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Turnout turnaround?

Justin Webb | 08:07 UK time, Monday, 10 November 2008

Oops. Maybe not so many new folks turned out after all - surely the biggest challenge for Obama and his backers is to find a way of expanding the new constituencies from which the future of the nation is being made.

Obviously a simple switch of allegience is important but finding the new voters is the key - expand the registered pool and try to keep the turnout about 60%, which is what they did this year.

The way to do that is to make registration simpler and easier and federally organised so that when you move your vote moves automatically with you as discussed in this post-election piece.

After the economy that has got to be priority number one: it is the presidential equivalent of redistricting ...

Comments

  • 1. At 08:28am on 10 Nov 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    "After the economy that has got to be priority number one: it is the presidential equivalent of redistricting ..."

    Nonsense. There are a great many more important things that America needs before that - health care being one of the greatest considerations. Mr Obama's supporters did not vote for him in order to pursue electoral registration reform.

    And Justin, if you're going to become American, do drop the word 'got' from your vocabulary, its use in that sentence is superfluous. If you wanted to emphasise your point, you could have used 'must'. British writers and politicians are the worst offenders; don't be one of them.

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  • 2. At 08:46am on 10 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:

    Overall turnout misses the point.

    What we need to see is the turnout figures from the swing states.

    It is a well known fact that during UK elections, there will be intense activity in marginal seats whereas in the "safe" ones voters are lucky to know the names of their candidates.

    Obviously it is the job of the campaign managers to spend their money and resources in the areas where they have the best chance of winning.

    The party which runs the best campaign is also the one which gains most from post-election analysis - gathering information from any unexpected trends which will inform their data base for future campaigns.

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  • 3. At 09:17am on 10 Nov 2008, vagueofgodalming wrote:

    It's hard to tell, because Politico frame it as a proportion of those registering, but one would think that the additional numbers registering (and then voting) ought to be counted in the analysis.

    6.5 million is about 2% of the total population, and about 3% of the number registered - not flat, but not dramatic either. But really one needs also to factor in population growth (of the relevant age group) over 4 years, too.

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  • 4. At 09:21am on 10 Nov 2008, icetayoa wrote:

    In 2004, turnout was 6 percentage points higher than in 2000. But Gans said he believed it did not spike more this year because fewer Republicans went to the polls. While it may be premature to draw conclusions, Gans said, it appeared that Republican voting declined 1.3 points, to 28.7 percent of the electorate, while Democratic turnout rose from 28.7 percent to 31.3 percent of the electorate.....

    I bet the decline in registered Republican voters was a direct result of their disillusionment with Mcain. I can bet also that, that number will consist of some of Bush's supporters. Mcain let the liberal media unwittingly set the tone of his campaign and sadly he paid the ultimate price for it.

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  • 5. At 09:30am on 10 Nov 2008, TheHandOfHistory wrote:

    I don't get it. If turnout was only slightly higher than 2004, why were there queues of voters stretching for zillions of miles? I'm just gonna assume turnout was really around 90% and the Republicans tried to rig it.

    Anyhoo, I hope Obama makes John Kerry Secretary of State.

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  • 6. At 09:32am on 10 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    # 4

    Alternatively, both the electorate and the media (both liberal and non-liberal) came to the conclusion that the Republicans were failing to address the problems of the day.

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  • 7. At 09:41am on 10 Nov 2008, icetayoa wrote:

    “It sort of calls into question some of the vaunted ground game discussion, the whole turnout machine,” said a Democratic strategist who did not want to be quoted by name criticizing Obama’s campaign. “The GOTV effort was redoubled in 2008 compared to 2004, but it did not seem to make that big of a difference.”

    Gans said that record disapproval of President Bush, the global financial crisis and surveys showing that three in four Americans believe the nation is on the “wrong track” contributed to the relatively high turnout this year.

    It is quite refreshing to read an unbiased, unemotional and detached analysis of the just concluded elections.

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  • 8. At 10:01am on 10 Nov 2008, schranzo wrote:

    Electoral reform must absolutely be a priority. Yet another example of two wieghts, two measures. If such an electoral system existed in even a rather developed country (not to talk about undeveloped country) such as Romania or Argentina or South Africa, the international community would be clamouring for an electoral reform programme as part of some Good governance package.

    With the US, no one dares open their mouth. Instead the whole world waits with bated breath every four years to see if the americans have mucked it all up by making mistakes.

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  • 9. At 10:12am on 10 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    The highest priority seems to avoiding the unemployment of a depression. As China has shown, the answer is not to subsidize losers, but to spend it on infrastructure (including environmental investments).

    The second priority is to put a fast squeeze on Israel (and withdraw the 10 billion US taxpayer underwriting of their bonds).
    They would suddenly discover that the 1967 border and a viable Palestinian state were possible.

    One could then allow Iran and also the Arab world to participate in the community of nations without being threatened, invaded and occupied by the corrupt superpower
    with its Zionist steering.

    The third priority would be a reorganization and reorientation of international relations, moving toward and past a return to an international rule of law.

    Voting registration, rather than redistricting, would be a better approach toward the distant ideal of an honest government within the USA.

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  • 10. At 10:32am on 10 Nov 2008, Stephen Turner wrote:

    The Politico article discusses the number of voters as a proportion of those registered to vote. That's how we normally measure turnout in the UK, but here all adults are obliged to register. In the U.S., a better turnout figure (although harder to measure) is the number of voters as a proportion of all adults, and I think the voter registration drives did improve that figure in this election.

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  • 11. At 10:33am on 10 Nov 2008, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    Mr Cunard - someone got out of bed the wrong side this morning ! ;-)

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  • 12. At 10:41am on 10 Nov 2008, Pancha Chandra wrote:

    Mr Obama has achieved a stunning victory and is determined to reach out to all sections and make a positive change. Identifying the key priorities especially the economy, reducing the gap between the rich and the poor, ensuring that equal opportunities for all Americans irrespective of race, colour and gender will be the thrust and momentum of Obama's first 100 days in office. Of course reaching out to leaders of other nations will also be done in tandem. A new positive spirit envelops the nation with the Obama victory!

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  • 13. At 10:51am on 10 Nov 2008, Soul News wrote:

    is it me, or is that article talking about "turnout as a percentage of registered voters", and then totally ignoring the fact that the number of registered voters went up... which surely is the important figure...

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  • 14. At 11:07am on 10 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    Hmm, Looks like Justin Webb is just determined to minimise the importance of the result. That the increase in numbers registered is crucial to assessing turnout is so obvious, one wonders how else he could have missed it. OK, Justin, the candidate you tipped didn't win. Get over it!

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  • 15. At 11:18am on 10 Nov 2008, icetayoa wrote:

    #13
    is it me, or is that article talking about "turnout as a percentage of registered voters", and then totally ignoring the fact that the number of registered voters went up... which surely is the important figure...


    How wrong you are. whats important is not the amount of registered voters, but the amount of those who actually voted. What is the point registering to vote, if you are not going to exercise that voting right?

    The no of actual voters on election day determines the outcome of the election, and not the amount of registered voters.

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  • 16. At 11:39am on 10 Nov 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    The way for the Democrats to win more constituents is to grant amnesty for all illegal aliens and then immediately put them on welfare benefits. That's similar to how they built their corrupt political machines in the Northern Cities in the 19th and early 20th centuries after the Civil War. In that case it was internal migrants. The vestigages of those machines still lingers on today with dire consequences. Just look at the delapidated condition of New York City which has barely changed in the last 50 years. Rent Control instituted after WWII has thwarted the principle of the best use of land and as a consequence, some of the most desirable and what shold be the most expensive real estate in the world consists of crumbling buildings and infrastructure which should have been replaced ages ago. The reason it wasn't? An inadequate tax base to pay for it because those who could afford to live there in larger more modern and more expensive housing can't find it. There is an extreme shortage of apartments and many are small and cheap because controlled leases have been handed down within families for genaratons. Tearing them down to make way for new high rise luxury condominiums and co-ops has been slowed down. A consequence of "new constituencies."

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  • 17. At 11:39am on 10 Nov 2008, SaintDominick wrote:

    Voter registration was at record highs, mostly in favor of Democrats, and it is evident that a significant number of Republicans now consider themselves Independents. In addition to a shift in political power, leaning to the Center, it is also evident that the American electorate is much more focused on the problems that afflict us and on the initiatives that our government is planning to implement.

    The economy, rising unemployment, the inability of our industry to compete, and deficit spending ought to be our top priorities. Personally, I don't think another stimulus check will solve the problems we have and I doubt it would influence an economic recovery. That bland "solution" seems more like a "thank you for your vote gift" than a serious attempt to solve a catastrophic problem. Investment in infrastructure and new energy sources should be our top prioties as they would mitigate job losses in other sectors of our economy and would prepare our country to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

    Healthcare reform, immigration reform, and global warming must also be addressed during the first few months of the new Administration, not only because of societal considerations, but because that would help stimulate the economy and make our industry more robust and competitive, in addition to creating new opportunities at home and abroad.


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  • 18. At 12:04pm on 10 Nov 2008, icetayoa wrote:

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

  • 19. At 12:13pm on 10 Nov 2008, Simon21 wrote:

    "The way to do that is to make registration simpler and easier and federally organised so that when you move your vote moves automatically with you as discussed in this post-election piece.

    After the economy that has got to be priority number one: it is the presidential equivalent of redistricting ..."



    The fact remains that democracy in the US and in much of the West has become ridiculous.

    To call a 60% turnout significant is farcical. Soon less than 50% will be bothering, and what will one conclude from that?

    In the UK had Blair announced he was abolishing elections, his popularity would have soared.

    The vast majority of people are not interested in politics in the slightest and could not careless who was in charge.

    And this of course suits the political elite.

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  • 20. At 12:19pm on 10 Nov 2008, TheHandOfHistory wrote:

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

  • 21. At 12:20pm on 10 Nov 2008, dceilar wrote:

    Being based in the UK our system is relatively simple. Every household has to register everyone over the age of 16 (though the voting age is 18) every year and is carried out at a local government level by civil servants. I believe we are required by law to register. As the electoral roll is public, and some firms use this to contact people, some are dubious to register. They have changed it now where you have to tick the box if you want forms to contact you - anyway I digress.

    The American system seems very convoluted - do the American politicians want people to register?

    Its convolution is probably to do with each State being able to set their own rules. However, the voting register should be kept away from the politicians and their Parties as much as possible, should be unitary across the Union, and be carried out annually.

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  • 22. At 12:20pm on 10 Nov 2008, Dingdongalistic wrote:

    "And Justin, if you're going to become American, do drop the word 'got' from your vocabulary, its use in that sentence is superfluous. If you wanted to emphasise your point, you could have used 'must'. British writers and politicians are the worst offenders; don't be one of them."

    Ha!

    Though the error is truely an error, it seems a little rich for the British to be accused of superfluous use of vocabulary in comparison to America.

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  • 23. At 12:22pm on 10 Nov 2008, Dingdongalistic wrote:

    "I can bet also that, that number will consist of some of Bush's supporters. Mcain let the liberal media unwittingly set the tone of his campaign and sadly he paid the ultimate price for it."

    The "liberal media"? You guys had a "liberal media"? Of so, what is ours? Communist?

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  • 24. At 12:22pm on 10 Nov 2008, Simon21 wrote:

    "16. At 11:39am on 10 Nov 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:
    The way for the Democrats to win more constituents is to grant amnesty for all illegal aliens and then immediately put them on welfare benefits. That's similar to how they built their corrupt political machines in the Northern Cities in the 19th and early 20th centuries after the Civil War. In that case it was internal migrants."


    And the eay to comment with sense on an issue is to learn something about it. Whihc you rarely do.

    Could you detail the welfare benefits which awaited Irish US immigrants in the nineteenth century?

    Free TVs perhaps? Subsidised praties? Bottle of poteen with every application?

    Its just because according to about every worthwhile source it was the lack of any benefits which meant that new immigrants tended to give their allegiance to those who undertook not to let them starve.

    Incomprehensible to you perhaps but simple common sense to everyone else.



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  • 25. At 12:24pm on 10 Nov 2008, SaintOne wrote:

    To # 15

    Soulgrind (#13) isn't wrong. Use math! If the percentage turnout of registered voters doesn't change, but the number of registered voters does, there are obviously more voters in total!

    Peace

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  • 26. At 12:25pm on 10 Nov 2008, icetayoa wrote:

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

  • 27. At 12:31pm on 10 Nov 2008, icetayoa wrote:

    #25..
    Soulgrind (#13) isn't wrong. Use math! If the percentage turnout of registered voters doesn't change, but the number of registered voters does, there are obviously more voters in total!


    I beg too differ. what is significant is the number of registered voters who actually turned up to vote, because those are the people whose votes are relevant. A registered voter is what he/she is, registered. Until such a person actually votes, he or she is as relevant as a non citizen is, towards determining the outcome of an election.

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  • 28. At 12:44pm on 10 Nov 2008, SaintOne wrote:

    To # 27

    You are correct in the fact that the number of voters that turn up and vote are the only relevant ones. However, what I am saying and what I believe Soulgrind was trying to say, is that regiestered voters increased, and therefore if the percentage of turn out for regiesterd voters remained the same, the nominal amount of voters has risen.

    Therefore, although % turnout remained the same, the total amount of voters that actually voted increased.

    Peace

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  • 29. At 12:56pm on 10 Nov 2008, justcorbly wrote:

    Whether or not the turnout set an absolute record, it was very high, and the composition of the turnout was different.

    Almost lost in the noise about the African-American vote is the fact that the Latino vote overwhelmingly went Democratic. That's bad news for the GOP. They can't win national elections if they continue to alienate both African-Americans and Latinos, the largest and fastest growing minority in the nation. (Republicans have managed to convince both groups that they simple don't like black and brown people.)

    Early voting was a whopping success and will only expand in the future.

    Now, we need to clean up the mess that surrounds registration and voting. We need to make it as easy as possible for citizens to register and vote, and to retain their registration when they move.


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  • 30. At 12:57pm on 10 Nov 2008, SaintDominick wrote:

    "The way to do that is to make registration simpler and easier and federally organised so that when you move your vote moves automatically with you as discussed in this post-election piece."

    In my opinion, the problem is not voting registration, which in many states is a simple process undertaken when we get our drivers license, or apathy, but the need to put in place a more robust voting system.

    Early voting should be available in all states (I believe only 31 states currently provide this service) and, most importantly, we should take advantage of the latest technology to make voting easier and fraud proof.

    The fact is that many people don't want to stand in line for 3 or 4 hours to vote, and that there are others who not only do so, but do it in different states. The latter is a serious problems in states like Florida, where we have a fairly large number of "snow birds" who often vote in their home states and do it again via absentee ballot in the their winter home states.

    I believe that an electronic ballot system accessible from a place of our choosing should be developed to elect candidates running for national office. Such system would not only increase participation but would reduce fraud...if it is develop with the appropriate security safeguards.

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  • 31. At 1:33pm on 10 Nov 2008, MarkB2 wrote:

    To all those journalists at the BBC - its over and your guy lost. My advice is to get over it and stop having pot shots at the system who elected the other guy.

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  • 32. At 1:36pm on 10 Nov 2008, HAYDON wrote:

    "Obviously a simple switch of allegience is important but finding the new voters is the key "

    Justin, wake up! BBC wake up!

    No one in the UK has yet acknowledged
    the effect that You Tube, My Space and Facebook had on the American election.

    Obama's video on You Tube has has had, 12 million viewers. That is more then many BBC or ITV programmes.

    Obama's Mt Space site has 875,523 friends. He does not need to go looking for the youth vote. He already has them.


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  • 33. At 1:48pm on 10 Nov 2008, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    If the aim is to get more people engaged in the process, is there not a case for having more if not all states allocating their Electoral College votes on a proportional basis, rather than the current 'winner takes all' basis? It must be hard to motivate voters in States which are firmly in the Red or Blue column.

    A problem with this may be that I believe [I haven't checked] that these arrangements are largely left up to the States. Also, you really need to have a consistent set up. I remember reading, for example, that Republicans in California were trying to push through a proportional arrangement - but just for California. This would be blatantly unfair on its own - eg Reps would get some Electoral College votes from California, while Dems would get none from, say, Texas.

    There's also a case for just scrapping the Electoral College. However, even if people agreed to this, I assume the constitution would need to be changed, and I understand that is a v slow and unwieldy process.

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  • 34. At 1:48pm on 10 Nov 2008, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 12

    I agree with your opinion, but my greatest fear is that no matter how hard President Obama tries to solve the daunting domestic and international problems we are facing, his efforts will fall short of the unrealistic expectations that many have for his presidency.

    He is likely to be blamed for any deviations from his campaign promises, which like those made by former Presidents include unrealistic tax cuts at a time when we are drowning in debt, social services that we can not afford, and an untenable global hegemony.

    Hopefully he will find a way to manage expectations and focus his efforts on solving the most pressing domestic and global problems we are facing. Issues such as healthcare, education, and immigration reform are very important, but they can wait a couple of years. Avoiding a severe depression - or worse - has a more immediate impact on our lives than anything else.

    His priorities on foreign policy should include the closure of the Guantanamo prison camp, ending torture and renditions, restoring Constitutional and Civil Rights, resuming meaningful dialogue to solve the Israeli-Palestinian impasse, defusing the probability of chaos in the Persian Gulf region, and re-establishing cordial relations with Russia by discontinuing aggressive military and geo-political policies.

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  • 35. At 1:55pm on 10 Nov 2008, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 31 tonygreeeg wrote:

    "To all those journalists at the BBC - its over and your guy lost. My advice is to get over it and stop having pot shots at the system who elected the other guy."

    Tony, and all others with the constant allegations of bias.

    For approximately the 97 millionth time.

    Please either prove evidence of bias - or remain silent.

    Even if JW did predict that McCain would win, that proves neither bias nor that he actually wanted him to win.

    He's been repeatedly accused of blatant bias against Obama, Clinton and McCain. They cannot all be right.

    Then again, what would I know. I'm clearly fatally biased in favour of Clinton/Obama/McCain/Palin/The Reps/The Dems/Ralph Nader/Justin Webb/The rightwing and leftwing mainstream media/Uncle Tom Cobleigh an' all [Delete where applicable.]

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  • 36. At 2:03pm on 10 Nov 2008, icetayoa wrote:

    A discerning mind should not be surprised that Registered voters were far in excess of actual voters. What do you expect, when ACORN was busy registering Mickey mouse, donald duck !!

    I guess Mickey mouse and Donald duck were too busy on their various cartoon shows, to turn up to vote!

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  • 37. At 2:15pm on 10 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    # 35 Dublin John

    There is a strange post election "washup" interview with the Head of the BBC Newsroom in The Independent today.

    He admits that the BBC do have to be wary of offending the American right and goes on ..... "you have to be sensitive to the fact that there are some Americans who are always suspicious of non-American, European liberal voices as they see them. We must be impartial"

    Presumably it was sensitivity to the finer feelings of the American Right that led Justin Webb and Matt Frei to throw impartiality to the wind and back McCain to win at the outset of the campaign.

    I always put this support down to a surfeit of bourbon on the Straight Talk Express but now it seems as though the BBC interpretation of the word "impartial" is to pander to the right wing.

    Goodness only knows who they think pays the licence fee.

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  • 38. At 2:25pm on 10 Nov 2008, icetayoa wrote:

    Its comforting to see, that Justin is getting a bitter taste of the 'Messiah's' followers wrath on this board.

    I bet he would agree with me that running any opinion or fact that is at variance with what 'THE ONE' and the liberal left may want us to believe is a very risky business in these times..

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  • 39. At 2:28pm on 10 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    # 16

    Some sixty years ago, there was a New York Congressman who put "New York for $50" advertisements in Puerto Rican busses.

    When the immigrants arrived, they would be met at the airport put on the welfare rolls immediately.

    Thus did New York City get its Puerto Ricans and did the Congressman get his voting base.

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  • 40. At 2:31pm on 10 Nov 2008, alanskillcole wrote:

    Relief! They didn't crater!
    Bit off topic, but, aye,.....

    "Of course, all taxes are redistributive, in that they redistribute private resources for public purposes. But the federal income tax is (downwardly) redistributive as a matter of principle: however slightly, it softens the inequalities that are inevitable in a market economy, and it reflects the belief that the wealthy have a proportionately greater stake in the material aspects of the social order and, therefore, should give that order proportionately more material support. McCain himself probably shares this belief, and there was a time when he was willing to say so. During the 2000 campaign, on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” a young woman asked him why her father, a doctor, should be “penalized” by being “in a huge tax bracket.” McCain replied that “wealthy people can afford more” and that “the very wealthy, because they can afford tax lawyers and all kinds of loopholes, really don’t pay nearly as much as you think they do.” The exchange continued:

    Young woman: Are we getting closer and closer to, like, socialism and stuff?. . .
    McCain: Here’s what I really believe: That when you reach a certain level of comfort, there’s nothing wrong with paying somewhat more.

    For her part, Sarah Palin, who has lately taken to calling Obama “Barack the Wealth Spreader,” seems to be something of a suspect character herself. She is, at the very least, a fellow-traveller of what might be called socialism with an Alaskan face. The state that she governs has no income or sales tax. Instead, it imposes huge levies on the oil companies that lease its oil fields. The proceeds finance the government’s activities and enable it to issue a four-figure annual check to every man, woman, and child in the state. One of the reasons Palin has been a popular governor is that she added an extra twelve hundred dollars to this year’s check, bringing the per-person total to $3,269. A few weeks before she was nominated for Vice-President, she told a visiting journalist—Philip Gourevitch, of this magazine—that “we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs.” Perhaps there is some meaningful distinction between spreading the wealth and sharing it (“collectively,” no less), but finding it would require the analytic skills of Karl the Marxist."
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27397938/

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  • 41. At 2:38pm on 10 Nov 2008, Darrell wrote:

    The raw turnout numbers in some states are not necessarily a good reflection of the voting pool (how many voters there are).

    For example, if one moves within the state of North Carolina and they re-register at their new home, their old registration is cancelled if they listed their old address. If they did not, they "might not come off" straight away and essentially be counted twice in the "registration pool". If someone moves outside of the state, they may remain on the list for several years.

    The list of registred voters is purged down of "latent voters" every couple of years, and not in the EVEN years (when Federal Elections occur). Different states may have different levels of this problem.

    Here in NC the 2008 General Election % turnout is just over 69%; which is a few points higher than a four years, but the total vote is some 800,000 more votes.

    The state of NC has grown significantly in terms of population, in 2000 we had a population of around 8 million, in 2004 that was 8.5M and now we are around 9.1M. A population growth of 600,000 in the last four years by population (which will include children and aliens), has helped with the voting growth of 800,000 between the two elections.

    Further, in 2004, George Bush won NC with a 13% margin, this year Obama has won the state with less than 1%. It is a significant swing, but we were very close. Hence it took a couple of days before the state was declared.

    The key things is, we are now a BLUE state.

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  • 42. At 2:45pm on 10 Nov 2008, watermanaquarius wrote:

    Justin ,
    I think you missed the point in the percentages when you spoke of " not so many new folks" and " a simple switch of allegience", which could be summed up by reversing the analogy of the late actor Paul Newman about the success and longevity of his marriage.
    Newman spoke about having "steak" at home and there being no need to go out for a hamburger!
    Could many dyed in the wool Republicans have viewed Mccain and Palin as a lame duck and rancid moose steak combination offering, and decided eating out [voting], was not worth their while?
    icetayoa # 4 and others seem to have their fingers correctly on the pulse of the election results and a survey of disillusioned Republicans to investigate the matter for their party would appear to be of greater value than journalists holding a wet finger in the air to see which way the wind is / was blowing.

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  • 43. At 2:46pm on 10 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "What do you expect, when ACORN was busy registering Mickey mouse, donald duck !!" - icetayoa

    No matter how many times you repeat this lie, it does not become true. ACORN is legally obliged to pass on all registration applications, however obviously invalid. YOU LOST. Come to terms with it.

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  • 44. At 3:09pm on 10 Nov 2008, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    38 ice: stop talking drivel ...

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  • 45. At 3:13pm on 10 Nov 2008, frayedcat wrote:

    Uh-huh a lot of republicans stayed home this time around, and a lot of lower income voters came out this time around who stayed out of it in disgust last time around (or their whole lives so far) - maybe US politicians could behave in a manner that didn't disgust 40% or so of the voters...

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  • 46. At 3:20pm on 10 Nov 2008, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    4 ice:

    'Mcain let the liberal media unwittingly set the tone of his campaign and sadly he paid the ultimate price for it.'

    Eh? McCain set his own tone and then changed it a couple of times. His campaign's failure is down to him, not this 'liberal media conspiracy' rubbish you and others keep on coming up with.

    Reread my posts 392 and and 432 from teh previous blog (Victimhood).

    Over and out.

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  • 47. At 3:31pm on 10 Nov 2008, topspin wrote:



    The Democrats aren't interested in honest election reform.

    The Democrats will continue to block Republican attempts to pass basic election security laws requiring photo IDs. The Democrats argue that requiring photo IDs is "voter suppression".

    Hillary Clinton campaign lawyers have argued that the only reason Obama won the Democratic nomination is because of widespread cheating and voter intimidation by Obama supporters in their own Democratic party run caucuses.

    The Democrats will try to pass the "fairness doctrine" to silence the few voices in the media, who don't participate in the Obama love fest.

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  • 48. At 3:44pm on 10 Nov 2008, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    40 Alan: Yeh, just a bit off topic, but good post.

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  • 49. At 3:51pm on 10 Nov 2008, SaintOne wrote:

    #46

    "Eh? McCain set his own tone and then changed it a couple of times."

    That made me giggle, thank you!

    Peace

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  • 50. At 3:51pm on 10 Nov 2008, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 38

    "Its comforting to see, that Justin is getting a bitter taste of the 'Messiah's' followers wrath on this board."

    I am one of those Democrats who voted for Obama, but contrary to what you insinuate I don't attribute Messianic powers to our President-elect, I doubt all his proposals will be implemented, and I would not be surprised if many of those that are implemented do not produce the desired results.

    As opposed to the partisan positions that you seem to prefer, I believe the best socio-political solutions are those reached by consensus after listening to the opinions offered by people with different ideological leanings and values.

    Hopefully Obama will choose a team of competent and pragmatic intellectuals, that will include members of both major parties and Independents, willing and capable of focusing on what is best for our country, rather than an Administration whose policies are crafted by a Decider influenced by divine intervention and gut feelings.

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  • 51. At 3:53pm on 10 Nov 2008, Prof John Locke wrote:

    "And Justin, if you're going to become American, do drop the word 'got' from your vocabulary, its use in that sentence is superfluous. If you wanted to emphasise your point, you could have used 'must'. British writers and politicians are the worst offenders; don't be one of them."

    surely justin should start to use "gotten" to be a real american!

    i too am sceptical as the queues to vote were the longest in history!

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  • 52. At 4:15pm on 10 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    That's the "biggest challenge for Obama"? Get serious.

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  • 53. At 4:20pm on 10 Nov 2008, BraunSA wrote:

    Justin, you are correct about the Democrats wanting to find new voters. Amnesty will fit nicely with that plan...

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  • 54. At 4:24pm on 10 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Johm-in-Dublin (#33), no state allocates its electoral votes "on a proportional basis." Maine and Nebraska allocate all but two of their electoral votes by congressional district. There is no way to have "more if not all" states use this method; the only way to do it would be by Constitutional amendment, which would, of course, affect all states.

    This point has been discussed more fully in prior threads, but the essential point is that the large states which tend to have a solid majority for one party or the other (California, New York, Texas) are not going to adopt this plan individually, for political reasons.

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  • 55. At 4:29pm on 10 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Johm-in-Dublin (#33), on your last point, amending the Constitution is not "slow and unwieldy" when there is a consensus that change is needed. It has been amended many times. Where the electoral college is concerned, it's the lack of consensus that is the problem. The small states have an advantage in the electoral college which they are not willing to give up (rightly so in my opinion).

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  • 56. At 4:29pm on 10 Nov 2008, watermanaquarius wrote:

    Justin
    Many are doing their best to help you settle down in America, because of your English mind-set and spelling or vocabulary hang-ups...
    Further to my earlier suggestion about the voter turnout, may I offer extra advice, because I too learned at school that a billion was a million million,- a trillion : a million million million.
    Assuming the majority of Americans to be a car mad folk, they would have been using their car to travel to vote. If you had divided the total voting electorate with the American gallon [ 3.7853litres ] and multiplied the result by using the British equivalent -[4.546litres ], you would possibly have reached a truer figure about what should have been .
    By using this data calculation you can easily reach the correct answer for all future negative and positive results that polls and your questioning colleagues suggest.
    For example -Americas present rating of Bush, 34% for America as a whole, becomes 40.8% for the rich Republicans, and 28.3% for older Democrats. To obtain a young democrat value simply factor in the celsius 100 / farenheit 212 calculation for those hot under the collar [being at college or unemployed] and the result goes down to 13.35%, and the young rich upwardly mobile republicans presently holidaying in the sun, and lying in the cool under the palm trees abroad, it becomes 72%.
    Hoping to have helped out so that you blend in better and that you have a nicer day.
    wma

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  • 57. At 4:42pm on 10 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    4 crack daddy .
    nice moderate introduction. all safe. blame Mc acin.

