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Thread: The Cultural Divide

  1. #1
    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default The Cultural Divide

    Gringos are sometimes overwhelmed by the differences encountered when they step into Latin America for the first time. Some call that culture shock. We're here in Nicaragua cause we accept or learn to deal with those differences. Of course, the abundant similarities make learning to accept the fewer differences easier.

    The two cultures hesitantly merge in this age of global travel, communication, commerce and migration. Barriers, although slowly eroding, remain. Some differences between el Norte Y el Mundo Latino are fundamental: language, history, customs, institutions, identity-family and religion. I wish to explore those in this blog. Though not yet, nor all at once. First a detour into Western history.

    This 9/11 I started reading Samuel Huntington's "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order" published in 1996. It's a lucid overview of world history and an eerie foretelling of the clash of Islamic civilization with the West. Huntington defines Latin America as a separate civilization from the West (Europe, North America, Australia) though closely affiliated. Here's a sample of his scope on the history of Western civilization (roughly 1500-1900):

    “In the course of European expansion, the Andean and Mesoamerican civilizations were effectively eliminated, Indian and Islamic civilizations along with Africa were subjugated, and China was penetrated and subordinated to Western influence...

    “The immediate source of Western expansion was technological: the invention of the means of ocean navigation ... and the development of military capabilities for conquering peoples.

    “The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion (to which few members of other civilizations were converted) but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact; non-Westerners never do.”

    I start by including those quotes from Huntington because I, as a gringo, too often forget our close historical ties with Nicaragua, tho I believe there's a "cultural memory" here of our encounters. Here's a list of when U.S. Marines or Navy were used in Nicaragua, mostly, "to protect U.S. citizens or promote U.S. interests,"
    • 1853 Nicaragua. March 11 to 13. U.S. forces landed to protect American lives and interests during political disturbances.
    • 1854 July 9 to 15. Naval forces bombarded and burned San Juan del Norte (Greytown) to avenge an insult to the American Minister to Nicaragua.
    • 1857 April to May, November to December. In May Commander C.H. Davis of the United States Navy, with some marines, received the surrender of William Walker, who had been attempting to get control of the country, and protected his men from the retaliation of native allies who had been fighting Walker. In November and December of the same year United States vessels Saratoga, Wabash, and Fulton opposed another attempt of William Walker on Nicaragua. Commodore Hiram Paulding’s act of landing marines and compelling the removal of Walker to the United States, was tacitly disavowed by Secretary of State Lewis Cass, and Paulding was forced into retirement.
    • 1867 Marines occupied Managua and Leon.
    • 1894 July 6 to August 7. U.S. forces sought to protect American interests at Bluefields following a revolution.
    • 1896 May 2 to 4. U.S. forces protected American interests in Corinto during political unrest.
    • 1898 February 7 and 8. U.S. forces protected American lives and property at San Juan del Sur.
    • 1898 The Spanish-American War. On April 25, 1898, the United States declared war with Spain. The war followed a Cuban insurrection against Spanish rule and the sinking of the U.S.S. Maine in the harbor at Havana.
    • 1899 American and British naval forces were landed to protect national interests at San Juan del Norte, February 22 to March 5, and at Bluefields a few weeks later in connection with the insurrection of Gen. Juan P. Reyes.
    • 1910 May 19 to September 4. U.S. forces protected American interests at Bluefields.
    • 1912-25 Nicaragua. August to November 1912. U.S. forces protected American interests during an attempted revolution. A small force, serving as a legation guard and seeking to promote peace and stability, remained until August 5, 1925.
    • 1926-33 May 7 to June 5, 1926; August 27, 1926 to January 3, 1933. The coup d’etat of General Chamorro aroused revolutionary activities leading to the landing of American marines to protect the interests of the United States. United States forces came and went intermittently until January 3, 1933.
    • 1983-89 In July 1983 the United States undertook a series of exercises in Honduras that some believed might lead to conflict with Nicaragua. On March 25, 1986, unarmed U.S. military helicopters and crewmen ferried Honduran troops to the Nicaraguan border to repel Nicaraguan troops.

