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Zhang Zhong revisited



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 2nd 03, 03:22 AM
Nick
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Default Zhang Zhong revisited

OT: This post discusses Chinese conceptions of time and history, in response
to the introduction of the subject of the Chinese calendar in this thread.

"Tim Hanke" wrote in message et...
"Bill Smythe" wrote ...
No, but we Americans (and western Europeans) could reasonably make a
concession to the Chinese. When entering a Chinese name into a Western
database, such as the USCF membership list, enter the entire name in the
family-name field, and leave the given-name field blank. Such names would
appear correctly on both alphabetized lists and paychecks. On lists, they
would appear without commas. The lack of a comma could be an indicator
that the family name is the first name listed.


Bugger the Chinese. Next you will be telling us our calendar is all wrong
too, and this is really 4700, the Year of the Ram.

Tim Hanke (born in 4655, the Year of the Dog)


The Governor-General of Canada, Adrienne Clarkson (nee Poy)--Canada's acting
Head of State in lieu of Her Majesty, The Queen--was a Chinese immigrant from
Hong Kong. She would not appreciate being 'buggered' by Tim Hanke and his ilk.

Fortunately, not everyone shares Tim Hanke's racist bigotry and insolence.

'On the matter of (the Chinese) language, it is a well-known fact that
occasionally Westerners are struck down by a blinding light, like Saint Paul on
the road to Damascus, with the feeling that they must learn this language with
its marvellous script or else burst. That was perhaps not so surprising, but
the effect in the mental world was a very striking one, because I found that
the more I got to know these friends from China the more exactly like my own
their minds seemed to be, certainly in their intellectual capacity.'
--Joseph Needham (Science in Traditional China, p. 3)

How may differences in language and differences in thought be connected?

"The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis...stresses the dependence of thought on language,
claiming that differences among languages strongly affect the thought processes
of their speakers. Again there is a certain degree of plausibility to this
claim, particularly in the realm of vocabulary. In fact, it is unnecessary to
look to other languages; we can simply look to technical sub-vocabularies in
our own language...to see how much greater precision is afforded in discourse
and thought by virtue of having a more finely divided vocabulary.

Whorf's more radical claim was that the grammatical structure fundamentally
affects thought. He claimed, for instance, that the Hopi language contains no
elements that refer to time, and therefore that monolingual Hopi speakers have
no concept of time; both aspects of this claim have been refuted....More
recently, experiments...have shown some interesting differences in non-verbal
spatial understanding in speakers of certain Australian and Mayan languages,
compared to speakers of European languages; the differences appear to be
related to the way these languages encode spatial relations, thus offering
support to a limited version of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis....

The upshot is that the character of thought may be to some limited extent
affected by the proclivities of its interface with different languages; certain
thoughts may be more easily accessible because one's language makes it easier
to express them." (pp. 292-3)

--Ray Jackendoff (Foundations of Language: Brain, Meaning, Grammar, Evolution)

The Chinese language is strikingly different from European languages. Then
does it follow that Chinese conceptions of time should be quite different from
European ones?

Here are some excerpts from Needham's essay, 'Attitudes toward Time and Change
as Compared with Europe' (initially given as a lecture at the Chinese University
of Hong Kong and reproduced as a chapter of 'Science in Traditional China'):

"It reveals the fact that Chinese scholars were very conscious of scientific
and technical achievements, by no means always trivial in comparison with the
works of the sages of old. It remains to be seen whether, when all the
information is in, pre-Renaissance Europe was as conscious of the progressive
development of knowledge and technique as they were.

In the light of all this, the widespread Western belief that traditional
Chinese culture was static or stagnant turns out to be a typical Occidental
misconception. It would, however, be fair to use the terms homoeostatic or
cybernetic, for there was something in Chinese society which continually
tended to restore it to its original character, that of bureaucratic feudalism,
after all disturbances, whether caused by civil wars, foreign invasions, or
inventions and discoveries....

What is important to realise is that although Chinese society was so
self-regulating and stable, the idea of scientific and social progress and of
real change in time was there. Hence, however great the forces of conservatism,
there was no ideological barrier of this particular kind to the development of
modern natural science and technology when the time was ripe, as it certainly
is at the present day.

Lastly, we come to what is perhaps the greatest question of all that could be
raised in this present context: namely, could there have been any connection
between the differences, if any, in the conceptions of time and history
characteristic of China and the West, and the fact that modern science and
technology arose only in that latter civilisation?... (pp. 121-2)

Sinologists have appreciated for more than a hundred years the linear
time-consciousness of Chinese culture and its extraordinary success in the
writing of history--greater perhaps than in any other culture. Thus, in an
interesting paper, Derk Bodde wrote:

'Connected with their intense preoccupation with human affairs is the Chinese
feeling for time, the feeling that human affairs should be fitted into a
temporal framework. The result has been the accumulation of a tremendous and
unbroken body of historical literature, extending over more than three thousand
years. This history has served a distinctly moral purpose, since by studying
the past, one might learn how to conduct oneself in the present and the future.
....This temporal-mindedness of the Chinese marks another sharp distinction
between them and the Hindus.' (p. 129)
....
Strange as it may seem to those who still think in terms of the 'timeless
Orient', the culture of China was, on the whole, more of the Iranic,
Judaeo-Christian than of the Indo-Hellenic types. The conclusion then springs
to the mind: If Chinese civilisation did not spontaneously develop modern
natural science as Western Europe did, though China had been much more advanced
in the fifteen pre-Renaissance centuries, it had nothing to do with China's
attitude toward time." (p. 131)

--Joseph Needham (Science in Traditional China)

For further reading:

The standard scholarly reference is the series, 'Science and Civilisation in
China', chiefly edited by Joseph Needham and Lu Gwei-Djen.