    7 crackdaddy again reasonable.
    agrees that maybe Mc cain was not the big prob , by agreeing with his quote.

    just a little jab at all who disagree with it.

    Oh Cracky BTW what about your breaking news yesterday... big stuff---up .

    13 soul. Someone that reads, good point.

    15Crack daddy gets a boot in but hits his own ass..Again oh great revealer .

    then gives up trying



    lol Nick 14

    Dominick, well put letters.
    I have a feeling the disappointment will be played up by the rigth as much as possible ,trying as many do here to prove that they were right after all.


    40 I have been asking that question, spread /share what's the difference.

    Share implies giving all a bit , but also gives me the impression of a thoughtful redistribution.

    Spread may mean get some wealth and layer it on, then I think Nuttella not marmite.
    A marmite spread would be thin and not evenly distributed.


    John 35

    re read the press coverage of the whole election. look at the headlines.
    Obama wins "should Obama be Hillary's VP" for example.
    this went on through out.
    Maybe it is true that the BBC had to overcompensate to keep their republican subscribers on board.
    But that still means they were not really as impartial as they pretended.
    or pretend.

    Geneva convention thrown out, world economy collapsed because we did "go out and spend" as a counter to the attacks of 9/11.
    Election fraud as pointed out here earlier that would be getting other countries in trouble with the UN for.
    Cantidates , both hillary and Mc Cain raising subtle racism ( of the same sort that Justin is so fond of) and provoking race haters.

    All the while basically supporting either Hillary or Mccain, even when he picked the new VICTIMhooded palinolithic alaskan monster.


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  • 58. At 4:42pm on 10 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    WORLD NEWS
    Iraqis Want Us Out by 2011
    Or they'll have to use force.
    China Announces $586 Billion Stimulus Plan
    To help beleaguered poison industry.
    U.S., Zimbabwe Only Countries to Oppose UN Arms Trade Treaty
    In odd pairing, rogue regime teams up with African nation.
    GM May Soon Run Out of Cash
    Car buyers told to bring exact change.
    1.2 Million Jobs Lost So Far This Year
    Only growth is job of telling people they've lost their job.

    Peace and Irony
    ed

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  • 59. At 4:46pm on 10 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    53 they just won if you hadn't noticed.

    Maybe we should let them have a chance to get in before we think , hell they screwed up big time.

    just a thought.
    Hell even i gave GW a bit until he repealed every environmental act(which had him pretty unpopular after his honeymoon(most unpopular)).
    Oh and then got all fake texan after 9/11

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  • 60. At 4:55pm on 10 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Corbly (29),

    "Almost lost in the noise about the African-American vote is the fact that the Latino vote overwhelmingly went Democratic. That's bad news for the GOP."
    And the youth vote Vs the over 65s was consistently skewed, e.g.
    Vote by Age (Dem/Rep/Other)
    18-29 (18%) 66% 32% 2%

    30-44 (29%) 52% 46% 2%

    45-64 (37%) 50% 49% 1%

    65 and Older (16%) 45% 53% 2%

    http://edition.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/polls.main/

    This bodes well, as the young are being constantly replenished, and the old depleted....

    Peace and Age-ism
    ed

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  • 61. At 5:11pm on 10 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    Ed,
    It's a general finding that the young are further left than the old, but this is at least partly because individuals tend to shift right as they age. Of course you can interpret this in diametrically opposite ways: people move right with greater experience of the world; or as they lose brain cells!

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  • 62. At 5:20pm on 10 Nov 2008, Susan Bird wrote:

    FOX NEWS:
    Registration Blowout: More Than 3.5 Million New Voters in 2008

    OOPS. The right man won and many NEW voters did turn out for Obama

    OOPS. I think not so many NEW and over 65 people turned out for McCain because they were not impressed with his campaign, nor his issues or indeed his lack of knowledge about the economy and his superficial choice of Sarah Palin for VP.

    Obama = 364 Electoral votes - pretty big win (against McCain 163).
    Obama 53% = 65,455,418 voters
    McCain 46% = 57,454,005 voters
    By Age 18-29 (make up 18%)
    66% for Obama
    32% for McCain

    OOPSY DAISY --- JUSTIN STOP TRYING TO NEGATE THE WIN. IT IS HISTORIC. GET OVER YOURSELF. YOU JUST LOVE TO MINIMALISE PRESIDENT ELECT OBAMA'S GLORY.

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  • 63. At 5:22pm on 10 Nov 2008, moderate_observer wrote:

    the electoral system in the US is deliberately flawed. A perfect case of the fox watching the henhouse. SO dont expect improvements anytime soon Justin.

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  • 64. At 5:25pm on 10 Nov 2008, icetayoa wrote:

    Its comforting to see, that Justin is getting a bitter taste of the 'Messiah's' followers (jacks a forgery) wrath on this board.


    4 crack daddy .
    nice moderate introduction. all safe. blame Mc acin.

    7 crackdaddy again reasonable.
    agrees that maybe Mc cain was not the big prob , by agreeing with his quote.

    just a little jab at all who disagree with it.

    Oh Cracky BTW what about your breaking news yesterday... big stuff---up .

    13 soul. Someone that reads, good point.

    15Crack daddy gets a boot in but hits his own ass..Again oh great revealer .

    then gives up trying..bla bla bla bla bla bla..




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  • 65. At 5:33pm on 10 Nov 2008, timohio wrote:

    Sixty percent of eligible voters may be as much as the country is likely to turn out for a presidential election, but it is significant that the total number of eligible voters increased.

    I can testify to the energy of the Obama ground game. I had a series of visits from Obama workers in the days prior to the election, all checking that my wife and I would be voting on the 4th (yes indeed, really, we promise, honest--we'll be there). Plus all of the phone calls.

    As far as election reform, that is largely left to individual states to implement. The federal government in the past has enacted laws to ensure equal access to voting, but even the Supreme Court is reluctant to interfere with states' rights in conducting an election. I can't see the federal government mandating a certain kind of voting machine, for example, unless Congress is willing to pay for them--and they can't afford to do that right now.

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  • 66. At 5:33pm on 10 Nov 2008, icetayoa wrote:

    #61
    people move right with greater experience of the world; or as they lose brain cells!


    Seriously Justin, you ought to consider putting an age limit on this board!

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  • 67. At 5:45pm on 10 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    64
    crack daddy.
    just because I am offensive does not make you in anyway right, except on the right.



    BTW
    what about your "Breaking news."
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/11/an_end_to_victimhood.html#comment454


    "hmm! good old forgy boy, how come you know which school samtyler attended? i bet you are the chap solely responsible for all the negative and loquacious rants on this board. How have you managed to pull it off? it must be very time and energy consuming, signing in under different names."

    keep thinking , if that's what you call it.

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  • 68. At 5:46pm on 10 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    I remind all that, although "left and right" may be a useful "spectrum" for those who find a flat Earth too difficult to comprehend, it is a vast oversimplification, and only really suitable for the simple-minded...

    Peace and Living Colour Surround Sound and Smell-o-Vision
    ed

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  • 69. At 5:47pm on 10 Nov 2008, moderate_observer wrote:

    #61 nick gott i believe people shift right as they get older because they get more set in their ways and more risk averse, hence would prefer things stay the same than to have anything drastically change

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  • 70. At 5:47pm on 10 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    Crack daddy 66

    but that might stop some of our best contributors like Ed and the other oldies;)

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  • 71. At 5:53pm on 10 Nov 2008, AJAGUIRRE wrote:

    It may be that there was a higher turnout of new Democrats and less of the Republican base this election year.

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  • 72. At 5:59pm on 10 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Ed (#68), that's certainly true. The difficulty in placing a political person on the left/right spectrum is due to the weakness of the model, not the person.

    Factor analysis is the way to go.

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  • 73. At 6:01pm on 10 Nov 2008, icetayoa wrote:

    jacks a forgery wrote..

    crack daddy.
    just because I am offensive does not make you in anyway right, except on the right.

    I dont think you are offensive. i think you have this strong need and desire to validate yourself.

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  • 74. At 6:03pm on 10 Nov 2008, timohio wrote:

    re. 55. Gary_A_Hill:

    Considering that there have only been 27 amendments to the US constitution and that the first 10 were ratified immediately after the adoption of the constitution, I would say that the process is fairly lengthy and rarely used. My favorite is the 27th amendment, which was proposed in 1789 and not ratified until 1992.

    I personally think that a lengthy process is a good thing. The constitution is supposed to spell out the framework of government, not deal with relatively transitory problems. There are ways to deal with the electoral process without amending the constitution.

    And I don't think we should mess with the electoral college. As I've said in posts to other BBC blogs, the whole framework of government in the US is designed to promote stability, not to make change easier. In spite of periodic complaints, the electoral college has worked fairly well. It protects smaller states and ensures that change can only occur when there is general consensus that it is needed. Yes, we had two squeakers of elections in 2000 and 2004, with the possibility of some tampering in both elections. And those elections gave us Bush, which wasn't a good thing for the country. But when there was sufficient momentum, change occurred. In the history of a country, two elections aren't that long to wait.

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  • 75. At 6:10pm on 10 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Jack,

    " Ed and the other oldies"
    Amongst "the oldies", I'm a mere kid, but I ain't shifting to any "right", although I've been pretty 'conservative' (adamantly 'small c') for decades...
    "XXVII. The first thing we must begin to teach our children (and learn ourselves) is that we cannot spend and consume endlessly. We have got to learn to save and conserve. We do need a "new economy", but one that is founded on thrift and care, on saving and conserving, not on excess and waste. An economy based on waste is inherently and hopelessly violent, and war is its inevitable by-product. We need a peaceable economy."
    Peace and another couple of decades, insh'allah
    ed

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  • 76. At 6:16pm on 10 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    I hope that when Obama goes to the White House today he keeps well out of the way of Barney.

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  • 77. At 6:36pm on 10 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    73
    I think you are like the worse of republicans. those that always attribute their problems to others in order to ignore their "perishing souls".

    Have fun in purgatory .

    PS I validate my self at a forge. not a blog.

    "THE VILLAGE BLACKSMITH"
    Under a spreading chestnut tree
    The village smithy stands;
    The smith, a mighty man is he,
    With large and sinewy hands;
    And the muscles of his brawny arms
    Are strong as iron bands.

    His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
    His face is like the tan:
    His brow is wet with honest sweat,
    He earns whate'er he can,
    And looks the whole world in the face,
    For he owes not any man.

    Week in, week out, from morn till night,
    You can hear his bellows blow;
    You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,
    With measured beat and slow,
    Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
    When the evening sun is low.

    And children coming home from school
    Look in at the open door;
    They love to see the flaming forge,
    And hear the bellows roar,
    And catch the burning sparks that fly
    Like chaff from a threshing floor.

    He goes on Sunday to the church,
    And sits among his boys;
    He hear the parson pray and preach,
    He hears his daughter's voice,
    Singing in the village choir,
    And it makes his heart rejoice.

    It sounds to him like her mother's voice,
    Singing in Paradise!
    He needs must think of her once more,
    How in the grave she lies;
    And with his hard, rough hand he wipes
    A tear out of his eyes.

    Toiling,--rejoicing,--sorrowing,
    Onwards through life he goes;
    Each morning sees some task begin,
    Each evening sees it close;
    Something attempted, something done,
    Has earned a night's repose.

    Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
    For the lesson thou hast taught!
    Thus at the flaming forge of life
    Our fortunes must be wrought;
    Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
    Each burning deed and thought!

    By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

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  • 78. At 6:36pm on 10 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:

    # 74

    OK, eight years may not be long in historic terms but look at the damage that has been done. I'm not going to go through it all again - but the torture issue alone was unconstitutional, un-American and unforgiveable.

    2000 essentially let in a rogue government and measures need to be taken to make sure that this never happens again.

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  • 79. At 6:40pm on 10 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    75

    Dear Ed,
    Thank you for all you contributions to this site. May I say here and now there is no way I would mistake you for "the enemy".

    I hope there are many years more to your life.
    Good Luck and Good health.

    Ps just noticed that Mama Africa died.


    She would have been very welcome to this debate.

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  • 80. At 6:41pm on 10 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    Maybe today I will become Ed in Crack Daddy eyes for that last comment.

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  • 81. At 6:44pm on 10 Nov 2008, MarkB2 wrote:

    #35 - Dublin John

    I didn't mention the word 'bias', but it has been pretty clear who Justin Webb and others have favoured in this election.

    I would point you to the numerous blogs around the topic of 'how McCain can win' and links to right-wing websites.

    The crowning glory for me was the case study of Wyoming, containing the narrative - 'Obama may think he's going to win the country, but he's not going to take Wyoming'!

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  • 82. At 6:44pm on 10 Nov 2008, Andrew Prescott wrote:

    Just a quickie. I wish the BBC would get its vote results page correct.

    Obama 365 (not 364) There was one electoral vote for Distict 2 Omaha in Nebraska that went to Obama.

    McCains 173 (if you include Missouri - which the BBC hasn't yet).

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  • 83. At 6:46pm on 10 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    timohio (#74), the example of the 27th amendment does not contradict my point. The extraordinary delay was due to the necessity of building the consensus, not the mechanics of the process. Had there been a consensus when first proposed, it would have passed quickly.

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  • 84. At 6:48pm on 10 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    78
    I'll second that too.

    Have fun all.
    remember to strike while the Iron is hot.

    Cause it only gets harder.

    Thanks to the "unpatriotic" people here who voted for Obama.

    Glad to see that a majority of the country are "unpatriotic"

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  • 85. At 6:51pm on 10 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    While we were looking the other way...

    "The financial world was fixated on Capitol Hill as Congress battled over the Bush administration's request for a $700 billion bailout of the banking industry. In the midst of this late-September drama, the Treasury Department issued a five-sentence notice that attracted almost no public attention.

    But corporate tax lawyers quickly realized the enormous implications of the document: Administration officials had just given American banks a windfall of as much as $140 billion."
    So, what else is new?

    Peace and Vigilance
    ed

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  • 86. At 6:56pm on 10 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    eightypercent (#78), I don't know what "measures" you are contemplating that would be consistent with a democratic form of government. In 2000, the popular vote went 47.9% for Bush and 48.4% for Gore. In such a close election, it could have turned out either way. As a practical matter, the country was evenly divided.

    The only solution I find acceptable is to find good candidates, and educate the electorate to choose the best. Not a particularly reliable approach, but it worked well enough this year, I think.

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  • 87. At 6:58pm on 10 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    81 complaints to the BBC and the ombudsman are appropriate.

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  • 88. At 7:04pm on 10 Nov 2008, Mike Mullen wrote:

    #36 Icetayao:

    "A discerning mind should not be surprised that Registered voters were far in excess of actual voters. What do you expect, when ACORN was busy registering Mickey mouse, donald duck !!

    I guess Mickey mouse and Donald duck were too busy on their various cartoon shows, to turn up to vote!"

    Well aren't registered voters in excess of actual voters in every US election? Unless you have statistics to show this election was somehow exceptional in that regard then your statement is meaningless. In fact given other statements here that the percentage of registered voters who turned out was about the same as previous elections your statement is apparently just plain wrong.

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  • 89. At 7:12pm on 10 Nov 2008, DougTexan wrote:

    I am like the best of Republicans, not insulted by those with pipes of hemp,..
    with flowery thoughts that they are described, By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow..

    .... give us a break, that description is histerical.

    Beautiful way he perceived a long lost art of 'men', strong, and true.
    Plowshares to swords, and back again,..
    all that is left, is men like you.

    They created tools that supported work,
    defended towns and property,..
    now they cut and stamp out frogs,..
    or pokers for pipes and burning logs


    ribit, no rivet

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  • 90. At 7:15pm on 10 Nov 2008, proles wrote:

    "Priority number one" is dismatling the two-party system. Every four years the media goes on a predictable frenzy about the earth-shattering consequences of this latest grand historical election and just as predictably, barely half of the electorate bothers to show up. And then, as predictably, there are new calls to expand or simplify the registration process in some procedural ways, but the sad fact of the matter is that there's not much point in revamping the technicalities of the registration process when the system itself is fundamentally flawed. It's not mainly the registration hurdles that dampen voter turnout. Although there's no reason not to remove any obstacles there, that's of only minor significance compared to the lack of any real choice once you are able to vote. In fact, why even bother when you can only rubber stamp nearly identical candidates who each represent elite interests. The endless hoopla over expanding voter participation is only designed to distract attention from the lack of any significant policy differences between the candidates and rationalize a venal Duopoly Party facade that keeps power tightly concentrated in a few hands. By 'voting with their feet' people are rejecting the system more than the registration process. One can only imagine corporate stooges like Mrs. Clinton or Obama Copacabana ever trying to do anything to change that!

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  • 91. At 7:16pm on 10 Nov 2008, Cassandra wrote:

    #69
    "i believe people shift right as they get older because they get more set in their ways and more risk averse, hence would prefer things stay the same than to have anything drastically change"

    In other words some people become more fear-based. as they age.

    Researchers following childhood development through adulthood see that scared kids are likely to turn into right-wing adults, trying to control their environments and other people to protect themselves. There's some controversy there but it makes sense. Anyone ever read G. Gordon Liddy's autobiography? Perfect example.

    When it comes to who voted, it will be weeks - even months - before we have accurate information. Hashing it over now is a waste of time.

    Cheerio!


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  • 92. At 7:30pm on 10 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Hmmmmm.

    I Like it - Peace Vision, and Minimalism
    ed

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  • 93. At 7:35pm on 10 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Woof" Woof"

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  • 94. At 7:36pm on 10 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    # 86 ~ Gary

    There is still a huge whiffy cloud over the Florida hanging chads issue. Those are the sort of measures I was referring to (not that Republicans be banned !)

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  • 95. At 7:42pm on 10 Nov 2008, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 37 eightypercent wrote:

    "Presumably it was sensitivity to the finer feelings of the American Right that led Justin Webb and Matt Frei to throw impartiality to the wind and back McCain to win at the outset of the campaign."

    There is of course a fatal, though possibly unintentional, ambiguity in the use of the word 'backed'. There's 'backed' as in they said they thought he was the most likely winner. Then there's 'backed' as in they expressed the view that they hoped he'd win. I assume you are not claiming the latter?

    If the former, can you direct me to where they said it?

    And even if they did, I question whether this constitutes lack of impartiality. Journalists are forever predicting who they think will win elections. They often get it wrong. I know plenty of people who expressed the view that they thought McCain would probably win, just because he was a well known experienced war-hero white guy, [with an unscrupulous and previously successful electoral machine behind him] against a young and little known African-American. That doesn't mean they WANTED him to win.

    I'm also quite interested in the claim that these guys forecast a McCain win, as Webb was interviewed in the Radio Times of 1-7 Nov. He was asked who would win. "The BBC issues very few edicts about what I must and must not say, but it has issued one this year, and that is that I must not say, at any stage, to anyone, who I think will win'

    You're saying he broke the 'edict'?

    He was also asked who he wanted to win.

    'I genuinely don't mind who wins, and I genuinely don't have a favourite. And I genuinely wouldn't tell you if I did!'

    And finally - I did a Google to see if those quotes were on the web, to save me a bit of typing. And I found this - link - whining about how right wing JW is. And I also found this - link - whinging about how pro-Democrat Justin [and the Beeb] are.

    There's just no pleasing some people.....

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  • 96. At 7:49pm on 10 Nov 2008, mary gravitt wrote:

    The Republicans are looking for a few good men and women who still believe that America is still living in the 20th century. That is the only way they can retake the White House.

    George W. Bush is the last 20th century minded President to occupy the White House. John McCain tried, as did Palin, but their message was retro as was their politics.

    All Obama has to do is realize that the 21st century has a history that should not be its future. He need to make a historian part of his inner circle of advisors. And most importantly of all: WATCH OUT FOR THE LEVEN OF THE NEOCONS. A LITTLE LEVEN FERMENTS THE LUMP. And he will get enough lumps on his own without letting BAD COMPANIONSHIP SPOIL USEFUL HABITS.

    All notes from the second coming.

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  • 97. At 7:57pm on 10 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "I don't know what "measures" you are contemplating that would be consistent with a democratic form of government. In 2000, the popular vote went 47.9% for Bush and 48.4% for Gore." - Gary_A_Hill

    One person one vote (i.e. getting rid of the electoral college)? Nationally enforced standards for checking voters' eligibility (rather than state governments being able to farm this out to private firms encouraged to remove as many voters as possible in certain districts) and fair distribution of polling places?

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  • 98. At 8:13pm on 10 Nov 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    Even though I voted for McCain, I thought that
    this video more or less explains the last
    hours of the McCain campaign.

    BTW, Justin, your idea of "redistricting" sounds
    a little ambitious. Isn't that a job best left to
    individual states? But, your enthusiasm for reform
    has created in me a desire to do something
    monumental, like straightening up my garage.

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  • 99. At 8:19pm on 10 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    # 81 Tony and #87 Jack

    See my post at 37. A very strange admission of the BBC's servile attitude to the American right.

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  • 100. At 8:21pm on 10 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    85.Ed Iglehart wrote:

    While we were looking the other way...

    I wasn't. Tried to point this out several times. All of the first tranch used for takeovers. About the same to be spent on Christmas bonuses and golden parachutes, as per usual.

    And 25 billion to GM (soon to be increased by another 75.) It'd be cheaper simply for the US government to offer everybody a free car.

    Obama plans to add another 300 billion to the bill in January . . .And none of this is going where it's needed to really address fixing the banking meltdown.

    However, no-one on the US appears to think this matters in the least and everything is hunky-dory. Got news for you all: you are in for a nasty fall to earth at the end of January.

    (And, I think so is everyone else: I see good old-fashioned American trade protectionism on the horizon and a lot of international trade agreements scrapped or ignored.)

    (Yawning.)

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  • 101. At 8:25pm on 10 Nov 2008, plonktrolls wrote:

    Caution using exit poll data

    Many of you are, and certainly Ed is, aware that the CNN data are from exit polls, which are subject to larger sampling errors.

    Exit Poll FAQ

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  • 102. At 8:30pm on 10 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    68.

    Ed Iglehart wrote:

    I remind all that, although "left and right" may be a useful "spectrum" for those who find a flat Earth too difficult to comprehend, it is a vast oversimplification, and only really suitable for the simple-minded...

    Comes from the French Revolution, I've just found out (thanks BBC World Service!)

    I agree. Why not use 'Front' (or 'Forward') instead of 'Left' and 'Back' ( or . . . .) for the Right?

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  • 103. At 8:30pm on 10 Nov 2008, _marko wrote:

    To #82. AAPrescott:

    What's your source for the final result?

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  • 104. At 8:32pm on 10 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    john-in-Dublin,
    Justin Webb predicted McCain would win the Presidency in December 2007 - against Clinton. Until his sour post-election "analysis", particularly in "An End to Victimhood" but also here, I assumed this was why he seemed often to be biased against Obama (e.g. in suggesting after Obama won a primary that he should run as Clinton's VP, in his "Elusive Surge" post on election night) - that he kept hoping his "misunderestimation" of Obama would be vindicated. "The End of Victimhood" made me seriously wonder if something nastier - an unconscious racial prejudice - was behind it.

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  • 105. At 8:46pm on 10 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    # 95 Dublin John,

    Like you, I have tried to deflect people from accusing Justin Webb of partiality for one side or the other during the recent heat of the campaign. His posts have served to stimulate a lively debate from all sides and none.

    I was, however, astonished at the very beginning of the campaign - before the early primaries - to come across comments from both Justin Webb and Matt Frei very favourable to McCain. Only JW can confirm this, but my impression was that BBC journalists had been included in the Straight Talk Express press pack and that McCain was the only candidate of all the primary contestants that was really familiar to them - and they liked him.

    The main reason for my surprise was because the UK was by that time very anti-Bush and anti-war and a majority of BBC viewers and listeners wanted to see the back of the Republican party.

    I would have held my counsel but for the interview in today's Independent (Media Section, on-line) which seems to confirm an element of servility to the American right wing.

    Maybe our JW who, incidently has been receiving plaudits for his radio and TV broadcasting, can tell us more.

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  • 106. At 8:50pm on 10 Nov 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    Here is another try. Even though I voted for
    McCain, there is a hilarious video on youtube
    which you can find by googling for "The Republican
    Downfall"

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  • 107. At 9:45pm on 10 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Dismantle the "two party system"? (#90) Impossible, one reason being that it's not a system at all. The people are free to organize themselves into as many parties as they desire. The fact that two parties dominate our politics is a consequence of the manner in which we elect out president, not the other way round.

    Here's an interesting and little-known fact: In 2008, nationwide, there were 24 candidates for president on a ballot somewhere (most not on all ballots, however). There was also a choce of "none of these" on some ballots. The third (Nader - Peace and Freedom) and fourth (Barr - Libertarian) candidates received about one-half of one percent each; the rest received only one-tenth percent or less.

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  • 108. At 9:48pm on 10 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    eightypercent (#94), if you only want more reliable electoral equipment and procedures, I am all in favor of that.

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  • 109. At 9:53pm on 10 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Nick-Gotts (#97), eliminating the electoral college isn't going to happen, but in any case this misses my point. Even with direct election, when the electorate is evenly divided, the outcome is a tossup. Many things could tip the result one way or other, so greater accuracy is no protection against rogue government. The fact is that nearly half of the electorate put the current president in office. In the current election, 46 percent of the voters chose an angry old man with an ignoramus for a running mate. To me, that's a problem no matter what system you use to count the votes.

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  • 110. At 10:02pm on 10 Nov 2008, AnonymousCalifornian wrote:

    "make registration simpler and easier and federally organised"

    I disagree. Registration and voting should still be state-centered, although I'll admit that this is largely for sentimental views about states' rights on my part.

    Registration, at least in California, is already pretty simple. Not to be excessively harsh, but if you can't properly fill out a registration form, you probably have no right voting in the first place (though, if you are a citizen you of course have the right to vote).

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  • 111. At 10:18pm on 10 Nov 2008, AnonymousCalifornian wrote:

    "And I found this - link - whining about how right wing JW is. And I also found this - link - whinging about how pro-Democrat Justin [and the Beeb] are." (comment 95, john-in-Dublin)

    I'm pretty sure that if you were to take a poll of Americans and ask them whether or not Justin, and the BBC, were biased toward the Republicans or the Democrats, the overwhelming majority would answer Democrats/left. Only a few far-left kooks would think the BBC (Justin) is right wing - sort of like the 4% of American Democrats who thought Obama was 'conservative' on election night.

    And "whining" and "whinging" in a single post: you aren't half British, half American, by chance, are you? :-)'

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  • 112. At 10:21pm on 10 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    Gary_A_Hill,

    Direct election would at least avoid the perceived (and I would say real) unfairness of the person with the most votes losing. I quite agree about the need for better education!

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  • 113. At 10:50pm on 10 Nov 2008, frayedcat wrote:

    Hmmmm - election's over and lots of troubles to worry about between now and the next one. Here's hoping progress is so positive and spectacular that the polls go 80/20 and these electoral niceties become a non-issue. It's been hovering around 50-50 in the US for so long its certain we're half crazy....just no one knows for sure which half.

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  • 114. At 11:15pm on 10 Nov 2008, chronophobe wrote:

    I know you in the States get tired of Canadians telling you how much more sensibly we do things up here, but, well, what can I say?

    What advantages are gained by having the parties themselves register voters?

    We have a Federal authority that takes care of the registration process nationwide. I don't even have to do anything, as a citizen I am registered to vote.

    If I choose, I can tick a little box on my tax return, and any changes in address will be reflected on the voter's registration list.

    If I do move and don't tick the box, I'm still on the list, but I will have to show photo ID to vote.

    Procedures for new immigrants, etc., to get on the list are very simple (I think you can do it online), but are also secure and non-partisan.

    Moreover, Elections Canada oversees the entire electoral process as such. It is professional, non-partisan and uniform.

    More details here.

    Yours,
    A Canadian Pinko, pleased with peace, order and good government



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  • 115. At 11:24pm on 10 Nov 2008, chronophobe wrote:

    Oh, and this is a great photo.

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  • 116. At 11:42pm on 10 Nov 2008, chronophobe wrote:

    Ooops, sorry, wrong link. Try here.

    Posting on the fly . . .

