Did You Hear?

Did You Hear?

Bob
Bob

October 4th, 2007, 1:07 pm #1

I heard a news report of a flap over an alleged racial slur that occurred on the TV program, "Desperate Housewives." One of the female characters is visiting her doctor regarding some physical symptoms she is having. The doctor explains that, at a certain age, women can expect to have symptoms of menopause. To which the actress (upset at being told that) responds that, before the doctor says anything more, she wanted to see his medical school diploma, to make sure it isn't from "some place like the Phillipines". Apparently, some people (including folks in the Phillipines? Wow, I didn't know they saw this stuff overseas so soon) are in a huff about this "insult".

Chances are that whatever country or city was mentioned would have elicited the same "outrage" from someone. Yet, we all have these thoughts that some places aren't up to standards. We ALL think things like this. One school, or hospital, or doctor, or food, or whatever one is considering is not considered (by ourselves, others) as being as good as -- the same quality -- as the same thing from another location. We all do this -- we all know this.

But, for some reason I cannot fathom, whenever anyone publicly expresses such a thought, people get all bent out of shape over it. This whole thing of "political correctness" has filtered down to the most trivial actions and comments, such that public figures (and, increasingly, the average citizen) are now afraid to say anything that isn't approved first by a committee of the "enlightened". Yet, we still talk about "freedom." But, what freedom is there when you are afraid to act, afraid to speak, and perhaps even afraid to think?

(This post relates to the thread below, where I am called a "bigot" for telling a joke. But, it is much, much bigger than that instance, or myself, or any given topic. We are all being strangled by this hyper-sensitivity to everything).
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

October 4th, 2007, 3:52 pm #2

Bob I use to have the chauvinistic view- all other countries had to be technologically inferior. And this was probably true at one time, but most of the rest of the world has not only caught up but in many cases exceeded us. Most countries have better cell-phone and internet coverage then we do. High-speed internet is pretty much the standard all over the world now- often with free city-wide wifi systems- while here in the US a lot of people are still using dial-up. The http protocol- the basis of the modern internet was not invented here- but in Switzerland. We must import engineers and doctors from overseas because our lousy education system is not producing enough to fill the demand.

And remember when we were so proud of our soaring skyscrapers? Did you know of the 25 tallest buildings in the world only four are now in the U.S.? The tallest is in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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Cool beans boi
Cool beans boi

October 4th, 2007, 4:58 pm #3

You are right about cell phone service. I have gotten crystal clear service in places like Canada, Spain and Great Britain.
Now, here in MANHATTAN, it can be hit or miss.
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Bob
Bob

October 4th, 2007, 5:09 pm #4

Bob I use to have the chauvinistic view- all other countries had to be technologically inferior. And this was probably true at one time, but most of the rest of the world has not only caught up but in many cases exceeded us. Most countries have better cell-phone and internet coverage then we do. High-speed internet is pretty much the standard all over the world now- often with free city-wide wifi systems- while here in the US a lot of people are still using dial-up. The http protocol- the basis of the modern internet was not invented here- but in Switzerland. We must import engineers and doctors from overseas because our lousy education system is not producing enough to fill the demand.

And remember when we were so proud of our soaring skyscrapers? Did you know of the 25 tallest buildings in the world only four are now in the U.S.? The tallest is in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
If someone tells you that a doctor you are about to see hails from . . you pick the country . . . say, the Ivory Coast . . or Ghana . . or Thailand . . or Haiti. True, that particular doctor might be very good. But, not knowing the doctor, and only hearing the country of origin . . or more specifically, the country of origin of the medical training . . one might wonder/doubt the quality of care one is about to receive. Correct?

We ALL have ideas like this . . no matter who you are, or where you reside. And, I think you have the right to decline that doctor for whatever reasons you have. That is your right. And, I think each of us in this supposedly-free (but not REALLY free) society should have the right to say things like, "I don't want you touching me if you got your training in _____________." You might be inaccurate in your characterization . . you might in fact be better off with that doctor than with one from an "acceptable" country. But, I think you should have the right to think and say as you feel. Stop all this censorship. Why are so many apparently afraid of free speech?

