored the post.  Now you want to pee in your knickers again.  Convenient?  Maybe.  Annoying?  Yes.

As for Due Sicilie, it IS a secessionist movement at heart.  It doesn't matter what I "understand" or don't "understand".  This further corroborates my argument that Italy, just like any other country, does not necessitate a hegemonous culture to constitute a state.  No matter HOW much you love the folks in Sardinia.

You see how I managed to stay focused on the actual argument?  You see how my points are all relevant?  These are things that were missing from your own posts.  Basically, all you wanted to do was show everyone that you're totally down with the Italians.  Well, for @#!*'s sakes, Burt, we already knew that!  

Therefore, I am going to assume that my point stands: that countries do not have cultures.  Too bad it took almost four pages of posts for you to finally admit you don't have a f-ing clue what's going on.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 18, 2006, 06:26:30 PM
Quote
Brilliant post, President Bacharach. 

So clearly, you had your panties in a bunch over an irrelevant tangent.  You blew up about something which mattered very little to me -- I claimed as much earlier.  Those two groups were quick examples of the possibility that this hegemonous Italian culture-state that you postulated may not be as solid as you think. 

That Lega Nord has changed in the last five years doesn't matter -- the fact is, at one point, it looked to secede.  I explained to you why that matters in the context of my argument in a previous post -- as usual, you conveniently ignored the post.  Now you want to pee in your knickers again.  Convenient?  Maybe.  Annoying?  Yes.

As for Due Sicilie, it IS a secessionist movement at heart.  It doesn't matter what I "understand" or don't "understand".  This further corroborates my argument that Italy, just like any other country, does not necessitate a hegemonous culture to constitute a state.  No matter HOW much you love the folks in Sardinia.

You see how I managed to stay focused on the actual argument?  You see how my points are all relevant?  These are things that were missing from your own posts.  Basically, all you wanted to do was show everyone that you're totally down with the Italians.  Well, for @#!*'s sakes, Burt, we already knew that! 

Therefore, I am going to assume that my point stands: that countries do not have cultures.  Too bad it took almost four pages of posts for you to finally admit you don't have a f-ing clue what's going on.

Nice try, MaraudingJackass.  The fact that Lega Nord once threatened to begin a secessionist movement purely due to financial motives proves nothing whatsoever about culture.  The fact that you can Google in "Due Sicilie" and not understand a thing hardly gives you the authority to claim that "at heart" it is a secessionist movement.  "Peeing in my knickers" is something that I will save for a rainy day; thanks though.

Did I ever claim that a hegemonous culture was necessary in order to constitute a state?  Hardly.  I simply pointed out that national cultures can and do exist.  Do subcultures exist within Italy?  Undoubtedly.  However slight differences aside, you're left with an overwhelming Italian culture; a "the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices", or a "set of values, conventions, or social practices" (as culture is defined).

By the way, I appreciate the continual references to Burt Bacharach.

For starters:

http://www.italica.rai.it/

Ciao Marauducciu...
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: parsley on October 19, 2006, 08:17:06 AM
Way off-topic but I thought I'd share... 

NY TIMES
October 17, 2006
Op-Ed Contributor
Can You Tell a Sunni From a Shiite?
By JEFF STEIN

Washington

FOR the past several months, I’ve been wrapping up lengthy interviews with Washington counterterrorism officials with a fundamental question: “Do you know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite?”

A “gotcha” question? Perhaps. But if knowing your enemy is the most basic rule of war, I don’t think it’s out of bounds. And as I quickly explain to my subjects, I’m not looking for theological explanations, just the basics: Who’s on what side today, and what does each want?

After all, wouldn’t British counterterrorism officials responsible for Northern Ireland know the difference between Catholics and Protestants? In a remotely similar but far more lethal vein, the 1,400-year Sunni-Shiite rivalry is playing out in the streets of Baghdad, raising the specter of a breakup of Iraq into antagonistic states, one backed by Shiite Iran and the other by Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states.

A complete collapse in Iraq could provide a haven for Al Qaeda operatives within striking distance of Israel, even Europe. And the nature of the threat from Iran, a potential nuclear power with protégés in the Gulf states, northern Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, is entirely different from that of Al Qaeda. It seems silly to have to argue that officials responsible for counterterrorism should be able to recognize opportunities for pitting these rivals against each other.

But so far, most American officials I’ve interviewed don’t have a clue. That includes not just intelligence and law enforcement officials, but also members of Congress who have important roles overseeing our spy agencies. How can they do their jobs without knowing the basics?

My curiosity about our policymakers’ grasp of Islam’s two major branches was piqued in 2005, when Jon Stewart and other TV comedians made hash out of depositions, taken in a whistleblower case, in which top F.B.I. officials drew blanks when asked basic questions about Islam. One of the bemused officials was Gary Bald, then the bureau’s counterterrorism chief. Such expertise, Mr. Bald maintained, wasn’t as important as being a good manager.