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  • 117. At 11:59pm on 10 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Brit,

    "Comes from the French Revolution, I've just found out (thanks BBC World Service!)"
    Huh? I wasn't quoting anyone but my own oft-repeated observations regarding thee one-dimensional nature of "spectrum"...is there an earlier and more respectable source/

    Pereant, inquit, qui ante nos nostra dixerunt.

    "Confound those who have said our remarks before us."

    -- Aelius Donatus

    Peace and puzzlement
    ed

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  • 118. At 00:00am on 11 Nov 2008, regular_josephina wrote:

    With all the problems we've got on our plate, the voting system shouldn't be #2 on our list. When we do get around to solving the problem, it would be a lot easier if we just learned to keep track of ourselves. It's just apathy about voting that keeps us from registering each time we move.

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  • 119. At 00:15am on 11 Nov 2008, HabitualHero wrote:

    The best way to eliminate voter apathy is for politicians to stop being useless lying b*****ds.

    Don't expect turnouts to increase anytime soon.

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  • 120. At 00:15am on 11 Nov 2008, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    Completetly off thread but I just read this:

    http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=528a7933-043d-4c3d-8dc1-4ed644d975f4

    I found it interesting, the comments are very good too.

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  • 121. At 00:25am on 11 Nov 2008, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    115/116 chrono:

    Followed the wrong link, but forgot where it originated. Just worked it out. Anyway it is a good article, and picture.

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  • 122. At 00:33am on 11 Nov 2008, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    114 chrono:

    As a brit/canuck I feel I should say: not so hard really, is it? lol

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  • 123. At 00:50am on 11 Nov 2008, Cassandra wrote:

    111

    "Only a few far-left kooks would think the BBC (Justin) is right wing...."

    Gosh! I see why you're anonymous.

    But then the lock-step far right thinks that a person who only voted with Bush 90% of the time is a "maverick."

    I laugh in your general direction.

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  • 124. At 01:51am on 11 Nov 2008, Jackturk wrote:


    Expanding the new constituencies as Justin puts it will not be done by simply making registration easier; it will be done by education.

    Education which emphasises that national healthcare should be a right, especially in a democracy.

    Education which teaches the value of community over greed.

    Education which stresses that civilised countries do not judicially murder their own citizens.

    And education that allows people to see that blind allegiance to patriotism is a primative concept.

    The more socially aware will draw an obvious conclusion from the above.

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  • 125. At 01:53am on 11 Nov 2008, mike wrote:

    Although the US Constitution has been amended several times, it is still a rare event. The reform of Electoral College is a difficult one and would be a cumbersome legislative challenge that would take many years of inertia from Congress to write-nevermind actually pass and sign it in to law.
    The Electoral College does what was intended ie. allows no state to dominate. A popular election(where the candidate with the most votes wins) would create intense stumping in California and the North-East big cities. Places like Eugene, OR or South Bend, IN would never see a candidate. The small states would succeed a lot of power and the next logical step would be to ask 'should every state elect two senators?' Such a move would disenfranchise most of the country. One senator would represent the populations of Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska-a huge area(same size as Western Europe) but sparsely populated. There is no way these smaller states could or should let this happen.
    Proportional division of the Electoral Votes is again up to each state-I don't think many people fully comprehend that each state determines most of its governence. Thus the party in power is always reluctant to change the formula which brought them to power.
    However, one does have to agree that there should be some Federally mandated system to oversee voter registration and that things like voting machines and polling requirements are the same throughout the country.

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  • 126. At 03:27am on 11 Nov 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #124, jackturk, I'm trying to be argumentative,
    but we Americans actually do know a thing or
    two about human rights. They're in our constitution.

    We don't need anybody to "educate" us.

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  • 127. At 04:26am on 11 Nov 2008, OldSouth wrote:

    Mr. Webb: I fear you misunderstand us on this question.

    1. We are citizens of the States first. The States operate on a federal basis under the terms of the Constitution.

    2. The management of voter rolls and elections is left to the states, since the Constitution leaves all powers not specifically assigned to the federal government(such as military, foreign policy, federal courts) to the states. What you propose as so crucially important would likely require a constitutional amendment.

    3. Since this is left to the states, it is incumbent upon the citizenry of the states to hold the local and state authorities accountable. (And, if a state wishes to require definite photo id be presented at the poll, that is the state's decision.)

    And, again, don't let these people verbally thrash you, call you names, accuse you of moral turpitude.

    Sometimes you're mistaken, and don't understand us out in 'fly-over America', but--my heavens, the abuse heaped on you these past few days has been breathtaking.

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  • 128. At 04:32am on 11 Nov 2008, BraunSA wrote:

    124???
    Since when does the Constitution guarantee any of those things? It guarantees you the right to try and fail or succeed without the King or government intervention! "Allegiance to Patriotism" is not primitive! It is the starting point of all Amercians identifying where their allegience lies. Even Obama will recite that statement Jan 20...
    Education does not replace the goal of self government, which really means minimal government while each person chooses their way in the pursuit of happiness...

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  • 129. At 05:27am on 11 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    # 128

    What constitutional limits are present to curtail the duty to "provide for the general welfare"?

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  • 130. At 06:13am on 11 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    127, OldSouth.

    I don't understand the bloggers preoccupation with Justin Webb and what they perceive to be his views. He offers a subject, and after that we express ourselves in any way we wish. Often we go way off topic. Mr. Webb does not interfere. Why all this animosity and criticism? Do you understand it?

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  • 131. At 06:18am on 11 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    110, AnonymousCalifornian.

    I have no wish to further compromise states' rights, so I will go along with you on registration.

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  • 132. At 06:23am on 11 Nov 2008, Omahaman wrote:

    at 103

    Both the Local paper here in Omaha and the paper in Lincoln have given the 2nd district to Obama

    http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=2835&u_sid=10481441


    http://www.journalstar.com/articles/2008/11/07/news/local/doc4914d398e3e58589699188.txt

    Personally living in the area I find it kind of annoying how some in the national media are not only ignoring this, but actually getting it wrong such as CNN and CBS which have both given our vote to McCain. Really makes one feel like their vote counts when the media can't even bother attributing it properly. >:(

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  • 133. At 06:30am on 11 Nov 2008, Omahaman wrote:

    to 117
    Ed, I think he means that the idea of using left vs right to describe liberal vs conservative comes from the French Revolution. I believe it was connected with seating arrangements, with the more conservative faction sitting on the right and the more revolutionary on the left.

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  • 134. At 06:55am on 11 Nov 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    #127. OldSouth: "Mr. Webb: I fear you misunderstand us on this question.

    1. We are citizens of the States first."

    Try getting a passport from California, New York and forty-eight other States and you'll see which will grant one. That's why Americans are citizens of the United States of America.

    When the United Nations was formed, the USSR wanted seats for all of its republics; the US said that if that were permitted, then all of her States should be granted a seat. None are sovereign nations as OldSouth should well know.

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  • 135. At 07:26am on 11 Nov 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #126, I meant "I'm not trying to be argumentative"

    And, Justin, all this talk about "federal redistricting"
    has gotten me thinking about similarly monumental
    projects, like straightening up my garage.

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  • 136. At 07:41am on 11 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    # 130

    Marbles

    I have no time for the people who have interpreted Justin Webb's remarks as favouring one side or the other. This blog has allowed a lively debate between all sides and on all subjects.

    Justin Webb has also been commentating almost daily om BBC radio and TV - and has been excellent throughout.

    What is puzzling is that the BBC, because of its public broadcasting remit, has strict rules of impartiality and these did seem to be transgressed by both senior BBC reporters at the beginning of the campaign who declared their expection that McCain would win the presidential race.

    This declaration came even before the electrifying Clinton/Obama battle and seemed to ignore the obvious problems of the Republican party in presenting a coherent message of 'change' which the American electorate were expecting of their politicians.

    Now their boss has virtually admitted in an interview in a broadsheet newspaper that there is a policy of smoothing the feathers of the American right.

    I was bemused by the 'Victimhood' post which was untimely to say the least (and there is something slightly snarky about the current one) and would like re-assurance from the BBC their most influential voices are not operating under a policy of bias.

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  • 137. At 07:54am on 11 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    # 124 and others

    The ability to "throw the rascals out" is perhaps the key to what would be today called a "democratic" country.

    But, how often should that option be available? Only on initiative, referendum or recall?

    How else to assure longer-term planning and decision-making?

    How to induce voters to participate more?

    When does "education" become indoctrination of the status quo or of the views of dominant sects?

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  • 138. At 07:57am on 11 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    # 138

    Gordon Brown has called on Obama to exercise leadership in a reconstituted international polity.

    Could such a polity effectively agree on a set of values and goals?

    Since roughly half of the USA has a "Pallinesque" worldview- is it wise to call for American leadership of such a world?

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  • 139. At 08:12am on 11 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    136, eightypercent.

    To be impartial you have to offer all the news without slanting it. However, if you offer all the news and the news for one is good and the news for other is bad, that does not mean you are biased.

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  • 140. At 08:26am on 11 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    # Marbles

    However, what we are discussing is a 'judgement' made by the BBC (via its senior reporters) that McCain would win.

    Given McCain's militaristic platform and the sacrifices that British forces have made on behalf of republican party policy, there are worrying implications in the original stance of the BBC in this campaign.

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  • 141. At 08:49am on 11 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "we Americans actually do know a thing or
    two about human rights. They're in our constitution.

    We don't need anybody to "educate" us." - gunsandreligion

    Abu Ghraib.
    Guantanamo Bay.
    Extraordinary rendition.
    Waterboarding.
    PATRIOT Act.

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  • 142. At 08:55am on 11 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "A popular election(where the candidate with the most votes wins) would create intense stumping in California and the North-East big cities." - tigermilkboy

    With the EC system, those in states "safe" for one party or the other get very little say: the swing state voters decide the election unless it is a landslide like Reagan/Mondale or Johnson/Goldwater.

    The two-senators-per-state rule seems adequate to protect the interests of small states, and abolishing it would not follow from abolishing the EC. Many of the small states, as well as large ones, would have more influence if the latter were done.

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  • 143. At 09:19am on 11 Nov 2008, ladycm wrote:

    Here is away to get more people to vote without all of this nonsense; government officials should do what they say they are going to do once they are elected.

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  • 144. At 10:24am on 11 Nov 2008, Mandragara wrote:

    Am I missing something here? They're saying that the turnout did not go up because roughly the same percentage of registered voters voted this year. But that fails to take into account the huge upsurge in registrations. The percentage was the same, the actual number was vastly increased.

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  • 145. At 10:38am on 11 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    139. allmymarbles wrote:
    136, eightypercent.

    To be impartial you have to offer all the news without slanting it. However, if you offer all the news and the news for one is good and the news for other is bad, that does not mean you are biased.


    From the 'Indie' interview:

    "Horrocks, 49, admits that the BBC had to be wary of offending the American right. “It is important to remember that [the victory] is only by a few percentage points in terms of the popular vote. It doesn’t mean the whole of America is suddenly transformed into a Democratic country, not by any means. You have to be sensitive to the fact that there are some Americans who are always suspicious of non-American, European liberal voices as they see them. We must be impartial.”

    Rather hit the nail on the head, there, I think. (Sadly, from my own point of view, but there we are.) One third of the electorate are Republican; one third Democrat, one third presumably don't care either way.

    I thlnk through the years of the Bush/NeoCon has given far too much airtime to the American spokesmen of the right: American Heritage Foundation,
    Enterprise Institute, all those . . .

    Anyone who doesn't agree with me is obviously biased

    (Now just wait for the people who are going to quote that last sentence and just one other from this post . . .)

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  • 146. At 10:57am on 11 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    # 144

    Current figures show :

    2004

    Bush : 62,040610
    Kerry : 59,028444

    Total : 121,069,054

    2008

    Obama : 65,974,960
    McCain : 57,775,796

    Total : 123,750,796

    Increase in voters : 2,681,702

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  • 147. At 11:02am on 11 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    # 145

    British

    I don't want to be a bore about this, but my point is that by, proclaiming right at the outset that McCain would be the winner, both reporters were allowed to set impartiality aside. The fact that they were both wrong raises the question of whether they were allowing sentiment to influence their judgement.

    Only they can explain to us why they called for McCain even before the race proper had begun.

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  • 148. At 11:03am on 11 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Vets and such

    ;-)
    ed

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  • 149. At 11:13am on 11 Nov 2008, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    As a little exercise I've just had a look at would the results would be if say, the 7 most populous states accorded their votes proportionately: the numbers on the right are Obama's share of the popular vote translated into electoral college numbers.

    CA 55 33
    TX 34 15
    NY 31 19
    PA 21 11
    FL 27 14
    OH 20 10
    IL 21 13

    If my maths is correct Obama would still win but with 304 electoral votes.

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  • 150. At 11:17am on 11 Nov 2008, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    er that first 'would' should be 'what'

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  • 151. At 11:18am on 11 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Ohamaman,

    " I believe it was connected with seating arrangements, with the more conservative faction sitting on the right and the more revolutionary on the left."
    Thanks. I believe similar seating conventions are in place in other parliaments (literally "talkings"), and my oft-repeated observation is that anyone who feels the need to classify folks' political viewpoints on a one-dimensional scale isn't displaying much 'critical awareness'...Ironically, even in an assembly, there are at least two dimensions, e.g. laft/right and frontrow/backrow....and is it left/right as seen from the podiium or from 'the body of the kirk'?

    Peace and complexity
    ed

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  • 152. At 11:27am on 11 Nov 2008, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    If you do that for all 50 states the result is 280.
    538 x 52% = 280.

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  • 153. At 11:30am on 11 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    British-ish,

    "Rather hit the nail on the head, there, I think. (Sadly, from my own point of view, but there we are.) One third of the electorate are Republican; one third Democrat, one third presumably don't care either way.
    "
    Au contraire. I suspect the final third care most, and consider most...
    "
    Anyone who doesn't agree with me is obviously biased"
    Yup!

    My opinions may have changed,

    but not the fact that I'm right.

    Peace and rectitude
    ed

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  • 154. At 11:54am on 11 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    151.

    I did wonder about left and right from which direction: 'stage left' or 'stage right'?

    In the British Parliament, of course, the government always sits on the same side. To the left looking from the Public Gallery, even if they're right.

    (I almost wrote 'is always on the same side', but that's not necessarily true . . .)

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  • 155. At 12:18pm on 11 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    A further thought on my current hobbyhorse : imagine if the BBC reporters had been right about McCain. We would be pretty worried.

    It goes to vindicate the interest that the rest of the free world takes in the decisions of that part of the free world which gets to vote.

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  • 156. At 12:53pm on 11 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Will Malia and Sasha Obama Go to a DC Public School?

    "While there’s been some speculation that after singling out Michelle Rhee’s reform efforts in one presidential debate this fall, President-Elect Obama might decide to send his two daughters to a public school—as Jimmy Carter did—a public school presents a host of problems for a First Family, not the least of which is a set of security concerns. After 9/11, security officials believe a public school is out of the question."
    You've gotta feel for them. Hard to live a 'normal' life, but I expect they're as well-prepared as any kids could be, and the Obamas do seem to be a 'real' family.

    God Bless them
    ed

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  • 157. At 12:58pm on 11 Nov 2008, tiptoplisamich wrote:

    4. At 09:21am on 10 Nov 2008, icetayoa wrote:

    I bet the decline in registered Republican voters was a direct result of their disillusionment with Mcain. I can bet also that, that number will consist of some of Bush's supporters. Mcain let the liberal media unwittingly set the tone of his campaign and sadly he paid the ultimate price for it.


    As a conservative who votes either Republican or Independent, I completely agree with your assesment.
    Let me take your point one step further in that not only did the media select McCain's campaign tone; the media selected McCain early in the primary season. This candidate was force-fed to the Republican faithful on the grounds that only McCain had the weighted appeal to pull in Independent voters and beat Hillary (Obama not taken seriously early). This left the Republican party with a lukewarm candidate who shape-shifted on issues and comically tried to brainwash us that he was a conservative.
    Voter turnout, as a result, not many of us were impressed and even less were convinced.

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  • 158. At 1:32pm on 11 Nov 2008, Mike Mullen wrote:

    I think Justin's logic in backing MCCain was based on a series of assumptions that ran like this:

    1: The Clinton machine is unstoppable, Hilary will be the Democratic candidate(Patently wrong but at the time almost all the pundits and pollsters thought so)

    2: The Republican base hates Hilary, they will rally around McCain(Plausible, after all they largely did 'hold their noses' and vote for him in the primaries as the man who could beat Hilary)

    3: With the support of the party assured McCain could set the tone of his campaign and have his choice of VP(Quite likely, if McCain didn't have to win over the base Palin would have stayed in Alaska)

    4: Both parties will have about the same amount of money to spend(Reasonable, given how much trouble with fundraising Hilary did have in the primaries)

    5: A lot of independent/undecided voters could be influenced to vote against any more 'dynastic' presidents. Added to an energized Republican party that would tip the balance towards McCain(Sounds plausible when you don't know about the financial crisis that's coming)

    Basically of course the above all breaks down at 1 because no one saw what was coming; that the Clinton machine was going to face something all together sleeker, more efficient, and more appealing.
    Also given ths was a foreign election Justin and co. placing their bets on who would win may have been seen more as getting them to stick their necks and risking a red face rather than a BBC bias.

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  • 159. At 2:05pm on 11 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    As a Scot,

    Pretty much in line with my assessment. Obama was the "unknown unknown"...

    At Peace with uncertainty (sort of)
    ed

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  • 160. At 2:10pm on 11 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    News from the North

    ;-)
    ed

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  • 161. At 2:51pm on 11 Nov 2008, timohio wrote:

    re. 78. eightypercent:

    I certainly agree with you about the actions of the Bush administration, but to put things in context, what about the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII? That was equally shameful, but didn't result in any amendments to the constitution or alteration of the electoral college. Term limits for the president came after Roosevelt's death, but it had nothing to with perceived flaws in the election process or acknowledgment of crimes by Roosevelt. It was a political move to lessen the possibility of another wildly popular Democratic president holding office for another 12 years.

    Remember that both the War Powers Act and the Patriot Act were voted in by Congress, and that's what enabled Bush to do most of the things you and I object to. If we cleaned up the laws governing the authority of the president and separation of powers and the Congress took its responsibilities seriously, much harm could be avoided in the future.

    There is a tendency among Americans to want to put their government on autopilot and move on to more interesting things. That leads to a dangerous concentration of power in the hands of those with agendas. If American citizens took a more active role in their own government and paid attention to the issues, we would be better off. The solutions to our problems are not more constitutional amendments.


    re. 83. Gary_A_Hill:

    The 27th Amendment was apparently somewhat unusual in not having a time limit to ratification as part of the original bill. That allowed it to languish until the 90s and still be made part of the constitution. The Equal Rights Amendment, in contrast, had a time provision and it died when enough state legislatures didn't approve it by the deadline.

    I guess I would include the building of consensus as part of the process for amending the constitution. It sort of goes along with what I was saying about the electoral college. If you make the process of changing the constitution somewhat lengthy and difficult, it slows things down until there is sufficient consensus for a change; it forces the country to carefully consider what is being proposed and to really want change.

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  • 162. At 2:57pm on 11 Nov 2008, Flossyuk wrote:

    I do think that on both sides of the Atlantic all people eligable to vote should vote, it should be made law there could of course be a box 'none of the above' but politics is too important for people to simply abstain.

    I am so pleased Obama won the election I just hope that he is give sufficient time to try and sort out the mess being left behind.

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  • 163. At 3:12pm on 11 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    89

    wow poetry.

    From one of the most deceitful people here.

    The one that lies to himself that he cares for others while he would have them executed.

    Doug history is something you may never understand, and if you think calling me a pot head is anything but a compliment, then you never smoked enough.

    As to the history of the poem.
    How would you know.
    your knowledge of smithing is pretty small, probably smaller than Mostly erroneous .



    But tell you what, There are several blacksmiths associations in Texass.

    Try one out.

    Tell you what though you're right I don't go to Church.
    I got a forge.


    Oh Spoke shaves ,chisels , hammers, chain harrows, wheels, seed planters, axes and hoe-dad , polaski,are tools and any number of art that can be used to bludgeon people with. Oh and Gates and fences for defence.


    would that count as"

    They created tools that supported work,
    defended towns and property,."


    "remain ignorant and you will always be pleased with yourself"


    Though nice rhyming.

    So all that voting for Obama talk was that just deceit or did you?

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  • 164. At 3:26pm on 11 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

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

  • 165. At 3:26pm on 11 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    # 161 ~ Timohio

    You may regret writing that thoughtful and informative post, because I'm now going to ask if there will have to be any constitutional amendment to closing down Guantanamo and bringing the inmates onto actual American soil for proper trial ?

    (BTW - your reminder about internment of Japanese Americans during WWII reminds me that we went in for interment in the UK also - Germans, Italians and some UK citizens such as Mosley as well.)

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  • 166. At 3:28pm on 11 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    91 nessie
    When it comes to who voted, it will be weeks - even months - before we have accurate information. Hashing it over now is a waste of time.

    exactly.
    I suggest Justin as normal wants the debate over before facts emerge.
    bit like jumping on the anti wright bandwagon .(though he claims to be a journalist fair and unbias eh John?)

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  • 167. At 3:34pm on 11 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    95 but he did have a bet published on his site.

    Seriously John.
    When faced with the REV wright affair (,in fact any thing that would make Obama seem bad) was Jumped on by Justin.
    Now the whole country of mad rabid Yanks was going mad about it and he grabbed a torch and started jeering with the crowd.
    He did not act as a responsible journalist and find out more , that had to be pointed out to him by a blogger.

    Just get over it or get a room.

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  • 168. At 3:38pm on 11 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    99 I am folowing your posts.
    john may not see it and the mods obviously do not like it being said in even polite language.

    If I say he is one they strike the letter
    164

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  • 169. At 3:40pm on 11 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    AsaScott ~

    Just about on the money, I'd say - and it tells us something about the correspondents' cloudy crystal ball when the satirists in the UK are mourning the downfall of McCain and Palin and seeing lean times ahead for their calling.

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  • 170. At 3:42pm on 11 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    104 105.

    Yes you did try to convince me I was wrong when I got all "uppity" with Justin about his Bias.

    I remembered, which is why I found your latter letters so worth following.

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  • 171. At 3:48pm on 11 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

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

  • 172. At 3:50pm on 11 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    114 sounds simple why can't they do that here?

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  • 173. At 3:53pm on 11 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Nick_Gotts (#142), whatever theoretical arguments you may have for abolishing the electoral college, there is zero chance that the small states will give up the advantage it gives them in presidential elections.

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  • 174. At 3:54pm on 11 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    126 GnR.

    but not the geneva convention.
    or are we not at war.

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  • 175. At 3:57pm on 11 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

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

  • 176. At 4:06pm on 11 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    130. At 06:13am on 11 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:
    127, OldSouth.

    I don't understand the bloggers preoccupation with Justin Webb and what they perceive to be his views. He offers a subject, and after that we express ourselves in any way we wish. Often we go way off topic. Mr. Webb does not interfere. Why all this animosity and criticism? Do you understand it?
    -----------------------------
    How about exactly because he is Bias,
    just as GW bush was useless.

    Marbles do you understand institutional racism?

    I thought you did.

    Did Justin raise every little scandal of the right.
    NO

    Did he show the secessionist wishes of Palin?

    Or her wealth issues?

    Did he dwell on the excess riches of the Mc cain or did he dwell on something negative about Obama that week.?


    "There is the McCain approach - fight the good fight. And there is the approach of the American left - seduction, for want of a better word. "

    pretty much sums it up.

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  • 177. At 4:10pm on 11 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    139 then why were there so many negative comments on Obama but not so on mc Cain or easy palin?

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  • 178. At 4:16pm on 11 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    158 many of those points are valid especially the bit about point one being wrong.

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  • 179. At 4:23pm on 11 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    Gary_A_Hill@173,
    You may well be right. Yet sometimes even the beneficiaries of injustice come to see it must be changed.

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  • 180. At 5:01pm on 11 Nov 2008, timohio wrote:

    re. 165. eightypercent:

    "...I'm now going to ask if there will have to be any constitutional amendment to closing down Guantanamo and bringing the inmates onto actual American soil for proper trial ?"

    That is exactly the kind of thing I had in mind when I wrote about citizens taking a more active role in their government to prevent abuses by those in power. The Guantanamo prison was very much an attempt to circumvent the constitution, and everyone in the country (including the Congress) should have jumped on it with both feet. The federal courts and the Supreme Court were edging towards what you describe even before the election, and I think that an Obama administration would certainly have to close Guantamano and have proper legal trials on US soil.

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  • 181. At 5:08pm on 11 Nov 2008, Andrew Prescott wrote:

    RE # 103 in response to 82.

    Sources for electoral results

    This is the only apparenlty complete one:
    http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/

    CNN has also not assigned Missouri and got Nebraska wrong:
    http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/president/


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  • 182. At 5:12pm on 11 Nov 2008, Andrew Prescott wrote:

    RE #146

    So is the Increase in voters : 2,681,702
    enough to account for the percieved greater turnout lines, etc. it certainly sounds like a lot or is there cause to think that votes went missing?

    Were their districts where turnout was lower that offset the greater turnout in other areas?

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  • 183. At 5:14pm on 11 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    #175, we may not "need" him in this country (US), but it is certainly the prerogative of the BBC to employ whomever they please.

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  • 184. At 5:24pm on 11 Nov 2008, timohio wrote:

    re. 107. Gary_A_Hill:

    In support of what you say, I would add that functionally there is no difference between a multiparty system and the dominance of two parties that we have now. In addition to the multiplicity of parties and candidates that you point out, there is quite a diversity of opinion even within the Republican and Democratic parties. It's basically the hard core dissenters who go off and form new parties.

    When you compare the American two-party system to multiparty parliamentary systems, the American system actually has advantages. Quite a number of countries have had minority governments, in which one party has to pull together a coalition in order to assemble a working majority. Those coalitions are not always assembled on ideological grounds; sometimes it's a matter of a leader of a minority party getting a plum job in the government; sometimes it's a matter of buying off a small party with government support or funding for their pet project.

    In the US system, the coalitions get assembled within a party before the election, meaning that the voters have an idea of what to expect from a party before they cast their ballots--they don't find out afterward that their government is shackled to a minority party for which they never would have voted and with which they have deep disagreements.

    And if you think that it's hard to get anything done in Congress with two parties and a few independents, imagine trying to get bills passed with a half-dozen political parties all clamoring for attention.

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  • 185. At 5:26pm on 11 Nov 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #174, jf, well put! Now, if we just didn't have
    idiots at the helm, we would do all right for
    ourselves and the world.

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  • 186. At 5:45pm on 11 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    More financial opacity

    So, what else is new????

    Peace and other folks' money
    ed

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  • 187. At 5:48pm on 11 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    AA Prescott,

    Turnout in Alaska was very well below expectation...
    Start here

    Peace and clarity
    ed

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  • 188. At 5:49pm on 11 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

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

  • 189. At 5:51pm on 11 Nov 2008, timohio wrote:

    re. 165. eightypercent:

    ...and about internment: Half of my family is of German ancestry, and I've always found it ironic that there was never any thought in WWII that German-Americans might be a security threat. When, in fact, before the start of the war there was some pro-Nazi sentiment in the German-American community. However, as Stephen Ambrose once pointed out, about three-quarters of the American army in Europe had German ancestry, so interning German-Americans would have whittled away quite a bit at the draft-eligible population.

    But it does point out the essentially racist nature of the internment of Japanese-Americans.

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  • 190. At 5:57pm on 11 Nov 2008, OldSouth wrote:

    David_Cunard #134:

    No, California does not issue passports, and that was never intended by the framers of the Constitution. That power was reserved to the Federal government by the Constitution, in the wisdom of the founders.

    As voters, we are citizens of our individual states, voting for slates of electors.

    The Constitution rightly leaves the administration of elections to the states, which are sovereign over every matter not reserved to the Federal government by the Constitution.

    And, 130, 'marbles'--these people's abuse of Mr. Webb is disturbing, and totally uncalled for. He's far too tolerant of people who call him vicious names.

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  • 191. At 6:02pm on 11 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    185

    lets hope them idiots are gone .

    "now if we didn't put idiots at the helm"

    would be appropriate.

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  • 192. At 6:13pm on 11 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    AA Prescott

    We had reports on these pages from some areas where voting was very easy - but it always makes for good TV drama to film a polling station where there are lines of voters.

    It stands to reason that the pressure would have been greatest in the swing states where both parties had worked to get the vote out.

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  • 193. At 6:14pm on 11 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    Here's a joke for your kids all

    Chicken walks into the library , walks up to the counter and says "bok"

    librarian thinking this was a candid camera stunt gave it a book.

    watched it leave with the book under its wing, and walked out the door.

