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EU tensions over austerity

Gavin Hewitt | 12:10 UK time, Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Each day a European government wrestles with how to reduce its budget. The cuts are painful. Cherished benefits are being cut or trimmed. Public sector wages are being frozen or cut. Each week protesters take to the streets to mark their outrage.

One of the cheerleaders for the age of austerity is the EU. One commissioner said "we shall have to work harder". Another said "no one can live beyond their means forever - not even governments".


EU countries' flags in Strasbourg

It may come as a surprise to learn that the European Commission is seeking a 5.9% increase in the EU budget for 2011. Today the House of Commons gets a chance to debate the proposal. It comes a week before MPs will discover which programmes are to be sacrificed, in what is billed as a brutal cull of public spending.

Now the British government has opposed the increase in the EU budget. David Cameron has said that "we can't ask our members of the public to pay more in the UK and have to pay more in Europe as well". The Chancellor, George Osborne, calculated the increase would mean an extra £600m in Britain's gross contributions to the EU.

Britain suggested a freeze and got support from Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden. But the initial battle was lost. A compromise was reached in which spending would increase by 2.9%.

Privately officials accuse the EU of hypocrisy, of talking the talk over austerity but not walking the walk.

But the matter has not been settled. Under the Lisbon Treaty members of the European Parliament have more powers over the EU's budget. Many MEPs, it turns out, not only back the full increase to the EU's budget but some want to go further. Their argument is that much of the EU's money goes towards regional development and infrastructure projects. They see the EU as almost an ongoing stimulus package, where more spending is good for growth. It is, of course, the same argument used by those who say that reducing deficits will harm the recovery.

Whilst some of the extra money goes towards infrastructure projects some of it will support the increase in spending on the EU bureaucracy. Over two years the pay of officials will increase by 3.7%. Civil servants in Spain, Greece, Ireland and Portugal are not so fortunate. They are facing wage cuts and there is a freeze in many other countries.

Some of the extra money will go to finance new institutions set up by the Lisbon Treaty, including a diplomatic service and a presidency.

Now currently there is deadlock between what national governments are prepared to accept and the wishes of some MEPs. There will now be an attempt to reach a compromise deal under the guiding hand of the EU Commission. If no deal is reached then the 2010 budget would continue. That would be just fine with the UK government.

Some MEPs are tired of this way of financing the EU budget. They want the EU to raise taxes directly. "It is opening the taboo subject," said one. France, Germany and the Netherlands immediately rejected the idea of direct EU taxes. It is interesting to know whether voters across the EU would support such an idea.

While on the subject of money, Britain is deeply opposed to new EU proposals on maternity and paternity leave. Mothers would be able to take up to 20 weeks off on full pay. Fathers would get two weeks. However desirable, the proposals would double the cost of maternity leave. An extra £2.4bn a year is the calculation.

National governments across Europe are having to reduce benefits; the EU is seeking to expand and increase them. Two different approaches to a time of austerity.

Comments

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  • 1. At 12:34pm on 13 Oct 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    Nice one EU, another PR blunder.

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  • 2. At 12:47pm on 13 Oct 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Of course MEPs back increases in the EU Budget!

    Why would any MEP vote otherwise?

    It would be the equivalent of the Chickens inviting a Fox into the coop to reduce their numbers for them!

    43% of EUropean Citizens participated in the 2009 EP Elections: 6 Nations had less than 25% Voter Turnout & 3 of those less than 21%! Some MEPs are sitting Brussels with the Votes of less than 155 of the Electorate cast in their Constituencies!

    EUropean Parliament: Representing the EUropean Citizens! That has to be the most rear-about-face presentation of Political reality since Neville Chamberlain announced 'Peace in Our Time'!

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  • 3. At 1:41pm on 13 Oct 2010, hear_today wrote:

    Yes it's an excellent summation of a massive issue but where is the coverage, debate and scrutiny on broadcast media. I've listened to the whole of 'Today' and 'The Daily Politics' on BBC and not a squeak about any of it. Does anyone who hasn't the time to trawl news and politics blogs on-line have a clue what's going on? The EU will never be accountable or have any democratic credibility until the bills start landing directly on people's doormats. Bring it on!

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  • 4. At 2:15pm on 13 Oct 2010, G Ingerson wrote:

    I like what the EU SHOULD stand for but this is just plain stupid. The CAP should be scrapped first of all then no increase in the EU budget would be necessary. Better yet there would be spare money for the projects that will keep the poorest regions developing with the richest.

    Would save a lot of international aid money too. The Eurosphere could then try grow its self out of poverty instead of relying aid grants!

    MEPS take note! You are the only institution representing the people so represent! Take hold of the Commission and give them a good shake! Better yet insist that you have the legislative initiative, the commission is elected and that backward countries that can't pay for themselves can't join.

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  • 5. At 2:18pm on 13 Oct 2010, uk_viking wrote:

    There is an easy solution.
    Just pass a law that makes any increase of payments to the EU subject to a referendum in the UK (and Denmark, Austria, Finland etc).
    So if the people of that nation vote no, then it's no, non, nein ....

    Sorry - I'm confusing the EU with democracy - so sorry.

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  • 6. At 2:31pm on 13 Oct 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    The day the EU Taxes me is the day I demand choice in representation among the Commission.

    No taxes has allowed no real or proper representation to be tolerated by the political classes.

    Bring on taxation by the EU I say.

    That will spell the death of the EU as the Boston Tea Party will have nothing on the revolt that will occur right across Europe as soon as people actually seeing a levy on their income going directly to the overblown with self-interest and self-importance organisation that is the EU Establishment.

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  • 7. At 2:35pm on 13 Oct 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    With bankers paying out over 100 billion in bonuses, rewards for dooming the world economy, the workers have to give up benefits. Big business and banking would like to develop a worldwide wage scale...based on Asian rates of pay. The idea that the workers may actually lay claim to a portion of the profits is just unacceptable to the ownership class. The governments are run by the banks and do their bidding. The assult on the middle-class continues and in the end this will only make things worse. Greed knows no bounds. A simple reduction in the interest rates being paid to the banks to borrow back the money that the governments have given them, would solve the matter. There doesn't seem to be any discussion of the reduction in contracts to private companies. As Asia moves toward reform the West becomes more corrupt.

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  • 8. At 3:14pm on 13 Oct 2010, PickledPete wrote:

    I have to ask what point there is in the parliament at Westminster discussing the demands of the EU over the budget when they have zero power to stop or lower it. It is simply political posturing.

    As for the EU parliament, they want more money (actually lots more money) from EU taxpayers at a time of budget cuts all round. The EU parliament is simply not democratic in any way that I recognise, either in the way in which its members are elected from party lists, the rigid way in which it controls those members ability to speak, or the level of remuneration and lavish lifestyles which those members enjoy. It would serve the EU parliament well if its members bothered to research the causes of the American revolution - it all came down to taxes versus adequate representation. With a fair wind and stupid demands like this we may soon see the people of Europe take a stand against this monstrous and pointless edifice of self-interest.

    Mr Cameron, give us that referendum now please.

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  • 9. At 3:54pm on 13 Oct 2010, Freeman wrote:

    Even a freeze would have been met with rumblings of discontent, but that is all. A rise in these times? They better have some very glib spokespeople...or hope the relevant media do not keep this in the foreground.

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  • 10. At 4:25pm on 13 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #2 CBW

    A you have often claimed military pride --your Chamberlain (and Marcus similar) EU comparison with the average Brit, who was definitely not interested in a Second World War only 20 years after the first and cheered at the possibility of `Peace in our time´--is disturbing.

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  • 11. At 4:29pm on 13 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #5 grahamtuer

    Not only that-- you are confusing Britain with democracy.

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  • 12. At 4:43pm on 13 Oct 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    There were bound to be tensions over auterity, especially when the average taxpayer can see no sign of relief.
    Privately officials accuse the EU of hypocrisy, of talking the talk over austerity but not walking the walk, but these private officials likely do not know the full scope of what the EU is trying to do.
    The root causes of the 2008 financial crash and still ongoing global economic downturn can only be understood from an in-depth understanding of financial regulation and the consequences of non-regulation.
    In 2008 the world observed, not only the bursting of the housing bubble, but whether they knew it or not, the terminal throes of the US-centred regime of financial and economic management and global dominance.
    The 2008-10 crisis symbolised the decreasing vitality of the advanced economies of the West. It has become clear that the balance between the US, Asia and Europe is shifting dramatically.
    None of the conditions that caused the meltdown of September 2008 have been dealt with properly. We are now well into the third year of the global crisis, and the outlook remains - unsettled. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been made available to save the banks and financial institutions. Governments and central banks have yet to identify, far less remove, all the toxic debts sitting on books. The bailout operation, and other similar measures like quantitave easing, have cost more than 25% of global GDP. These large-scale bailout attempts failed.
    Recent figures point to a marked decline in economic activity in the 16 European countries of the eurozone. Leading countries outside the eurozone also record negative growth figures. Indeed the second half of 2010 is characterised by a sudden worsening of the economic situation in the Western economies. Unemployment has not stopped growing, and the housing market remains sick.
    Governments of the advanced economies are now implementing austerity programmes; the scale is truly ominous. Everywhere in the Western world there is unemployment, foreclosures, bankruptcies, depressed housing market...but no sign of real recovery.
    Over the last two years the British government has pumped more than 375 billion pounds into the banking system through bailouts. This figure is almost half of the declared total public deficit. Is the UK any better off?
    The agreement between the Conservatives and the Lib Dems, the first coalition government in the UK since 1931, gives the government carte blanche to balance the budget with massive cuts in public services, jobs and wages.
    If The Coalition Government starts introducing massive budget cuts, there will be massive unemployment, especially in the public sector. As a conservative estimate, 750,000 public sector job losses.
    On the other hand, Corporation Tax is to be cut from its present level of 28% to 24%, which will give the UK the lowest level of corporate taxation in any developed country.
    Austerity and high unemployment will lead to social unrest. How much are people supposed to take when the average worker had nothing to do with this horrible, financial catastrophe?
    A lot will depend on the upcoming G-20, and the EU attempt to introduce a FAT (Financial Activity Tax) and/or a FFT (Financial Transaction Tax). The financial institutions who started this mess are not paying their fair share; in fact, they are paying peanuts. So, it's time that we took hold of the elephant in the room and put it to work.
    It's time for the EU - all the EU - to introduce a financial institution tax to
    - reduce the deficits
    - alleviate pressure from the taxpayer
    - reduce spending cuts
    - restore financial health to nations
    - and hold the financial institutions accopuntable for what they did.

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  • 13. At 4:46pm on 13 Oct 2010, Galludor wrote:

    While it is necessary to ask how will the EU contribute to reducing the deficits of its member states, the point about EU salaries is misleading. EU officials' pay rises in line with the pay of national civil servants, but with a delay of a year. So the salary cuts in Spain, Greece Ireland and Portugal will be reflected in Brussels salaries and will continue to be felt after those countries begin to raise pay again.

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  • 14. At 5:31pm on 13 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #12 Bluesberry

    ´Elephant in the room´?

    ---it´s a hippopotamus ---big mouth and up to its neck in mud !

    The ´schadenfreude ´towards other EU countries is an indication that many Brits are not in panic-- because they do not understand the problem.

    I hope your posting will bring some to their non-common senses.



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  • 15. At 6:15pm on 13 Oct 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    QOT

    Re 310

    Please, no offence intended: When You have a moment could You take another look at #10 and write it so I can decipher what You meant.

    At the moment I'm at a loss to which point/s You attempted to make.

    Cheers.

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  • 16. At 6:55pm on 13 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #15 CBW

    I agree-- I was distracted 4 times during formulation -- will re-write later.

    --when the sink is un-blocked.

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  • 17. At 8:51pm on 13 Oct 2010, MechTurk wrote:

    As a Commission official, I was fascinated to read that we will get a pay rise of 3.7% over two years. Last year's rise was blocked by the Council of Ministers and the Commission has taken the Council to court as there is an agreement in place. This year our pay goes down by 0.4% because EU Member States are paying their officials less - our salaries are linked to officials' pay in a basket of Member States. In 2012, a new method of calculating salaries has to be agreed. I don't believe this will favour us. In addition, pension contributions have risen.

    From memory, the Commission is claiming that our purchasing power has dropped by 6% over the past couple of years.

    I will be forwarding this story to our in-house unions as I think the figure in the blog is a piece of inaccurate reporting. The UK public should not imagine that we will ride out these difficult times unscathed.

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  • 18. At 9:13pm on 13 Oct 2010, komment wrote:

    Definitely no increases in the EU budget.

    May I suggest instead that the EU fund it's budget gap with a small part of the massive amount of money it splashes out on agriculture.

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  • 19. At 9:16pm on 13 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #16 CBW

    #2CBW

    Your Chamberlain-EU comparison does disservice to a British society which was definitely in no hurry to enter another World War-- within only 20 years of the last. Its cheering at the possibility of ´ Peace in our time ´should not be mocked after the massive WW1 loss of lives.

    Europeans should be thankful that the EU exists and that the spreading social unrest will probably not mean a ´blocked sink´ of similar dimensions.

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  • 20. At 10:36pm on 13 Oct 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #11 - quietoaktree

    "Not only that-- you are confusing Britain with democracy".

    I do wish you would make up your mind. Britain is a nation, democracy is a concept. "A democracy", in this context, would make sense.

    Mind you, you appear unwilling to let us into your secret as to which democracy you claim as yours so that we in turn might have the opportunity to comment on a level playing field.

    That having being said, I commend your sensible post at #19. Appeasement has become a dirty word in the revisionist view of history. Buying time, the better to secure the ultimate objective, makes far more sense. This will of course never satisfy those who waited until the result was beyond doubt before joining in (Marcus?)

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  • 21. At 11:45pm on 13 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #20 Threnodio

    Tell that to #5.

    I also object using ´appeasement´as a dirty word --as if the millions dying in the trenches for no apparent reason was honorable.

    Even dictatorships at times allow voting and also most of the -isms. Many countries have constitutions deliberately written in rubber ink --so your question I gather, is which country I believe is the most democratic ?

    I know of no democratic system that has not deteriorated with time -- do you know one ?

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  • 22. At 00:06am on 14 Oct 2010, N11BOT wrote:

    At what point does legitimate government and taxation become brigandage and exploitation? I assume attaining that point it is then legitimate to refuse to pay them any more. And when they come knocking, get rid of them by whatever means of deception is viable. Tax revolution is the natural law. Taxation is defined by the law of diminishing returns, the higher it is the harder people avoid and evade. We do not need a violent revolution, we just need to force these spongers to go out and get a real job. Do your bit; keep your money in your pocket. Any resultant guilt is a false paradigm sold to us by those who live off others endeavours.

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  • 23. At 01:15am on 14 Oct 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    The EU has to raise its budget to hire more people to work on imposing austerity on its members. For example, it will need people to be examining all national budgets even before the national parliaments get to see them. Then it will decide on the priorities for each country and what tax levels should be imposed to pay for them. This is what the EU is about, it's what those members voted to join. It's a little late now for buyer's remorse. This is the European way of life. What is surprising to me is that so many people are so frustrated with dictatorship from Brussels but had no problem with dictatorship from their own capital. Anyway, for better or worse, you're all locked into the EUSSR, all that is except Switzerland so you'd best get used to it. I wonder how they will get non Euro countries like Britain to help bail out the Euro. But then who will bail out the pound? No hope it will be the US. Any chance of that flew out the window with Megrahi's departure. IMO the UK is lucky they still have any relations with the US at all.

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  • 24. At 02:47am on 14 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    I DO remember that Bill Clinton's balanced budget economy was a good economy. And I do remember that Reagan had an economy that had positive growth and people were seemingly happy, but the budget had a deficit.

    I was not happy and I was not well off, financially in the 1980s. But, then I do remember that the budget had to be balanced before the economy would grow--in Bill Clinton's era.

    One could say that was one way to boost growth in the economy--by making the credits and debits balance in the yearly government budget.

    Or one could borrow, but then one's money, IMO, is not one's own money, it is money that has to be paid back with interest.

    Many nation's borrow money and only pay interest payments, so never pay their loans off. These nations do not seem to grow as fast as nations that have their Own Money.

    But, there are more than two ways of thinking on this problem--how to grow the economy. One problem I have with this is that so many people are so much more intelligent and have more knowledge than I have in economics.

    There are interest rates and there are different ways to raise them and different thoughts on what interest rate is best for an economy. Some economists think that the Federal Reserve interest rate should remain steady and that all rates of interest should remain steady.

    Also, there are tax remedies which are either raising taxes or lowering taxes.

    I do not know which works. But, if one looks at what is working, one can be startled to find nations "non-democratic" growing faster than nations "democratic."

    And, is it worth certain sacrifices (freedoms) to gain money OR

    are there ethical ways (that fit in with ones own ethics) to grow the economy?

    Sorry, I do not have these answers. I will promise you that when the economy does grow I will then know perhaps how that growth does work. Because from what I know, it takes experience in a specific situation to know what should be done.

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  • 25. At 04:57am on 14 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    Threnodio II?

    You know what is best for some situations? Humor. Morbid humor, Raunchy humor, Stupid humor, etc., etc.

    I did read in a book called "Passages," when I was younger (whew ..long time agooo)

    that a successful passage through ..some.. times often involves humor. Use humor to take your mind off things and please do see nice people, often, too.

    I hate that part...people. But, they seem to be necessary parts of most problem solving situations.

    But, always remember, please, your own inner beauty. It will provide you the awe you need.

    :)

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  • 26. At 09:47am on 14 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    GH: Over two years the pay of [EU] officials will increase by 3.7%.




    Here's wondering what those who claim that the crisis would be diminished if only CEO's and bankers' salaries were reduced. ;)

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  • 27. At 09:51am on 14 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    GH: "Some of the extra money will go to finance new institutions set up by the Lisbon Treaty"



    Indeed, creating new institutions and wxpanding EUSSR bureaucracy is going to improve the situation.


    BTW. Why to have a foreign minis...er..."foreign policy coordinator" if EUSSR doesn't have any common foreign policy?

    [let alone defense policy]

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  • 28. At 09:56am on 14 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    " I've listened to the whole of 'Today' and 'The Daily Politics' on BBC and not a squeak about any of it."


    All major networks being preoccupied with Chilean miners' rescue.

    While an interesting 'human interest' story this is clearly not a major political or an economic event.

    I guess networks watch their ratings.

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  • 29. At 09:59am on 14 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "your Chamberlain"...





    Well there was also certain Daladier fully supporting the "peace for our time" sell-out.

    In case somebody would rather not remember.

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  • 30. At 10:00am on 14 Oct 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    QOT & Threnodio

    Re my #2 & those that followed on 'appeasement'.

    Thanks for the clarification of #10.

    Clear misinterpretation of my analogy at #2.

    I.e. I was presenting the view that the EUropean Parliament claiming to 'represent' EU Citizens in 2010 is as unrealistic as 1938 PM Chamberlain's proclamation at Croydon Airport of 'peace in our time'.
    Neither stands up to any serious scrutiny as being anywhere near the political reality of the era in which the statements are made.

    My personal view of 'appeasement' (posted here a few times) is 'appeasement' was a notable endeavour to preserve the peace based on the scolding memories of WW1 which many in the UK & France Governments had had personal experience of in one form or another.

    It is also my view 'appeasement' was doomed to failure because it was dealing with someone (Hitler) who also had experienced WW1 & was 1 of very few to have enjoyed the lifestyle.

    Though a completely different epoch it is much the same with the EP MEPs they are enjoying the avaricious lifestyle of contributing almost nothing worthwhile to EUrope's future and for this reason the EP will also ultimately be a failure.

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  • 31. At 10:03am on 14 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "I DO remember that Bill Clinton's balanced budget economy was a good economy."




    Nope, thank Newt Gingrich (R) House Speaker for that.

    [U.S. presidents don't set budgets: Congress does]

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  • 32. At 10:04am on 14 Oct 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    MechTurk

    Re #17

    Here's a suggestion as You are unhappy with Brussels' most generous Pay & Conditions for any Civil Servants of any nation within the EU.

    QUIT & get a job that deserves a Salary.

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  • 33. At 10:27am on 14 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #30 CBW

    -- Try another analogy.

    To make it simpler-- neither the 1938 government nor any later British government has recognized the political reality of their time. ?

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  • 34. At 10:35am on 14 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #18 Komment

    Her Majesty is not amused at your suggestion !

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  • 35. At 10:52am on 14 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #29 Powermeerkat

    --One particular country has never had ´peace at any time´

    ---suggesting incomprehension of the idea.

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  • 36. At 11:31am on 14 Oct 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @grahamtuer

    Re "Just pass a law that makes any increase of payments to the EU subject to a referendum in the UK (and Denmark, Austria, Finland etc).
    So if the people of that nation vote no, then it's no, non, nein ....

    Sorry - I'm confusing the EU with democracy - so sorry"

    I'm sorry, but you are confusing a lot more than that.

    Could you please tell us of the national law, that makes an increase of payments to the national government (i.e. increase in taxes) subject to a referendum?

    This law does not exist for obvious reasons. Why do you want to apply a different standard of democracy to the EU than the one you apply to national government?

    @Menedemus

    Re "The day the EU Taxes me is the day I demand choice in representation among the Commission."

    You already have your representation at EU level through the EP.

    You obviously have problems with understanding modern day democracies: people are represented in parliament (House of Commons, EP) not in the executive branch of government.

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  • 37. At 12:23pm on 14 Oct 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    QOT

    Re #33

    Think You'll find that was implicit in my original analogy: Afterall, there are UK MEPs & UK Government ratified Lisbon.
    All EU27 are in the same unrepresentative, unaccountable, anti-democratic Political-construct.

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  • 38. At 12:35pm on 14 Oct 2010, uk_viking wrote:

    # Jean Luc

    # Could you please tell us of the national law, that makes an increase of payments to the national government (i.e. increase in taxes) subject to a referendum?

    That's not the point - I and nobody under the age of 53 has had a vote on EU membership. Why are the EU politicians scared of a democratic vote? At least I get to vote out a UK government every 5 years.

    If someone could enlighten me as to the objectives of the EU then I might understand, in the meantime let ME (and the population of the EU) choose.

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  • 39. At 1:04pm on 14 Oct 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #21 - quietoaktree

    "I know of no democratic system that has not deteriorated with time -- do you know one ?"

    I agree with the general thrust of your argument. Institutions generally and constitutions in particular tend to get 'stale' unless they receive regular 'wake up calls'. I would question the implied concept that democracies are bound to deteriorate. Democracy's greatest enemy is complacency. This is why I get so angry with posters who use low voter turnout as evidence that people are opposed to the EU. Much more likely, I suggest - and far more worrying - is that people simply don't give a damn.

    Nations for the most part get the governments they deserve and nowhere is this more true than in a democracy. You have suggested elsewhere that the UK is governed by a ruling elite. I am not sure that I agree but, assuming you are right, this must be partly due to the fact that only a particular segment of society is actually interested in governing and those that can be bothered at all vote for them in numbers. It does not make a society undemocratic - simply lazy.

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  • 40. At 1:08pm on 14 Oct 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    @ 36 Jean Luc

    "You obviously have problems with understanding modern day democracies: people are represented in parliament (House of Commons, EP) not in the executive branch of government."

    The cabinet in Britain is drawn from elected members of Parliament, I think some people would have less problem with the Commission if it was drawn from MEP's.

    Surely people aren't seriously suggesting that we organize EU wide elections for Commissioner on Transport, or the Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Commissioner?

    If we did away with one nation, one commissioner rule we could get rid of these 'filler' portfolios.

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  • 41. At 1:16pm on 14 Oct 2010, resistance35 wrote:

    @36 Jean Luc

    The problem with your argument is that a national government is either consisting of members directly elected in national parliament or consists (in most cases in Europe) of appointees by a majority in said parliament.

    This can be simply explained as:
    Voter --> vote --> national parliament --> national government

    That is democracy, because on the national level there is such a thing as a 'demos' (ie 'the people' or volk). This does NOT exist on the EU level.

