Page 1 of 5 12 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 35 of 185

Thread: What are the criteria that define an American?

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Entry Level
    Posts
    17,211

    Default What are the criteria that define an American?

    Down the Creek's question. My proposal:

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    It's not exclusively Protestant but Protestant is a good start point. Man answers, alone, to God, alone, for his conscience. It follows then than there is no lesser judge of a person's conscience, and that therefore, one who claims the right to rule, from God, speaks blasphemy.

    So religion is out. What shall government be based on then? All the other dreck is just variation on the blasphemous theme. So all the other dreck is out as well. Now what?

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed . . . "

    There is no period after "governed", but there might as well be. As to the source of legitimacy of government, it's game over. If a given people has labored under the misapprehension of some other basis of their government, they can overthrow it by right.

    And this applies to all. It's universal to human existence, all times, all places. That's the odd thing: when you come right down to it, it's not American, in principle. It has do with nations generally, not the American nation in particular. History has worked out in such a way that America, the nation, has undertaken the defense of these principles, that's all. In theory, any other nation can come along and do a better job.
    He's a Mexican. -- Donald Trump.
    America cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama. -- Governor Chris Christie (R) New Jersey
    It wasn't racism, it was an attack on Christianity. -- Fox News
    Crying white mothers are ratings gold. -- National Rifle Association

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Entry Level
    Posts
    17,211

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    To which she responded!

    Quote Originally Posted by downthecreek View Post
    Thank you for taking my question as it was intended - seriously. I don't agree with the basic premise of your definition, but I do agree that the argument you base on it makes sense.

    Life and liberty - many nations have worked this out for themselves. Indeed, I hope you would acknowledge the fact that some of those streams of development have been the key contributors to the way they have been worked out in the USA. Similarly, many nations have defended these principles with at least as much determination and force, proportionally, as have the United States. As far as the endless military excursions of the last 70 years are concerned....defenders of life and liberty, or "thugs for capitalism?" An awful lot of lives and liberties have been destroyed in the process.

    As far as "the pursuit of happiness" is concerned - I have always found this mildly ridiculous. Pursuing happiness can be a very effective way of destroying it. And if money becomes a proxy for happiness then the old cliche - radix malorum est cupiditas - rears its ugly head and we too often see how true it is. I cannot by any means see the USA as the world leader in the "pursuit of happiness"

    A nation is as a nation does. An American is as an American does. I know that America is a nation defined by an idea, not by geography or race, and I respect that. But America, like every other nation, has feet of clay. It has a multitude of facets and, because of its size and power and "greatness" both its intrinsic talents and virtues and its intrinsic faults failings are magnified and their impact felt across the world. The handsome face and the ugly one are both American.
    He's a Mexican. -- Donald Trump.
    America cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama. -- Governor Chris Christie (R) New Jersey
    It wasn't racism, it was an attack on Christianity. -- Fox News
    Crying white mothers are ratings gold. -- National Rifle Association

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Entry Level
    Posts
    17,211

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    So DTC, what is the basic premise, as you see it, with which you disagree?
    He's a Mexican. -- Donald Trump.
    America cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama. -- Governor Chris Christie (R) New Jersey
    It wasn't racism, it was an attack on Christianity. -- Fox News
    Crying white mothers are ratings gold. -- National Rifle Association

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    40,732

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    History has worked out in such a way that America, the nation, has undertaken the defense of these principles,
    I call bollocks to an arrogant piece of tripe.
    The U S of A has been motivated mostly by Big Money's self interest. Some times they started out with an altruistic motivation, but financial self interest soon took over.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Hell
    Posts
    88,818

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    And in what way is England different Nick?
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    40,732

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    And in what way is England different Nick?
    Humility? Pragmatism?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    central cal
    Posts
    14,181

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    Iíve been eyeing static caravan parks all morning. I already got a Mastiff and a duck punt. I am all set.

    Peace,
    Robert

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    24,005

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    And in what way is England different Nick?
    England is HIS arrogant piece of tripe.
    Rattling the teacups.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    40,732

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by oznabrag View Post
    England is HIS arrogant piece of tripe.
    Are you just lashing out because that is what you do, or do you really not find this
    America, the nation, has undertaken the defense of these principles
    arrogant bs?
    Last edited by Peerie Maa; 09-14-2018 at 08:42 AM.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    24,005

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Are you just lashing out because that is what you do, or do you really not find thisarrogant bs?
    You're the one who 'lashed out', Nick.

