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Post  Celia Eriksson on Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:19 pm

So, I heard an American on TV, Rick Patterson from Pawn Stars claim that the USA won the war of 1812. Strange that, the British believe they won it. And most neutral observers too, but the vast majority say nobody won in the North American theatre of the war, I believe that too.

Remember, ya have to include the decimation of the French troops upon your soil there too, coz you were on their side. That's if you think either side won, coz then it's undoubtedly the British..... just thought I'd add, the biggest losers were the natives, the British were to set up a Native American State....

So let's hear your opinion....

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Post  Lesley Niyori on Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:36 pm

Hmm, well I seem to recall we burned down the White House.

I'd say my side came up the winners Smile

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Post  MichaelaSJ on Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:37 am

No, Lesley - the Canadians, contrary to what our fucked in the head POTUS thinks, did not burn the White House. The Brits did.

I think the war was a stand-off mainly because the Brits were also fighting Napoleon (which was the more important action for the Brits) at the same time and it was becoming very expensive for the Brits. The war came to an end with everyone going back to where they began with the Treaty of Ghent, signed in December 1814, ending the war with status quo ante bellum (no boundary changes).

Unfortunately, and honored in song, the Battle of New Orleans occurred a month after the signing if the Treaty but given the time it took to get news in those days - the Brits were defeated in the final battle of the war, needlessly.

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Post  Lesley Niyori on Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:55 am

In 1812, there wasn't really a Canada per se, we were British Smile

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Post  mariehart1 on Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:31 pm

Any neutral reading of the war has to conclude the Americans were losing. Their invasion attempts were rebuffed. The capital was burned. The ports blockaded. Winning a battle after the war is over doesn't count. The British lost interest after Napoleon was defeated. It was bad for business and unpopular at home for the usual tax reasons.
But of course countries must have their national myths. So America won the war of 1812 because the British walked away.
It's the same here in Ireland. Our national myth is that we beat the British in our war of independence. In reality the British were gaining the upper hand and the Irish knew it. They decided to negotiate. They were offered a bad deal or all out war. As a result we have our own version of Canada in the North which caused a civil war and untold misery to this day.
We even commemorate a disastrous rising every year as if it was a victory. Yes we all have our national myths.


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Post  Tara on Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:54 pm

mariehart1 wrote:But of course countries must have their national myths. So America won the war of 1812 because the British walked away.

And don't forget the US national anthem was written during that war. Most Americans' history education consists of survey classes in primary and secondary school that by necessity are not detailed or nuanced, and by political design tend toward jingoistic. I suspect most wouldn't remember when the War of 1812 started if it weren't in the name. Given that, "The Star Spangled Banner" plus the Battle of New Orleans was enough in most American's minds to convince them that the US won.

I remember as a pre-teen my father telling me that the US had never lost a war fought on American soil. And he was well educated, quite brilliant, and a minor in history at university. I guess it's awfully hard to overcome early indoctrination in the national mythos, especially for one who was a child during a major war (WWII in his case).

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Post  MichaelaSJ on Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:18 pm

Tara wrote:I suspect most wouldn't remember when the War of 1812 started if it weren't in the name. Given that, "The Star Spangled Banner" plus the Battle of New Orleans was enough in most American's minds to convince them that the US won.
It is often noted the joke - 'Who is buried in Grant's Tomb' - causes some to scratch their heads searching for the answer.

Remember, a goodly percentage of graduating U.S. high school seniors have trouble pointing to the U.S. on a globe.
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Post  Tara on Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:42 pm

MichaelaSJ wrote:It is often noted the joke - 'Who is buried in Grant's Tomb' - causes some to scratch their heads searching for the answer.

True, though it isn't only Ulysses S. Grant, but also his wife, Julia Dent Grant (née Julia Boggs Dent). So it really should be Grants' Tomb, plural. Wink Oh, and both of them were born a decade or so after the War of 1812, so they had nothing to do with it.

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Post  mariehart1 on Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:55 pm

I wouldn't be too hard on Americans. Lets face it the US is a big country, frankly a continent. It's hard enough to learn much about your own country let alone the outside world. It's just a pity you elected a President like that!!!!

I've been to America a few times. I literally never had a negative moment with an American, quite the contrary. Always open and friendly. But one guy told me a story. He was from Vermont and when he went into the service, someone asked him where he was from. 'Vermont' 'What state is that in' was the reply. Laughing A Spanish guy was with us. When he told someone he was Spanish, he was asked if he drove from Spain.


