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Old 2008-08-28, 08:45   Link #641
Ledgem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
See, this is what I have a beef with, and I agree with Ledgem's questioning of your assertion about being proud of your nation (if I understood his implication right).
Solomon made the statement that national pride is important. I wanted to know why. To be honest, I wasn't satisfied with the discussion that followed. It explained how people from different regions will be proud of different things. There was also a shift that examined pride in ethnic heritage. All good and well, but my question is largely unanswered: why is national pride important? What purpose does it serve, and do its benefits outweigh its negatives?

I don't ask it to derail this thread or even to stir up discussion. My personal view is that national pride is detrimental, yet statements like "national pride is important" or "you should be proud of your nation" are incredibly common. I ask why because nobody else does, and I think it's something that is important to consider. We aren't honeybees chained to a hive, here. We're all small parts of something greater, all roughly working together to build, maintain, and advance that something greater. Why is pride in one hive important?
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Old 2008-08-28, 12:38   Link #642
TinyRedLeaf
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National pride, or patriotism, is not important. But it is nice to have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem
My personal view is that national pride is detrimental.
(1)
Any belief or opinion carried to an extreme is detrimental. But then, the person is to blame, not the idea of nationalism itself.

However, it is interesting to wonder what nationalism means today. It's not quite the same animal it was back in the 19th to early 20th centuries. Even then, it meant different things to different people. For European nations, particularly the colonial powers, nationalism is inextricably linked with ethnic identity, which is itself deeply tied to the way you looked, the language you spoke, the way you worshipped and a shared history.

For the former colonies of imperial powers, nationalism took on a different meaning, tied usually to each colony's independence movement. The sense of nationhood was literally forged from the struggle for freedom. The struggle itself becomes part of a national mythology that binds otherwise disparate people together.

(2)
I'm more interested, for obvious reasons, in the latter form nationalism, because of the curious way in which it has created several "artificial" nations such as my country and — you've guessed it — the United States. Such countries do not enjoy the luxury of a common ethnic identity to define its values and sense of place in the world. Instead, these countries are founded on a set of ideas that its citizens believe in, and one would hope, be willing to fight and die for.

Seen from this perspective, why should nationalism or patriotism be detrimental? It's the glue that holds people together, even as it acts as a solvent to dissolve petty differences such as race, language or religion. A country that fails to break down these barriers is likely to become a failed state, not unlike the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

That's why I feel that nationalism born from a set of noble ideas is worthy of admiration, if not always emulation.

(3)
But, if you look closely, you'd notice that even this idea of nationalism is slowly evolving into something else, and has been doing so since the mid-20th century. Technology is increasingly turning the world into a global village. Borders are growing increasingly porous. As the North-South divide grows ever wider, people from poor countries will continue to flock in massive numbers to richer countries, in search for jobs and better living. And, if opportunities allow, they'd want to settle where the grass is greener, and hence become a part of an increasingly multi-coloured nation.

What would nationalism mean then, under such circumstances?

(4)
There is another kink in the equation, the prime agent of economic globalisation: The multinational corporation, faceless entities that are not necessarily bound by the laws of any given country. It is ruled by an unsentimental love for money and efficiency — if it doesn't like how it is being treated in one state, it can easily uproot itself and relocate to places that offer better investment potential.

While doing so, the company pulls along employees of all kinds of ethnicities and nationalities. In its quest to sharpen its competitive advantage, the modern corporation poaches talent wherever it can be found. And, depending on the corporate culture, it is not unusual to find employees who believe passionately in their organisation's mission and values, for example, Google's credo: "Don't be evil."

It seems to me that a different kind of "nationalism" is being born, one that transcends international borders. Even if you despise the smell of lucre, you can find the same kind of passion in international non-profit corporations like Raleigh International, AIESIC, or the biggest one of them all: The United Nations.

Will the day come when we think of ourselves as citizens of the world, when nationalism becomes truly irrelevant? Nah. I don't think it's likely. At least, not until we colonise the planets. Then, perhaps, we'd start thinking in terms of "planetism" instead, say, Earthlings v Martians, for example.

Until then, like it or not, we'll still be defined, at least in part, by our nationality. In this sense, nationalism is no more or less detrimental than any other way we choose to define ourselves as individuals. I don't see why it must necessarily be harmful. Why can't we learn to celebrate differences instead?

A little bit of variety is infinitely more preferable than an eternity of dreary sameness.

Last edited by TinyRedLeaf; 2008-08-28 at 12:48.
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Old 2008-08-28, 12:56   Link #643
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mg1942 View Post
Another explosive news on Barack Obama...


Born in the U.S.A.?
By: KEITH PHUCAS, Times Herald Staff
08/25/2008


PHILADELPHIA - A Lafayette Hill attorney filed a lawsuit in federal court Thursday challenging Sen. Barack Obama's claim to United States citizenship. The action seeks to remove the Democratic candidate from the November ballot.

To be eligible to serve as U.S. president, a person must be born in this country. According to Obama's birth certificate, which his campaign posted on its Internet site in June to quell rumors that he is foreign born, the Illinois senator was born in Hawaii on Aug. 6, 1961.

On Thursday, Philip Berg filed a temporary restraining order in federal court to bar Obama from running for president, claiming the Democratic candidate was actually born in Africa.

"We really don't believe he was born in Hawaii," Berg said. "We think he was born in Kenya."

http://www.timesherald.com/site/news...id=33380&rfi=6
Oh, give me a f*cking break.....

I suspect we'll see every rightwing looney toon trick ever mustered before November.

-- back to the nationalism and pride....
Nationalism (or "loyalty to the city-state") has always seemed to be a manipulative tool of the powerful over the common people, simply a replacement for what some see religion as. I've always understood *cultural* pride or *social pride* because that is something generated by everyone who participates to some degree.

I'm more fond of the ideals of the Constitution, the Declaration, and the people who coined them than I am of the artifact called the USA on some given days. I'm fond of my Northern European heritage in terms of the ancient history and mythology than of the antics of the modern entities. My wife is proud of her japanese heritage (though she rolls her eyes at a lot of the social nonsense that goes on in present Japan) and she'd proud of being a 3rd generation Texan (despite having no love for much of what goes on there and comes from there).

I suppose one could call excessive nationalism some form of semi-functional insanity

Last edited by Vexx; 2008-08-28 at 13:06.
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Old 2008-08-28, 14:10   Link #644
Kakashi
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Well my Montenegrian heritage and culture revolves mostly around eating food. The national pride is to stuff yourself, albeit healthily. As a result we're known for being the laziest nation in the world, as well as a nation that cares about absolutely nothing. Anything that doesn't concern catching a few fish for dinner isn't vital information. But our belief in eating well has accomplished one thing:

Quote:
The country with the tallest people on average - I am sure it used to be Netherlands, but I'll be willing to bet that it is only in the 2nd place since Montenegro became an independent state. Contrary to what someone above said, the people from the Dinaric Alps (Montenegro, Herzegovina, Dalmatia, Lika, parts of Albania...) do not make up the majority of the population Croatia, Bosnia, and certainly not Serbia or Kosovo, but definitely make up the absolute majority of the tiny republic of Montenegro, and yes, it is very well known that Montenegrans are exceptionally tall.
Nationalism is a bitch and shouldn't be important, but unfortunately it shapes entire nations.
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Old 2008-08-28, 15:10   Link #645
Zoned87
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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26435994/

Quote:
ROME - A modern art sculpture portraying a crucified green frog holding a beer mug and an egg that Pope Benedict has condemned as blasphemous may have its days numbered.

The board of the Museion museum in the northern city of Bolzano were meeting on Thursday to choose whether to side with the pope and other opponents of the frog or with proponents who say it should be defended as a work of art.

The wooden sculpture by the late German artist Martin Kippenberger depicts a frog about 1 meter 4 feet high nailed to brown cross and holding a beer mug in one outstretched hand and an egg in another.
Story continues below ↓
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Called "Zuerst die Fuesse," (Feet First), it wears a green loin cloth and is nailed through the hands and the feet in the manner of Jesus Christ. Its green tongue hangs out of its mouth.

