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Foreigner's Perspective on Canada and the US
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rusmeister



Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Posts: 867
Location: Russia

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 7:19 am    Post subject: Re: GKC Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
Dear rusmeister,
Lord, I love GK - what a mind, what perception he had, and what a great literary style.
I recall once reading Orthodoxy and starting to underline all the parts that struck me as insightful. I gave up after page four; almost everything was underlined.
Regards,
John


One general thing that I'd say is that if you learn of his mutual friendships with both HG Wells and GB Shaw, and that all 3 are literary giants, it is simply amazing that Chesterton gets the cold shoulder, most notably in public institutions. I'm convinced it's because of his most unpopular philosophy.

But on the OP, he has wonderful comments on America of 80 or so years ago...

http://www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/gkc/books/america.html

http://www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/gkc/books/american-morals.html

http://www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/gkc/books/americanisation.html

This thought is particularly jarring for those of us who pride ourselves on our superiority as international travellers (from the first article...):

Quote:
I have never managed to lose my old conviction that travel narrows the mind. At least a man must make a double effort of moral humility and imaginative energy to prevent it from narrowing his mind. Indeed there is something touching and even tragic about the thought of the thoughtless tourist, who might have stayed at home loving Laplanders, embracing Chinamen, and clasping Patagonians to his heart in Hampstead or Surbiton, but for his blind and suicidal impulse to go and see what they looked like. This is not meant for nonsense; still less is it meant for the silliest sort of nonsense, which is cynicism. The human bond that he feels at home is not an illusion. On the contrary, it is rather an inner reality. Man is inside all men. In a real sense any man may be inside any men. But to travel is to leave the inside and draw dangerously near the outside. So long as he thought of men in the abstract, like naked toiling figures in some classic frieze, merely as those who labor and love their children and die, he was thinking the fundamental truth about them. By going to look at their unfamiliar manners and customs he is inviting them to disguise themselves in fantastic masks and costumes. Many modern internationalists talk as if men of different nationalities had only to meet and mix and understand each other. In reality that is the moment of supreme danger--the moment when they meet. We might shiver, as at the old euphemism by which a meeting meant a duel.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12696
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear rusmeister,
Ah, GK did love a paradox and being a contrarian. I love the way he'd take a new perspective on "old, established notions" and make you see them in a very different light.
Here are a couple that I'd say are particularly suitable, given the current world situation.

My country, right or wrong' is a thing no patriot would ever think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying 'My mother, drunk or sober.'

A man who says that no patriot should attack the war until it is over... is saying no good son should warn his mother of a cliff until she has fallen.

Regards,
John

P.S. Have you ever read "The Father Brown" books? They give Sherlock Holmes a run for his money.
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rusmeister



Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Posts: 867
Location: Russia

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
Dear rusmeister,
Ah, GK did love a paradox and being a contrarian. I love the way he'd take a new perspective on "old, established notions" and make you see them in a very different light.
Here are a couple that I'd say are particularly suitable, given the current world situation.

My country, right or wrong' is a thing no patriot would ever think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying 'My mother, drunk or sober.'

A man who says that no patriot should attack the war until it is over... is saying no good son should warn his mother of a cliff until she has fallen.

Regards,
John

P.S. Have you ever read "The Father Brown" books? They give Sherlock Holmes a run for his money.


Wonderful quotes! You know, he was one of the few Brits of the time to publicly oppose the Boer Wars, which is probably what he had in mind. Very very similar... Nothing ever changes, eh?

Actually (coincidence, coincidence), I am about 2/3 of the way through "The Complete Father Brown". In certain respects they aren't as entertaining as S.H., but the fascinating thrust of identifying the crimes through psychology and human behavior rather than the usual material clues is interesting. (Edit: I think a new generation would be surprised to realize that priests really can be expert at that; so much so that they could put psychologists out of business.)

Anyway, curious as to what people would think about the views of America from 80 years ago...
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Vanica



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 368
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear John,

Here's another link for the housing at 50 cents on the dollar.

http://thehousingbubbleblog.com/index.html
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12696
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Vanica.