    What part of this is arrogant?

    Do you believe Osborne meant that the US is the ONLY defender of those principles?

    America, the nation, has undertaken the defense of these principles
    If you were to claim that Great Britain defends those principles, would you call bollocks on yourself?
    Rattling the teacups.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    40,732

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by oznabrag View Post
    You're the one who 'lashed out', Nick.

    What part of this is arrogant?

    Do you believe Osborne meant that the US is the ONLY defender of those principles?



    If you were to claim that Great Britain defends those principles, would you call bollocks on yourself?
    I'm saying that the US is not noted for defending any principles, apart from isolationism or protecting their financial interest.
    I found Osbornes statement to be wrong in his assumption that the US does anything for altruistic reasons and demonstrated a form of arrogance to assume that it would be an acceptable position to take.
    I would not be daft enough to claim the same for any nation state, They all put their own interest first, even when stepping up to honour a treaty as we did in Europe, twice.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    24,005

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    I'm saying that the US is not noted for defending any principles, apart from isolationism or protecting their financial interest.
    I found Osbornes statement to be wrong in his assumption that the US does anything for altruistic reasons and demonstrated a form of arrogance to assume that it would be an acceptable position to take.
    I would not be daft enough to claim the same for any nation state, They all put their own interest first, even when stepping up to honour a treaty as we did in Europe, twice.
    Soooo . . . That's why you lashed out?

    Because you perceived OR's claim that one nation isn't as corrupt and self-serving as you regard your own to be?

    Between you and skuthorp, we should all just mail our gronicles to Vlad.
    Rattling the teacups.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    40,732

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by oznabrag View Post
    Soooo . . . That's why you lashed out?

    Because you perceived OR's claim that one nation isn't as corrupt and self-serving as you regard your own to be?

    Between you and skuthorp, we should all just mail our gronicles to Vlad.
    You do love hyperbole, exaggeration and generally talking bollocks in a slightly insulting way.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    24,005

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    You do love hyperbole, exaggeration and generally talking bollocks in a slightly insulting way.
    If that's true, then we're two peas in a pod.
    Rattling the teacups.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Hell
    Posts
    88,818

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by oznabrag View Post
    Between you and skuthorp, we should all just mail our gronicles to Vlad.
    c/o skaraborgcraft
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Entry Level
    Posts
    17,211

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    I'm saying that the US is not noted for defending any principles, apart from isolationism or protecting their financial interest.
    I found Osbornes statement to be wrong in his assumption that the US does anything for altruistic reasons and demonstrated a form of arrogance to assume that it would be an acceptable position to take.
    I would not be daft enough to claim the same for any nation state, They all put their own interest first, even when stepping up to honour a treaty as we did in Europe, twice.
    What I said was

    History has worked out in such a way that America, the nation, has undertaken the defense of these principles, that's all.
    A drunk undertakes to stop drinking. That's one thing. Does he stop? That's another.

    If he tells everyone of his undertaking, what releases him from it? If he says, I didn't know what I was saying, you explain it to him, and say, now you do. Then what?

    From then on he either re-affirms it or dis-affirms it. That's what "undertaking" means.

    What was undertaken was not altruism. If you recognize someone's rights you're not giving them anything.

    For a nation to act in its self-interest is not ipso facto a violation of anyone's rights.
    He's a Mexican. -- Donald Trump.
    America cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama. -- Governor Chris Christie (R) New Jersey
    It wasn't racism, it was an attack on Christianity. -- Fox News
    Crying white mothers are ratings gold. -- National Rifle Association

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    40,732

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    What I said was



    A drunk undertakes to stop drinking. That's one thing. Does he stop? That's another.

    If he tells everyone of his undertaking, what releases him from it? If he says, I didn't know what I was saying, you explain it to him, and say, now you do. Then what?

    From then on he either re-affirms it or dis-affirms it. That's what "undertaking" means.

    What was undertaken was not altruism. If you recognize someone's rights you're not giving them anything.

