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  #3  
Old July 10th 03, 11:41 PM
Nick
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Because

Chapman billy wrote in message m...
In article ,
says...
(Sigvaldi Eggertsson) wrote in message . com...
"Tim Hanke" wrote in message news:[email protected]
In fact after the good old U.S. of A., I'd say you Brits are pretty
much the best of the rest. Though personally, I've always had a soft
spot for Iceland and the Scandinavian countries, despite Sweden
letting down the side rather badly in World War II.

In what way?


Mr. Eggertsson,

As far as I can infer, Tim Hanke seems disappointed that Sweden did not
fight on the Allied side during the Second World War. On the other hand,
Hanke might have overlooked that Finland fought on the Axis side then.
--Nick


The Finns are not Scandinavian.


Simon,

Thanks for writing. I appreciate your mentioning a fact that you thought that
I had overlooked. Actually, I already knew that Scandinavia properly comprises
Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, though in informal usage Finland has been included.

I did not write that Finland is part of Scandinavia. My intention (which was
understood by Sigvaldi Eggertsson in his response) was to suggest one reason
why Sweden did not join the Allies. If Sweden had done that, then it would
have gone to war against its neighbour, Finland, which would have been quite
unwelcome to many Swedes. Finland has a substantial Swedish minority, and
the Swedes traditionally have felt close to the Finns. For example, with the
approval of their government, many Swedes volunteered to fight for Finland
in its 1939-40 'Winter War' against the Soviet Union. And most Swedes seemed
sympathetic toward Finland in its 1941-4 'Continuation War' against the
Soviet Union.

Of course, another reason why Sweden did not join the Allies was that Hitler
never got around to invading Sweden.

--Nick
  #4  
Old July 11th 03, 02:53 AM
PJDBAD
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Default Because

The spin on the Finns is that they weren't allies of Germany but cobelligerents
against a common enemy, the Soviet Union. I'm willing to buy into the idea
that there is a difference between the two.
  #7  
Old July 12th 03, 07:18 AM
Sigvaldi Eggertsson
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Default Because


By the way, Finland's air force, the Ilmavoimat, sported the Hakaristi
(a swastika) as insignia on its aeroplanes during the war. The Hakaristi
was not identical to the Nazi Hakenkreuz.


The Finns took up the Swastika in 1918, the Germans did not start to
use it until much later.
Eimskipafélag Íslands (The Icelandic steamship company, formed in
1915) had a swastika (vertical, just as the Finnish sign) as its´ logo
long before the Nazis came up with the idea.
  #8  
Old July 12th 03, 02:56 PM
Chapman billy
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Posts: n/a
Default Because

In article
,
says...
Chapman billy wrote in message m...
In article ,
says...
(Sigvaldi Eggertsson) wrote in message . com...
"Tim Hanke" wrote in message news:[email protected]
In fact after the good old U.S. of A., I'd say you Brits are pretty
much the best of the rest. Though personally, I've always had a soft
spot for Iceland and the Scandinavian countries, despite Sweden
letting down the side rather badly in World War II.

In what way?

Mr. Eggertsson,

As far as I can infer, Tim Hanke seems disappointed that Sweden did not
fight on the Allied side during the Second World War. On the other hand,
Hanke might have overlooked that Finland fought on the Axis side then.
--Nick


The Finns are not Scandinavian.


Simon,

Thanks for writing. I appreciate your mentioning a fact that you thought that
I had overlooked. Actually, I already knew that Scandinavia properly comprises
Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, though in informal usage Finland has been included.


Nick,

Thank you for your response. It is a shame that so many
contributors appear to be unclubbable men; so perhaps
this is a cri de coeur for more soldiers of the monstrous
regiment to trumpet in this group? Anyhow, I don't see
the harm in an occasional off topic post.

I thought it best to find out indirectly whether you were
seeking to anneal the meaning of what Tim Hanke wrote, or
whether you were being careless in lobbing Nordic Finland
into Scandinavia. Most people who have called the Finns
Scandinavian that I have come across genuinely have been
unaware of the inaccuracy; somewhat implausible in your
particular instance, but then you usually take great
pains to achieve your desired effect in your postings.
One particularly amusing instance of this confusion over
the "Scandinavians" was when the Labour MP Diane Abbot
complained about the surfeit of blond blue-eyed
Scandinavian nurses; although, of course, the ladies in
question hailed from Finland.