A valuable abridgement for the general reader is 'The Genius of China:
3000 Years of Science, Discovery, and Invention' by Robert Temple.

--Nick
  #2  
Old July 2nd 03, 06:15 AM
Nick
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Zhang Zhong revisited

This post clarifies my previous post and appends a few points of interest.
Of course, StanB, a racist, is still 'beneath human dispute'.

(Nick) wrote in message . com...
"StanB" wrote in message ...
Nick fancies himself quite the well read savant and communicates by quoting
various abstract analogies that may or may not relating to his
wrist-wringing constipation of the moment. Such brow-beating is what
prompted me to begin referring to him as Bwana.


No, evidently StanB began inappropriately addressing me as 'Bwana' because he
has negatively stereotyped me as a black African.


'Bwana' is a term of address in Swahili; most Africans do *not* speak Swahili.
During the First World in Africa, the King's African Rifles, a famous colonial
regiment of the British Army, had a distinctive marching song, a Swahili
adaptation of the traditional Welsh song, 'Men of Harlech':

We le goelcerth wen yn fflamio,
A thafodau tan yn bloeddio,
Ar i'r dewrion ddod I daro,
Unwaith eto'n un.
Gan fanllefau tywysogion
Llais gelynion, trwst arfogion,
A charlamiad y marchogion,
Craig ar craig a gryn!...

Can StanB recognise the differences between Swahili and Welsh? :-)

One wonders if he ever has an original thought or just mucks about picking
quotes and grinning. When pointed to the current bit of genocide going on in
even that country where all are supposed to be bigoted against, he passes on
an original thought and falls back to a rendition of: Mommy, those American
bigots are at it again. Yet, intra-race bigotry is well known even there.
In the last century where have most acts of genocide taken place? Is not
genocide the apex of bigotry? So it can be understood why Bwana has the
devils of bigotry in control of his heart.


For the record, StanB never has met me, and he knows nearly nothing about me.

But StanB has written condemnations of the cultural practices of my supposed
'homeland' without ever being able to identify which 'homeland' that he's
condemning. Of course, StanB can continue expressing his racism without being
deterred by any logic. And StanB can imply that I condone genocide and write
that 'it can be understood why Bwana has the devils of bigotry in control of
his heart' without being deterred by any vestigial sense of decency in
himself.


For the sake of clarity, that last sentence should have been written as:
"And StanB can imply that I condone genocide and *he can* write that 'it can
be understood why Bwana has the devils of bigotry in control of his heart'
without being deterred by any vestigial sense of decency in himself."

For example, I think back to a professor I studied under at the University.
If memory serves he had a soft accent and was native to Uganda. An amicable
gentleman who confided to the class that he would like a job in Industry but
his race held him back. I couldn't help wonder what the result would be if
he wore clean clothes and deodorant to the job interview. You see, his was a
summer class and he wore the same soiled white shirt each sweltering day.
The yellow perspiration rings under his arms would probably never come out
no matter how well he washed his shirt. Perhaps acceptable in his culture
but one can only speculate on how his chances would be after a shower and an
attempt to reflect the host culture. Savage? Never. A very gentle man. Dark?
He was dark skinned if that is the proper connotation of Nick's word.


StanB has distorted the context of the traditional racist term, 'dark savage'.
'Dark savage' was what StanB could have used to describe me(not his professor)
because StanB has flagrantly mischaracterised me as someone who could enjoy
the cultural practices of cannibalism, murder, and (now implicitly) genocide.
StanB's other racist rationalizations warrant no comment by me.


I cannot resist making one conjecture. Apparently, StanB believes that even
any perceptions of racism in the United States should suddenly disappear if
only all the non-whites there could be trained enough to improve their personal
grooming to pass white American standards (if not to 'pass' as white Americans).

If StanB were appointed as the United States Attorney for (allegedly) Civil
Rights, then might he not be expected urgently to distribute free samples of
deodorant throughout African American neighborhoods?

'Why, might there not be men in Africa of as fine feelings as ourselves, of
as enlarged understandings, and as manly in their minds as any of us?'
--Charles Jame Fox (April 1791, speech in the British House of Commons)

'Red, yellow, black, white,
Mix the colours up together.
All people are brothers
From one father and one mother.'
--I.L. Peretz (freely translated from the Yiddish)


You stand there with a straight face and applaud your FIDE's brothers and
not one word of justice for women. Larisa Yudina must be turning in her
grave.


I.L. Peretz's line is translated as 'All people are brothers' (not 'sisters')
because it has to approach rhyming with 'From one father and one mother'.
Translating that line as 'All people are brothers and sisters' also would be
metrically inconsistent with the verse.


StanB seems desperate to contrive any pretext for another ad hominem attack on
me. For the record, in this thread's previous discussions, there was *no* issue
of 'justice for women' *ever* mentioned or implied.

Speaking here of belated justice for one woman scientist, however, I have been
pleased that Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958)--'the Dark Lady of DNA'--has begun
to receive more credit for her important pioneering contributions toward
comprehending the structure of DNA, despite having been posthumously maligned
by James Watson in his classic book, 'The Double Helix'.

By the way, the appellation, 'the Dark Lady of DNA', alludes to the unknown
heroine of Shakespeare's sonnets, not to her supposed African racial complexion.
Rosalind Franklin was an Englishwoman of Jewish heritage, who did not speak
Swahili; it also would be inappropriate for StanB to address her, as he does
me, as 'Bwana'.

For further reading: 'Rosalind Franklin: the Dark Lady of DNA' by Brenda Maddox

StanB has professed to admire Mark Twain as a writer. If StanB were to
read Twain's essays, then he would find that Mark Twain denounced American
racism against the Chinese and bloody American imperialism in the
Philippines.


Ancient history and with scant resemblance to today. A quote one would
expect from an uneducated charlatan.


The very bloody American conquest of the Philippines may be 'ancient history'
to StanB, but it's still remembered only too painfully by many Filipinos.
What resemblance it would have to American imperialism today remains to be
seen.


Whom does StanB regard as 'an uneducated charlatan', Mark Twain or me?
StanB has professed to admire Mark Twain as a writer. On the other hand,

In the thread, 'A new enemy of Lev Khariton' (21 April 2003), Larry Tapper
wrote to me:
"I've been enjoying your scholarly digressions, Latin epigrams, etc..."

Then in that same thread on that same date, Tim Hanke wrote to Larry Tapper
about me:
"I too enjoy his (my) scholarly digressions, Latin epigrams, etc..."

So when will StanB denounce Tim Hanke for his stupidity in having been so
impressed by 'an uneducated charlatan' like me? :-)

--Nick
  #3  
Old July 2nd 03, 09:25 PM
Briarroot
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Posts: n/a
Default Zhang Zhong revisited

Nick (The Pedantic Twit) wrote:

This post clarifies my previous post and appends a few points of interest.
Of course, StanB, a racist, is still 'beneath human dispute'.


I don't think I've ever seen anyone blow his own horn so much. [1]
Is it possible for you to inflate your gigantic ego any further?











[1] With the possible exception of Sam Sloan!
  #4  
Old July 3rd 03, 06:32 AM
Nick
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Zhang Zhong revisited

OT: This post responds in a discussion about Asian American issues.

(Mark Houlsby) wrote in message . com...
"Tim Hanke" wrote in message et...
Bugger the Chinese. Next you will be telling us our calendar is all wrong
too, and this is really 4700, the Year of the Ram.

Tim Hanke (born in 4655, the Year of the Dog)


So, it's official, then... you're running on an overtly racist ticket.
The really scary part is that it might actually win you some votes.
Hikaru Nakamura, who is neither Chinese nor Japanese, but a United
Statesian, is *bound* to be impressed.


'Ignorance and folly breed the phantoms by which ignorance and folly
are perplexed and terrified.'
--Charles Brockden Brown (Ormond)

Dear Mr. Houlsby,

Actually, Hikaru Nakamura was born in Japan and is still a citizen of
Japan. But he has lived in the United States for many years, and he
also is (or is expected to become) a citizen of the United States.
As far as I know, in our world of chess, Nakamura always has
represented the United States, not Japan.

You have mentioned an interesting issue of whether or not 'Asian
Americans' (people of East Asian heritage who are citizens or
permanent residents of the United States, usually by virtue of birth
therein) tend to be perceived or accepted as legitimate 'real
Americans' by other Americans. In fact, even Asian Americans who
were born in the United States and who have lived there for their
entire lives and who can speak fluent American English *still* often
are perceived and treated explicitly as non-Americans by other
Americans.

As personally reported to me, here's an excerpt from an unfortunately
all too typical dialogue between an Asian American, who speaks fluent
American English, and another American with a common ignorant
stereotype of Asian Americans:

A: Hi, how are you? Where are you from?
B: Hi, I'm fine, thanks. I'm living here now, over there in that
neighborhood.
A: I mean where are you from?
B: Oh, did you mean where I was born? I was born here in the United
States.
A: But you're Oriental, aren't you? Where are you from? What's your
real country?
B: My real country is the United States. I am an American citizen by
birth.
A: Oh, don't give me that, man. Where are you *really* from?

"The question 'Where are you *really* from' shows that we interact
with others around us with a sense of race even if we are not aware
of it....To be met with it so quickly and so often reminds me, over
and over, that I am being treated differently than I would be if I
were white."
--Frank Wu (Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White, p. 83)
(Frank Wu is a professor of law at Howard University)

Also, it should be noted that some African Americans also have been
culturally conditioned in the United States to share that stereotype
of Asian Americans. Once while watching, in the company of an African
American university student, the Americans play a Davis Cup tennis
match, she and I had this conversation:

She: That's Michael Chang playing over there. Is he Chinese, do you
know?
I : He was born in the United States; his parents were Chinese
immigrants.
She: Then what's a Chinese doing there playing for America?
I : Michael Chang *is* an American. He's a citizen of the United
States, which has always been *his* country. So why should he
not play on his national team for his country?
She: I don't get it. He's *not* an American. What are you talking
about?

Although I attempted to explain it to her, she simply refused to
understand or to accept that anyone of Chinese ancestry could be or
become a 'real American'. And unfortunately too many other Americans
continue to share her conviction.

In the landmark 1898 Supreme Court case of "the United States v.
Wong Kim Ark", the United States government did its utmost to deny
the right of citizenship to everyone of Chinese ancestry, including
Wong Kim Ark himself, who had been had been born in the United States:

"For the most persuasive reasons we have refused citizenship to
Chinese subjects...and yet, as to their offspring, who are just as
*obnoxious*, and to whom the same reasons for *exclusion* apply for
equal force, we are told that we must accept them as fellow-citizens,
and that, too, because of the *mere* accident of birth."
--Solicitor General Conrad (on behalf of the United States, 1898)

But by a vote of 6 to 2, the Supreme Court decided in favour of Wong
Kim Ark. The verdict seems to have been quite unpopular in many parts
of the United States.

In the academic field of Asian American studies as well as in the
general Asian American media, the continuing common, if not normal,
perceptions and treatment of Asian Americans as 'perpetual foreigners'
are a major subject of concern. In fact, the Asian American
communities (plural emphasized) are extremely diverse and sometimes
at odds with one another. Unfortunately, many, if not most, other
Americans tend to stereotype Asian Americans unfairly in at least
two major ways: 1) as being all exactly alike; 2) as being
irreconciliably, or perhaps even irredeemably, alien to "American
culture" (singular emphasized), the proclaimed dominant culture
of white Americans.