    This list is excerpted from the following congressional research report and quoted directly, Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798 - 2008 by Richard F. Grimmett, Specialist in International Security, dated 2 Feb 2009, CRS report RL32170, www.crs.gov
    "Covert actions, disaster relief, and routine alliance stationing and training exercises are not included . . ."

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    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cultural Divide

    A parallel thought to your thoughts Daddy-Yo

    Central and South America started to see the influence and rise of the US as the King of Spain's influence declined and finally severed. Just look the first incident is a mere 2 yrs after independence.

    My father, who has the time and patients to read outside of the greenhouse season, was telling me about a book he had read over Christmas last that made the case that a society takes 400 years to fully evolve stage to stage. The author used Europe as and example from 1600 untill the late 1980's to completely sever the dominance of the monarchy and the entrenched aristocracy brought to a relatively equal level to the "new Money" crowd. How the US from a 30,000' point of view has possibly plateau'ed in its stature as the ideals that made it prosper in "the world of Kings" is now less of a cash generator in itself as there are so many others based upon its model. My Dad then mentioned how the book went on to describe how the Muslim world was really just entering this 400yr cycle and how he postulated that and the rise of Asia would conflict.

    He mentioned the title but I have forgotten..

    Have to ask him again.


    The "declining influence bit" came to mind while listing to the Vinylcafe on CBC this past Sunday. Stuart reflected upon a copy of a 1911 copy of encyclopedia Britannica where he paraphrased the publication of 100yrs of age where the entire world was under Monarchy rule save for the US and a few other countries.

    From your typing style I think you may enjoy Stewart.. Not sure..
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  3. #3

    Default Re: The Cultural Divide

    this is a world goverened by the violent use of force....

    even more so by the uncivilized and the kook fringe liberal left want to go back to primitive times bc the ecology would be more pristine.... and the islamo fascists want to go back to the 4th century... but for different reasons...
    All this for a flag? Michelle Obama http://hotair.com/archives/2011/11/0...our-years-ago/

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    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cultural Divide

    Might doesn't make right, but it does make victory. Choose and act accordingly.

    Jonh has spoken.


  5. #5

    Default Re: The Cultural Divide

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    Might doesn't make right, but it does make victory. Choose and act accordingly.

    Jonh has spoken.

    I am waiting for the return to Nicaragua of the Marines led by William Walker.
    Howard has spoken

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    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cultural Divide

    Quote Originally Posted by howard cox View Post
    I am waiting for the return to Nicaragua of the Marines led by William Walker.
    Howard has spoken

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    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cultural Divide

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    Might doesn't make right, but it does make victory. Choose and act accordingly.
    Actually it would give me a sense of comfort, and yes, some pride, to think that my homeland would send the Marines "to protect U.S. citizens or promote U.S. interests" . Most of that happened a century ago when Nicaragua, as an independent country, was still very young, with an as-yet poorly formed government, with tribal politics imposed upon a feudal society, and much territory in its natural, primitive state. Who would leave a rapidly industrializing, ever-expanding country full of opportunity to go there, into the jungles, as it might have been thought then? Only the most adventurous (or foolhardy).

    Some today think that of us, but this is the 21st Century, and there are likely more Nicaraguans up North than English-speaking Northerners in Nicaragua.

    During US’s expansionist period much Mexican territory was taken militarily (California, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico). With the massive migrations of Latinos northward, most at the the invitation of US farmers, and later industrialists, it sometimes appears that those old conquests are being reversed non-militarily. (Read “La Amenasa Espana”, Literal magazine from Rice U., esp., “Los Burritos de Troya”.) This is, in part, what Huntington is describing in “The Clash of Civilizations”. Population growth in non-Western civilizations is far greater than in the West. Certain things are inevitable.