"“On one high-rise condo in the Miami enclave of Williams Island, a 3,100 square foot penthouse previously listed at $5.6 million, he opened bidding at $5 million, lowered his price to $3.5 million, $3 million, $2.5 million, and then closed the auction, all within a minute.
“One man snapped up two bayfront houses in Miami Beach’s pricey Venetian Islands, one for $500,000 and the other for $1 million. The homes sold for $2.75 million and $2 million respectively in mid-2005, according to county records.”

“Guido Teichner, a would-be buyer who said he attended the auction looking to make a killing, put in a $500,000 bid on a two-story, 4,000 square foot (370 square meter) penthouse condo in downtown Fort Lauderdale that had previously been listed at $3 million.”


Hmm, guess it's time to break open my piggy bank.
But seriously, the point I've been trying to make is that I don't think too many teachers are going to have the funds necessary to take advantage of these "bargain-basement prices."
Who does? Why the rich, of course. Remember: during bad financial times, the rich get even richer while the poor (and the middle class) get screwed even worse.
Regards,
John
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Vanica



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 368
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John, the articles mention the expensive houses, but you can extrapolate these figures. Have you heard of short sales? People who are upside down? It takes some work because people are walking away from their houses because their mortgage payments are too high. The banks are inundated with abandoned properties in the 200k 100k and under range. You can offer practically anything because they need to unload -- but since the banks are laying off personnel, you might not find anyone to talk to.

Or you can just open the door and live for free!

Your market, however -- Santa Fe -- is weird. Wealthy investors there are just holding onto the empty properties and not selling. Something's gotta give.

Anyhow, I consider a 2000 ft house a mansion. But that was the standard small family house in Raleigh.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12696
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Vanica,

True, I imagine there are some cheaper deals, but the same economic situation that has caused those deals has also caused another item you mentioned in your posting:

"I am thinking to go the US now because it is the new third world, full of big abandoned mansions, no work, an uneducated populace, a cheaper place to live."

I'm referring to "no work" - so, if you come to the USA, how would you make a living?

Regards,
John
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Vanica



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 368
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I work in other countries virtually as a translator.
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Vanica



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 368
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:03 pm    Post subject: Update from North Carolina Reply with quote

Things have changed from a year and a half ago when I visited North Carolina. There is a palpable absence of Mexicans, Central Americans, Indians, Europeans and other groups. The roadside vans selling tacos and pupusas are gone. The police follow my car regularly and have asked for and recorded my documents. I have been turned down at the apartment rentals I have applied at, although after leaving money orders for nonrefundable credit checks and administrative fees ranging from 25 to 250 dollars. One kind concierge said that her management was having trouble verifying my ''overseas'' references (from Canada!). I am overhearing vociferous arguments between McCain and Obama supporters on many occasions. An attorney informed me that North Carolina police signed a contract about a month ago with ICE (Immigration and Citizenship Enforcement), and that apartment complexes are also under some sort of real or imagined obligations to harrass non-citizens. There were two huge raids nearby where 1100 people with Mayan and Triqui surnames were put -- and still are -- in heavy cuffs and leg irons even though they were obviously trafficked to work at two factories. I feel threatened, intimidated, and don't know where I and my daughter shall sleep in two days. Isn't this the country that has anti-hate and racial profiling laws? Some people have spoken to me in hushed tones, giving support but afraid to speak too loudly. I have to be quiet, too. I feel afraid.
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Vanica



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 368
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:49 pm    Post subject: But there are ESL jobs Reply with quote

Ironically, Wake Tech in Raleigh is hiring ESL instructors. I guess it was planned a long time ago, but they are hiring at 30 plus per hour for 3 hour nighttime classes, and may have daytime as well.
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DrVanNostrand



Joined: 28 Mar 2008
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Update from North Carolina Reply with quote

Vanica wrote:
Things have changed from a year and a half ago when I visited North Carolina. There is a palpable absence of Mexicans, Central Americans, Indians, Europeans and other groups. The roadside vans selling tacos and pupusas are gone. The police follow my car regularly and have asked for and recorded my documents. I have been turned down at the apartment rentals I have applied at, although after leaving money orders for nonrefundable credit checks and administrative fees ranging from 25 to 250 dollars. One kind concierge said that her management was having trouble verifying my ''overseas'' references (from Canada!). I am overhearing vociferous arguments between McCain and Obama supporters on many occasions. An attorney informed me that North Carolina police signed a contract about a month ago with ICE (Immigration and Citizenship Enforcement), and that apartment complexes are also under some sort of real or imagined obligations to harrass non-citizens. There were two huge raids nearby where 1100 people with Mayan and Triqui surnames were put -- and still are -- in heavy cuffs and leg irons even though they were obviously trafficked to work at two factories. I feel threatened, intimidated, and don't know where I and my daughter shall sleep in two days. Isn't this the country that has anti-hate and racial profiling laws? Some people have spoken to me in hushed tones, giving support but afraid to speak too loudly. I have to be quiet, too. I feel afraid.