For further reading:
"Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White" by Frank Wu (2002)

Now here's a story about the life of a Japanese American whom many
other Americans regard as a true national hero, but whom some other
Americans still seem to regard with disdain as not even a 'real
American' at all:

The life of Daniel Inouye, who has represented Hawaii for many years
in the United States Senate, shows some of both the best and the worst
aspects of American society. While fighting for the United States
during the Second World War, Daniel Inouye lost his right arm and won
(eventually) the Medal of Honor, the highest American military
decoration for valor. During that same period, acting in accord with
President Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066 (19 February 1942), the
United States forcibly relocated nearly 120000 Japanese Americans,
most of whom were U.S. citizens by birth, into internment camps. In
addition to losing their liberty and jobs, almost all of them also
lost their homes, businesses, and other properties, receiving little
or no financial compensation. In the 1980s the United States
government admitted that the wartime internment had been motivated
much more by anti-Japanese racism than by any claimed 'military
necessity'. In 1989 the United States issued an official apology.

Here are some excerpts from Senator Daniel Inouye's memoir, 'Journey
to Washington':

"Daniel K. Inouye, my cherished and admired friend, is one of
America's great egalitarians. His autobiography reflects his
relentless struggle to achieve freedom of opportunity and equality
for Americans of Japanese ancestry, and for all racial and religious
minorities. Born of Japanese parents in the Territory of Hawaii in
1924, he grew up in a climate of racial prejudice and discrimination.
Throughout his youth he was determined to transcend social bias, and
to achieve equal rights for his people....

Dan's heroism in action resulted in the loss of his right arm.
Despite this personal tragedy, his courage never failed him....
In 1962, he became the first American of Japanese ancestry to be
elected to the Senate of the United States.

Dan Inouye has lived by the code of personal courage--on the
battlefield, and in the political arena. He has faced the
aggressor's bullets, and the bigot's contemptuous stare. He has
gained the admiration and respect of his fellow men. Even more
important, he has, by his example and witness, helped to make the
hearts of his fellow men more tolerant, more free of the awful
burden of racism."

--Lyndon Baines Johnson, President of the United States (1963-9)

Now here are some of Daniel Inouye's own words:

(Daniel Inouye prepared to leave his parents and join the United
States Army. Please note the supreme importance attached to
upholding the honour of his family's name, which the Japanese
traditionally have valued more than life itself.)

"'I'm in the army, Mom! I have to report Saturday morning.' ...
'I'm happy if you are, my son. I ask you only to be a good boy.
Bring honor to our name.' 'I will, Mom. I will!...' ...

'...You are my first son and you are very precious to your mother
and to me, but you must do what must be done. If it is necessary,
you must be ready to...to...' Unable to give voice to the dread
words, his voice trailed off. 'I know, Papa. I understand.'
'Do not bring dishonor on our name', he whispered urgently."
(pp. 84-5)

(During the Second World War, the United States Army was racially
segregated. Daniel Inouye joined the 442nd Regimental Combat Team,
a (soon to be proven in combat) elite unit of Japanese Americans,
who were commanded mostly by white officers. After his platoon
had liberated an Italian village from German occupation, Inouye
acted with exemplary magnaminity toward the Italian civilians.)

"In the dead of night, oil lamps burning, a delegation of men and
women of the village came to see me. You could see by their clothes
that they were people of consequence in Altanagna, dark, formal
suits and dresses...They spoke through an interpreter and thanked
me with Latin profusion for liberating their village, and they said
it would be their great privilege if I accepted their humble
offering to become the honorary mayor of the village....Then the
interpreter turned back to me. He pointed to three young girls who
had been hanging back in the shadows, and he said, 'They ask me to
tell you that they have brought these three maidens for your comfort,
Lieutenant. They wish you a pleasant evening.'...

'Tell them, please, that I am horrified by their suggestion....We
did not come here to take their women or their food or their lands.
We came to bring peace and to take nothing. We are not conquerors,
we are friends.'...

We were relieved the next day and, having gone into reserve,
marched out as the last platoon in line. The villagers lined the
streets to wave goodbye to us, cheering for each platoon going by.
Except for my platoon. For my platoon they threw flowers."
(pp. 145-6)

(In April 1945, Daniel Inouye was severely wounded in action,
losing his right arm. He was in a hospital when the war ended.)

"The 442nd had run up an awesome record. There were those who
called us the most decorated outfit in the U.S. Army. We won
ten unit citations and 3915 individual decorations, including
47 Distinguished Service Crosses and a Congressional Medal of Honor.
But the price was catastrophic. Nearly 700 men were dead,
1700 maimed and critically wounded, and 3600 in all had become
casualties. The only men in the outfit ever captured by the
Germans were a handful of wounded and the medics who refused
to leave them even as the enemy closed in.

Captain Atkins had promoted me to first lieutenant the day I was
hit and recommended me for a Congressional Medal. I guess they
only give that to you when you're dead, which is, maybe, the way
it should be; instead, I got the D.S.C. to go with my three Purple
Hearts." (pp. 163-4)

(In 2000, after conceding that institutional racism in the United
States Armed Forces during the Second World War may have unjustly
deprived Asian Americans of their deserved military decorations,
the Medal of Honor was awarded to 22 Asian American veterans,
including Daniel Inouye, who previously had been awarded the next
highest decoration, the Distinguished Service Cross.)

"As a unit we were used like cannon fodder."
--George Sakoto (veteran of the 442nd RCT and winner of the Medal
of Honor)

(When Daniel Inouye returned home to the United States, he found
that the end of the war marked only the resumption of his struggle
to overcome American racism.)

"I went to this barbershop in one of the towns ringing San Francisco
--and got as far as the door. 'Are you Chinese?' the man said to me.
I looked past him at the three empty chairs, the other two barber
watching us closely. 'I'm an American', I said. 'Are you Chinese'?
'I think what you want to know is where my father was born. My
father was born in Japan. I'm an American.' Deep in my gut I knew
what was coming. 'Don't give me that American stuff', he said
swiftly. 'You're a Jap and we don't cut Jap hair.'

I wanted to hit him. I could see myself--it was as though I were
standing in front of a mirror. There I stood, in full uniform, the
new captain's bars bright on my shoulders, four rows of ribbons on
my chest, the combat infantry badge, the distinguished unit citations
--and a hook where my hand was supposed to be. And he didn't cut
Jap hair. To think that I had gone through a war to save his skin--
and he didn't cut Jap hair. I said, 'I'm sorry. I'm sorry for you
and the likes of you.' And I went back to my ship."

--Daniel Inouye (Journey to Washington, pp. 207-8)

In 1987, Senator Inouye was the chairman of the Senate committee
investigating the Iran-contra scandal, whose protagonist, Oliver
North, had become a hero to the right-wing American "superpatriots".
Many of those Americans hated Senator Inouye, a Democrat from Hawaii
(a state wherein whites are a minority). At one point during the
hearings, Senator Rudman, a Republican from New Hampshire, denounced
the hundreds, if not thousands, of Americans who had expressed their
hateful racist abuse in messages to Senator Inouye. Apparently, many
of those American "superpatriots" regarded Senator Inouye (who had
lost his right arm while fighting for the United States) not only as
"anti-American" but also as *not* even an American at all, often
vilifying him as a "Jap" who ought to be "sent back" to Japan
(where he never has lived).

Hence, even an Asian American such as Daniel Inouye, a long-serving
United States Senator and a war hero who has won the Medal of Honor
(the supreme American military decoration), cannot avoid being
condemned and abused by some hateful American racists, who might well
claim to be acting in the sacred name of American patriotism.

'Where men are ignorant, every man thinks himself at liberty to report
what he pleases.'
--Henry Fielding (Amelia)

--Nick
  #5  
Old July 4th 03, 12:40 AM
Nick
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Zhang Zhong revisited

This post adds some clarifications and explanations to my previous post.

(Nick) wrote in message . com...
(snipped: please read my previous post if you are interested)
...
(In April 1945, Daniel Inouye was severely wounded in action,
losing his right arm. He was in a hospital when the war ended.)

"The 442nd had run up an awesome record. There were those who
called us the most decorated outfit in the U.S. Army. We won
ten unit citations and 3915 individual decorations, including
47 Distinguished Service Crosses and a Congressional Medal of Honor.
But the price was catastrophic. Nearly 700 men were dead,
1700 maimed and critically wounded, and 3600 in all had become
casualties. The only men in the outfit ever captured by the
Germans were a handful of wounded and the medics who refused
to leave them even as the enemy closed in.

Captain Atkins had promoted me to first lieutenant the day I was
hit and recommended me for a Congressional Medal. I guess they
only give that to you when you're dead, which is, maybe, the way
it should be; instead, I got the D.S.C. to go with my three Purple
Hearts." (pp. 163-4)


Among the United States Army's decorations for valor: the Congressional Medal
of Honor is the highest award; the Distinguished Service Cross is the second
highest award; and the Purple Heart is awarded for being wounded in action.

(In 2000, after conceding that institutional racism in the United
States Armed Forces during the Second World War may have unjustly
deprived Asian Americans of their deserved military decorations,
the Medal of Honor was awarded to 22 Asian American veterans,
including Daniel Inouye, who previously had been awarded the next
highest decoration, the Distinguished Service Cross.)


That sentence should be rewritten, in part, as: "...their deserved military
decorations," *the United States of America, represented by President Clinton,
awarded the Medal of Honor,* "to 22 Asian American veterans..."

To this day, there are some right-wing American "superpatriots" who vehemently
object to the Department of Defense's decision, after a thorough review of
every individual case, to upgrade the award of the Distinguished Service Cross
to the Congressional Medal of Honor for 22 Asian American veterans (15 of which
were awarded posthumously in June 2000). Those American "superpatriots" still
tend to deny there was any institutional racism in the United States Armed
Forces during the Second World War, even though racial segregation was then
the normal policy therein. Moreover, some of those American "superpatriots"
have continued to belittle the heroism of any Asian American veterans.

For example, I have heard a self-proclaimed American "superpatriot" say:
"Everyone knows that the Orientals don't value human life, including their own.
So no Oriental ever ought to be given a medal for risking his life or even for
losing it. Whenever an Oriental does that, he's not being brave; he's just
being a fanatic. It's natural for him."

"As a unit we were used like cannon fodder."
--George Sakoto (veteran of the 442nd RCT and winner of the Medal of Honor)


The "442nd RCT" was the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a unit of Japanese
Americans, which became the most highly decorated unit of its size in the
United States Army during the Second World War. The 442nd RCT also suffered an
extremely high rate of casualties; the cost of their medals was their blood.

For many years after the Second World War, out of fear of "reprisals" from
other Americans, Japanese American veterans tended to avoid speaking of their
wartime experiences with complete honesty. In recent years, that silence has
been broken. Japanese American veterans, such as George Sakoto, have begun
to express their convictions that they were assigned to practically suicidal
operations (Himmelfahrstkommando) as sacrificial "cannon fodder", having been
evidently regarded by at least some of their American commanders as potentially
disloyal or racially expendable on account of their Japanese ancestry.

Also, it's worth noting that many Japanese American veterans were *not*
volunteers for United States military service; they had been *conscripted*
out of the American wartime internment camps. Those Japanese Americans were
required to fight (and often to die) on behalf of the United States government,
which continued to imprison their families in those camps, while denying them
any legal recourse to seek their liberty. Under such conditions, the valour
of Japanese Americans during the Second World War is even more remarkable.

'There may be as much courage in enduring as in acting.'
--Walter Scott (Redgauntlet)

--Nick
  #6  
Old July 7th 03, 02:51 AM
Nick
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Zhang Zhong revisited

(Nick) wrote in message . com...
...
During the Second World War, the United States Army was racially
segregated. Daniel Inouye joined the 442nd Regimental Combat Team,
a (soon to be proven in combat) elite unit of Japanese Americans,
who were commanded mostly by white officers.
...
"The 442nd had run up an awesome record. There were those who
called us the most decorated outfit in the U.S. Army. We won
ten unit citations and 3915 individual decorations, including
47 Distinguished Service Crosses and a Congressional Medal of Honor.
But the price was catastrophic. Nearly 700 men were dead,
1700 maimed and critically wounded, and 3600 in all had become
casualties. The only men in the outfit ever captured by the
Germans were a handful of wounded and the medics who refused
to leave them even as the enemy closed in."

--Daniel Inouye (Journey to Washington, pp. 163-4)

In general, the United States Army has respected the right of its
soldiers to exercise their freedom of religion, but its treatment
of many Japanese American soldiers was an exception. During the
Second World War, very many, if not most, Japanese American soldiers
were Buddhists; indeed, a common epithet among other American soldiers
for them was "Buddhaheads". But the U.S. Army evidently regarded
Buddhism as an alien, subversive representative of Japanese culture,
which it did not understand and would not tolerate.

Accordingly, whenever, on official forms, a Japanese American soldier
specified his religion as "Buddhism", the official record was altered
*without* his permission to list him as "Protestant". Moreover, at
least in theory, he would be prohibited from observing his true
religious faith. In practice, however, apparently there often was a
de facto "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Many commanders tended to
be sensible enough to "look the other way" about any discreet Buddhist
observances among their well-disciplined Japanese American soldiers.

--Nick
  #7  
Old July 12th 03, 11:09 PM
Nick
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Zhang Zhong revisited

OT: This post is written to answer one reader's specific question about it.

(Nick) wrote in message . com...
(PJDBAD) wrote in message ...
I'm just glad that I didn't say anthing about Christian name.


The term, 'Christian name', is ethnocentric and no longer favoured in usage.

"One day I looked up to find a tall young Indian standing in my office. He
wore an ill-fitting uniform, a cheerful smile, and the badges of a lieutenant
of the Indian Medical Service. I frowned ferociously. No one is supposed to
smile in the office of an adjutant. The young man said his name was Dutt, and
that he had been posted as our medical officer. This was a shock, as in those
days all King's Commissioned officers in a Gurkha battalion were British.
Still, we would have to make the best of it. I pulled an officer's record
sheet toward me, and asked, 'Name'?

'Dutt', he said, 'I just told you.'
'Rank?'
'Lieutenant, I.M.S.'
'Christian names?'
'None.'

I put down the pen and stared at him. 'I am very busy', I began coldly.
'And...'

'I am not a Christian', he said with a triumphant beam, 'so how can I have
Christian names? I am Hindu, and my full name is Santa Padhaya Dutt, if that
is what you want to know.'

I stared at the paper as though it had bitten me. 'Christian name' is, in
English-English, the normal phrase for 'first name'. I realised suddenly
that it was not a mere phrase, it meant exactly what it said. The point
had never arisen before. Times were changing. There was a war on. Oh,
well...I silently quoted one of my colonel's pet phrases--'Worse things
happen at sea.'"

--John Masters (The Road Past Mandalay, p. 10-1)

John Masters (DSO, OBE) was a British officer of the Indian Army during the
Second World War. After the war, he became a novelist.


Someone has asked whether or not Lieutenant Santa Padhaya Dutt, an Indian
doctor serving under British command, really considered himself loyal to the
British Raj. During the Second World War, Lieutenant Dutt served on the
British side, but, in his conscience, he did not serve the cause of British
imperialism in India. Instead, he supported the nationalist cause of Indian
independence.

"We had an uneventful trip to the mouth of the Persian Gulf, except for the
arguments that developed when Santa Padhaya Dutt said blandly that he wasn't
fighting to maintain England's rule over India, only to insure that it was
not replaced by Germany's. It must be remembered that British officers of
Gurkha battalions, spending most of their time protecting India's frontiers
against tribal raids, lived a life far removed from the turmoil of Indian or
world politics. Dutt was regarded as something of an eccentric, not for his
nationalism but because he knew about the matter at all and was interested in
it. The rest of us had simply shut the whole thing out of our minds. When
the time came, someone would tell us to go home; meanwhile we had a job to do.
But all Englishmen love an eccentric and Dutt became very popular."
--John Masters (The Road Past Mandalay, pp. 17-8)

"...Fielding mocked again. And Aziz in an awful rage danced this way and that,
not knowing what to do, and cried: 'Down with the English anyhow. That's
certain. Clear out, you fellows, double quick, I say. We may hate one another,
but we hate you most. If I don't make you go, Ahmed will, Karim will, if it's
fifty-five hundred years we shall get rid of you, yes, we shall drive every
blasted Englishman into the sea, and then'--he rode against him furiously--'and
then', he concluded, half kissing him, 'you and I shall be friends.'

'Why can't we be friends now?' said the other, holding him affectionately.
'It's what I want. It's what you want.'