    For a nation to act in its self-interest is not ipso facto a violation of anyone's rights.
    For this Englishman the word "Undertaking" is something that you set out to do, you might not succeed but you try. "a task that is taken on; an enterprise." I don'xt think that the US of A has actually tried. They have for example claimed to be "Exporting Democracy" which would be a clever trick because what they have is not a good example of the concept, and it is usually propaganda to hide their actual motives.
    I assume that you are using the other meaning "a formal pledge or promise to do something". Which can be a totally empty promise in this worlds politics.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    central cal
    Posts
    14,181

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    I think mostly Americans are people who got sick of all the crap where they lived before, yes? The non-native born, anyhow.

    Our country is terrible and flawed, but folks are still beating the door down to get here. Odd, eh?

    I grew up in a real cultural bouillabaisse, and Iím not sure it would have been possible anywhere else.

    Of course, we must remember these governments and institutions are all waking dreams and irrelevant to actual life.

    Peace,
    Some Dumb Guy

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    2,310

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post

    Our country is terrible and flawed, but folks are still beating the door down to get here. Odd, eh?

    I grew up in a real cultural bouillabaisse, and I’m not sure it would have been possible anywhere else.
    The USA is a great country, but countries like Switzerland, NZ, Australia, Canada, Austria and Germany have higher proportions of immigrants. I'm not sure of the situation in the USA but Australia, for example, has national broadcasting in 74 languages, which is a pretty good cultural mix.
    Has BigFella and SkyBlue on ignore.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    central cal
    Posts
    14,181

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris249 View Post
    The USA is a great country, but countries like Switzerland, NZ, Australia, Canada, Austria and Germany have higher proportions of immigrants. I'm not sure of the situation in the USA but Australia, for example, has national broadcasting in 74 languages, which is a pretty good cultural mix.

    Okay? So?

    Leaving out half my post doesnít change the tenor.

    All governments and countries are ridiculous fictions, constructs that have nothing to do with life.

    Peace,
    Robert

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    northern Georgia, or sometimes Mississippi Delta USA
    Posts
    15,174

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris249 View Post
    The USA is a great country, but countries like Switzerland, NZ, Australia, Canada, Austria and Germany have higher proportions of immigrants. I'm not sure of the situation in the USA but Australia, for example, has national broadcasting in 74 languages, which is a pretty good cultural mix.
    The US's population of American Indians and Alaska Natives, including those of more than one race made up about 2 percent of the total population in 2014. Most of the other 98% are immigrants except the descendants of those living in the Southwest when we took it from Mexico and some similar ones in other territories.
    I am right now in a region that is about 70% black folks.

    I agree with Keith's post #17.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    24,083

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    The basic principles of liberal democracy are not uniquely or even originally American.They started with the Enlightenment, and thinkers from several European nations laid out the basic ideas, which were taken up by the people who shaped American government. The ideals America was founded on are the ideals of most of the nations of the European Union (the exception is Hungary, which is a kleptocracy.)

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Entry Level
    Posts
    17,211

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    The basic principles of liberal democracy are not uniquely or even originally American.They started with the Enlightenment, and thinkers from several European nations laid out the basic ideas, which were taken up by the people who shaped American government.
    America was the first government founded on them. Nothing stopping anyone else then or now.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    The ideals America was founded on are the ideals of most of the nations of the European Union (the exception is Hungary, which is a kleptocracy.)
    The ideals America was founded on became the ideals of etc. and the United Nations. The modern world. More or less.
    He's a Mexican. -- Donald Trump.
    America cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama. -- Governor Chris Christie (R) New Jersey
    It wasn't racism, it was an attack on Christianity. -- Fox News
    Crying white mothers are ratings gold. -- National Rifle Association

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Between Bourgeoisie and Proletariat - Australia
    Posts
    2,205

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Humility?
    That must be the first time i have ever seen the word Humility and England in the same sentence. Made me smile.
    Does naive fit in anywhere?

    Good call on the Bollocks though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    America was the first government founded on them. Nothing stopping anyone else then or now.



    The ideals America was founded on became the ideals of etc. and the United Nations. The modern world. More or less.
    Humility clearly doesn't apply there.
    But it does point at a word i'd have thrown in the ring - exceptionalism.
    Staggering emphasis on perfect teeth, is another one.