    The EU works far different.Namely as the following (A+B)
    A - Voter --> vote --> faux parliament that doesn't have legislative initiative
    B - national government --> politburo (commission) appointee --> legislative initiative (ie sidelining or bypassing national parliaments) --> laws/directives/regulations made in cooperation with European Council (no parliament involved in most cases)

    This is most decidedly NOT democratic. The problems with this setup are:
    -appointees (national government, in most cases) appointing further appointees (European politburo)
    -a layer of government creating an extra supranational layer of government that is not subject to parliamentary scrutiny (ie governments abdicating their national mandate for which they have no mandate to do so)
    -the absence of a 'EU-demos'
    -a parliament that doesn't have basic parliamentary powers, and members who each have a national mandate, plus only one ideology (integration über alles) allowed

    I ask, when did the peoples give their national governments a mandate to abdicate responsibility to a setup decidedly LESS democratic than the national government?

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  • 42. At 1:30pm on 14 Oct 2010, resistance35 wrote:

    30.cool_brush_work wrote:
    My personal view of 'appeasement' (posted here a few times) is 'appeasement' was a notable endeavour to preserve the peace based on the scolding memories of WW1 which many in the UK & France Governments had had personal experience of in one form or another.


    In my view there was nothing noble about selling out Czechoslovakia in exchange for an empty promise which Neville and Edouard should have known by then Adolf was never going to permanently keep anyway.

    Even half a year after Munich, when Adolf decided he also wanted what was left of Czecho (Slovakia was made a puppet state) Britain and France did nothing. And like with the Rhineland, Austria (willing collaborators with Adolf's Evil Empire), both were treaty-bound to intervene. After all, militarizing the Rhineland was forbidden by treaty (guaranteed by Britain and France), anschluss with Austria was forbidden (Versailles) and seizing Czecho(Slovakia) was not part of the Munich 'deal'.

    Kind of sounds like the EU, who also ignore treaties or articles in treaties that don't suit them, such as the no bailout clause and of course the blatant misrepresentation of article 122 (ToL) as basis for the bailout fund which is illegal.

    And as for appeasement in the 30s, everyone underestimated Hitler. Hardly anyone (except Churchill and a few others) thought Hitler was serious when he meant livingspace for Germany in the east and removing the Jews. But unfortunately, he was dead serious. For him the race war for livingspace had been his dream since 1939, or rather the mission he set for himself to lead on Germany's behalf, in order to save Germany's long term future (or so he claimed). Treaties, to Hitler, were a means to an end, useful if it benefitted Germany, to be broken when it stopped being beneficial.

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  • 43. At 1:38pm on 14 Oct 2010, resistance35 wrote:

    39. At 1:04pm on 14 Oct 2010, threnodio_II wrote:
    Democracy's greatest enemy is complacency. This is why I get so angry with posters who use low voter turnout as evidence that people are opposed to the EU. Much more likely, I suggest - and far more worrying - is that people simply don't give a damn.


    This is very true. Apathy is the main problem. And I believe the main reason is that politicians have not bothered to inform the people as to how the EU really works. And the media (BBC included) have been complicit in this. Why? Because explaining how the EU really works would involve telling the people their national parliaments powers have been hollowed out and transferred to an appointed politburo-lite (and -like) which is not really subject to parliamentary/democratic scrutiny. People have not been told this because politicians know people would not accept it.

    And the politicians like it this way (keep the public ignorant), they and their media friends (particularly on the continent) continue to present one-sided stories that paint the EU in the best light possible. On the mainland in particular it could be termed 'brainwashing'. Hardly any major publication on the mainland can be deemed 'sceptic', they have all been co-opted and thus the people don't get to hear how it really works, just the fantasy version the politicians want you to think is real.

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  • 44. At 2:06pm on 14 Oct 2010, kaybraes wrote:

    Britain has enough trouble funding it's own agenda without subsidising the incompetence of the EU. No money should be handed over to this abominable organisation until the commitment our government owes to the British people is fulfilled. Raising the lifestyle of EU politicians and the handout seekers of eastern Europe is not something Britain should even consider as a good use of public finances.

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  • 45. At 2:08pm on 14 Oct 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    The average rate at which proposals that do not have executive backing (i.e. proposed by random MP) get passed is less than 20% (I think its about 15 from memory but not entirely sure.)

    The European Parliament does have de facto Legislative Initiative, in the same way the Council does. i.e. If they ask the Commission to draw up some legislation it generally does.

    The nature of the EU and the fact that its laws apply to 27 different countries with different languages and legal traditions means they have to be drawn up very carefully.

    ...I think EP proposed legislation is done through those standing Committees it organizes. But I'm not sure, it might be through the PMEP.

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  • 46. At 2:17pm on 14 Oct 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    Forgot to add, the Parliament can also ammend legislation, pretty much to any degree it wants. And frequently does, sometimes almost beyond recognition.

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  • 47. At 2:49pm on 14 Oct 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    It is 4 EUropean Parliament Elections since Voter Turnout exceeded 50%.
    In 2009 it was at the appalling 43% with 6 nations not reaching 25%.

    IMO, this has to be down to a lot more factors than 'complacency' (#39) or ''apathy' (#42).

    IMO it is due to the inescapable fact most EU Citizens (or a good proportion of the 57% non-Voters) have come to recognise a Vote in the EP Elections is a complete waste of their time.
    The EP & the 770+ MEPs are not remotely concerned with Representing their Constituent Citizens' wishes never mind the EP's complete disregard for the need of a Mandate to carry out policy initiatives.

    This is exemplified by the 26 out of 27 States failure to consult their Citizens on Ratification of the Lisbon Treaty: With the exception of Ireland no MEPs raised the issue of Democratic Consultation of the Electorate on this vital EU 'Constitutional' Treaty - - in a sense Lisbon went through on the nod - - none of the MEPs bothered to utter a word about whether the opinions of their Constituent Citizens on this matter was worthy of their consideration.

    The real 'apathy' & 'complacency' can be found among the members of the EUropean Parliament: There is no point to voting for a Member of a place so uselessly anti-Democratic?

    A Question for the 'pro-EU':

    Which of these is more likely?

    When, as seems wholly credible, the Voter Turnout falls for a 5th consecutive EP Election,
    (A) will Brussels acknowledge the EP Turnout & admit there is NO MANDATE from EU Citizens for any EP/Commission policy,
    OR,
    (B) will Brussels ignore the EP results & vote for another increase in its EU Budget?

    Based on Voter Turnout & all previous evidence at the EP it seems many EU Citizens are aware 'A' never has occurred to an MEP!

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  • 48. At 3:10pm on 14 Oct 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @grahamtuer

    Re "That's not the point - I and nobody under the age of 53 has had a vote on EU membership. Why are the EU politicians scared of a democratic vote? At least I get to vote out a UK government every 5 years."

    And could you tell me when was the last time you were allowed a vote on UK membership of your local community? Or are you completely convinced about the 'naturalness' of being ruled by London, by people you don't know in person, the majority of which you had not even the opportunity to elect :)

    I can tell you you have the possibility to vote for the European Parliament every 5 years aswell.

    Re "If someone could enlighten me as to the objectives of the EU then I might understand, in the meantime let ME (and the population of the EU) choose."

    For democracy to function properly, a critical amount of 'active citizens' is presupposed. Citizens which actively look for info or get involved, instead of passive citizens who expect someone else will tell them what they should think about politics ;)

    @Benefactor

    Re "The cabinet in Britain is drawn from elected members of Parliament, I think some people would have less problem with the Commission if it was drawn from MEP's."

    Ah yes, just like the hon. David Cameron. Except that in reality only the people of witney had the opportunity to actually vote for or against the would be PM. That is about 85000 people? Of which 60000 showed up. Of which 33793 actually voted for Cameron.

    I must say 33 793 voters out of a total of 42 000 000 eligble voters in the UK is a MUCH bigger democratic legitimacy than the one Commission President barosso enjoys ;)

    @Resistance

    Re"The problem with your argument is that a national government is either consisting of members directly elected in national parliament or consists (in most cases in Europe) of appointees by a majority in said parliament.

    This can be simply explained as:
    Voter --> vote --> national parliament --> national government

    That is democracy, because on the national level there is such a thing as a 'demos' (ie 'the people' or volk). This does NOT exist on the EU level.

    The EU works far different.Namely as the following (A+B)
    A - Voter --> vote --> faux parliament that doesn't have legislative initiative
    B - national government --> politburo (commission) appointee --> legislative initiative (ie sidelining or bypassing national parliaments) --> laws/directives/regulations made in cooperation with European Council (no parliament involved in most cases)

    This is most decidedly NOT democratic. The problems with this setup are:
    -appointees (national government, in most cases) appointing further appointees (European politburo)
    -a layer of government creating an extra supranational layer of government that is not subject to parliamentary scrutiny (ie governments abdicating their national mandate for which they have no mandate to do so)
    -the absence of a 'EU-demos'
    -a parliament that doesn't have basic parliamentary powers, and members who each have a national mandate, plus only one ideology (integration über alles) allowed

    I ask, when did the peoples give their national governments a mandate to abdicate responsibility to a setup decidedly LESS democratic than the national government?"

    You make a couple of errors.

    1. Yes Commissioners are put forward by people in the executive branch themselves. But you forget that the Commission needs approval of a directly elected body before it has any powers.
    2. National parliaments are not sidelined by the Commission's right of proposal , since national parliaments do not have any right of proposal at EU level. This would be like saying the city council of London is bypassed by the House of Commons because the HoC does have the right of proposal at UK national level and the city council doesn't. Different levels have different institutions.
    3. Unlike what you state, the European Parliament IS involved in the vast majority of Eu legislation. This is a trend started at Maastricht>Amsterdam>Nice>Lisbon. Parliament is now co-legislator (buy yourself a new book on eu law instead of the outdated one you are using now ;))
    4. You are right to stay that unlike conventional parliaments the EP does not have power of proposal. But when you look at the political reality in European countries, you'll also see that most legislation is being passed by national parliaments on proposal of the executive . This de facto situation makes the de iure differences less significant.
    5. There is not a single ideology in the EP. Otherwise Nigel Farrage would not get paid to sprout his nonsense in the EP :)

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  • 49. At 3:23pm on 14 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #43. At 1:38pm on 14 Oct 2010, resistance35,

    Very good points in all the three posts and all too true, especially about the continental media being even more controlled than the BBC, which recently has become even more a Labour party political broadcast that ever before. When arriving to live in Belgium some 20 years back and watching French and German transmissions as well, you're right, pure brainwashing, and when talking about the EU in all three countries it was successful as they were blind to the emergence of a new devil, the EU. Not now though!

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  • 50. At 3:32pm on 14 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #36. At 11:31am on 14 Oct 2010, Jean Luc

    "You obviously have problems with understanding modern day democracies: people are represented in parliament (House of Commons, EP) not in the executive branch of government.",

    Your time is past, the days of the dinosaurs like you went with communism in the USSR. The attempt of people like you to make a global world/Communist Caliphate so that nobody can ever revolt or disenfranchise your greater good are over. Most are now beginning to understand that the bigger the 'democracy' the less democratic it is, and that the people, serfs, peasants will not accept that, any more than those martyrs of Tolpuddle that modern day TUC 'brothers' like to latch on to, would have. No doubt the likes of the TUC would hate any modern day martyrs to do the same against their grand Socialist design.

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  • 51. At 3:35pm on 14 Oct 2010, resistance35 wrote:

    45. Benefactor wrote:
    The European Parliament does have de facto Legislative Initiative, in the same way the Council does. i.e. If they ask the Commission to draw up some legislation it generally does.


    Not good enough. This is how it was in the old Soviet Union. A powerless Duma that could 'propose' stuff and a Politburo that could ignore it whenever it pleased.

    Not democratic.

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  • 52. At 3:59pm on 14 Oct 2010, resistance35 wrote:

    48. Jean Luc wrote:
    You make a couple of errors.


    You make a fundamental error.

    Namely this: you confuse elections with democracy. Election does not democracy make of parliament. Demos does. Election does not. Especially not if said 'parliament' lacks the basic functions of a parliament concerning budget and legislative initiative.

    1. Yes Commissioners are put forward by people in the executive branch themselves. But you forget that the Commission needs approval of a directly elected body before it has any powers.

    Directly elected (if you ignore the party list system in which countless could get 'elected' without getting a single personal vote.

    And as I stated earlier, election does not democratic EP make.

    And national governments have no mandate to abdicate responsibility.

    2. National parliaments are not sidelined by the Commission's right of proposal , since national parliaments do not have any right of proposal at EU level. This would be like saying the city council of London is bypassed by the House of Commons because the HoC does have the right of proposal at UK national level and the city council doesn't. Different levels have different institutions.

    And the EU level is illegitimate. This is not the 17th century anymore, sovereignty transfers require direct popular consent.

    Because at a time the national parliaments did have 100% legislative control over national legislation. This is something called 'democracy'.

    And then the politicians decided to covertly hollow these powers out so they could appoint a bunch of fellow politicians and use that body (politburo aka commission) to help them bypass national parliaments. This is the MAIN PURPOSE why the EU works the way it does. Bypassing national parliaments.

    3. Unlike what you state, the European Parliament IS involved in the vast majority of Eu legislation. This is a trend started at Maastricht>Amsterdam>Nice>Lisbon.

    Hardly. And still, even if it was, still no democracy.

    4. You are right to stay that unlike conventional parliaments the EP does not have power of proposal. But when you look at the political reality in European countries, you'll also see that most legislation is being passed by national parliaments on proposal of the executive . This de facto situation makes the de iure differences less significant.

    Speaking of 'de facto' situations: 'de facto' the national parliaments have no powers left. National democracy has been destroyed 'de facto'. The commission functions as a 'de facto' politburo.

    5. There is not a single ideology in the EP. Otherwise Nigel Farrage would not get paid to sprout his nonsense in the EP

    Allow me to rephrase: there is a single acceptable ideology in the EP. Just ask Vaclav Klaus when he spoke there only to be insulted by the odious Cohn-Bandit. Remember, many of the 1968 demonstrator organizations were funded by Moscow.

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  • 53. At 4:01pm on 14 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #43 resistance 35

    `--- and the politicians like it this way´ ???

    so, national politicians are willingly cutting their own throats ?

    --something is missing if you do not explain adequately,-- WHY ?

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  • 54. At 4:28pm on 14 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #39 Threnodio

    Pray tell me of a democracy that has improved with time --whether by the ruling or the ruled !

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  • 55. At 4:31pm on 14 Oct 2010, resistance35 wrote:

    @53 quietoaktree

    Because politicians find 'going through Brussels' very convenient.

    Can't get something through your national parliament? Just find enough 'foreign' ministers to agree with you and presto, it can become law anyway. And the European Commission is always ready to support 'more EU legislation'.

    Also, 'going through Brussels' gives them a way of saying 'it was not us, it was Brussels' whenever their own people do start complaining about a certain law or measure. They do this even if covertly they were the ones initiating the 'go through Brussels' on the particular subject. The idea is to say X to your electorate, and Y when among 'Brussels friends'. Blair for example was very good at this. Cameron I suspect will do the same. Because the system is built so that it is very hard not to be co-opted.

    This is an increasing trend, to pass things into law outside of the parliamentary process. Think of the anti-progress anti-democratic 'ACTA' treaty under discussion. Under the guise of 'anti-counterfeiting' (ACTA is nothing of the kind) they propose to bring in civil rights violating measures and essentially criminalize an entire generation. This would never get through a national parliament, hence politicians (and their corporate friends) increasingly use international treaties for this purpose.

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  • 56. At 4:50pm on 14 Oct 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @resistance

    Re "Namely this: you confuse elections with democracy. Election does not democracy make of parliament. Demos does. Election does not. Especially not if said 'parliament' lacks the basic functions of a parliament concerning budget and legislative initiative."

    Let me first note another major factual error of yours: the EP has budgetary powers. (and no parliament has budget iniative, it's the executuve proposing a budget).

    So it all comes down to demos. But what is demos? It's nothing more than the result of a self imagined community. So your 'democracy' comes down to people 'believing' they have a common history present and future, which objectively they don't.

    Your demos is in most cases the result of 'nation building' a political process where political elites have indoctrinated the people to convince them there exists something like a nation. This has been done with the ultimate threat and in many cases the use of force. German and Italian 'unification' by force, Jacobin state in France imposed on the territory of France, officialy (because of jacobin model) only citizens exist in France, as breton, alsace, basque, corsican (etc) culture have been marginalized and put down by the central french state.

    I do hope you don't believe your 'demos' is anything natural on the national level.

    Re "Directly elected (if you ignore the party list system in which countless could get 'elected' without getting a single personal vote."

    Directly elected the same way national politicians get elected. So you cannot use this as an argument against the EU

    Re "And the EU level is illegitimate. This is not the 17th century anymore, sovereignty transfers require direct popular consent."

    How about giving arguments for this bold statement?

    As far as I know, states are members of the EU because they ratified the Treaties according to their own constitutions. If this is illegitimate you are actually questioning the legitimacy of national constitutions and not the EU.

    Re "Because at a time the national parliaments did have 100% legislative control over national legislation. This is something called 'democracy'."

    Democracy is far more complex than a parliament having 100% legislative control.

    Besides this point. Parliaments never had or have 100% de facto control. And if you would want to give them 100% de iure control, you should abolish every international organization, international treaties basically the whole of international law. THEN we would be back at the 17th century ;)

    Re "Hardly. And still, even if it was, still no democracy."

    Not not hardly. Orginally the EP had only advisory powers, after the lisbon treaty 'the common legislative procedure' is the procedure whereby parliament and council have an equal say.

    Re "Speaking of 'de facto' situations: 'de facto' the national parliaments have no powers left. National democracy has been destroyed 'de facto'. The commission functions as a 'de facto' politburo."

    Perhaps you should ditch the silly analogies with the USSR, it does not add to your credibility.

    Re "Allow me to rephrase: there is a single acceptable ideology in the EP. Just ask Vaclav Klaus when he spoke there only to be insulted by the odious Cohn-Bandit. Remember, many of the 1968 demonstrator organizations were funded by Moscow."

    Allow me to refer to what Hans Gert Poettering (president of the parliament) said when Vaclav Klaus had ended his senile speech about how the EU is the same as the USSR: in the parliament of the USSR mr Klaus would not have been able to criticize the USSR as he did the EU in the European parliament.

    Daniel Cohn Bendit replying to Vaclav Klaus seems unacceptable to you, when it is in fact just part of democracy: debate and different opinions.

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  • 57. At 5:22pm on 14 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #55 resistance 35

    So the problem is the national governments --and their ruling elite.

    The EU is only a rubber stamp for countries who call themselves democratic ?

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  • 58. At 5:42pm on 14 Oct 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    "Some MEPs are tired of this way of financing the EU budget. They want the EU to raise taxes directly. "It is opening the taboo subject," said one. France, Germany and the Netherlands immediately rejected the idea of direct EU taxes. It is interesting to know whether voters across the EU would support such an idea."

    Too bad that this will never happen as the constitutional court of Germany already ruled against this kind of undemocratic "integration".


    I`d rather employ 5 people who have their stuff together and have them assess the whole bureaucratic body of the EU as well as every single EU-subsidy.
    Afterwards, the EU would have billions of euros they could use where it`s really needed.

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  • 59. At 6:26pm on 14 Oct 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    It is clear to me that my public wish for me to hold court on the most excellent and esteemed, if little known, concept of democracy.

    I am duly flattered by personages such as QOT, with his appeals for a declaration of a state which has grown richer and more civilized through the practice of democracy, by Threnodio, who leaves an unusual opening in his usually tight arguments for the inclusion of the swiss model, and indeed by my good friend Marcus, who has seen fit to excuse Switzerland from the prosecution's case against the European malaise. One ought not doubt the significance of Marcus so humbling his nationalistic inclinations in this way. This is a triumph of reason over good sense, and we ought humble ourselves in response, like a gathering of flagellating monks, all seeking to impress a good lord with their conspicuous offerings of suffering.

    Even David, the master of tactful, servile, tax gathering rationality, has deferred in the interests of sanity. His recent appeals to CBW to shut his pie hole were wonderful to read, and I recommend his contributions to all who wish to study the art of diplomacy.

    So in order to quell the vapid thirst of the mob, I shall indeed hold court on this most esteemed subject, and thus raise the tone of debate to a level suitable of this fine blog.

    But first I shall pour myself a stiff drink, for I have had a trying day dealing with the excited and moronic fascism of the French state, and need to gather my wits.

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  • 60. At 7:06pm on 14 Oct 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    So, what is this thing we call "democracy"?

    I feel that in order to progress in our discussion, we need to delve a little into the theoretical spectrum of debate. the point has been very well made by numerous contributors that simply sticking a label "democracy" upon a regime is insufficient to render it worthy of the name. Indeed, the fact that so many hideous regimes have so labelled themselves is evidence of both the enduring appeal and core worth of the concept. But what IS the core worth? From what ideals and literary base does it spring?

    Now here some may choose to understand my sympathy for and allegiance with Marcus. Marcus, if we ignore his fierce nationalism and oftentimes cruel punishments of other nations, is an erudite and knowledgeable man. If you don't recognize that, I question your experience in life. For all his provocative red herrings and throw away lines, many of which show a great sense of humour, Marcus is a man who believes in an ideal. Marcus is an egalitarian, and he knows his history, at least north by north west.

    The ideal he believes in is democracy, and the history he understands is history of the common person's struggle against the corruption of those who seek to control the institutions of the state for selfish gain. It is my view that one needs to study his contributions with care, for he is an American on a blog which is as hostile to America, just as the current American system of rule is hostile to the ideals Marcus himself holds most dear.

    I have read Marcus at length, and he is very far from dim. He understands as much if not more than anyone here, and his position, it seems to me, is that he will not give one quarter to those who will not accept the fundamental premise of "democracy": That all folks should be considered equal at birth, and that common people should have a say in the laws under which they live.

    That is how I read marcus as an intellectual, aside from the sniping and the jokes, and that is why I deeply respect his point of view, and his capacity for both humane and deeply informed reasoning.

    All of us who would sneer at the USA and it's contributions to world history should pause and reflect upon where we might be if the great american experiment had not been won by the founding fathers and their legions of followers.

    Yes, America now resembles a fascist state, with representation owned by the corporate class, and puppets of financial interests controlling and corrupting the American constitution. Yes, the USA is a state in constitutional crisis. But Marcus knows it, if you bother to read his views carefully, and he has yet faith in the american people. So do I. Why?

    Because the heritage of the American people is grand and it is awesome. America is the land of freedom, and of opportunity. America is, more than any other land, the land where oppressive and selfish political constructs go to die.

    However so much trouble America is in now, it has that heritage, and it earned that heritage. No European has the right to slight it, and no European, not even the Swiss, has any grounds for doubting the resolve of the common people of the USA. I still believe they will lead the world out of the corrupt system of representation that blights the noble ideals of democracy. Perhaps the swiss state will hold a light to lead the practical way, but it will be the strength and enduring power of the American people who must win the global contest for decency and righteousness in political affairs. the swiss may own the brain of democracy, and the greeks may have a claim to the soul, but the heart of it lies in America.

    So, what is "democracy"?

    I fear it is all too simple, and that all we need to do is be honest with ourselves, and have the courage to condemn the nominees of power when confronted with their lies.

    "Democracy" is a state where all people live under law which they have had the chance to speak against by DIRECT VOTE.

    ANY SYSTEM WHERE PEOPLE VOTE FOR REPRESENTATIVES IS NOT DEMOCRACY.

    It may be enlightened representation. It may be communist representation. It may be capitalist representation. It may be theological representation. But it cannot be democracy.

    If you vote for a representative to speak for you in a "parliament" of any kind, you live under a system of representation.

    If you vote upon the laws under which you must live, you live under a system of democracy.

    It is easy to understand the difference between democracy and representation. It is exceedingly difficult to muster the courage to look hard at the system under which you live, and decide whether it is worthy of the name. We all wish to love our neighbours and our community, for such love is a virtue we all feel, and thus the love of our nation drives us to willful delusions regarding the nature of the political economy under which we live.

    But if one can be strong, and restrict the claim of the glorious title of "democracy" only upon societies which have duly earned the right to be so called, an incredible epiphany awaits.

    And that is that, simply, democracy really is the best system of government. Forget Churchill, he was a fat, titled, butcher of men who talked too much. Democracy, real democracy, truly does work.

    I beg anyone with a shred of intellectual honesty to make google their friend and to research the history and evolution of the Swiss state.

    Come here, to switzerland. Think about the history of this land in the heart of europe. Democracy CAN AND DOES WORK.

    the swiss are richer than you. They have less crime than you. They have more civic freedoms than you. they have less unemployment than you. They really are more advanced in every way than you are.

    This all comes from "democracy".

    Learn what it means, and fight for it, with words and with resolve.

    Now, where did i put my drink?

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  • 61. At 7:20pm on 14 Oct 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Re #59

    Quote, An appeal "...to shut his (my) pie hole.." is alleged by the sage of the Swiss.

    Hmm, my preference for apple pie & custard makes it unlikely to succeed.

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  • 62. At 8:00pm on 14 Oct 2010, generalissimo33 wrote:

    "However desirable, the proposals would double the cost of maternity leave. An extra £2.4bn a year is the calculation."
    Well Mr.Hewitt, it seems that saving money today for maternity leave will result tomorrow in a further freezing of the demographic growth, in an encrease of the percentage of the retired peolple, and in decrease of the engaged work force all over the EU. And some day we shall be compelled to import workers from India, China and Africa much to the disappointment of our children and grand children... Europe gradually will be flooded by crowds of people who will not have any respect of our values...etc., etc.

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  • 63. At 8:19pm on 14 Oct 2010, generalissimo33 wrote:

    @54 Quietoaktree
    "Pray tell me of a democracy that has improved with time - whether by the ruling or the ruled !"
    Pray tell me of a totalitarean (or any other kind of non democratic) regime that has improved with time...by ruling.
    'cause in the East of Europe there are several countries where the ruled contributed successfully to the change, not to the improvement of something that can not be improved...

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  • 64. At 8:23pm on 14 Oct 2010, DiscoStu_d wrote:

    @60 A panegyric to Macro? Anything left in that bottle you were drinking? :)

    (and as a Yank myself I don't think this blog is hostile to America. It's hostile to idiots. And, lamentably, we have more than our fair share....)

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  • 65. At 9:08pm on 14 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    Marcus

    Stand up and pull your belly in, for the medal presentation- I donate the oak-leaf-cluster.

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  • 66. At 9:30pm on 14 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #60 DT

    Didn´t it come to light (BBC?) only a few weeks ago that MISFIT Swiss citizens were imprisoned (for years?) without trial ?

    How does Switzerland prevent ´Tyranny of the majority´?

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  • 67. At 9:38pm on 14 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    He is saying, more or less, ..foolish... others... that perhaps there are too many "micro breweries" around these days and the world (at least, the self proclaimed democracies--their populous) needs

    more "Macro breweries"--thank you, Mr. DiscoStu_d, above, for the marvelous prompt (and no offense) and also, more Macro democratic visions from.... um Visionaries--yes, unfamiliar word, lately-

    That is my interpretation of DemocracyThreat's comment(s) and he may disagree strongely...but, I myself, Could Care Less--no offence to ...others.

    And, no, I'm not an accolyte nor ring-finger-kisser(up)...

    And DemocracyThreat, thanks for your--for you, nice--for me, crappy,-- endorsement.

    Good Humor all around:)))))

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  • 68. At 9:43pm on 14 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 69. At 9:49pm on 14 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    but much thanks, anyway.....DT

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  • 70. At 10:00pm on 14 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #60. At 7:06pm on 14 Oct 2010, democracythreat

    "Now, where did i put my drink?"

    I guess you beat even me to the amber liquid today, hic.

    Sleep tight.

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  • 71. At 10:03pm on 14 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    QOT,

    You are so funny,

    you Americans.

    Im queer and here--BBC, I'm proud of the moniker--I'm definitely not....That--"an American"--at least, not unofficially, thank you, God.

    I do work there...they're the only ones who will employ me, bless' em.

    David:)

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  • 72. At 10:59pm on 14 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    France has just declared that Marcus will receive the Medaille dÓutre-mer----for his bravery in the colonies.

    How much can he write in 4 hours ???

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  • 73. At 11:56pm on 14 Oct 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    60 demothreat writes:
    "the swiss may own the brain of democracy, and the greeks may have a claim to the soul, but the heart of it lies in America."
    I agree with the first two of your assertions but you are wrong about the third - the heart of it lies in Europe where it has always been. For over 2000 years men in Europe have striven to achieve the ultimate goal of freedom and dignity for all men. Millions of them have sacrificed themselves and been slaughtered for the ideals of an utopia even when they were only dimly aware of how to achieve it. They had that longing which could not be eradicated however much suffering they were asked to endure for it.
    Some of your forefathers took those ideals with them, not new ideas but hatched in Europe but although they had a clean canvas to work with they soon succumbed to the usual human frailties to achieve their way through murder, slavery, genocide and that most awful of all cruelties, fratricide. That lost you the moral right to lead the world and maybe that is why according to you, your country is already slipping into a fascist state after its existence of only 200 years.
    No doubt many of your fellow Americans are the remarkable people you portray them as being but I put my trust in my fellow Europeans, and not just the Swiss, because they have created the foundations of what we enjoy today and had America not existed it would ultimately have made little difference to Europe. We have survived far worse in the past, including the black death that decimated us and nearly caused us to succumb, but we Europeans are the backbone of civilisation and have been the driving force behind it.
    I'm sorry to say this, but for all your individual niceness and charm, you are but pale imitations of old Europe and although I don't want to belittle your contributions towards the wellbeing of mankind, it is Europe that will ultimately prevail, not America.

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  • 74. At 00:49am on 15 Oct 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    dt;

    America does not have a direct participatory democracy. Instead it has what we call representational democracy. America's government was born at a time when it was impossible for most people to leave their farms, their trades, their work to travel to the Capital to legislate, to debate, to vote directly for and against laws. Even for the founding fathers, it was a hardship on many of them and their families to devote part of their lives to the process of creating America. Could we have direct participatory democracy today with our electronic voting systems even with 310 million Americans? Possibly. One necessity for effective democracy is a well educated electorate I'm afraid in this regard our system has as many shortcomings as others.

    Americans have always had an instinctive mistrust, even contempt for government. Our heritage is one of escape from tyrannical governments, self reliance, and ultimately rebellion against those tyrannies when they followed colonists to rein them in here in North America.

    The first American government was a failure because it was too weak. The Articles of Confederation were the foundation of that government. The Constitution would have been likely rejected for creating a central government that was too strong had it not been for the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments which sharply restricts the power of government. Much thought and arguing went into creating the American Constitution. Among the ingenious innovations was the invention of the two house legislative branch, one lower house in which representation is proportional to the relative populations of the states, the upper house where their representation is equal regardless of their population. The representations are resized every ten years after a census required in the Constitution itself.

    The basic principle of American government is the fracturing of power to prevent its concentration even through collusion because it anticipates the worst in people while hoping for the best. It has no illusions in this regard. This is done through the mechanisms of division of power between the states and federal governments and the separation of power between three co-equal branches of government, legislative, executive, and judicial. These branches will fight over power at the margins but the ability of any one or two of them to overwhelm the others is restricted. Overriding them all is what is nearly a fourth branch or what is sometimes referred to as the fourth estate, the press. This is why freedom of the press is so important to us, to expose the scoundrels mercilessly. The Constitution also separates government from religion, a problem that had led to so many wars in Europe.

    So what is a definition of democracy? Here's what Abraham Lincoln had to say about it: "As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference is no democracy."

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  • 75. At 02:38am on 15 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    Margaret,]

    The only problem with your assertion that America has ruined democracy for the world IS THAT

    In the last half century, Europe gave up its sovereign decisions to either the Soviet Union or the US of America.

    We (both nations) spent the money on defense. The Warsaw Pact saw invasions of Hungary and Czechoslovakia and various fundings of Communist insurgencies.

    And the USA saw wars and invasions in the Koreas, the Vietnams and Bosnia-Her...sp whatever. And finally, with amazing hubris, Americans and the USA traded their/her dignity and actual security (economic) by invading Iraq.

    I thought it was an amazingly stupid idea, but Americans felt their security was somehow strengthened by this move. We were fools.

    The Soviet Union is no more.

    And now, Europe knows everything (it thinks) except how to compete with China and the USA internationally as a group of nations and how to grow economically as separate nations.

    You must be so proud. :)

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  • 76. At 02:43am on 15 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    In fact I would say America is more dependent on Asia now. Europe is still too dependent on the USA.

    Remember?

    We caused your recession (not) But you think we did...Big adult nations, huh?

    I'm impressed :)

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  • 77. At 02:52am on 15 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    Im sorry Margaret, not picking on you, just disagreeing.

    But, Nik, here is a present for you.

    Yes, Russia is out there, but only per nation of the EU.

    Always Russia tried to split Europe from America, but failed.

    China, though, is succeeding where Russia failed. We are their most important market.

    So, now IS a good time for Europe to go to Russia, but will they have the courage?

    If not, the Eastern nations of Europe Could reach out like Germany during the Cold War with a sort of Ostpolitik (sp?) or Russia-centric policy.

    But don't expect the UK and/or France both to go along with that. They are too much invested in the USA. IMO.

    :)

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  • 78. At 07:47am on 15 Oct 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    MHoward

    Re #73

    Europe certainly was at the forefront of the emergence of 'Democratic' traditions.
    That was about the only aspect You got right in Your hopelessly one-sided assessment.

    However, to portray the USA as somehow more involved/culpable in genocide, slavery, corruption etc. than the Nations of Europe over centuries is to reveal the same tired, uninformed, almost ugly prejudice against America & any 'English-speaking' nation You already are well known for on these Blogs.

    Practically all 'west' Europe was involved in the Empire building You have vilified in previous comments: Now that same Europe is supposedly 'morally' ahead of the USA!
    Fascism emerged in Italy & Germany (militaristic nod to Japan), but You accuse the USA of 'fascist' tendencies!
    The Wars of Reformation, the Wars of Unification, and most recent 2 World Wars stemmed from European origins and with the more recent Balkan Wars involved all the fratricide-genocide-inhumane sectarian cruelty of anything that has gone before, yet it is the USA that "..soon succombed to human frailties.."!

    On Politics & Culture I thought You had a plank in each eye, but in retrospect IMO You just lack the Historical knowledge & Political acumen to make any serious judgement calls on the modern World.

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  • 79. At 09:10am on 15 Oct 2010, generalissimo33 wrote:

    @65 Quietoaktree
    Marcus, stand up and pull your belly in, for the medal presentation- I donate the oak-leaf-cluster....
    I guess you should preside over our committee for priming the best of the bloggers here.
    @77 David
    "So, now IS a good time for Europe to go to Russia, but will they have the courage?"
    No Dave, we still fear the Bear..., and we still fear the Turks. But if we shall be compelled to make a choice, we certainly shall prefer the lesser evil... (Guess what?)
    (I hope Alice will miss my comment. She will anathematize me...for having referred to some old memories…).
    @73 MH
    "I'm sorry to say this, but for all your individual niceness and charm, you are but pale imitations of old Europe and although I don't want to belittle your contributions towards the wellbeing of mankind, it is Europe that will ultimately prevail, not America."
    I totally agree. However, knowing that the EDF are still a dream, I hope you will agree that America is our natural ally. Because Europe (at least the EU) seems to be too fragile, too vulnerable if it has to meet by itself the challenges of the century...



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  • 80. At 10:16am on 15 Oct 2010, Lorentz wrote:

    I'm sure they could make progress in cutting costs, by stopping the regular meetings of the EU Parliament i Strasbourg.

    I'm sure some transparent accounting would help too.

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  • 81. At 11:18am on 15 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #80. At 10:16am on 15 Oct 2010, Lorentz

    I could not agree more, but you can expect an explosion of Gallic rage, especially from Sarkozy, and the possibility, no certainty, that the great French ego would be affronted by such a suggestion. After all the centre of the known universe is France and they consider they own the EU.

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  • 82. At 11:45am on 15 Oct 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    78 CBW writes:
    "...but You accuse the USA of 'fascist' tendencies!"

    60 democracythreat writes:
    "Yes, America now resembles a fascist state, with representation owned by the corporate class, and puppets of financial interests controlling and corrupting the American constitution. Yes, the USA is a state in constitutional crisis."

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  • 83. At 12:12pm on 15 Oct 2010, resistance35 wrote:

    56.Jean Luc wrote:
    So it all comes down to demos. But what is demos? It's nothing more than the result of a self imagined community. So your 'democracy' comes down to people 'believing' they have a common history present and future, which objectively they don't.


    Awww, the real definition doesn't suit him so he is inventing a new one. It is my opinion that those hostile to democracy do this because they want to justify the destruction of national parliamentary democracy to themselves.

    Directly elected the same way national politicians get elected. So you cannot use this as an argument against the EU

    The same way? I think not. It is 27 separate elections even with different methods of apportioning seats. The socalled MEP's have a national mandate, not a 'European' one.

    As far as I know, states are members of the EU because they ratified the Treaties according to their own constitutions. If this is illegitimate you are actually questioning the legitimacy of national constitutions and not the EU.

    The EU, with those I suspect to be fierce opponents of democracy such as Barroso in the lead, actively bullied and threatened national governments into cancelling specifically promised referendums. Because they hate democracy so they wanted to rush its further destruction through their Enabling Act-esque instrument, the Treaty of Lisbon. Referendums on that would likely have yielded a dozen NO's at least.

    Perhaps you should ditch the silly analogies with the USSR, it does not add to your credibility.

    The antidemocratic nature of the EU and the facts support my case. Less and less is being done via national parliaments.

    Allow me to refer to what Hans Gert Poettering (president of the parliament) said when Vaclav Klaus had ended his senile speech about how the EU is the same as the USSR: in the parliament of the USSR mr Klaus would not have been able to criticize the USSR as he did the EU in the European parliament.

    Awwww.... had to get a little insult in there to those who you feel tried to block the EU plans to destroy democracy, plans that I assume you are in favor of? Do you think a handful of appointed politicians should make all the decisions?

    Fact is and remains, the EU is 100% undemocratic and deliberately so. Monnet suggested as much between the lines in his biography. The man, never elected to anything, had an unhealthy distaste for democracy.

    Daniel Cohn Bendit replying to Vaclav Klaus seems unacceptable to you, when it is in fact just part of democracy: debate and different opinions.

    No, it was insults. As in 'those like you [Klaus] who oppose the antidemocratic EU are enemies of us [Brussels elite] and must be insulted, belittled, ridiculed and dismissed.

    Cohn-Bendit has a long history of insulting those who insist on national democracy rather than EU elitocracy. And also, it can be suspected that he had contacts with Moscow during 1968. Do not trust enemies of democracy or people that were ideological friends with the Soviet Union.

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  • 84. At 12:24pm on 15 Oct 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    MHoward

    Re #82

    Margaret, try reading Your own comment: You imply You concur with DemocThreat's view at #60 when You write in #73, "...that lost you the moral right to lead the world and maybe that is why according to you, your country is already slipping into a dascist state after its existence of only 200 years..".

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  • 85. At 12:26pm on 15 Oct 2010, resistance35 wrote:

    73.margaret howard wrote:
    For over 2000 years men in Europe have striven to achieve the ultimate goal of freedom and dignity for all men.


    Tell that to the EU crowd who are busy destroying national democracy.

    ...through murder, slavery, genocide and that most awful of all cruelties, fratricide. That lost you the moral right to lead the world and maybe that is why according to you, your country is already slipping into a fascist state after its existence of only 200 years.

    One word: Auschwitz. Two more: generalplan ost. And another two: communist 'utopia'.

    ...it is Europe that will ultimately prevail, not America.

    Demographic time bomb, unaffordable welfare states, no natural resources to speak of. Sanctimonious and condemnation of human rights violations except when Chinese trade is the issue or when islamic countries systematically violate them... (Europe seems to believe that it is islamic countries 'religious freedom' to persecute women/gays/non-muslims etc... because the elites still think all aspects of all cultures are equal.

    America elects its president, and congress can in theory overrule the president in anything.

    'Europe' sees appointed folks appoint a 'president' who only has to make a 'courtesy' visit to the faux-parliament. Not democratic.

    And of course the nasty scenes we witnessed how the Euro-elites pushed the unwanted undemocratic Lisbon treaty through. Their mottos: 'no can has referendums' and 'keep voting until we get the desired answer'.

    Do you work for the undemocratic EU, by any chance?

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  • 86. At 12:29pm on 15 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "The Soviet Union is no more."


    Are you sure of that, David?

    Ask governments of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kirgizstan and Turkmenistan, whose governments Russian secret services have been trying to destabilize and topple for a long time.

    [plenty of oil&gas at stake]

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  • 87. At 12:31pm on 15 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    29 Powermeerkat

    --One particular country has never had ´peace at any time´

    ---suggesting incomprehension of the idea.





    True, I hear that all the time at RT and read in L'Humanite, Morning Star and Il Manifesto.

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  • 88. At 12:37pm on 15 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "there is a single acceptable ideology in the EP. Just ask Vaclav Klaus when he spoke there only to be insulted by the odious Cohn-Bandit. Remember, many of the 1968 demonstrator organizations were funded by Moscow."





    So somebody still remembers Cohn-Bandit's background.


    Here's wondering how many remember Joshka Fisher's one.

    [He also participated in KGB financed demos and has been recorded on a video viciously kicking a German policeman already thrown to the ground by 'peaceniks']


    P.S. There are people for whom RAF doesn't stand for Royal Air Force, but
    for fondly remembered Red Army Faction.

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  • 89. At 12:41pm on 15 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "And the USA saw wars and invasions in the Koreas, the Vietnams and Bosnia-Her...sp whatever"



    David, you must be very young not to remember who invaded South Korea and comitted a veritable genocide in Bosnia. In heart of Europe.

    [A hint: no, not U.S.]

    powermeerkat
    [unfortunately and detrimentally a non-PC hetero, a dying breed.]

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  • 90. At 1:09pm on 15 Oct 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    85 Resistance35

    --"Tell that to the EU crowd who are busy destroying national democracy."--

    Explain why national democracy is better than international democracy.

    ---"One word: Auschwitz. Two more: generalplan ost. And another two: communist 'utopia'."---

    two words: Godwins Law.

    ---"Demographic time bomb, unaffordable welfare states, no natural resources to speak of."---

    If the population shrinks faster than the economy (or the economy stays static or grows.) then we all get richer (in theory.)

    The welfare systems are perfectly affordable so long as they don't go overboard, any humane country will see its citizens fed and housed.

    Europe has plenty of coal and steel, plus there is oil near Norway and possibly Greece. Also, hopefully loads under the Falklands which is an overseas territory of an EU member state.



    plus the rest... we use a Parliamentary system not a Presidential, blah blah blah, its like that in 24 EU member states, hypocrisy, blah blah blah.

    You need to tone down your anti-EU rhetoric before the Gendarmeries come to send you to the Gulag... oh wait! That doesn't EVER happen.

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  • 91. At 1:41pm on 15 Oct 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    "The Soviet Union is no more."


    Are you sure of that, David?

    Ask governments of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kirgizstan and Turkmenistan, whose governments Russian secret services have been trying to destabilize and topple for a long time.

    [plenty of oil&gas at stake]
    ____________________

    powermeer I've been missing you as well.

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  • 92. At 1:41pm on 15 Oct 2010, resistance35 wrote:

    90. Benefactor wrote:
    Explain why national democracy is better than international democracy.


    International democracy does not exist. So national is better by definition.

    two words: Godwins Law.

    Tell that to the 'lady' who called America fascist.


    ---"Demographic time bomb, unaffordable welfare states, no natural resources to speak of."---

    If the population shrinks faster than the economy (or the economy stays static or grows.) then we all get richer (in theory.)

    You need to tone down your anti-EU rhetoric before the Gendarmeries come to send you to the Gulag... oh wait! That doesn't EVER happen.

    Under the 1999 ruling of the European Court Of Justice (case 274/99), it is illegal to criticize the EU or its institutions. So technically, that makes me a dissident.

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  • 93. At 1:43pm on 15 Oct 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    don't take it very literally. moderately literately ;o)))))) will be better.
    I'll have now some time to reply, but not all the time :o)))))

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  • 94. At 2:06pm on 15 Oct 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    geeralissimo
    @77 David
    "So, now IS a good time for Europe to go to Russia, but will they have the courage?"
    No Dave, we still fear the Bear..., and we still fear the Turks. But if we shall be compelled to make a choice, we certainly shall prefer the lesser evil... (Guess what?)
    (I hope Alice will miss my comment. She will anathematize me...for having referred to some old memories…).
    _____________________

    exactly as you hoped, generalissimo ;o)
    Firstly, I think, "Turkey or Russia" - there isn't such a choice or an opposition. ( we are not on offer ;o), remember)
    that's not cakes for you to choose from!

    Secondly, is it "a choice", to take Turkey in the EU or not?
    A minor tactical decision, only :o))))) What's the difference? :o))))))

    While (in the unklikely event of :o) re Russia - that's more on the brink of to be or not to be :o))))))))



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  • 95. At 2:10pm on 15 Oct 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    I definitely manage in the dacha without the EU.
    Reminds me must collect the last apples first snow lay today. :o)
    ("Pokrov"/Cover day, 14 Oct, when snow falls onto Russia duly and on schedule for centuries. So all is going here acc. to the plan! :o)

    You also seem to me to be doing alright in Sofia. So what's the urge for the cardial decisions type to be or not to be :o)))))) may be we better live a bit longer istead :o))))))

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  • 96. At 2:35pm on 15 Oct 2010, generalissimo112 wrote:

    @86 powermeerkat
    "Ask governments of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kirgizstan and Turkmenistan, whose governments Russian secret services have been trying to destabilize and topple for a long time."
    Come on boy, the CIA guys were white angels, whilst the KGB guys were black devils, weren't they? Just take ii easy and have a rest...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqHU-S00uOA
    "David, you must be very young not to remember who invaded South Korea and comitted a veritable genocide in Bosnia. In heart of Europe."
    How about Hiroshimma & Nagazaki? How about the bombing of Drezden, Hanoy, Hayphon? The American brain washing coupled with the evident double standards can mislead any individual into absolute error when it comes to him to judge what is good and what is not good. Thank Lord the memories are still alive, at least in Europe. (The slauter in Rouanda was even more horrible and larger than that in Bosnia, but Washington did not intervene. Had no interest).


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  • 97. At 2:57pm on 15 Oct 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    @ 92 resistance35

    --"Under the 1999 ruling of the European Court Of Justice (case 274/99), it is illegal to criticize the EU or its institutions. So technically, that makes me a dissident."--

    No it doesn't, that ruling only applys to people who work for the EU. Simply put, people who work for the EU (in a non political capacity, so it doesn't apply to MEP's.) are not allowed to make negative statements that are contrary to the goals of the EU.
    It's not ideal, but it does make sense. If I made negative statements about the place I work, and say posted them online and they subsequently found out they would be right to discipline/potentially fire me.

    Come on, its kinda obvious that this isn't the case. You mentioned yourself Klaus standing in the EP and making a rather negative speech about it. Is he in prison? was he fined?

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  • 98. At 3:07pm on 15 Oct 2010, generalissimo112 wrote:

    @94 & @95 WebAliceInWonderLand
    Hi Alice, and welcome back. I missed you. (Please check up your e-mail box).
    As I expected, the sentimental Slavic nature is going to mislead both of us in error. When I was trying to explain to Dave what all orthodoxies here would prefer to accept as a lesser evil, I meant Russia. True, the EU is now negotiating the eventual adhesion of Turkey. Hope it come true after the final judgment. Satisfied? Ask Nik, Vassilis how they see these matters….
    I hope you have successfully repaired somes part of the cottage. However, I think you should go back to mum. Judging by the pictures you mailed to the Smolensk blog, you are not ready to meet the winter.
    Tonight, Praskovia and I will celebrate at home the Pokrov’s day. Our church opens only for the Saturday service.
    Obnimayu krepko! (Russ.: I embrace you with all the strength I have)

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  • 99. At 3:18pm on 15 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    hi Web Alice:)

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  • 100. At 3:19pm on 15 Oct 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    92. At 1:41pm on 15 Oct 2010, resistance35 wrote:

    --"two words: Godwins Law."

    --"Tell that to the 'lady' who called America fascist."--

    Would you jump off a bridge if margaret did it?

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  • 101. At 3:25pm on 15 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    Generalissimo112,

    No. 79 was good where you answered M. Howard, in a very even handed way :) You were very good IMO.