I always find it interesting and fun to point up, when someone claims not to have personal biases, that they will not live in certain neighborhoods, will not (or their childre won't) attend specific schools, will not join certain groups . . because those things are less-than the person's standards. Yet, they try to maintain that they don't discriminate (that word, so emotion-laden now, just means one has standards). Some people just have a lot of difficulty being honest with themselves.
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

October 4th, 2007, 5:52 pm #5

Well I think it's only natural we favor what we are familiar with and yes, I think if all things were equal I would prefer an American doctor, but the percentage of American to foreign doctors is steadily declining- especially in the south. And good luck finding any like those on TV. Dr.Welby is dead.

And I'll tell you something else, being the hypochondriac I am, I subscribe to a daily email service that sends me news of the latest medical research studies, and most of these are now done outside the US. I think this is another sign that we are falling behind in the medical field.

I was watching a show on PBS last night and they mention something that I had noticed myself- there are no more home chemistry sets for kids. When I was a kid these were popular items- I had several over the years. Now however they are considered "too dangerous". What is to inspire future doctors and scientists and engineers today?
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Bob
Bob

October 5th, 2007, 12:42 am #6

Maybe you don't want an American-trained doctor. Maybe (as you noted) you feel such a doctor eminated from an inferior education system. If you said, "I don't want an American doctor. I want a _________ doctor." Should someone sue or boycott you, or try to make you lose your job, because you feel that way? Suddenly, in that situation, I don't think there would be any furor. People (Americans included) would probably agree that you have the right to feel that way and a right to select your doctor. But, be American and openly reject a doctor trained in any other country . . . outrage.

And, it happens so often like that: Prejudice and discrimination are often only viewed as a problem if directed toward specific groups. Males are generally not one of those groups -- you can say any derogatory thing about the male gender, and its generally accepted. Mind you, you can't disparage BLACK males, as this would be strongly condemned as racism, but just saying "males" are stupid, lazy, abusive, childish, you name it, generally flies. (I work in a largely female-staffed facility, and for several years signs were posted in female staff work areas, and even in classrooms used by both genders, that said "Women are generally smarter than men" and "Grow your own dope -- plant a man" . . and not even the male staff complained about it. We males seemed to acknowledge that this is female-oriented humor in a female-dominated setting, and we didn't take it personally. But, the news is replete with stories about female staff working in male-dominated settings who effectively stop the men from engaging in male-oriented humor and displays of interest. Again, the reality is that male-bashing is OK, but female-bashing (or anything that could be construed as unkind to women) is intolerable and subject to prosecution. Oh, and if you really want to be on safe ground with your comments, make sure to emphasize that the disfavored person is a white male of European decent, Christian, heterosexual and able-bodied. You can practically spit in that latter person's face, and any objection to that will be characterized as delusional whining.

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Bob
Bob

October 5th, 2007, 1:13 am #7

Well I think it's only natural we favor what we are familiar with and yes, I think if all things were equal I would prefer an American doctor, but the percentage of American to foreign doctors is steadily declining- especially in the south. And good luck finding any like those on TV. Dr.Welby is dead.

And I'll tell you something else, being the hypochondriac I am, I subscribe to a daily email service that sends me news of the latest medical research studies, and most of these are now done outside the US. I think this is another sign that we are falling behind in the medical field.

I was watching a show on PBS last night and they mention something that I had noticed myself- there are no more home chemistry sets for kids. When I was a kid these were popular items- I had several over the years. Now however they are considered "too dangerous". What is to inspire future doctors and scientists and engineers today?
Ever notice how some Americans are very fond of attacking their own traditions and customs? Every holiday that they grew up with is now reinterpreted as foolish and/or evil: Halloween is this pagan or devil-worhsiper holiday. Veterans' Day glorifies war. Thanksgiving . . well . . the original inhabitants of America got nothing to celebrate! Christmas on Dec. 25th! Jesus (assuming there was one) was not born on Dec. 25th and it is thus a made-up holiday for people who are deceived into thinking decorating pine trees and lavishing extravagant gifts on each other is some kind of spiritual celebration (same with Easter . . what, they ask, does Christ's death and resurrection have to do with pink bunny characters and searching for hard-boiled eggs?"