  8. #8

    Default Re: The Cultural Divide

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    Might doesn't make right, but it does make victory. Choose and act accordingly.

    Jonh has spoken.

    might plus apology tours makes weakness and invites our enemies to attack or get nukes.... but the unicorn rider doesn't understand that....
    All this for a flag? Michelle Obama http://hotair.com/archives/2011/11/0...our-years-ago/

  9. #9

    Default Re: The Cultural Divide

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy-YO View Post
    Actually it would give me a sense of comfort, and yes, some pride, to think that my homeland would send the Marines "to protect U.S. citizens or promote U.S. interests" . Most of that happened a century ago when Nicaragua, as an independent country, was still very young, with an as-yet poorly formed government, with tribal politics imposed upon a feudal society, and much territory in its natural, primitive state. Who would leave a rapidly industrializing, ever-expanding country full of opportunity to go there, into the jungles, as it might have been thought then? Only the most adventurous (or foolhardy).

    Some today think that of us, but this is the 21st Century, and there are likely more Nicaraguans up North than English-speaking Northerners in Nicaragua.

    During US’s expansionist period much Mexican territory was taken militarily (California, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico). With the massive migrations of Latinos northward, most at the the invitation of US farmers, and later industrialists, it sometimes appears that those old conquests are being reversed non-militarily. (Read “La Amenasa Espana”, Literal magazine from Rice U., esp., “Los Burritos de Troya”.) This is, in part, what Huntington is describing in “The Clash of Civilizations”. Population growth in non-Western civilizations is far greater than in the West. Certain things are inevitable.
    General Santa Ana is having his revenge. Obama"s policy of open borders and amnestiy will complete the General"s victory.

  10. #10
    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cultural Divide

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Demento View Post
    might plus apology tours makes weakness and invites our enemies to attack or get nukes.... but the unicorn rider doesn't understand that....
    Reminds me of an article I read the other day suggesting that White Guilt is America's collective burka. We wear it to hide our faces and avoid enraging those who we allow to have power over us.

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    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cultural Divide

    The terrorist attack on the Federal building in OK City was a surprise. But there were plenty of people within the US government that knew the Trade Towers in NYC were going to be attacked. The Israelis, in fact, filmed the entire happening of 9/11 from Jersey City. Like we don't talk with the Mossad?

    For us gringos, our biggest problem is too many stupid people are in charge, and it has little to do with the political party charade on TV. The Persians (Iran) hate the Arabs, and that fact presents the West with opportunity to divide & balance power in the Middle East. But no, we blew our chance with the Shah, as though we were totally ignorant of their culture. Ditto Saddam (we put him there). Ditto Osama (we trained him). And double ditto Karzai. Is there a limit to willful gringo ignorance? It seems not.

    P.S. To keep this out of La Chureca, I might add, ditto Somoza. As Roosevelt said, “Yes, but he’s our son of a bitch.” Right?

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    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cultural Divide

    Looks like we got us a Truther here.

  13. #13
    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cultural Divide

    Sometimes we gringos get hung up on the -isms, like socialism, communism. Here, I think what Huntington had to say is enlightening:

    “The great political ideologies of the twentieth century include liberalism, socialism, anarchism, corporatism, Marxism, communism, social democracy, conservatism, nationalism, fascism, and Christian democracy. They all share one thing in common: they are products of Western civilization. No other civilization has generated a significant political ideology. The West, however, has never generated a major religion. The great religions of the world are all products of non-Western civilizations and, in most cases, antedate Western civilization. As the world moves out of its Western phase, the ideologies which typified late Western civilization decline, and their place is taken by religions and other culturally based forms of identity and commitment. ... Separation of religion and international politics, an idiosynchratic product of Western civilization, is coming to an end, and religion is “increasingly likely to intrude into international affairs.” The intercivilizational clash of political ideas spawned by the West is being supplanted by an intercivilizational clash of culture and religion.”

    Written before 9/11, it best describes what’s happening now, IMO. Not just in describing the friction (and wars) between Islam & the West, but the rise of India, the new economic power of Russia (with oil & gas), communist China’s indomitable capitalist machine and Latin America’s hungry-for-work millions, and the neighboring cultures they push against. And the West’s vastly overwhelming technological superiority, with drones & GPS guided bombs & eyes-in-the-sky, suddenly seems impotent against what some describe as” a 400 year old culture, with homemade bombs and suicide bombers. Holy lands? More & more & more people being born are non-Western and we struggle for a solution to THEIR poverty, because it’s obvious it will eventually become OUR problem.

  14. #14
    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cultural Divide

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    Looks like we got us a Truther here.
    "Ignorance is bliss."

    True?

  15. #15

    Default Re: The Cultural Divide

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy-YO View Post
    The terrorist attack on the Federal building in OK City was a surprise. But there were plenty of people within the US government that knew the Trade Towers in NYC were going to be attacked. The Israelis, in fact, filmed the entire happening of 9/11 from Jersey City. Like we don't talk with the Mossad?

    For us gringos, our biggest problem is too many stupid people are in charge, and it has little to do with the political party charade on TV. The Persians (Iran) hate the Arabs, and that fact presents the West with opportunity to divide & balance power in the Middle East. But no, we blew our chance with the Shah, as though we were totally ignorant of their culture. Ditto Saddam (we put him there). Ditto Osama (we trained him). And double ditto Karzai. Is there a limit to willful gringo ignorance? It seems not.

    P.S. To keep this out of La Chureca, I might add, ditto Somoza. As Roosevelt said, “Yes, but he’s our son of a bitch.” Right?
    we knew since '93 that the towers were a target....

    are you saying the usa knew that the attack on 9/11 was to occur before the attack?
    All this for a flag? Michelle Obama http://hotair.com/archives/2011/11/0...our-years-ago/

  16. #16
    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cultural Divide

    After Cole & the African embassies, NSA, CIA & FBI all focused on Osama's boys & more. The Jan 2001 US News & World Report cover story was titled: "Tracking Bin Laden: the War on Terror". NSA had the dope on all involved and intercepted the 'go' message the day before 9/11, but say it wasn't translated until the next day. OK. CIA followed the guys from the meeting in Malaysia and knew when they entered the States. OK. They say NSA & the CIA & the FBI refused to share information with each other - concerning enemies of their country that they pledged allegiance to to get the job? OK. The Israelis filmed it happening from across the Hudson river. They may have had their reasons for not helping America, but Israel and the USA have special lines of communication. OK.

    So now all airline passengers take off their shoes & surrender pointy fingernail cleaners before boarding. It serves a purpose, having little to do with intelligence. This all belongs in La Chureca.

  17. #17

    Default Re: The Cultural Divide

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy-YO View Post
    After Cole & the African embassies, NSA, CIA & FBI all focused on Osama's boys & more. The Jan 2001 US News & World Report cover story was titled: "Tracking Bin Laden: the War on Terror". NSA had the dope on all involved and intercepted the 'go' message the day before 9/11, but say it wasn't translated until the next day. OK. CIA followed the guys from the meeting in Malaysia and knew when they entered the States. OK. They say NSA & the CIA & the FBI refused to share information with each other - concerning enemies of their country that they pledged allegiance to to get the job? OK. The Israelis filmed it happening from across the Hudson river. They may have had their reasons for not helping America, but Israel and the USA have special lines of communication. OK.

    So now all airline passengers take off their shoes & surrender pointy fingernail cleaners before boarding. It serves a purpose, having little to do with intelligence. This all belongs in La Chureca.
    i am reading a book now on 9/11 called the strong horse, will comment after reading it....
    All this for a flag? Michelle Obama http://hotair.com/archives/2011/11/0...our-years-ago/

  18. #18

    Default Re: The Cultural Divide

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy-YO View Post
    During US’s expansionist period much Mexican territory was taken militarily (California, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico). .
    texas was taken by the texians, people of spanish descent and stephen f austin's colonials that had been invited in and then the constitution changed. both had serious challenges and settled them by leaving mexico.... usa had nothing to do with it....