Kippenberger's work has been shown at the Tate Modern and the Saatchi Gallery in London and at the Venice Biennale, and retrospectives are planned in Los Angeles and New York.

Illustrating human angst?
Museum officials in the northern bi-lingual Alto Adige region near the Austrian border said the artist, who died in 1997, considered it a self-portrait illustrating human angst.

Pope Benedict, who is German himself and was recently on holiday not far from Bolzano, obviously did not agree.

The Vatican wrote a letter of support in the pope's name to Franz Pahl, president of the regional government who opposed the sculpture.

"Surely this is not a work of art but a blasphemy and a disgusting piece of trash that upsets many people," Pahl told Reuters by telephone as the museum board was meeting.

The Vatican letter said that the work "wounds the religious sentiments of so many people who see in the cross the symbol of God's love."

Pahl, whose province is heavily Catholic, was so outraged by the sculpture of the pop-eyed amphibian that he went on a hunger strike to demand its removal and had to be taken to hospital during the summer.

The museum then moved the statue out of its foyer and into a less trafficked area on the third floor.

But Pahl's opposition was unflagging and he has threatened to resign as regional president unless it is removed altogether.

Art experts defend the work.

"Art must always be free and the artist should not have any restrictions on freedom of expression," Claudio Strinati, a superintendent for Rome's state museums, told an Italian newspaper on Thursday.
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Old 2008-08-28, 15:13   Link #646
TinyRedLeaf
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Continuing the topic of nationalism... on a lighter note

The National Anthems Top 10 Chart

Quote:
By Alex Marshall (11 Aug 08)

I undertook to find the world's best national anthems — an attempt to work out which country should top the Olympic medal table based solely on its music.

The idea was simple: As I couldn't fairly compare the pop music of countries competing at the Games (China would immediately come last for inventing Mandopop), I'd compare their anthems. They are the same the world over, after all: Short, boisterous pieces of brass meant to stir up national pride.

So I listened to all 205 — even the ones from countries that don't stand a chance of winning a medal (that means you, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines). And once I'd done that, I listened to a few metal cover versions to make sure I'd made the right choices.

Here are the top 10. Do you agree? And, more to the point, is this the fairest way to judge countries musically? Feel free to comment below. Unless you're from Rwanda, Finland or Antigua and Barbuda — your countries' anthems are so awful, you can't have a say.

- GUARDIAN.CO.UK
My instant favourite from Alex's top 10 is Bangladesh's anthem:



It's really hard not to break into a smile listening to that tune. My next favourite sounds completely opposite:



It sounds so sad, yet so noble. So very Japanese.

Closer to home, I've always felt Malaysia's anthem sounds suitably stirring and stately at the same time:



It sounds very different when sung. In comparison, Singapore's anthem sounds, hmm, a little bit too whimsical. It won't win any prizes from an objective listener, but what the heck, I'd be bluffing if I say it doesn't stir my pride to hear it play during flag-raising ceremonies.


Last edited by TinyRedLeaf; 2008-08-28 at 15:38.
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Old 2008-08-28, 15:32   Link #647
Mystique
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mg1942 View Post
Another explosive news on Barack Obama...


Born in the U.S.A.?
By: KEITH PHUCAS, Times Herald Staff
08/25/2008


PHILADELPHIA - A Lafayette Hill attorney filed a lawsuit in federal court Thursday challenging Sen. Barack Obama's claim to United States citizenship. The action seeks to remove the Democratic candidate from the November ballot.

To be eligible to serve as U.S. president, a person must be born in this country. According to Obama's birth certificate, which his campaign posted on its Internet site in June to quell rumors that he is foreign born, the Illinois senator was born in Hawaii on Aug. 6, 1961.

On Thursday, Philip Berg filed a temporary restraining order in federal court to bar Obama from running for president, claiming the Democratic candidate was actually born in Africa.