I did not write that Finland is part of Scandinavia. My intention (which was
understood by Sigvaldi Eggertsson in his response) was to suggest one reason
why Sweden did not join the Allies. If Sweden had done that, then it would
have gone to war against its neighbour, Finland, which would have been quite
unwelcome to many Swedes. Finland has a substantial Swedish minority, and
the Swedes traditionally have felt close to the Finns. For example, with the
approval of their government, many Swedes volunteered to fight for Finland
in its 1939-40 'Winter War' against the Soviet Union. And most Swedes seemed
sympathetic toward Finland in its 1941-4 'Continuation War' against the
Soviet Union.


You are being very delicate in not mentioning that
Finland was once part of the Swedish empire, along with
a large chunk of the Baltic; up until the Grand Duchy
gained the dubious privilege of being grabbed by Russia
(1809 IIRC, but I'm too lazy to check) in the time of
Napoleon. The Finns had to wait until the Russian
Revolution before being able to slip their moorings and
begin their voyage as an independent state; unfortunately
not without a vicious civil war. It is my impression that
the Norwegians bear the brunt of the Swedes' "Irish" (for
want of a better word) jokes: nonetheless, the Swedish
claim on the Aaland Islands was an instance of a somewhat
less than benevolent attitude; happily the League Of
Nations found a workable compromise in that territorial
dispute, one of its few successes.

Many Europeans sympathised with the Finns in the Winter
War to the point of wishing to offer concrete aid; if one
wants to be cruel, perhaps the failure of the Narvik
expedition was a blessing in disguise in this respect.

All in all Finland has an impressive record as an
independent state: you doubtless recall the bilateral
trade agreements with the Soviet Union, and the
potentially disastrous impact upon the Finnish economy
when that empire collapsed. Yet the Finns managed to pull
themselves round.


Of course, another reason why Sweden did not join the Allies was that Hitler
never got around to invading Sweden.


Turning to the attitude of the Swedish Government, as
opposed to the Swedish population, during WWII; I
reproduce below extracts from the memoirs of Cordell Hull
Roosevelt's Secretary of State at the time.

"We were greatly concerned over the Swedish Government's
continuing to permit German troops and supplies to cross
Sweden to and from Norway. Sweden offered us both a
valuable point of observation for Northern Europe and
Germany, and a source of anxiety because of the valuable
supplies such as iron ore and ball bearings which were
going to Germany."

--Volume 2, page 1345.

The following relates to 1944.
"In our negotiations with Sweden, however, we encountered
opposition arising from the fact that Sweden still had
a lingering fear of German armed reprisals, despite the
growing strength and successes of the United Nations. I
said in a letter to the Joint Chiefs on May 19: 'No
matter how unrealistic it may appear to us here, the
factor which in the final analysis will control the
Swedish Government's decision ... is its conviction that
full compliance with our demands will almost certainly
expose Sweden to German military attack ... This
conviction is so strong that the Swedes, in their
disbelief that their present bearing exports to Germany
are as important as we say they are, strongly suspect
that our real purpose in pressing them on this matter is
not to obtain a reduction in ball bearings but to involve
them in war with Germany.'"

--Volume 2, page 1347 (August 1948 reprint, Hodder and
Stougton).



Regards,

Simon.
  #9  
Old July 12th 03, 09:18 PM
Nick
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Because

"Tim Hanke" wrote in message ...
"Nick" wrote ...
(Larry Tapper) wrote in message

. com...
"Mark Houlsby" wrote in message

...
...If you're genuinely interested in learning correct grammar, then,
rather than my posting a link to a website (of which there are several)
I suggest that you find, and buy, an old manual of grammar (preferably
one which is around 125 years old). Read it, and learn *precisely* how
and why English grammar, syntax and semantics work the way they do...
...
You advise us slack-jawed barbarians to read 125-year-old grammars if
we want to learn what proper English is really about. While I can
understand your admiration for high Victorian style, it seems to me
that you overestimate the uniformity of proper usage even in the
heyday of the schoolmarm. About ten years ago, for example, the
novelist and bibliophile Nicholson Baker wrote a superb piece in the
New York Review of Books documenting many cases of wild and
idiosyncratic punctuation in 19th-century prose. Such writers as
Carlyle, Dickens, and Melville threw around dashes and semicolons in
ways that few editors would accept today.


