reply to post by chinawhite
With the high petrol prices, even after the recent drop, peoples mentality regarding fuel consumption will still be weary of buying large SUVs or
"gas-guzzlers" which can only be good for the environment. I remember watching a video or news report where a women took her dog for a walk in the
war, the poor dog was tied to the car while she slowly drove down the street. China will play a part but the large established car manufacturers will
lead the way.
Mr Chinawhite, may I be perfectly honest and post a few reflections?
If it is impossible to re-tell America’s short history - 1583-2008 - here (limited to 10,000 key strokes) then it is all the more so impossible to
re-tell the history of China - 3000 BCE to the present. 425 years compared to more than 5,000 years. 2,000 years ago, in the first century of the
current era - when Rome was shifting from the Republic to the Empire - the population of China was most likely equal to the total population of the
entire Mediterranean Basin. About 50 million.
America’s national political history is absolutely unique. Not necessarily the greatest but indisputably unique. No doubt about that. See Note 1. I
have shortened the explanation of what “made us unique” - or “great” as we are wont to repeat endlessly - to a single four letter word.
That’s also a part of being American, “make it simple, make it short and make it quick!” Well, the superlative word is - - - L A N D
Keep in mind we here are a product of western Europe. And the Age of the Enlightenment
. With a lot of our shared heritage coming from what the
Romans called Syria Palestina. Religion. After the conversion of Emperor Constantine around 320 CE, the West moved rather quickly to a unitary or
monolithic religion. After the “fall” of Rome - often given as 476 CE - the ancient world's (say Western in this context) political
infrastructure rapidly disintegrated and was ultimately replaced by the nascent Roman Catholic Church, by around 800 CE. See Note 2.
Over the next 1,000 years the West passed in slow succession through what we call the Dark Ages, followed by the Middle Ages. Itself subdivided into
Early and Late. After barely surviving the 3 episodes of the Black Death in the 14th century - brought west by ships from China? - Europe was ready
for Columbus and a new era, the Age of Exploration. Most remarkable and enduring of this millennium was the establishment of what we call Feudalism.
Visible signs and cultural influences of which remain to this day. Briefly, it was a TOP down system of allotting land to peasants who in turn owed
their lord service. All of the tillable land in Europe - west of the Urals - became locked into feudalism's strict code of privileges and
obligations. No unclaimed land was available in Europe for new generations. Enter the New World.
Through a fluke of pure chance, the Spanish and French sent out single men to conquer the inhabitants
of the New World, while the English sent
out men with families to subdue the land
. The Law of Unintended Consequence became operative. By the 18th century, the English had 13 colonies
inhabited by quick growing families along the eastern seaboard of the North American continent. For the impact those early settlers had on later
American culture see Note 3. It was the wholly unexpected benefit of the happenstance “conquer the people” versus “subdue the land” choice.
And so far as the English speaking people went, they soon became in their own eyes the Biblical “shining light upon the hill” or a secular beacon
for the dispossessed. But for the dark side of America never far away, see Note 4.
Again by yet another fluke, it turned out that the part of the New World that held the most of what was really valuable, the natural resources
including the rich, black, loamy soil, was found in the English colonies. And not in the gold rich Meso-America nor in the fur plentiful Hudson Bay
region of Canada. The rich, fertile, black loamy soil was to prove worth many times over the value of all the gold and furs! America had the most of
the best soil in the entire world! Compared to the worn-out and depleted soils of Europe, the American colonies could out-produce anyone in Europe.
As Peter Falk's Columbo frequently said: “And one more thing!” add to that the other highly favorable advantages of LATITUDE of the land that was
to become the United States. Location, location, location as the realtors say. You have an unequaled mixture of what must have looked much like the
fabled Promised Land or certainly a gift of Divine Providence to the 1000s of immigrants from Old Europe. You might say America is a product of an
unlikely series of FLUKES. And that is serendipity. See also UCLA's Prof. Jared Diamond's Pulitzer Prize-winning book Guns, Germs, and
(1998) that expounds his east-west versus north-south geography theory to explain why Europeans were able to conquer most of the
America - like China - has been a rarity in the nations of the earth. We too have been almost totally self-sufficient in natural resources. Only a few
rare earths are lacking in the 3 million square miles making up the Lower 48. About the same size as modern China. We are situated on the globe at
about the same parallel of latitude which is the most favored. Shanghai is at the same latitude as New Orleans. China however, has a very large part
of its country in the south-east much further south than the US. Probably an area equal to Texas and Oklahoma is at the same latitude as South
Florida. And all well watered and very fertile!
It also seems America had more petroleum under its soil than does China. The first discovered of the world's 2 super oil fields - the other is in
Saudi Arabia - is under East Texas. All of this abundance provided by NATURE has been the source of too many ill-informed American’s excessive chest
thumping braggadocio. It surely must be obvious that our self-congratulatory “success” is due more to our ideal placement on the globe than to any
peculiar ability we possess. You might say it was "plate tectonics" that made America great!
"The Significance of the Frontier in American History" is a seminal essay first published in 1893, by the American historian Frederick
Jackson Turner which advanced the Frontier Thesis of American history. It was incorporated into Turner's 1921 book, The Frontier in American History,
as Chapter I. The thesis describes the idea the frontier shaped the American being and their characteristic of individualism. Turner reflects on the
past to prove his point by noting human fascination with the frontier and how expansion to the American West changed peoples' views on their culture.
It is a thesis that has been respected in the historical circle for many years.
'Palestine' is a Latinized name given to the region of the Judaea Province by the Roman emperor Hadrian following the crushing of the
Bar Kochba revolt in 132-135 (before defeat, Jewish rebels thought he was the real Messiah) in an attempt to suppress Jewish national feelings. In the
Jewish Bible, the area inhabited by the Philistines was called Philistia. The Philistines were a seafaring people who lived in cities along the coast.
Philistia was located where the Gaza Strip is situated in modern Israel. en.wikipedia.org...
Here are [drawings] of the pilgrims getting ready to embark upon the ship Arbella in 1630. And like the Israelites lead by Moses, they too
had a sea to cross. Granted the Atlantic is larger yet perhaps their faith was not as lacking as it was for the Hebrews as the Egyptians were rushing
down upon them.
The way the theologian John Winthrop talks about helping and sustaining and forgiving debts if they can't be paid back, and the use of Justice,
Mercy, the Law of Grace and the Law of Nature all contributed to set the stage in the minds of every passenger of their commitment to God. And
established the metaphor of a shining light on the hill as in Gideon’s conquest of the land of Israel.
The Know Nothing movement was a nativist American political movement of the 1850s. It was empowered by popular fears that the country was
being overwhelmed by Irish Catholic immigrants, who were often regarded as hostile to US values and controlled by the Roman papacy. Mainly active
from 1854–56, it worked to limit immigration and naturalization, but its efforts met with little success. The largely middle-class and entirely
Protestant membership fragmented over the issue of slavery. Most ended up joining the new (1856) anti-slavery Republican Party by the time of the 1860
The movement originated in New York in 1843 as the American Republican Party. It spread to other states as the Native American Party and became a
national party in 1845. In 1855 it renamed itself the American Party. The origin of the "Know Nothing" term was found in the semi-secret
organization of the party. When a member was asked about its activities, he or she was supposed to reply, "I know nothing."
(Actually 9,570 key strokes)
[edit on 12/1/2008 by donwhite]