A few months later, I asked the F.B.I.’s spokesman, John Miller, about Mr. Bald’s comments. “A leader needs to drive the organization forward,” Mr. Miller told me. “If he is the executive in a counterterrorism operation in the post-9/11 world, he does not need to memorize the collected statements of Osama bin Laden, or be able to read Urdu to be effective. ... Playing ‘Islamic Trivial Pursuit’ was a cheap shot for the lawyers and a cheaper shot for the journalist. It’s just a gimmick.”

Of course, I hadn’t asked about reading Urdu or Mr. bin Laden’s writings.

A few weeks ago, I took the F.B.I.’s temperature again. At the end of a long interview, I asked Willie Hulon, chief of the bureau’s new national security branch, whether he thought that it was important for a man in his position to know the difference between Sunnis and Shiites. “Yes, sure, it’s right to know the difference,” he said. “It’s important to know who your targets are.”

That was a big advance over 2005. So next I asked him if he could tell me the difference. He was flummoxed. “The basics goes back to their beliefs and who they were following,” he said. “And the conflicts between the Sunnis and the Shia and the difference between who they were following.”

O.K., I asked, trying to help, what about today? Which one is Iran — Sunni or Shiite? He thought for a second. “Iran and Hezbollah,” I prompted. “Which are they?”

He took a stab: “Sunni.”

Wrong.

Al Qaeda? “Sunni.”

Right.

AND to his credit, Mr. Hulon, a distinguished agent who is up nights worrying about Al Qaeda while we safely sleep, did at least know that the vicious struggle between Islam’s Abel and Cain was driving Iraq into civil war. But then we pay him to know things like that, the same as some members of Congress.

Take Representative Terry Everett, a seven-term Alabama Republican who is vice chairman of the House intelligence subcommittee on technical and tactical intelligence.

“Do you know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite?” I asked him a few weeks ago.

Mr. Everett responded with a low chuckle. He thought for a moment: “One’s in one location, another’s in another location. No, to be honest with you, I don’t know. I thought it was differences in their religion, different families or something.”

To his credit, he asked me to explain the differences. I told him briefly about the schism that developed after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, and how Iraq and Iran are majority Shiite nations while the rest of the Muslim world is mostly Sunni. “Now that you’ve explained it to me,” he replied, “what occurs to me is that it makes what we’re doing over there extremely difficult, not only in Iraq but that whole area.”

Representative Jo Ann Davis, a Virginia Republican who heads a House intelligence subcommittee charged with overseeing the C.I.A.’s performance in recruiting Islamic spies and analyzing information, was similarly dumbfounded when I asked her if she knew the difference between Sunnis and Shiites.

“Do I?” she asked me. A look of concentration came over her face. “You know, I should.” She took a stab at it: “It’s a difference in their fundamental religious beliefs. The Sunni are more radical than the Shia. Or vice versa. But I think it’s the Sunnis who’re more radical than the Shia.”

Did she know which branch Al Qaeda’s leaders follow?

“Al Qaeda is the one that’s most radical, so I think they’re Sunni,” she replied. “I may be wrong, but I think that’s right.”

Did she think that it was important, I asked, for members of Congress charged with oversight of the intelligence agencies, to know the answer to such questions, so they can cut through officials’ puffery when they came up to the Hill?

“Oh, I think it’s very important,” said Ms. Davis, “because Al Qaeda’s whole reason for being is based on their beliefs. And you’ve got to understand, and to know your enemy.”

It’s not all so grimly humorous. Some agency officials and members of Congress have easily handled my “gotcha” question. But as I keep asking it around Capitol Hill and the agencies, I get more and more blank stares. Too many officials in charge of the war on terrorism just don’t care to learn much, if anything, about the enemy we’re fighting. And that’s enough to keep anybody up at night.

Jeff Stein is the national security editor at Congressional Quarterly.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: _BP_ on October 19, 2006, 09:18:01 AM
Thanks parsley.  Sadly, I'm not too surprised by this.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: ms on October 19, 2006, 09:45:25 AM
To be fair that is like asking what the difference between Catholics and Protestants is. There is something that appears to be a surface answer, and then gets incredibly complex. They interpret some of the Hadith in a completely different way. Obviously the author of the article is smart enough try to give his own definition, because he would end up having an incomplete definition and make himself look as bad as the intelligence officials.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: parsley on October 19, 2006, 09:49:38 AM
The problem isn't with the complexity of their definition... they can't even give a SURFACE definition!

They can't even identify which sect Hezbollah and Iran belong to!
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: ms on October 19, 2006, 09:53:20 AM
I agree that it is pathetic that they don't even know to which group these people belong. Especially since it determines exactly how you should deal with them.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: FossilJ on October 19, 2006, 09:54:28 AM
Did I ever claim that a hegemonous culture was necessary in order to constitute a state?  Hardly.  I simply pointed out that national cultures can and do exist.  Do subcultures exist within Italy?  Undoubtedly.  However slight differences aside, you're left with an overwhelming Italian culture; a "the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices", or a "set of values, conventions, or social practices" (as culture is defined).