    :)

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  • 102. At 3:44pm on 15 Oct 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    60 democracythreat
    I laughed when I first read your (mock) eulogy of Homer Simpson and felt just a tiny pang of sympathy for him because it was a little bit too cruel. However it soon occured to me that as Homer lacks a sense of humour and doesn't do irony 'what if he takes all this at face value'? We shall be bombarded with yet more of his effusions on the superiority of American democracy and society and on the rottenness of all things European. It won't be long before we shall be regaled yet again with his story of how he was insulted in a Ratskeller in Bordaux by a german barman ca 1937.
    And then the inevitable happened. He posted at *74 and all our worst nightmares were confirmed. How could you do this to us dt?

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  • 103. At 3:54pm on 15 Oct 2010, generalissimo112 wrote:

    @96 WebAliceInWonderLand
    "Reminds me must collect the last apples first snow lay today."
    Remind me I must cut enough wood for the week to come. Praskovia is already urging me to prepare the barrels for the cabage, the buck-weed (rus.elda), the mushroom, the bacon and the fish. No way. Winter is coming...
    Love you...

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  • 104. At 4:05pm on 15 Oct 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    74 Homer Simpson writes:
    "So what is a definition of democracy? Here's what Abraham Lincoln had to say about it: "As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference is no democracy."

    "Of the first five presidents, four owned slaves. All four of these owned slaves while they were president. Of the next five presidents, four owned slaves."
    Are we to take it then that according to Lincoln's definition the USA is no democracy?

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  • 105. At 4:10pm on 15 Oct 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 106. At 4:31pm on 15 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    DT

    I expected this massacre -- It will go down in blog history as ´The battle of Marcus´s Bulge ´.

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  • 107. At 5:06pm on 15 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    DT

    Both Marcus and survivors will receive the from the ´ The Order of the Oak ´our highest honor--
    two dried acorns with stem on a ribbon of oak leaves.

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  • 108. At 5:36pm on 15 Oct 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    Margret, I was not mocking Marcus in the slightest. He is a man who feels it is worth knowing and subscribing to a quote like:

    "As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference is no democracy."

    That is a very decent belief. It is also complex intellectually. A person who holds to that creed is someone who is at once courageous, intelligent and above all humane. It takes courage to reject the institution of slavery upon oneself, and it takes humanity to recognize the injustice when it is visited upon others. It takes intelligence to perceive that the grand titles and political slogans of wealthy demagogues are a fraud.

    Now you must choose as you wish, but I choose my friends on the basis of their decency and their courage. If they are also intelligence, well that is even better.

    I happen to share Marcus's deep revulsion for the European tendency to worship ridiculous titles and inherited wealth, and to fawn upon power instead of challenging it. The culture of Europe is weak in this respect, and it is backward. Europeans cling to their flags and their "heritage", because they unconsciously ape the behaviour of an arrogant and brutal nobility who treat them little better than slaves. That is revolting. It revolts marcus, and it revolts me just as much.

    Neither of us are joking about that, either. Human rights and liberty are not joking matters. Once you start respecting those who fawn on powerful demagogues, you are on a slippery slope that leads inevitably to an abandonment of your own decency. Power corrupts, and those who worship power are both corrupted by it and made ridiculous as well, because they become objects to be used by their powerful idols, like farm animals toiling under the yoke.

    This is a real issue, the extent to which people value equality and human rights. In societies where it is considered decent to mock such things, and where it is acceptable to parade around proclaiming the entitlement of those born to power and privilege, misery, poverty and horror for the innocent is never far away.

    Europeans may snort their superior snorts at that concept, but the fact is that they have treated each other so abominably for so long, and with such disgusting frequency, that they have been utterly unable to protect their lands from foreign domination. Germany, with its cruel and insane belief in the superiority of its inhabitants, went to russia to butcher subhumans and steal land. Look where that ended up. Britain was kicked out of the USA and lost an empire due to the effeminate whinging of a pompous class of lords. Only the USA was able to field an army to contest the European continent with the Russians.

    Consider what that means. Europe is WEAK. It is a weak society, and it sports a loathsome history in modern times. Not only can it not protect itself, it cannot refrain from infighting and acts of internal mass depravity.

    Unless and until Europeans step up to the plate and start believing the creed of Lincoln, and start to tear down the vestiges of titled nobility that function as a badge of idiotic and servile shame upon the cultures of Europe, any European claim to respect is an outrage and an affront to decency.

    European culture deserves no respect. It is hideous and cruel. Kings, Princes, Popes and banking Lords prance the streets and are protected by unions of policemen and crowds of fawning housewives. Human rights are systematically abused for minorities such as Roma, Russians and people of colour. This constitutes entertainment for the European mind.

    Now with regard to my use of the word "fascism" in conjunction with the USA, you must understand that I use this word in its technical, exact sense. When I say "fascism", I mean fascism. I do not mean "Bad things Germans did in the early 1940's.".

    Fascism means the control of government by privately owned corporations. Thus you can have fascism under theological corporations (the word "incorporate" was first used to describe the change in organizational structure of the catholic church during the reign of Gregory the 10th), you can have fascism in the form of ideological corporations (nazi germany and soviet russia), you can have fascism in the form of economic corporations (the UK and now, increasingly, the USA).

    Fascism simply means the control of government by a group of "corporations", or "private clubs", if you prefer that word.

    And it is entirely possible for a system of representation to succumb to fascism. All it requires is for a set of private clubs to gang together and take control of the nomination process for the election of representatives.

    In the soviet union and now in North korea, we saw and now see the departments of the communist party controlling the nomination process, and so we understand that this system of representation is no longer remotely democratic.

    In the EU we watch the dominant political parties creating a system of rule that allows the power brokers and sponsors of these parties (the owners of them, indeed) to circumvent national elections that cause unwanted scrutiny upon a process they already control anyway.

    And just so, in the USA we see the bankers and military industrialists controlling the nomination process of both parties entirely, and with increasingly savage consequences for the inhabitants. The USA is coming to resemble the UK.

    In each case, we see the growing control over a system of representation by corporations, and this is technically fascism. It makes slaves out of common people and it makes slave masters of the party bosses and titled lords.

    Democracy has always been seen as a way of preventing fascism of one kind or another. People having a say regarding how their government may act has ALWAYS been the driving force behind democratic principles.

    Being a believer in democracy means first understanding what it is, and what it is supposed to do. It is supposed to curb the abuse of power. It is supposed to liberate folks who are farmed by powerful and cruel people who believe they are entitled to own other human beings as chattels.

    Marcus understands that, and he understand the cruelty and disgusting sycophancy of those who celebrate modern European history as evidence of anything except a backwards and hideous testament to feudal ideals.

    Until titles and nobility are wiped like a perverted sneer from the acceptable face of Europe, Europeans have a lot of work to do if they want to stand proud as members of the modern intellectual world.

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  • 109. At 5:39pm on 15 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    DT

    -- Also out of deep respect for Roman Emperors, the inscription -- Veni Vedi Viagra --is optional.

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  • 110. At 6:23pm on 15 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    DT

    --unfortunately the only hope Europeans have to reach this aim (or part) --is the EU.

    At present nothing else is on the horizon !

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  • 111. At 8:25pm on 15 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #97. At 2:57pm on 15 Oct 2010, Benefactor

    "I made negative statements about the place I work, and say posted them online and they subsequently found out they would be right to discipline/potentially fire me."

    So you excuse the people who work for an undemocratic, corrupt EU if they don't spill the beans, in other words don't rock the boat. Even if they experience totally illegal corruption they should keep quiet or get fired and that's OK. No wonder a certain Welsh ex-leader of the Labour party who was appointed as anti-corruption commissar fired a whistle blower. With such mentality the EU is dead and the sooner the goose is cooked the better.
    00. At 3:19pm on 15 Oct 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    #100. At 3:19pm on 15 Oct 2010, Benefactor

    "Would you jump off a bridge if margaret did it?"

    No way, but then some Scots are in some cases still like their barbarian ancestors.

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  • 112. At 9:56pm on 15 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    How many casualties do we have ?

    --It is eerily silent --on the Western Front.

    ´I have a rendezvous with Death
    at some disputed barricade---´

    Alan Seeger 1888-1916)

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  • 113. At 10:19pm on 15 Oct 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    I think the real problem with the EU spending increase is not the money, but that we the public aren't offered any cohesive plan on how everything will work out. Let me clarify...

    European countries want to have a strong united Europe that protects and advances European interests.

    In order to achieve strong united Europe, European countries have to pool up most of their power to a common authority.

    Problems start when we start to execute transfer of powers, because there usually is a long lead time from pooling to getting results, and because some opportunistic or conservative elements in our societies reject the new European reality and rather look back in time thus creating roadblocks for the execution of integration.

    So we have problem, either we don't have the results we want right away or we get internal opposition. So what is the solution? The usual solutions is to start from something small and them pump it up until it replaces national institutions or decision making.

    For example we have the EU foreign service, the end game of it is to have a single foreign service with single foreign policy, however at this time we start from something small that will just compliment what we already have and at large we have a promise that in some distant future the EU and member states will consolidate their foreign affairs.

    From a citizens perspective what is happening is very foggy. From a point of view of politicians and other stake holders, it is very clear on what is going to happen, the only unsure thing is when and how the EU integration engine is going to solve this problem. The only problem with this is that repeating this procedure will decrease peoples trust to their government and to the EU.

    From my point of view, from a point of view of fiscal conservative citizen, this whole issue with EU spending increase would depend on does the money spend decrease overall expenditure or not. I'm happy to accept increase of EU expenditure if I can get guarantees that by doing so we can cut spending the same amount from our national bureaucracy.

    However, we don't live in a perfect world thus... well... we have this mix.

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  • 114. At 11:28pm on 15 Oct 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    108 democracythreat
    I don't mock Homer's beliefs - I mock the tunnel vision with which he holds them. How admirable it is of him to quote Lincoln on democracy but then forget to mention that the early presidents of the USA were in fact nearly all slaveholders themselves. How admirable to lecture us on our evil European ways and on the moral superiority of his own country and then forget to admit to the savagery committed in the name of the USA.

    And now you seem to fall into the same trap despite the fact that unlike Homer you have actual experience of our continent. Yet I don't recognise the Europe you describe here. To take one example - you write: "European culture deserves no respect. It is hideous and cruel. Kings, Princes, Popes and banking Lords prance the streets and are protected by unions of policemen and crowds of fawning housewives. Human rights are systematically abused for minorities such as Roma, Russians and people of colour. This constitutes entertainment for the European mind."
    Now I've lived in various European countries all my life but have yet to meet any King, Prince or Pope nor banking Lords prancing in the streets being protected by fawning housewives. You see a few teenagers screaming at pop stars and maybe the odd housewife throwing her knickers on the stage when Tom Jones is appearing, but I think that is actually more likely to happen in Nevada. Cruel and hideous? No, sorry, unless you mean the odd fat Americans one invariably meets at airports in outsize tracksuit bottoms or even worse in check golfing 'pants'. But we survive.

    As for human rights abuses. No doubt they happen here as well as anywhere else where human rights are actually addressed rather than ignored as is the case in most of the rest of the world. Abuses against Russians? Where is that supposed to be happening? I always thought the Russians were more than capable of looking after themselves. In my experience it was always the other way round in the past - Eastern European people complaining bitterly about the treatment they received under Russian 'rule'.

    But it is really the phrase you use 'people of colour' that I find deeply troubling. I have never heard a European talk about 'people of colour', but only about Indians, Pakistanis, Ghanains, Kenyans etc. This euphemism seems to speak of a deeply uneasy relationship you have in America as regards colour, no doubt a remant of your slave keeping past and which you don't seem to want to address. Like many of my Scottish and therefore Celtic ancestors, I have gingery hair and blue eyes. But I'm quite sure if we heard you describe us as 'people of gingery hair and blue eyes' one evening in our local pub you might get beaten up for your trouble (only joking).

    As far as titles and nobility are concerned again I don't know of anyone who takes those seriously today. You do know what the French did to theirs though 200 years ago? As for Homer's supposed disgust at the feudal ideals he found in Europe , maybe he could enlighten us by telling us where he encountered them.

    Although I appreciate the time and effort you must have taken on your latest entries, I do think that most of our fellow bloggers here don't need a lecture on facism or democracy and I don't think much would be achieved by going through them point by point. However,there is just one more thing I would like to pick you up on. You write: "In the soviet union and now in North korea, we saw and now see the departments of the communist party controlling the nomination process, and so we understand that this system of representation is no longer remotely democratic."

    This observation strikes me as entirely ludicrous seeing that you and Homer come from a country that let a man like Bush steal the presidency. We all remember the hanging chads. Considering the bad example you claim we Europeans have set in regards to true democracy (despite the fact that we invented it) I'm surprised you let him get away with it. Instead of marching on the White House you meekly let him and his cronies snatch power. So maybe now you see why I mock Homer's and now your tunnel vision.

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  • 115. At 00:33am on 16 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #113 Jukka Rohila

    Very constructive

    #114 Margret Howard


    One should accept the good points from DT´s and Marcus´s arguments --and reject the rest. The hope and aim is social progress, while realizing there are Philosophies of ´dog eat dog´. Most societies have committed atrocities, however their denial is no intellectual compliment.

    The problem with Europe is its history --few European countries have no skeletons in the cupboard and nationalism is one way to avoid the topic (as in America).

    Europe MUST get its game together --otherwise each country risks Americas´social inequality -- and cheap nationalism, which some contributors appear to uphold as the ideal to die for.

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  • 116. At 01:16am on 16 Oct 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    What a repulsive lot Europeans are. Inside every European seems to beat the heart of someone who thinks he's an aristocrat. Hyacinth Buckets one an all. What more disgusting display can you find than Baron Neil Kinnock who was once Neil Kinnock leader of the British Labour party and self proclaimed champion of the common man. That was merely a stepping stone to becoming a European Commissar in Brussels with his snout as deep into the trough of the public coffers as any MEP, right up to his ears. How long before that other champion of Labour Tony Blair joins him?

    This week French students shut down the lycees in France, tomorrow it could well be the universities. This suggests that the next generation of French will be even dumber than the current one is if such a thing is possible. Nobody in France has yet figured out how to get blood out of a rock but that doesn't stop them from taking to the streets demanding it. How pathetic that Sarko is their best hope. With any luck they'll throw him out and bring Segolene Royal in. Step aside Greece, here comes France.

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  • 117. At 02:07am on 16 Oct 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    acorn brain, the best thought I've had is that despite their hopes and dreams, no matter what they call themselves, most acorns fall uselessly to the ground and never become oak trees. Instead they are eaten by squirrels or just lay around rotting under the snow.

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  • 118. At 02:55am on 16 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    I love Hyacinth Bouquet:))))

    What a comedianne. The UK Bette Midler. :) not patronizing :)))

    And "One Foot in the Grave." and ...and....and..."All Creatures Great and Small."

    Oh excuse me...

    Go on Marcus :)


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  • 119. At 03:29am on 16 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    CoolBrushWork,

    I have started my reading of Soviet Union history. I think it will be very interesting reading :)

    Russia is so so so interesting ....it has Web Alice, for one.

    And so much change there...but I'm going to limit myself to a few books, because

    I just got "called back to work." Yeaaaa. I'm ...employable.

    Yes, Margaret Howard,

    European history is never dull. And America does owe so much to Europe ....

    we would not be here at all if it wasn't for some Europeans looking for Asia.

    I'm an Anglophile, BUT, a woman at the college I worked at

    sniffed when I said that, and said she loved France....and I like them too, but I like the UK better.

    What was the subject, again? Oh yeah, Austerity.

    Hmmmm, what can you say...such a happy subject...lets see...

    I'm for tax increases for the EU and they can suffer and give us all that nice revenue. Next year, Israel.

    Ooops, I sound like ...someone...oh an American :))

    PS I wouldn't mind going to Israel/Palestine, Egypt and Jordan on a tour. But, first Greece or Italy :))

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  • 120. At 09:11am on 16 Oct 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    #59, 60 & 108

    versus

    #73, 102 & 114

    It is a delicious irony when 2-peas-in-a-pod purveyors of prejudiced views on 'English speaking peoples' fall out as each realises the sort of unpleasant company they've been keeping!


    Ladies..... & Gentlemen......, in the ring we have a Conviction-Light contest:

    In the Alpine sage corner wearing pontificating morality the smugly self-righteous,
    VERSUS
    in the 'late' of Scots corner wearing undiluted ethical resentment the righteously smug.

    Who'll step inside to land the reliable one-two political truism? Will either quip & quote their way off the reality ropes? How often can these 2 land on their ill-informed rears and still think they are contenders!?

    Hollow tickets are a available for the purists.


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  • 121. At 10:59am on 16 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re debating fdifferent opinion in democracy...

    "Cohn-Bendit has a long history of insulting those who insist on national democracy rather than EU elitocracy"


    Con-Bandit was never for any democracy: he was a militant supporter and promoter of a Soviet style socialism in Western Europe.

    Just like Baader and Meinhoff were.

    [How soon they forget!]

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  • 122. At 11:08am on 16 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Jukka (re starting with something small...)


    How can EUSSR create post of a "foreign policy coordinator" when there's no common foreign policy to coordinate?

    Isn't it like trying to "reform" European Disunion from the top down?

    [since common folks down there don't know what's really good for them]

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  • 123. At 11:16am on 16 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "I love Hyacinth Bouquet:))))"


    Was she made a Baroness for her long time efforts on behalf of of common Eastenders just like another uncouth redneck, Neil Kinnock was made a Baron for similar efforts?

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  • 124. At 11:20am on 16 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    CBW:

    To your knowledge do some autochthons still conduct their camber and wife throwing contests?

    [If so I'll drink GlenMeghrahi to that]

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  • 125. At 11:20am on 16 Oct 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    Margret, you make a sincere set of arguments, and I'd like to deal with them individually.

    margaret howard wrote:

    "I don't mock Homer's beliefs - I mock the tunnel vision with which he holds them. How admirable it is of him to quote Lincoln on democracy but then forget to mention that the early presidents of the USA were in fact nearly all slaveholders themselves. How admirable to lecture us on our evil European ways and on the moral superiority of his own country and then forget to admit to the savagery committed in the name of the USA. "

    Well, I don't see how this is legitimate debate. Marcus was asked to express his idea of democracy, and he did so by quoting an ideal expressed by Lincoln. You now point out that other US presidents did not live up to the ideal. Frankly, so what? The point of contention is not whether US presidents were perfect, it was specifically how Marcus viewed the world and what his values are.

    Now if Marcus had said "The US is my definition of democracy, and anything the US does is perfection.", then OK. But he didn't. He quoted Lincoln on slavery and it was a quote designed to express his values.

    I think we need to stick to that context and not engage in frankly spurious deviations regarding the imperfections of the US state and past US leaders. I mean, I am also critical of the US claim to have created a wonderland, and I also share your distaste for the ardent nationalism that Marcus is wont to throw around the blog. But in this case, he was making a specific point about democracy and his own philosophical values, and your criticism of that point fell well short of relevancy. If you want to nail Marcus for his nationalistic failings, I feel you need to bide your time and place your shot more carefully. I fear you will have your chance, if you are patient. But here, in all fairness, you misplaced your thrust.

    margret then wrote: "And now you seem to fall into the same trap despite the fact that unlike Homer you have actual experience of our continent. Yet I don't recognise the Europe you describe here. To take one example - you write: "European culture deserves no respect. It is hideous and cruel. Kings, Princes, Popes and banking Lords prance the streets and are protected by unions of policemen and crowds of fawning housewives. Human rights are systematically abused for minorities such as Roma, Russians and people of colour. This constitutes entertainment for the European mind."
    Now I've lived in various European countries all my life but have yet to meet any King, Prince or Pope nor banking Lords prancing in the streets being protected by fawning housewives."

    If this is true, then you have never been in Amsterdam or Copenhagen as a Royal family hold festive court for adoring crowds, nor have you been present in London as a Royal wedding or birthday draws hundreds of thousands of onlookers to gawk at the spectacle in awe. Nor have you ever spoken with the concierges in five star hotels or the waiters in exclusive restaurants who speak in hushed and reverential tones about the Lords and Dukes they have served in their time on the job.

    You must have somehow avoided the proliferation of tabloid media which entertains the mob with routine and vapid descriptions of princesses getting married, princes avoiding mistresses, Kings attending ceremonies of state, queens giving charity, Lords passing judgment on law and legislation, and the multitude of other public displays of noble entitlement that blight Europe.

    If you have not witnessed these things, then perhaps you have had your eyes wide shut. I assure you, once you begin to notice the fawning class mentality of the European middle and working classes, you begin to see it everywhere. The groveling respect for those born into a higher social station in life is pervasive, and it is never far away from open expression. More significantly, the public expression of the rights of common people to vote on law and to control their nations is largely absent. Yes, some left wing union leaders wax lyric about the idea. But in the workplaces of Europe, it is more common to find someone speaking about the time they were permitted to wash the shoes of the local duke, and what a thrill and an honour that was.

    I mean, take Ashton as a classic example. She is theoretically a LABOUR representative. Never elected, and now calls herself "Baroness". And her party rank and file find that acceptable. This is a LABOUR party, made up of supposed unionists. They accept an unelected Baroness as their leader.

    Think a little about what that says about the real values of the wider society.

    Margret continued:
    "As for human rights abuses. No doubt they happen here as well as anywhere else where human rights are actually addressed rather than ignored as is the case in most of the rest of the world. Abuses against Russians? Where is that supposed to be happening? I always thought the Russians were more than capable of looking after themselves. In my experience it was always the other way round in the past - Eastern European people complaining bitterly about the treatment they received under Russian 'rule'. "

    It is happening in Latvia. Children who were born in Latvia can't travel, can't vote, and are denied public services because they do not pass "cultural tests" set down by the ruling party. And yes, eastern European do routinely complain about the treatment they received from "Russians". And if you believe it, you are a fool.

    Do you really think that the soviet communist party system needed to import evil Russians in order to perpetrate abuses against the people of member states? Seriously, is that what you believe is credible?

    Stalin was a Georgian. So was Beria. The head of the Red Army which liberated the baltic states from German and Polish Occupation was Latvian. An overwhelming majority of the NKVD in eastern Europe in the 40's and 50's were polish and lithuanian, because these folks and the language skills required for the job.

    Frankly, if you believe this nationalistic revisionism that emanates from eastern Europe about the "evil russians", you are being sold a pup on the basis of your extreme ignorance of the actual history. Easily the most infamously brutal members of the soviet regime were non russians.

    Margret continued: "
    But it is really the phrase you use 'people of colour' that I find deeply troubling. I have never heard a European talk about 'people of colour', but only about Indians, Pakistanis, Ghanains, Kenyans etc. This euphemism seems to speak of a deeply uneasy relationship you have in America as regards colour, no doubt a remant of your slave keeping past and which you don't seem to want to address. Like many of my Scottish and therefore Celtic ancestors, I have gingery hair and blue eyes. But I'm quite sure if we heard you describe us as 'people of gingery hair and blue eyes' one evening in our local pub you might get beaten up for your trouble (only joking)."

    I don't understand your point here and I am not American. I've spent a total of about 60 days in the USA and have no great desire to return except to see New York, indulge on Marcus's hospitality and wine cellar, and perhaps be adequately paid for legal services. I gather from rumour that there is significant money set aside for folks like me in that happy land, but so far I've seen no hard evidence or plan to maximize my situation in that respect. If your point is that Europeans are not generally racist towards people with dark skin, I raise my eyebrows in your direction and flare my nostrils in disbelief.

    Margret then wrote:
    "Although I appreciate the time and effort you must have taken on your latest entries, I do think that most of our fellow bloggers here don't need a lecture on facism or democracy and I don't think much would be achieved by going through them point by point. However,there is just one more thing I would like to pick you up on. You write: "In the soviet union and now in North korea, we saw and now see the departments of the communist party controlling the nomination process, and so we understand that this system of representation is no longer remotely democratic."

    This observation strikes me as entirely ludicrous seeing that you and Homer come from a country that let a man like Bush steal the presidency. We all remember the hanging chads. Considering the bad example you claim we Europeans have set in regards to true democracy (despite the fact that we invented it) I'm surprised you let him get away with it. Instead of marching on the White House you meekly let him and his cronies snatch power. So maybe now you see why I mock Homer's and now your tunnel vision."