    (San Marino? - and my own call on the first republic to be founded on liberal ideals; Corsica. Even included female sufferage back in 1755!).
    "People should be able to access these benefits [Social Welfare] as a matter of right, with no more loss of their own standards of self-respect than would be involved in collecting from an insurance company the proceeds of an endowment policy on which they have been paying premiums for years."
    Robert Menzies - Liberal Party (Conservative) Prime Minister of Australia.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Entry Level
    Posts
    17,211

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by gypsie View Post
    That must be the first time i have ever seen the word Humility and England in the same sentence. Made me smile.
    Does naive fit in anywhere?

    Good call on the Bollocks though.



    Humility clearly doesn't apply there.
    But it does point at a word i'd have thrown in the ring - exceptionalism.
    Staggering emphasis on perfect teeth, is another one.

    (San Marino? - and my own call on the first republic to be founded on liberal ideals; Corsica. Even included female sufferage back in 1755!).
    Maybe. Corsica was quickly squashed; San Marino was pre-enlightenment. But if you like, "The ideals San Marino, Corsica and America were founded on became the ideals of etc. and the United Nations."
    He's a Mexican. -- Donald Trump.
    America cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama. -- Governor Chris Christie (R) New Jersey
    It wasn't racism, it was an attack on Christianity. -- Fox News
    Crying white mothers are ratings gold. -- National Rifle Association

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Hell
    Posts
    88,818

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    how did y'all obtain humility?
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    24,083

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    how did y'all obtain humility?
    'God is an Englishman' sounds so humble.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    40,732

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    how did y'all obtain humility?
    What is more important is how did people like Osborne lose it, and why are your polies not pragmatic?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, Ca
    Posts
    20,749

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    how did y'all obtain humility?
    That started with the Hudson's Bay Company and the East India Company, didn't it?

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Central MA
    Posts
    7,219

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    how did y'all obtain humility?
    age. Experience

    the same way that people do. Well, many people, at least.

    The US behaves very much like an adolescent male - - the same recklessness, ego, hubris, short term thinking, arrogance. England (and most of Europe) has passed that and aged into a more mature, more humble nation. Not that it still isn't capable of acting out and doing stupid things now and again, just like older humans.
    I rather be American than a Republican.

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Northern NSW Australia
    Posts
    71,979

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    how did y'all obtain humility?
    The same way the US is going to aquire it.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    victoria, australia. (1 address now)
    Posts
    50,485

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    Like Australians, I doubt there is a cover all criteria except when politicians grope for a jingoistic definitions and wave the flag. Come to think of it your obsession with the flag is likely the one that would seem most common to the rest of the planet.

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Entry Level
    Posts
    17,211

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by skuthorp View Post
    Like Australians, I doubt there is a cover all criteria . . .
    Don't know about Australia. For America there is. There is no cover all for any nation. We're talking minimum. See Post #1.

    Just don't fall into the uniqueness trap, that's for marketers and other bull S ers. The irreducible criteria for being American are not uniquely American. Anyone can have them. Americans must. See Post #1.
    He's a Mexican. -- Donald Trump.
    America cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama. -- Governor Chris Christie (R) New Jersey
    It wasn't racism, it was an attack on Christianity. -- Fox News
    Crying white mothers are ratings gold. -- National Rifle Association

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    19,918

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by skuthorp View Post
    Like Australians, I doubt there is a cover all criteria except when politicians grope for a jingoistic definitions and wave the flag. Come to think of it your obsession with the flag is likely the one that would seem most common to the rest of the planet.
    No one has a lock on that jingoism: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/13/w...gtype=Homepage
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    On the river, Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    4,560

    Default Re: What are the criteria that define an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by skuthorp View Post
    Like Australians, I doubt there is a cover all criteria except when politicians grope for a jingoistic definitions and wave the flag. Come to think of it your obsession with the flag is likely the one that would seem most common to the rest of the planet.
    I've often marvelled when travelling around the USA, at the number of American flags flying. Here in NZ, when it comes to the crunch I dont think we're less patriotic. In WW2, a long time ago now, but still, NZ among all the allies had the highest recruitment rate per capita of all the Allies apart from England. We know who we are, and dont feel the need to advertise it.
    Not being critical here, just pointing out the difference.
    The Stars and stripes does though make for a colourful display.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •