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Except for the abuse of children and innocent women my input here in this lovely forum is mostly my own version of personal comedy. If something I post makes me laugh, which it often does, the reception here is pretty much meaningless to me. I enjoy it, which is what counts in my universe. But there is the rare exception when I'm genuinely curious what you people think about something.

Yes, You got that right. Mostly I don't care what you think because mostly your offerings, like mine, are predictable. I just tend to see my posts as entertaining, informative and hilarious and most of yours as dull, clueless and thick. See what I mean? I chuckled at the word *thick* to describe the standard issue RSP liberal and you mentally or physically **snorted** and a little double crease of annoyance appeared between your eyebrows... or in the case of several of you, in the center of your unibrow. Don't try and tell me it didn't because we all know it did. So now...

Formalities dispensed, on to the question -

Do you view cultures as having varying levels of quality or exellence? What I mean is simple, do you, the RSP smart people, view different cultures as being more or less better than other cultures? My curiosity on this subject is strong and I've pretty much run out of real people to have good discussions about this with and am now resorting to people who may or may not be real, you, but who give all outward signs of intelligence.

How about for simplicity I just copy/paste a nice Wikipedia definition of what a culture is:

When used as a count noun, "a culture" is the set of customs, traditions, and values of a society or community, such as an ethnic group or nation.

Personally, I view American culture as superior to all others based on more than just what group of Christians built the coolest Gothic churches and wrote the best symphonic compositions. The idea of what a culture has to offer to other cultures is both complicated and fraught with ideological battle lines. I'm pretty sure most of us can agree that some cultures just really suck. That said I also believe that people who actually think about this sort of thing tacitly vote for their favorite culture by living and establishing a base of operations within the physical boundaries that contains the locus of the culture they favor. You vote with your feet in other words.

My experiences with other cultures are reasonably deep but only in the sense of having lived and/or worked outside the American culture I favor. Like Mexico and their culture. I have worked and traveled there extensively and while I like some/many aspects of what Americans view as Mexican culture they aren't convincing enough to be considered a superior or better culture. To me anyway. And apparently to millions of Mexicans. Anyone who has worked/lived in Europe knows that there are definite cultural boundaries that are also political ones but that there are plenty of things culturally that are shared within the larger European culture. Like Canada, a separate nation politically than American but mostly identical culturally. Having lived in England, Spain and even briefly in Switzerland I can think of many cool things that exist there and not here but the culture overall is not up to my standard of what makes life better in one place and among one cultural group than in another.

Most Europeans probably feel the same way about their local culture, they view it as better and America's as not as good as the one they are a part of. Perfectly understandable, the French aren't slipping across the border down by Juarez in the thousands because they still like their culture enough to want to keep it, or in the case of modern France, try and save it from being swallowed whole by Islam. I wish them the best because, among other things, the Eiffel Tower just wouldn't be as attractive decorated with ISIS flags and guarded by Daesh holy warriors.

Which brings me to the argument that anyone who rejects the completely nebulous and fuzzy concept of multiculturalism is somehow racist or bigoted or a bigoted racist and they need to stop pretending they are not white oppressors and do something that hasn't yet been clearly defined. But we're supposed to do something to prove we aren't bigots. Which nobody I have ever talked to has been able to clearly articulate. And I have asked. Which is kind of what this thread is also about - wondering what it is the advocates of the misty idea of multiculturalism mean for the bigots to get.

Next - I live in what can only be considered a very multicultural neighborhood. I've discussed this over the years, Boise is one of the dumping grounds of the nearly 30 year old federally funded program to bring primarily African Muslims and Middle Eastern Muslms (along with many from the Balkans) into the USA for reasons that, like multiculturalism are not very clear. What i do know is that agencies, schools and churches compete heavily for each refugee and the pay off is substantial, roughly $50K to the organization who gets one of their *refugees* into the state and untold post arrival dollars through a host of support industries that transport, educate, escort and just generally make their money by providing services to the immigrants for many years after they arrive.

The problems created by the culture shock on both sides, actually all sides, are legion. Almost none of the adults ever learn English. It's appalling. I have interacted on a very surface level with some of the people now for well over a decade and except for the teens and young adults, they not only don't speak English, they look at me like I'm a lower life form for assuming they do. And the women practically go into shock if any white man speaks to them, mostly dipping their heads low and scurrying quickly away. It's pretty crazy - take my former next door neighbors. A Muslim family from Africa who were so devout and so isolated from the American culture that I just assume they were recent arrivals.

They weren't. In fact, I later learned from a college age son of the older couple that they had arrived when he was a baby. His sister had kids who stayed next door daily and the matriarch punished them for playing with my white, non-Muslim son. It was confusing to him. But the cool part was whenever she was distracted they snuck out and they all played and chattered over the fence. Until she same out and literally brushed them away from him with a broom. Wyatt and I just began to laugh at the whole broom thing. I eventually figured out that dad and mom (both younger than me) had clearly made a conscious decision that they would not integrate into American culture. And they were fighting a losing battle because I'm pretty sure their son and their grand kids are going to end up being culturally American.

What I later found out, when the college kid told me they were all moving, was that their three cars and all their rent along with his school fees were paid for with American tax dollars. They had allowances on a monthly basis for transportation, rent, food, language education, etc. What I deduced when he said they could no longer afford the rent was that they had overspent the stipend on payments for three relatively late model cars (Lexus SUV, Dodge Caravan, Mitsubishi SUV) and had to move all 7 or so of them into an apartment with no yard. It was an interesting experience and what i took away from it was that if you make entry into a nation that has a different culture too easy (or in this case free) there isn't a lot of motivation for the first wave adults to want to change. Why change when you can keep your language your clothes, your foods your religions your own special traits that you do not share with the host culture and it costs you nothing.

I'm not suggesting that the 1st generation African Muslim kids are culturally American yet - foe the most part they clearly are not and since my kid, now in 8th grade, goes to school with some of them and has interacted with others in the neighborhood, they are not "like us" culturally. The biggest tell is the abusive language, harassment and stalking of girls their own age in school. Like in Canada the locals try and keep a lid on it but Boise is not Toronto, I know people who know people etc and the events do not go unnoticed and parents here do not have any tolerance for their daughters being threatened by groups of three or four boys who firmly believe they are doing nothing wrong, thanks to fathers and mothers like my former neighbors. It's been quiet here on that front for a year or so but when I noticed some of the African immigrant kids not around I asked my son and he said they go to a different school now. I see no clear winner there. None. A multicultural failure.

Which leaves what? Food? Clothing styles? Hair or headdresses? Maybe religion? But Boise has long had a positive Muslim culture here, at least since I've been here and that's 35 years. So my impression is that if you bring people wholesale into this culture, pay for their needs and make no demands then they typically won't ever imagine questioning the superiority of their culture. Why bother adapting or exploring when you're getting a free ride and not only is nobody suggesting the culture that made you a refugee (imply threat to life) is not only probably better or at least as good as American culture, it's also more valuable in the sense that you are being paid to keep it while living within another culture that you refuse to be a part of.

Is this too nuanced for you? If you've read this far and aren't already typing a response calling me a racist then you're probably familiar with some of these thoughts. My supposition is that American Culture ie better than Balkan culture or Syrian culture or the many sub-Saharan African cultures for some pretty obvious reasons - the main one being they aren't rescuing us from our own political system. Nor are they sending billions a year in aid and wow, just a hundred or two other things. That doesn't mean I don't like the traditional clothes or foods or art, I do, but those are artifacts of all cultures, failures and successes. So yeah, American and European and Australasian cultures in particular are clearly superior to most others based on some pretty simple observable guidelines. I'm not suggesting nor would I want people who love and respect their cultures ought to abandon them. But I am suggesting that we are in the beginnings of a serious and forceful backlash to the whole concept that no culture is better and that Western cultures are somehow obligated to pay for the continued survival of clearly inferior cultures that would die off (having poorly served the humans who lived within them) except for our dollars and largess.

I'm not totally serious-serious about this subject but I am interested in any thoughtful responses, especially those that help light the path to understanding why there is a movement that asserts no culture is better than another when the facts are clear - some are better and they're easy to spot -- people are trying to get into them not away from them.

Oh, and before one of you posts it even though I warned you in the subject line - tl;dr


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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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I think it's more treating other cultures with basic respect.
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whac3 wrote:
I think it's more treating other cultures with basic respect.


Gosh. Thanks Moshe, for more of the same nebulous empty words. Especially given you are living in and a part of one of the most reviled and demeaned cultures in modern history and that your homeland is almost always under rocket attack, being burned out or attacked with knives bombs and vehicles.

Do you respect the culture that believes you are human scum and wants to kill you? That's multiculturalism? This is confusing to me. It's obvious that your Jewish culture and the democracy that you live and work under is clearly superior in almost every respect to the guys across the street there that want you dead. I see no respect for your people and culture at all.
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That depends what you mean. I respect the Muslims here who choose to live like decent human beings. That's actually most of them. I've no respect for Hamas and Fatah nor ISIS but they're political entities, not cultures.