But the horses didn't want it--they swerved apart; the earth didn't want it,
sending up rocks through which riders must pass single file; the temples, the
tank, the jail, the palace, the birds, the carrion, the Guest House, that came
into view as they issued from the gap and saw Mau beneath: they didn't want it,
they said in their hundred voices, 'No, not yet', and the sky said, "No, not
there.'"

--E.M. Forster (1924, A Passage to India)

--Nick
  #8  
Old July 26th 03, 10:33 PM
Nick
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Zhang Zhong revisited

OT: This post responds in a discussion of Canadian-American relations as
mentioned by John Macnab.

John Macnab wrote in message . ca...
(Nick) wrote in message . com...
Speaking of "offensive speech" and a magazine's editorial standards, you
might be interested in the right-wing American magazine, "National Review",
issue of 25 November 2002. The cover reads, "Wimps!", across a photograph
of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, with a subtitle of "Jonah Goldberg on
Canada's whiny and weak anti-Americanism". Goldberg's article is called,
"Bomb Canada: The Case for War".

http://www.nationalreview.com/preview/preview112502.asp

Hee hee. The beauty of this kind of journalism is that very few people care.


Dear Mr. Macnab,

Many more Americans than Canadians seem to care about "this kind of
journalism".

"Talk radio is a great deal more popular--and powerful--than most of us
realize. Twenty-two percent of all Americans surveyed say they listen.
In some major cities, the number is as high as 40 percent. Conservative
domination of the talk-radio airwaves is so extensive as to be undisputed,
even by the usual suspects. There's not a single well-known liberal talk-show
host in the nation and barely a host who does not learn well in the direction
of the extreme right. The most popular shows are hosted by Rush Limbaugh,
(snipped the list of 18 more names). Every single one is a movement
conservative with politics located at the extreme far-right end of the
political spectrum....

Edward Monks, a Eugene, Oregon, attorney calculates that in is city,
conservatives enjoy a 4000-to-zero hour advantage over liberals on the radio.
He wrote in 'The Register-Guard': 'Political opinions expressed on talk radio
are approaching the level of uniformity that would normally be achieved only
in a totalitarian society....There is nothing fair, balanced, or democratic
about it.' Monk noted that as recently as 1974, such domination would have
been not only inconceivable, but illegal. Back then, the Federal Communications
Commission was still demanding 'strict adherence to the (1949) Fairness
Doctrine as the single most important requirement of operation in the public
interest--the sine qua non for grant for renewal of license'. This view was
ratified by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1969 when it reaffirmed the people's
right to a free exchange of opposing views, with roughly equal time given to
all sides, if demanded, on the public airwaves. The doctrine was overturned
by the Reagan-appointed FCC in 1987....President Reagan vetoed attempts by
Congress to reinstate the doctrine, and the net result has been the complete
far-right domination of the nation's airwaves, owing entirely to what analysts
call 'marketplace realities'.

The amazing career of Rush Limbaugh owes a great deal to that moment in
history. It is testament to just how well success succeeds in the U.S. media,
regardless of accuracy, fairness, or even common sense. Limbaugh's legendary
lies and mythological meanderings have been rewarded not only with legions of
listeners, but also with incredible riches--a contract said to be worth
$250 million over seven years. It has also won him the respect of the media
establishment. Limbaugh, for instance, has been treated to laudatory coverage
in 'Time' and 'Newsweek'...And yet Limbaugh is, to put it bluntly, *deranged*.
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting has published an entire book of Rushisms
that have turned out to be false, unsubstantiated, or just plain wacko....

Still, Limbaugh can have a real impact on issues, irrespective of the
crackpot notions that inform his views. When, in June 2002, the Bush
Administration gave up its Sisyphean battle to deny the reality of global
warming--a fact of life accepted by the entire panoply of world government
as well as virtually every climatologist of note in all of these nations
Rush was aghast. He knew better....But Rush was not fooled. Bush and
company had, for reasons, he did not explain, caved into 'the environmentalist
wacko coalition'....Within twenty-four hours the White House retreated,
retracting the president's admission that global warming was, in fact, real....

Listening to Limbaugh, the idea that he enjoys genuine power in the political
life of the nation leaves you shaking your head in awe and amazement. But
it is impossible to ignore. Limbaugh's radio audience is the largest any
program on the medium has enjoyed since the advent of television. President
George H.W. Bush invited him for a White House sleepover, as well as to be
his honored guest at his State of the Union address, seated next to Barbara
Bush, in a demonstration of fealty and respect."

--Eric Alterman (What Liberal Media?, 2003, pp. 70-4)

Canada tends to be rather overlooked by the United States media.

"I have suggested that one of the best ways to specify and distinguish
American traits is by contrast with Canada. There is a considerable
comparative North American literature, written almost entirely by Canadians.
They have a great advantage over Americans since, while very few of the
latter study their northern neighbor, it is impossible to be a literate
Canadian without knowing almost as much, if not more, as most Americans
about the United States."
--Seymour Martin Lipset (American Exceptionalism, p. 34)
(Lipset is a self-described "proud American" scholar.)

"Practically all of the American and British literature dealing with counter-
insurgency and counter-terrorism ignores the fact that Canada was probably
the only NATO country which disrupted and destroyed a cell-based revolutionary
terrorist movement before it could cause serious damage to the polity.
Canadian planners believed that the FLQ (Front de Liberation du Quebec) and
its related support structures were progressing through a four-step
revolutionary programme that would progress from political mobilization to
open armed conflict. Canada's strategy was to disrupt the transition from
urban terrorism to small-unit operations in the hinterlands. The sudden
mass deployment of the armed forces in 1970 to support intelligence and
police operations in Quebec administered the coup de grace to a revolutionary
effort which started in 1963.