    I think you are lapsing into unwarranted self esteem here, margret. I don't think you have established your credentials as someone who deeply understands the terms "fascism" or "democracy". You are welcome to do so, but your presumption that you are entitled to be treated as an expert BEFORE you have shown your expertise is uninspiring. It is also ironic, given the nature of our debate. You fit yourself very neatly into the template of a snobbish european pseudo intellectual. You simply presume that you are entitled to be treated as intellectual able, despite posting remarkably little of substance on the topic at hand. I find that regrettable.

    Now before you take offense, consider the intellectual standard you have set out in this last point of contention.

    Your argument boils down to the submission that because Marcus and I were unable to stop Bush from achieving the US presidency, my earlier suggestion that the North Korean system of elections is undemocratic is "ludicrous".

    With respect, I have met teenagers who would be ashamed to present this level of debate as the best they can offer.

    Your reasoning is shallow and your arguments are spurious. You have yet to set down your own understandings of democracy or representation, and to be brutally honest your posts are more heavily laden with self aggrandizing contempt for others than they are with content that strikes at the heart of the topic under debate.

    You are welcome to engage the debate, and if you are able to say something significant about democracy or liberty, then nobody will be as pleased as myself. But your assumption of authority to speak on these matters is unfounded by your contributions so far, and your rush to condescend betrays a greater preference for establishing your own entitlement rather than your own credibility.

    And that, margret, is exactly what we are debating, with regard to the European character.

    You are nobodies master here.

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  • 126. At 11:26am on 16 Oct 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    CBW, if i wrote as poorly as you, I would write less. But that is just me.

    Given that your intellect often confounds your reasoning, it may be best to take extra care with your grammar, and allow it to catch up to the galloping madness of your thoughts.

    Reading your contributions of late, I am seized by the mental apparition of a monkey riding a small pony around and around the same small circus arena, whipping the poor beast without mercy, and flinging it feces into the empty stands.

    Control yourself, sir. As best you can.

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  • 127. At 11:33am on 16 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #117 Marcus

    ´-- or just lay around rotting under the snow´

    Yes, you are correct -- we use our fallen dried comrades (with squirrel bite marks) -- solely for our medals of honor.

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  • 128. At 11:45am on 16 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Alice, if you like fresh salads you may enjoy this:


    "A senior Russian official has been branded an "imbecile" after tweeting that he found a worm in his salad during a Kremlin banquet for visiting German President Christian Wulff.

    Dmitry Zelenin, the governor of Tver region in central Russia, wrote: "The beef came with live worms. That's an original way to show that the lettuce leaf is fresh."

    He also published a photograph of the offending invertebrate online.

    Far from amused, Kremlin foreign policy advisor, Sergei Prikhodko, told Russia's RIA Novosti news agency on Wednesday that he regretted there was no rule on "firing governors for imbecility."

    An official from the office of President Dmitry Medvedev told RIA Novosti ominously that if the information in the message, which has since been deleted, proves incorrect "then the person who made this statement will be held accountable in line with the current law." [CNN]



    How nice to hear that Russia officials attach so much importance to laws of the land. :)

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  • 129. At 11:49am on 16 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    GH: "Britain suggested a freeze and got support from Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden. But the initial battle was lost."


    The strength in numbers is irrelevant in EUSSR-type of democracy.

    What matters is whether France and Germany agree.

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  • 130. At 11:51am on 16 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #113. At 10:19pm on 15 Oct 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    "I think the real problem with the EU spending increase is not the money, but that we the public aren't offered any cohesive plan on how everything will work out. Let me clarify...

    European countries want to have a strong united Europe that protects and advances European interests.

    In order to achieve strong united Europe, European countries have to pool up most of their power to a common authority."

    -------------------------

    Here we go as usual with Jukka, it's really sad that you continually believe that to have a strong united Europe it's necessary to pool up most of the member states power to a common authority. This is not necessary or even viable as is continually being demonstrated these days, large and pooling do not a success make. Look at NATO which has defended Europe for many years now, it is an agreement amongst states whereby resources are not pooled but made available when needed, and it works. It is not riddled by corruption, petty jealousies, protectionism and nationalism like your wonderful 'ever increasing union' EU that couldn't fight its way out of a paper bag. A strong Europe needs strong Sovereign states that are in accord with each other and which express a mutual interest, and a single EUSSR will never be more than yet another Socialist failure.

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  • 131. At 11:55am on 16 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    The corpses are piling up !

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  • 132. At 12:38pm on 16 Oct 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Re #126

    Oh dear, classic analogy short-circuit! What happened: Wrong ski wax!?

    Yeah, I know...

    It's tough on those Alpine slopes when Your slalom exposition of each topic is exposed as an avalanche of contradiction & reinvention of Your previous contributions.
    You find Yourself zigging on principle when You should have zagged on conscience and it's just prejudicial epithet downhill all the way...
    You know what I mean? Whether it's the jews of Israel, the British abroad, the Americans in Europe, French & the Roma, Capital Punishment & Human Rights etc. You just can't stop Your superiority self contemptuously pressing on regardless.

    Don't worry too much: Face it, You are the one constantly harping on the importance of being 'read' & how much pay You receive for being 'heard'.

    I'm sure You have spectators: It's a common human failing to wonder at the ridiculousness of some life forms!

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  • 133. At 12:50pm on 16 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    So, according to some, Lithuanians and Poles were in charge of murders committed by security services of Moscow-controlled/occupied Bulgaria, Czechia, DDR, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, etc.?

    And there were no ethnic Russians who ordered murders or actually conducted some?

    And who were Andropov, Molotov, Savinkow, Tokarev, Voroshilov, Yagoda, Yezhov, Yevdokimov, etc.? Marsians?


    And how 'bout this lovely fella?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasili_Blokhin

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  • 134. At 1:29pm on 16 Oct 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    @ 111. At 8:25pm on 15 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    --"So you excuse the people who work for an undemocratic, corrupt EU if they don't spill the beans, in other words don't rock the boat. Even if they experience totally illegal corruption they should keep quiet or get fired and that's OK. No wonder a certain Welsh ex-leader of the Labour party who was appointed as anti-corruption commissar fired a whistle blower. With such mentality the EU is dead and the sooner the goose is cooked the better."--

    ... nice strawman, read it again and you'll see I didn't say that.



    FYI:
    http://curia.europa.eu/en/actu/communiques/cp01/aff/cp0107en.htm

    ... It's not illegal to criticize the EU, not even close. A high ranking EU official published a book that contravened parts of his employment contract. He was fired. He didn't even lose his pension.

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  • 135. At 1:30pm on 16 Oct 2010, Duhcesse wrote:

    The problem is seemingly ever lasting. Countries want the EU to work better for the good of all, yet individual countries and their immature populations are always distrustful of each other, for no reason other then classic antiquated cliches or hunches and other nonsense deriving from old age thinking. How about countries taking advantage of the EU to run some of their needs and this reduce costs. Items such as smaller national parliaments, eliminating foreign service offices, delegating defense spending, transportation networks logistics and maintenance and the list goes on. The problem is not the EU but the frozen mentalities of people in individual european states. Albert Einstein, remember him?! Considered to be a very intelligent man once said; 'Nationalism is an infantile sickness it is the measles of the human race'. Don't forget people, we are all European and only with this thought in mind can the EU advance along with all of us!

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  • 136. At 1:35pm on 16 Oct 2010, resistance35 wrote:

    @108 democracythreat
    I too long for the day that the last remnants of hereditary privilege and hereditary titles is abolished once and for all time. And also, all those worthless titles such as 'baron' or 'duke'. Who do people insisting on carrying such titles think they are, anyway?

    113.Jukka Rohila wrote:
    I think the real problem with the EU spending increase is not the money, but that we the public aren't offered any cohesive plan on how everything will work out.


    I support this 'cohesive plan': abolish the EU and give the money back to where it came from in the first place.

    European countries want to have a strong united Europe that protects and advances European interests.

    Really? As far as I can see, the peoples are not at all in favor of 'endless integration'. A majority of selfproclaimed 'mainstream' policitians might be, because they find being able to bypass national parliaments handy, but the peoples are not.

    In order to achieve strong united Europe, European countries have to pool up most of their power to a common authority.

    We don't want a 'strong united Europe', we want our national democracies back. And we certainly don't want the current setup, the 100% undemocratic EU.

    Problems start when we start to execute transfer of powers, because there usually is a long lead time from pooling to getting results, and because some opportunistic or conservative elements in our societies reject the new European reality and rather look back in time thus creating roadblocks for the execution of integration.

    Those who want to transfer more powers to Brussels are the real reactionaries, because they want to build a 'fortress Europe' to keep products from African farmers and the likes out. People like me who like democracy and hate the EU look to the entire world, and are not interested in being a 'superpower'. The 'superpower' era is over anyway, and centralizing power is never a good idea, see Berlin (33-45) or Moscow (17-91).

    So we have problem, either we don't have the results we want right away or we get internal opposition. So what is the solution? The usual solutions is to start from something small and them pump it up until it replaces national institutions or decision making.

    The Monnet scheme of 'engrénage', subverting national democracy step by step.

    For example we have the EU foreign service, the end game of it is to have a single foreign service with single foreign policy, however at this time we start from something small that will just compliment what we already have and at large we have a promise that in some distant future the EU and member states will consolidate their foreign affairs.

    No we won't because the people don't support it. Ashton is unelected and speaks for no one, and my impression is the woman is an elitist who hates democracy.

    From a citizens perspective what is happening is very foggy. From a point of view of politicians and other stake holders, it is very clear on what is going to happen, the only unsure thing is when and how the EU integration engine is going to solve this problem. The only problem with this is that repeating this procedure will decrease peoples trust to their government and to the EU.

    People increasingly distrusting undemocratic EU and the treasonous politicians who sold them out is not a problem, but is to be hoped for. We must smash the undemocratic beast and return all powers to the national democracies, where they belong.

    Jukka you always seem to be holding the view that 'we must have a united Europe and if the price for that is the total destruction of democracy then that is acceptable'. To me it is not acceptable which is why I consider myself to be in the resistance. Just like our forefathers in 39-45, we shall eventually prevail, despite the monstrous size of the technocratic dictatorship facing us.

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  • 137. At 1:36pm on 16 Oct 2010, resistance35 wrote:

    The peoples (the demos in democracy) say "No more political integration, reduce EU budget".

    The national governments (elected) say "Reduce EU budget".

    The undemocratic EU (unelected) says "More money for the Reich".

    Why is the Reich not being told to get lost?

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  • 138. At 1:44pm on 16 Oct 2010, resistance35 wrote:

    135.Duhcesse wrote:The problem is not the EU but the frozen mentalities of people in individual european states.

    Tell me, am I wrong or are you another one of those who thinks national democracy should be abolished an a mutually appointed political elite should be appointed to make all the deicisions? You think that giving up democracy is a price worth paying? Because that seems to be the argument of the pro-EU crowd: "we must unite in Europe and if that means abolishing democracy then we should do that."

    To people like me, who love democracy and thus hate the EU, this is unacceptable. I don't like the pro-EU crowd's neo-feudal mentality.

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  • 139. At 1:46pm on 16 Oct 2010, Duhcesse wrote:

    To reinforce my comments (#135) all you have to do is read post #136. Where is this person's mind, caught in the past (quoting dates and events from the last century), caught in deception (EU is not democratic?!?!), in self superlatives (a resistant like his forefather of 39-45), give us all a break... minds such as this person are the problem that disables the future and impedes us from growing. Resistance35, I suggest you vote for the next EU parliament elections and talk to your MEP, discuss with them where the lack of democracy lies in the EU. I say it lies with ignorance.

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  • 140. At 1:57pm on 16 Oct 2010, resistance35 wrote:

    @139 Duhcesse

    Oh dear, another one who confuses elections with democracy. North Korea has elections for its 'parliament', do we call it democratic? I think not.

    Listen up, 'democracy' on the EU level is not possible because of the absence of a EU-demos. Democracy happens on the demos-level which happens to be the national level. I am not fooled by the creation of this faux-parliament that the EP always has been.

    And I don't like your seeming air of 'moral superiority' either. Where is the goodness in abolishing national democracy and handing powers to unelected politicians?

    It is you and the EU-crowd who live in the past, thinking that what a handful of politicians decided in the 1950s should be adhered to into infinity and forever. It is you and the pro-EU crowd who want to build a fortress Europe to protect French farmers from competition. You are living in the past, the EU is the solution to the problems of 50 years ago, but the world has moved on since. Yes, thats right, the rest of the world that I see as friends but that you clearly see as a threat that we need to have a 'EU superpower' for to protect us against.

    The worst of all is that you accept the destruction of democracy as desirable. Those who claim the EU is in any way democratic (it is not) are the ones who are ignorant.

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  • 141. At 2:01pm on 16 Oct 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    powermeerkat wrote:
    Alice, if you like fresh salads you may enjoy this:


    "A senior Russian official has been branded an "imbecile" after tweeting that he found a worm in his salad during a Kremlin banquet for visiting German President Christian Wulff.
    __________________

    Aha. Powermeer I appreciate the effort. Autumn/working season began, I'm also getting more and more busy. I understand with your schedule it is hard to find time for fishing out Russian news. a worm in the salad leaf. at a formal reception. yes. pathetic. governor-Kremlin exchange . on the worm. in the leaf. But I appreciate it :o) really as I said
    :o)))) as we say "Dear is not the present itself; dear is the attention paid!"
    :o)))))))))

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  • 142. At 2:03pm on 16 Oct 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    where the world is goig to if all to be said about Russia is a worm in the leaf in the beef...
    must be it's autumn nocturnal spirits philiosophical

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  • 143. At 2:12pm on 16 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #134. At 1:29pm on 16 Oct 2010, Benefactor

    "No it doesn't, that ruling only applys to people who work for the EU. Simply put, people who work for the EU (in a non political capacity, so it doesn't apply to MEP's.) are not allowed to make negative statements that are contrary to the goals of the EU.
    It's not ideal, but it does make sense. If I made negative statements about the place I work, and say posted them online and they subsequently found out they would be right to discipline/potentially fire me."

    I repeat :- So you excuse the people who work for an undemocratic, corrupt EU if they don't spill the beans, in other words don't rock the boat. Even if they experience totally illegal corruption they should keep quiet or get fired and that's OK. No wonder a certain Welsh ex-leader of the Labour party who was appointed as anti-corruption commissar fired a whistle blower. With such mentality the EU is dead and the sooner the goose is cooked the better.

    Now the judgement you showed the link for :- Accordingly, the need to request permission before publishing any material dealing with the work of the Communities falls within the scope of the protection of the rights of their institutions.

    The Court considered that the protection of the rights of the institutions, which are responsible for carrying out tasks in the public interest, is such as to justify, in accordance with the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, restricting freedom of expression.

    ------------------

    Now I suggest you re-read your own comment in particular your acceptance of this policy with "It's not ideal, but it does make sense" and my response whereby I express my amazement that you condone the inherent corruption for that reason. The suppression of negative comments is identical to the suppression of corruption as the two are most surely linked, so yes, my response was totally on the subject matter you raised..

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  • 144. At 2:27pm on 16 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #139. At 1:46pm on 16 Oct 2010, Duhcesse

    "Resistance35, I suggest you vote for the next EU parliament elections and talk to your MEP, discuss with them where the lack of democracy lies in the EU. I say it lies with ignorance."

    You could not be further from the truth, the ignorance is on your part if you think talking with your MP or MEP makes squat difference, as for voting for an MEP using the PR system, well I have here in Belgium many times, and due to the PR list system you get someone the party hacks like and who is usually someone the people have begun to dislike from local politics. It is seen by many wannabe MEP's as the step up from local politics where you get yours hands dirty, to the world of corruption and high expenses where you can make your fortune.

    I also used to know quite a few MP's when I was in London some thirty odd years ago so you don't need to tell people like me it is not futile when talking about the EU's lack of democracy with them. It's like asking the Christmas turkey to put its head on the block voluntarily.

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  • 145. At 2:44pm on 16 Oct 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    powermeerkat wrote:
    So, according to some, Lithuanians and Poles were in charge of murders committed by security services of Moscow-controlled/occupied Bulgaria, Czechia, DDR, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, etc.?

    And there were no ethnic Russians who ordered murders or actually conducted some?

    And who were Andropov, Molotov, Savinkow, Tokarev, Voroshilov, Yagoda, Yezhov, Yevdokimov, etc.? Marsians?


    And how 'bout this lovely fella?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasili_Blokhin
    ____________

    About the "lovely fella" certainly Russian or Ukrainian or Belorussian, all the same, as the surname translates "full of fleas".
    They didn't give nick-names in the villages for nothing :o))))
    Must be a beastly mind-iverted it seems to me murderer, who liked to murder paid or upaid, looks a natural for the execution "profession".

    Though I always have doubts re "-in" endings in Russian surnames.
    Strictly speaking, should be "-ov".
    But in wider slav and empire environment all got so much mixed up, you can't tell. When Jewish went for "Russian surname", Sov. passport system allowed to take either mum's or dad's nationality (as already stated in existing erither mum's or dad's own passport) - you'd pick up one ending with "-ov". "-in" will be second best.
    With a little bit of persistence one could also take granddad's surname or grandma's. This widened the choice to 6 surnames to choose from, for a child receiing passport at the age of 16 - and again, you'd take "-ov". There aren't even Jewish Jewish in Russia I'm afraid :o)))) as I saif - empire, big place, all mixed up to big degrees, it is very hard to find one "Russian Russian" or one "Jewish Jewish".

    It may be only if a family follows the choice on purpose, marries exclusively "own people". Or, like, if a family lives in one village for ages, doesn't travel anywhere, and as this is often the case in Russia, no money, long distances, no ras, no sense going any other place anyway :o))) that's where authentic Russians happen - in rural areas. In the cities it's hopeless to find one.

    I' for example, have got 2 Russian granddads and two very un-Russian grandma-s.

    sorry neighbours in a mionute

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  • 146. At 2:58pm on 16 Oct 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    It is often said that Greece is the cradle of democracy. But those Greeks had slaves and you don't hear that mentioned much. I don't think women had any say in government in ancient Greece either. Their so called democracy was restricted to an elite. Still it was a major step in human social order over rule by Pharoahs, Kings, Emperors, Tsars, and other assorted tyrants. That America's government was not entirely enclusive at its start is a sprurious argument only worthy of a Euron who has nothing better to offer in rebuttal. Furthermore, corruption is no stranger to America it is the human condition everywhere while elections anywhere including Saddam Hussein's Iraq, the USSR, and the EUSSR are not remotely sufficient by themselves to proclaim a nation a democracy. America's democracy has been steadily improved in its 234 year history. Enfranchisement denied to many groups originally was granted. This included people who didn't own property, ex-slaves, women, and now believe it or not there is talk that in some municipalities, non citizens might be able to vote in local elections. That last one is a bad idea IMO, it pushes the concept of democracy too far. But not only the right to vote but all other legally guaranteed rights for all people in America have become incorporated in the Constitution, enacted into law, absorbed into the culture steadily and irreversibly. That can not be said of any other country I'm aware of, certainly not to the degree it has occurred in the US.

    dt, there is a serious problem with criticizing what you call my "nationalism." My nation is made up of people who have come from every race, creed, religion, nationality, and other group of every kind in the world. Nationalism in that context is unlike nationalism in the context of other nations. In other nations with few exceptions (Canada possibly being one of them) a national is one who shares a common culture, history of affinity for a place, a racial bond. This is why places like Europe are rife with racism and exclusionism to this very day. Americanism only has as its commonality a shared set of basic values. Anyone can become an American in the truest sense. But a Turk can never truly become a German. A Pakistani will never be an Englishman no matter how many generations of his family have lived in England. England will never have a descendant of a Pakistani as its Prime Minister or King.

    An important distinction has to be made between illegal migrants and legal migrants to the US and the attitude of Americans towards them. As a nation that still cherishes its sovereignty, we feel it is our right to decide which people who are not American citizens may or may not enter the US. Those who break our laws should not be rewarded with a sure path to citizenship no matter how arduous it would be as some would have it. But immigration to the US always has been, is, and always will be its life blood, part of its perpetual process of self re-invention and self renewal.

    While the US may not be paradise on earth for everyone who lives here or a utopia, no other place in this and no other time has provided a better life for more people who otherwise would have had far fewer opportunities to exploit their own talents and energies. This is widely known around the world which is why we have a steady flood of immigrants even in the hardest of times. That is a consequence of our system and in part an explanation of why America has grown literally from nothing to the pre-emminent civilization of human history is such a short time. No other nation or group of nations whether Europe or China or India has any realistic prospect of any comparable kind of development.

    BTW, dt, the crown jewels of my wine cellar go undrunk, even unopened in their original packing crates and are kept at a constant 62 degrees in my basement. I hardly have much interest in it anymore but I do intend to drink them up slowly over time. They are mostly the best Bordeaux from 1989 and 1990 but there are some others including a small amount of Burgandy and California cabs.

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  • 147. At 3:13pm on 16 Oct 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    @ 143 Buzet

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strawman_argument

    I said the ruling applies only to EU employees, I said its implications where limited, I also said it was obviously going to be the case, you can't go around saying unflattering things about your employer and expect nothing to come of it. Now point out where I said I condone corruption? or where I said people should keep quiet?

    'Whistle-blowers' are great, I generally condone it, but most will obviously be fired/disciplined if they do it.
    They should do it anyway.

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  • 148. At 3:20pm on 16 Oct 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Duhcesse

    Re #139

    "EU is not democratic??"

    43% Voter Turnout in 2009 EP Election; 4th consecutive EU Election with less than 50% Voter endorsement of EU Parliament.
    770+ MEPs totally unaccountable to their Constituents for any policy initiative.
    Only 1 of 27 Nations (& was made to hold 2 Referenda) consulted the Citizens before Ratifying the Lisbon Treaty.
    No nation's Citizens were asked to approve the Maastricht Treaty, 1992.
    Vast 'Financial Bail-out' package taken from EU Citizens' Taxes without any consultation or approval by Citizen Tax-payers.
    A President of the EU selected without any consultation or consent of Citizens.
    Ongoing & increasing encroachment of EU-Brussels & EU ECJ authority & power in sovereign State affairs without consultation or consent of Citizens.
    An EU Commission membership nominated in secret & awarded by under-the-counter political connivance to 'officials' frequently described as jobsworth or at the end of National careers.
    Duplicitous chicanery by Brussels from the rules governing the set-up of the EUro-zone to the supposed ban on Subsidies.

    The list of EU anti-Democratic abuse of power, corrupt practises & venality is its only genuine annual growth factor.

    Frankly, describing the EU as even related in any form to the Political term, 'Democracy', is akin to suggesting the USSR was a bastion of Human Rights!

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  • 149. At 3:28pm on 16 Oct 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    anyway, surnames are deceiving in Russia. we get oriented by first names and patronymics. for you patronymics are a mystery :o) - for us - a very useful tool to know who is who. for first names speak a lot, and there are certain steady preferences for first names among our empire various peoples.

    Vasily - in that murderer's case - I would tell as Russian. Because of the first name. In spite of the surname ending with "-in" which sounds border empire people exactly living on the outskirts, Lithuanian corner, Belorussian-Polish, bordering with Europe quarters.


    As to the politburo and early revolutionary flock of names , that you've listed, powermeer, neermind ending with "-ov" you need to look into first names and patronymics.

    In the Teacher's training college where I studied English a century ago :o) - all my cohort ended by "-ov" and all were Jewish, but two people.
    One boy, because no men wanted to be teachers, and he was taken to the Foreign Languages department without acquaintances.
    And one girl, Natasha. Her mother was a teacher, her grandmother was a teacher, her great grand :o)))), and she also wanted to be a teacher, and works since that as a school director, as far as I know, indeed.
    And is very happy. She was taken without acquaintances either.
    Just one Russian, for fun :o))))

    Foreign languages departments were same easy to pass entrance exams to without "blat"/using acquaintance as I don't know to enter Actor's faculty of the Cinematographie university.
    Well, those would have 100 applicants per a student's place. while foreign langauges , say 40-50.

    I managed only by ruining my health I would say enirely :o)))), going to the Russian Far East, Ussurijsk, a tiny town on the border with China. I entered that Far East Foreig Languages university housed hell knows where, studied a year, then transferred back, home to Leningrad, to our local foreign lanaguages faculty.

    That is, I thought I would :o)))) By rules - one could change universities after full years of study 1 full year, or 2 full years, etc. But that is by rules. I reality, the Leningrad one arranged me an "interview on English phonetics" :o))))))) - when I applied with papers after one year of study in Ussurijsk.

    By the book, I didn't have to pass any exams, on transfer, as I ended the first year of study with all"5" - your equivalent of "A".

    But the faculty in Leningrad got real paranoid, about this un-orthodox solution :o)))), of entering their precious selected elite institution being nobody and from nowhere, without the said "blat".

    So I held un-official entrance exams anyway, and they concluded I know nil :o), and can only be worth starting all over again, from scratch, from the first year programme again. So in the result I studied English, German and Latin not for five years, as due theoretically , but 1 in Ussurijsk and 5 again in Leningrad/St. Petersburg.

    So, powermeer, don't poke Russian in the nose with Russian surnames.
    :o))))) Our fabric of eh society is very intricate. You don't understand it. It only seems to you that on the ancient neighbour rights, as a Polish at a time, that you do. We were always hostile with Poland that's why the Polish kept on us a selective record (and we on them). We don't know each other much.

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  • 150. At 3:31pm on 16 Oct 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    to Margaret I would add that empire business requires empire people.
    Who do things in the name of mysterious Russians :o)))))))) who sit in their villages .. somewhere.. and are traditionally the least possible in the empire to do any thing :o)))))

    But all refer to them :o) love them dearly :o))))) as a concept here
    all the groupings. and all "know one" :o))))))))

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  • 151. At 3:41pm on 16 Oct 2010, Duhcesse wrote:

    If democracy only happens in independent states (quoting Resistance35 and Buzet23) than it is logical to think there is no democracy in UK and USA, since all the different composing states are amalgamated into one 'superstate'. Let's than separate all US 50 states into sovereign states, give freedom to Scotland and Wales and N.I. let us than see how the populations of the once 'great' nations fare at that point, let us observe the great economical and social benefits arising from that!!! And Buzet you speak of the EP from 30 years ago, did you learn anything else since then, educated yourself perhaps? Did you guys ever hear of economies of scale? Further if the ideals of the founding fathers of the EU did not come to full fruition yet, it is because of the walls of ignorance placed by the so called Nationalists.

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  • 152. At 3:52pm on 16 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    For those who are not yet aware --the Gauntlet has been thrown by DT (#59 and #60) and Marcus (#74)

    Please attempt to refrain from simplistic nationalistic (oft repeated) tendencies.

    Awards will also be presented posthumously.

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  • 153. At 4:29pm on 16 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #151. At 3:41pm on 16 Oct 2010, Duhcesse,

    Read what people write before you criticise, I spoke of UK MP's 30 years ago and nothing about the EEC 30 years ago. Secondly I have never in any post said that democracy only happens in independent states, understand! It is clear the last 30 years have been an intellectual abyss for you from your rather primitive comments, the rather quaint old fashioned idea of economies of scale has long been surpassed by the modern world and globalisation and apply more to running a household budget than many businesses these days as there are many other more appropriate methods other than just EOS.

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  • 154. At 4:34pm on 16 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #147. At 3:13pm on 16 Oct 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    "Now point out where I said I condone corruption? or where I said people should keep quiet?"

    You asked so here it is, ":- people who work for the EU (in a non political capacity, so it doesn't apply to MEP's.) are not allowed to make negative statements that are contrary to the goals of the EU.". Whistle blowing is a negative comment and those who have their noses in the EU trough will be the first to claim negative comments are against the goals of the EU.

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  • 155. At 4:53pm on 16 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #146 Marcus

    #152 also goes for you !

    -- Don´t go off on an unnecessary tangent !

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  • 156. At 5:05pm on 16 Oct 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    by the way this "nationality" thing - this reminds me - my dacha neighbour said she'll come at 10 bring me "sharlott-ka" (apply pie)
    (named after some Charlotte I am sure) - and will do Census on me!

    This is Census weekend in Russia, and the neighbour does the record for the village.

    So I will have to choose nationality :o) as well :o)
    Russia's censuses are always funny, end up by lots of Marsians and hobbits, and who only not

    And even in USSR they didn't ask for passports, you can tell whatever.
    I don't know will there be a question about religion this time. Will see, interesting, what they ask this time.

    So in the remaining two hours (before the apple pie arrival) I will think what nationality will be my assumed :o)))) income I guess and who is the head of the household :o)))))

    Might appoint Jolly Roger :o)

    I'll be recorded then as a villager ? yes.
    Since we haven't evacuated yet by taxi to the city :o))))

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  • 157. At 5:35pm on 16 Oct 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Duhcesse

    Re #151

    A fully independent England governed from a Westminster Parliament elected by English Citizens with English Taxes going to England's needs!

    Bring it on!

    50,000,000 English freed of the yoke of 11,000,000 Irish, Welsh, Scottish hangers-on: To say nothing of the possibility an English Referendum freeing it of the dull, stagnating, corrupt, anti-democratic, one-size-fits-all catastrophe called the EU!

    Bring it on!

    Yes, let us see how well the EU manages when its 3rd largest contributor pulls the plug on Brussels and all Brussels gets in return is the hand-wringing, whinging, subsidised 3 'union' nations with their begging bowls!

    Somehow, I just cannot imagine Brussels declaring, 'bring it on!'

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  • 158. At 7:01pm on 16 Oct 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    at 125 democracythreat writes:
    ".. and to be brutally honest your posts are more heavily laden with self aggrandizing contempt for others than they are with content that strikes at the heart of the topic under debate."
    at 126 dt writes:
    "Reading your contributions of late, I am seized by the mental apparition of a monkey riding a small pony around and around the same small circus arena, whipping the poor beast without mercy, and flinging it feces into the empty stands."

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  • 159. At 9:08pm on 16 Oct 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    at 126 dt writes: (about TPT Peggy):
    "Reading your contributions of late, I am seized by the mental apparition of a monkey riding a small pony around and around the same small circus arena, whipping the poor beast without mercy, and flinging it feces into the empty stands."

    You're lucky TPT, you caught dt on one of his kinder gentler more generous days. I shudder to think of what he'd post about you if the moderators allowed it on one of his meaner crueler more rancorous days.

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  • 160. At 9:54pm on 16 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    Hi Web Alice,

    Thank you for coming here. Welcome.

    I think I just might go to the "blogspot" this weekend or this week and look around.

    :)

    I'm busy tonight...but I'm gonna miss so much of the fun...here.

    All this blood.... "You guys WILL clean up this mess!"

    "Have fun."

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  • 161. At 11:28pm on 16 Oct 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    GH: "Britain suggested a freeze and got support from Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden. But the initial battle was lost."

    And that, according to you ,is a sign of the "EUSSR" being un-democratic?

    If Britain fails to move forward with its proposal and fails to get France, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Malta, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia on its side - in other words, if a clear majority of governments, that clearly represent an overwhelming majority of "EUSSR" citizens, remain unconvinced by Britain's proposal, you call it un-democratic?

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  • 162. At 11:31pm on 16 Oct 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    159 Homer Simpson writes:
    at 126 dt writes: (about TPT Peggy):
    "Reading your contributions of late, I am seized by the mental apparition of a monkey riding a small pony around and around the same small circus arena, whipping the poor beast without mercy, and flinging it feces into the empty stands."

    Sorry to disappoint you Homer but if you look again you will see that he addressed CBW at 126. The battery not fully charged tonight or did the call of the crown jewels in your wine cellar prove too strong?

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  • 163. At 11:47pm on 16 Oct 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    156 Alice writes: "my dacha neighbour said she'll come at 10 bring me "sharlott-ka" (apply pie)
    (named after some Charlotte I am sure)

    Do you mean 'Apple Charlotte', the pudding made from bread and apple puree? This is what one of my cookery books says about it:
    "Historians say that this sweet dish took its name from Queen Charlotte (1744–1818), wife of George III of the United Kingdom.[3][4] It is possible that the dessert takes its name from Alexander I's sister-in-law, Charlotte of Prussia."
    There is also a recipe for 'Charlotte russe' (russian charlotte?) which you might be familiar with.

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  • 164. At 11:53pm on 16 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #157 CBW

    Stick to the facts-- when the colonies went so did the easy money. Britain was broke (as now).

    Do you really think Britains´departure from the EU will destroy mainland Europe ?

    --either wishful thinking or stupidity ?

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  • 165. At 00:21am on 17 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    DT

    Congratulations on your #59 and #60.

    It is unfortunate that Marcus was unable to break away from his Ayn Rand indoctrination and flag waving.

    --- this however in no way belittles your argumentation.

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  • 166. At 00:55am on 17 Oct 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Margaret, I am not sure which Charlotte, English or Prussian, it is named after. I don't think anyone knows (here). There has always been "Charlotte-ka" :o) and it always means a kind of an apple pie :o)

    Now, I am hopeless in the kitchen. By googling "kak sdelat' sharlotku?" - how to do a Charlotte pie? - I see variations on one and the same theme: 1 glass of flour, 1 glass of sugar, 3 eggs, apples, at times it's "1/2 tea-spoon of baking soda hushed down by a bit of vinegar" added as well others manage without :o), many recommend adding sour cream for fluffiness? puffiness? so that it raises more puffy, and easier, the pie, and is more? airy? - these people with sour cream skip the soda+vinegar additive. They all seem to mix it all somehow, some beat up eggs by a mixer, others - by a fork:o), some mix up eggs separating egg whites from yoks yo? anyway , beating up separately egg whitrs and? "tgg yellows?" :o) - and then mixing them uop together, to this they add flour and sugar and it seems they all mix it up things somehow, in short!
    Pour into a baking eh? metal dish, butter the dish up with butter, sip some flour onto the buttered dish or ? bread dry crumbs? thin? fine? so that the pie can un-stick away from the metal baking dish later on, and toss in there cut up apple pieces, and put it all into oven, and forget for ab 15-20 minutes :o)

    As to me, of sweet things I can make only Napoleon cake (in this case it is clear. which Napoleon :o) 7 layers ! of thin crunchy eh? layers, anyway, intermitted with cream. rather, not cream, like in milk, but cream like in cakes :o) butter-based. you bake those layers separately, then start piling up a pile - first layer - cream - second layer - cream, and so on. It is all pale and soaks through, and sticks together eventually :o), the whole pile, into one cake.
    And I can also do Lemon pudding fro Charleston in the USA old book of recepies and I'm afraid that's all :o))))) with my sweet-side kitchen accomplishments :o))))

    Neighbours' Charlotte pie is though good, I will ask how made.

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  • 167. At 01:06am on 17 Oct 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Right now at 5 minutes to 4 am :o)))))))), in the dacha's verrandah :o), in a coat and 10 jumpers, hat on :o), C +1 :o)))) I am making apple jam :o)))) Which tries to freeze up :o)) instead of being finished off. finally! and packed into a glass jar.
    Apples are perishing around me in huge quantities, nothing to do.
    One can't eat raw apples so many at once :o) And how to make them keep I don't know. If I leave them in the dacha mice will eat them up granted. And anyway they will freeze up. If I take a bag of apples to the city apt - it's warm there everywhere, central heating is switched on, and will stay switched on pan-Russia in the cities till mid-May. We can't switch it off by ourselves :o) be it minus 20 or plus 20 :o)Apples will rot.

    So I am making jam, for the lack of better ideas :o)
    Mix up apples fifty-fifty with small red berries, don't know the English for.
    On-line dictionary tells me "cowberry" or "mountain cranberry".
    It isn't cranberry, those are big, more or less. These ones are tiny red things. And I would say :o) they grow in marshes and bogs and swamps, not in the mountains :o)
    That's the one that goes as a side thing to beef well, on a plate, in a sort of a jam-puree slightly sweet format.
    It preseres things around by itself, an anti-septic berry :o), so when you mix it with apples it's a. tastier simple apple jam is boring
    b. it keeps apple jam till spring, you don't have to make it overly sweet in order to keep it in glass jars.
    On-line dictionaries tell me

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  • 168. At 01:19am on 17 Oct 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    European racism gets an official stamp right here;

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11559451

    Germany like other European cultures cannot assimilate foreigners the way America can. It will not tolerate them, will not alter its main stream Germanic culture, will not allow racial impurities to become part of the German bloodline. They will never be Germans, they will always be foreigners no matter how many generations they live there for. With no place else to go what will become of them?

    "While acknowledging that this was the case, Mrs Merkel stressed that immigrants living in Germany needed to do more to integrate, including learning to speak German.

    "Anyone who does not immediately speak German", she said, "is not welcome"."

    This miserable closed xenophobic hate filled failure of a society, this pathetic excuse for civilization expects to compete aganinst the United States of America? What a peurile joke. Europe is exactly what I say it is and here is just one more stone on top of the Mount Everest of evidence to prove it. And it comes hot on the heels of the Hitler exhibit to boot. What timing! But could have been said anywhere else in Europe at any time during the last 5000 years and likely for the next 5000 years.

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  • 169. At 02:00am on 17 Oct 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    powermeer, fresh catch for you:

    Vladimir, xxxx! Again! Every night - out of mausoleum - and right into the kitchen!
    - And, what's the matter, why not?
    - There are worms in the mausoleum!
    :o))))))))))))))))

    A worm at a Kremlin reception dinner:
    - Waiter! Waiter! There is a governor in my plate!


    President's advisor said that such governors who tweet about their salad leaf findings should be fired for imbecility and denied acess to the pigs' ? state trove? feeding place.
    "Because the worm was wiser than the governor: chose the right plate, ate silently, with good appetite, and kept quiet at that."


    Vladimir, what should we do with Russians in the country? They speak when not spoken to lately.
    - What to do, Dimitry? Same as in the USSR. Keep them in average quantities - not very many, otherwise they will start demanding rights of the majority. And not very little - or else they will start demanding rights of a minority.

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  • 170. At 05:08am on 17 Oct 2010, Jan_Keeskop wrote:

    WebAliceinwonderland: I don’t know about the Russian Charlotte pie, but the one that I’m familiar with (Charlotte aux pommes) corresponds with Margaret’s, i.e. that it has trimmed white bread for its “crust”, and that it was named for the British Charlotte, Mrs. George III. — and by British, I mean German, since she came from one of the Mecklenburgs, I think.

    Napoléon I. or Napoléon III.? ;*)

    For storing apples, if you have a cool spot in your flat, you could put the apples in a bucket and fill the bucket with cold water, changing the water as needed; it won’t preserve them indefinitely, but it will lengthen their “shelf life”. If keeping them frozen over the winter would be easier (on a balcony? at the dacha in a mouseproof container?), then slice them up first rather than freezing them whole.

    The little red berry (brusnika?) would probably be called a lingonberry on this side of the Atlantic.

    MarcusAureliusII: At minimum, Germany seems to have assimilated Huguenot and Masurian immigrants rather well; one of Merkel’s grandparents was Masurian. I don’t know if the article has been revised since you’d read it, but at this time it states

    While acknowledging that [Islam is part of Germany], Mrs Merkel stressed that immigrants living in Germany needed to do more to integrate, including learning to speak German.

    “We should not be a country either which gives the impression to the outside world that those who don’t speak German immediately or who were not raised speaking German are not welcome here,” she said. “That would do great damage to our country.”


    This is rather different from the extract in your post.

    Regarding the UK, Boris Johnson is the great-grandson of an interior minister of the Ottoman Empire. Do you believe that the average Briton views him as being Turkish?

    Or for your belovèd France ;*) , is your view that the average Frenchman sees Sarkozy as being Hungarian rather than French?

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  • 171. At 07:09am on 17 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "I understand with your schedule it is hard to find time for fishing out Russian news."


    No, Alice, it isn't. Kremlin's spokesman saying on RT that building a Formula 1 race truck in Sochi and bringing F1 races would be of great benefit to whole Russia.

    I was pleased to hear that so little would do the trick.

    Particularly after watching a report about living conditions in Sakhalin and Kamchatka. ;)

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  • 172. At 07:17am on 17 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Alice: "Though I always have doubts re "-in" endings in Russian surnames."


    Like in Marshal Konev's? :)


    And how 'bout them 'ski' endings like im Marshall Rodion Malinowski and Marshal Konstantin Rokossovski's surnames?

    Are't they still Russian heroes, just like certain Feliks Derzhynski? :)



    [as if not deeds, but names really mattered.]

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  • 173. At 07:35am on 17 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    MAII " In other nations with few exceptions (Canada possibly being one of them) a national is one who shares a common culture, history of affinity for a place, a racial bond. This is why places like Europe are rife with racism and exclusionism to this very day."





    Cf. Most recent pronoucements by Angela Merkel and other prominent German politicians regarding immigrants who've refused to integrate and Madam Chancellor's statement that "multiculturalism has been a big failure". [something Mr. Sarrazin has said long time ago]

    With French Pres. Sarkozy uttering similar things, just as many a Dutch or even -horrible dictu! -a Swedish politican.


    Now, such non-PC views would have been be totally unacceptable in Old Europe merely 10 years ago, and statesmen expressing them publically would see their political careers coming to and abrupt end.


    But not any longer.

    As for their societies' views - check yourselves results of recent polls.

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  • 174. At 07:39am on 17 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Alice: "powermeer I've been missing you as well."

    [just as Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turmenistan, etc.]




    I know, Alice, I know.

    That's the only reason I still stick around. :)

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  • 175. At 07:47am on 17 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re patronimics...


    I agree, Alice, that to many of us they are a mystery.

    That's why I prefer to refer to, say, Catherine the Great simply by her proper name -Sophie Friederike Auguste vonAnhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg -
    rather then Sofia Christianovna. :)

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  • 176. At 08:06am on 17 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re "sharlott-ka"...



    Alice in Wonderland is absolutely correct: it is an apple PIE, not a pudding; often with cinnamon and raisins added, and in some versions topped with whipped cream.

    Personally, I like the Viennese version best.

    Although Bavarian one is not bad at all, either.

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  • 177. At 08:09am on 17 Oct 2010, Jan_Keeskop wrote:

    BluesBerry: On post 12, is that UK Corporation Tax a flat rate tax? Here in the States, it isn’t; ours varies between 15% and 39%. See the Swiss constitution, Article 128, for a lower maximum still.

    N11BOT: In post 22, it might be easier for you to answer your own question by reversing it: at what point does brigandage and exploitation become legitimate government and taxation?

    quietoaktree: Regarding post 66, perhaps by striving to put Articles 2, 5, and 6, and Title 2 of the Swiss constitution into practice?

    MarcusAureliusII: For post 74, my view is that republic is a more accurate term than democracy would be for the system here. Some of the New England states could be described as democracies at (only) the local level of governance.

    Regarding the separation of powers (merci, Montesquieu!), that has been weakened in recent decades by Congress effectively abrogating some of its responsibilities to the executive, e.g. “fast-track” trade agreements.

    generalissimo33: With post 79, I am curious about the use of the word “natural” to describe the trans-Atlantic alliance. What makes it part of nature? Whom do you see as presenting the main challenge to Europe (or at least to the EU) in this century?

    resistance35: To post 85, we don’t elect a President; even though the Presidential candidates’ names are on our ballots, we delegate our choices to the Electors of the Electoral College, and the Electors elect a President. Note that there is no Constitutional requirement for the Electors’ votes to mirror the ballot choices.

    margaret howard: As your post 114 notes, “people of colour” is a rather Heath Robinson turn of phrase. It exists because less euphemistic descriptions (e.g. “Negroes”, “coloured people”, “blacks”, “African-Americans”) have sometimes been perceived as having negative connotations to varying degrees at different times and places. The current phrase can be seen as an example of American political correctness in action, and in time could well join the other descriptions as possibly having negative connotations to some — at which point a new descriptive contraption will need to be deployed.

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  • 178. At 08:52am on 17 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    " So, powermeer, don't poke Russian in the nose with Russian surnames."




    I don't Alice, and I never have.

    On the contrary, I've pointed more than once that names (incl. 1st ones and patronimics) don't matter and the only thing which does and should is what has a person accomplished/done in life and what nation/culture he/she has identified with (having a free choice).


    It's rather than quite a few posters from Russia point out obsessively that this or that 'dark hat'.(say Khrushchev or Andropov) was allegedly a Ukrainian or a Jew and not an ethnic 'Russian Russian' to borrow your expression.


    Strangely they do not have a problem to claim as 'Russian Russians 'white hats' they're proud of: such as, say, Kapitsa, Kogan, Landau, Oistrakh, Richter, Sikorski, Stravinski, Tsiolkovski, etc.

    Ethnicity doesn't necessarily bond people and create a similar outlook.


    What did Vasily Blokhin and Vladimir Nabokov have in common?

    What have gen. Sudoplov and gen. Kalugin had?

    Or, to change countries : Kim Philby and Margaret Thatcher?

    gen. de Gaulle and Marshall Petain?

    Salvador Allende and Augusto Pinochet?

    Shah Reza Pahlavi and Aytollah Khomeini?

    Larry Flynt and John Steinbeck?

    I'm sure you'd agree that hardly anything.


    P.S. I've noticed, more than once, that Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev is Russian, when Russians point out to an end of Stalinism, but a Ukrainian when they mention "Great Famine" or returning Crimea to Ukraine.

    And that Stalin is "a great Russian leader" when Soviet victory in WWII is discussed, but a "Georgian monster" when mass crimes and purges in USSR are mentioned.

    Pretty schizophrenic I'd say. Wouldn't you?

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  • 179. At 09:02am on 17 Oct 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    Are we beating our heads against a brick wall , a lot of hot air , puce in the face with outrage and indignation . The EU is making a grave mistake raising salaries at this time of political and financial insecurity . It will serve as one more nail in the coffin of the illfated EU , in its efforts to become the EUSSR . I do not believe it will ever achieve that end of a single European Federal State , so don't let's get our hair in a twist .

    David

    Re Hyacinth Bucket

    In my youth I was an actor . My first professional role in the theatre was in a Pantomime " Cinderella ". Patricia Routledge was the slender but shapely Principal Boy . A more charming , generous , humourous person one could not wish to meet , she has a superb singing voice too . Pat kept us all in stitches of laughter in the wings with her antics and funny asides . I subsequently worked with her in a comedy , in which she was truly marvelous . I knew then that she would go far .

    Margaret Howard

    Re your reference to redish hair and blue eyes , don't you mean ginger box .

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  • 180. At 09:20am on 17 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Alice: Vladimir, what should we do with Russians in the country? They speak when not spoken to lately."



    That's been a problem with Russia, historically, as I see it.

    The populace always asking leaders what to do and turning to leaders with everything.

    Rather than Russian people TELLING leaders what they want done, and if it's not -trying to elicit change themselves.

    And if they cannot -remove those leaders who are obstacles to a change.

    I don't want to be prophet of doom, but I suspect that your Vladimir (the one who still lives) will become your president. Again. And again.
    While Mr. Medvedev migh become a new premier. For a change :)

    "Revoling doors" we call it.


    P.S. We have some major changes to do in the U.S. as well.

    Hopefully, in two weeks time we will.

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  • 181. At 09:27am on 17 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "So I will have to choose nationality :o) as well :o)"




    Would you opt for Mingrelian?

    Hardly anybody would know what that is.

    [and since nobody cares to remember what certain Lavrenti... was...:)]

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  • 182. At 10:25am on 17 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #161. At 11:28pm on 16 Oct 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    "in other words, if a clear majority of governments, that clearly represent an overwhelming majority of "EUSSR" citizens, remain unconvinced by Britain's proposal, you call it un-democratic?"

    I'm sorry but the government politicians who were the majority do not represent 'an overwhelming majority of EUSSR citizens".As has been pointed out here by many posters the last European Parliament was elected by just 43% of the citizens voting, further more the council of Europe and the Commission have never been elected. In the discussion you mentioned I think it was the finance ministers of each country that attended, so what proportion of their individual country they in theory represent is unlikely to be more than the upper 30 percents.

    Therefore when you say 'overwhelming majority' you could not be more wrong, they represent a minority in their countries, that's all.

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  • 183. At 10:31am on 17 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #164. At 11:53pm on 16 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    "Do you really think Britain's´departure from the EU will destroy mainland Europe ?"

    No it will not, but it would have one very significant effect that cannot be disputed, the EU budget would have to be re-drawn due to the loss of the UK's significant contribution. I doubt whether Germany or France would raise their contributions to compensate for the loss of the UK's contribution, which means projects would be cancelled, sacred cows like the CAP may have to change (horror of all horrors to the French) and there would no doubt be a bun fight as to who gets what from a smaller pot.

