Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

The quaintness of America, the backwards superpower
Telegraph - UK ^ | March 10, 2012 | Peter Foster

Posted on 03/10/2012 7:36:57 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife

Edited on 03/10/2012 7:39:16 AM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]

click here to read article


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-53 next last

1 posted on 03/10/2012 7:37:02 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

If this came from the UK they seem to forget that they would all be speaking German if it were not for this “backwards superpower”.


2 posted on 03/10/2012 7:38:33 AM PST by FrankR
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

Good lord this Brit whines. He should put on his wife’s knickers and man up.


3 posted on 03/10/2012 7:40:43 AM PST by mnehring
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FrankR

Always helps to read the column, first. He’s writing about personal checks, ATM’s, imperial measurements, and cable TV.


4 posted on 03/10/2012 7:41:39 AM PST by 1rudeboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife
Before everybody gets all pear-shaped, it's basically just a "they do things differently than we do" article, not an attack.

Bitching about our use of non-metric systems. Ouch!

5 posted on 03/10/2012 7:45:42 AM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dead
Before everybody gets all pear-shaped, it's basically just a "they do things differently than we do" article, not an attack.

Yes, and since turnabout is fair play - the Brits still drive on the wrong side of the road. How quaint!

6 posted on 03/10/2012 7:49:31 AM PST by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife
Among his complaints: checks, ATM fees, non-metric measurements, cable TV menus, wine bottle with corks and bad roads.

When he gets back he'll cry about gas prices and tiny cars.

7 posted on 03/10/2012 7:49:43 AM PST by KarlInOhio (You only have three billion heartbeats in a lifetime.How many does the government claim as its own?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

Don't get me started on that great British food.

8 posted on 03/10/2012 7:50:14 AM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

I was stationed in the UK. I know backward and we ain’t it.


9 posted on 03/10/2012 7:50:44 AM PST by Islander7 (There is no septic system so vile, so filthy, the left won't drink from to further their agenda)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife
Everyone still routinely writes out cheques (or "checks") for everything from school trips to the monthly gas bill.

Umm, no. Last routine checks I wrote were installments on a car I bought from a relative. Everything else os on-line.

Checks are for private sales when cash is impractical, or for gifts, or for important transactions for which I want a paper record.

10 posted on 03/10/2012 7:51:37 AM PST by ExGeeEye (Islam: a transnational fascist government that demands worship.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

I wish Western Europeans wouldn’t presume to speak for my friends here in Central Europe. Poles, Romanians etc. have a different mind-set from Western Europeans...


11 posted on 03/10/2012 7:51:40 AM PST by Cronos (Party like it's 12 20, 2012)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FrankR

They all speak English.


12 posted on 03/10/2012 7:51:53 AM PST by sbMKE
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: FrankR

In 1944, we were not backwards in relation to things he discusses in this article.

The comparisons he makes about the state of things elsewhere in the world versus here are all pretty much valid. I would prefer to drive my vehicle on the M4 in South Africa than the I-45 between Dallas and Houston, for example.

Living on past glory is not really an answer to most of the questions, large and small, that we face as a nation.


13 posted on 03/10/2012 7:51:56 AM PST by L,TOWM (Once you see that it is all Kabuki Theater, you are free to quit wasting your time on politics.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

$450 in ATM fees for one trip? Bad planning. Or the ignorance of foreigners.


14 posted on 03/10/2012 7:52:49 AM PST by ExGeeEye (Islam: a transnational fascist government that demands worship.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

Look mummy, I’m a journalist!


15 posted on 03/10/2012 7:53:23 AM PST by ClaudiusI
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

Americans like corks in their wine because it’s part of the process of having a glass of wine. You get to practice with the corkscrew and the reward is that you get to smell the cork. I’ve never bothered to try smelling a bottle cap. Corks are just cooler.


16 posted on 03/10/2012 7:54:00 AM PST by married21 (As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

I will say that European train stations are nice. But....I hate German toilets. Who wants to stare at your own crap?


17 posted on 03/10/2012 7:55:23 AM PST by rbg81 (Only taxpayers should be allowed to vote)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

Screw top wine bottles? So uncivilized it borders on barbaric...


18 posted on 03/10/2012 7:55:39 AM PST by ejonesie22 (8/30/10, the day Truth won.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks Cincinatus' Wife.
...as a new arrival to America I keep stumbling over things that I find gloriously, surprisingly -- how to put this? -- backward.
Probably he was thrown off by our continued devotion to monarchy.

Backwards? The boats and planes can take him backwards to his UK. Soon please.


19 posted on 03/10/2012 8:01:16 AM PST by SunkenCiv (I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife
Remember in the seventies when we used to discuss our use of non-metric systems. They still talk about it in the UK!! Like they're still in the seventies!
20 posted on 03/10/2012 8:01:28 AM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FrankR

Not really. The Brits were holding their own against the Germans in WWI. In WWII they would have retreated to their island and stayed there. Hitler was “fond” of the English considering them his Aryan brothers.