"We really don't believe he was born in Hawaii," Berg said. "We think he was born in Kenya."

http://www.timesherald.com/site/news...id=33380&rfi=6
I swear, since we're making history for having a non-white candidate running for president now, the allegations against Obama as Nov draws closers are gonna get hysterically insane.
For some reason, I'm kinda glad to be sitting on the side line with a bowl of popcorn watching this objectively. You'd almost forget that this is just to choose a leader to benefit the country as much as poss like the rest of the world to in their own countries (if they are under a democratic system)

But the drama you guys must have on your TV screens and news atm, almost feels like a serial TV show...

*TV Drama male voice*
Tune in next week, as we find out the latest shocking secret that could blow Obama's dreams of becoming president sky high!

I kinda feel Vexx's annoyence there and I'm not even voting for this thing...

PS:
I just laughed at that green frog thing xD
I do have faith, so i'm wondering why i'm not offended by that, but find it ridiculous?
(Think i won't be entering heaven anytime soon) >.>
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Old 2008-08-28, 15:42   Link #648
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoned87 View Post

I'm having trouble finding this bit of work anything but Monty Python absurdist funny rather than any symbol of personal angst or rating the puffed up self-important blasphemy charges against it. I have really about had it with all the assumption that religion or personal beliefs/nonbeliefs of any kind rate some automatic pass in terms of respect.
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Old 2008-08-28, 16:56   Link #649
solomon
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I suppose I'm more proud of the ideals of the constitution of the US than an unyielding loyalty to this land or even the people who rule it.

In reference to Obama, you can like him or lump him. But for the sake of all that is good, I hope dearly that nothing REALLY malicious happens to the man.

I heard much earlier in the news that someone had some death threat against John McCain. I don;t want anything bad to happen to him either. But all who know american history know whatll happen if Obama if he's killed or denyed citizenship unfairly or whatever, it'll raise holy hell.

As for the crucifix of the animal;

For me, it's just another wacky piece of modern art

If you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (which I don't) does it really matter what media in this world says? If the wholle thing is true then the artist is just going to hell anyways.
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Old 2008-08-28, 17:03   Link #650
solomon
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On National anthems, I've always loved the French one. I like the rythym off it. Fast and peppy. Spain's is too.

Same with russian one, but not if it's played too slowly. Japans is more appealing to me than China's is, it seems more uniquely Asian in style then China's.

British's on it's own is a bit too slow moving and heavy sounding to me. Canada's is ok as is ours.
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Old 2008-08-28, 17:04   Link #651
mg1942
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Continuing the topic of nationalism... on a lighter note

Nothing beats the Soviet Anthem. Even if you're not Soviet/Russian it does make you feel very nationalistic.

[Red Army choir]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVdVTVR-j0Q

[1977 version]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVCHskVub3g

Today, the tune lives on with different lyrics.
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Old 2008-08-28, 17:33   Link #652
solomon
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Um, the French anthem doesn't make me feel nationalistic. I just think it's a more entertaining/engaging instrumental piece of music than certain others (US included).

However, when you get into the lyrics, then that's a whole new can of worms.

If you read the Japanese national anthem, it harkens back to it's past era of emperor rule. Some people say it's too much in reference to a past which say MASSIVE atrocities against foriegners. I say it doesn't have to. Like the bible or quran or torah, it can mean anything you want it to.
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Old 2008-08-28, 18:06   Link #653
Mystique
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solomon View Post
As for the crucifix of the animal;

For me, it's just another wacky piece of modern art

If you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (which I don't) does it really matter what media in this world says? If the wholle thing is true then the artist is just going to hell anyways.
Tell that to the muslims in Denmark, why don't you?
The only thing with Christianity, is that it's dumbed down so much and lost the total power it used to have, more and more people take liberties with it (ie, south park) and more and more of us kinda let it slide.
Doesn't mean we don't find it offensive as much people took offence with the spain footy team and that pic they took at the olympics.
Even if nothing malicious was meant by it, its the 'poking fun' some people don't like on certain aspects of their lives or culture and i guess we all have a right to be sensitive on some things...