Muslims are part of Israel and always have been. The "Palestinians" started as those Muslims who specifically rejected a multi-ethnic multi-religious secular state built round the concept of including a Jewish homeland. They were a minority. The conflict here has never been Jews vs. Arabs nor even Muslims. It's a conflict between those wanted to build a real secular pluralistic democracy in the Middle East and those who reject co-existence.

I cannot hold Muslims in contempt and support peaceful co-existence. Israel is about peaceful co-existence.
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whistle GOT "befriends" yet?

{
 
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DWTripp wrote:


Excellent post, Tripp.


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whac3 wrote:
I think it's more treating other cultures with basic respect.
DWTripp wrote:
Gosh. Thanks Moshe, for more of the same nebulous empty words. Especially given you are living in and a part of one of the most reviled and demeaned cultures in modern history and that your homeland is almost always under rocket attack, being burned out or attacked with knives bombs and vehicles.

Do you respect the culture that believes you are human scum and wants to kill you? That's multiculturalism? This is confusing to me. It's obvious that your Jewish culture and the democracy that you live and work under is clearly superior in almost every respect to the guys across the street there that want you dead. I see no respect for your people and culture at all.
"Projection Vomitus?" Being with "cordial regards" around others despite them being 'Foreign' overall, and generally "concealing conceit" if you're THAT sort. shake
 
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Ferretman wrote:
DWTripp wrote:


Excellent post, Tripp.


Ferret
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whac3 wrote:
I think it's more treating other cultures with basic respect.


So the next question is, if they don't treat you how you'd like to be treated, what then? At which point does the friction cause an inflection point, and what is the justified response? There's a time and place for calm and reasoned responses, there's also a time for action. I think different societies have different break points and I don't think that it's a bad thing. Invariably you need to just sit down and look at the ven diagram and realize that something has to give or else things will just get worse. I don't think it's wrong to think that in such a comparison, someone has to make concessions. Civil society is all about giving up freedoms for stability.

Edit: Whether it's the minority, the majority, old/new, it's all a matter of give and take but I think the ethics of who and what and why is worth discussing.
 
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Quote:
Do you view cultures as having varying levels of quality or exellence? What I mean is simple, do you, the RSP smart people, view different cultures as being more or less better than other cultures?


Culture is the expression in words, art, literature and the like of how people live their lives from day to day. People have different problems, they solve different problems, they come up with different solutions to problems, they talk about those solutions and those problems that they face in their culture that are different.

One can't 'measure' a culture as being inferior or superior without providing a metric- some criteria. And even well meaning types of criteria like 'allowing women to vote' is, in and of itself, a thing that we, in the West, think is important, but not something that is held in the same regard by people in other places and times. There are no 'constant, eternal truths' of what the 'good life' should entail or look like.

Some might see this as being unable to critique or want to change what they see as lapses in other cultures. I don't- rather, I see this as the necessary starting point to be able to honestly look at other cultures and share with them some of the values that we might feel are important, and take back from them new ways of looking at the world, new ways of solving problems in our lives. So while there is much in Islamic culture I don't like, there is much beauty there as well- and more to the point, I think there are many more commonalities between us and them than there are differences, a necessary starting point to share values.

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whac3 wrote:
I think it's more treating other cultures with basic respect.
draxx01 wrote:
So the next question is, if they don't treat you how you'd like to be treated, what then? At which point does the friction cause an inflection point, and what is the justified response? There's a time and place for calm and reasoned responses, there's also a time for action. I think different societies have different break points and I don't think that it's a bad thing. Invariably you need to just sit down and look at the ven diagram and realize that something has to give or else things will just get worse. I don't think it's wrong to think that in such a comparison, someone has to make concessions. Civil society is all about giving up freedoms for stability.

Edit: Whether it's the minority, the majority, old/new, it's all a matter of give and take but I think the ethics of who and what and why is worth discussing.
How about LEARN of one antoher's through however means you have of avail? You also then 'curtail' somebody more ignorant than you upon the matters, with 'scolding', since I prefer "off-hand remarks" & "back-hand retort *SLAP*!", while that's JUST how 'moi' were brought-up, and it worked! modest
 
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Quote:
why there is a movement that asserts no culture is better than another when the facts are clear - some are better and they're easy to spot -- people are trying to get into them not away from them.

I'm not sure I'm entirely following you on all of this, and I'm unaware of any general movements that's primary goal is asserting that "no culture is better than another" - but all sorts of movements exists for all sorts of reasons; some good, some bad, some silly, some that might have started from a logical place and progressed to extremes.