Again, beautifully illustrating your incomprehension of the argument being made.  In fact, you didn't even properly understand my last post, given you're still not paraphrasing me correctly.

I'm starting to think those that were chirping about your reading comprehension skills were right.  And I hate that damn accusation, but hey, if the shoe fits...


EDIT: And way to come back the next day to edit your post.  Trying to sneak in the shot to the back, are you?  Next thing you know, I'll be headbutting you...
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: President_Baccaga on October 19, 2006, 10:23:39 AM
Quote from: MaraudingJ
Again, beautifully illustrating your incomprehension of the argument being made.  In fact, you didn't even properly understand my last post, given you're still not paraphrasing me correctly.

Throw some other various groups into the discourse of which you know nothing about and it might assist me.

Quote
I'm starting to think those that were chirping about your reading comprehension skills were right.  And I hate that damn accusation, but hey, if the shoe fits...

That's a person with a lot of time on his/her hands to worry about someone else's RC skills on an Internet discussion board.

Quote
EDIT: And way to come back the next day to edit your post.  Trying to sneak in the shot to the back, are you?  Next thing you know, I'll be headbutting you...

Not really.  I felt like adding something to my post that I didn't include last night, and given that no one else had posted afterwards, I don't really see the problem. 

First Burt Bacharach and now headbutting?  Cool; I'll knock your front teeth out.
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: FossilJ on October 19, 2006, 01:36:10 PM
Quote from: MaraudingJ
Again, beautifully illustrating your incomprehension of the argument being made.  In fact, you didn't even properly understand my last post, given you're still not paraphrasing me correctly.

Throw some other various groups into the discourse of which you know nothing about and it might assist me.

This has been your clever defense all along.  Nice.

Quote
I'm starting to think those that were chirping about your reading comprehension skills were right.  And I hate that damn accusation, but hey, if the shoe fits...

That's a person with a lot of time on his/her hands to worry about someone else's RC skills on an Internet discussion board.

OH NOES!!!1!11!1!one1one

I HAVE TIMES ON MY HANDS

I IS TEH B4D P3RS0n!!!11!1!111

Quote
EDIT: And way to come back the next day to edit your post.  Trying to sneak in the shot to the back, are you?  Next thing you know, I'll be headbutting you...

Not really.  I felt like adding something to my post that I didn't include last night, and given that no one else had posted afterwards, I don't really see the problem. 

First Burt Bacharach and now headbutting?  Cool; I'll knock your front teeth out.

You didn't get it.  Not any of it.  Nevermind, you humorless clod.

Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: BrerAnansi on October 19, 2006, 02:17:07 PM


OH NOES!!!1!11!1!one1one

I HAVE TIMES ON MY HANDS

I IS TEH B4D P3RS0n!!!11!1!111



More of this please...ty...
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: FossilJ on October 19, 2006, 02:24:31 PM


OH NOES!!!1!11!1!one1one

I HAVE TIMES ON MY HANDS

I IS TEH B4D P3RS0n!!!11!1!111



More of this please...ty...


Meh.  This whole argument is getting boring.  Essentially, I made a claim, and then somehow Backgammon enticed me into a completely irrelevant game of semantics, the rules to which he doesn't quite understand.  So what we're left with is my point (uncontested) and nothing else. 

As you can tell, that might be a fun way to spend a night, but one grows tired quite quickly.

Now, I tire of these shenanigans.  There's more fun stuff to do on LSD.  Maybe I'll bait breadboy into something trollish...
 
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: BrerAnansi on October 19, 2006, 02:33:49 PM


OH NOES!!!1!11!1!one1one

I HAVE TIMES ON MY HANDS

I IS TEH B4D P3RS0n!!!11!1!111



More of this please...ty...


Meh.  This whole argument is getting boring.  Essentially, I made a claim, and then somehow Backgammon enticed me into a completely irrelevant game of semantics, the rules to which he doesn't quite understand.  So what we're left with is my point (uncontested) and nothing else. 

As you can tell, that might be a fun way to spend a night, but one grows tired quite quickly.

Now, I tire of these shenanigans.  There's more fun stuff to do on LSD.  Maybe I'll bait breadboy into something trollish...
 

But this is precisely what I mean...trying to engage President Facacta in meaningful debate is a colossal waste of time...trolling him on the otherhand...

All said, I applaud your move from substantive posts to garbled internet gutter-speak...gj...
Title: Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
Post by: FossilJ on October 19, 2006, 02:35:40 PM
All said, I applaud your move from substantive posts to garbled internet gutter-speak...gj...


This may be the funniest description of that particular tactic that I've heard.  Kudos!

 :D :D :D