    Librarian looked around to see if the camera's were out, thinking "what?"

    Next day chicken walks in drops a book on the counter and"bok bok"

    The librarian gets hopeful for 5 minutes of fame so gives the chicken 2 books.
    He's not stupid and ain't gonna be caught out by a counting chicken.

    Chicken leaves with two books.

    Next day Chicken comes in with both books, the librarian is thinking "Quick reader" and the chicken drops it's books and "bok bok bok"

    Librarian gives 3 books to the chicken.
    Chicken turns around and walks out of the library.
    Librarian is real inquisitive so follows.

    Chicken walks out looks both ways, crosses the road , walks into the park up to the pond.
    throws a book down "bok"

    "Redit" says the frog in the pond.



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  • 194. At 6:21pm on 11 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    AAPrescott@182,
    According to Wikipedia, total votes in 2004 were 122,267,553; and unofficial total votes in 2008 are 125,517,709.

    So that's an increase of 3,250,156 - somewhat more than you have.

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  • 195. At 6:21pm on 11 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    # 189

    I believe that internees and indeed POW's were mainly sent to rural areas in the UK and were treated fairly gently. They have gone down in legend and literature as friendly souls who blended in.

    The reaction to the Japanese after Pearl Harbour was a forerunner of the reaction to the perpetrators of 9/11. The USA reserves her sharpest claws for those who attack her territory.

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  • 196. At 6:25pm on 11 Nov 2008, timohio wrote:

    About all the animosity against Justin Webb expressed here:

    Much of it seems to come from US posters, and I really don't get it. The BBC is free to send whomever they want to cover US elections, and that reporter's job is only to satisfy his or her bosses and, ultimately, the British rate-payers. If Americans don't like the coverage, that's their problem. Personally, as an American living in the Midwest, I quite frequently watch the BBC's American coverage on PBS. I like the different perspective. I might find it odd occasionally, but it certainly is a window into how people in another country view us. I'm always free to turn off the TV.

    And I think it's really astonishing that the BBC lets anyone in the world sign up and comment on their blogs. Aside from the periodic rants from wing-nuts, I enjoy the variety of opinions expressed here.

    Personally, I try to post only when I have something substantive to contribute to a thread, and I try to do a little research (even if it's only checking Wikipedia) and compose it properly. I don't think I should just let fly with whatever comes into my head. Americans in particular need to grasp the difference between a sharp political debate and a bar brawl. Political debate as it happens in the US has not done the country any good.

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  • 197. At 6:29pm on 11 Nov 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #191, jf, it is the nature of American politics to
    tend towards idiocy. As for myself, I have the
    proud distinction of having voted for the losing
    candidate in 3 out of the last 4 elections, and,
    judging by 2000 and 2004, I was handsomely
    vindicated.

    But, the true nature of political lunacy in
    America resides in the House of Representatives.
    If they truly represent us, then all is lost.

    I say, it is time to pack our bags and find a
    sensible country.

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  • 198. At 6:35pm on 11 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    188 Jack, some Brits whine (whinge?) about the BBC license fee and the supposed duty of impartiality. I have read the BBC documents (Charter and Agreement) and I can't see where reporters are prohibited from expressing opinions.

    As an American, I don't care whether British reporters express opinions or not. In fact, I expect them to. For a discussion of the difference between British reporters and American reporters, see the book My War by Andy Rooney, who worked for Stars and Stripes in London during WW2.

    Anyway, this forum is not news, it's a blog. I find it ironic that the World-Wide-Web, being the greatest facilitator of free speech ever invented, is used by so many people who object to free speech.

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  • 199. At 6:36pm on 11 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    190
    falling apart south

    I personally think justin was far to tolerant of the slanderous comments made by you and many of the right about obama being a terrorist and un patriotic.
    about Palistinians deserving what they get etc.

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  • 200. At 6:59pm on 11 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    196 Tim

    I personally have not derided the whole BBC but am as usual directing my comments at the one who I see as offensive.
    Justin.

    I watch BBC for news to. there there did seem to be balance.

    But not so Justin.
    I as someone who did pay taxes for the BBC and also as someone who understands that the BBC is not , mandated to tell the lies of one side because they are down.
    They are mandated to bring fairness.

    If fairness means giving hate race baiters a platform despite the slanderous nature of their accusations I feel it is in my rights to complain.
    No not right Duty
    As a Brit.



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  • 201. At 7:12pm on 11 Nov 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    #190. OldSouth: "As voters, we are citizens of our individual states, voting for slates of electors."

    No - voters are residents of individual states, not citizens thereof.

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  • 202. At 7:19pm on 11 Nov 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #199, why does Obama need to be a terrorist
    now that he is in charge? He can just be a dictator,
    just like Bush was.

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  • 203. At 7:22pm on 11 Nov 2008, timohio wrote:

    re. 195. eightypercent:

    There are big differences between the way Americans reacted to Pearl Harbor and the way we reacted to 9/11. In 1941 there was a legalized pogrom against Japanese-Americans. They lost their property and were placed in camps. It was really not much different than the early stages of the Nazi repression of the Jews.

    In 2001, although there were law enforcement abuses against relatively small numbers of mainly foreign nationals from Arab countries in the US, there was not a general backlash against legal immigrants and Arab-American citizens. The FBI conducted some very clumsy investigations of the Arab community which were exposed and prompted reform. There was surprisingly little targeting of people of Middle Eastern background. To his credit, Bush spoke out against any targeting of Arabs in the US.

    The Detroit area, where I used to live, has the largest concentration of Arabs outside the Middle East. I think the next largest urban Arab population is Damascus. Similarly, the city where I live now has a large Arab and Muslim population. And there was nothing in either city to remotely compare to the vilification of Japanese-Americans in 1941 and 1942. I remember only one or two minor incidents in the city where I live now.

    So, although we have lots of flaws, it appears that we can learn from our mistakes.

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  • 204. At 7:29pm on 11 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    Gary_A_Hill@198,

    As one of those who has criticised JW, I'm certainly not calling for the BBC to sack him, or censor his posts here. But free speech includes the right to criticise what others say and do. I do think he has let his own preferences warp his judgement - of the likely outcome of the election before it happened, and of the significance of the result since; so I have said so. Others can defend him, or he can defend himself.

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  • 205. At 7:49pm on 11 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    # 198 Gary Hill

    I sincerely hope that you live in the UK and are a BBC licence payer - it will be easier to put up with your pompous remarks if at least you have made your contribution.


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  • 206. At 8:07pm on 11 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    # 203 Timohio

    Thanks for taking the trouble to write that post. It is very good to hear.

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  • 207. At 8:21pm on 11 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Bonus Link - Free!

    "``I may not understand everything, but I do understand common sense, and when you lend money to someone, you don't want to see them at a new-car dealer the next day,'' said Ken Karlson, a 61-year-old Vietnam veteran and freelance marketer in Wheaton, Illinois..."
    It continues....

    Peace and Panic
    ed

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  • 208. At 8:30pm on 11 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Nick-Gotts (#204), I agree with you there.

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  • 209. At 8:36pm on 11 Nov 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    #205.eightypercent: "I sincerely hope that you live in the UK and are a BBC licence payer - it will be easier to put up with your pompous remarks if at least you have made your contribution."

    Those of us who do live beyond the United Kingdom are subjected to advertising for products and services not available there. So contributors pay as much, albeit indirectly, as any licence payer. Remember, the BBC is not financed solely by licence fees; great sums of money come from the sales of recordings and other ephemera in addition to the licensing of its programmes and individual productions. For those viewing BBC America in the USA, a fee has to be paid for that. Those of us abroad contribute our fair share!

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  • 210. At 8:38pm on 11 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    eightypercent (#205), no, I am a natural born US citizen residing in the US (California). If you have a problem with my using a BBC web site without paying a fee, you may take your complaint to the BBC, or write a letter to your MP.

    The BBC's mission, by the way, is "to bring the world to Britain, and Britain to the world." I used to listen to the BBC World Service on shortwave more than forty years ago and never paid a fee, so they've been giving us their product for a long time.

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  • 211. At 8:45pm on 11 Nov 2008, Cassandra wrote:

    196- timohio
    I think you're in good company, a lot of us watch BBC News. If all we had was (gag) FOX and it's ilk, we be the poorer for it.

    198 - Gary_A_Hill

    "I find it ironic that the World-Wide-Web, being the greatest facilitator of free speech ever invented, is used by so many people who object to free speech."

    Yup.

    201 - David_Cunard

    A lot of the 'states rights' folks act like (at least) borderline secessionist who object to environmental regualtions, civil rights, etc. from the federal government. We might have been better off if we'd let 'em go and have their separate little country instead of wasting time on a civil war, but we'd have probably had to go beat the stuffings out of them at some point anyway. And I might have had a heckava time escaping the state I was born in.

    Maybe we could still work something out. We could give them Utah....

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  • 212. At 9:00pm on 11 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Oh, and by the way, I do pay for Voice of America through my US federal taxes, so I think I'm covered for anything I receive in return from other international news services.

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  • 213. At 9:24pm on 11 Nov 2008, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #199 and 202

    Typical Duble standard; on rational would call President Bush a dictator or President-elect Obama a terrorist. But some on the left find it acceptible to call the former a dictator and a war criminal.

    As far as the Palestinian, don't expect alot of sympathy in the U.S for people who choose to be ruled by terrorists. Especially when they celebrated 9/11 on the streets.

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  • 214. At 9:28pm on 11 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:


    # Gary Hill

    I am delighted that you use the BBC - some of its excellence may rub off on you. Until then, your comments at 198 and 210 remain pompous and patronising.

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  • 215. At 9:38pm on 11 Nov 2008, Cassandra wrote:

    The political climate in all too many rural areas of the US is tied up with the sort of people in the CNN story link below:

    Slaying Linked To Initiation; 8 Arrested
    http://www.wdsu.com/news/17956884/detail.html

    Take a look at the photo.

    If the crowd Palin was courting - heavily represented by this type - ever gains contol of our government, I'm taking my SS check and heading for the UK so fast I'll break the sound barrier. Some icy little corner of the North will be fine with me.

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  • 216. At 9:52pm on 11 Nov 2008, Jackturk wrote:

    I haven't followed the nuances of Justin's pieces quite as closely as some of you but in general, the BBC management, especially since the 'dodgy dossier' incident, do tend to favour the right-wing establishment, including the current New Labour government.

    The BBC of course is often accused of bias of one sort or another and it suits them to point it out so they can appear to be neutral, but they are more afraid of being criticised by the right-wing than vice versa. This is because it is the right-wing establishment that wields the power through their influence in the press and their financial muscle.

    To compensate for any sign of left-wing or anti-establishment bias, the BBC have subtle ways to neutralise it. For example, in panel type discussions or interviews you will invariably find that the supposedly left-wing spokesperson is usually much weaker than their right wing counterpart. This is abundantly clear in programmes such as 'Question Time' where, compared to the number of right-wing panellists, there is hardly ever a strong left-wing guest.

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  • 217. At 9:59pm on 11 Nov 2008, cyrilcroydon wrote:

    Missouri Presidential race is not over

    http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/politics/story/91543F3D63AAB73D862574FE00158BC5?OpenDocument

    Neither is Al Franken in Minnesota.

    The final popular vote tally for the Presidential election is 52.6 to 46.1.



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  • 218. At 10:06pm on 11 Nov 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    #213. MagicKirin: "As far as the Palestinian, don't expect a lot of sympathy in the U.S for people who choose to be ruled by terrorists. Especially when they celebrated 9/11 on the streets."

    Weren't the founders of Israel considered to terrorists?

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  • 219. At 10:08pm on 11 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    MagicKirin,
    People call Bush a war criminal because according to the great majority of international lawyers, the invasion of Iraq was illegal under international law: he is therefore guilty prima facie of planning and waging aggressive war, contrary to thev Kellogg-Briand Pact, and the Charter of the United Nations Organisation. He should be given a fair trial before an international court. A dictator - no.

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  • 220. At 10:09pm on 11 Nov 2008, watermanaquarius wrote:

    Jackturk # 216
    Re the ongoing saga about Justin , his attitude,and the BBCs' impartiality, bias, racism etc etc. It might be an idea for some to visit "The Editors" site.
    Masses to read [from all the top people wielding the power, [concerning all your and others queries] while waiting, during those moments in the day when Justins' moderators are overwhelmed with comments.

    e.g. - "Did Iranian President Ahmadinejad say Israel should be wiped off the map?... The BBC does attribute the quote to him so I thought it might be useful to set out why. President Ahmadinejad made the remark at a conference. The comment was picked up and translated from the Farsi by the BBC's Monitoring Service. Those who challenge the 'wiped off the map' translation argue other translations would be more accurate, among them:
    "The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time"............]

    Lots to learn! The site begins here-
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2006/05/

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  • 221. At 10:11pm on 11 Nov 2008, aquarizonagal wrote:

    ToTimohio #196 and #203

    Thank You!

    I am grateful to BBC America which covers news from around the world that I can not get here in the US. I am grateful, as well, for the opportunities I have had to post on this blog. I would not presume to criticize Justin Webb for his entries. He provides food for thought and for debate. I think that is his job.

    To all British posters who pay for this blog, THANK YOU for being so kind when some of us get really cranky. I have learned so much from all of you.

    We are living in very 'dangerous' times. I think we are on the verge of a world wide depression. Is it not time to set aside petty bickering and put all of the good minds who post here to seeking some solutions?

    I have already read some good ideas about this from so many of you but there are many more who need to have their words heard. I have great faith in all of you. We can not expect our leaders and our governments to rescue us or do it all. We need to work together for the good of everyone.

    Survive together or die alone!

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  • 222. At 10:19pm on 11 Nov 2008, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #196

    What about the far more numerous left wing moonbats?

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  • 223. At 10:27pm on 11 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    What ever happened to JohnAAA, vivaelcid and damemargaretthatcher?

    I think they were plants.

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  • 224. At 10:47pm on 11 Nov 2008, Candace9839 wrote:

    Re:#193. And why did the Sheriff arrest the chicken? For using fowl language.

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  • 225. At 10:56pm on 11 Nov 2008, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #219

    Who are these International lawyers? What is their agenda? The U.S liberated Iraq under the conditions set in the first gulf war.

    Why don't you ask the Kurds if they think it was invasion or liberation?

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  • 226. At 10:58pm on 11 Nov 2008, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #218

    No Ben Gurrion, Dayan were never considered terrorists.

    They are among the great leaders of the last century

    Far more admirable than Mandela.

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  • 227. At 10:59pm on 11 Nov 2008, Mike Mullen wrote:

    On the topic of voter registration, and voting for that matter, yes each state should retain its local control but shouldn't there be some sort of fedral standards as to methods, early voting systems, accreditation of organizations that carry out the registration. That way you would know the vote is being conducted to the same standards everywhere. As an outsider I found it surprising that each state seemed to operate to a different system.

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  • 228. At 11:01pm on 11 Nov 2008, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To #223Allmymarbles

    Food is becoming scarce. Zimbabwe is now in danger of a reduction in UN food resources.

    Perhaps these posters have entered bunkers to save themselves.

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  • 229. At 11:01pm on 11 Nov 2008, Cassandra wrote:

    223

    "I think they were plants."

    Perennials or annuals?

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  • 230. At 11:01pm on 11 Nov 2008, Mike Mullen wrote:

    #223 allmymarbles:

    "What ever happened to JohnAAA, vivaelcid and damemargaretthatcher?

    I think they were plants."

    Stinging Nettles? Poison ivy? Deadly Nightshade maybe?

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  • 231. At 11:06pm on 11 Nov 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    #223. allmymarbles: "What ever happened to JohnAAA, vivaelcid and damemargaretthatcher?

    I think they were plants."

    Probably so, the kind ("annuals") that die after the summer. They've had their day in the sun, but their seeds will no doubt germinate and there will be more just like them.

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  • 232. At 11:07pm on 11 Nov 2008, selfevidenttruths wrote:

    223 allmy:

    Deadly Nightshade, Poison Ivy and Hemlock?

    Sorry, could'n't resist : )

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  • 233. At 11:12pm on 11 Nov 2008, timohio wrote:

    re. 222. MagicKirin:

    "What about the far more numerous left wing moonbats?"

    I quite deliberately used the word wingnuts. I don't believe I specified which wing the nuts were on. Ranting is ranting, and vituperation is vituperation. I've lived long enough to hear it from both sides. I've never seen a problem solved by people shouting at one another.

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  • 234. At 11:12pm on 11 Nov 2008, aquarizonagal wrote:

    Plants?

    Should we consider a vegetarian diet?

    I did not consider that in my post #228. Would they be like turnips or worse squash? I really do not care for turnips or squash.

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  • 235. At 11:15pm on 11 Nov 2008, timohio wrote:

    re. 223. allmymarbles:

    No, I think they are either in denial or have just lost interest.

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  • 236. At 11:27pm on 11 Nov 2008, aquarizonagal wrote:

    I have something else to add.

    I read some previous posts suggesting that older people were more conservative because of fear. I do not believe this is true.

    I am less afraid now than I have ever been in my life. I am also still as 'liberal' as I have been my whole life. I also feel that I can say what I want. Like it or not.

    I am also grateful that "old people" are not barred from posting on this site.

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  • 237. At 11:35pm on 11 Nov 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    #226. MagicKirin: "No Ben Gurrion, Dayan were never considered terrorists.

    They are among the great leaders of the last century."

    I'll leave it to Marbles and other to answer the question at #218, but what about Menachem Begin, Irgun, and the bombing of the King David Hotel? That wasn't terrorism?

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  • 238. At 11:49pm on 11 Nov 2008, timohio wrote:

    re. 227. AsaScot:

    The federal government has in the past set general standards for voting. The Voting Rights Act, which was highly instrumental in ending discrimination against African Americans in voting, is one example. I'm quite fuzzy in how far such laws can go before they impinge on states' right and the constitution. At a minimum, states would not be happy at having expensive requirements imposed on them by the federal government if there was no financial support to implement them.

    States' rights is still, over a century after the US civil war, a contentious issue. It comes up, for example, in California's attempts to set anti-pollution standards above the national standards. As other posters have said, all powers not explicitly granted to the federal government in the constitution are reserved for the states. There is a very clear statement to that effect in the constitution.

    A lot of people outside the US don't realize the extent to which the US is a union of states and not a single national entity the way many European countries are. I had to go jump through all kinds of ludicrous hoops to get an auto license when I moved from Michigan to Ohio. Auto licenses are a state prerogative, and there is no uniform system for them. Different states set different requirements for getting a driver's license, too.

    Because other countries' experience with the US is largely through our foreign policy (which is a federal responsibility), the country comes across as more unitary than it really is.

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  • 239. At 11:51pm on 11 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    MagicKirin@226

    "Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come from Israel, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been antisemitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?"
    - David ben Gurion

    So ben Gurion himself admitted that the Palestinians had good reason to fight Israel. He cooperated with undoubted terrorists such as Begin, and played a prominent part in expelling Arab civilians before the British left and the State of Israel was declared. Mandela, by contrast, has worked tirelessly to reconcile all groups living in South Africa.

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  • 240. At 11:57pm on 11 Nov 2008, timohio wrote:

    re. 234. aquarizonagal:

    "I really do not care for turnips or squash."

    I agree with you on turnips but I wonder if you're issuing a blanket denunciation of all squash or just zucchini?

    If it's just zucchini, I have an alternative for you. Very tasty and easy to grow. Even in Ohio. But you won't find it in grocery stores.

    Make dinner, not war.

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  • 241. At 00:05am on 12 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    MagiCKirin@225,

    See http://www.robincmiller.com/ir-legal.htm
    for pointers to legal opinions - the vast majority being that the invasion of Iraq was illegal. It was also, of course, based on lies about "WMDs".

    "The U.S liberated Iraq under the conditions set in the first gulf war." - MagicKirin

    Tosh: decisions on whether breaches of UN resolutions justify military force are for the UN Security Council alone, not for any state to take on its own, as the International Commission of Jurists and the then Secretary-General both confirm.

    Richard Perle himself conceded in november 2003 that the invasion was illegal.

    Of course the Kurds have benefited. This does not make the invasion legal.

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  • 242. At 00:08am on 12 Nov 2008, horzoman wrote:

    Good god, how much easier does voter registration need to be?? 1) Fill out a small card and drop it in the mail. 2) Repeat (1) every time you move. I'm sorry, but if you can't handle that, you shouldn't be voting.

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  • 243. At 00:30am on 12 Nov 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    #238. timohio: " . . . the US is a union of states and not a single national entity the way many European countries are."

    But they are not Sovereign States with individual citizenship as OldSouth suggests. The USA is not the only nation to have a Federal system.

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  • 244. At 00:33am on 12 Nov 2008, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#240Timohio

    Not zucchini.

    I actually like that squash but only eaten raw in salad or in stir fry, lightly cooked. Plus I have red eared turtles and Koi in my pond who love zucchini so I grow some especially for them.

    As for the rest of the squash kingdom, I shudder but if I was starving I would eat it.

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  • 245. At 00:46am on 12 Nov 2008, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    #190 OldSouth wrote:

    "And, 130, 'marbles'--these people's abuse of Mr. Webb is disturbing, and totally uncalled for. He's far too tolerant of people who call him vicious names."

    Another rare occasion where OS and I agree.

    I don't have much to add to the JW debate. I've asked for proof of bias. I haven't seen the proof.

    However, as to his 'tolerance' of attacks - I suspect we may be exaggerating his interest and our importance. I wouldn't even assume he reads all these comments. As I recall, at one stage he was prone to referring, in new postings, to people who had commented on previous postings. Not so much recently. Well, no doubt he's a very busy man. And there can be a lot of postings.

    And I believe the BBC is pretty strapped for cash, so perhaps he can't afford to hire someone to translate MagicKirin and jacksforge into English....

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  • 246. At 00:51am on 12 Nov 2008, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To Timohio

    I should have added that turnips, squash, cabbage etc. are easy to grow and very prolific. During our last depression I ate more of these than I care to remember.

    My mama was an inspired cook but there are limits to what one can do with these vegetables.

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  • 247. At 00:52am on 12 Nov 2008, aquarizonagal wrote:

    Addendum to Timohio

    I never make war and always make dinner!

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  • 248. At 01:30am on 12 Nov 2008, Jeebers76 wrote:

    I read this in the article that Webb was citing. Is the 2nd paragraph true?


    Lorraine C. Minnite, a political science professor and voting rights expert at Barnard College, said Republicans had generally resisted such efforts in part out of concern about ineligible voters like noncitizens being permitted to vote.

    “But the bigger reason that Republicans have resisted expanding the franchise,” Dr. Minnite said, “is that the new people who are likely to come into the electorate are more often of lower income and are people of color, who tend to vote Democratic.”

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  • 249. At 02:13am on 12 Nov 2008, timohio wrote:

    re. 243. David_Cunard:

    "But they are not Sovereign States with individual citizenship as OldSouth suggests. The USA is not the only nation to have a Federal system."

    Exactly right. But the roles of states and federal government are pretty completely spelled out in the constitution. And there is that final statement in the constitution that powers not explicitly granted to the federal government are reserved for the states. That makes things sticky on occasion.

    I'm a little fuzzy on the makeup of the German federal state, but I think that owing to the history of the unification of modern Germany in the 19th century the different regions have a somewhat similar autonomy relative to the central government.

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  • 250. At 02:16am on 12 Nov 2008, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #239

    First the arument that it was arab land is faulty in that it was Israeli land first.
    Second Israel is a fact.

    Israel after it's founding iniatied relations with countries all over the world, including several in Africa.

    They have made peace with Egypt and Jordan and kept their commitment

    What have the Palestinians ever contributed to anybody?

    Mandela has been very insular. Never showed any gratitude to the U.S for all it did to help end arpathied. Always took the terrorist side against Israel and was quite about Mugabe atrocities untill very recnetly.

    He is no Ghandi and vastly overated as a great leader.

    The U.S need no moral lecture from this fraud!

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  • 251. At 02:23am on 12 Nov 2008, timohio wrote:

    re. 248. Jeebers76:

    "But the bigger reason that Republicans have resisted expanding the franchise," Dr. Minnite said, "is that the new people who are likely to come into the electorate are more often of lower income and are people of color, who tend to vote Democratic."

    I have no special knowledge on this, but it fits with my observations. The white middle class has generally been participating in the electoral process. For various reasons, minorities and especially African Americans have been under-represented among the voting population. Especially during the recent election, the Obama campaign made special efforts to register black and Hispanic voters as a field ripe for harvesting. These voters will be energized by a cause and will tend to vote for the candidate who is the focus for their aspirations. The Republicans are right to be nervous.

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  • 252. At 02:26am on 12 Nov 2008, MagicKirin wrote:

    to all the posters who complain about the U.S invasion of Iraq and that Israel refusal to give land to the terroist led Palestinians?

    How come you never post on this blog the invasion and occpation by Russia on Georgian territory?

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  • 253. At 02:38am on 12 Nov 2008, timohio wrote:

    re. 244. aquarizonagal:

    If you like zucchini, try growing zuchetta rampicante, an heirloom Italian squash that tastes like zucchini but without the slightly off aftertaste. And it never gets woody, no matter how large the squash gets. You can usually find a seed supplier online. But give it a lot of room.

    And try kale instead of cabbage. Much better flavor, but not as familiar to Americans. I grow Red Russian kale, which holds well into the winter. Does that make me a pinko?

    Some of the things that help me accept the onset of winter in the north are the winter fruits and vegetables, winter squash among them. We had squash risotto tonight, and it was filling and lovely. But friends can enjoy different foods and different politics.

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  • 254. At 02:44am on 12 Nov 2008, chronophobe wrote:

    I have a dull question: are the (still speculative) voter turnout figures I'm seeing (60 - 63%) the percentage of registered voters, or the percentage of all those who, registered or not, could vote if they had registered?

    The voter turnout in our (dull as dishwater) last election was a record low 59.1% of all eligible voters. We are engaging in much hand wringing over this.

    In spite of the valid points made above regarding the deeper sources of voter cynicism, I can't help thinking that the, shall we say, idiosyncracies, of the US electoral system help to reinforce the baseline level of voter apathy. Would it really be necessary to amend the Constitution in order to achieve a more rational homolgation of the electoral process?

    We are a Federal state as well, and one which must deal with an active separatist element in our Federal process (the Bloc Quebecois -- a nominally separatist Federal party -- go figure!). Nonetheless, all parties seem to agree that Elections Canada is the right body to oversee the democratic process.

    Is the source of resistance to electoral reform primarily the State administrations who are loathe to reduce their power? Or is there a general social consensus that how things are is how things should be?

    Yours,
    Canadian Pinko

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  • 255. At 02:44am on 12 Nov 2008, aquarizonagal wrote:

    I will regret this.

    Nelson Mandela does not owe the US anything. He suffered more than most any of us posting here can even imagine. He made peace and reached out to his neighbors when his country was in a most uncertain and difficult situation. He did the very best that he could given where his country was at the time.

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  • 256. At 02:48am on 12 Nov 2008, aquarizonagal wrote:

    Addendum to Magickirin

    Nelson Mandela is ninety years old. Sometimes people just get old and too tired. Perhaps some of our younger people should get busy and do some of the hard work for a change instead of just complaining on the blogs.

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  • 257. At 02:54am on 12 Nov 2008, timohio wrote:

    re. 250. MagicKirin:

    "First the arument that it was arab land is faulty in that it was Israeli land first."

    Sorry, but it wasn't Israeli land first. It was part of various kingdoms of Israel and/or Samaria. And various kings of Israel ruled over non-Jewish as well as Jewish peoples. The Romans gave Herod the Great extra bits and pieces. And before that the land was occupied by various Canaanites and Philistines. And long before that were the Neanderthals found in caves on Mount Carmel. So let's not get into who was there first. It really doesn't help solve the present problem. People are people, and people have rights. The sooner both sides recognize that, the sooner a peace can be worked out.

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  • 258. At 02:56am on 12 Nov 2008, chronophobe wrote:

    This is, strictly speaking, off topic, but apropos of some the posts above and on previous topics regarding the economic crisis.

    One of our national treasures, Margaret Attwood, is delivering a set of lectures on the theme of debt and civilisation. Highly recommended.

    Happy listening!

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  • 259. At 03:09am on 12 Nov 2008, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #256

    He had been quiet on mugabe since assuming the Presidency in South Africa. Never conedmned terrorism against Israel or urged Arabs to make peace with them.

    He is very selective in his championing of human rights.

    Jews and Caucasians seem less important to him

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  • 260. At 03:10am on 12 Nov 2008, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To# 258 Chronophobe

    Thanks for the link.

    To all a good and peaceful night.