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  • 184. At 12:14pm on 17 Oct 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    K;

    I cut and pasted Merkels's quote with a link so you can verify it for yourself. If you are saying that she didn't say that and that BBC is an unreliable source of news I'd tend to agree with you. However, they should publish an immediate retraction if they made a mistake. If you are right their quote credits her with saying exactly the opposite of what she said. Do you have a link to a report that contests BBC's version?

    The structure of the USA's government is a federal republic. This has proven far more effective for us than a parliamentary system would have been. A wise choice.

    In enacting laws, it is said Congress proposes, the President disposes. That means than all bills which might become laws must be initiated and passed in Congress and only then does the President have the choice to sign it or veto it. The Congress can override his veto. Foreign treaties must pass by a two thirds majority. No President can enact a foreign treaty by fiat the way Gordon Brown had the power to sign Britain's sovereignty over to Brussels by signing the Lisbon Treaty himself without prior approval.

    If you are suggesting that Congress has not done its job effectively over the past few decades, you are not alone. The overwhelming majority of Americans don't think Congress is performing well and its favorable ratings in the polls are even lower than the President's.

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  • 185. At 12:23pm on 17 Oct 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    powermeerkat;

    "Now, such non-PC views would have been be totally unacceptable in Old Europe merely 10 years ago, and statesmen expressing them publically would see their political careers coming to and abrupt end."

    It is one thing to proclaim you are a mutlicultural society, another to actually be one. As usual, Europe was a lot of hot air, all talk and no action. Remember when Tony Blair was President of the EU and said he was going to make Europe the best place in the world to do business? Today would be a very hard day to be an employee of the French Chamber of Commerce. Madison Avenue's best advertising agency would find making a good case for investing in France mission impossible.

    The US actually has a surprisingly homgenious culture. There are many alternative subcultures which exist on the fringes but they are usually reabsorbed sooner or later into the larger culture or at least their members are. I'd bet the children and grandchildren of immigrants who lived in the Spanish speaking barrios of the inner cities have mostly moved out into the suburbs and faded into the larger American culture. Meanwhile new Spanish speaking immigrants have replaced them. Just an example of a general principle. Even isolated religious cults who form a subculture are usually relatively short lived.

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  • 186. At 12:30pm on 17 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    Democracythreat

    The ´Order of the Oak´has convened and has decided to present you with our medal of honor in gold.

    Two dried acorns with stem (squirrel nibbled) and the ribbon of gold ( beautiful decaying Autumn leaves).

    The Order of the Oak also informs that such eloquent contributions as your #59 and #60 will be similarly rewarded to worthy contributors.

    CONGRATULATIONS !

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  • 187. At 12:38pm on 17 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    Marcus

    --Did you get rid of my #68 --it got past the Mods ???

    --and you were still awake.

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  • 188. At 12:46pm on 17 Oct 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    QOT

    Re #164 and, "..stick to the facts.. colonies went..easy money.." plus, "..do you really think Britain's departure from the EU will destroy mainland Europe?"

    Do You never actually bother to consider 'facts' before commenting? Really think You should follow Your own advice & 'stick to facts'!

    E.g. 2..destroy EU..": What are You on about?

    My #157 doesn't mention 'empire' and nowhere on any Blog have I ever suggested G.B. (& #157 was all about England!) withdrawing from the EU would 'destroy' it!

    My premis is England minus the 3 'UK' nations could manage its affairs very well; furthermore, I believe that England (after democratic referendum) would withdraw from the EU an even better scenario for England.
    The EU would be left with N.Ireland, Scotland & Wales whose economies depend on England - - I await the Nationalist outrage, but plain fact is 50,000,000 English Tax-payers & its 'market' is the substance of the UK - - that sort of arrangement the 3 have expressed they are dissatisfied with & want out.

    IMO, after the last 20 years none of them 'want out' half as much as England & the English deserve to be 'out' of the UK.

    What the EU does with the half-baked 3 economies other than subsidise in the manner England has done for generations is upto Brussels.
    IMO Brussels will not want to 'bring it on' because the loss of England & 50million with the addition of 3 much smaller, less viable fully independent nations is a nightmare of expense for Brussels.

    I'm very aware there will be problems for England as well and it must maintain (repeatedly explained in previous blogs) good political-economic-social ties with the EU: This will apply equally to the EU whose membership will not want to lose/damage the huge 'market' & 'interests' they share in England.

    IMO England's withdrawal can in time be nothing but a political & economic development for good for England & for the EU.
    It is also my opinion Brussels loathes the idea of any State withdrawing & particularly its 3rd largest contributor which will also offer an alternative Political-Economic system to the EU straitjacket.
    Nothing about the post-Maastricht EU political record suggests it will accept the Democratic Free-will expression of the English Citizens and permit a breakaway, but IMO it is inevitable and it just remains to be seen if that withdrawal is accomplished by equitable agreement amongst all, or more unpleasant methods are required.

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  • 189. At 12:54pm on 17 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    Buzet23

    Horrors to her Majesty and the British public who will be obliged to replace her loss !

    400,000 for Sandringham alone.

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  • 190. At 1:39pm on 17 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #188 CBW

    http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/history-of-immigration/3

    Are we discussing the history of the same ´democratic´country ????

    If you wish Canada, Australia and America will follow.

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  • 191. At 1:40pm on 17 Oct 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    QOT, I had nothing to do with your 68 (and I certainly don't want to hear about your 69.) The only time I have ever complained to the mods about a posting was when someone who uses a moniker almost identical to mine posts something and then not because it was offensive but I don't want someone to think I was getting soft. As for your dirivel, don't expect me to try to stop you from continuing to make an abject fool of yourself in public. If it's okay with you, it's okay with me.

    K;

    I misread Merckel's quote and I listened to the news clip to verify it. Chalk it up to filtration by Seagrams 7. However, I'm sure there are many in Germany who really do feel that people who come to Germany should be speaking German soon after they arrive.

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  • 192. At 2:10pm on 17 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    CBW

    Your argument is still with British ´democracy´ --- no matter how many summersaults you perform.

    Its weaknesses are first used by British governments --who then tell the EU not to worry--´We (the government) have everything under our control.´ is their message to Brussels.

    Meanwhile Brits like yourself are barking up the wrong (oak) tree.

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  • 193. At 2:12pm on 17 Oct 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    cbw, I've read that English taxpayers do subsidize Scotland. This came up in discussions about devolution and Scottish independence. It is an indication that many Scots must have intense hatred for England that having a well known strong reputation for thriftiness and stinginess, they'd give up that subsidy for separation. How ironic it is that England which in past centuries received so much wealth by stealing it from other countries and other people is now experiencing an outflow as a kind of imprisoned colony itself. And why does it find itself in this situation? Because its government lied to its people and they didn't hold them to account for it. When Britain voted for entry into the EU, it was sold as a free trade zone which would be an asset. Instead it has turned into a liability in which wealth is steadily transferred, drained in the typical European manner of altruism where it is rationalized as being for the greater good and there but for the grace of god go I yada, yada, yada. And what will the English do about it? Absolutely nothing. People really do get the government they deserve.

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  • 194. At 2:29pm on 17 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #189. At 12:54pm on 17 Oct 2010, quietoaktree

    Here we go again with your fixation about the Royal family, in this case it will make no difference since if the Queen benefits from the CAP then that's money the UK has paid in any case. The benefit to the UK leaving the EU is the difference between revenue and expenditure, which is the net contribution, as that does go to mainland countries and never the UK.

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  • 195. At 2:37pm on 17 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #191 Marcus

    I apologize for my insinuation.

    The problem is not people making fools of themselves-- but when they are not.-- that is more difficult to handle.

    Luckily you seldom fall into this previous category ---only once did you make the mistake and that appears to be your mixing of Seagrams 7 with ginger ale.


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  • 196. At 3:00pm on 17 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #194 Buzet 23

    We are running around in circles !

    If Britain leaves the EU, the subsides to the ´Farmers´, should remain ???

    Yes or No !

    I thought the persistent idea for Britain to leave the EU was to save money for the British taxpayer and not at their continual expense ???

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  • 197. At 3:05pm on 17 Oct 2010, Illogicbuster wrote:

    Axiom: A self-evident proposition, requiring no formal demonstration to prove its truth, but received and assented to as soon as mentioned

    The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money to spend.

    So, who on this board didn't see this problem coming down the road at them? Hmmm?


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  • 198. At 3:17pm on 17 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #197 illogicbuster

    Tell that to the 41 million Americans on food stamps --- and run !

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  • 199. At 3:49pm on 17 Oct 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Re #164, #188, #189 & #196

    Unfortunately You have reverted to utter dross in Your contributions.

    Yes, we are running around 'in circles' again: Circles of Your utterly unfounded, trivia referrals that at every stage deliberately evade the topic under discussion.

    E.g. UK Monarchy, UK Empire.. a link to New Zealand immigration!

    Time & time again some of us try to bring You in to normal debate within the parameters of common sense topics; time & time again You choose to go off at absurd & outlandish tangents that barely allude to the blog.

    Forget it: IMO it is just not worth anyone's time to discuss the 'aristocracy & CAP' for the umpteenth time with You, as if there were any meaningful connection in the 21st century when nothing of that matters to 60,000,000 Britons and even less to the EU27 or Brussels.

    Infact: Forget You, is my vow.

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  • 200. At 3:49pm on 17 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #196. At 3:00pm on 17 Oct 2010, quietoaktree,

    There is no Yes or No to that question as it will depend on the circumstances in England at the time and what is considered to be needing support. Whether that be farmers per se, or heritage sites that happen to have farms and be occupied by Royalty or just farmers is for a rational judgement not based on personal vengeance due to political beliefs or jealousy. Just as regional development aid which the UK currently receive would not finish with leaving the EU, the government would no doubt evaluate where English money should be spent without being influenced by the EU.

    Whether farms need subsidies though is a mute point that flies in the face of globalisation and low paid poor countries who can undercut English prices (or most other countries for that matter). I do not like Globalisation and do not support poor countries if it means we give up our means of being self sufficient by losing our farms, therefore by definition subsidies may be a necessary evil for our better good, i.e. charity begins at home.

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  • 201. At 3:58pm on 17 Oct 2010, resistance35 wrote:

    161.Chris Camp wrote:If Britain fails to move forward with its proposal and fails to get France, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Malta, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia on its side - in other words, if a clear majority of governments, that clearly represent an overwhelming majority of "EUSSR" citizens, remain unconvinced by Britain's proposal, you call it un-democratic?

    And those who say it is undemocratic would be right. Because the people of one country should not be in the position where representatives of OTHER countries can force them to hand over more money.

    I see you too have invented a new definition of democracy because the real one doesn't suit you. Your definition seems to be: "A bunch of countries voting for something in majority, is democracy".

    The reality of course is: it is nothing of the kind. When 20 bank robbers outvote 7 bank clerks to have a robbery go ahead, is that democracy? Of course not. When you live in a street with 27 houses and the others vote 20-6 that you should pay more money into the 'common' fund, would you honor the 'democratic' vote? Of course not, because there is nothing democratic about 20 bank robbers or 20 neighbours voting to benefit themselves.

    And so it is with the undemocratic EU. It is not democratic in any way if the net recipients vote to enlarge the budget. And by the way, do you think it is a coincidence that the net recipients can outvote the net contributors? I assure you it is not.

    Hey Chris, I just voted unanimously that you should pay me a thousand euros per month for 7 years. Honor my democratic vote, please.

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  • 202. At 4:05pm on 17 Oct 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    @ Buzet23:

    I agree with you. In terms of population, governments are very small minorities within the countries they represent. This is true of the countries I mentioned as well as of Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden and all the other countries that exist on this planet.

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  • 203. At 4:11pm on 17 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    Huaimek,

    Yes, Patricia Routledge was also, in a (BBC?) mystery that co-starred the actor that played one of the Hobbit friends/adventurers in Lord of the Rings (3 movies).

    This actor went on to star in "Lost" a TV series which was associated with someone named "Abrams." And this Abrams directed a recent popular movie.

    I can't remember the name of the actor.

    :)

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  • 204. At 4:29pm on 17 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    Resistance35,

    IMHO, comment number 201 was Very good--the best analogy in some time that I've read.

    I.E., we should start making a list named

    "What is NOT democracy:
    ...
    ...
    etc."

    (because there seems to be a big argument as to what IS democracy(?)...)

    :)

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  • 205. At 4:29pm on 17 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    It is not only the running around in circles, but the feeling that with #199 and #200 the circles are forever decreasing, worries me.

    The consequences that if a disappearance eventually occurs (anatomically) is disturbing --the pain will be felt by all.

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  • 206. At 4:36pm on 17 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    M. Howard,

    That Marcus is tricksy, yes?

    I, too, had thought from your comment, that you were just quoting DemocracyThreat to make a point.

    :)

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  • 207. At 6:21pm on 17 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    The numbers of Brits who have left Britain over the last 200 years, is in no way a compliment to British democracy --nor its success for the average citizen.

    Britain also issued laws to prevent their departure to stop the ´brain drain´. An attempted comparison with other European countries should be seen as hiding under´Moms skirt´ (a usual diversionary tactic).

    Furthermore, where would Capitalism be without Socialistic subsidies ?

    Farming and Banking on both sides of the Atlantic come to mind, but many, many others exist, they usually never have the pre-fix--- Capitalistic or Socialistic when Capitalism is supported. That quickly changes when your are on food stamps or the dole.

    ---but much slower if a land owner, charity for the wealthy--- as Buzet23 supports.

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  • 208. At 8:44pm on 17 Oct 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    Well, "democracy" can mean anything we agree that it means.

    One of the delights of reasonable conversation with sane persons is that if people define their terms and then stick to those definitions, valid conclusions can be agreed upon.

    The difficulty in most conversations usually stems from folks either not defining their terms, which betrays internal confusion, or consciously choosing to shift their definitions as the debate progresses, which betrays intellectual bankruptcy and a desire to engage in titillation through conflict.

    For example, if we would agree to define "democracy" as being a small carnivorous mammal with four legs, retractable claws and whiskers, then we could have a fruitful discussion and debate regarding whether a wolf is a democracy, and further whether a Lynx is a democracy.

    Jukka would likely proclaim that a wolf is certainly a democracy, because Finland has lots of them.

    CBW would claim that English wolves are democracy, because the queen says so.

    David would argue that both wolves AND lynxes are democracy because that seems fair and equitable.

    I would offer the observation that despite the definition being vague and unlimited in class, a wolf could not qualify because it's claws are not retractable, whereas a lynx meets all of the criteria.

    Marget would offer the opinion that wolves and lynexs are stupid animals, and that her pet parrot Henry is the only real democracy in Europe, because it was bred from the finest stock.

    Marcus would claim that only American lynxes are truly democratic, and that American wolves are alright too. He would also point out that Europe killed all it's lynxes a long time ago, notwithstanding evidence to the contrary in Switzerland.

    So the point is that we need to define our terms, and then stick to those.

    I make a distinction between a system of representation and a system of democracy, because if I do not have this distinction then I cannot understand what was undemocratic about East Germany or the soviet union, and I do not understand why North Korea is not democratic.

    I offer the definition of democracy which requires common citizens to vote upon the laws under which they live, and NOT merely for representatives who have been preselected for them by corporate bodies such as political parties.

    It seems to me that we can have the debate either way. I'm fine with accepting representation as the working definition of democracy. But in this case, we need to include North korea and the former soviet union as textbook democracies.

    So define your terms, folks, and stick to them.

    Otherwise we are all just background images in CBW full length mirror, as he practices his courtesy for the Queen he will never meet.

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  • 209. At 9:10pm on 17 Oct 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    David wrote:
    "M. Howard,
    That Marcus is tricksy, yes?
    I, too, had thought from your comment, that you were just quoting DemocracyThreat to make a point."

    Yes. I gathered that her point was that because I was continuing to selflessly and diligently assist CBW is his struggle to escape profound buffoonery, her own contributions were therefore full of substance.

    Now, who would have guessed that "buffoonery" is a legitimate word? I am once more quietly in awe of the wealth and breadth of the English language.

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  • 210. At 9:56pm on 17 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #208 DT

    Defining terms is a problem.

    When the Berlin Wall fell, I had the opportunity to discuss the political situation with a DDR schooled Communist. He suggested that we define our terms--to avoid confusion --I agreed. After a couple of minutes I interrupted his ´defining´ monologue and kindly requested that he should say which definitions remain for me --silence.

    We got off lightly with Marcus´s #74. If he gets another chance to justify his existence --you will be held responsible for any 10 page diatribe on Ayn Rand´s ´Objectivisim´he delivers.

    Maybe he is sleeping like a baby in Margaret Howards arms ?

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  • 211. At 10:58pm on 17 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #210. At 9:56pm on 17 Oct 2010, quietoaktree

    Oh my, are you suggesting that Marcus is a closet Englishman, ye gods, I hope they threw the mold away.

    #209. At 9:10pm on 17 Oct 2010, democracythreat

    I'm surprised at you DT, the word Buffoon exists in many languages, it's Bouffon in French, which I would have expected you to know since you live in Switzerland, e.g. faire le bouffon. It would seem Sarkozy is well acquainted with this word.

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  • 212. At 11:28pm on 17 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    CBW is not a buffoon. I read his opinions with interest.

    :)

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  • 213. At 11:37pm on 17 Oct 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    168 Homer writes under the headline "European racism gets an official stamp right here":
    "While acknowledging that this was the case, Mrs Merkel stressed that immigrants living in Germany needed to do more to integrate, including learning to speak German.
    "Anyone who does not immediately speak German", she said, "is not welcome."

    This is what BBC News Europe really says in its report today:
    In her speech in Potsdam, however, the chancellor made clear that immigrants were welcome in Germany.
    She specifically referred to recent comments by German President Christian Wulff who said that Islam was "part of Germany", like Christianity and Judaism.
    Mrs Merkel said: "We should not be a country either which gives the impression to the outside world that those who don't speak German immediately or who were not raised speaking German are not welcome here."

    On the 18 sep homer writes:
    So when I quote someone and prove them wrong, you consider that I have "twisted their words?" When I put something in quotation marks "" I have copied and pasted it exactly as they wrote it. When I insert .... it only means I have removed part of it for brevity but I try to avoid taking it out of the context it was said in."

    Today at 184 in reply to Jan Keeskop who pulls him up over his quotation he writes meekly:
    "I cut and pasted Merkels's quote with a link so you can verify it for yourself. If you are saying that she didn't say that and that BBC is an unreliable source of news I'd tend to agree with you. However, they should publish an immediate retraction if they made a mistake. If you are right their quote credits her with saying exactly the opposite of what she said. Do you have a link to a report that contests BBC's version?"
    So now the BBC are to blame as they are unreliable. I have emailed them to see whether a mistake was indeed made by them.
    However at 191 he blames the drink:
    "I misread Merckel's (sic) quote and I listened to the news clip to verify it. Chalk it up to filtration by Seagrams 7. However, I'm sure there are many in Germany who really do feel that people who come to Germany should be speaking German soon after they arrive."

    On Oct 5th he wrote about America:
    "Not only did they come here, but in those days and until recently, to become an American, you had to renounce all allegiance to all other nations, governments, sovereigns, and pledge allegiance only to America. That is how it should still be. This dual citizenship politically correct idiocy is a pile of horse manure."

    And finally just to remind us what this is all about he finished his little 'mistake' in misreporting Mrs Merkel today as follows:
    "This miserable closed xenophobic hate filled failure of a society, this pathetic excuse for civilization expects to compete aganinst the United States of America? What a peurile joke. Europe is exactly what I say it is and here is just one more stone on top of the Mount Everest of evidence to prove it. And it comes hot on the heels of the Hitler exhibit to boot. What timing! But could have been said anywhere else in Europe at any time during the last 5000 years and likely for the next 5000 years.



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  • 214. At 11:39pm on 17 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    I do think our democracy (as such) in the USA is not perfect.

    Corporation involvement aside, the flaws, now, are people not voting during elections. In a recent local election, only 20% of the populous here voted.

    Also, "tea parties" are too much filled with gun-toting bigots. Democrats may win their elections in November, I hope, I hope.

    :)

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  • 215. At 11:41pm on 17 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #211 Buzet 23

    The path of true lust never did run smoothly.

    #162 is suspicious.

    ---somewhat protective and patriotic at the same time ?

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  • 216. At 11:56pm on 17 Oct 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    At 125 dt admonishes me with the words:
    "You are welcome to engage the debate, and if you are able to say something significant about democracy or liberty, then nobody will be as pleased as myself. But your assumption of authority to speak on these matters is unfounded by your contributions so far, and your rush to condescend betrays a greater preference for establishing your own entitlement rather than your own credibility."

    And at 208 he further clarifies his meaning when he writes:
    "For example, if we would agree to define "democracy" as being a small carnivorous mammal with four legs, retractable claws and whiskers, then we could have a fruitful discussion and debate regarding whether a wolf is a democracy, and further whether a Lynx is a democracy."

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  • 217. At 00:19am on 18 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    Hell knows no fury worse than a womans´ wrath.

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  • 218. At 00:30am on 18 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    I'm feeling my allergies and feeling sickly, therefore, my comments may seem a little sickly...

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  • 219. At 00:32am on 18 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    DT and Marcus

    What have you let loose ?

    -- it´s your Crown Jewels at stake here !

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  • 220. At 01:54am on 18 Oct 2010, DiscoStu_d wrote:

    @191 Macro: "I misread Merckel's quote and I listened to the news clip to verify it. Chalk it up to filtration by Seagrams 7. However, I'm sure there are many in Germany who really do feel that people who come to Germany should be speaking German soon after they arrive."

    The resident clown-in-chief has spoken. Over and over again in America what do we hear about Latinos? They need to learn English! Dude, you got a sequoia in your eye. Pack it in. You're an embarrassment.

    (re Seagrams: consider a mixer. You clearly can't handle full strength)

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  • 221. At 02:30am on 18 Oct 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    powermeer
    a quick apology
    I wanted to write to you this evening possibly even somethiong nice :o)))))
    but then I thought I will just listen to one song on youtube
    not more than one and not more than 10 cigarettes :o)
    and the next thing it's 4 am again!
    THEN i remembered about you again :o) as the man I got hooked on listening, as I realised, (a sudden thought . at 5 am :o)has a VERY VERY un-Russian and wrong and "third best" :o))))))) surname ending with "-sky" :o).

    I'm addictive addictative? addicted! to Vertinsky. and bred in the bone I'm afraid :o) for I also thought he once spent a month or 3 in this very dacha verrandah :o) Possibly, also freezing :o)))
    How things hop over 50 or so yrs later turn around! ? uncroyable

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  • 222. At 06:13am on 18 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    WA,

    "bred to the bone" = "in my blood"?

    powermeerkat, don't leave this blog, Alice needs ur comments:) (or did you mean ..today..she keeps u here... lol)

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  • 223. At 08:22am on 18 Oct 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    MHoward

    Why so upset Margaret?

    You chose the sage of the Swiss as a debating partner: You backed him repeatedly on these blog debates.
    You joined DemocThreat, the mad Greek, Ellinas, QOT in condemning with relish anything & everything 'english-speaking peoples' were connected to by history or person. You even quoted Your own experiences of 'being afraid to leave your home at night'. You accused the English of 'exploiting' the rest of the UK for 'its own interests' as though that was never in the minds of a Scot, Welsh or Irish! You slated the 'imperial' past as though only Briton's/English were ever involved, and, when it came to 'revisionist History' so long as it was anti-England You dredged up everything from slavery to the causes of WW1 & WW2 as being 'english-speaking peoples' faults. You launched Yourself with alacrity when the mad Greek suggested G.B. & U.S.A. were responsible for all Greece's past problems; You backed the mad Greek when he wrote G.B. was as big a 'war criminal' as Nazi Germany. Recently, just to be against the English You were arguing the modern 'computer' was an invention from antiquity!

    Margaret, why are You upset with DemocThreat? Why now?

    You agreed with virtually every word he wrote until 'Democracy' (a genuine invention of Greek antiquity) got put in the debate-frame!

    Now You fall out!