    10 years later the texians made thier biggest mistake ever and joined the usa....
    All this for a flag? Michelle Obama http://hotair.com/archives/2011/11/0...our-years-ago/

  19. #19
    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cultural Divide

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Demento View Post
    10 years later the texians made thier biggest mistake ever and joined the usa....
    Does Texas still have a Reset button?

  20. #20

    Default Re: The Cultural Divide

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    Does Texas still have a Reset button?
    All this for a flag? Michelle Obama http://hotair.com/archives/2011/11/0...our-years-ago/

  21. #21

    Default Re: The Cultural Divide

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Demento View Post
    texas was taken by the texians, people of spanish descent and stephen f austin's colonials that had been invited in and then the constitution changed. both had serious challenges and settled them by leaving mexico.... usa had nothing to do with it....

    10 years later the texians made thier biggest mistake ever and joined the usa....
    Yeppers.........and by the grace of God and dry powder............that's the way it way and continues to this day! But one need to remember, that we have kept the powder dry.......for obvious reasons.

  22. #22

    Default Re: The Cultural Divide

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy-YO View Post
    The terrorist attack on the Federal building in OK City was a surprise. But there were plenty of people within the US government that knew the Trade Towers in NYC were going to be attacked. The Israelis, in fact, filmed the entire happening of 9/11 from Jersey City. Like we don't talk with the Mossad?

    For us gringos, our biggest problem is too many stupid people are in charge, and it has little to do with the political party charade on TV. The Persians (Iran) hate the Arabs, and that fact presents the West with opportunity to divide & balance power in the Middle East. But no, we blew our chance with the Shah, as though we were totally ignorant of their culture. Ditto Saddam (we put him there). Ditto Osama (we trained him). And double ditto Karzai. Is there a limit to willful gringo ignorance? It seems not.

    P.S. To keep this out of La Chureca, I might add, ditto Somoza. As Roosevelt said, “Yes, but he’s our son of a bitch.” Right?
    I did"nt know you were a Truther,Daddy-Yo. That would explain a lot.

  23. #23

    Default Re: The Cultural Divide

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy-YO View Post
    "Ignorance is bliss."

    True?
    So ignorance is bliss? Agreed- but who"s ignorance? You"re theory seems to be that all the world"s problems can be traced back to the U.S. Pardon me for being skeptical, but when someone puts forward a world view based on "America is a Bad Place", my eyes tend to glace over.
    But I guess someone had to replace Jason"s discredited ideaology.

  24. #24

    Default Re: The Cultural Divide

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy-YO View Post
    After Cole & the African embassies, NSA, CIA & FBI all focused on Osama's boys & more. The Jan 2001 US News & World Report cover story was titled: "Tracking Bin Laden: the War on Terror". NSA had the dope on all involved and intercepted the 'go' message the day before 9/11, but say it wasn't translated until the next day. OK. CIA followed the guys from the meeting in Malaysia and knew when they entered the States. OK. They say NSA & the CIA & the FBI refused to share information with each other - concerning enemies of their country that they pledged allegiance to to get the job? OK. The Israelis filmed it happening from across the Hudson river. They may have had their reasons for not helping America, but Israel and the USA have special lines of communication. OK.

    So now all airline passengers take off their shoes & surrender pointy fingernail cleaners before boarding. It serves a purpose, having little to do with intelligence. This all belongs in La Chureca.
    Quite an indictment. Why are you still living in The Empire? Views like this could get you a high-level job in the Obama administration- or perhaps working for Van Jones.

  25. #25
    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cultural Divide

    Quote Originally Posted by howard cox View Post
    Quite an indictment. Why are you still living in The Empire? Views like this could get you a high-level job in the Obama administration- or perhaps working for Van Jones.
    ...or a University history professorship.

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