Regarding:
Quote:
...Western cultures are somehow obligated to pay for the continued survival of clearly inferior cultures...


I think a lot of the people looking to escape from places are not doing so based on the culture, but on the situation - economic hardship in the case of Mexico, war in the case of many refugees. In many cases, their property, lives and culture are at risk from other forces.

One of the big problems is that foreign actions, including those of the US, helped to create some of these situations; the US has regularly engaged in military actions in the Middle East that have destabilized areas and allowed extremist factions and leaders to take control. Africa suffered severe devastation for a very long time due to the kidnapping and enslaving by the West of their people. How much of the terrible situations are due to their "culture" and how much are due to the problems inflicted on them? I certainly don't know the answer; it is a terribly complex situation.

So we might want to help the refugees due to guilt at our complicity in the problem.

Some might want to help out of self-interest, to generate good-will and bridge gaps that could help us out in the long run. For example, Daesh's momentum was based partly on radicalizing people by claiming the West was waging a war on Islam; helping and establishing good will with the Islamic victims of their actions can help diffuse that notion.

Some might want to help out of basic empathy; they don't want to see other people suffering if they can help, regardless of whether those people "deserve" it or not. Some of this might be part of our culture; there (in theory at least) was a lot of Christian influence in the US:

Some book or other, probably not anything a lot of Americans care about wrote:
I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’

Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’

Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”


Some might even say that our willingness to help others, even when they are not part of our tribe is one of the things that contributes to our having a great culture.
 
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draxx01 wrote:
whac3 wrote:
I think it's more treating other cultures with basic respect.


Civil society is all about giving up freedoms for stability.



That is objectively false. The rest of your post was great in that you addressed a huge part of the problem with enforced multiculturalism.
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GROGnads wrote:
Ferretman wrote:
DWTripp wrote:


Excellent post, Tripp.


Ferret
:p QFTLACK



Is that like the Aflack duck commercial....?


Ferret
 
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StormKnight wrote:


I think a lot of the people looking to escape from places are not doing so based on the culture, but on the situation - economic hardship in the case of Mexico, war in the case of many refugees. In many cases, their property, lives and culture are at risk from other forces.


Look up *count noun*. What you're describing are parts of the culture that make up the whole. I agreed up front that all cultures, even the lousy failures had or have good parts, but they don't serve their people well enough to be considered superior. Sure, maybe in a historical context even the cultures that today we would view as brutal were more elevating and successful then.

So I disagree, Mexicans are not fleeing Mexico because they have an overall great culture, they're coming here because they want what ours offers.


Quote:
Some might even say that our willingness to help others, even when they are not part of our tribe is one of the things that contributes to our having a great culture.


I would say that, absolutely.
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DWTripp wrote:
draxx01 wrote:
whac3 wrote:
I think it's more treating other cultures with basic respect.


Civil society is all about giving up freedoms for stability.



That is objectively false. The rest of your post was great in that you addressed a huge part of the problem with enforced multiculturalism.


Eh, I can't run around willy nilly naked, I need a drivers license, I can't just sell certain products like a deer. There's tons of laws that restrict us that are also for our benefit. I mean trespassing is a thing, I can't just wander wherever I please, launch fireworks, start fires, dump oil into the drain, the expectation of personal property, drive at excessive speeds, etc. It depends on whether you think of those as giving up freedoms or not. Sure things wouldn't descend into pure anarchy but we've accepted a LOT of restrictions.
 
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draxx01 wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
draxx01 wrote:
whac3 wrote:
I think it's more treating other cultures with basic respect.


Civil society is all about giving up freedoms for stability.



That is objectively false. The rest of your post was great in that you addressed a huge part of the problem with enforced multiculturalism.


Eh, I can't run around willy nilly naked, I need a drivers license, I can't just sell certain products like a deer. There's tons of laws that restrict us that are also for our benefit. I mean trespassing is a thing, I can't just wander wherever I please, launch fireworks, start fires, dump oil into the drain, the expectation of personal property, etc. It depends on whether you think of those as giving up freedoms or not. Sure things wouldn't descend into pure anarchy but we've accepted a LOT of restrictions.


I don't want to derail my own post, but I'll tell you what you have wrong. We don't give up our freedoms here for stability, we define our freedoms and have had a centuries long run (with one four year burp) of stability because of stating the freedoms, not giving them up. The Constitution is our definition of freedoms and the manual for stability.
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DWTripp wrote:

I don't want to derail my own post, but I'll tell you what you have wrong. We don't give up our freedoms here for stability, we define our freedoms and have had a centuries long run (with one four year burp) of stability because of stating the freedoms, not giving them up. The Constitution is our definition of freedoms and the manual for stability.


I'll accept this as a glass half full vs half empty situation. I was speaking from the POV of civilization in general in terms of being applicable in any large social setting and not from just a US POV.
 
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GROGnads wrote:
Ferretman wrote:
DWTripp wrote:


Excellent post, Tripp.


Ferret
QFTLACK
Ferretman wrote:


Is that like the Aflack duck commercial....?


Ferret
>sauron "Duck" or "Mad Cow": known! You decide!
 
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Good topic.

Two issues off the top of my head.

A) Culture isn't a winner take all/zero sum game. Some cultures a clearly "better" in most metrics and can usually be seen by the flight of citizens from one to another. However, there are often trade off's within competing cultures and sometimes there are benefits to be had by adapting or adopting some of the ideas.

B) Culture isn't a still frame. It constantly changes. America as a culture in 1787 accepted slavery as an institution and imbedded that concept in it's brand new constitution. England was already well on the way toward abolition and would outlaw it long before the American Civil War. Was English Culture "better" than American culture? For quite some time the French language was dominant in Europe and the preferred language of monarchies, they managed to change the seat of the papacy to Avignon and were among the first nations in Europe to embrace democratic government over a monarchy. Was the French culture "better". Would you say that the culture of these nations are fixed as to which is superior or would you allow that such valuations change?

Promoting cultural diversity or, at least, awareness, gives us the opportunity to explore ways in which our own culture might improve and an opportunity to reflect upon our own cultural values through the eyes of outsiders. Self reflection has it's own value and is hard to do from an isolated position.
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I think a superior culture is a highly relative term thats comprised heavily on the context of the country your analyzing and those you are comparing it to.
You need to account for their relative military, economic, political influence. Countries also export their own culture, whether it be Victorian values, French style, Hollywood, religion, etc.
The issue being that how you rate and value those things are also pretty subjective based on your own society and it's values.
 
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One could comfortably put cultures like the Mongols and the Aztecs in the "Horrible" category (YES, I know not all aztecs and mongols, multi-culti leftist drones) and Western Cultures like Canada, United States and Scandinavian States in the "Pretty Good" slot. Cultural Relativism is pretty easy to demonstrate as false in almost every way. Likewise individuals are different and NOT equal. You can have someone that can benchpress 350, run a decent 50 yard sprint, do a 8 minute mile and be more well read and demonstrably smarter than someone else. And the person that is outmatched may not even have ANY qualities that make up for their weak spots. Not everything or everyone is equal. This inane notion that people try to push that everyone and everything is equal is nonsense.
 
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draxx01 wrote:
whac3 wrote:
I think it's more treating other cultures with basic respect.


So the next question is, if they don't treat you how you'd like to be treated, what then? At which point does the friction cause an inflection point, and what is the justified response? There's a time and place for calm and reasoned responses, there's also a time for action. I think different societies have different break points and I don't think that it's a bad thing. Invariably you need to just sit down and look at the ven diagram and realize that something has to give or else things will just get worse. I don't think it's wrong to think that in such a comparison, someone has to make concessions. Civil society is all about giving up freedoms for stability.

Edit: Whether it's the minority, the majority, old/new, it's all a matter of give and take but I think the ethics of who and what and why is worth discussing.


It depends. It always depends.

In some circumstances, peaceful solutions work.

In very similar circumstances, peaceful solutions are seen as weakness.

In some cases, the only answer is cultural genocide (MacAuthor killed parts of japanese culture. They simply weren't permitted to continue and the children were educated for years in ways that killed those values).

In some cases, the only answer is actual genocide (the u.s. used nuclear bombs and firebombed entire cities during the last world war in part because of kamikaze and insanely suicidal attacks by the japanese).

In most cases, attempts at cultural and actual genocide simply make the problem larger.

There is no right answer. It all "depends."

I think peaceful solutions are more likely to work with reasonable human beings. Some humans are not reasonable. But when you adopt their extreme means, then you lose the moral high ground. All you can say is it was them or us and I'd rather it be them.
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Georg von Lemberg
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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DWTripp wrote:
.. Like Canada, a separate nation politically than American but mostly identical culturally. ..


Easy there big fella, we are typically a nice people (so are Americans, but we are nice in a different and more passive-aggressive kind of way) but this type of shit really enrages us.
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