    What a pity You didn't manage to think for Yourself in some previous topics: And realise the 'political' & 'prejudiced' intent behind their contributions!
    Margaret, read them again: The Far Right & Far Left are one & the same when it comes to Democracy & You were their perfect, gullible fodder.

    You've seen the light: Congratulations! NOT!

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  • 224. At 09:16am on 18 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #208. At 8:44pm on 17 Oct 2010, democracythreat

    "I offer the definition of democracy which requires common citizens to vote upon the laws under which they live, and NOT merely for representatives who have been preselected for them by corporate bodies such as political parties."

    That is indeed a good model and especially because it, by its very nature, puts a check on ambitious politicians who are either thinking only for themselves and/or their maybe extreme political dogma.

    #223. At 08:22am on 18 Oct 2010, cool_brush_work

    The concept that politics is a circle and that the far left/far right have met up and are diametrically opposed to centre politics is a bit too complicated for MH. She just needs simple statements like her ancestors were barbarians as shown by the need for Hadrian's wall, and that Scottish politics is far closer to the far left of the circle than is good. I'm hoping that the UK spending review will take account of this and for once boost England as under Bliar and McClown the other 'nations' got far more than their fair share due to the strong Labour vote in Scotland and Wales.

    It reminds me of a song 'the times they are a changing'.

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  • 225. At 10:03am on 18 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    Dear Margaret H.,

    Dear,

    Its ok, its ok...if this blog were my LIFE, Id do something drastic--to it.

    No offense to st8 and gay Males everywhere on here, but, Margaret, men are pigs.

    I used to think they were dogs (crawl, wag tales, lick, rollover), so that was not so bad. But, as far as 'lust' is concerned, they Really
    ARE PIGS.

    Yes, did you know that?

    No offense, to DT, Marcus, CBW, Threnodio, etcetera, etcetera, David (me)....or Anyone.

    Actually, this has ...some... 'truthiness' in it

    A woman that acts ....intelligent..."watch out, you woman."

    My father always comments how "out of place" women are ...with having opinions. Then he tells MEE to look at some certain woman's 'bosom'.

    (he knows about me)... CLUELESS.

    Just 'food for thought.'

    :)

    PS If one is lacking knowledge of Some gay males' contempt for women..well think about Some gay males's often displayed bigotry against Lesbians..--

    It's the few--but bigotry is in everyone--bet someone somewhere will dispute the above... bigtime--one doesn't know who is sensitive..before ONE speaks.

    I'm stressed (broke up w/someone last nite) a little, so I'm Opinionated here.

    All, just pretend I didn't say any of this..'kernal of truth.' But, Look, See !!!!

    Where ARE the women other than Web Alice and Margaret on this Euro blog????

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  • 226. At 10:09am on 18 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    Hmmm, not so diplomatic...or, maybe hmmm, yes,

    Alienate all, if anyone.

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  • 227. At 10:10am on 18 Oct 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    224 Buzet writes:
    "I'm hoping that the UK spending review will take account of this and for once boost England as under Bliar and McClown the other 'nations' got far more than their fair share due to the strong Labour vote in Scotland and Wales.
    It reminds me of a song 'the times they are a changing'."
    I bet you do, because by then all the oil you stole from us will have run out.

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  • 228. At 11:03am on 18 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #227. At 10:10am on 18 Oct 2010, margaret howard

    You can't even get that right, can you, firstly a fair part of the oil is level with England and is therefore English, and secondly, who do you think invested in it and paid for the development, the broke Scots, rofl. What next, you'll be claiming part of the Falklands oil is Scottish when you disappear into the Scotch mist, no chance missie, after 13 years of Scottish incompetence the English have your number now.

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  • 229. At 11:32am on 18 Oct 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    TPT Peggy (and stewed in a disco), I've already acknowledged that I misquoted BBC. Of course I'm hardly surprised that when I finally make one error even after I've pointed it out myself, it will be put under a microscope by people whose postings are nothing but errors. Okay, go back to spouting your ludicrous nonsense. You've finally gotten on the scoreboard. It now stands at 1,287,765,367,308 to 1.

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  • 230. At 11:41am on 18 Oct 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    MHoward

    Re #227

    Quote, "...all the oil you stole from us.."

    Yet another of Your absolute, crystal clear 'revisionist' History contributions bearing little or no relation to reality.
    Margaret, it may be fashionable now for devolved Scots etc. to pronounce on what was done by England in previous decades, but in those decades the actual politics were very different from the convenient 'we were cheated' perspective You choose to latch onto in 2010.

    North Sea oil & gas fields discovered & developed in the mid-60s to 1970s by the United Kingdom Government.

    A UK Governed by a Parliament at Westminster; a Parliament with Democratically elected MPs from England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland. A Parliament that had the Scottish or Welsh or Irish so chosen in sufficient numbers to Vote for could have had entire 'Nationalist-self-determination' Political Representation Parties. The 'nationalist' Parties, such as they were within it appeared as mini-rumps outside the mainstream politics of the era.

    What were the results of the 1970s 'National' General & even Bye-Elections in Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland?

    The majority of Scottish, Welsh & even a minority of Northern Irish Electorate voted FOR the 3 mainstream Political Parties of the UK!

    Margaret, I disagree in part with Buzet23's #228: It is not really a matter of Geography, though for sure it wasn't all Scottish oil, but much more pertinent, much more profoundly accurate, and entirely proven by Historical Fact as opposed to hysterical rhetoric:

    1) The UK 1970s General Elections in which any person of any Political persuasion could have stood for Election resulted in a REJECTION of the Independence Parties.
    2) Therefore by the consent & approval via the Ballot box of Scots, Welsh, Irish & English the North Sea oil & gas was entirely within the remit & disposal of the United Kingdom Government at Westminster.

    Phew! It's tough out there, Margaret: You know when reality comes to home to roost!

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  • 231. At 1:06pm on 18 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #230. At 11:41am on 18 Oct 2010, cool_brush_work

    One thing I overlooked to mention was that in theory the Orkneys would own the Scottish part of the oil by their geographical location and I seem to recall that there is a movement for the independence of the Orkneys (The Orkney Movement). Therefore to a fair extent, in the event of Scottish independence, should the Orkneys vote to stay with the reduced UK then the Scottish mainland will be left with nothing.

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  • 232. At 2:32pm on 18 Oct 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Buzet23

    Re #231

    Yes, it would be the ultimate irony if a newly wholly independent SNP Governed Scotland found itself denying 'Self-determination' to the Orkneys & opposing an English Parliament on that measure!

    Picture it: Alex Salmond scurrying off to Brussels to demand that anti-Democratic institution refute the right of the Orkney to perhaps join with non-EU England or more likely, non-EU Norway!

    Not to coin a phrase: Scotch egg-on-face, or what!?

    Titter...

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  • 233. At 2:36pm on 18 Oct 2010, Sloan wrote:

    Clearly her words were lost in translation to a certain extent. Merkel was speaking about literal multiculturalism - having strictly separated cultures within a single country without any integration realization. She was not targeting migration or immigrants at all. All she said really was that people who want to immigrate itno Germany must be willing to learn German and accept the country's general norms. How is that controversial?

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  • 234. At 2:41pm on 18 Oct 2010, Illogicbuster wrote:

    This is the reason that the Us wasn't originally set up as a Democracy (it is now since the 17 Amendment to the Constitution) much to its sorrow:

    "Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for lunch."

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  • 235. At 3:43pm on 18 Oct 2010, Sloan wrote:

    Clearly her words were lost in translation to a certain extent. Merkel was speaking about literal multi-culturalism - having strictly separated cultures within a single country without realising any form of integration. She was not targeting migration or immigrants at all. All she said really was that people who want to immigrate into Germany must be willing to learn German and accept the country's general norms. How is that controversial?

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  • 236. At 8:34pm on 18 Oct 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    225 David wrote:
    Your contribution made me laugh and cheered me up no end. I'm sure that you are right that many men deserve your scorn and I must say that I have been surprised by the patronising arrogance and aggression displayed by some of them here. It reminds me of a programme I once saw about a silverback gorilla protecting his harem of ladies from rival prowlers. The display of chest beating, snarling and faux threat attacks was a wonder to behold. And through it all the lady gorillas sat looking bored and chewing leaves.

    I was educated at an all-ladies establishment so this male display of testosterone fuelled behaviour is new to me. I don't know whether you saw the film The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie? Well it was very much like my own experience. Many of my teachers resembled her and they instilled in us a lasting duty to stand up for ourselves and give as good as one gets, preferably however with a bit more humor and wit.

    Like you I am sad that not more women are posting here. They seem to have given up maybe because this sort of posturing frightened them off or more likely bored them. Alice seems to be the only regular poster here. The more thoughtful men like Ellinas, Nic, Huaimek, Christ Arta and many others also stay away for too long which is a pity. It seems to be alway the same ones hurling abuse at each other.As you put it so well the general attitude here seems to be "A woman that acts intelligent...watch out, you woman". Well, it can't be helped, we are here to stay!
    Hope your broken heart is soon mended.

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  • 237. At 8:56pm on 18 Oct 2010, Ian Walker wrote:

    Peoples of Europe

    None of our countries can any longer afford the expensive Private
    Members Club that is the EU.

    Retain Entente Cordial and the best of Trade Relations with each other
    & which the EU delivers, but close down "Club Europe" & The Brussels
    Parliament & make the EU MP's work for you and us, from within your
    home countries.

    Take the lead of David Cameron & Nick Clegg here in England by doing
    away with expensive quango's/tiers of government agencies that are
    such a waste of our taxes. Close down Club Europe and quickly.

    £1000 a year per each and every person [taxpayer or not] in England is
    just wastage on a massive scale. Europeans in France, Greece or
    elsewhere should not have to work until older age to maintain
    membership to this club - it is too expensive.

    The greater part of all our budget deficits would be the eradicated
    without need for such drastic or painful Austerity measures.

    Lobby your MP's - and the Press - do what has to be done to change
    this madness.




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  • 238. At 9:15pm on 18 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #234. At 2:41pm on 18 Oct 2010, Illogicbuster

    Brilliant, I guess I'll still be laughing for hours whilst MAII will be fuming.

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  • 239. At 9:16pm on 18 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #232. At 2:32pm on 18 Oct 2010, cool_brush_work

    Or maybe Haggis on the face, Yuk.

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  • 240. At 9:22pm on 18 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #236. At 8:34pm on 18 Oct 2010, margaret howard

    Oh dear MH, you were educated in an all Female college, note I do not say Lady since to be a Lady that is due to education, as for "A woman that acts intelligent...watch out, you woman", what utter drivel, that is a poor PC excuse and insulting to the many intelligent Lady's I know or who have met.

    you deserve to be told to get back to the kitchen, although whether you can cook is another matter, horses for courses.

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  • 241. At 10:05pm on 18 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    Just hang out with lots of young people, Margaret,

    If you want to see assertive, confident (assertive as in dominant) women

    :)

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  • 242. At 10:21pm on 18 Oct 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    Mr. Hewitt, I just head you commenting on the French strikes. I think the way you speak is overly histrionic.

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  • 243. At 01:45am on 19 Oct 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David, "what's bred" I don't know. I think I have a book around called "What's bred in the bone". but it's in the city, and I am here, I'm not sure ab the spelling.
    __________

    Margaret, there have never been many women in this blog. I remember only 1-2 more in 3 years time :o)
    So the first impression :o))))))))))))))))) that the men in this blog :o))))))))) can't keep happy more than two :o))))))))))))) is un-grounded.

    asorry:o=)))

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  • 244. At 01:46am on 19 Oct 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    let's say they got themselves two very carefully selected :o))) and demanding ones :o)))

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  • 245. At 01:48am on 19 Oct 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    for example my mum says that even when I were in a soft age, my nanny demanded a double pay after first two weeks explaining it "the child is tiny but intense" :o))))

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  • 246. At 01:55am on 19 Oct 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    On other things, here in front of me is a book (by the hot water bottle) (to the left of 3 identuical pairs of orange water proof dacha galosha-s :o) called let me see
    Alan Furst "Dark Star" "outclasses any spy novel I ever read " etc.(exaggerration IMHO) but good. Somewhere in the first 30-50 pages I remember it explains in details the national composition of the first edition of GRU NKVD politburo and other lovely structures - and this is what democracythreat tried to tell you - and I tried to explain - about mighty national groupings ruling - none of which was composed of "Russian Russians".

    Not a boring book ab a Polish guy but I haven't finished it yet :o)
    since I noticed his love affair line got cut-off by some mid-thickness of the book and in NKVD and other highly educative to foreign audiences no doubt details :o) I'm not so interested.
    Just remembered because of your exchange with democracythreat.

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  • 247. At 01:58am on 19 Oct 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    The hero's name is Andre Szara. No even "-in" :o))))) or "-ski" endings :o)

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  • 248. At 02:11am on 19 Oct 2010, MaudDib wrote:

    243. WebAliceinwonderland wrote:
    'David, "what's bred" I don't know.'

    Using this term as David does here, it would refer to genes passed to an offspring by parents and probably reinforced by same. Thus creating strong tendencies in a person. One might assert that your love of mother Russia was bred into you. Also, this childhood intensity could have been bred into you if your ancestors have the same intensity.

    In a biblical sense it means you have been known, according to King James.

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  • 249. At 02:19am on 19 Oct 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    yes powermeer, it is weird, un-fair, and un-consequtive, to call for example Stalin a Georgian when talk is about Gulags and call him Russian when talk is about 2ndWW.

    Though I never heard honestly anyone calling him Russian :o)))) (here) "russky Stalin" I think I put these 2 words together the first time in my life. sounds weird. (to me)

    but of course there are many cases, not so sharp, with other prominent figures, when things in Russia work exactly as you say - ours when good and non-ours when bad.
    can't think of examples, though :o) a lapse in memory

    "russky Dzerzhinsky " ? :o))))) no.

    that's no go either.

    ? O!Catherine the 2nd - Russian empress" Works well. Sounds alright.
    but "Catherine the 2nd - Russian" - does not.
    ?

    I'm afraid we are always alert about nationalities, high awareness levels here constantly who is who, works automatically.

    You are right in the part that un-questionable "good ones" - we write down as Russian without a glimpse of a second thought :o)) Yes, that's true. Pushkin, Lermontov, Vysotsky, Anna Ahmatova, Brodsky, Galitch, Okudzava, Dahl (Rus.-Rus. dictionary author)(local synonym of Webster)(must be Danish, judging by the surname) etc.
    But that's all literature-related people who opted for "I'm Russian" identity willingly and in spite of odds and troubles, self-choice. Felix Yousupov. tatar. Russian.
    I don't know.

    Prominent "Russian Russians" aren't many! by the way. ? I don't know. Never counted :o) We've got enough who opted to be and personify "russ"-iness by themselves.

    I think the strength of "Russian Russians" lies in the other field, in being accommodating and providing exercise field and space. And troubles :o), to fight against :o) as a comforting place for talents :o)))) to blossom up. Like flour. Neutral. I don't know. Haven't thought about it before.
    Besides :o), we are spongy, and like to eat up foreign things. Making them own in no time at all :o) They just fall, like into a pond - "bul'k"? eh? the sound of a stone falling down into water :o) - and gone!

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  • 250. At 02:56am on 19 Oct 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    O! MaudDib on the screen! But still not got transferred through :o), only see that has posted. Yo, MaudDib!
    I will post the flag picture if/when I get out of here alive. There will be something good to remember :o) Alternatively, we will perish here the three of us together, rest assured - me, Jolly Ro and the Confederate flag. This minimum I promise :o)
    I don't have a digital camera, old plastic. I need to get hold of a scaner, to print a photo first the old paper way, and then make it digital.

    MaudDib, talking with domesticated BBC friends today :o))))))))
    I made a discovery, that we stole from the USA a song. :o)))
    One, in the Russian serie "ab the 2ndWW" is not simply "a song of American heavt bombarders" or "song of American pilots" (as it goes around here) - but it was written and composed by same very Americans! :o))))

    The song got so well domesticated :o) that I never heard it in English until today.

    Let's see if you can recognise it back from Russian translation, into English :o)
    Originally recorded (here) by "The State Jazz Orchestra of the USSR Radio" :o) in 1943 and became an immediate hit.
    (before the Cold war began and jazz got prohibited here)
    I guess back then before the Cold war you didn't complain about authorship rights, or may be no one heard of them yet, rather more likely - back then in war the USA liked it that we like it; a song for general encouragement among the Allies all over, I think was viewed as morale-raising tool or something like that.

    So:

    Was very-very worried
    Our air-fleet related folk
    To us did not return back
    From bombing an airplane

    The radio chaps scratch in the air (waves)
    Finally found the wave
    And them at 5 minutes to 4
    There sounded out these words:

    "We are flying, stumbling in the dark
    We're crawling on the last left over wing :o)
    Tail is hit, nose is hit
    But the machine goes on
    Upon the honest word, and on one wing!"

    "wow-wow! what a night it were
    all the fascists we have bombed out to pieces
    whole crew is alright
    and the machine is coming home
    upon its honest word :o) - and on one wing!"

    ("machine" - that's, of course, the airplane. it's Russian habit to start caling suspicious devices a "machine" :o) I think, when they start behaving odd:o) Though there are own words for all these technical things. That's why all the cars in Russia are steadily addressed to as "machines" :o)
    (out of long experience with them :o)

    Anyway, we grabatised your song so real well! it's very much loved to this day, from 1943 not a bad record.

    I saw in youtube even a Russian joke video on it, must be done by people who always knew, unlike me, that the original is American.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ca1lUIWpnFk&feature=player_embedded#!

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  • 251. At 03:58am on 19 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    U KNOW..WEB ALICE?

    It (song) must now be Russian, because of The Better way of use by Russians.

    I know that all these commenters whom are male can actually Cope with anything thrown at them:)

    And you are a calming influence:)

    Who says this? ME, David nee DavidStvn.

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  • 252. At 04:00am on 19 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    MH,

    I love Maggie Smith AND that movie:)

    "Assassin!"

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  • 253. At 08:54am on 19 Oct 2010, Jan_Keeskop wrote:

    MarcusAureliusII: On post 184, all treaties are not treated equally. The treaties that meet the “Advice and Consent” clause by requiring two-thirds approval of the Senate, are dwarfed in number by “executive agreements”, which are effectively treaties in all but name. Most treaties now (including “fast-track” trade agreements) are of the “Congressional-executive agreement” variety, which instead require a bare majority of both chambers to surrender the Senate’s duty of advice and consent; in my view this lends itself to an “imperial presidency”, undoing the intended check on the executive. (Non-Congressional executive agreements do a complete end-run around Congress, but the Congressional type are most common.)

    Bagehot had an interesting insight on checks and balances in The English Constitution (from 1867):

    [The authors of the American Constitution] shrank from placing sovereign power anywhere. They feared that it would generate tyranny; George III. had been a tyrant to them, and come what might, they would not make a George III. Accredited theories said that the English Constitution divided the sovereign authority, and in imitation the Americans split up theirs.

    […]

    The Americans of 1787 thought they were copying the English Constitution, but they were contriving a contrast to it. Just as the American is the type of composite governments, in which the supreme power is divided between many bodies and functionaries, so the English is the type of simple constitutions, in which the ultimate power upon all questions is in the hands of the same persons.

    […]

    The English Constitution, in a word, is framed on the principle of choosing a single sovereign authority, and making it good; the American, upon the principle of having many sovereign authorities, and hoping that their multitude may atone for their inferiority. The Americans now extol their institutions, and so defraud themselves of their due praise. But if they had not a genius for politics; if they had not a moderation in action singularly curious where superficial speech is so violent; if they had not a regard for law, such as no great people have yet evinced, and infinitely surpassing ours, — the multiplicity of authorities in the American Constitution would long ago have brought it to a bad end. Sensible shareholders, I have heard a shrewd attorney say, can work any deed of settlement; and so the men of Massachusetts could, I believe, work any Constitution.

    For post 191, the filtration effects are duly noted. Please let me know if I ever seem to be wearing 750 ml goggles. ;*)

    Illogicbuster: I’ll quibble over your definition of the word axiom in post 197; for example, what is the self-evident sum of degrees for the interior angles of a triangle?

    I’d also disagree with your post 234, that the 17th Amendment turned the US into a democracy — but as democracythreat noted, we might be contemplating two different animals which share the same name.

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  • 254. At 09:21am on 19 Oct 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    MHoward

    Re #236

    The more "thoughtful men.." like "..Nic.."

    This is the mad Greek whom You agreed with when he wrote that the British were as big "..war criminals.." as Hitler & the Nazis.

    Yeah, I see what You mean: So long as they write outrageously against 'English-speaking peoples' it doesn't matter to You what they say.

    Contemptible.

    While we're on the subject of education & what one is used to in other's attitude & behaviour ("..testosterone..": If I charged You with 'PMT' comments Margaret, would that be any fairer!? Sometimes, Your silliness is breathtaking!):

    I'm Secondary Modern schooled and from my experience of very sound & hopelessly unsound State Teachers I can only say an individual should make what he/she can of the situation they find themselves in.
    You do not write years later attempting to explain & excuse Yourself by alleging Your Teachers were highly emotionally charged, sexually repressed females & therefore You are a result of their deviant behaviour patterns!

    Get Your own life: Stop trying to duck & dive Your responsibility for Your views & actions.

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  • 255. At 10:55am on 19 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "russky Dzerzhinsky " ? :o))))) no.



    Alice, Iron Felix (Dzierżyński) is still gen. Putin's and every FSB GRU officers' hero, and 'a great Russian revolutionary".

    There are at present a least two towns in Russia called "Dherzynsk".

    It seems only Poles do not consider Feliks Edmundovich a hero (while recognizing his ethnicity); perhaps remembering his role during the Polish-Bolshevik War. ;)


    BTW. It's also interesting how Khodorkovski has became the devil incarnate in Russia while Roman Abramovich an example of success and object of admiration and envy in the same country.

    [With both fellows having so much in common and getting their riches the same way. :)]

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  • 256. At 11:04am on 19 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Alice: The hero's name is Andre Szara. No even "-in" :o))))) or "-ski" endings :o)




    It gets even worse than that, Alice. :)

    No Polish man could possibly be called Szara for purely grammatical reasons.

    Although he could be called SzarY [masculin form of 'gray']


    It's like calling some imaginary Russian male hero Iliyana Muromtsova. :)


    P.S. I understand that Victor Suvorov's (a writer and a former GRU officer) real surname is Rezun.

    Although I don't think Victor But's real name is Sapog. :)

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  • 257. At 12:53pm on 19 Oct 2010, lochraven wrote:

    As usual, this has turned into a p...ing contest.

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  • 258. At 2:14pm on 20 Oct 2010, Illogicbuster wrote:

    Jan_Keeskop wrote: Illogicbuster: I’ll quibble over your definition of the word axiom in post 197; for example, what is the self-evident sum of degrees for the interior angles of a triangle?

    I’d also disagree with your post 234, that the 17th Amendment turned the US into a democracy — but as democracythreat noted, we might be contemplating two different animals which share the same name.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Jan, quibble not with me but with the scholars at Oxford. (lots of luck)

    Well, I meant as opposed to the Republican form of Gov't having sovereign States. That was what I was referring to. It is a slight but VERY significant distinction and change.

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  • 259. At 5:05pm on 20 Oct 2010, Ian Walker wrote:

    This thread has it seems gone way-off topic.
    Serious subject so I repeat my posting 237 and wonder if anyone
    might agree or dis-agree with the below - I make no apology for
    repeating it :)

    Peoples of Europe

    None of our countries can any longer afford the expensive Private
    Members Club that is the EU.

    Retain Entente Cordial and the best of Trade Relations with each other & which the EU delivers, but close down "Club Europe" & The Brussels
    Parliament & make the EU MP's work for you and us, from within your
    home countries.

    Take the lead of David Cameron & Nick Clegg here in England by doing
    away with expensive quango's/tiers of government agencies that are
    such a waste of our taxes. Close down Club Europe and quickly.

    £1000 a year per each and every person [taxpayer or not] in England is
    just wastage on a massive scale. Europeans in France, Greece or
    elsewhere should not have to work until older age to maintain
    membership to this club - it is too expensive.

    The greater part of all our budget deficits would be the eradicated
    without need for such drastic or painful Austerity measures.

    Lobby your MP's - and the Press - do what has to be done to change
    this madness.


    Ian Walker,
    Southend-on-Sea, Essex

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