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  • 261. At 03:18am on 12 Nov 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    #249. timohio: "I'm a little fuzzy on the makeup of the German federal state . . ."

    I was actually thinking of federated nations such as Australia, India and Switzerland. I imagine that in due course, all of Europe will achieve some overall federation - passports are stamped EEU and the Euro is ubiquitous. It may not be for another century, but it will happen. Being so independent and suspicious of Germany, Britain might not join, but it's on the cards.

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  • 262. At 03:24am on 12 Nov 2008, chronophobe wrote:

    Re: 197
    I say, it is time to pack our bags and find a
    sensible country.
    =====================

    G&R,
    If you find one, let me know! Beware, however, that the search for the perfect polity seems only to lead to more trouble.

    (The invitation to come up here still stands. I fear, however, that you would soon be as disillusioned with our parliamentarians as most of us are. )

    Yours,
    Canadian Pinko

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  • 263. At 03:43am on 12 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    229, Nessie.

    Stinging nettles.

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  • 264. At 03:51am on 12 Nov 2008, hontogaijin wrote:

    Re:197

    i moved to japan!

    eh... honestly though, i moved before the feces started to hit the oscillating rotation device; therefore, i was unintentionally proactive!

    i like how i can make myself sound good.




    ...

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  • 265. At 03:55am on 12 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    223, "What ever happened to JohnAAA, vivaelcid and damemargaretthatcher? I think they were plants." Replies follow:

    229, Nessie. Perennials or annuals?
    230, AsaScot. Stinging Nettles? Poison ivy? Deadly Nightshade maybe?
    231, David. Probably so, the kind ("annuals") that die after the summer.
    232, selfevident. Deadly Nightshade, Poison Ivy and Hemlock?
    234, Aqua. Plants? Should we consider a vegetarian diet?

    This is the only time these guys have been this popular.

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  • 266. At 04:36am on 12 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    259, ubermensch.

    "He (Mandella) is very selective in his championing of human rights."

    And you are not?

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  • 267. At 05:05am on 12 Nov 2008, paul939 wrote:

    #259 Magic

    "He is very selective in his championing of human rights"

    This is the most illogical statement that I have seen today. I never have seen you say anything about the dozens of homes that Israel demolishes daily, harassment and intimidation meted out at their checkpoints to the palestanian people who have to cross the checkpoint to get to work. Are you not being selective?

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  • 268. At 05:49am on 12 Nov 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    #259. MagicKirin "Jews and Caucasians seem less important to him."

    Jews are Caucasians. But you still haven't answered the question at #237, about Menachem Begin, Irgun, and the bombing of the King David Hotel. You're very selective about which things you answer. So was Begin a terrorist or not?

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  • 269. At 06:35am on 12 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    268, David.

    "You're very selective about which things you answer. So was Begin a terrorist or not?"

    Begin was at the top of the terrorist list, the Osama bin Laden of Israel, the head of the notorious Stern Gang.

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  • 270. At 06:58am on 12 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    169, correction.

    I should have said the "Jewish Osama bin Laden" instead of the "Osama bin Laden of Israel," because the terrorist activities of the Stern Gang began years before Israel was created.

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  • 271. At 07:10am on 12 Nov 2008, johnwood wrote:

    Aqua and Magickirin
    Re: Mandela.

    I detect sour grapes because Mandela didn't ever come out in support of the Israeli position.

    Mandela's biggest mistake was to sell out to his 'mates', Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, who hot-footed it over to SA as soon as they could after Mandela's release to work on him about accepting neo-liberalism, IMF and the World Bank and sweeping aside the grassroots democratic Reconstruction and Development Programme, which was poised to deliver houses and clinics for the poorest of the poor. Too 'socialist' for the Washington Consensus boys - so Mandela delivered to the rich instead and the poor still wallow in deepest poverty in SA.

    While I'm on about Mandela - I find the comparison between Obama and Mandela odious. Obama is a well-heeled, Harvard educated upper middle class guy who doesn't know the true meaning of African poverty and social, political and economic apartheid. He'll need to be jailed for 27 years by racist supremists before he can lay claim to being a 'Mandela' messiah for the Americans.

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  • 272. At 07:10am on 12 Nov 2008, johnwood wrote:

    Justin Webb: 'Oops".

    Mr Webb, you are so transparent.

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  • 273. At 07:34am on 12 Nov 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    #271. sirjohnwood "Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, who hot-footed it over to SA as soon as they could after Mandela's release . . ."

    Nelson Mandela was released in 1990, Bill Clinton assumed the Presidency in 1993 and Tony Blair became Prime Minister in 1997. Some hot-footing!

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  • 274. At 07:37am on 12 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    # 271

    Have you STUDIED Obama's life story. Whatever he has made of himself in his life he made for himself. His achievements should be an inspiration to us all.

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  • 275. At 07:43am on 12 Nov 2008, watermanaquarius wrote:

    Justin,
    Re gardeners question time.
    I read you are having trouble down in the lower acre, caused by singing nettles , deadly nightshade and poison ivy. Despite the amount of manure thrown on the site, maybe it would be advisable to move the herd to another pasture, before the "Archers" complain again and you suffer their barbs. Once the herd is moved, you can start milking them again.
    . Forget the blood compost dressing followed by slaking with lime, because nothing removes the nutrient deficiency in the short term, and the bugs fungus and weevils still can thrive.
    In previous years I have found that an ecological balanced approach although friendly will not sway the "American rot" and a herbicide or flame gunning will be required. Better pruning by the mods can help too.
    The nature of what you plant now is important. Remember the old "shrub" that always had problems!
    Squirrels are great but some other wildlife, is better seen in another plot.
    And do not forget. Hoe. Hoe. Hoe!-- No sour grapes here:- just hoping for good Arable lands.

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  • 276. At 07:48am on 12 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    To change the subject : how do Obama and Biden extricate themselves from the Senate and should this be done sooner than later ?

    It seems to me that with the enormous amount of transition work that they have on their plate, it would be wise to step aside from Senate votes and duties.

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  • 277. At 07:51am on 12 Nov 2008, Arthur Putey wrote:

    MagicKirin (aka Manchurian) wrote (# 250):

    "First the arument [sic] that it was arab land is faulty in that it was Israeli land first."

    There's absolutely no way it was Israeli land "first" - though you could make a (speciesist) case for it being Kenyan land originally.

    Hard scientific evidence indicates that the first humans (by which, for simplicity, I mean Homo sapiens) lived roughly a quarter of a million years ago in the general region of where Kenya is today. According to the widely accepted "Out Of Africa" theory, some 70,000 years ago humans began their long march to essentially all corners of the globe. So the first human occupants of the wee morsel of land currently known as 'Israel' were, arguably, therefore Kenyans.

    I wonder what god or gods those early groups of humans invented to justify their claims to whichever piece of land took their fancy...

    It occurred to me to develop a provocative idea based on a certain president-elect being Kenyan, but decided that that might get one or two conspiracy theorists just a bit too excited.

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  • 278. At 08:02am on 12 Nov 2008, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #276

    Eighty,

    Officially the way it works is they step down as they take office and the Governor of their respective states (both Democrats) appoints a replacement.

    In practice they already did step aside. The lame duck session will not have any substantive hearings and they are only likely to vote if there is something critical, like a stimulus package.

    Constitutional Sam

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  • 279. At 08:04am on 12 Nov 2008, Arthur Putey wrote:

    Oops!! That "certain President-Elect" is of course NOT Kenyan - I should have referred to him as, say, having Kenyan people in his (extended) family. My apologies for the extreme sloppiness.

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  • 280. At 08:09am on 12 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    # ArthurPutey



    We could always set the brawling monks in there to sort it all out - then we'd be back to the mudwrestling which seemed to appeal to many a few weeks ago.

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  • 281. At 08:10am on 12 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    Sam

    Or a vote on Joe Lieberman ?

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  • 282. At 08:10am on 12 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    265. allmymarbles wrote:

    223, "What ever happened to JohnAAA, vivaelcid and damemargaretthatcher? I think they were plants."

    This is the only time these guys have been this popular.


    Poplar?

    275. watermanaquarius:

    I fear the Little Weeds are spreading.

    I think we should consider a small orchard. Figs (not to be given away. . .) and agent oranges, mostly I think, with a few crab apples and a small vineyard of sour grapes. The whole to be securely rabbit-proofed, of course.

    (Kind of you to think of the squirrels. My mates are off nuts almost entirely now, so as long as you don't plant any of those, we might wander in every now and then.)


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  • 283. At 08:37am on 12 Nov 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    #275. watermanaquarius: "I read you are having trouble down in the lower acre, caused by singing nettles . . ."

    I've heard of singing dogs, but not musical weeds! Perhaps they belong to Bill and Ben The Flower Pot Men - w-e-e-e-e-e-e-d! Oddle oddle oddle.

    (British-ish, before your time I think!)

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  • 284. At 09:27am on 12 Nov 2008, Arthur Putey wrote:

    David (re post 283) - if it helps I do happen to know of one example of a singing entity of the botanical variety. I refer to the admittedly NOT particularly weed-like Robert Plant.

    I was going to nominate Elvis Parsley too, but decided that would be a silly thing to do.

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  • 285. At 09:36am on 12 Nov 2008, gtkovacs wrote:

    OK Justin, as North America editor, how about some blog pieces that are not election/transition related? Observations on other things that happen (I assume other things happen!) in North America.

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  • 286. At 09:44am on 12 Nov 2008, MagicKirin wrote:

    paul939 wrote:
    #259 Magic

    "He is very selective in his championing of human rights"

    This is the most illogical statement that I have seen today. I never have seen you say anything about the dozens of homes that Israel demolishes daily, harassment and intimidation meted out at their checkpoints to the palestanian people who have to cross the checkpoint to get to work. Are you not being selective?

    Yes I am being selective. I don't believe there is a moral equivilency between the two sides. Most of the land in dispute was owned by Egyptian and other Arab nations, of it most of that was bought by Israel

    The fact that Israel has to be concerned about anyone over 12 setting off a bomb or shooting someone is more important than Palestinian discomfort.

    Since Israel is the U.S friend and the Palestinians have never demonstrated they are, I will take the side of Israel.
    As I have stated several times, the Palestinians have to earn both nations trust. they never have.

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  • 287. At 10:43am on 12 Nov 2008, Simon21 wrote:

    252. At 02:26am on 12 Nov 2008, MagicKirin wrote:
    to all the posters who complain about the U.S invasion of Iraq and that Israel refusal to give land to the terroist led Palestinians?

    How come you never post on this blog the invasion and occpation by Russia on Georgian territory?"



    Did the US and UK etc encourage the Russians to invade Georgia?

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  • 288. At 11:21am on 12 Nov 2008, MagicKirin wrote:

    Something for the Israeli bashers to think about:

    If Israel exceeded to all of the Palestinian demands and withdrew.

    What would be Israel be justfied in doing when the terrorists start shooting missles into Israel.

    And what would you say to the Palestinians.

    Because you all seem to want Israel to make major overtures with no safeguards for them.

    Please don't say trust U.N peacekeepers.

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  • 289. At 11:39am on 12 Nov 2008, U12831485 wrote:

    252, MagicKirin wrote:

    How come you never post on this blog the invasion and occpation by Russia on Georgian territory?

    _______

    Maybe because a storm in a teacup is hardly worth mentioning ?

    Or maybe it is too tiresome to google the spelling of 'South Ossetia' every time one wants to comment on it...

    Besides, it has been the Georgian president who started military action, Russia and militias provoking or not.

    ________

    "He is very selective in his championing of human rights"

    ________

    Since when is Mandela a world leader ?
    Granted, he is a prominent figure on the world stage, but hardly of great power.

    First and foremost he is/was a South African politician and leader, who's country has some influence in central and south Africa (meaning the continent, my dear bible spice), and that's it.

    Not being a player in the region, he can speak his mind all he wants, he's got the right and isn't hurting anyone, apart from some bruised toes.

    _______

    Fritz K.

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  • 290. At 11:55am on 12 Nov 2008, U12831485 wrote:

    286, MagicKirin wrote:

    Since Israel is the U.S friend and the Palestinians have never demonstrated they are, I will take the side of Israel.
    As I have stated several times, the Palestinians have to earn both nations trust. they never have.

    ________

    The Palestinians don't have to earn nothing, pal, they are human beings forming a people and have rights.
    Just like the Israelis.

    As for taking sides, I'm not surprised you are basing ethics on alliances, but even you should realize that you have just undermined all your arguments.

    ______

    Fritz K.

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  • 291. At 12:24pm on 12 Nov 2008, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 286

    "Since Israel is the U.S friend and the Palestinians have never demonstrated they are, I will take the side of Israel.
    As I have stated several times, the Palestinians have to earn both nations trust. they never have."

    I hate to admit it, but this disturbing conclusion is shared by many Americans as a result of the demonization campaigns that have taken place in the USA during the past six decades.

    Bear in mind that from an ethnicity perspective there is no difference between Middle Eastern Israelis and Palestinians, both are Semites. It is also important to note that most Palestinians don't hate America (many have settled and live in the USA), they simply disagree with our foreign policy, pretty much the same way the rest of the world does.

    How ironic it is to claim socialism when an American politician nationalizes troubled industries, but we endorse the appropriation of property when it is carried out for "divine" purposes. Personally, I don't consider the need of tens of tens of thousands of European Jews to have inexpensive abode a good enough cause as deserving of divinity rights, whatever that happens to be.

    Above all, the Palestinians are human beings who deserve the same respect and treatment as everyone else. Don't let powerful and ruthless interest groups influence your logic and sense of humanity.

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  • 292. At 12:32pm on 12 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "to all the posters who complain about the U.S invasion of Iraq and that Israel refusal to give land to the terroist led Palestinians?

    How come you never post on this blog the invasion and occpation by Russia on Georgian territory?" - MagicKirin

    MK works the old tactic: if you're losing the argument, try to change the subject. It won't wash. For the record, both Russia and Georgia are clearly at fault in their confrontation over South Ossetia.

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  • 293. At 12:55pm on 12 Nov 2008, paul939 wrote:

    #288 Magic

    Nobody is asking Israel to withdraw fully, It is only agreed that if Israel started treating the Palestinians like human beings, then they wouldn't feel too aggrieved to start firing rockets. Agreed, Hamas is at fault for firing rockets, but If Israel agreed for better terms, Hamas would have less justification for firing rockets. You cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs.

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  • 294. At 12:56pm on 12 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    Incidentally, both "Caucasian" and "Semite" are terms from the nineteenth century pseudo-science of racial anthropology. They are not used in modern physical anthropology, and have no useful meaning whatever.

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  • 295. At 1:02pm on 12 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    # 268

    By Googling: Einstein + Israel + Nazi

    You will obtain some data concerning Ben Gurion and others as to why Einstein would not accept the Presidency of Israel:

    he considered the leaders to be as Nazis [sic].

    ________________________

    If you jump forward to today, you will find information technology to be the principal commercial action of Israel.

    The second? Organized crime!

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  • 296. At 1:10pm on 12 Nov 2008, Susan Bird wrote:

    Being new to USA. (One year to go before citizenship), I have made friends with people from all walks of life.

    Thursday before the election, my weekly lunch friends said, "mark my words, if Obama wins, there will be civil unrest in the USA. If Obama loses, then there will be much more civil unrest".

    I took much delight the following week in informing them that there were hardly any incidents when Barack Obama became President Elect.

    I went on to tell my friends, that they were always trying to scaremonger me, much the same way that the Tories in the UK tried to scare people against the Labour Party.

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  • 297. At 1:19pm on 12 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

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

  • 298. At 1:21pm on 12 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    As to the claim that Israelis are "caucasians"-this may be misleading:

    Ashkanazim Jews, Palestinians, and Syrians form a unique blood group, distinguishable from everyone else.

    Go back to your Bibles, lads. You are castigating your own tribe and blood line!

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  • 299. At 1:27pm on 12 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    Susan,

    I think that the calm owes a lot to Obama's well-judged acceptance speech with its lack of triumphalism - and to the serious way in which he has immediately got to work with a large team of experienced people around him.

    George Bush also deserves credit for his graceful behaviour.

    Let's hope that it stays this way (and, by example, sends a message of calm and reasoned arguments to Magic)

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  • 300. At 1:32pm on 12 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

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

  • 301. At 1:43pm on 12 Nov 2008, Mike Mullen wrote:

    #296 susanbird1:

    "Thursday before the election, my weekly lunch friends said, "mark my words, if Obama wins, there will be civil unrest in the USA. If Obama loses, then there will be much more civil unrest".

    I took much delight the following week in informing them that there were hardly any incidents when Barack Obama became President Elect."

    #299 eightypercent:
    "I think that the calm owes a lot to Obama's well-judged acceptance speech with its lack of triumphalism - and to the serious way in which he has immediately got to work with a large team of experienced people around him.

    George Bush also deserves credit for his graceful behaviour."

    I think also the decisive margin of victory helped, fears of electoral fraud were simply drowned by the turnout. The worst scaremongers were the media outlets who kept talking about the polls tightening in the last week, it was utter nonsense but made Obama supporters uneasy that the way was being paved for a rerun of 2000. Of course those on the right had ACORN as their bogeyman but that was also a wildly misreresented story.


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  • 302. At 2:01pm on 12 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    In a foreshortened version detailing the criminal activity of Israeli gangs:

    "…In 2003, Glenny writes, the US State Department claimed in a report that
    ‘Israeli drug-trafficking organizations are the main source of distribution of the drug to groups in the US, using express mail services, commercial airlines, and recently also using air cargo services.’

    (One Hasidic Jewish New Yorker, indicted in 2003, allegedly laundered more than $40 million in profits for [one] gang.)…”
    ___________________________________Through the Global Criminal Underworld
    by Misha Glenny

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  • 303. At 2:02pm on 12 Nov 2008, Simon21 wrote:

    293. At 12:55pm on 12 Nov 2008, paul939 wrote:
    #288 Magic

    Nobody is asking Israel to withdraw fully, It is only agreed that if Israel started treating the Palestinians like human beings, then they wouldn't feel too aggrieved to start firing rockets. Agreed, Hamas is at fault for firing rockets, but If Israel agreed for better terms, Hamas would have less justification for firing rockets. You cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs."


    Israel cannot treat the Palestinians as human beings - it was founded to demonstrate the superiority of one ethnic group.

    The Israeli constitution makes this very clear.

    Israelis the "home of the jewish people", not Israelis who may or may not be jewish.

    The Palestinians stand as a national embarrassment - and a refutation to basic racial ideology iie that the jews are a "race" and that they all come from Palestine, no matter where they live or their ethnic affiliation.

    This is because the Palestinians of course were jewish, were Byzantine etc, they are the indiginous people of the area.

    As long as Israel cleaves to this idea that judaism is some kind of "race" then it is never going to accept the Palestinians as equals.

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  • 304. At 2:02pm on 12 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    Israelis also managed to blend information technilogy and criminal activity:

    Those who are interested can Google: Israeli art students + DEA + FBI + telephone numbers to find out more about the great scam,

    wherein Israeli information technology sought the telephone numbers of DEA and FBI officials under the guise of being “art students”.

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  • 305. At 2:34pm on 12 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    As A Scot

    Agreed. Apart from the occasional subterranean rumbling from one or other of the awkward squad, we don't hear anything about ACORN now. Certainly doesn't seem to be a subject for further discussion by the American media.

    Another scare story bites the dust !

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  • 306. At 2:43pm on 12 Nov 2008, watermanaquarius wrote:

    David_C # 283
    Sorry for the mis-typing of stinging with singing. Usual problem blogging with gardening gloves on and when one is trying to think straight between a green-house and the White house, [though both have their charm]. Keeping to the farming mode I was reminded by british-ish about the rabbits and ex-presidents' attempts at retreating unscathed from their personal briar patch.
    Being one of the un-informed here, I would be grateful to hear about your and others feelings, in respect of who you think will be on Bushes' list of misunderstood Americans who could receive a pardon for their misdemeanours during his administration. {I would ask Justin but feel he has his hands tied]
    Before stepping down to graze other pastures after leaving office, Bill C added a further 140 pardons on his last day in office, making 456 in total.
    Bills list

    Up until July 21st 2008, Bush had only issued 157 pardons so he is coming up short.
    Running total

    Do you fancy that apart from the "usual suspects", there will be any long, long list, of "exemption from trial" or "exemption from jail" passes handed out in the new year? In reading the page about American presidential pardons it would appear that Dubya might already be composing a letter to ask Obama to look after his friends and Dubyas' own hide!
    In the club

    These lawyers and ex military men in high office the last few years are a case apart, with the totals escalating to approach the heavens ! Looks like George Washington was the only one to get it right, but then Tom the Tinker probably made very good stuff.- I am back to singing again.

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  • 307. At 2:54pm on 12 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    223 marbles, remember the frail meerKitten?

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  • 308. At 2:56pm on 12 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    224
    "Bok bok bok barrak"

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  • 309. At 3:05pm on 12 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Dems eye midnight regulations reversal

    "Congressional Democrats are eyeing a little-known, Clinton-era law as a way to reverse Bush administration midnight regulations — even ones that have already taken effect.

    It’s a move that would undermine the White House’s attempt to finalize its energy and environmental regulations by November so that Barack Obama couldn’t undo them after he’s sworn in as the 44th president on Jan. 20."
    Right On!

    Peace and Gaia
    ed

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  • 310. At 3:21pm on 12 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    # 306 # Waterman

    Himself ?

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  • 311. At 3:24pm on 12 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    225 Gherkin

    conditions of first gulf war were , get out and don't invade others.
    that is why the coalition stopped.

    "But some on the left find it acceptible to call the former a dictator and a war criminal.

    As far as the Palestinian, don't expect alot of sympathy in the U.S for people who choose to be ruled by terrorists. Especially when they celebrated 9/11 on the streets."


    Because he started a war through negligence at best.
    Then he went and threw the Geneva convention out the window.

    Dictator because he removed the fundamental freedoms of so many americans while using the media to promote a war.

    refusing even to let Dems in to the discussions on the energy bill.
    Finding his veto pen only when the worm had turned.

    He terrorised the world it seems(after all most seem a lot less afraid of Obama, and hopefully america again.


    " if you ain't with us you're against us," never helped

    if you harbour terrorists we care little for your sovereignty

    BTW what would all you that defend the actions of Israel and america by continually vetoing UN resolutions, if the UK had blockaded Ireland for all that time.
    Stopped fuel shipments for the winter.
    Prevented medical supplies.
    gone in and shut down businesses using the military , bulldoze their family homes when one of their kids gets caught .Even if they had no Idea.

    Their lives , their economy, all held hostage by a foreign state.
    The UK would have got in a mess of trouble if they had done that.

    The same people that paid for those bombs in the UK suddenly got it brought home what terrorism was about when the trade towers were hit.

    All that new York St Patricks day contributions to Noraid dried up and the IRA and Brits got real serious about peace once america suddenly understood real terrorism and stopped providing refuge to (as many) terrorists.

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  • 312. At 3:37pm on 12 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:



    245 John I wish you would say something with all that english.

    but we can't all get what we want eh?


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  • 313. At 4:10pm on 12 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Meanwhile.....

    Peace and Gaia's Revenge
    ed

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  • 314. At 4:17pm on 12 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    236.aquarizonagal

    I am also grateful that "old people" are not barred from posting on this site.
    ---------------------------

    So am I.
    I would not have included you when I mentioned Ed because you never seem as old as you say.
    good health to you and keep off the squash

    Turtle?

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  • 315. At 4:21pm on 12 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    259

    he was in south africa ?

    you think he wasn't busy?

    maybe Aipac were not active there.
    (seeing as its not america)

    Oh I forget

    he's black right?

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  • 316. At 4:24pm on 12 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    chronophobe (#254), "homolgation [sic] of the electoral process? The Secretaries of State in the individual states certify our statewide elections. When there are problems, as in Florida in 2000 and in Ohio in 2004, courts can intervene. Usually, this works well; 2000 was an aberration in several respects. I can't see how federal administration of elections would improve things, although there are federal laws which can be enforced in the states by federal courts.

    It's not clear to me what you mean by "reform" but I don't believe there is resistance in the US to improving the electoral process. In Florida, for example, the debacle led to new equipment and procedures being put in place for subsequent elections. In many states, there are concerns about the all-electronic voting machines (particularly Diebold), and consequently they are not used everywhere (California, for example, has not approved them).

    Generally, our elections run smoothly. Problems are usually localized to a state or even to a county. The 2000 election was a big problem only because the overall election was so close that the result in Florida was crucial. When there are problems, we fix them, as Florida apparently did. I don't know anyone who thinks the electoral system is broken to the extent of requiring federal intervention. There certainly weren't any serious problems this year, despite the attempts of partisans to cook something up.

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  • 317. At 4:26pm on 12 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    259. At 03:09am on 12 Nov 2008, Mad gherkin wrote:
    ref #256

    He had been quiet on mugabe since assuming the Presidency in South Africa. Never conedmned terrorism against Israel or urged Arabs to make peace with them.

    He is very selective in his championing of human rights.

    Jews and Caucasians seem less important to him
    --------------------------------------

    Really . show again how ignorant you are.

    Did you see the those blood baths where they took the white oppressors and killed them all. where they rounded up and shot all the BOERS.

    I didn't either.
    That ,you fool, was because of Nelson Mandela.

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  • 318. At 4:32pm on 12 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    275

    just brilliant

    weevils wobble but they don't fall down.

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  • 319. At 4:38pm on 12 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    # 311

    Mention of dancing in the streets over 9/11?

    How about dancing on the roof?

    There were three MOSSAD teams in the USA tracking 9/11 bombers before the event.

    They gave no useful warning to US officials about what they knew.

    One team, the "Urban Moving Systems" group of Weehawken and Tel Aviv, set up
    their cameras to photograph the Twin Towers operation-

    and then danced for joy, giving each other "high-fives".

    They then told the NY police "the Palestinians did it".

    Some were quizzed by the FBI and all returned to Israel.

    The US Congressmen benefit greatly from the campaign contributions arranged by AIPAC and other Zionist groups-

    but Israel gets billions from the US taxpayers in return.

    Is this a net gain for the USA or does it align the USA with a vicious, racist aggressor in the Mid-East?

    Will Obama's new White House Chief of Staff defend the US interests over such activities?

    [Note that Israel is making incursions into Gaza this week and the press, including the BBC, is barred from entry to Gaza by the Israelis]

    Is the Obama regime, with the new White House Chief of Staff, going to continue tolerating such abuse of the Palestinians?

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  • 320. At 4:42pm on 12 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    268

    DC
    jews /caucasians

    many Jews are Caucasian.
    there are many jews descended from a tribe that converted to Judaism .

    and there are the semetic jews of the holey land of old.

    It's not like they all get along really.
    from what i hear there is some snobbery active in Israel where the jews that were locals before zionism are actually looked down on by the new israelis .



    seemed far fetched ,Any comments gherkin.

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  • 321. At 4:50pm on 12 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Obama's Faith: Fascinating Interview Unearthed

    "OBAMA: What I believe in is that if I live my life as well as I can, that I will be rewarded. I don't presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die. But I feel very strongly that whether the reward is in the here and now or in the hereafter, the aligning myself to my faith and my values is a good thing.

    When I tuck in my daughters at night and I feel like I've been a good father to them, and I see in them that I am transferring values that I got from my mother and that they're kind people and that they're honest people, and they're curious people, that's a little piece of heaven."
    From an interview in 2004 I find this resonant:
    "So you got yourself born again?

    OBAMA:
    Yeah, although I don't, I retain from my childhood and my experiences growing up a suspicion of dogma. And I'm not somebody who is always comfortable with language that implies I've got a monopoly on the truth, or that my faith is automatically transferable to others.

    I'm a big believer in tolerance. I think that religion at it's best comes with a big dose of doubt. I'm suspicious of too much certainty in the pursuit of understanding just because I think people are limited in their understanding.

    I think that, particularly as somebody who's now in the public realm and is a student of what brings people together and what drives them apart, there's an enormous amount of damage done around the world in the name of religion and certainty."
    Aye to that!

    Peace and Doubt
    ed

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  • 322. At 4:51pm on 12 Nov 2008, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 316 Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    "I don't know anyone who thinks the electoral system is broken to the extent of requiring federal intervention."

    From the 2nd piece Justin linked to - "Richard L. Hasen, an election law expert at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, has pushed for a more ambitious plan in which the federal government would build a national database of registered voters."

    He's someone.

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  • 323. At 4:55pm on 12 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    306 watermanaquarious


    Up until July 21st 2008, Bush had only issued 157 pardons so he is coming up short.

    That is because the only people that went to jail under him are the eco "terrarists". and other "Terrorists".

    The others were the tip o the iceburg. letus remember he had the Ag under his thumb.