Dear Mr. Tapper,

I prefer to take a less prescriptive approach toward English grammar and
usage than Mark Houlsby seems to. (In fairness to him, I cannot say that I
know his complete views on the subject.) In my view, the English language(s)
have evolved and are evolving through everyday usage, so it's natural and
inevitable that English grammar should evolve as well. The English
language(s) are not regulated by any academy of supreme law-givers; English
belongs to the people who can make themselves understood with it, whatever
their accents. Every national dialect of English can be equally useful in
furthering communication.

As for the ignorant stereotype of Americans as 'slack-jawed barbarians',
unfortunately, the continuing flagrant misbehaviour of some Americans here
(which should *not* imply that only Americans have misbehaved here) tends
to corroborate that stereotype.

But I would never extend that stereotype to my thoughtful American friends
and relatives, who have welcomed me into their homes and treated me with
courtesy, respect, trust, affection, and love. And I would not extend
that stereotype to most well-educated Americans whom I have yet to meet.

I also have friends and relatives who have served, or who still serve, in
the United States Armed Forces. As far as I know, none of them comes close
to the ignorant stereotype of an 'American barbarian lusting for bloodshed'.
Indeed, they all would insist that any American military misconduct (such
as the 1988 shoot-down of an Iranian airliner) should be fully examined by
the courts of inquiry and not be covered up in the name of American
patriotism. Some American veterans of wars are among the most passionate
activists for peace whom I have ever met.

By the way, one of my favourite novels about the Battle of Waterloo, 'The
Limits of Glory', was written by James McDonough, a United States Army
officer. He makes good narrative usage of material from a nearly forgotten
diary, which was published in abridged form as:

'A Week at Waterloo in 1815' by Lady Magdalene DeLancey, edited by
B.R. Ward (London, John Murray, 1906)

'I never read anything which affected my own feeling more strongly, or
which, I am sure, would have a deeper interest on those of the public.'
--Walter Scott (1825, on the original diary of Lady Magdalene DeLancey)

A while ago, I was playing chess on the internet against someone in Chile,
who seemed quite cordial for a while. We exchanged a few pleasantries in
Spanish; then he told me something that I did not quite understand. So I
asked him to translate it into English if possible. From that point, he
quickly jumped to conclusions, assuming that I must be an American (the
world's most populous Anglophone society), and assuming that all Americans
must support every United States foreign policy and military action. To my
astonishment, I found myself being furiously denounced as a 'genocidal
murderer' and being exhorted to 'stop murdering innocent children in Iraq'.
(Some Americans abroad in some parts of the world may have had similar
unpleasant experiences.)

My chess opponent was a Chilean, and I surmised that he might have a deep
personal grievance against the United States. On 11 September 1973,
General Pinochet (with full American support) launched a bloody coup d'etat
that overthrew the elected government of Chile and killed its president,
Salvador Allende. With continuing American support, Pinochet ruled Chile
until 1990, torturing and murdering thousands of his suspected political
opponents and their associates. Perhaps my opponent was related to one of
those victims.

So I attempted to establish some more meaningful communication with the
Chilean, whose English was better than my Spanish. On behalf of my
American friends and relatives and in the interests of the truth (as I
perceived it), I sought to explain that many Americans opposed at least
some of the United States's foreign and military policies, including the
invasion of Iraq. Also, I attempted to assure him that most Americans did
not feel happy about the killing of 'innocent children in Iraq'. Of course,
there's no way truly to 'compensate' a family for the death of its child.
Tragic though that is, however, from a historical perspective the American-
led invasion of Iraq did *not* constitute genocide. (The United States's
imperial conquest of the Philippines was much, much bloodier.) I doubt
that most Iraqis will welcome a protracted American military occupation;
yet I believe that now, without Saddam Hussein, most Iraqis have the
potential, which has yet to be translated into reality, for better lives
in the future.

I sought to explain all that, but my opponent was not in the mood to listen
patiently. He made an offensive personal remark and then logged off. I
felt disappointed that I had not been able to communicate better with him,
yet I also felt relieved that I had no longer to listen to his fierce
denunciations. He was a well-educated professional man in Chile, and I
wondered about why he had come to hold some quite inaccurate impressions of
the American people.

This is only one conjecture among many possible. Perhaps he has been
reading chess newsgroups on Usenet. And perhaps he has naively accepted
that some shrill jingoistic, racist Americans here truly do represent all
Americans. Perhaps other Americans here should speak up more to say that's
not true.

As I recall, you have complained that Tim Hanke did not characterise your
views fairly or accurately. So I don't believe anything that Hanke writes
about who you are and what you believe, and I hope that you don't believe
anything that Hanke writes about who I am and what I believe.

By the way, contrary to Tim Hanke's characteristically ignorant assumption
about me, I tend not to use Bartlett as a source of quotations, and I
expect that nearly all of my quotations cited here would not be found in
Bartlett.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks.
--Nick


Another bravura performance by that wordy Brit b*st*rd Nick.


I wrote my post to Larry Tapper, who has informed me that he substantially
agreed with it and felt that he had nothing much to add in response.

Nick kindly tells us that he personally does not believe the "stereotype"
that Americans are "slack-jawed barbarians."


"Slack-jawed barbarians" was Larry Tapper's choice of expression to Mark
Houlsby, not my choice of expression. I was quoting Larry Tapper.

We Americans are relieved to hear this news, because we have a tremendous
inferiority complex about this common assumption. Now that a highly evolved
Brit like Nick has patted us on the head, we feel much better about ourselves.


Of course, I believe that the principle of "gens una sumus" includes Americans.

Next, Nick will announce that he does not believe the "stereotype" that all
Chinese people wear their hair in pigtails; or the "stereotype" that people
"down under" in Australia all stand on their heads.


Like the phases of the moon, perhaps, it's "silly season" again for Tim Hanke.

Nick wraps up his remarkable post by suggesting that a Chilean insulted him
during an Internet chess game possibly due to *my* comments on a chess
newsgroup. Personally I think Nick is quite capable of making himself
obnoxious online without anybody else's help, but this obvious
interpretation of what happened is not considered by Nick.


Tim Hanke has misunderstood or distorted what I wrote in my post about this
incident. Here's what happened, spelled out in more detail:

1) I played several chess games on the internet with someone in Chile.
Meanwhile, we did some casual chatting in Spanish, and we got along just fine.

2) As we became more friendly toward each other, we also became more curious.
So we decided to pause in playing chess in order to chat at greater length.

3) As our conversation continued, my opponent said something in Spanish that
I did not quite understand, so I asked him if he could translate it into
English. And then I informed him that I am fluent in English.

4) Suddenly, my opponent jumped to a series of unwarranted conclusions:
4.1) He assumed that I, as a fluent Anglophone, must be from the world's most
populous Anglophone society, the United States, so I must be an American.
4.2) He assumed that every American must fully support what he regards as
jingoistic American imperialism, particularly the invasion of Iraq.
4.3) Consequently, he assumed that I, as a perceived American, must fully
support jingoistic American imperialism and the invasion of Iraq.

5) My opponent began speaking in good English. My opponent denounced the United
States for its jingoistic imperialism and *all Americans*, including me, as
"genocidal murderers". He demanded that the United States and *all Americans*,
including me, "stop murdering innocent children in Iraq".

6) I was surprised and shaken by my opponent's outbursts. But I recognised
that he was *not* attacking me personally; he was including me among the targets
of his denunciation *only* because he *misperceived* me as a jingoistic
imperialist American who supported the invasion of Iraq. In effect, he was
denouncing me only because he misperceived me as being someone politically like
Tim Hanke.

7) If I had believed that my opponent was abusing me *personally*, then I would
have censored him immediately and that would have been the end of our dialogue.
Instead, I attempted to calm him down and then to explain patiently what he
was seriously misunderstanding about me and the American people in general.
But he was in no mood to listen to any rational persuasion. Just before logging
off, my opponent exclaimed something like: "F*** you murdering Yankee c***s--
*you all* should burn in Hell." And that was the end of our conversation.