I live in NC (have for close to 20 years) and teach at a Title I school with a healthy percentage of Hispanic students. Hispanic people still make up a large percentage of construction and road sites that I see on a daily basis. They still work in the tobacco fields throughout our rural communities. Mexican restaurants are still fully staffed with Spanish-only and multilingual speaking individuals of Spanish descent.

Not sure what part of NC you visited or where you're used to seeing roadside vans selling tacos and pupusas, but from my vantage point very little has changed over the past couple of years.

Would I be surprised to hear that efforts have increased to seek out illegal immigrants over the past few years given the amount of media and political coverage immigration has gotten? Living in a relatively conservative state with a rapidly increasing Hispanic population, absolutely not.

However, I'm not witnessing a mass exodus of Hispanic peoples, nor have I noticed a major crackdown -- not in the news or on the streets. Not here in the Piedmont anyway.
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Vanica



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 368
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since my personal experience counts for nothing, here's an article from your own paper.

''Latinos feel tug on welcome mat''

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/story/1210703.html


And here are some July deportation numbers

http://baltimorechronicle.com/2008/081108Lendman.shtml

And the Camayd-Freixas article may just break your heart:

http://www.monthlyreview.org/mrzine/camayd-freixas120708.html
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DrVanNostrand



Joined: 28 Mar 2008
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, I never said your personal experience counts for nothing nor did I try to marginalize it. However, an article about Latinos feeling the pressure of an immigration crackdown hardly supports the picture that you tried to paint initially. Not sure about the out-of-state figures either or how they were supposed to support your argument. They're out-of-state.

Is this country becoming more and more xenophobic? Absolutely.

Are we seeing more of an immigration crackdown as a result of added political pressure? Absolutely.

Do Latinos feel threatened? I'm sure they do.

Still, that doesn't mean Latino communities in the state of North Carolina are becoming underpopulated or scarce. From reading your post I would have thought that NC was some kind of ghost town and that large pockets of Latino and other ethnic groups had just packed up their crap and left. I'm sure some illegal immigrants got scared and went back home and others are finding it more and more difficult to find work or refuge. But to act like the state has more or less cleared out the immigrant population is just completely off base.

I can't vouch for sentiment within Latino communities. I don't live in one. However, I do live in a diverse area that caters to lots of different groups of people and I know for a fact that the Latino community is still alive and well here in the Piedmont. Might not be as strong as it has been during the immigration peak, but we certainly aren't lacking.

Beaufort, however, I have no idea about. If you're experiences are limited to the coastal areas then we're talking about two completely different things. If so, I apologize for the misunderstanding.
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Vanica



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 368
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina, nearly the center of the state and very much in the Piedmont region.

Please tell me where you are -- it sounds like utopia compared to here!


Last edited by Vanica on Thu Sep 11, 2008 6:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Vanica



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 368
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 6:05 pm    Post subject: Media Referring to the Exodus Reply with quote

I never said there was a mass migration; I wrote about impressions and the contrast I feel compared to a year ago.

HOWEVER:

Here's Charlotte, NC TV referring to ''The Exodus''

http://www.wbtv.com/global/story.asp?s=8996208

And Qué Pasa newspaper, ''el éxodo de cientos de hispanos''

http://www.quepasamedia.com/web/component/option,com_frontpage/Itemid,67/lang,en/

Now that you've inspired me, I have found many references to ''the exodus'' from other states. An Arizona paper , ''Group estimates 100 illegal immigrants leaving each day''

http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/ss/byauthor/75656

(This last one requires registration unfortunately but maybe you can find a copy of the article by cutting and pasting the title.)[/i]
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