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  • 324. At 4:58pm on 12 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    286 mad Gherkin

    if we declared the IDF a terrorist organisation then there would be equal footing on this field .

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  • 325. At 5:01pm on 12 Nov 2008, Mike Mullen wrote:

    #319 Xie_Ming:

    "There were three MOSSAD teams in the USA tracking 9/11 bombers before the event.

    They gave no useful warning to US officials about what they knew.

    One team, the "Urban Moving Systems" group of Weehawken and Tel Aviv, set up
    their cameras to photograph the Twin Towers operation-

    and then danced for joy, giving each other "high-fives".

    They then told the NY police "the Palestinians did it"."

    Sorry but you really have to substantiate a claim like that, and I mean have cast iron proof, a report filed by NYPD would be nice. Without proof you're descending into the realm of conspiracy theory.

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  • 326. At 5:01pm on 12 Nov 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #321, Ed, he's a false prophet, and one of the best.

    Over the course of his term, he will trip over his
    own words, and be pushed off the stage.

    And, by the way, he thinks that his cage is very
    nice...

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  • 327. At 5:08pm on 12 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    John-in-Dublin (#322), well, I don't know him. His idea seems reasonable enough, however. There are other areas, such as law enforcement, where federal and state jurisdictions cooperate.

    The problem we had this year, in Ohio, was with Republicans attempting to force the Secretary of State to use databases not under her control to validate her voter registrations. This was not a serious attempt at electoral reform; it was merely a last-ditch effort to impede the voting of new, predominately Democratic, registrants.

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  • 328. At 5:09pm on 12 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "What I believe in is that if I live my life as well as I can, that I will be rewarded." - Obama

    While I applaud Obama's tolerant attitude, this is still rather a childish view of morality. Doing good is not always rewarded. Do what you believe to be right because you believe it to be right, not because you expect to be rewarded.

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  • 329. At 5:22pm on 12 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Breaking News!

    Read all about it!

    Peace Breaks Out
    ed

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  • 330. At 5:36pm on 12 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Nick,

    He didn't say he did right because he would be rewarded. He said (in essence) that he feels more comfortable when he is acting in sync with what he believes to be right.

    Peace and Parsing
    ed

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  • 331. At 5:47pm on 12 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Here's an interesting item giving one Californian's opinion on the efforts of DiFi to implement electoral reform:

    http://bayneweb.com/blog/?p=819

    I'm not endorsing it, merely offering it up for the electoral reform wonks among us.

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  • 332. At 5:50pm on 12 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:


    # 326

    Guns, you are allowing your wishful thinking to come to the surface only a week after the elections. You may be able to say those things in a year or so when we will know better how they are doing but at the moment your remarks just seem empty and bolshie.

    You seem to be offering the sourest of sour grapes - after all what did the other side really have to offer to solve today's problems - and what lack of serious resolve have the Dems shown so far ?

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  • 333. At 6:05pm on 12 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    Ed,
    He said "What I believe in is that if I live my life as well as I can, that I will be rewarded."
    In general, this belief is unfounded. Virtue is not by any means always rewarded in this life, as many examples show; and there is absolutely no reason to believe in any other.

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  • 334. At 6:09pm on 12 Nov 2008, eightypercent wrote:



    # Jack the Forge - Good Point

    "It's not like they all get along really"

    There are, by my count, 13 separate parties in the Knesset and 19 other parties who stood in the last elections. These parties range from far right to centre to left (and to green).

    When the Israelis have a unity of purpose, the better the rest of the world will have in helping them to achieve peace with their neighbours.

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  • 335. At 6:11pm on 12 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    What I find interesting about the Gangale piece to which I linked in 331 is how wrong he was about the effect of moving California's primary to a much earlier date. As it turned out, California's importance would have been far greater had its primary remained in June.

    Also interesting, to me at least, is that this year the Democratic nomination process produced the best candidate, when it has been customary for Democrats to nominate weak candidates for president. Despite all the faults in our electoral system, somehow it produced the right result this year.

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  • 336. At 6:12pm on 12 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

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

  • 337. At 6:17pm on 12 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Ability

    ;-)
    ed

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  • 338. At 6:18pm on 12 Nov 2008, mdalerwill wrote:

    re #61,

    There is a saying, though I cannot remember where it came from: The young man who is not a democrat has no heart; the old man who is not a republican has no brain.

    If course, that's flattering and insulting to both, and not to be taken in strict seriousness, but I have always remembered it. In my case, it tends toward truth, for I was extremely liberal in my college days. Fifteen years and two degrees later, I am a moderate who tends to swing back and forth over the party lines depending on the issue.

    And re #118-119,

    In my experience, most of those who don't vote aren't just making the decision based on whether or not they were too lazy to keep their registration info current. The remark in #119 goes to the heart of it. Of those I know who did not vote (including my father, who volunteered to serve our country in the military in time of war but has never voted in his 75 years) the sentiment is that it doesn't matter who we vote for. The politicians will make decisions based on their own self-interest, not on the wishes of the people or their best interests. Right or wrong, that's how they feel.

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  • 339. At 6:22pm on 12 Nov 2008, deanoverton wrote:

    Justin

    I just wanted to complement you on a perfectly sublime piece of reporting in your FOOC piece on 30th October concerning 'my three most memorable images of the US election campaign'. The picture you drew of the first possible black occupants of the White House was stronger for me than if I had actually seen it happening on TV.

    Justin, you are a first class journalist - even if you can't spell 'allegiance' correctly (in your latest blog concerning voter turnout)!

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  • 340. At 6:33pm on 12 Nov 2008, seanspa wrote:

    Gary, that's an interesting article on reform in #331. The author clearly doesn't think much of Feinstein. Wasn't she SF mayor once?

    I know she gets reelected, but what's the thinking on her? Is she reelected just because of her party? I ask because I saw (or read, I cannot remember) recently about her wanting to become CA governor. Other possible runners were supposedly waiting to see what she did, as they wouldn't have a chance against her. Would you want her as governor?

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  • 341. At 6:37pm on 12 Nov 2008, seanspa wrote:

    #332, 80% asks a fair question. The dems so far seem to think that bail-outs are the answer to everything. Lets give more money to the auto industry, another economic stimulus package for the tax-payer.

    All sounds good to me, clearly money well spent. Who needs to increase taxes when the government is there to give it away, not to collect it.

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  • 342. At 7:01pm on 12 Nov 2008, seanspa wrote:

    Nick, I would like to think that doing the right thing gives a certain self-satisfaction, and gets respect from those you care about. That sounds like a decent reward to me.

    You aren't measuring reward in purely financial terms are you?

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  • 343. At 7:18pm on 12 Nov 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    80%, 332, It's not sour grapes. I would
    not feel this way if Hillary had won.
    I don't agree with Hillary on a lot of stuff,
    but now I understand that she is a true
    patriot.

    Obama is simply not what he projects himself
    to be.

    As for the time frame of his demise, it
    could be years. That's fine, as long as
    the Republic is saved.

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  • 344. At 7:24pm on 12 Nov 2008, Reuben34g wrote:

    David Cunard:

    When Begin and the Irgun were fighting for their freedom, the term 'terrorist' had no been coined yet.

    Are Green Peace terrorists?

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  • 345. At 7:52pm on 12 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    seanspa (#340), the current buzz on Senator Feinstein (Di-Fi) is whether she will run for governor in 2010. It seems clear that she's been thinking about it. Some think it will depend on whether she gets a good chairmanship in the next Senate. It would not surprise me if she leaves the Senate regardless of her committee assignment. Washington, D. C. is a pretty long way from home for her.

    Di-Fi is so popular here that she didn't bother to campaign for her last election. The Republicans put up a token candidate, and when she had a speaking engagement somewhere here, she would ask if anyone had heard of him. They hadn't.

    Di-Fi lost a try at governor once, but that was before she was so experienced and well-known. Her support is so broad, I don't think she's just elected just because she's a Democrat in a Democratic state. She doesn't get the Republicans riled up too often, as Senator Boxer is more apt to do.

    I'm an independent. I wouldn't mind if Feinstein became governor, although I have no opinion this early. There's some talk that Attorney General Jerry Brown, a former governor, may try for it again. I think I prefer Feinstein to Brown (who used to be my neighbor).

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  • 346. At 8:10pm on 12 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    mdalerwill (#338), the saying is from Disraeli, sometimes falsely attributed to Churchill. He did not say "Democrat" or "Republican" however.

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  • 347. At 8:19pm on 12 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    seanspa@342,
    No, but even in the terms you set out, no reward is guaranteed; there are plenty of moral dilemmas where you're going to feel awful whatever you do; and the right choice may be the one that those you care about will hate you for.

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  • 348. At 8:39pm on 12 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    Alternate world gunsandreligion:

    "I would
    not feel this way if Obama had won.
    I don't agree with Obama on a lot of stuff,
    but now I understand that he is a true
    patriot.

    Hillary is simply not what she projects herself
    to be. "

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  • 349. At 8:55pm on 12 Nov 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #341, seanspa, I saw an interesting guest on
    Charlie Rose last night named Bill Ackman.

    His point was that the government is doing exactly
    the WRONG thing with regard to the automakers,
    because they are restructuring them with high
    debt burdens.

    Here is the video.

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  • 350. At 9:17pm on 12 Nov 2008, seanspa wrote:

    Gary, thanks for the info. I remember Brown from the first time I visited the USA. We had family in Portola Valley, but all I remember of him at the time was Linda Ronstadt. I'm amazed he's still around - is it really the same guy? Wikipedia suggests that it is.

    So what does make a senator popular and how do they deflect the appalling collective rating? Pork? Earmarks? By the way, what's the difference?

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  • 351. At 9:28pm on 12 Nov 2008, mdalerwill wrote:

    #346,

    Ah, thank you. I will check out the original wording now that I know.

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  • 352. At 9:34pm on 12 Nov 2008, Arthur Putey wrote:

    watermanaquarius wrote (#306): "Sorry for the mis-typing of stinging with singing."

    And a bit later in the same post: "Before stepping down to graze other pastures after leaving office, Bill C added a further 140 pardons on his last day in office, making 456 in total."

    Given the fact that some other bloggers here are liable to instinctively associate (unfairly in my view) Bill Clinton's name with blue dresses and cigars, perhaps it's just as well that there was no mis-typing when it came to the word "pardons"...

    Or was there?

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  • 353. At 10:01pm on 12 Nov 2008, seanspa wrote:

    #349, sorry, I was being sarcastic in #341. I can see why keeping the financial system going makes sense (even if I'm not convinced that AIG should be given money to spend on top resorts, or bonuses should still be paid).

    I cannot see why paying the auto makers for them to keep the unions happy is so imperative. If they dont have the money, renegotiate with the unions (we've no money, what do you want, benefits or jobs?).

    I was trying to remember a name from the past and it's suddenly come to mind. Older UK readers may remember Viv Nicholson.

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  • 354. At 10:11pm on 12 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    seanspa (#350), yes, it is the same Jerry Brown, son of former governor Edmond (Pat) Brown, and himself a governor at a relatively young age. He was also known then as "Governor Moonbeam."

    More recently, he was the mayor of Oakland, then became the California Attorney General in 2006.

    Linda Ronstadt has been out of the picture for a very long time.

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  • 355. At 10:19pm on 12 Nov 2008, MagicKirin wrote:

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

  • 356. At 10:21pm on 12 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    seanspa (#350), it's an interesting statistical anomaly that the low opinion of Members of Congress as a whole is not the sum of the opinions people have of their own Representatives or Senators. We generally like our own.

    Feinstein is responsive to her constituents' interests. I send her an e-mail from time to time, and she always sends a response. If she disagrees with me, she doesn't get evasive, but will just say so. I respect her for that.

    My Representative in the House, on the other hand, never responds to an inquiry. I can't do anything about it, because I live in one of the most solid Democratic districts there is. The Democratic candidate will be elected no matter what they've been doing (or not doing).

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  • 357. At 10:28pm on 12 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    seanspa (#350), Oh, and "pork" is merely a rude way of describing an earmark, which is a budget item designated for a particular project in a particular district.

    The term "pork" refers to "pork barrel." (Google that.)

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  • 358. At 10:33pm on 12 Nov 2008, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #281
    80,

    I think the Lieberman question is interesting and I am sure I will be flamed for discussing it.

    A vote on Joe couldn't happen, not the Senate's business to decide who is in the Senate. The voters of Ct get their chance next time he runs. My experience in that State is most folks are decent, clear thinking centralists. Hence they have liked Joe for a while.

    I for one think he is a good guy, just because he straddles the somewhat difficult political division we have right now. The left of the left Dems ran against him, they won the primary. He ran as an indy, and won the last election against that Dem candidate.

    I don't agree with his decision to support McCain, for economic reasons. I do think the Dems lost an important voice when they pushed him aside.

    As a porcine feline with lefty leanings, I will miss Joe if he is voted out. The Reps are now lurching to the right. The Dems have some lefty's in congress and we need BHO to stand up to them.

    I want to see more socially liberal, fiscal conservatives in government, not less. The Republicans are veering loony right. We need all the Joe Liebermans we can get to help us find the middle.

    Moderate Sam

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  • 359. At 11:00pm on 12 Nov 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    #344. Reuben34g: "When Begin and the Irgun were fighting for their freedom, the term 'terrorist' had no been coined yet."

    Immaterial; what would you call what they did in today's terminology? In any case, I think you'll find that 'terrorism' as a word has been around for a couple of centuries.

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  • 360. At 11:06pm on 12 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    326, guns.

    "Ed, he's (Obama) a false prophet, and one of the best."

    The public was disgusted with Washington and wanted to shake it up. If Obama had not been on the scene, then someone wlse would have been. Obama was in the right place at the right time.

    A shakeup every now and again is good for government. In this case it was long overdue. The only tangible benefit so far, aside from putting paid to the Bush dynasty, is the destruction of the Clinton machine.

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  • 361. At 11:28pm on 12 Nov 2008, U12831485 wrote:

    343, gunsandreligion wrote:

    I don't agree with Hillary on a lot of stuff,
    but now I understand that she is a true patriot.

    Obama is simply not what he projects himself
    to be.

    ____

    Well, in todays world the definition of a US patriot seems to be a church-going village idiot with a gun. ;)

    Certainly that would describe Palin quite well, wouldn't it ?
    I don't think Mrs Clinton would like to be associated with such a crowd.

    Judging by the way McCain presented himself in the campaign, this old man doesn't seem to be what he has projected himself to be for decades.

    ___

    Fritz K.

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  • 362. At 11:29pm on 12 Nov 2008, Simon21 wrote:

    "355. At 10:19pm on 12 Nov 2008, MagicKirin wrote:
    I noticed none of the Israeli bashers answered the question about what Israel would do if they acceded to all of the Palestinian demands, and the missles kept coming."



    That's because it is an idiotic question.

    What would the Palestrinians do if they agree to dissapear but the israelis kept shooting their children?



    "That is why the Palestinians have to earn trust.
    Act like human beings and they would be treated as such."

    You concede the Palestinians are not treated as human beings by the Israelis.

    You believe Israel is inhumane.

    How do you justify supporting inhuman people?

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  • 363. At 11:33pm on 12 Nov 2008, seanspa wrote:

    David, a reasonable response to Reuben. I try to be civil as best I can, but I was thinking along the lines of, if the phrase 'stupid post' had not been coined, then would that prevent Reuben's post from being stupid?

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  • 364. At 11:38pm on 12 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    we could always nationalise the car industry .
    then buy some nice cheap easy to build japanese design like the honda civic circa 1990 which got about 45 miles per gallon.
    Cheap solution designs probably able to be bought cheap..
    then we could be like russia at the height , buying old designs off others because our own industry is so far behind.

    :)

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  • 365. At 11:43pm on 12 Nov 2008, seanspa wrote:

    Marbles, I agree with what you say apart from the last sentence. Obama does appear to be surrounding himself with quite a number of Clintonites. I guess it's because they have experience of government, but you're the conspiracy theorist. Why else could that be?

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  • 366. At 00:03am on 13 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Nick,

    "In general, this belief is unfounded. "
    As are all beliefs, in your view, are they not?

    Peace and free thought
    ed

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  • 367. At 00:23am on 13 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    365, seanspa.

    There might be a couple of reasons. (1) Obama is throwing the Clintons a bone. (2) The Clintonites he has chosen might be capable and useful for what he wants to achieve. Obama has to surround himself with experienced people. These people, to some extent, will have been involved in previous administrations.

    Like everyone else, I am waiting to see what Obama is going to do. He has a new website, changegov.com, and I make suggestions, queries, and reminders to him directly on that blog. He owes us and I don't want him to forget it.

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  • 368. At 00:38am on 13 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    365, seanspa.

    "...but you're the conspiracy theorist."

    I never saw myself that way and am surprised that others might. In politics there is lots of saber rattling, mostly for the benefit of supporters, and lots and lots of feel-good propaganda. What I look for is what is beneath the words. I look for the hidden agenda.

    I was able to see it in the false reasons for the Iraqi War because Iraq is in the area of my speciality. Bush could get away with it with the general public because few Americans know much about the Middle East. But people like Colin Powell could never have been duped. I lost respect for him and no tears and sweet talk of his will regain it.

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  • 369. At 00:51am on 13 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

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

  • 370. At 00:55am on 13 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    "Thank you for contributing to a BBC Blog. Unfortunately we've had to remove your content below

    Postings to BBC blogs will be removed if they advertise products or services for profit or gain.

    Posts to the BBC blogs should not contain advertising or promotion of any kind. This may include links to personal websites or forums, surveys and questionnaires, or details of charity or fund-raising events that fall outside the BBC's Editorial Guidelines....
    Regards,

    The BBC Blog Team"
    I think the Mods (who are as Gods) need an irony supplement.

    Posting:
    GWB Memorial Liberry Coming soon, featuring

    Up to the minute economic news

    Banking news,
    and reports from

    the War Zones

    Peace and Thanksgiving
    ed

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  • 371. At 00:58am on 13 Nov 2008, seanspa wrote:

    Marbles, good for you. I checked out the site and notice that the last person to submit a post was a certain 'allmymarbles'. I agree with your post on wall st bonuses. I dislike redistribution of wealth in either direction.

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  • 372. At 01:00am on 13 Nov 2008, seanspa wrote:

    Marbles, I know that you have experience with Iran. What is your experience with Iraq?

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  • 373. At 01:51am on 13 Nov 2008, chronophobe wrote:

    Re: 316. Gary_A_Hill:

    Thanks for your interesting reply. I'd like to give your thoughts a thorough reply, but duty calls, and I'll only have time for a couple of remarks.

    You said, "The Secretaries of State in the individual states certify our statewide elections."

    My point would be that precisely because the Secretaries of State are partisan positions, in the event of a close result their impartiality is subject to voter scepticism. The Missouri result is a case in point.
    Among the blog postings which follow this article are several expressing doubts about the impartiality of the recount. To be sure, the Missouri result won't change anything this time. But next time, who knows?

    Unfortunately, people's doubts don't have to have a basis in fact to have an impact on their attitudes toward the electoral process. The perception that all votes count, and will be counted fairly, is going to influence the number of people who will actually vote. I would argue that if voters are more confident in the fairness of the electoral mechanism, more will be inclined to actually vote.

    The quickest evidence I can produce to support this is the record low 59% turnout in Canada for a sleeper mid-mandate election nobody really wanted vs. the 62-63% turnout for your hotly contested contest featuring "The One." Perhaps the less than spectacular turnout in the US is a least partially due to people believing that the system doesn't work. Perhaps putting the administration of the Federal vote under the jurisdiction of a non-partisan branch of the Civil Service would increase voter confidence, particularly among traditionally dis-enfranchised groups.

    Just a thought.

    Yours,
    Canadian Pinko

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  • 374. At 03:08am on 13 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    chronophobe (#373), certainly impartiality in the Secretaries of State and their various elections departments is crucial to confidence in the system. I believe that most of these are people of high integrity, but of course there are exceptions. The result in Ohio in 2004 was questioned for the very reason of a highly partisan Secretary of State and the appearance that the process was being manipulated in the Republican's favor. The result was that Ohioans elected a Democrat for that position in 2006 who ran as a reformer. That's how we fix the system. I don't know how you can get people out of the system, so the way you fix a broken system is to replace the bad people with better people, I think. Also, to use equipment which is not easily manipulated.

    By the way, one of the benefits of the electoral college system is that it strengthens the result. Imagine a nationwide election with a very close popular vote. Recounts could be taking place all over the country in search of errors which could change the result. Under the electoral college system, recounts only happen in close states. Missouri this year; Florida in 2000. The biggest problem in 2000, in my opinion, is that our Supreme Court chose to intervene in the process prematurely. I don't know what can be done about that. For a very long time we have accepted the power of the USSC to intervene whenever and wherever it decides that it has jurisdiction. The alternative is too awful to contemplate.

    Administering elections at the federal level (as opposed to merely setting standards) would be a huge complication, at great expense. The federal government should protect our right to free and fair elections, while the states implement them.

    Finally, I don't know why some people are concerned about low turnout. It doesn't bother me. There have been countries where citizens are intimidated into voting, to give an appearance of legitimacy to a corrupt or even totalitarian government. I don't think that's a good thing.

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  • 375. At 03:12am on 13 Nov 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    chronophobe (#373), thanks for that link to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about the uncertainty in the Missouri result. Actually, I read that earlier today. My opinion is that if Missourians can't spell "bellwether" properly, they deserve to lose their status as such.

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  • 376. At 03:19am on 13 Nov 2008, chronophobe wrote:

    Some interesting data

    A Canadian Pinko, who loves pie (charts)

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  • 377. At 03:28am on 13 Nov 2008, Cassandra wrote:

    I've been out all day, but had to drop in and ask the remaining righties if they heard Palin say she'd be glad to work with the Obama administration if needed.

    Sounds as if she didn't even believe her own fantastic rhetoric.

    Too bad you did.

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  • 378. At 04:03am on 13 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    # 319 #325

    The MOSSAD team filming the Twin Towers bombing and then dancing for joy has already been documented (and checked by DougTexan) on this blog.

    For those interested, Google:

    Twin Towers + MOSSAD + "white van" + "high fives" + "Urban Moving Systems".

    Yes, the local newspapers carried the reports, New Jersey and Bridge Authority Police filed the necessary reports and the FBI held that MOSSAD group for several weeks before returning them to Israel.

    If any who are interested cannot find satisfactory entries via Google, I will provide some URLs.

    It is surprising that such a key event is not better known. Anyone interested enough to query should make an effort to learn.

    For our immediate purposes, this incident involved three MOSSAD teams in the USA, following the 9/11 bombers. Although the Israeli teams did not give the US government any useful warning of the impending attack,

    their "Urban Moving Systems" team set up and filmed the event and were also seen dancing and giving each other "high-fives" when the Tower collapsed.

    They subsequently told the police "the Palestinians did it".

    This is another example of Israeli action incompatible with US security.

    Should anyone dedicated to the interests of Israel be trusted with a confidential position in the US government?

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  • 379. At 04:19am on 13 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    372, seanspa.

    "Marbles, I know that you have experience with Iran. What is your experience with Iraq?"

    The Middle East is my speciality. I spent the greatest amount of time in Iran, but have lived for varying periods in three of the Arab nations and have spent some time in many of the others, and in Israel, Turkey and Afghanistan.

    The problematic relationship between the Middle East and the West has existed for a long time and intensified at the close of the first world war when England and France partitioned and took over the Arab world. England and France eventually backed off and America took their place.

    To put it very simply, and leaving out a lot of information, ultimately there were only four countries in the Middle East with nationalistic governments and not under the influence of America - Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Syria. It was the intention of the Bush administration to take over these countries, one by one, and bring them under American control. There was nothing altruistic about this agenda. It was a question of power and economic advantage.


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  • 380. At 07:21am on 13 Nov 2008, seanspa wrote:

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

  • 381. At 07:33am on 13 Nov 2008, seanspa wrote:

    In this lame duck session, at least Paulson knows what he is doing. Shame no-one has caught on yet.

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  • 382. At 07:44am on 13 Nov 2008, seanspa wrote:

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

  • 383. At 07:54am on 13 Nov 2008, seanspa wrote:

    Has anyone very successfully questioned the mods? I've had a few posts referred and I can confidently say that none have broken house rules. I've replied to their emails telling them they are fools, but to no avail. Is there are better way?

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  • 384. At 08:01am on 13 Nov 2008, seanspa wrote:

    OK, let's try this. Marbles, this was for you, and was meant sincerely. Ithink we have a shared interest, and I just wanted to let you know where I was coming from.

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  • 385. At 08:34am on 13 Nov 2008, seanspa wrote:

    I really didn't want to do this here, but I'm fed up with the BBC's brain-dead censorship. I only wanted to connect with allmymarbles. So for everyone else look away.

    Marbles, please google "seanspa.blogspot.com". You may not be interested in the whole thing, but please read the BBC sucks post (it's about our shared concern, not about the BBC).

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  • 386. At 10:27am on 13 Nov 2008, TrueToo wrote:

    I sympathise with the Obama supporters who emerged from their victory celebrations with the mother of all hangovers and then, while gazing through an alcoholic fog at the TV, were dumbfounded by the sight of their hero advising Iranians in no uncertain terms that their nuclear programme was unacceptable and that they should stop supporting terror. Then the guy goes and appoints a Jewish American has an Israeli father and who supports Israel as Chief of Staff!

    They must have figured they were still sleeping off the liquor and it was a nightmare.

    I'm encouraged by these first moves on the part of Obama. This could be a very interesting presidency. Someone who is tough on terror is precisely the kind of person America needs at the helm right now.

    I do wonder, though, about his insistence on talking to the Taleban. What can one possibly discuss with the Taleban apart from the correct method of killing infidel female aid workers and Christians in general or whether a woman should be allowed to reveal one or two square millimeters of skin around her eyes or the latest strategy for brutalizing schoolgirls to prevent their education?

    Is he going to be tough, or isn’t he?



    325. AsaScot,

    Sorry but you really have to substantiate a claim like that, and I mean have cast iron proof, a report filed by NYPD would be nice. Without proof you're descending into the realm of conspiracy theory.

    Problem with Xie_Ming is he never ascended from the realm of conspiracy theory, especially when it comes to bashing the Israelis.

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  • 387. At 10:31am on 13 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    Ed@366,
    No, the belief that 2+2=4 is extremely well-founded! Only somewhat less well-founded are the belief that most dogs bark, the belief that the sun will rise tomorrow, and the belief that Obama won the recent US Presidential election. Your point being...?

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  • 388. At 11:02am on 13 Nov 2008, Simon21 wrote:

    386. At 10:27am on 13 Nov 2008, TrueToo wrote:
    I sympathise with the Obama supporters who emerged from their victory celebrations with the mother of all hangovers and then, while gazing through an alcoholic fog at the TV, were dumbfounded by the sight of their hero advising Iranians in no uncertain terms that their nuclear programme was unacceptable and that they should stop supporting terror. Then the guy goes and appoints a Jewish American has an Israeli father and who supports Israel as Chief of Staff!"



    No surprise. But Obama did not appoint him for supporting Israel, whatever that means?

    He also supports China, India etc....

    "I'm encouraged by these first moves on the part of Obama. This could be a very interesting presidency. Someone who is tough on terror is precisely the kind of person America needs at the helm right now."


    Which for you seems to mean killing schoolchildren and civilians?

    "I do wonder, though, about his insistence on talking to the Taleban. What can one possibly discuss with the Taleban apart from the correct method of killing infidel female aid workers and Christians in general or whether a woman should be allowed to reveal one or two square millimeters of skin around her eyes or the latest strategy for brutalizing schoolgirls to prevent their education? "


    Of course dropping bombs and missiles on girls and their mothers impedes their education as well, but hey its done for their benefit.

    Awful about the aid worker. Did they have no consideration for her colour or nationality?

    Did they not realise white Americans are out of bounds?


    "Is he going to be tough, or isn?t he?"


    Is he going to say "opps" when another family is vapourised - who can tell.



    325. AsaScot,

    Sorry but you really have to substantiate a claim like that, and I mean have cast iron proof, a report filed by NYPD would be nice. Without proof you're descending into the realm of conspiracy theory.

    Problem with Xie_Ming is he never ascended from the realm of conspiracy theory, especially when it comes to bashing the Israelis.



    And you never supply any reason when asked whjy you support the inhumane treatment of 4 million people.

    Or why unqualified appeasement works so well with Israelis but so badly everywhere else

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  • 389. At 11:05am on 13 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    Xie_Ming@278,
    I googled the terms you suggested, but it's impossible to tell whether there is any substance behind the reports, as most if not all the links are to completely wacko websites. Do you have anything more definitive - for example, a date on which the Ha'aretz report about "five dancing Israelis" appeared (searching the Ha'aretz website with that term produced no hits)? If so, those interested can check, since there will be numerous places hard copies of Ha'aretz are stored. Until something of that kind appears, I will dismiss this as just anti-semitic conspiracy mongering - and I'm no friend of Israel.