21 posted on 03/10/2012 8:02:03 AM PST by Cronos (Party like it's 12 20, 2012)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: martin_fierro

*Australian


22 posted on 03/10/2012 8:02:17 AM PST by ExGeeEye (Islam: a transnational fascist government that demands worship.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: mnehring
it's not really a whine. He's got a lot of valid points -- when you are first in the game like we were, you get stuck with a lot of technology backlog. Like for instance, we still write checks and have ATM fees for using our cards on other bank automats. They don't have that in say India or China.

Also, our mobile phone bills are huge. India and China in comparison didn't even have much phone density until the 90s so they were able to leapfrog past all that to mobile phones and cheap talk time

However, the good thing is that we can then leapfrog past them :) later

23 posted on 03/10/2012 8:05:34 AM PST by Cronos (Party like it's 12 20, 2012)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife
That's funny, I got the same sense of England. Toilets are quite the peculiar contraptions over there. I've known people who lived in gritty London flats, who had to feed coins to a timer on the wall to keep the electricity on. Almost everything outside the high streets and the financial district that is owned, occupied or used by everyday people has a slightly wacky ad hoc feel about it.

The United States is huge for a developed, first world country. Of course there are going to be regional variations, and not every place or every thing is going to live up to expectations formed via movies and television. Will some manage to out-America America in some regards as a result? Yes, but that's merely a validation of the American ideal. They're so immersed in Americanisms that they don't really realize just how Americanized they've become, they just look back and say “haha our cell service is better” or some other comparative minutia.

24 posted on 03/10/2012 8:07:30 AM PST by RegulatorCountry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cronos
...it's not really a whine.

No, its a whine... he may have some technical points, but he sounds like a 16 year old girl whose dad doesn't let her stay out late.

25 posted on 03/10/2012 8:08:00 AM PST by mnehring
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: RegulatorCountry

How about $50 - $100 per day parking fees in London? Parking spaces half the size of ours. 1 pound to use a public restroom. Speed cameras every five miles, even on country roads. It is technically illegal to be drunk in a pub. Etc, etc, etc.


26 posted on 03/10/2012 8:13:03 AM PST by mnehring
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: martin_fierro

His commenters are having a bit of fun with him at his site.


27 posted on 03/10/2012 8:21:26 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

We don’t use the “old Imperial system of measurements.” We use the US Customary Weights and Measures, adopted by Congress in 1830, which is similar yet different in numerous ways from the Imperial system.


28 posted on 03/10/2012 8:28:09 AM PST by Fiji Hill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FrankR

This from a nation which requires a license, to watch television.


29 posted on 03/10/2012 8:30:49 AM PST by Cringing Negativism Network ("The door is open" PALIN 2012)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Cronos
He's got a lot of valid points

He certainly makes a valid point about Chinese freeways. Chinese road builders probably don't have to put up with the red tape that American road builders have to deal with--environmental impact reports, and the like.

It was different in the old days. In the summer of 1963, houses taken by public domain along the route of the San Gabriel River Freeway in Southern California began to be demolished. A year later, cars were driving on one section of the freeway, and by the summer of 1966, the freeway was completed. Today, it takes 20 years to improve an existing freeway, and one wouldn't even dream of building a new one.

30 posted on 03/10/2012 8:38:00 AM PST by Fiji Hill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife
I'm an American, I've lived in England for many years. There is a term / phrase that the Brits use that is not used in the states “taking the p*ss”. It can be translated as; making fun of, or mocking. Taking the p*ss out of Americans, and America is a favourite national pastime over here. They are obsessed with comparing Britain to the USA, they love us, and loathe us at the same time. I believe it stems from a national inferiority complex.
31 posted on 03/10/2012 8:42:46 AM PST by yank in the UK ( A liberal mocking Christianity. I asked "why don't you mock Islam?" he replied "Muslims are violent)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RegulatorCountry

Once I was in Kiev and flushed a toilet. After our low environmentalist toilets, I was completely unprepared for a real toilet. It actually startled me. I thought I had pulled the lever on an ejection seat or something.
A second flush was NOT needed. Damn,,,


32 posted on 03/10/2012 8:47:08 AM PST by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife
He has some points.

Anyone who has ever driven the roads in Ohio and Michigan would agree. Those roads are horrible.

OK he had one good point but i do find it interesting how visiting foreigners adjust to being in the greatest country in the world.

33 posted on 03/10/2012 8:47:41 AM PST by Palin_Rubio2012
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FrankR
If this came from the UK they seem to forget that they would all be speaking German if it were not for this “backwards superpower”.

Oh, lighten up. There's not a thing in that article anyone should feel the least bit insulted over.

34 posted on 03/10/2012 9:06:25 AM PST by BfloGuy (The final outcome of the credit expansion is general impoverishment.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

Yeah, the comments thread is really good.


35 posted on 03/10/2012 9:09:26 AM PST by Yardstick
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

I agree with his point about the Metric System. It is much more logical and easy to use than the hodge-podge of random measurement standards we use in the US. I am tired of keeping two sets of tools.

However, I haven’t written a check in years. I prefer wine with a cork rather than screw top. I have 350 channels on my cable box and only watch about a half-dozen of them, anyway. We just happen to have much more to choose from.