But it's not just Americans being Irish we have look outside the country. Most of us routinely travel overseas. When you live on a small island is the stormy Atlantic you've no choice. I'm just back from the Netherlands. You'd think we might have a broader view of the world but I meet Irish people who are literally clueless about other countries and frankly clueless about our own country. So people in glass houses and all that.

Truth is we're a bit like the British, surprise, surprise and tend to consider foreigners to have odd habits and eat strange food. This confirmed when you visit a Polish shop here in Ireland. Dried fish and sauerkraut is weird!

While sometimes we think Americans can be a but naive about Ireland, thinking we live in thatched cottages and have Leprechauns. I remember someone telling me how he convinced some American tourists there were Leprechauns in the area. He thought it was hilarious at how gullible they were. I just pointed out that Americans are invariably polite and they didn't for a minute believe in Leprechauns but weren't going to contradict the Irish gobshite who apparently believed in Fairies and Leprechauns. It didn't dawn on him that he was the idiot not them. Smile








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Post  Celia Eriksson on Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:36 pm

Nice post Marie. So many shaggy dog stories went around after the war, apparently, when the Yanks left England as to have a glimmer of truth. Locals would act daft, this would get American soldiers to pay the English to show their GI Joe buddies how backward the English were. The Americans probably did not believe half of the daftness, but enjoyed the show and the English probably thought it was a hoot, that's without the warm beer, rain and driving on the other side of the road...

Examples were not very PC, like folk in Norfolk, mostly women, asking and being paid by GIs to check if the Black GIs, (Brits were not au fait with black people then outside Liverpool or London and even there they were thin on the ground, but the English surely knew!), had tails, sorry but that one is very true and not nice!

Or the much repeated one, parodied by The Two Ronnies of an Englishman being offered a choice of a shiny coin or a note cash, and accepting the shiny coin rather than a five pound note, exclaiming that it must be worth more coz it was shiny. If the English accepted the note the Americans would not offer the choice again.

Then there was one shaggy dog story that swung the other way, about 'Gentlemen' and 'Ladies' meaning literary that, the English told the GIs you had to be landed Gentry to use the pub latrines, nobody else could. I cannot recall it entirely as to where it was supposedly from when I read it. I do remember reading that they had GI's peeing up against a Police Station wall in full view of both the pub and the Police! For it was, (the GIs were told), the only place you don't get nicked for indecent exposure coz they were doing it in front of the Police, so they know you are being open and are not a Gentleman...

Well I know they use Gents/Ladies signs in NY State at least, so shaggy dog it probably was. Anyway, I wonder if anyone heard any others?

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Post  MichaelaSJ on Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:21 pm

Tara wrote:[the Grants] were born a decade or so after the War of 1812, so they had nothing to do with it.
Tara, uh, I think you missed my point.
In 1955 my Father drove the family around the U.S. We visited 28 of the lower 48 states during the trip. I was 9 or 10 at the time and when we were in Washington, DC, we visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to watch the very solemn Changing of the Guard. I remember someone behind me asked his friend - 'do they know who they buried'?  Embarassed
We also visited General Grant National Memorial (not Grant's or Grants' Tomb) in New York City - what a massive tomb that is!
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Post  MichaelaSJ on Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:35 pm

Celia Eriksson wrote:'Gentlemen' and 'Ladies'
One memory that has been indelibly burned into my consciousness was during my Father's drive about in 1955 we were in either Mississippi or Alabama and we stopped to eat a meal. I had to use the restroom which was across the street. That is when I saw the dilapidated 'COLORED' water fountain and restroom next to the somewhat cleaner 'WHITES ONLY' facility.
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If you don't want a man unhappy politically, don't give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the Government is inefficient, top-heavy, and tax-mad, better it is all those than that people worry over it. Peace, Montag.
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Post  Lesley Niyori on Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:31 am

Living next to them as I do, I've experienced as we all have experienced here in Canada, idiots coming here to go skiing in July.

Thinking I live in an igloo.

And are of the opinion, their puny state of Texas (which really is kinda small compared to Ontario), is so darned big. They call it 'big sky' country down there. They need to travel from Sudbury to Kenora sometime. A nice 1500 k of nothing but trees. Almost no communities. Large swaths of no cell coverage. Where you drive with 3 days of food in case of car trouble. Where you stay with the car and don't walk because of bears.

And that's the settled portion of Ontario. If you Google Sudbury to say Fort Severn Google tells you that you can't even get there from Sudbury Smile You need a plane. And that's a long flight north.