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  • 390. At 11:22am on 13 Nov 2008, Simon21 wrote:

    389. At 11:05am on 13 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:
    Xie_Ming@278,
    I googled the terms you suggested, but it's impossible to tell whether there is any substance behind the reports, as most if not all the links are to completely wacko websites. Do you have anything more definitive - for example, a date on which the Ha'aretz report about "five dancing Israelis" appeared (searching the Ha'aretz website with that term produced no hits)? If so, those interested can check, since there will be numerous places hard copies of Ha'aretz are stored. Until something of that kind appears, I will dismiss this as just anti-semitic conspiracy mongering - and I'm no friend of Israel."


    But comments such as the Palestinians are all terrorists, or have to "deserve" humane treatment are not anti-semetic?

    What difference does it make how anyone reacted to 9/11? Even if someone laughed and cheered that does not justify oppressing them and killing their relatives.

    Personally I have no doubt a number of Israelis were cheered by 9/11 since Amercan rage suits their agenda very well.

    And in a country which elects complicit war criminals to high office and where Avigdor Liberman are given public roles - it does not seem a stretch to beleive some were pleased to see the twin towers coming down.

    9/11 is not sacred lore, not some holy event that is beyond question. People have different views about it, and they are entitled to, however unsavoury.



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  • 391. At 11:24am on 13 Nov 2008, TrueToo wrote:

    Nick-Gotts,

    I'm wary of accessing any links provided by Xie_Ming. I had a couple of nasty experiences when I did.

    I agree with your comments.

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  • 392. At 11:26am on 13 Nov 2008, Simon21 wrote:

    379. At 04:19am on 13 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:


    "To put it very simply, and leaving out a lot of information, ultimately there were only four countries in the Middle East with nationalistic governments and not under the influence of America - Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Syria. It was the intention of the Bush administration to take over these countries, one by one, and bring them under American control. There was nothing altruistic about this agenda. It was a question of power and economic advantage.2



    This is true and is demonstrated quite simply. The US continually states it supports "freedom" and "democracy" and cites Israel (despite its profoundly extreme and corrupt MPs) as a shinning example to the region.

    Yet when votes take place as in Palestine or Iran, it threatens, blusters and blockades.

    But with various Kings and dictators in the region it ships weapons, prisoners etc.

    The situation is almost exactly analagous to Latin America - we support freedom, but not for you

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  • 393. At 11:28am on 13 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Sean's Dad,

    "I've replied to their emails telling them they are fools, but to no avail. Is there are better way?"
    Almost any way is better than calling them fools ;-)
    ed

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  • 394. At 11:44am on 13 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Nick,

    "Your point being...?"
    that it is unsurprising that a professed atheist should dismiss a belief in virtue being rewarded. The truth is that virtue is rewarded more often than not, regardless of the existence or non-existence of suprahuman entities...

    And secondly that you should keep your irony detectors up to date

    ;-)
    ed

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  • 395. At 11:57am on 13 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Just to note:

    1. Rahm Emanuel is to be Chief of Staff, not Secretary of State or Defense. I expect he will be very effective as COS, and also that he will recognise the boundaries of his role.

    2. Virtue is its own reward

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  • 396. At 12:19pm on 13 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    Ed@394,
    I agree - virtue is probably rewarded more often than not - otherwise it would not have survived. But you can't count on it.

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  • 397. At 12:26pm on 13 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "But comments such as the Palestinians are all terrorists, or have to "deserve" humane treatment are not anti-semetic?" - Simon21

    No , they are racist, but not anti-semitic (which I assume is what you mean). Anti-semitism is a very specific ideology, named in the 19th century by anti-semites themselves, although much older than that in a religious form. Its main tenet is "the Jewish conspiracy" - what "the Jews" are supposedly conspiring to do changes, but the charge that they are conspiring continues. Of course Jews, like anyone else, can be involved in conspiracies (e.g. the one preceding the Suez War of 1956), but one should always be aware of the persistence of the "Jewish conspiracy" trope in European culture.

    "Semitic" is used only of languages in modern science, not of ethnic groups, so neither the Jews nor the Palestinians are "Semites" - the term is a hangover from 19th century pseudo-science and should be dropped.

    "What difference does it make how anyone reacted to 9/11? Even if someone laughed and cheered that does not justify oppressing them and killing their relatives."

    I agree completely. What's your point?

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  • 398. At 1:13pm on 13 Nov 2008, Simon21 wrote:

    397. At 12:26pm on 13 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:
    "But comments such as the Palestinians are all terrorists, or have to "deserve" humane treatment are not anti-semetic?" - Simon21

    "No , they are racist, but not anti-semitic (which I assume is what you mean). Anti-semitism is a very specific ideology, named in the 19th century by anti-semites themselves, although much older than that in a religious form. Its main tenet is "the Jewish conspiracy" - what "the Jews" are supposedly conspiring to do changes, but the charge that they are conspiring continues. Of course Jews, like anyone else, can be involved in conspiracies (e.g. the one preceding the Suez War of 1956), but one should always be aware of the persistence of the "Jewish conspiracy" trope in European culture."

    I disagree. Anti-semtism, if it means anything at all, is simply a hatred a of foriegners and minorities from the ME. At one time this only applied to jews, but it now applies to moslems.

    If you want evidence simply replace some of the well-nigh constant diatribes against moslems with jews. The same language, the same attitudes prevail - they corrupt women, they are all involved in a massive international conspiracy.

    Some of the modern material, and some of it produced in Israel, would not look out of place in anti-jewish magazines in 19th century Vienna.

    And it has been said that the problem with Israel is its anti-semitism - the fundamental belief that Europeans (and most Israelis consider themselves Europeans in culture and outlook) are superior to the local semites.

    ""Semitic" is used only of languages in modern science, not of ethnic groups, so neither the Jews nor the Palestinians are "Semites" - the term is a hangover from 19th century pseudo-science and should be dropped."

    I agree but apologists for Israeli atrocities wheel it out every time. But to have any meaning it must apply to the Palestinians and other "semites".






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  • 399. At 2:43pm on 13 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "I disagree. Anti-semtism, if it means anything at all, is simply a hatred a of foriegners and minorities from the ME."

    Sorry, you're just wrong. See:
    http://you-dont-look-anti-semitic.blogspot.com/2007/01/anti-semitism.html

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  • 400. At 3:09pm on 13 Nov 2008, Simon21 wrote:

    399. At 2:43pm on 13 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:
    "I disagree. Anti-semtism, if it means anything at all, is simply a hatred a of foriegners and minorities from the ME."

    Sorry, you're just wrong. See:
    http://you-dont-look-anti-semitic.blogspot.com/2007/01/anti-semitism.html"



    Sorry you are. I suggest you look at the source. All visible foriegners were hated. Jews, manichaens, heretics, socialists etc.

    The attempt to say anti-jewsish sentiment was in some way special is incorrect.

    It is openly stated in the US that Moslems are going to "outbreed" white Europeans, what is that if not anti-semetic.

    It is interesting that this text looks at left antisemitism since Marx (through his father), Zinoviev, Pauker, Kaganovich, etc etc were all, according to spurious racial definition - jews.

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  • 401. At 3:49pm on 13 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "It is openly stated in the US that Moslems are going to "outbreed" white Europeans, what is that if not anti-semetic." - Simon21

    It's racist. But it's not anti-semitic. Do at least try to spell it right, even if you insist on misdefining it.

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  • 402. At 3:52pm on 13 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    Semantics of semetics.


    Semites

    "The term Semite means a member of any of various ancient and modern peoples originating in southwestern Asia, including Akkadians, Canaanites, Phoenicians, Hebrews, Arabs, and Ethiopian Semites. "
    wiki

    semitic

    "The Semitic languages are a group of related languages whose living representatives are spoken by more than 467 million people across much of the Middle East, North Africa and the Horn of Africa, that constitute a branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family They are the only branch of Afro-Asiatic to be spoken not only in Africa but also in Asia.
    The most widely spoken Semitic language today is Arabic[1] (322 million native speakers),[2] (422 million total speakers)[3]. It is followed by Amharic (27 million),[4][5] Tigrinya (about 6.7 million),[6] and Hebrew (about 5 million)."
    wiki


    anti semitic

    "Antisemitism (alternatively spelled anti-semitism or anti-Semitism; also rarely known as judeophobia) is the prejudice against or hostility toward Jews as a group. "

    wiki

    Strangely enough wiki being wiki is not as informative as most dictionaries that will tell you that all descendants of Shem are semites

    Now do you scholarly folks notice there strange fact that only when anti is added does this word suddenly only refer to the jews.



    It is strange to take the word of oppression of a whole people away from them and limit it only to one tribe of a race.

    So hate crimes against Jews are anti semetic,
    but the rest it's just a crime.

    it is anti semitic to hate arabs

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  • 403. At 4:26pm on 13 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    jacksforge,
    "Anti-semitism" is a term coined in the nineteenth century, by anti-semites themselves, to refer to their own views, which were that Jews were the source of all evil in the world. It had nothing whatever to do with Arabs, Phoenecians or anyone else. Neither Jews nor Arabs are "semites" in any useful sense, because that term derives from the 19th century pseudo-science of racial anthropology and "Shem" is a mythical figure. So no, it is not anti-semitic to hate Arabs, although it is racist. It is not even anti-semitic to hate Jews, without the added beliefs that the Jews as a group are immensely powerful, evil, and conspiratorial - which I think we see clearly enough in the belief that "The Jews were behind 9/11". If someone just hated them because they thought Jews are mean or stupid, that would simply be a form of racism - though since anti-semitism in the full sense is so much a part of the European cultural background, and has now spread to most Muslim societies, it's unlikely you would find such a person.

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  • 404. At 5:39pm on 13 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    Semite
    /seemit/

    • noun a member of a people speaking a Semitic language, in particular the Jews and Arabs.

    — ORIGIN from Greek Sem ‘Shem’, son of Noah in the Bible, from whom these people are traditionally descended.


    anti-Semitism

    • noun hostility to or prejudice against Jews.

    — DERIVATIVES anti-Semite noun anti-Semitic adjective.

    Semitic
    /simittik/

    • noun a family of languages that includes Hebrew, Arabic, and Aramaic and certain ancient languages such as Phoenician.

    • adjective relating to these languages or their speakers.


    anti-

    • prefix 1 opposed to; against: anti-aircraft. 2 preventing or relieving: antibacterial. 3 the opposite of: anticlimax.

    — ORIGIN Greek.


    All from the oxford concise on line dictionary.

    Now it could be argued that some Jews are not semites.(Converted not descended)

    And some arabs are not semites.(same)


    Now you can argue that blue is indeed red but that doesn't make you right.

    You can argue that the bible is nothing to do with anything

    If you wish to ignore reality

    "are "semites" in any useful sense"


    reality is anti semitism now refers to jews only.

    reality is that has not always been the case.

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  • 405. At 5:43pm on 13 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    nick I think you better come up with something to back up your interpretation of the english language.
    It does seem to be at odds with the dictionaries (which are there to define words),.

    Do not make the assumption I am a believer in conspiracies about 9/11 etc. But I am a believer in the fact that this word once encompassed more than just Jews.

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  • 406. At 7:55pm on 13 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    jacksforge,
    I can't make head or tail of what you're trying to say in #404 - if you want me to consider it, please present it coherently.

    As for the meaning of "anti-semitism", I refer you to the wikipedia article on the subject, and the references therefrom. The second sentence of the article is:
    "While the term's etymology might suggest that antisemitism is directed against all Semitic peoples, since its creation it has been used exclusively to refer to hostility towards Jews."

    Here's a few later extracts:
    "In 1873 German journalist Wilhelm Marr published a pamphlet "The Victory of the Jewish Spirit over the Germanic Spirit. Observed from a non-religious perspective." ("Der Sieg des Judenthums über das Germanenthum. Vom nicht confessionellen Standpunkt aus betrachtet.") in which he used the word "Semitismus" interchangeably with the word "Judentum" to denote both "Jewry" (the Jews as a collective) and "jewishness" (the quality of being Jewish,or the Jewish spirit). Although he did not use the word "Antisemitismus" in the pamphlet, the coining of the latter word followed naturally from the word "Semitismus", and indicated either opposition to the Jews as a people, or else oppositon to jewishness or the Jewish spirit, which he saw as infiltrating German culture. In his next pamphlet, "The Way to Victory of the Germanic Spirit over the Jewish Spirit", published in 1880, Marr developed his ideas further and coined the related German word Antisemitismus - antisemitism, derived from the word "Semitismus" that he had earlier used."

    "The term antisemitism has historically referred to prejudice against Jews alone, and this was the only use of the word for more than a century. It does not traditionally refer to prejudice against other people who speak Semitic languages (e.g. Arabs or Assyrians). Bernard Lewis, Professor of Near Eastern Studies Emeritus at Princeton University, says that "Antisemitism has never anywhere been concerned with anyone but Jews."

    "In recent decades, some groups have argued that the term should be extended to include prejudice against Arabs or Anti-Arabism, in the context of answering accusations of Arab antisemitism; further, some, including the Islamic Association of Palestine, have argued that this implies that Arabs cannot, by definition, be antisemitic. The argument runs that since the Semitic language family includes Arabic, Hebrew and Aramaic languages and the historical term "Semite" refers to all those who consider themselves descendants of the Biblical Shem, "anti-Semitism" should be likewise inclusive. However, this usage is not generally accepted."

    "In 2005, the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC), a body of the European Union, developed a more detailed discussion: "Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews... Antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for 'why things go wrong'.""

    I'll switch to the use of the unhyphenated form, as this seems both to be the original, from Marr in 1880, and to make more sense.

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  • 407. At 10:32pm on 13 Nov 2008, TrueToo wrote:

    398. Simon21,

    I agree but apologists for Israeli atrocities wheel it out every time.

    Wild nonsense as usual from you. Since you seem to regard me as an apologist for Israeli "atrocities" point to one comment I've made on this blog accusing anyone of anti-semitism. I don't "wheel it out every time." I haven't made that accusation once.

    Last century an American Israeli walked into a mosque and shot dead a number of worshippers. That is an atrocity. But the Israeli atrocities are few and far between. One has to go back years to find one. Palestinians, on the other hand, commit or try to commit atrocities against Israeli civilians on a daily basis, though thankfully the fence/wall and the occasional truce has seriously limited their ability to spill Jewish blood.

    But Simon 21 chooses to bash the Israelis rather than the Palestinians. I wonder why.

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  • 408. At 10:52pm on 13 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    384, seanspa.

    I went to the BBC posting. It is good to speak to someone who has actual experience in the Middle East. Although I agree with your general assessment, my view of Middle Eastern problems extends beyond Israel and the Palestinians. I would prefer that the government focus on fundamental problems. Hatred for the U.S. is not the irrational emotion of madmen; it derives from long-term exploitation by the West.

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  • 409. At 00:15am on 14 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    407, Untrue.

    Who is paying you?

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  • 410. At 00:51am on 14 Nov 2008, seanspa wrote:

    Marbles, thanks for reading it. I was getting rather frustrated last night, but wanted to get over where I was coming from.

    I know I get hung up on the Israeli/Palestinian issue and see the resolution of that as central to peace in the area. I see Islamic fundamentalism as fueled by the conflict, so peace there would help to take some of the steam out of the radicals. Talking of which, the Israeli fundamentalists have a lot to answer for.

    How about 2 simple steps to reduce the heat? Hamas stop firing rockets, and Israel flattens the 'settlements'.

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  • 411. At 01:59am on 14 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Sean's Pa,

    I'll second both, but you know they'll both say, "You first!"

    Peace and sadness
    ed

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  • 412. At 04:22am on 14 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    378. At 04:03am on 13 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:
    # 319 #325

    The MOSSAD team filming the Twin Towers bombing and then dancing for joy has already been documented (and checked by DougTexan) on this blog.

    For those interested, Google:

    Twin Towers + MOSSAD + "white van" + "high fives" + "Urban Moving Systems".

    Yes, the local newspapers carried the reports, New Jersey and Bridge Authority Police filed the necessary reports and the FBI held that MOSSAD group for several weeks before returning them to Israel.

    If any who are interested cannot find satisfactory entries via Google, I will provide some URLs.
    __________________________

    The usual suspects invoke their customary tactics.

    Again, the police reports are not from the NYPD (because the MOSSAD group were filming and dancing across the River, in New Jersey).

    With the customary level of ethics, these posters seek to discredit sources or obfuscate the facts.

    Then, they query what the problem with dancing and giving each other "high-fives" would be, as the Tower came down.

    Or telling the police: "The Palestinians did it".

    If any decent and honest folk need help with more leads, the names of the MOSSAD members in the "Urban Moving Systems " front, etc., speak up.

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  • 413. At 05:00am on 14 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    410, seanspa.

    I think the hatred should be addrssed because there are justifiable reasons for it. A more even-handed approach to the whole Middle East (Palistinians are a portion only) would go a long way towards establishing better relations. Remember that more than the Arab countries are involved. Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan are not Arab. If Iran and Afghanistan appear to take up the Arab cause, it is because they are united in what they consider oppression by the West, specifically us.

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  • 414. At 06:21am on 14 Nov 2008, seanspa wrote:

    Marbles, I hear what you say about not all being Arabs. I just don't get what the US did to Afghanistan (apart from try to help get the Russians out) that justifies the taliban being so anti-US.

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  • 415. At 08:16am on 14 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    414, seasnpa.

    The Afghan situation is more complicated. I probably should not have included it. Have you considered, though, that although Osama bin Laden and his crew are Saudi, we are at war with Afghanistan?

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  • 416. At 10:03am on 14 Nov 2008, british-ish wrote:

    283

    Sorry, missed that one. (I scurried away along with the other squirrels who have an aversion to ninging settlers.)

    Saw a few repeats. (Must have been an anniversary or something. I loved the strings!)

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  • 417. At 1:29pm on 14 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    TooTrue@407,
    The entire occupation, with its land theft, checkpoints, settler-only roads, and collective punishments is an atrocity.

    Xie_Ming@412,
    Yes, please provide the URLs you consider the best, or if you can't get them onto this blog, instructions that will enable me to find them. Just saying that various publications reported things is not enough: precise references are needed. Similarly with police reports - how is it known that police reports were filed, since these are not (I think - this is certainly so in the UK) in the public domain?

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  • 418. At 2:33pm on 14 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    seanspa@414,
    I don't know that the Taliban were particularly anti-US before the US overthrew them. For example, there was negotiation between the two about a gas pipeline across the country, to be built by a consortium headed by Unocal.
    They were hosting al-Qaeda, who are ideologically similar and are anti-US chiefly because of US influence in Saudi Arabia, but I know of no evidence the Taliban leadership knew about 9/11. I'm not defending the Taliban, who are loathsome, but it's important to understand your enemies' motivations.

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  • 419. At 2:58pm on 14 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Sean's Pa (414),

    "I just don't get what the US did to Afghanistan (apart from try to help get the Russians out) that justifies the taliban being so anti-US."
    My understanding (in brief) is that, via the Pakistani Intelligence Service (and the Saudis), the USA funded Madrassas to create fundamentalist fighters against the "Godless Russians". Once the Russians were driven out, (and the US bases in Saudi remained), the fundamentalist zeal turned upon the USA.

    I think it's called "blowback". Also, the Taleban weren't all that anti-US, nor the US all that anti-Taleban, until the pipeline negotiations (involving Condi Rice in her oil Co capacity) broke down...Ironically, it was Carter who first authorised aid to the Afghans, and was advised at the time (by Brezinski) that it would increase the likelihood of a Russian invasion...

    Peace and Unexpected Consequences
    ed

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  • 420. At 5:27pm on 14 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    406. At 7:55pm on 13 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:
    jacksforge,
    I can't make head or tail of what you're trying to say in #404 - if you want me to consider it, please present it coherently.


    four quotes from a dictionary is what i posted. if you cannot understand that then sorry. . your problem.

    First use is bull.
    Anti means against Semites does not just mean jews.
    the ignorance of those "coining the word" is not relevant to the fact that Semites are a broad bunch and not all jewish.

    the anti jewish if you want but not anti semite.



    "Now it could be argued that some Jews are not semites.(Converted not descended)"
    Do you not understand this?



    "And some arabs are not semites.(same)"
    or this.maybe I should make it clearer for you.
    and some "arabs" are not semites(same as above).





    anti semitism has always by using the words ANTI and semite meant against semites.
    ---------------------------------
    this telling line is true, from your quote

    "However, this usage is not generally accepted."


    neither in aluminium in the states.

    "however" to suggest "yes thats right BUT we don't use it"

    the professor Mr lewis you quote is not bias and has no influence that could be considered to cloud his judgement?

    "Born to middle-class Jewish parents in Stoke Newington, London,"first line in wiki history.



    german guy writing his essay in English?
    or german.


    and the EMCU has nothing of relevance what so ever to the question of this word.

    I checked in a few dictionaries . oldies and did find references (funk wagner) to anti---- semetic people.

    seems to me you are making up your stuff
    and while on many things we do agree I believe you should try to prove you're point better.Wiki is written by non academics and while I will use them to say show someones historical background I would not trust their postings on many issues.

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  • 421. At 5:33pm on 14 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    One insufficiently appreciated fact:

    The Iranians are NOT Arabs. Their whole culture and history is very different.

    Importantly, they ARE Shi'ia.

    They would make very useful strategic allies if handled intelligently.

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  • 422. At 5:40pm on 14 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    # 417

    Nick:

    Here are some key words to plug in and narrow your search:


    Twin Towers + MOSSAD + white van + "Urban Moving Systems" + FBI

    additional identifiers:

    "Bergen Record" + "Gerald Shea" + Kurzberg
    _______________________________


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  • 423. At 5:41pm on 14 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    truepooh
    Last century an American Israeli walked into a mosque and shot dead a number of worshippers. That is an atrocity. But the Israeli atrocities are few and far between. One has to go back years to find one. Palestinians, on the other hand, commit or try to commit atrocities against Israeli civilians on a daily basis, though thankfully the fence/wall and the occasional truce has seriously limited their ability to spill Jewish blood.
    ------------------------

    yea bad americans always sticking it in and screwing it up for israel.

    as to attrocities.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7729886.stm

    http://www.johnpilger.com/page.asp?partid=16

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7715861.stm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5212870.stm


    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/london/4896800.stm



    how is this different from training for jihad

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6669607.stm

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  • 424. At 5:42pm on 14 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    # 417

    Nick:

    You can check this entry for the facts that are referenced, but otherwise with much salt.

    In reading his essay, be careful to sift the facts from his editorial opinions:

    http://www.rense.com/general31/thr.htm

    This is a 9/11 conspiracy theory, and one should not accept all of his conclusions.

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  • 425. At 6:42pm on 14 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    # 415

    There is a 166 page report prepared by a retired corporate lawyer on the MOSSAD involvement in 9/11:

    Gerald Shea's Memorandum to the Select
    Committees.

    The system will not accept the URL.


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  • 426. At 6:53pm on 14 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    # 423 Jack: add these Israeli organizations to your list, Physicians for Human Rights, the Other Israel, Gush Shalom. http://www.gush-shalom.org http://otherisrael.home.igc.org http://www.btselem.org/English/ [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 427. At 6:54pm on 14 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    # 423 Jack: add these Israeli organizations to your list, Physicians for Human Rights, the Other Israel, Gush Shalom. www.gush-shalom.org otherisrael.home.igc.org/contents.html www.btselem.org/English [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 428. At 7:05pm on 14 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    Xie_Ming@424,
    Thanks -but since, as you say, this is 9/11 conspiracy theory, one would need to check that the references given are accurate. Entering the first couple of google search terms given just gets you various sites citing this source! I'll see if I can track down any hard copies of the newspaper articles referred to.

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  • 429. At 7:48pm on 14 Nov 2008, TrueToo wrote:


    417. Nick-Gotts,

    TooTrue@407,
    The entire occupation, with its land theft, checkpoints, settler-only roads, and collective punishments is an atrocity.


    That’s a great example of the sweeping statement. Do you actually know anything about the Israeli-Arab conflict?

    Do you know:

    *Much of the land was purchased by the arriving Jews. And much of the land was uninhabited and was cleared and marshes were drained.

    *Israel is the only country ever to be required by the UN to return land won in a defensive war she did not start or provoke. The land currently "occupied" acts as a buffer against the genocidal intentions of the surrounding Arabs.

    *Checkpoints prevent terror. No terror, no checkpoints.

    *Ditto "settler only roads."

    *Collective punishment? Perhaps you've noticed that restrictions are eased as soon as terror stops. But I guess you would never credit the Israelis with doing anything good.

    Why the gross prejudice?


    423. jacksforge,

    Tell you what, use the name I provide and I’ll debate your points, such as they are. If you can’t show basic courtesy here, you aren’t worth talking to.

    But I’ll give you a small hint about how to debate honestly: I was not emphasizing the fact that Goldstein was an American Jew, just mentioning it. There was no agenda.

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  • 430. At 9:07pm on 14 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    TooTrue,
    Israel started the 1967 war by attacking Egypt, although admittedly provoked. None of the land in the post-1967 occupied territories can legally be acquired by the occupiers in any way; this is a fundamental tenet of international law. Collective punishment is also illegal under international law. Israel quite clearly intends to annex much of this land, leaving the Palestinians with a series of "Bantustans" wholly dependent on Israel for economic survival - and that's the Israeli "liberals". That's what the wall, the settler-only roads and the checkpoints are about. As for "terror" - just compare the number of Israelis killed by Palestinians since 1967, with the number of Palestinians killed by Israelis.

    Why the gross prejudice?

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  • 431. At 9:12pm on 14 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    429 truepooh

    If you named yourself appropriately I would use your name.

    What agenda?
    Did I mention agenda?

    I did refer to america sticking their noses in and screwing it up for the locals.

    BTW I am not against Israel existing in peace with it's neighbours ,just against the one sided rubbish.

    seeing as wiki seems to be so popular here's a start at educating yourself

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

    Did you look at any of them BBC reports on good behaviour?


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  • 432. At 9:20pm on 14 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    430

    well put

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  • 433. At 9:58pm on 14 Nov 2008, TrueToo wrote:

    430. At 9:07pm on 14 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    TooTrue,
    Israel started the 1967 war by attacking Egypt, although admittedly provoked.


    There's a tremendous amount of historical revisionism regarding the conflict, so let's be clear on this. Poisonous rhetoric emanating from Cairo aside, Egypt closed the straits of Tiran, massed forces in the Sinai and expelled UN personnel. This was an act of war, i.e. Egypt, not Israel, started the war. As a matter of pure survival, Israel acted first in a pre-emptive strike.

    None of the land in the post-1967 occupied territories can legally be acquired by the occupiers in any way; this is a fundamental tenet of international law.

    If this is so, then Germany, undoubtedly the aggressor at the time, could claim back the territory it lost during World War II.

    Re collective punishment, Israel goes to superhuman efforts to single out the terrorists. The situation is complex. The fuel for Gaza power stations is taken by Hamas, as an example, which then fires rockets at Israeli civilians. I can't think of any other country that would be expected to furnish its enemy with the means for its own destruction. Yet people demand that Israel does so. There isn't much international pressure on Egypt, I've noticed, to open its borders with Gaza.

    I can't see the logic in Israelis wanting the Palestinians to be "dependent" on them. And the fence/wall was one of the most effective measures Israel ever took to reduce terror against Israeli civilians. I guess you don't know this, but the fence/wall has been delayed and rerouted many times through successful Palestinian challenges to Israel's Supreme Court.

    Why the gross prejudice?

    My question was a genuine one. Why throw it back at me? I am interested in how you came to have such a warped attitude to the conflict. Is it just that you have swallowed the standard lefty propaganda that endlessly portrays Israel as the bad guy?

    The dust from Israel's disengagement from Gaza had hardly settled when Hamas resumed rocket fire into Israel. What does that tell you about Palestinian intentions?

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  • 434. At 10:28pm on 14 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    TooTrue,
    As you concede, Israel started the 1967 war.

    The international law that territory cannot be acquired by occupation is governed by the UN Charter, introduced in June 1945 (hence, not applicable to territories occupied before then, although even if it were, this would not change the legal position in the 1967 occupied territories). Article 47 reads:

    "Protected persons who are in occupied territory shall not be deprived, in any case or in any manner whatsoever, of the benefits of the present Convention by any change introduced, as the result of the occupation of a territory, into the institutions or government of the said territory, nor by any agreement concluded between the authorities of the occupied territories and the Occupying Power, nor by any annexation by the latter of the whole or part of the occupied territory."

