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Stupidity at its finest

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Re: Stupidity at its finest

Postby Fivelives » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:36 am

Hokahey wrote:
Nikachelle wrote:Man, I know people are berating me for pointing out the American angle, but WHY are all these ridiculous stories from the States??


I'll point out that Americans are simply the most interesting people on the planet. Have been for about the last 70 years or so. Its not that things like this don't happen in other places, just no one really cares outside of their backward, 3rd-world village where it most likely occured, unless the location happened to be London or Paris. An American does something, anything, and it makes headlines around the world.

The truth is, for all their expressed dislike of Americans, people from the world's other nations are near pathologically obsessed with what Americans are doing, and rightfully so. We're awesome. Also, the only reason anyone has even heard of Canada or Mexico is because they border us. You're welcome.

Since we're playing with stereotypes, I figured I'd add the American version of arrogant snobbery to the mix. Enjoy. :lol:


So America is the Jersey Shore of the world?
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Re: Stupidity at its finest

Postby Levantine » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:51 am

I was hunting for a Like button for that one. :(
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Re: Stupidity at its finest

Postby Hokahey » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:56 am

Fivelives wrote:
So America is the Jersey Shore of the world?


I was going to say no, but as I think on it, its clearly the single most accurate assessment of the situation. (pun not intended)
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Re: Stupidity at its finest

Postby Rachmaninoff » Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:31 am

Aubade wrote:
Njall wrote:I am Njall's lack of surprise.



How did no one else pick up on this awesome Palahniuk reference?


yes


Hokahey wrote:
Fivelives wrote:
So America is the Jersey Shore of the world?


I was going to say no, but as I think on it, its clearly the single most accurate assessment of the situation. (pun not intended)


I watched 2 mins of the jersey shore against my will and I wanted to stab my eyes out with a fork. to our friends around the world, if Hokahey's statement is accurate, I'm sorry. I didn't do anything to contribute. But I'm sorry.
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Re: Stupidity at its finest

Postby Njall » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:52 am

Kelaan wrote:
Njall wrote:Sigh. It's amazing how this oversimplification has, over the centuries, become the truth. Ah well. It ranks up there with listening to the revisionist history spouted by some Southerners.


Would you care to elaborate? I went with a very simplified overview of what was on Wikipedia (i.e., it was about taxes, not about tea itself), and am not sure what part of what I said can be likened to revisionist history.

You're right in that my "not about tea" point is simplified: at that time, the incestuous relationship between the East India Company and the British government was so tight that the tea trade was of major importance to the empire, and affected policy very heavily. (Imagine if Halliburton and all of the oil companies were the same company, and had very strong lobbies in Congress...) However, the Americans objected not to the tea (which was intended to undercut the Dutch teas), but mainly to the taxes on the teas which were imposed by Parliament (while they were unable to elect representatives to it).


Actually, the most onerous taxes - such as the stamp tax - had already been repealed. The problem for the British Exchequer lay in the way the colonies were structured - they did not readily permit the usual taxation structures found in England at the time. The only way to get taxation out the colonial populace was to tax exports/imports by means of tariffs and excise taxes. There was no mechanism to impose the kind of levy and fee structure that was used on farming and industry in England at the time - which were a wierd outgrowth of the feudal system - and thus no way to tax production.

A point that is often forgotten is that the French-Indian Wars had just ended and cost of the until-then-no-tax-paying colonists was massive. And until that point, there was little or no recoup from the colonies except on export/import taxation. It is interesting to note that the only people being taxed in the US at the time of the revolution were the wealthy - these were the only ones who were involved in manufacture, importation, and exportation of goods. The vast bulk of the population, the farmers, fishers, and crafters were not taxed directly and, by this time, the colonies had become more or less self sufficient.

As an aside, I will note that my ancestors, who were peacefully making cheese in Rhode Island at the time, were not being taxed. They, like many who saw no real problem with the status quo, remained loyal to the Crown. Many were forced to flee to Canada after the revolution - when the opportunity came to confiscated their neighbor's property after the war many of those who had sat out the war became *very* patriotic (and I shan't get into Calhoun's post-war antics. Ugh.)