Canada is routinely a shock to Europeans. In England going to France is nothing. You can go from England through France and Germany into Poland and beyond as if it was nothing.
In Canada, going from Nova Scotia to BC is 3 days driving in shifts non-stop. 6 if you plan to sleep. 70% of the drive you are looking at trees or grain.

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Post  Celia Eriksson on Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:23 pm

Well Lesley,

It's rare for someone to get me to look at maps. I knew a little of Canada but I was amazed going over the map. I have to visit PEI at sometime and maybe I will by the end of this or next year sometime next year. I would of course, if invited see you too. PEI would be main target, not being prissy!, it's because I am a big fan of Lucy Maud Montgomery, I would spend a lot of time round New London and Cavendish!

Celia xx

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Post  Tara on Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:48 pm

MichaelaSJ wrote:
Tara wrote:[the Grants] were born a decade or so after the War of 1812, so they had nothing to do with it.
Tara, uh, I think you missed my point.

Oh, I'm quite sure I didn't miss your point. But that was just me being my usual silly self, tying two divergent threads back together in an unexpected way.

As to the Tomb of the Unknowns, I recall that a few years ago one of the sets of remains was identified through DNA matching. I'm not sure what came of it, and whether the individual in question was then removed.

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Post  Tara on Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:58 pm

Just to be clear, I am an American, though I've also lived and traveled outside the US. I'm even multilingual, and can ask for the bathroom, restroom, washroom, toilet, or loo as necessary. ;-)

I find that, overall, Americans are neither more or less well educated than people elsewhere, but it is true that many of my generation and younger are rather ignorant when it comes to maps. My parents' generation, on the other hand, knew the world map very well, probably as a result of WWII and subsequent wars, as well as a different approach to schooling.

I do think that some of the videos of Americans who can't even find the US on a world map are cases of selective presentation. They don't show the majority who did get it right.

In my own case, a combination of having traveled, having a love for maps, having online friends all over the world, and having high school teachers and university instructors who made a point of world literacy helped a lot.

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Post  Celia Eriksson on Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:52 pm

Tara wrote:Just to be clear, I am an American, though I've also lived and traveled outside the US. I'm even multilingual, and can ask for the bathroom, restroom, washroom, toilet, or loo as necessary. ;-)

I find that, overall, Americans are neither more or less well educated than people elsewhere, but it is true that many of my generation and younger are rather ignorant when it comes to maps. My parents' generation, on the other hand, knew the world map very well, probably as a result of WWII and subsequent wars, as well as a different approach to schooling.

I do think that some of the videos of Americans who can't even find the US on a world map are cases of selective presentation. They don't show the majority who did get it right.

In my own case, a combination of having traveled, having a love for maps, having online friends all over the world, and having high school teachers and university instructors who made a point of world literacy helped a lot.

Well Tara, I'm sure we all know that.... Americans are largely quite worldly and are not ever thought as being daft. Europeans can be quite arrogant about their home nations. I thought of an example. I have travelled to Japan many times and I once commented, in a Sushi bar in the city near Osaka, not Kyoto, my mind has gone, but anyway it's by the sea and I remarked how wonderful it was that many signs were in English, so that Brits and British/Norwegian/Other mongrels like me, can get around. My friend, a Japanese, told me that the English signs were primarily for/due to Americans, there were many American teachers and business men in Japan. It was not for the British at all..... but my 'go to' thought had been that it had been for us. I was humbled a little and try not assume such things anymore!

Celia xx

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Post  Lesley Niyori on Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:25 pm

Hey Celia, given adequate warning, I miiiiiight be able to connect in Montreal or possibly Quebec City (hoping to see both). They are touristy as all get out hehe.

Not saying I don't wish to see PEI, but to Canadians, it's just where potatoes come from Smile

As for visiting me, in Lindsay, well, not sure Lindsay is much of a visit. BUT, you'd be staying with me for free at least Smile free accommodations and free food. I'm in easy enough range of a rented car to see a lot though.

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Post  MichaelaSJ on Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:38 pm

Tara wrote:As to the Tomb of the Unknowns, I recall that a few years ago one of the sets of remains was identified through DNA matching. I'm not sure what came of it, and whether the individual in question was then removed.
The Tomb contains individuals from WWI and (sadly) newer wars. An individual from the Vietnam War was interred in 1998 but later, through mitochondrial DNA testing was identified as a Lt. Blassie who was shot down in 1972. His body was disinterred and the portion of the crypt designated for the Vietnam Era (1955-1973) has and will remain empty.

It is my understanding that all current, and some former post-Vietnam era servicefolk have had a DNA sample saved as part of their service record. (I am not sure I would trust those samples. My blood was typed when I enlisted and was entered into my service record as AB Neg. When I had my open chest surgery in 2014, I was told my blood type was A Pos. WAIT!!!! I had Stanford run two more tests and they all came back A Pos.)
Celia Eriksson wrote:I have travelled to Japan many times and I once commented, in a Sushi bar in the city near Osaka, not Kyoto, my mind has gone, but anyway it's by the sea and I remarked how wonderful it was that many signs were in English, so that Brits and British/Norwegian/Other mongrels like me, can get around.
My carrier pulled into Yokusuko, Japan coming and going to Vietnam in 1966. Most of the Japanese of my Father's generation were still smarting from their defeat by the US & Allies 20 years previous.

I remember a shipmate and I traveled by train to Yokohama, a major shipping port south of Tokyo. As we were walking around the city we came across a stainless steel tank in front of a small shop that contained live eels. As we stood there watching the eels, a one-armed man, my Father's age, came rushing from the shop - battle sword (Shin-Gunto) waving. We left immediately at a brisk walking pace.

In 1966, the influence of the Americans was not as prominent as it was when you started to visit, but I was able to order off of a Japanese/English menu in a Yokohama restaurant. (Japanese beef is really good!)

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Post  Celia Eriksson on Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:02 am

Wow Miki, I would have ran some too! And the beef is Kobe beef, Kobe also happens to be the town next to Osaka I'd forgotten the name of in my earlier post, I could have looked on the Googley map, but it jumps about so much I can't get on with it too well. Yes, delicious and much prized as are the Tuna. The best Tuna and the best beef is to be found in Japan. It must of been amazing sailing round the world!

Celia xx

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Post  mariehart1 on Fri Jul 20, 2018 1:22 pm

Interesting comment from Lesley about Canada being huge. Because last week I was in the Netherlands for a family holiday. On the campsite there was a viewing tower on top of a hill, a rare thing in Holland. Just how small the Netherlands is was brought home by the fact that you could see the Den Haag about 30 mins drive away. Slightly further was Rotterdam clearly visible. While you couldn't see Amsterdam properly it's presence was obvious from the stream of low flying airliners descending into Schipol. Imagine being able to see New York, Boston or Washington DC from one spot? Or Montreal, Toronto, Quebec, or London, Birmingham or Manchester. Even here in Ireland which is a small country. There is a lot of land between cities. I worked it out from where I stood in Holland, we could be in Germany in 2.5 hours and France in 3 and that was after crossing Belgium.

Sure even the flight from Dublin to Amsterdam was only 1.5 hours barely time to get settled in. Then a thirty minute drive to the resort. It took longer to get to Dublin Airport.


Of course in Holland they all speak perfect English, better than us.
celia wrote: Brits and British/Norwegian/Other mongrels like me, can get around. My friend, a Japanese, told me that the English signs were primarily for/due to Americans,
That may be true of Japan but generally English is the lingua Franca !!(ironically) of the world. That's not just because of the Americans but obviously the English too. So if you're Chinese in Italy Greek in France you speak English. Makes us native English speakers lazy but it's lucky for us. More even if you do want to use some of the local language the locals insist on practising their English on you. A lot of countries have English signs now for foreigners. But not here in Irish speaking areas. You might be confronted by a road sign that say 'Go Mall'. You'll look long and hard for that Mall and but if you don't slow down at that cross roads it might not end well for you.

Oh and Lesley, as a Canadian you might recognise this. I'm constantly been mistaken for being English. We got lots of good wishes about England in the World Cup from Dutch people. Also I'm sure many Texans are fed up with people thinking they're just ordinary Americans or even  What a Face  Yanks!  Shocked

Tara wrote:Just to be clear, I am an American, though I've also lived and traveled outside the US. I'm even multilingual, and can ask for the bathroom, restroom, washroom, toilet, or loo as necessary. ;-)
Yes but have you ever being to Ireland and being confronted with this choice of public toilets: Mna or Fir? Many is the confused tourist who guessed wrong. Luckily there's no silly bathroom laws here. These days there's usually a picture clue particularly in tourist areas. Very Happy




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Post  Tara on Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:11 pm

mariehart1 wrote:Yes but have you ever being to Ireland and being confronted with this choice of public toilets: Mna or Fir? Many is the confused tourist  who guessed wrong. Luckily there's no silly bathroom laws here. These days there's usually a picture clue particularly in tourist areas. Very Happy

Sadly, I've not been to Ireland. We had planned to go this summer, but then I had a job change, plus a niece who got married on short notice in another state, so my vacation planning is all messed up. I'm going to guess that "Mna" is what I'd want, since it looks like maybe a mutation of "ban" for woman? I've had some Irish classes, but the language is so different from the Germanic and Romance ones that I know, that it hasn't really stuck in my brain. I need some immersion, I think.