In addition to carrying out an ambitious seven-year bombing campaign,
kidnapping a British diplomat and murdering a Cabinet minister, the FLQ
infiltrated the Militia to get training and stole vast numbers of military
weapons including anti-tank weapons and assault rifles. An FLQ attack
against the nuclear weapons facility at CFS Lamacaza was disrupted before
it could be executed. Some FLQ members were, in fact, trained in Algeria
by the FLN, and de Gaulle gave public moral support to that enterprise."

--Sean Maloney (Cold War Hot, edited by Peter Tsouras, pp. 144-5)

Here's a novel that might be of interest:
"Killing Ground: the Canadian Civil War" by Bruce Powe (aka Ellis Portal)
(1968, Toronto: Peter Martin Associates)

Perhaps my favourite Canada-US relations story goes back a few years. A
nutty American pastor, Rev Fred Phelps became so outraged by a Canadian
court decision granting spousal benefits to same-sex couples, that he
came to Ottawa to burn the Maple Leaf--what Phelps called the "Fag Flag"
on parliament hill. Rev Phelps did not seem to understand that such an
act is not particularly outrageous or offensive to most Canadians.


Recently, Don Mihokovich created the off-topic thread, "Core Values", on
account of his perception that Noah Roberts had disrespected the United
States flag. You might have noticed how fiercely (including a threat of
physical violence) some Americans have been fighting in that thread.

Either the police or the fire marshall, I forget which, met with Phelps
to give him tips on which fire accelerants would be best to use to
ensure the safety of the Reverand and all bystanders. He burned the
flag, the newspapers had a good laugh at his expense, and he and his
small band of followers went home.


I don't display any flags; I don't burn any flags.
I hardly take notice whenever someone else displays a flag or burns one.

Ah, low fences make for fun neighbours!


The United States has higher fences along its border with Mexico.
The American economy depends on a continuing supply of inexpensive Mexican
labour, including many illegal immigrants, but Mexicans have not always been
made welcome in the United States.

According to "Decade of Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s" by
Francisco Balderrama and Raymond Rodriguez, the United States summarily
(without due process of law) deported about one million persons of Mexican
heritage (*most of whom were U.S. citizens*, who should have been legally
protected from any deportations) to Mexico in order that more jobs might
become available for "real Americans". Many of the deported persons lost
their homes and properties in the United States without any compensation.
In some cases, severely ill Mexicans were forcibly removed from American
hospitals and dropped off across the border.

"Poor Mexico! So far from God, and so close to the United States."
--Porfirio Diaz (1830-1915)

--Nick
  #9  
Old July 26th 03, 11:47 PM
Nick
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Zhang Zhong revisited

OT: This post responds in a discussion of Canadian-American relations
as mentioned by John Macnab.

John Macnab wrote in message . ca...
(snipped)
Whenever I have travelled in the US, most people give Canada credit for
civility far beyond what we deserve. I have yet to receive any abusive
nonsense of the sort that anonymous posters dish out.


Dear Mr. Macnab,

I am pleased that your experiences among Americans have been so cordial.
Unfortunately, many people perceived as belonging to minority communities
in the United States have been treated less respectfully by other Americans.

It is usally pleasant to have the USA as a neighbour. Most Canadians do
agree with Pierre Trudeau's sentiment that sharing that long border is
rather like sleeping next to an elephant.


Yes, a Canadian civil servant told me that her department sometimes has been
more influenced by decisions made in Washington than those made in Ottawa.

Some Canadians graciously accept the American tendency to regard Canada as
"the 51st state" and the supreme intended American compliment that "Canadians
are just like Americans" (almost). Other Canadians are more nationalistic
and inclined to assert their independence from the United States.

For example, one Canadian veteran (1939-45) of the Second World War mentioned
that he becomes irritated whenever Americans assume that he must have gone to
war only after the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor. Evidently, some Americans
incorrectly believe that Canada must have followed the United States into
the Second World War.

On a lighter note, a Canadian friend of mine once argued that Canada must
be a freer country than the United States because Canadians may legally
purchase Cuban cigars. I know that Canada offered refuge to many blacks
escaping slavery in the (pre-1861) United States and to some Americans
avoiding military conscription during the Vietnam War. But I doubt that many
Americans today would flee to Canada simply to be able to enjoy Cuban cigars.

On a more serious note, he also is proud to assert that Canada is a much
less racist society than the United States. As far as I know, I would agree
that Canada generally seems less racist today, but Canada also has had a
history of racism. For example, like the United States, Canada also interned
its residents and citizens of Japanese heritage (including the father of Paul
Kariya, the ice hockey star) during the Second World War. Many years later,
Canada's government officially apologised for that internment.

By the way, there's a Canadian film (or television miniseries), "The Arrow",
about the apparently promising Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow fighter project, which
was cancelled in 1959 by Canada's government, allegedly in part as a
consequence of strong political pressure from the United States, which disliked
the prospect of any Canadian competition in the aeroplane industry.

"In your obituary of Pham Van Dong (May 6th) you claim that, for the Americans,
the conflict in Vietnam was 'the only war they lost'. Although we in Canada
are proud of our cordial relations with America, it was not always thus.
America's first taste of military defeat came at the hands of British and
Canadian troops in the war of 1812. The American attempt to free us from
the yoke of British imperialism failed. Canada has the distinction of being
the only country to have successfully brought war on to American soil; the
White House is so named because that is the colour it was painted to hide
serious fire damage after British and Canadian troops put the torch to
Washington during that conflict."
--Peter Eady (Ottawa: letter to 'The Economist', 20 May 2000, p. 8)

On the other hand, if the United States had completely won the War of 1812, then
you and other Canadians might feel more included in rec.games.chess.politics
discussions today. :-)

--Nick
 




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