That said, the big problem with taxation without representation was the Commons - it was dead set against the seating of non-English Members of Parliament who would be neither Whig nor Tory. Sort of like the problems we have in the US today with the two party system. Any attempts to include them were stymied by Parliament which, in the end, has the power to say who may or may not sit. This would also have created a move towards reforming "rotten boroughs" as Parliament's 'districts' had become notoriously corrupt after several *centuries* of neglect. Of course, this also doesn't deal with the problem of what sort of voice any such MPs would have considering the distance from Parliament to their constituents.

As someone once said, "Iiiiiiiits complicated."

P.S. I also find it very amusing but unsurprising that the modern "Tea Party" are financed by the Koch brothers.
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Re: Stupidity at its finest

Postby Fridmarr » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:45 am

Njall wrote:Actually, the most onerous taxes - such as the stamp tax - had already been repealed.
Yeah there was a lot of tit for tat going on, the tax on tea merely being the latest of a fairly large round of coming up with ways to tax colonists. The crown felt the need make the colonists know it could tax them if it wanted too.

Njall wrote:A point that is often forgotten is that the French-Indian Wars had just ended and cost of the until-then-no-tax-paying colonists was massive.
It's not forgotten but keep in mind, that tariffs and regulations basically forced colonists to trade almost exclusively with England. England had been receiving financial benefits from the colonies for nearly a century. England also had it's own financial jar of flies, completely unrelated to the colonists, that were no doubt a motivator for more revenue generation.

Njall wrote: only people being taxed in the US at the time of the revolution were the wealthy - these were the only ones who were involved in manufacture, importation, and exportation of goods. The vast bulk of the population, the farmers, fishers, and crafters were not taxed directly and, by this time, the colonies had become more or less self sufficient.
Well yeah, after direct taxes were objected to heavily, England tried an indirect approach. It's still the same thing, just further upstream and the people saw through it for what it was. Of course England was, to a large degree, missing the point anyhow. Then later there were the Intolerable Acts which brought forces outside of taxation to the forefront as well. Also, lots of tradesman who were not at all wealthy were feeling the direct effects of the various tax schemes. My ancestors who were mostly glass makers in PA, weren't so enamored with the crown, and ultimately much of the momentum for the revolution was popular.

Njall wrote:That said, the big problem with taxation without representation was the Commons - it was dead set against the seating of non-English Members of Parliament who would be neither Whig nor Tory. Sort of like the problems we have in the US today with the two party system.
Actually the power lying with parliament to choose who participates, as opposed to the people as we have today makes all the difference necessary. It's pretty hard to draw a corollary to our current two party system in this way.

Njall wrote:As someone once said, "Iiiiiiiits complicated."
It is complicated, but I'm not sure Kelaan's post which was very narrow in purpose, violated the spirit of the truth either.
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Re: Stupidity at its finest

Postby Rachmaninoff » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:58 am

Njall wrote:Actually, the most onerous taxes - such as the stamp tax - had already been repealed. The problem for the British Exchequer lay in the way the colonies were structured - they did not readily permit the usual taxation structures found in England at the time. The only way to get taxation out the colonial populace was to tax exports/imports by means of tariffs and excise taxes. There was no mechanism to impose the kind of levy and fee structure that was used on farming and industry in England at the time - which were a wierd outgrowth of the feudal system - and thus no way to tax production.

A point that is often forgotten is that the French-Indian Wars had just ended and cost of the until-then-no-tax-paying colonists was massive. And until that point, there was little or no recoup from the colonies except on export/import taxation. It is interesting to note that the only people being taxed in the US at the time of the revolution were the wealthy - these were the only ones who were involved in manufacture, importation, and exportation of goods. The vast bulk of the population, the farmers, fishers, and crafters were not taxed directly and, by this time, the colonies had become more or less self sufficient.

As an aside, I will note that my ancestors, who were peacefully making cheese in Rhode Island at the time, were not being taxed. They, like many who saw no real problem with the status quo, remained loyal to the Crown. Many were forced to flee to Canada after the revolution - when the opportunity came to confiscated their neighbor's property after the war many of those who had sat out the war became *very* patriotic (and I shan't get into Calhoun's post-war antics. Ugh.)

That said, the big problem with taxation without representation was the Commons - it was dead set against the seating of non-English Members of Parliament who would be neither Whig nor Tory. Sort of like the problems we have in the US today with the two party system. Any attempts to include them were stymied by Parliament which, in the end, has the power to say who may or may not sit. This would also have created a move towards reforming "rotten boroughs" as Parliament's 'districts' had become notoriously corrupt after several *centuries* of neglect. Of course, this also doesn't deal with the problem of what sort of voice any such MPs would have considering the distance from Parliament to their constituents.

As someone once said, "Iiiiiiiits complicated."

P.S. I also find it very amusing but unsurprising that the modern "Tea Party" are financed by the Koch brothers.


Interesting. So if it was the manufactures who were getting taxed then how did they rally the people to revolt? I'm assuming raising the cost of XYZ and blaming it on the taxes which was implemented from Parliament?
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Re: Stupidity at its finest

Postby Njall » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:10 am

Rachmaninoff wrote:Interesting. So if it was the manufactures who were getting taxed then how did they rally the people to revolt? I'm assuming raising the cost of XYZ and blaming it on the taxes which was implemented from Parliament?


People don't like being taxed. And it's easy to drum up resentment for a by-now distant and nigh-foreign overlord - immigration from England had long since slowed and the bulk of the population had had many generations to become their own people - certainly many no longer regarded themselves as English. Even if it may be against their own best interests, you can convince people otherwise through newspapers, pamphlets, inspiring speeches, promises of pie in the sky, the occasional red shirt incident, and so forth. The behavior of the rather corrupt governance system didn't help either. These things are always easier if there are some real grievances to help fan the flames. What's good enough for the Founding Fathers is obviously good enough for the Tea Party (and the Koch brothers). :roll:
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Re: Stupidity at its finest

Postby Fridmarr » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:11 am

Rachmaninoff wrote:Interesting. So if it was the manufactures who were getting taxed then how did they rally the people to revolt? I'm assuming raising the cost of XYZ and blaming it on the taxes which was implemented from Parliament?

Note that Njall said, "at the time of the revolution". England had tried various tax schemes some more direct than others.

It wasn't completely about taxes, and certainly not the cost of the taxes. Heck the Tea Tax actually lowered the cost of tea because England lifted inbound tariffs when the tea was re-exported to the colonies. At this point it wasn't just about tax revenue from England's perspective either, they wanted to send a message to let the colonies know that they were a taxing authority whether the colonists liked it or not. The colonists weren't opposed to the actual cost of the tea (I'm sure they enjoyed the fact that it was cheaper), as much as they were opposed to being taxed by a government in which they had no say.
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Re: Stupidity at its finest

Postby Njall » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:23 am

Fridmarr wrote:
It wasn't completely about taxes, and certainly not the cost of the taxes. Heck the Tea Tax actually lowered the cost of tea because England lifted inbound tariffs when the tea was re-exported to the colonies. At this point it wasn't just about tax revenue from England's perspective either, they wanted to send a message to let the colonies know that they were a taxing authority whether the colonists liked it or not. The colonists weren't opposed to the actual cost of the tea (I'm sure they enjoyed the fact that it was cheaper), as much as they were opposed to being taxed by a government in which they had no say.


Yes. And giving that necessary Parliamentary reform proved impossible against the existing vested interests there. After all, the problems in the colonies were a distant, minor affair. Anything that happened in England was always of more import. Period. The US is like that now - nothing that happens in the world matters as much as some guy who gets himself killed by a rooster or some pot-head who calls the cops in on himself.

And thus we come full circle.

It is interesting to note that, after the American Revolution, the other colonies such as British North America, the Cape Colony, Jamaica (a hugely important prize), and Australia received a much greater say in their own affairs. Indeed, the slow dismantling of the East India Company* and it's self-serving control of India and the creation of a more... civil government began at this point as well.

* You start taking the Crown's rights and prerogatives in areas that the Crown claims, it gets noticed. Eventually, you can't pay them enough to ignore the usurpation of authority.
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Re: Stupidity at its finest

Postby Fridmarr » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:42 am

Njall wrote:
Fridmarr wrote:
It wasn't completely about taxes, and certainly not the cost of the taxes. Heck the Tea Tax actually lowered the cost of tea because England lifted inbound tariffs when the tea was re-exported to the colonies. At this point it wasn't just about tax revenue from England's perspective either, they wanted to send a message to let the colonies know that they were a taxing authority whether the colonists liked it or not. The colonists weren't opposed to the actual cost of the tea (I'm sure they enjoyed the fact that it was cheaper), as much as they were opposed to being taxed by a government in which they had no say.


Yes. And giving that necessary Parliamentary reform proved impossible against the existing vested interests there. After all, the problems in the colonies were a distant, minor affair. Anything that happened in England was always of more import. Period. The US is like that now - nothing that happens in the world matters as much as some guy who gets himself killed by a rooster or some pot-head who calls the cops in on himself.

And thus we come full circle.
Yeah, I think the relationship really just became untenable for many reasons, and you've hit on several.

Though to your second point, that is actually reinforced globally, unfortunately. It's probably not valid now, but Nika posted that link to the BBC site yesterday which included the article about the rooster incident. On top of that, the page was listed as US & Canada, but of the 15 or so articles on the page, exactly zero were about Canada. There are lots of reasons for all of that we could discuss, but at the end of the day, it is what it is.


PS: Bonus points on the obnoxious meter for using "at the end of the day" and "it is what it is" back to back?
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Re: Stupidity at its finest

Postby Passionario » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:43 am

*looks at the current discussion in this thread*
*looks at his wife's computer screen and sees that she's playing
Sid Meier's Colonization*
*is greatly amused by this Jungian synchronicity*
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Re: Stupidity at its finest

Postby Njall » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:56 am

Fridmarr wrote:Yeah, I think the relationship really just became untenable for many reasons, and you've hit on several.

Though to your second point, that is actually reinforced globally, unfortunately. It's probably not valid now, but Nika posted that link to the BBC site yesterday which included the article about the rooster incident. On top of that, the page was listed as US & Canada, but of the 15 or so articles on the page, exactly zero were about Canada.


The sad thing is? The BBC has improved its coverage as there was Latin America and US with Canadian events showing up in the US coverage if they showed up at all. But the BEEB has been chastised about that before - about the only news that comes out of Canada from the BBC is environmental catastrophes, decapitations, and the murder of adorable baby animals. I prefer to get my Canadian news through the CBC. The Beeb does have good foreign coverage, at least for large noisy things as they still maintain an extensive network of foreign offices and reporters - something most US networks stopped doing years ago.

CNN is about as bad but started putting a Canadian section into its feed when they realized that a) the Canadian population is, proportionately, more net-integrated than the US one, and b) spend considerably more on internet purchases and downloads per capita than the US.

And you missed, "by and large". Incidentally, there's a page devoted to the amount of colloquial English that is derived from nautical terms. It's a staggeringly large list.
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Re: Stupidity at its finest

Postby Fridmarr » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:20 pm

Passionario wrote:*looks at his wife's computer screen and sees that she's playing Sid Meier's Colonization*
That reminds me, there's some new MMO coming out in a few months called Empire and State. I don't know a whole lot about it, it made some news locally because the company that makes is based in Seattle or something. Anyhow, I thought it would be pretty cool (if the game isn't terrible) to have a Maintankadin group of allies there. With our diverse backgrounds and positions on politics and economics, I think it would be very interesting.

Njall wrote:the Canadian population is, proportionately, more net-integrated than the US one
Actually they are, not surprisingly, almost identical (though it's a fairly shady metric in the first place, just ask verizon).
http://www.internetworldstats.com/am/us.htm
http://www.internetworldstats.com/am/ca.htm

In any event I love the CBC, it's about the only place I can watch curling, which for reasons I haven't figured out yet, I rather enjoy.
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Re: Stupidity at its finest

Postby Njall » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:45 pm

Significant difference between the two Broadband penetration in Canada is far more pervasive. I admit, it has gotten to the point where I don't consider having dialup to be internet use these days.

From the second link you cited:
In 2000, only 12.1% of all Canadian households had a broadband connection. In 2004, it is expected that the penetration rate will increase to 42.6%. The US, in contrast, is not expected to achieve a comparable penetration until 2006. The current penetration rate in the US is only 29.1%. By 2006 it is expected to reach 41.0%.

For 2003 Canada ranked fourth worldwide in terms of broadband households as a percentage of total households. The US held the tenth position with a 22.5%.


According to the first link you gave, only 35% of US users have broadband access. In 2009, over 90% of Canadians had access to broadband. At least according to the PMO. A major difference is that a long-running Federal mandate in Canada has made access to broadband far more universal than it is in the US. In addition, the telcos in Canada operate differently, their regulation viewed more as a public utility than a cash-cow.
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