Maybe I should travel to Ireland, and hang out in an Irish-speaking pub every night for a month or so. If the immersion didn't do it, maybe the Guinness would. drunken [starts plotting].

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Post  MichaelaSJ on Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:26 pm

Celia Eriksson wrote:And the beef is Kobe beef, Kobe also happens to be the town next to Osaka I'd forgotten the name of in my earlier post, I could have looked on the Googley map, but it jumps about so much I can't get on with it too well. Yes, delicious and much prized as are the Tuna.
The Japanese treat their cattle a bit better than we do in the West, but much like the absolutely delicious veal from Italy they raise the Kobe beef cattle in pens, never letting them exercise so the meat is tender and the marbling makes the meat slide off your tongue.

The Japanese also have an insatiable appetite for 'ahi' (yellowfin and bigeye tuna) and 'magura' (bluefin tuna). The Guardian reported that one bluefin tuna sold for £500,000 in early 2017. The Japanese are ruthless in their ability to overfish our oceans. They refuse to cutback on their fishing for juvenile tuna and the species (especially bluefin) are being rapidly depleted.

I was in Hawai'i for a vacation in the 1980s and chartered a sportfishing boat out of the Big Island. I told the captain I wanted to catch and release any marlin caught, but he could keep any tuna for the boat. One #200 yellowfin tuna would have brought the boat about $2,000. I raised what the captain estimated to be a #500 blue marlin but it threw the hook. Unfortunately for me and for the boat - no fish caught except for bait.
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Celia Eriksson wrote:It must of been amazing sailing round the world!
Most of the time I might as well have been on a submarine. I remember during one time on station, from the time the ship left Subic Bay, PI until it returned, I did not see the sun for 28 days. Oh, well - Hong Kong was a great place and I would go back in a second. (I do think it has changed a bit in the 50+ years since I was there.)

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If you don't want a man unhappy politically, don't give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the Government is inefficient, top-heavy, and tax-mad, better it is all those than that people worry over it. Peace, Montag.
Fahrenheit 451
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Post  mariehart1 on Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:14 pm

Tara wrote:I'm going to guess that "Mna" is what I'd want, since it looks like maybe a mutation of "ban" for woman? I've had some Irish classes, but the language is so different from the Germanic and Romance ones that I know, that it hasn't really stuck in my brain.
You got it as befits someone called Tara. Sadly I don't know much Irish. My wife can speak it, my two boys attend Irish speaking schools so are effectively fluent not that they speak it much at home unless they want to make sure I don't know what they're talking about.

In any case everyone speaks English to the despair of the Irish speakers here. My sister in law is the head of Irish at the national university but she is gloomy about the future of the language.

Ireland as a whole is known now as being quite liberal these days and certainly Galway where I live is very liberal a but like SF. Trump would be run out of town. We even have a bay like SF.

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Post  MichaelaSJ on Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:10 am

mariehart1 wrote:In any case everyone speaks English to the despair of the Irish speakers here.
At the beginning of year 2000 I took a one month long full-time program to learn the financial module of SAP (an enterprise resource management program [very pricey]). The school tuition itself cost $20,000 plus travel and living expenses for the month.

The pass rate for certification is around 67% with no refund if you don't get certified. (I passed - whew!)

One of my classmates was from Ireland and he told me his first language was Gaeilge, but fortunately he was also quite fluent in English. He passed.

Another classmate was from Quebec City. He first, and apparently only language was French. We could barely hold a friendly conversation. He came up to me after taking the very intensive 5 hour test, completely in English, literally crying telling me as best he could that he feared going home as he would be fired from his very nice consulting gig because it required that he be certified in the module.

I know there are politics involved with the French versus English Canadians, but at some point it is necessary to learn the business world's language - depending on where you do business -English, Japanese of Mandarin.

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If you don't want a man unhappy politically, don't give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the Government is inefficient, top-heavy, and tax-mad, better it is all those than that people worry over it. Peace, Montag.
Fahrenheit 451
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