Lastly, about the crappy roads: blame our idiot liberal politicians who waste the public treasury on social programs rather than road maintenance and view infrastructure spending as a means to pay off political donors.


36 posted on 03/10/2012 9:52:28 AM PST by EricT. (The GOP's sole purpose is to serve as an ineffective alternative to the Democrat Party.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife
Try to take a good, long hot shower at a typical home outside of London.

And those skinny roads with dozens of circles you have to go around to get anywhere.

And the rinky-dink golf-carts that pass for cars over there. Gad.

That is sophistication?

37 posted on 03/10/2012 10:09:56 AM PST by what's up
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

Britain has their odd quirks as well. My brit-inlaws have houses where you have to unlock the doors with a key to get out. They have two spouts for cold and hot water. You have to buy the plugs for appliances separate...they do not come attached. There are some other oddities, but big deal. Different countries have different customs. My Brit born and raised wife says it’s much easier living in America than England. And from what I’ve seen, it appears most Brits live very well. At least my in-laws do. However, it’s a lot more expensive and a lot more crowded. But as they say in England, things may get a bit dodgy, but they’ll sort them out eventually. Cheers mate! (as my male in-laws frequently say)


38 posted on 03/10/2012 10:39:15 AM PST by driftless2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: yank in the UK

They love to “take the mickey” out of other people.


39 posted on 03/10/2012 10:42:52 AM PST by driftless2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: driftless2

Definitely taking the mickey


40 posted on 03/10/2012 11:07:02 AM PST by yank in the UK ( A liberal mocking Christianity. I asked "why don't you mock Islam?" he replied "Muslims are violent)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: ExGeeEye

Really

Last check I wrote was probably 2 years ago.

Online banking and a debit card which helps avoid ATM charges by taking $100 in cash at checkout.

Only way to go.

I was stationed in England. I could complain about the road tax, the annual car inspections (what a racket!), the roads, the 50HZ electricity, the food... but hey, that’s part of the experience of living outside my culture. It was great fun.


41 posted on 03/10/2012 11:20:52 AM PST by hattend (Jesus wants me to make churches pay for abortions. - Barack Obama)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: rbg81

Oh MAN! That is the truth! Ugh.

My German landlord actually liked renting to Americans so he went out and bought an American toilet to install in the rental apartment. I was so glad to not have to view yesterday’s corn.


42 posted on 03/10/2012 11:23:21 AM PST by hattend (Jesus wants me to make churches pay for abortions. - Barack Obama)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife
He does have a point. I was reading about texting in the British papers some time before it really caught on over here. Not sure if that's such a bad thing, though.

I'd imagine it's easier for a smaller country Britain to maintain a few important highways than it would be for a large country like the US to keep all its arteries in top shape.

And I guess it's easier to introduce changes and apply them uniformly in a smaller country, especially if bureaucracy is more entrenched there.

43 posted on 03/10/2012 11:44:24 AM PST by x
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

I like this comment:

“I expected America to be the land of free commerce, but just about everything you try to do is a bureaucratic nightmare. Although, on the plus side, the booze is cheap and there aren’t many Muslims.”


44 posted on 03/10/2012 2:10:32 PM PST by bootless (Never Forget. Never Again. (PursuingLiberty.com))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: bootless
". . . and there aren’t many Muslims.”

Yet. :-(

45 posted on 03/10/2012 2:37:46 PM PST by Oatka (This is America. Assimilate or evaporate.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: Oatka

I know.


46 posted on 03/10/2012 2:41:30 PM PST by bootless (Never Forget. Never Again. (PursuingLiberty.com))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife
Funny - I'm pretty much out of the check - er, "cheque" - business and glad of it. And I agree that ATM fees are class oppression for which somebody - preferably a random liberal - should be stood up against the wall when the Revolution comes. Oh heck, why wait?

But the Brits have their own problems. For one thing, a ridiculous leveling effort that has underrepresented letters like "u" tacked on to perfectly adequate spellings such as "color" and "favor". That one was done solely for votes from minority letters for the Labor - er, "Labour" - party if you ask me.

I realize they were our friends once - they burned down the White House in 1812 - but just try to get them to do that for us these days! You'll just hear a bunch of guff about special relationship and all that. One little, tiny napalm strike - is that too much to ask?

47 posted on 03/10/2012 2:55:15 PM PST by Billthedrill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

Gosh, I’m sorry, Peter. Feel free not to let the door bang you in the butt on the way out.


48 posted on 03/10/2012 3:33:52 PM PST by redhead (Alaska: Step out of the bus and into the food chain.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ExGeeEye
"Last routine checks I wrote were installments on a car I bought from a relative. Everything else os on-line."

I use checks for charity and taxes, and to pay the maintenance service people who come to my house. Otherwise, debit card and online, and I know I'm not alone in this.

49 posted on 03/10/2012 3:37:56 PM PST by redhead (Alaska: Step out of the bus and into the food chain.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife
Hahahah iPad mentioned in the same sentence as the Moon Landing as equal in level of accomplishment.

That tells us right there how much credibility the article has.

50 posted on 03/10/2012 3:42:05 PM PST by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the 2nd one...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-53 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson