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This should get a reaction(43 posts)

This should get a reactionEager Beagle
Nov 20, 2002 2:05 AM,7445,843750,00.html

It's a field day for the Guardian haters...
This one I'll cop to.Sintesi
Nov 20, 2002 5:49 AM
Most Americans suck at geography. Most Americans would struggle to find Washington D.C. on a map. I'm surprised that Americans thought the United Kingdom was a Middle Eastern country instead of a section of Disney World. This shows a growing sophistication amongst our provincials. I would remind you that although the vast majority of our population are blissful ingnoramuses, we do have about 8 or 9 guys here that are really f**king smart and probably were born knowing what the United Kingdom was. So no worries old bean.
Good answer, Sintesi. These frequent postsRhodyRider
Nov 20, 2002 6:15 AM
by our British pals may seem on the surface to be more sophisticated than RRP was, but underneath the amusing accent there nevertheless lurks a hungry troll.
Did it occur to youEager Beagle
Nov 20, 2002 6:37 AM
that some of us are unbiased, and might just like to hear both sides of the story?

I am glad that you get an accent through the typing - what software are you using for that?
Nov 20, 2002 7:11 AM
hungry troll in one respect - but as EB said both sides of the story are important and are often not presented in the land of the free and the home of the brave - nobody even asks the right questions - not even the democrats :-O

I thought yesterdays Poindexter thread was quite enjoyable - it was quite an innocent (and genuine) post - the question being - should this guy be appointed to do this job?

rather than address the question it appeared to be taken by the posters that the whole story was made up (reference was made to Neil Hamilton as "evidence" by the normally even handed TJean) and then justified because Clinton lied after getting a blowjob - and then there was the ridiculous XXX spy strategy: "we need bad motherf***er to do a dirty job..." Matno the neo-Nazi also chimed in to note Oliver North is a hero - exactly who is the troll in that scenario?

I did like czardonics - give 'em enough rope to hang themselves approach - but then again he appears to be able to read

I saw Michael Moore do his stand up routine last night at the Roundhouse in Camden - he doesn't look hungry but you'd certainly class him as a troll too

BTW people in this country do not consider themselves to have an accent
With due respect, that's not what I said,TJeanloz
Nov 20, 2002 7:20 AM
I didn't alledge that the Guardian had made up the story on Poindexter, only that I don't believe 100% of everything I read. My position on the story, and the question at hand, is that not nearly enough evidence was presented in the article to make a fair judgement on whether or not Poindexter should have been appointed. I maintain what I said- from the evidence presented in the Guardian, it seems suspect that Poindexter was given this job, but I'd like to hear the other side of the story before I come to a conclusion.
I knowMJ
Nov 20, 2002 7:33 AM
you're answer to the question was even handed - and even the pro Hamilton website was amusing though very very offbase - I forwarded it to some mates who enjoyed the laugh

my point is that the Poindexter question should be asked by people in the US and it's being avoided (smoke and mirrors from Bush & Co) - the slightest mention or hint of (reasonable) questioning regarding the US status quo seems to engender a hysterical response from people here - while the other side of the story which you are waiting for will (apparently) never be broached in the US press

BTW - people who rely on and believe in everything the Guardian writes are called Guardianistas - even by fellow left thinking bretheren such as myself

I couldn't find the other Poindexter articles from other Euro papers that I'd read but they're around - and some gave considerably more background
Nov 20, 2002 7:32 AM
The XXX thing was all yours. I'm glad you agree it was ridiculous. I have to see the movie now to see if I can figure out what the hell you are talking about.
when you do you will be ashamed and will want to apologise - nmMJ
Nov 20, 2002 7:36 AM
Is we dumb at jeeograffy? You be da jjuj.Sintesi
Nov 20, 2002 10:24 AM
Ask me if I care,TJeanloz
Nov 20, 2002 6:54 AM
Does the opinion of a mid-level government worker matter at all to me? Let me think about it. This is from the Director of Tourism or some such thing? By the way, it is probably not good form for the head of the tourism office to be insulting the intelligence of potential tourists.

And in fairness to my American friends, the U.K. political structure is not the easiest of concepts to understand. Are England, Scotland, Wales and N.I. their own countries, or not? If not, then why does Scotland have its own Parliament? Is Northern Ireland a part of the U.K.? How many names can one country have for the same land mass? It's like the old money system in England: if you weren't born with it, you had no hope of understanding it; but you ridicule foreigners for not grasping it.
Not hardEager Beagle
Nov 20, 2002 7:05 AM
NI is not a sep. country (it's a province) the others are. They each have a parliment.

They have them for the same reasons States in the US have their own executives - local government by locals.

What's so hard about that?

I have never heard anyone "ridicule foreigners" over the old money system. It went out in 1971 for God's sakes.

The saying goes, the Kingdoms are called Kingdoms, because they are ruled by a King. Principalities are so called because they are ruled by a Prince. The US is a country, because it's ruled by a....
Not trueMJ
Nov 20, 2002 7:14 AM
I heard you ridiculing them last week for that very reason

I always thought the only reason for the split was so each 'country' can have its own football team - it's noted that's not how the UK Track and Field (or olympic ice brushing) teams are formulated for World Events

we could discuss the constitutional law position to make things more interesting
When is a country not a country?TJeanloz
Nov 20, 2002 7:16 AM
Wait a minute, if England, Scotland and Wales are all countries, what is the U.K.? Is it like NATO- an alliance of independant countries? Or is it a mini-EU, like Benelux? And if Kingdoms are ruled by Kings, who is the King of the U.K.? Should it not be the United Queendom? And to further complicate things, what the hell is the Commonwealth?

I perfectly understand the system and the reasoning behind it. I just think it's a little asinine to pick on foreigners who don't understand what is not the most simple government structure in the world. Americans have a hard enough time understanding their own government, let alone another one.
None of them.Eager Beagle
Nov 20, 2002 7:37 AM
Kingdom is the historical title. The only thing that changes when there is only a Queen is the notes and coins. It would be tedious to have to change all the other stationary.

The commonweath is simply all the countries we used to rape for people and minerals, and are now friendly with.

Fair point. I studied the American governmental and political system 12 hours a week for 2 years, and the electoral college system still leave me non-plussed.
both systems have something in commonMJ
Nov 20, 2002 7:39 AM
neither allow for the direct election of the executive
Utter RubbishEager Beagle
Nov 20, 2002 7:45 AM
Do you not watch Pop Star and Big Brother?
Then how come we're not in the Commonwealth?TJeanloz
Nov 20, 2002 7:45 AM
The U.K. raped what became the United States, and now we're chums, how come we don't get to be in your club?

No need to answer, I'm just trying to point out the degree to which the system doesn't make sense to people who don't know it intimately.
You lotEager Beagle
Nov 20, 2002 7:48 AM
never got around to replying to the invite, and you missed out.

None of this has anything to do with the story of course, which is about the term United Kingdom being unfamiliar to Americans.
You know what you need: a good publicistTJeanloz
Nov 20, 2002 7:55 AM
It seems that this problem is being addressed at the right level. The U.K. office of tourism needs to get the "U.K." name out. They should make a special effort to make sure that incorrect references to "Britain", "Great Britain", "England" (recognizing that there are 'correct' uses of the term- but in the U.S., we use it interchangably with the U.K.). We'll also need a snappy new name for people from the U.K., because it's confusing to have them be "British". It's a branding issue, and a complete image makeover seems to be the only solution.
I think this exact issue was addressed inMJ
Nov 20, 2002 8:08 AM
"The Tipping Point"...
PLEASE don't say thatEager Beagle
Nov 20, 2002 8:14 AM
if our current goverment, headed by the biggest exponent of spin, PR, publicity, smoke, mirrors etc that you can poossibly imagine hears anyone foreign saying that we need MORE of it, he'll drown in his own trouser juice....
Please, our man is the biggest exponent of spin,TJeanloz
Nov 20, 2002 8:20 AM
smoke and mirrors, etc. Tony Blair is a mere intern to the ways of governmental smoke and mirrors.

We don't even know when criminals are appointed to high-level spy agencies....
Different ways to skin the same catEager Beagle
Nov 20, 2002 8:24 AM
GW may be an exhibition standard governmental spin man, but Tony brings a groundbreaking personal dimension to the job. If you cut him in half, you'd see noting but a mysterous choking bullshit smelling smoke...
Yeah, instead of "British" how about UKers?Sintesi
Nov 20, 2002 8:25 AM
Of course, mom and pop in Sioux Falls will probably pronounce it "Uckers." That could be problematic in fast conversation or over long distance phone lines.
Nov 20, 2002 8:31 AM
if Poindexter gets to set the parameters for the electronic surveillance - he'll skip all the illegal arm shipment triggers and programme in "offensive" languuage... :-)
I like it! nmEager Beagle
Nov 20, 2002 8:35 AM
Because we got out long beforemohair_chair
Nov 20, 2002 8:10 AM
The Commonwealth was only created after WWI, in a desperate attempt to keep the British Empire alive after some big setbacks (Turkey in 1920, Ireland in 1922, etc.) and really took hold when the whole house of cards fell down after WWII.

The USA got out 150 years too soon, but it probably wouldn't have joined anyway. The former dominions, territories, protectorates, and colonies that made up the empire were still generally friendly towards Britain when they were granted independence. The USA was not.

The surprising thing is that Britain still has colonies. Hong Kong was the most famous, but there's also Gibraltar, Ascension Island, St. Helena (of Napolean fame). The closest to our shores are Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands.
Who's the King of Wales? Of Scotland? nmBrooks
Nov 20, 2002 4:46 PM
Same monarchEager Beagle
Nov 21, 2002 4:07 AM
as it King/Queen of England.
Right. So why still The United Kingdoms of England, Wales, &Brooks
Nov 21, 2002 3:27 PM
Scotland? At least this Yank can find them all on the map.
It's just one Kingdom53T
Nov 21, 2002 4:16 PM
"The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland"
Just one.
if that's what it takes to feel goodtrekkie1
Nov 20, 2002 7:22 AM
I'm sort of with TJ in that it's pretty stupid to insult your customers.

Yes, many Americans are pretty bad with geography, particularly foreign. I knew a woman once who could not tell me which direction an adjoining state was from where we were. Given that, I wouldn't expect she'd know whether Ireland was part of the U.K., or what the heck the U.K. is, for that matter.

I'd bet if you polled Americans on the subject, 95% would be ignorant of U.K. geography, and 99% wouldn't care.

Nonetheless, if the Brits need to feel superior by thinking that Americans are ignorant about British geography, let's let them have their warm and fuzzies.
Not the pointEager Beagle
Nov 20, 2002 7:44 AM
Now don't go getting all hot under the collar, no one was having a go at the US.

The point was that the title United Kindom is unfamiliar.

Which surprises me, if for no other reason, because on most US web-sites mailing instruction page the drop down in the country box almost invariably uses the term United Kingdom.
yeah butMJ
Nov 20, 2002 7:53 AM
the default is always set to US - so people from the US never have to scramble around for the right country...

people are touchy indeed
Not the pointmohair_chair
Nov 20, 2002 8:47 AM
The Internet Domain extension for the United Kingdom is UK, as you can see in all those Guardian post urls. That's probably why sites on the Internet use it.

The ISO 3116-1 official code for United Kingdom is 'GB' (Alpha-2) and 'GBR' (Alpha-3).

Interestingly, the US Post Office has a listing for 'Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Includes England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, Sark, and the Isle of Man). The USPS code uses ISO 3116-1 (Alpha-2). Under 'Prohibitions' for mailing are the following:

- Horror comics and matrices.
- Perishable infectious biological substances.
- Seal skins except those from an accepted source.
- Switchblade knives.

Under 'Restrictions:'

- Live bees

And finally, firearms that are intended for sporting purposes are mailable to Great Britain.
Sums it upEager Beagle
Nov 20, 2002 8:53 AM
as the UK and Great Britain are different.

Who would want dead bees?
The other 5%53T
Nov 20, 2002 9:52 AM
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was formed in 1800, by the Act of Union. Great Britain, at the time was composed of what was traditionally Whales, and England. Great Britain had conquered and occupied both Ireland and Scotland at the time. These were not separate countries in the international relations sence of the word, but conquered teritories. The Union Jack was adopted by the UK, which symobolizes the consituants of the union by the combination of the crosses of Saints George, Andrew and Patrick.

The name of the UK was modified to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland after the 1922 Irish Civil War and the subsequest founding if the Republic of Ireland.

In 2005 the name was once again changed to the current "United Kingdom" to reflect the annexation of Northern Ireland by the Republic of Ireland after the rebelion of 2004 as well as the granting of independance to Scotland by the UK Parliament in 2003.
Whales ??!! nm.Eager Beagle
Nov 20, 2002 10:20 AM
Scotland -- 1707ms
Nov 20, 2002 11:01 AM
The Act of Union of 1707 incorporated Scotland into the "United Kingdom of Great Britain." Thus, the term "United Kingdom" and the incorporation of Scotland preceded the Act of Union of 1800 by 93 years.
Scotland -- 170753T
Nov 20, 2002 11:56 AM
Good catch, the sick part is why you choose that point to correct, when there were greater opportunities.
Scotland -- 1707ms
Nov 20, 2002 12:51 PM
After 19 years of my being a lawyer and 15 years of marriage, I have learned at least one thing -- you have to know when and where to pick your battles. I thought that I would take the point upon which I was most confident (and "Whales" already had been taken). Insofar as your predictions for 2003 and 2004 are concerned, I have not followed recent events closely enough to know whether you are being completly facetious or whether there is some basis, however small, for the predictions.
Nov 20, 2002 1:14 PM
Now that should rile the brits for sure! The Guardian may be calling you.