All the traditional national heroes get revealed as imperfect human beings and thus deserving of condemnation rather than admiration. National low points, such as the domination and murder of Native American peoples, and the enslavement blacks from Africa, are seen as enduring evidence of an evil people and evil society. Never mind that Native American tribes warred on each other (including, yes, killing each other) before Europeans ever set foot here. Never mind that tribes in Africa warred on each other (and, yes, killed each other), made slaves of other tribes people, and sold the captured enemy tribes people into slavery to the Europeans. All the fault goes one way (against America and Americans), while all the praise flows to anyone not American. Interesting.

Note how the same people who successfully denigrate and destroy aspects of American culture simply thrill to the cultures of other countries. Its like, "Wow, this is so cool! These people have traditions, revered national figures, holidays that everyone celebrates and enjoys. This culture is great!" (Well, they had a culture back home in U.S., before they trashed it to bits with constant carping).

When my son visited in Pau, France earlier this year, there was a local event in which people (mostly males, I believe) would dress up in bear suits and, with minimal provocation, would pursue passersby to make humping movements against them. Everyone, including my son, thought this was hilarious and innocent fun. But, if you tried to do the same in an American city, there would be cries of "Rape!", swarming police presence to stem the tide of this "new menance", and people WOULD be prosecuted. Actually, the only people who wouldn't be alarmed would be tourists from other countries who, hoping to experience American culture, find none and return home disappointed. They would love to be humped in this otherwise cultural wasteland known as present day U.S.
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

October 5th, 2007, 1:36 am #8

Maybe you don't want an American-trained doctor. Maybe (as you noted) you feel such a doctor eminated from an inferior education system. If you said, "I don't want an American doctor. I want a _________ doctor." Should someone sue or boycott you, or try to make you lose your job, because you feel that way? Suddenly, in that situation, I don't think there would be any furor. People (Americans included) would probably agree that you have the right to feel that way and a right to select your doctor. But, be American and openly reject a doctor trained in any other country . . . outrage.

And, it happens so often like that: Prejudice and discrimination are often only viewed as a problem if directed toward specific groups. Males are generally not one of those groups -- you can say any derogatory thing about the male gender, and its generally accepted. Mind you, you can't disparage BLACK males, as this would be strongly condemned as racism, but just saying "males" are stupid, lazy, abusive, childish, you name it, generally flies. (I work in a largely female-staffed facility, and for several years signs were posted in female staff work areas, and even in classrooms used by both genders, that said "Women are generally smarter than men" and "Grow your own dope -- plant a man" . . and not even the male staff complained about it. We males seemed to acknowledge that this is female-oriented humor in a female-dominated setting, and we didn't take it personally. But, the news is replete with stories about female staff working in male-dominated settings who effectively stop the men from engaging in male-oriented humor and displays of interest. Again, the reality is that male-bashing is OK, but female-bashing (or anything that could be construed as unkind to women) is intolerable and subject to prosecution. Oh, and if you really want to be on safe ground with your comments, make sure to emphasize that the disfavored person is a white male of European decent, Christian, heterosexual and able-bodied. You can practically spit in that latter person's face, and any objection to that will be characterized as delusional whining.
Well if your point is that there are double standards- or multi-standards when it comes to discrimination, yes, it's true. As a rule, people are more sensitive when a insult or discrimination is directed towards a party that is viewed as disadvantaged. It's the underdog- thing- when people see a fight going on- they generally root for the one who is losing, especially if they are smaller or appeared handicapped in some way.

And my point earlier was certainly not to denigrate American doctors- but to point out that we here in the US tend to assume that anything foreign is inferior. I certainly felt this way myself for a long time. Japanese radios were junk when they first appeared on the American market- but through the 1960s the quality of Japanese stuff improved while American electronics declined in everything but price.

The same thing happen with cars- in the 1960s if you drove a foreign car people figured you just couldn't afford any better. Today, most people- including the experts believe foreign cars are superior to Ford, GM and Chrysler.

So if foreign countries are beating us in electronics and automobiles, why do we assume they are not equally as competent at medicine?

Understand Bob, that I don't like to think that our country has declined in so many ways. I'm as patriotic as the next person and I would love to shout rah-rah- we're the best country in the world at everything but one would have to close their eyes to reality not to see what has happened the past 30 years.

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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

October 5th, 2007, 2:04 am #9

Ever notice how some Americans are very fond of attacking their own traditions and customs? Every holiday that they grew up with is now reinterpreted as foolish and/or evil: Halloween is this pagan or devil-worhsiper holiday. Veterans' Day glorifies war. Thanksgiving . . well . . the original inhabitants of America got nothing to celebrate! Christmas on Dec. 25th! Jesus (assuming there was one) was not born on Dec. 25th and it is thus a made-up holiday for people who are deceived into thinking decorating pine trees and lavishing extravagant gifts on each other is some kind of spiritual celebration (same with Easter . . what, they ask, does Christ's death and resurrection have to do with pink bunny characters and searching for hard-boiled eggs?"

All the traditional national heroes get revealed as imperfect human beings and thus deserving of condemnation rather than admiration. National low points, such as the domination and murder of Native American peoples, and the enslavement blacks from Africa, are seen as enduring evidence of an evil people and evil society. Never mind that Native American tribes warred on each other (including, yes, killing each other) before Europeans ever set foot here. Never mind that tribes in Africa warred on each other (and, yes, killed each other), made slaves of other tribes people, and sold the captured enemy tribes people into slavery to the Europeans. All the fault goes one way (against America and Americans), while all the praise flows to anyone not American. Interesting.

Note how the same people who successfully denigrate and destroy aspects of American culture simply thrill to the cultures of other countries. Its like, "Wow, this is so cool! These people have traditions, revered national figures, holidays that everyone celebrates and enjoys. This culture is great!" (Well, they had a culture back home in U.S., before they trashed it to bits with constant carping).

When my son visited in Pau, France earlier this year, there was a local event in which people (mostly males, I believe) would dress up in bear suits and, with minimal provocation, would pursue passersby to make humping movements against them. Everyone, including my son, thought this was hilarious and innocent fun. But, if you tried to do the same in an American city, there would be cries of "Rape!", swarming police presence to stem the tide of this "new menance", and people WOULD be prosecuted. Actually, the only people who wouldn't be alarmed would be tourists from other countries who, hoping to experience American culture, find none and return home disappointed. They would love to be humped in this otherwise cultural wasteland known as present day U.S.
I think things are getting entirely out of hand with multi-culturalism in the U.S. I hear schools are now required to excuse kids for a long list of Muslin and other religious holidays. In some schools they are even installing foot-baths to accommodate some religion. And I've certainly complained enough about how Hispanics are forcing their culture and even their language on us. It would be nice to read a label or some instructions and half of it wasn't in Spanish, or see Spanish signs everywhere or to turn on the radio and not hear Spanish music or to not have to "press 1" for English when I call my bank. This is not the country that I grew up in. I'm more disgusted with the way things are going every day.
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Bob
Bob

October 5th, 2007, 12:16 pm #10

Well if your point is that there are double standards- or multi-standards when it comes to discrimination, yes, it's true. As a rule, people are more sensitive when a insult or discrimination is directed towards a party that is viewed as disadvantaged. It's the underdog- thing- when people see a fight going on- they generally root for the one who is losing, especially if they are smaller or appeared handicapped in some way.

And my point earlier was certainly not to denigrate American doctors- but to point out that we here in the US tend to assume that anything foreign is inferior. I certainly felt this way myself for a long time. Japanese radios were junk when they first appeared on the American market- but through the 1960s the quality of Japanese stuff improved while American electronics declined in everything but price.

The same thing happen with cars- in the 1960s if you drove a foreign car people figured you just couldn't afford any better. Today, most people- including the experts believe foreign cars are superior to Ford, GM and Chrysler.

So if foreign countries are beating us in electronics and automobiles, why do we assume they are not equally as competent at medicine?

Understand Bob, that I don't like to think that our country has declined in so many ways. I'm as patriotic as the next person and I would love to shout rah-rah- we're the best country in the world at everything but one would have to close their eyes to reality not to see what has happened the past 30 years.
Nat, those examples you gave -- cars and electronics -- I don't think the perceptions, then or now, were/are inaccurate. Back in the 1960's, and even to an extent in the 1970's, things made in Japan WERE usually inferior compared Americans products. The perception matched the reality. And, increasingly during the past 20-25 years, Japanese products greatly improved and generally surpassed those of American companies (IF you can even find consumer electronics made in U.S. anymore). And, the perception has changed too, such that "Made in Japan" is a sought after item. Personally, I don't see the American public's perceptions of product quality as being that far off track.
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