PS:
Edit button is a handy feature to minimise your double (or triple) posts
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Old 2008-08-28, 20:06   Link #654
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It's official: Comcast starts 250GB bandwidth caps October 1

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post...october-1.html

Of course I only say this due to my ISP being Comcast itself. Though I really don't torrent too much to even reach a 250gb limit, the other users in this house will add to that since I know my brother torrents and seed like crazy.

What do you guys think of this?
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Old 2008-08-28, 20:18   Link #655
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aoie_Emesai View Post
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post...october-1.html

Of course I only say this due to my ISP being Comcast itself. Though I really don't torrent too much to even reach a 250gb limit, the other users in this house will add to that since I know my brother torrents and seed like crazy.

What do you guys think of this?
Sounds like Comcast is finally admitting some reality check on their network design. Now the real question is will they will down-adjust their formerly "unlimited" price structure? Will they provide a mechanism for heavier users (business class, $$/GB) to exceed that?

I'm always suspicious of Comcast because they're used to being content controllers ... if they want to stream into the future will THAT data be counted against the limit?
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Old 2008-08-28, 20:37   Link #656
Vexx
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Just to follow up on the completely wacky "Obama not born in US" FUD... here's the reality from FactCheck.org:
http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2...n_the_usa.html
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Old 2008-08-28, 20:43   Link #657
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mg1942 View Post
Another explosive news on Barack Obama...


Born in the U.S.A.?
By: KEITH PHUCAS, Times Herald Staff
08/25/2008


PHILADELPHIA - A Lafayette Hill attorney filed a lawsuit in federal court Thursday challenging Sen. Barack Obama's claim to United States citizenship. The action seeks to remove the Democratic candidate from the November ballot.

To be eligible to serve as U.S. president, a person must be born in this country. According to Obama's birth certificate, which his campaign posted on its Internet site in June to quell rumors that he is foreign born, the Illinois senator was born in Hawaii on Aug. 6, 1961.

On Thursday, Philip Berg filed a temporary restraining order in federal court to bar Obama from running for president, claiming the Democratic candidate was actually born in Africa.

"We really don't believe he was born in Hawaii," Berg said. "We think he was born in Kenya."

http://www.timesherald.com/site/news...id=33380&rfi=6
It is notable that Mr. Berg is not a Republican, but is in fact a Hillary Clinton supporter.

I would not doubt, though, that this may be a way to simply defuse such accusations as early as possible to prevent them being used to sway public opinion close to the election.

There are a few interesting technicalities that may make this not so cut-and-dry, even with a valid birth certificate. I'm curious to see how it plays out.
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Old 2008-08-28, 22:18   Link #658
mg1942
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aoie_Emesai View Post
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post...october-1.html

Of course I only say this due to my ISP being Comcast itself. Though I really don't torrent too much to even reach a 250gb limit, the other users in this house will add to that since I know my brother torrents and seed like crazy.

What do you guys think of this?

That's nothing!

Here in Vegas, COX Communications caps my $45 internet 40GB downstream / 10GB upstream.
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Old 2008-08-29, 02:11   Link #659
Aoie_Emesai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mg1942 View Post
That's nothing!

Here in Vegas, COX Communications caps my $45 internet 40GB downstream / 10GB upstream.
I read in the article that other areas have an even harsher restriction. That is pretty horrible >.<
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Old 2008-08-29, 03:52   Link #660
mg1942
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aoie_Emesai View Post
I read in the article that other areas have an even harsher restriction. That is pretty horrible >.<
Look at the one that says "preferred plan".
http://www.cox.com/lasvegas/highspee...et/pricing.asp

I cry foul! But yet I'm glad I don't live in UK and Canada where internet there is much slower and it's under surveillance by Big Brother.

I download a lot. I have yet to feel slowdowns or receive a letter telling me that I'm hogging the bandwidth. I've been COX customer since 2003 and I guess data stream limit only applies to customers that signed up on after March 1, 2008.
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