I did *not* take my opponent's offensive comments *personally*, though their
passionate intensity left me both shaken and curious. I knew that many people
in Chile, for understandable historical reasons, detest the United States.
Why did this Chilean believe so deeply what he did about the American people?

In descending order of perceived significance, here were my hypotheses:

1) My opponent might have a family member or close friend who was murdered,
tortured, or unjustly imprisoned by General Pinochet's regime, a dictatorship
that was strongly supported by the United States from 1973 to 1990.

2) Like many, if not most, other Chileans, my opponent might detest the current
foreign, military, or economic policies of the United States. And he might
have mistakenly concluded that those policies truly represent the beliefs and
principles of all Americans.

3) My opponent might be a reader of some chess newsgroups on Usenet. He might
have read some of the jingoistic posts by some Americans here, who like to act
as though they are representing all Americans. Then my opponent might have
mistakenly accepted that those jingoistic Americans truly do represent all
Americans. (Again, this was the least significant of my three hypotheses.)

For the record, in my post I wrote that the third hypothesis "is only one
conjecture among *many possible*", and I did *not* mention Tim Hanke's name
in the following sentence about "some shrill jingoistic, racist Americans
here" on Usenet. Given Tim Hanke's complaint (to which I am responding here)
that my paragraph was an attack on him personally, I find it interesting that
Tim Hanke apparently has *identified himself* as one of the "shrill jingoistic,
racist Americans here". As far as I know, many other readers here would agree
that this inadvertently revealing self-assessment by Tim Hanke is accurate.

Nick's post is, of course, larded with quotes of varying relevance from
other people, to display his vast erudition.


Tim Hanke has a peculiar definition of "larded with quotes".
My post (reproduced in its entirety above) has a *solitary quotation* of Walter
Scott, who was reviewing a book that I was recommending to Larry Tapper.
Surely, the literary judgement of Walter Scott is relevant to a book review.

Very little about *chess* in Nick's post, as usual;


This whole thread, "Because" (created by Bill Smythe), is an *undeclared
off-topic thread* about English usage. Everyone else's posts in this thread
have at most "very little", if anything at all, about chess. Indeed, my post
probably has more about chess than nearly every other post in this thread.
A Usenet search should find many posts of mine on various chess subjects.

but the usual condescending treatment of Americans and personal slams against
Tim Hanke.


In most of my post, I was writing about how I have attempted to defend the
honor of my thoughtful, humane American friends and the American people in
general against what I regard as some unjustly negative ignorant stereotypes
abroad. I do *not* include Tim Hanke among "*my* thoughtful, humane American
friends"; if Hanke prefers to construe that exclusion as a "personal slam",
then so be it.

magna veritas et prevalebit
--Nick
  #10  
Old July 12th 03, 09:24 PM
Sigvaldi Eggertsson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Because

You are being very delicate in not mentioning that
Finland was once part of the Swedish empire, along with
a large chunk of the Baltic; up until the Grand Duchy
gained the dubious privilege of being grabbed by Russia


Finland did not become a Grand duchy until after 1809.

(1809 IIRC, but I'm too lazy to check) in the time of
Napoleon. The Finns had to wait until the Russian
Revolution before being able to slip their moorings and
begin their voyage as an independent state; unfortunately
not without a vicious civil war. It is my impression that
the Norwegians bear the brunt of the Swedes' "Irish" (for
want of a better word) jokes: nonetheless, the Swedish
claim on the Aaland Islands was an instance of a somewhat
less than benevolent attitude; happily the League Of
Nations found a workable compromise in that territorial
dispute, one of its few successes.


The people of Åland wanted to become part of Sweden, they considered
themselves Swedish and still speak Swedish.


Many Europeans sympathised with the Finns in the Winter
War to the point of wishing to offer concrete aid; if one
wants to be cruel, perhaps the failure of the Narvik
expedition was a blessing in disguise in this respect.


The Narvik expedition started long after the Winter war was over.

All in all Finland has an impressive record as an
independent state: you doubtless recall the bilateral
trade agreements with the Soviet Union, and the
potentially disastrous impact upon the Finnish economy
when that empire collapsed. Yet the Finns managed to pull
themselves round.


 




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