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Old 11-22-2007, 04:44 PM   #1
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What does it mean to be an American???

Born and raised here in the states, I've always felt a real sense of pride in being an American. In addition to the "freedom" we are so privileged to have here among many other things I've always reveled in the fact that we have people here from different cultural backgrounds that even still identify as an "American". However many of those people (yes, even the ones that have had roots here for well over one hundred years and some even thousands) are eluded by what it is to be an "American" in that they exclude themselves from the rest of society to live in pretentious cultural bubbles that ultimately do more harm than good. When I find people that realize the only barriers that exist between individuals are psychological and understand and have an appreciation for what this country offers to it's citizens, then I'm reminded of what a "true American" is.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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Old 11-22-2007, 11:35 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by DerScotsman View Post
Born and raised here in the states, I've always felt a real sense of pride in being an American. In addition to the "freedom" we are so privileged to have here among many other things I've always reveled in the fact that we have people here from different cultural backgrounds that even still identify as an "American". However many of those people (yes, even the ones that have had roots here for well over one hundred years and some even thousands) are eluded by what it is to be an "American" in that they exclude themselves from the rest of society to live in pretentious cultural bubbles that ultimately do more harm than good. When I find people that realize the only barriers that exist between individuals are psychological and understand and have an appreciation for what this country offers to it's citizens, then I'm reminded of what a "true American" is.
I mean, I'm proud to be an American too-- but everything in bold print... I have no idea of what you're talking about. ya lost me.
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Old 11-23-2007, 12:07 AM   #3
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I believe he's talking about cultural segregation, how different cultures refrain from 'meshing' due to mutually shared fears that are both unbiased. Racism is a common one (fear due to race, often shown as anger and intolerance), but there are many not quite as... offensive.

I'm Canadian, so I can't really talk about what it is to be American... and it's not thanksgiving! (haha)

However, I believe we share a certain North-American culture, that is defined by freedom and personal power, having what you EARN, and giving only what you want to. A kind of life that is controlled soley by the choices that YOU decide to make - it is personally empowering. While we all tend to live in the shadow of what we *could* have, preferences and priorities result in us choosing the things we MOST want.

And in this particular vista, I believe that the Camaro ties us all together.
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Old 11-23-2007, 12:30 AM   #4
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I mean, I'm proud to be an American too-- but everything in bold print... I have no idea of what you're talking about. ya lost me.
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Originally Posted by Good53X View Post
I believe he's talking about cultural segregation, how different cultures refrain from 'meshing' due to mutually shared fears that are both unbiased. Racism is a common one (fear due to race, often shown as anger and intolerance), but there are many not quite as... offensive.
Bingo.
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Old 11-23-2007, 12:51 AM   #5
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Ok, so racism-- just needed specifics. "When I find people that realize the only barriers that exist between individuals are psychological and understand and have an appreciation for what this country offers to it's citizens, then I'm reminded of what a "true American" is." k, I'm with ya now.

My brain took a detour when I read, "appreciation for what this country offers to it's citizens"-- I thought, unfair taxes and no health care. Sorry man, it's late....
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Old 11-23-2007, 06:20 AM   #6
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Just be thankful we don't have Hillarycare yet. They have the National Health Service out here, and now the people are pulling their own teeth because they can't find a good dentist at a fair price (all the good ones went private and jacked up prices because there are so few of them, the rest that stayed with the NHS burned out of heavy work loads, low pay) and people who need drugs to treat cancer have to live in certain postal codes to get them. If they live in the wrong part of town, they're out of luck. So this Thanksgiving, for all of the problems our healthcare system has, I'm thankful we don't have nationalized healthcare.
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Old 11-23-2007, 10:47 AM   #7
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Frankly the NHS is a joke... and the government of the UK needs a dam good kick up the arse... they seem to have no idea where to spend money and when to spend it, the country is so tied up in red tape now we find it hard to move without annoying someone....
Plus the UK is awash with CCTV, everywhere you go someone is watching you...and the guys i.e. the tax office seem to like playing silly games with personal info, in fact just the kind of info that I.D. Fraudsters like to get their hands on.
Of course then theirs fuel tax... oh brother that's depressing.

But lets face it they don't call it "Rip Off Britain" for nothing.

I used to be proud to be English... now a feel fairly ashamed to be a part of this country.... just some of the reasons i'm moving!!

Definitely be proud of America, after all it's come along way in a relatively short time... and obviously you bought us Chevy
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:28 PM   #8
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Definitely be proud of America, after all it's come along way in a relatively short time... and obviously you bought us Chevy
Wow... you don't hear compliments about The United States like that often. And you're right, America has come a very long way in a short amount time.

I was thinking... we invented the light bulb, telephone, television, radio, video games, basketball, baseball, football (all the important one's!) computers, the internet for cryin'-out-loud, and we've been to the moon & back, and the list goes on... this country's suh-weet!
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:51 PM   #9
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eh, race relations still suck, health care isn't great.. still have bigger wrinkles to iron out.
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Old 11-23-2007, 05:07 PM   #10
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I was thinking... we invented the light bulb, telephone, television, radio, video games, basketball, baseball, football (all the important one's!) computers, the internet for cryin'-out-loud, and we've been to the moon & back, and the list goes on... this country's suh-weet!
Well the T.V was an evolution started be a German call Paul Nipkow.. it was kind of a scanning disc image... then a Scotsman By the name of John Logie Baird is well remembered for building the Mechanical T.V... he also invented the first Colour picture tube.... also in the 1920's Charles Frances Jenkins invented his version of the Mechanical T.V... which he called radio vision.
CRT was invented by a German called Karl Braun in 1897... and it goes on really.

Radio... Guglielmo Marconi (Italian) in 1895 Recieved his first radio signal, 1899 flashed the first wireless signal across the English Channel... Granted Mahlon Loomis was the first to demonstrate the possibility of wireless communication... but Nikola Tesla (Croatian) is credited as being the first to patent Radio technology 1943.

And Football... well i guess you mean "American Football".. a modified version of Rugby really which was invented by William Webb Ellis.
Basketball Was a Canadian guy called James Naismith.

The guy that started all the Computer stuff off was a German called Konrad Zuse who basically invented the first freely programmable computer... in 1936

And the Lightbulb... well there is a list before it gets to Edison (Edison basically improved the design and made the first Bulb to last over 1200 hours) but that wasn't until 1880.. electric Light was invented by an english guy called Humphry Davy in 1809
Warren De La Rue invented the first type of tube lamp in 1820
Scotsman James Lindsay invented a prototype Bulb in 1835
German Henricg Globel invented the first true Lightbulb in 1854.

but the others i'll give you...
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Old 11-23-2007, 11:39 PM   #11
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Wow... you don't hear compliments about The United States like that often. And you're right, America has come a very long way in a short amount time.

I was thinking... we invented the light bulb, telephone, television, radio, video games, basketball, baseball, football (all the important one's!) computers, the internet for cryin'-out-loud, and we've been to the moon & back, and the list goes on... this country's suh-weet!
not that you shouldn't be proud as an American, but boy you picked a lot of things that Americans didn't invent. In addition to the above post of things that weren't invented by Americans, Basketball was invented by a Canadian, Dr. James Naismith. Although the telephone was first patented in the US, Alexander Grahame Bell was a Scot who immigrated to Canada and later to the US, still retreating to Canada every year for summer. Finally, football was invented by Americans, but first played in Canada. Every year Harvard would play McGill University in a game of rugby. In 1874, the Harvard rugby came up to Montreal to play a game and suggested a few rule changes (forward passing) to the game of rugby and thus the first game of American football was played in Canada.
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Old 11-24-2007, 12:32 AM   #12
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Being American is great, but it isn't perfect, and everyone should remember that we have a lot of work to do in this country and in the world.
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Old 11-24-2007, 01:27 AM   #13
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I'm completely comfortable with telling someone, "yeah, I'm American."
To me that says it all. I can't quite nail down what exactly spawns this pride. But I am proud to say it, and that's all I need.

What's curious is you have different viewpoints (some of which were brought up in here:p) about 'who' invented something; which seems to be the measure of who's 'better'. Sure it may have been invented in the states, but the argument arises of what the individual's nationality is. I think both are a sort of moot point, honestly. Cause no matter where you're from, if you've got the brains for it, you're gonna make something great. The only thing I'll say is that America tends to allow more of that 'outside of the box' thinking; moreso than other countries. Which creates the atmosphere that allows for inventing and creative growth to take place. That's why "America" has invented so many things.

You have to have been born here, and have had all your life to become affected by the atmosphere of America to invent something and chalk it up solely to the Country, IMO. Otherwise, it's your invention.

But what does it mean to be American? I don't know. It changes too much. What somebody would have said 50 years ago doesn't hold true today. and what I say today, can bite me in the ass tomorrow. I think it's our independance, and our ability to make things, and provide for oursleves if need be that makes us American. We're cocky, with good reason (though not always apropriate), we're smart (we did take half a continent for ourselves only 200 years ago), and we're generally a stable place - a comparitively fair mediator when the social differences in the Europe, and Asia encounter a meltdown.

I don't like what we're doing right now in a certain sandy place right now for all the above reasons. NOT fair, NOT stable, and no reason to be cocky...

We've also got great neighbors to the North, and wonderful friends across the Atlantic, and in the middle of the Pacific.

Every nation has issues, and ever nation fixes them at some point. America is no different..........

But we've got Chevy
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Old 11-24-2007, 01:50 AM   #14
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I've been watching this thread for the last couple days, trying to figure out what to say.

First off, to me Americans are loud and proud. To be American is to believe that everyone should have freedom and independence. Its about having the freedom of choice, be it education, goods and services, government, etc. Its also about doing what feels needed to secure that freedom. Now, none of this is necessarily a bad thing. But it does result in things like the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
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Old 11-24-2007, 10:53 AM   #15
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not that you shouldn't be proud as an American, but boy you picked a lot of things that Americans didn't invent. In addition to the above post of things that weren't invented by Americans, Basketball was invented by a Canadian, Dr. James Naismith. Although the telephone was first patented in the US, Alexander Grahame Bell was a Scot who immigrated to Canada and later to the US, still retreating to Canada every year for summer. Finally, football was invented by Americans, but first played in Canada. Every year Harvard would play McGill University in a game of rugby. In 1874, the Harvard rugby came up to Montreal to play a game and suggested a few rule changes (forward passing) to the game of rugby and thus the first game of American football was played in Canada.
Ok, let me reiterate. I never said that “Americans” as in Cecil from Omaha, invented all this stuff. I meant that to say that it was invented & patented “in” America -that makes it American. This is mostly technical information anyway due to the fact that America is made up of immigrants. People born in other regions and later nationalizing here.

A good example is Louis Joseph Chevrolet- dude was born in Switzerland. Time passes- he moves to America, becomes a citizen and before you know it, it’s an American Revolution!

James Naismith was in fact born in Canada -never disputed it- but he did invent basketball in America and became an American citizen.

Rugby? Well, you guys were doing it wrong. kidding…

John Baird had more of an electromechanical setup, one of the early precursors to television—but not quite. All those folks previously listed were mostly working on/in different areas of the television. Credit as to who the inventor of the “modern television” really goes out to a lot of people, including Philo Farnsworth -Utah boy. But one person in particular is Vladimir Zworykin, a Russian-American pioneer of television technology. Zworykin invented a television transmitting and receiving system using cathode ray tubes- grass roots stuff. But, a lot of folks laid the ground work and as was mentioned, the list goes on…

A lot of people tried to make the light bulb but those damn things didn’t work like the one Edison’s company patented. All fairness- there is a long list.

Alexander Graham Bell was born in Scotland -absolutely- he also became a US citizen- and he did invent & patent the telephone in America.

Computers? Actually, I think it was the Babylonians that developed the world’s first computing device called the Abacus. Ancient China used it like it had Windows installed. There are also ancient manuscripts dating back to that period stating that the system crashed a lot.
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Old 11-24-2007, 09:44 PM   #16
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We've also got great neighbors to the North
Damn straight
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Old 11-24-2007, 11:15 PM   #17
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Typically I tell someone I'm "Texan" instead of saying I'm "American", nothing against the country as a whole there. Just love Texas, and as far as being a "American". I'm just as proud of that too. Life, liberty.
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Old 11-24-2007, 11:26 PM   #18
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Life, liberty.
and the Persuit.

Cadillac.



Sorry, I had to.

I, too tend to refer to myself by my state, more than America as a whole. Which ever my mouth would rather say that day, it seems.
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