    Absolutely clear and unambiguous. Israel is in breach of it. The building of sections of the wall through the occupied territories is just one of many breaches. The building and expansion of permanent settlements is the clearest.

    "I can't see the logic in Israelis wanting the Palestinians to be "dependent" on them."

    Doubtless the longer term aim is to make life so wretched for them that they agree to leave altogether; or if that cannot be managed, they can be effectively neutered politically.

    You do not deal at all with the vast disparity between the number of Israelis killed by Palestinians and vice versa, no doubt because it is so telling.

    The Egypt-Gaza border remains closed, as you must know, due to US and Israeli pressure. I am no admirer of Hamas, but they are the elected government of the Palestinians; they must be negotiated with, just as the UK negotiated with the representatives of terrorists, if peace is genuinely desired.

    Despite numerous promises to stop, Israel continues to expand the West Bank settlements. What does that tell you about Israeli intentions.

    Why the gross prejudice?

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  • 435. At 10:45pm on 14 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    Ahh too many true posts countering truepooh and he clams up like a "school kid"

    carry on arguing that Israel is some benevolent state with no record of abuse.
    all the UN resolutions laid out right there.
    Better ignore facts or truth because I was called a name eh?


    Coward, Fraud and Liar come to mind.

    Wimp unable to argue after challenging others .
    Content over tone.

    433
    "Wrong Aswell "would that be better?

    "I can't think of any other country that would be expected to furnish its enemy with the means for its own destruction. Yet people demand that Israel does so. There isn't much international pressure on Egypt, I've noticed, to open its borders with Gaza."

    No one is asking for Israel to provide anything other than an absence of their navy.
    http://www.palestinemonitor.org/spip/spip.php?article603

    you'll love that as a source.

    or the bbc
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7576479.stm

    a siege is an act of war.

    Call it what you like I would rather be an Israeli in Israel than a Palestinian. But only because I would be less likely to get killed.

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  • 436. At 10:47pm on 14 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    434
    seems truelywho can't read.

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  • 437. At 11:47pm on 14 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Jack, Nick,

    Ignorance is a voluntary misfortune

    There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.
    -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in an argument
    William G. McAdoo

    Minds are like parachutes-they only function when they are open
    Thomas Dewar

    He/she/it isn't worth it.

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  • 438. At 05:55am on 15 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    # 423 JF

    Certain other organisations:

    Rabbis for Human Rights

    The Other Israel

    Physicians for Human Rights

    Betselem

    Their URLs are easily discovered. All are Israeli organizations seeking to relieve, where they can, the oppression effected by the Israeli regime.

    Since the government is controlled by the religious fanatics and key administrative positions are filled with graduates of the separate school system (knitted skull caps),
    a court action is required in most cases.

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  • 439. At 08:48am on 15 Nov 2008, TrueToo wrote:

    434. Nick-Gotts

    As you concede, Israel started the 1967 war.

    As you know, I conceded no such thing. But if you wont believe me, or the majority international opinion at the time, that the Arabs started the 1967 war, take the words of the Arabs themselves at the time:

    Egyptian president Nasser boasted:

    "We knew the closing of the Gulf of Aqaba meant war with Israel…the objective will be Israel's destruction."

    And the Egyptian commander of Sharm al- Shekh acknowleged that the closing of the Straits was a declaration of war.

    If that's not enough for you, have a look at what international law says on the subject.

    Speaking of which, you are wrong here:

    The international law that territory cannot be acquired by occupation…

    The territories were not acquired by occupation; they were legally acquired in a defensive war and retained as a buffer against the next genocidal attack by the surrounding Arab armies – which came soon enough of course, in the '73 war. You probably don't know this, but a few weeks after the '67 war Israel offered to comply with UN resolution 242 and exchange land for peace, i.e. the Sinai and the Golan. Egypt and Syria rejected the overture. And then of course there was the infamous three "nos" from the Arab governments at Khartoum:

    No peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel, no recognition of Israel.

    And at Camp David, the Palestinians rejected land for peace. And rejected it again at Taba. But Israel is to blame?

    Doubtless the longer term aim is to make life so wretched for them that they agree to leave altogether.

    Pure fantasy on your part, probably because you want to believe that's how the Israelis would behave. Obviously the Palestinians are not going anywhere. They are far too useful to the Arab world as a thorn in Israel's side.

    But you make a fair point here:

    The Egypt-Gaza border remains closed, as you must know, due to US and Israeli pressure.

    Israel is obviously concerned about the influx of weapons and terrorists from Egypt to Gaza. But conversely, Egypt is concerned about the influx of terrorists into Egyptian territory. Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has a considerable amount of popular support in Egypt. Are you getting an idea of who is primarily to blame here?

    You do not deal at all with the vast disparity between the number of Israelis killed by Palestinians and vice versa, no doubt because it is so telling.

    On the contrary, I dealt with it in a debate with Ed Ingehart (no. 772 on the last thread), who as you can see from his post at 11:47 pm, is sulking and wont talk to me, having lost that debate.

    You also shouldn't be accusing me of avoiding points when you wont respond to my observation that Israel disengaged from Gaza and then faced the immediate resumption of rocket fire. Try to figure out what it is that the Palestinians really want.

    And I note that you also wont respond to the following point I made at 7:48 pm:

    Much of the land was purchased by the arriving Jews. And much of the land was uninhabited and was cleared and marshes were drained.

    Hell, we can't have any legitimizing of Israel here, can we?!

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  • 440. At 09:36am on 15 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    TrueToo@439,
    With regard to the 1967 war: the first shot starts a war. As I said earlier, Israel was provoked. However, there had been escalating violence from both sides leading up to the Sharm el Shaik closure.

    "The territories were not acquired by occupation; they were legally acquired in a defensive war " - TrueToo
    Absurd sophistry. The legal position is clear. Territories occupied as a result of war may not be annexed, nor the inhabitants displaced by citizens of the occupying power. Israel's contempt for international law and the UN is unwise: it is on UN resolutions that the legitimacy of its existence depends.

    "a few weeks after the '67 war Israel offered to comply with UN resolution 242 and exchange land for peace, i.e. the Sinai and the Golan."
    And what about the West Bank and Gaza, i.e. (part of) the land assigned by the UN to a Palestinian Arab state - and illegally occupied in 1948 by Jordan and Egypt respectively? These, many in Israel designed to keep.

    Your "answer" to Ed Iglehart on the disparity of Israelis killing Palestinians and vice versa is as follows:
    "You should be pleased that Israel is taking out more Palestinian terrorists than the terrorists are killing Israelis. It means terror is losing and civilization winning"
    In other words, you rejoice in Palestinian deaths. Nice. I do not accept that Israel represents civilisation.

    Your point about Israel "disengaging" from Gaza is disingenuous. Israel was forced out of Gaza by Palestinian resistance. I oppose the violence of both sides there: rockets from Gaza, incursions from Israel. I believe an informal ceasefire is now in place.

    As for your point that:
    "Much of the land was purchased by the arriving Jews. And much of the land was uninhabited and was cleared and marshes were drained."
    I did not reply because I did not see its relevance. Are you referring to land purchased by Jews from Arabs before the foundation of Israel? If so, it legitimately belongs to those purchasers, but this has no relevance to the proper borders of Israel, nor to subsequent events, which involved the deliberate displacement of hundreds of thousands of Arabs, as, for example, David ben Gurion admitted.

    The desire to remove all Palestinians out of the occupied West Bank is not my fantasy, as you must know very well. The "voluntary" (ha, ha) transfer of all Palestinians from the West Bank is part of the platform of the National Union.

    Why the gross prejudice?

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  • 441. At 11:31am on 15 Nov 2008, TrueToo wrote:

    Nick, no amount of talk about "escalating violence" will change the fact that the Arabs started the '67 war. But forget about Egypt for a second and look at Jordan. The Jordanians fired the first shots on that side, not Israel, which would turn your own point, if it were valid, against you. Anyway, it's a moot point since Arab countries had formed an alliance to destroy Israel. It's also a moot point since at that time the Arabs had never stopped trying to destroy Israel, whether through terrorist incursions or war.

    Your "legal position" is as clear as mud. The settlements did not "displace" the Arabs. If you can bear to read anything from the Israeli side, have a look at the surprisingly readable autobiography by Ariel Sharon, appropriately titled Warrior. He describes how the settlement sites were chosen and the amount of care taken to ensure that there was not even the slightest sign of Arab habitation on the land before a settlement could be built. This was done in conjunction with the Israeli cabinet at the time. Many were built on inhospitable terrain chosen for height advantage in order to be able to scan the area for the approaching enemy.

    As I've mentioned before, according to UN Resolution 242, Israel is obliged to withdraw from territories not the territories. In other words, the question is open to negotiation. The Palestinians also have obligations under that resolution and under the Quartet's Road Map. Do you know what they are? (I've asked this question of the Israel-bashers on a number of forums and I have never received an answer. I guess the real answer is that they don't believe the Palestinians have any obligations at all.)

    I don't "rejoice" at Palestinian deaths. Save your insults for those who deserve them, like the Arabs, many of whom truly do rejoice at the spilling of Jewish blood. But I obviously prefer Israel to be winning this grim struggle against the terrorists, not the Palestinians as you so disingenuously put it.

    The point about Gaza is obviously that Israel complied with Palestinian and international demands and got out, whatever terms were used to describe the process, justly expecting a reciprocal move towards peace from the Palestinians in terms of the Road Map. Are you trying to justify the fact that Israel didn't get even the slightest sign from the Palestinians that they were interested in peace?

    Purchasing of land by Jews is relevant in a discussion begun by yourself with these words:

    The entire occupation, with its land theft, checkpoints, settler-only roads, and collective punishments is an atrocity.

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  • 442. At 11:59am on 15 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    "The settlements did not "displace" the Arabs." - TrueToo

    That is a barefaced lie. In February 2008 the Israeli Government's Civil Administration itself admitted that more than 1/3 of West Bank settlements are on privately owned Palestinian land (Ha'aretz 17 Feb 2008 "A third of settlements on land taken for 'security purposes' ").

    The fact that you site war criminal Sharon's autobiography as a reliable source speaks for itself.

    Far more Palestinian civilians have been killed by Israelis, than Israelis by Palestinians.

    "As I've mentioned before, according to UN Resolution 242, Israel is obliged to withdraw from territories not the territories."

    Only in Israel and the US is this absurd piece of sophistry ever taken seriously. Drop it, you're just making a fool of yourself. since Isra

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  • 443. At 12:12pm on 15 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    Jordan did unwisely attack Israel in 1967, after the Israeli attack on Egypt and Syria, and in line with its alliance commitments. Israel has used this to grab and hold territory to which it has no conceiveable legal right.

    "The settlements did not "displace" the Arabs." - TrueToo

    That is a barefaced lie. In February 2008 the Israeli Government's Civil Administration itself admitted that more than 1/3 of West Bank settlements are on privately owned Palestinian land (Ha'aretz 17 Feb 2008 "A third of settlements on land taken for 'security purposes' ").

    The fact that you site war criminal Sharon's autobiography as a reliable source speaks for itself.

    Far more Palestinian civilians have been killed by Israelis, than Israelis by Palestinians.

    "As I've mentioned before, according to UN Resolution 242, Israel is obliged to withdraw from territories not the territories."

    Only in Israel and the US is this absurd piece of sophistry ever taken seriously. Drop it, you're just making a fool of yourself. Here is the full text of 242, which I am obliged to conclude you have never actually read:

    "The Security Council,

    Expressing its continuing concern with the grave situation in the Middle East,

    Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security,

    Emphasizing further that all Member States in their acceptance of the Charter of the United Nations have undertaken a commitment to act in accordance with Article 2 of the Charter,

    1. Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:

    (i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;

    (ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;

    2. Affirms further the necessity

    (a) For guaranteeing freedom of navigation through international waterways in the area;

    (b) For achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem;

    (c) For guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and political independence of every State in the area, through measures including the establishment of demilitarized zones;

    3. Requests the Secretary-General to designate a Special Representative to proceed to the Middle East to establish and maintain contacts with the States concerned in order to promote agreement and assist efforts to achieve a peaceful and accepted settlement in accordance with the provisions and principles in this resolution;

    4. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council on the progress of the efforts of the Special Representative as soon as possible."

    You will see that it emphasises "the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war". That is absolutely crystal clear. You will also see there is no explicit mention of the Palestinians. Given this, and that Israel adamantly refuses even to consider withdrawal from illegally-annexed East Jerusalem, the question of Palestinian obligations, which certainly exist, is moot.

    The "Road Map" is just an attempt to impose an unjust settlement on the Palestinians. The USA is not an honest broker in this dispute.

    The "land theft" I referred to was, explicitly, in the context of the post-1967 occupation. your introduction of land purchase prior to 1948 was just a diversionary tactic.

    Why the gross prejudice?

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  • 444. At 12:15pm on 15 Nov 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Myth:

    "Much of the land was purchased by the arriving Jews. And much of the land was uninhabited and was cleared and marshes were drained."
    Fact
    "As of 1947, Jews in Palestine owned UNDER 7% of the Palestine's lands, and after the 1948 war 80% of the Palestinian people were DISPOSSESSED of their homes, farms, and businesses. "
    the source and tabular break down of land ownership.:
    "Ownership of land in Palestine, Share of Palestinian Arabs and Jews as of April 1st, 1943

    Category of land
    (Fiscal categories)
    Palestinians & others Jews Total

    Dunums (1000 sq. meters)
    Urban 76,662 70,111 146,773
    Citrus 145,572 141,188 286,760
    Bananas 2,300 1,430 3,730
    Rural built-on area 36,851 42,330 79,181
    Plantation 1,079,788 95,514 1,175,302
    Cereal land (taxable) 5,503,183 814,102 6,317,285
    Cereal land (not taxable) 900,294 51,049 951,343
    Uncultivable 16,925,805 298,523 17,224.328

    Total area:
    24,670,455 1,514,247 26,184,702

    Percentage
    94.22% 5.8% 100%
    Roads, railways, rivers, and lakes 135,803

    Total Area including roads, railways, etc.
    26,320,505"
    So, if Jews were so busy buying so much land, how come they only owned less than 6% of Palestine???

    Peace and Denial
    ed

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  • 445. At 1:23pm on 15 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    Rather than being "forced out by resistance", it seems to me that Israel was forced out from Gaza by selfish reasons:

    Under their occupation, the Israelis were legally required to care for 1.5 million people in the densely packed Gaza.

    It was cheaper to form a large prison camp, pretend that it was in some respects sovereign and then starve, deny water, electricty, hospitals and communications and thereby effect ethnic cleansing.

    There are organizations that follow these atrocious activities on a daily basis, and one can get on their mailing lists- start with otherisrael.org.

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  • 446. At 2:18pm on 15 Nov 2008, TrueToo wrote:

    443. Nick-Gotts,

    Don't get so hot under the collar. I didn't know about that Haaretz article, so no "barefaced lies" here, but I'll check it out. Perhaps the one-third includes the current illegal outposts as well. Now what about the other two-thirds of the settlements, not on privately-owned Palestinian land? Wouldn't it be funny if those were mostly the ones for which Ariel Sharon chose the sites? But I guess we can't look too closely at those, can we. It might confer some legitimacy on Israel's need to have a buffer against those who continually work towards her destruction. And we can't have that.

    Sharon is only a "war criminal" in the minds of those who feel that Israel has no legitimacy. And yes, I do know about Shabra and Shatilla. He deals with it at length in the book. I thought you might have some curiosity about first hand accounts from a man who was directly involved in the events of that time, rather than being an armchair warrior sitting at a monitor.

    You'll probably also have no interest in the fact that Sharon had lifelong friends among the Arabs, one of whom was the foreman on his farm and a close confidante.

    But OK, you ignore my sources and I'll ignore yours. That's fair enough.

    Far more Palestinian civilians have been killed by Israelis, than Israelis by Palestinians.

    This is possibly true, though difficult to determine with any degree of accuracy. Probably you paid no attention to the so-called Second Intifada, from 2000 to 2004. Palestinian terrorists butchered around 1000 Israelis, the vast majority of them civilians, bombing them on buses and in clubs and restaurants and in drive-by shootings and sparing nobody - not women, children or the elderly.

    These same terrorists, on the other hand, fire their rockets from civilian areas, and don't give a damn about the safety of their civilians, even endangering children by instructing them to fetch recently-fired rocket launchers. I believe that if Palestine were a state, those actions would constitute war crimes. For now, I guess we'll just have to call them terrorism.

    Do you genuinely not see a difference between the Israelis, who do their utmost to avoid civilian casualties and the Palestinians, who do their utmost to inflict them?

    I'll get back to you on the other stuff in another comment. I have to go and consult some information from some war criminals.

    And do yourself a favour - drop that little refrain at the end of your rants. It's childish to keep on repeating it.

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  • 447. At 2:34pm on 15 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    True-too,
    Well a war criminal is hardly going to say in his autobiography "OK I done it, put me in the slammer", now is he?

    I call your claim that the settlements did not displace Palestinians a bare-faced lie because you could very easily have discovered its falsehood.

    Your claim that the Israelis "do their damnedest to avoid civilian casualties" is another lie, as we saw clearly enough in their recent attack on Lebanon.

    Why the gross distortion?

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  • 448. At 2:57pm on 15 Nov 2008, TrueToo wrote:

    Just before I go, let's get this straight:

    The Germans would not be able to claim back territory they lost once defeated in a war they started because the relevant law was only enforceable from 1945, you say. But the Jordanians and the Egyptians and the Syrians are able to claim back the territory they lost through being defeated in a war they started in 1967, except that, apart from the Syrians, they don’t want it back.

    And the Palestinians have no obligations under 242 since they were not specifically mentioned because they were not calling themselves Palestinians at the time and were not then demanding a Palestinian state.

    By the way, the Quartet, which devised the Road Map, is also comprised of Russia, the EU and the UK, and not just the Americans, as your comment seemed to imply.

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  • 449. At 3:34pm on 15 Nov 2008, Nick-Gotts wrote:

    TrueToo@448,

    Neither Egypt nor Jordan had any legal claim to the Palestinian territories Israel took from them in 1967: these were allocated to the proposed Palestinian Arab state by the UN resolution on which Israel's legitimacy as a state depends. Egypt has already got back the territory to which it was entitled: the Sinai.

    Since the inhabitants of the occupied territories are not mentioned in 242, it is hard to see how they could have specific obligations under it. Of course they have a clear moral obligation to search for a genuine peace but at present, they have no authority competent to do so. The Hamas government had the best claim to be that authority after the first free Palestinian elections, but has been pushed aside by Fatah, Israel, and the US (and has itself behaved badly in Gaza).

    The "Road Map" is indeed formally a Quartet document. In fact, nothing got into it that the US did not want, because the others (by the way the fourth is the UN, not the UK) recognised that only the USA could pressure Israel into making any concessions at all. So long as the US continues its one-sided policy, so long will the problem remain insoluble.

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  • 450. At 3:49pm on 15 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    The UN and the World knows the truth- Resolution #242 is quoted in full above.

    Even the Israelis considered Sharon a war criminal over his Lebanon atrocities.

    They did not make much of his aggressive attacks on Lebanon, however. Avnery gives a lot of the background thereof.

    Anyone wanting short and very informative reports should search Uri Avnery's articles at the gush-shalom website. I will try to post the zope URL for it later.

    Avnery is a famous Israeli journalist, now 85,
    and a decorated war hero, former member of the Knesset and insider.

    His articles are searchable in Hebrew or in English and very worthwhile.

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  • 451. At 3:59pm on 15 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    For facts concerning Israeli activities, search Avnery's articles at


    http://zope.gush-shalom.org/index_en.html

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  • 452. At 4:45pm on 15 Nov 2008, TrueToo wrote:

    Yes, it's the UN, my mistake.

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  • 453. At 5:23pm on 15 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    439. At 08:48am on 15 Nov 2008, TrueToo wrote:
    434. Nick-Gotts

    As you concede, Israel started the 1967 war.

    "As you know, I conceded no such thing. But if you wont believe me, or the majority international opinion at the time, that the Arabs started the 1967 war, take the words of the Arabs themselves at the time:"

    "As you know, I conceded no such thing"
    ---------------------------------
    "There's a tremendous amount of historical revisionism regarding the conflict, so let's be clear on this. Poisonous rhetoric emanating from Cairo aside, Egypt closed the straits of Tiran, massed forces in the Sinai and expelled UN personnel. This was an act of war, i.e. Egypt, not Israel, started the war. As a matter of pure survival, Israel acted first in a pre-emptive strike. "


    "as a matter of pure survival, Israel acted first in a pre-emptive strike. "


    first and PRE-emptive

    What part of your own words do you not understand.

    "ACT OF WAR"

    Expelling people is an act of war then we have been at war with Mexico for years.


    Poisonous rhetoric--Words not bombs.
    "MASSED FORCES" is still legal in your own country right?

    please tell me it is not that would be great.

    If I call you a name it does not make me aggressive, it makes me rude.

    That I can handle, aggressive is what your attitude and Israel's is .


    You wish others to suffer to prove your point.

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  • 454. At 5:40pm on 15 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    true pooh and the gherkin


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/07/AR2007060701872.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-Day_War

    And here is one you wrote
    http://palestinefacts.org/pf_1948to1967_sixday_whostarted.php

    lovely wording


    sounds like they got scared, and decided to
    PRE-EMPTIVELY STRIKE.


    this from a propaganda site

    "The PLO’s belligerent rhetoric was matched by deeds."

    this from this

    http://i-cias.com/e.o/sixdaywr.htm

    History
    1967 May: Forces on both Arab and Israeli sides of the borders are mobilized.
    June 5: Israel attacks Egypt, Syria and



    Oh has anyone seen Gherkin around when Roplop and the true pooh are in too?

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  • 455. At 5:45pm on 15 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    452. At 4:45pm on 15 Nov 2008, TrueToo wrote:
    Yes, it's the UN, my mistake.

    446

    no barefaced lies from you . that must make you intellectually inferior to many then.
    Because it is not facts you deal with. If they are not deliberate lies they must be ignorance and stupidity,or just plain racism
    (in some eyes or blinding nationalism in others)

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  • 456. At 5:56pm on 15 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    446 General Chickenhawk true pooh

    Sharon is only a "war criminal" in the minds of those who feel that Israel has no legitimacy. And yes, I do know about Shabra and Shatilla. He deals with it at length in the book.
    "He deals with it at length in the book."


    And I am sure mein kampf did not include the words" I am a crazy nut job do not let me ever assume control of anything."


    Of course Slobber on I lost my palin,
    did not write in his memoirs
    "I buried the bodies here"

    Icke he's mean, did not write.

    "I am an evil man who should be tried and hung"


    And Sod'em Who's Sane? did not write
    "they are all nice people but me"

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  • 457. At 5:58pm on 15 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    general true pooh the chickenhawk,

    "Why the gross distortion?"
    ;)

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  • 458. At 6:10pm on 15 Nov 2008, TrueToo wrote:

    453. jacksforge,

    The Arabs had formed an alliance against Israel, massed troops on her borders, whipped their population into a frenzy with vivid descriptions of the slaughter they were about to inflict on the Jews, made flights over sensitive Israeli installations, expelled UN peacekeeping forces from the Sinai and last, but not least, closed the Straits of Tiran, thereby blocking Israeli shipping to the east, and threatened to attack any Israeli vessel that tried to get through. Do you really expect anyone to believe this was not an act of war?

    In a few hours, Israel took the Egyptian airforce out on the ground, instead of waiting to be attacked. That's a pre-emptive strike. There's no contradiction here. By its nature, a pre-emptive strike happens first. But the Arabs started that war.

    Why is it that nobody ever asks the Arab side of the conflict to take responsibility for their own actions? Anyone have an answer?

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  • 459. At 6:22pm on 15 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    Many decent people, including Daniel Barenboeim and Tanya Reinhardt have left Israel in disgust over the aggressive, racist and oppressive policies of the Israeli regime.

    Tanya Reinhardt's "The Generals' Grand Design" and other articles document some of the expansion plans of Israel.

    [She was a professor at Tel Aviv University when writing the basic articles].

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  • 460. At 6:51pm on 15 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    458 truepooh

    "thereby blocking Israeli shipping to the east, and threatened to attack any Israeli vessel that tried to get through"


    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7576479.stm


    Any difference. between a blockade and this.
    Ok maybe Israel was attacked by this blockade being put in place----but only if the same applies to Israel now.

    "Do you really expect anyone to believe this was not an act of war?"

    I don't know, I think maybe blockades are an act of war.

    " By its nature, a pre-emptive strike happens first."

    and if it is the first shot of a war then it is generally considered that the side pre-emting has attacked. that would be the same as starting the "war".

    not starting the rhetoric the war.

    You can argue in a bar about your views but he who throws the first punch "started it".

    Oh but you are ignoring me right?
    What you get lonely?

    I'm not that way, sorry.

    Be a bit more open minded and we may get somewhere.;) xox

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  • 461. At 11:24pm on 15 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    456. Jack.

    Why do you bother with Untrue? He has no validity whatsoever and sounds like a plant to me. He is like Ubermensch, and they may well be the same person. They are playing the Rove game - say some untrue often enough and people will believe it.

    Of course, you and I won't. I don't answer them anymore. Answering them encourages them to rant and rant and.... Coventry is the best punishment.

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  • 462. At 06:03am on 16 Nov 2008, TrueToo wrote:

    461. allmymarbles,

    The other day you said I was a troll and also asked who was paying me. Now I'm apparently a plant and/or the same person as MagicKirin. Please make up your mind. The fact that you call him "Ubermensch" says everything about your insulting mode of communication here and nothing about him.

    If you think you are punishing me by ignoring me you obviously don't know how the Internet works or what freedom of speech consists of. I couldn't care less whether you discuss the issues or not but if I see propaganda peddled here by the usual suspects, I will counteract it. And anyone who so wishes is obviously free to contradict me. If you shrink from the debate, don't blame me and make excuses for your lack of ability to argue the point.

    So far we have had British-ish, Ed Igehart, yourself and jacksforge putting their noses in the air and refusing to deal with the points I raise, though evidently the latter has forgotten his original pledge.

    Guys, this site is not run privately by a left wing, anti-Israel, anti-conservative blogger but you circle the wagons and behave as if it is, trying to shoot down anyone who approaches your defensive arrangement and pat one another on the back when you think you have succeeded in driving the "enemy" off.

    This is a BBC site and the BBC is an (allegedly) impartial public service broadcaster, sworn by its Charter to play fair. Get used to it.

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  • 463. At 08:19am on 16 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    For those who can read Hebrew, Moshe Sharett's " Yoman medini" edited by A. Malkin, et al. (5 volumes) and published in Tel Aviv in 1968 is an important source.

    Sharett was the first Foreign Minister of Israel and was also Prime Minister. The volumes published are his private diaries of what went on.

    Of course, Israel tried to suppress the volumes.

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  • 464. At 10:36am on 16 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    Uri Avnery's article today has much to tell and it will give those interested an idea of what an extraordinary source of historical data his archive offers:

    http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1226799834/

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  • 465. At 5:54pm on 16 Nov 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    462, Untrue.

    Coventry.

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  • 466. At 8:03pm on 16 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    462
    Droll troll pooh


    If you think you are punishing me by ignoring me you obviously don't know how the Internet works or what freedom of speech consists of. I couldn't care less whether you discuss the issues or not but if I see propaganda peddled here by the usual suspects, I will counteract it. And anyone who so wishes is obviously free to contradict me. If you shrink from the debate, don't blame me and make excuses for your lack of ability to argue the point.

    So far we have had British-ish, Ed Igehart, yourself and jacksforge putting their noses in the air and refusing to deal with the points I raise, though evidently the latter has forgotten his original pledge.
    -----------------------------------------------
    460. At 6:51pm on 15 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:
    458 truepooh

    "thereby blocking Israeli shipping to the east, and threatened to attack any Israeli vessel that tried to get through"


    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7576479.stm


    Any difference. between a blockade and this.
    Ok maybe Israel was attacked by this blockade being put in place----but only if the same applies to Israel now.

    "Do you really expect anyone to believe this was not an act of war?"

    I don't know, I think maybe blockades are an act of war.

    " By its nature, a pre-emptive strike happens first."

    and if it is the first shot of a war then it is generally considered that the side pre-emting has attacked. that would be the same as starting the "war".

    not starting the rhetoric the war.

    You can argue in a bar about your views but he who throws the first punch "started it".

    Oh but you are ignoring me right?
    What you get lonely?

    I'm not that way, sorry.

    Be a bit more open minded and we may get somewhere.;) xox

    454. At 5:40pm on 15 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:
    true pooh and the gherkin


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/07/AR2007060701872.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-Day_War

    And here is one you wrote
    http://palestinefacts.org/pf_1948to1967_sixday_whostarted.php

    lovely wording


    sounds like they got scared, and decided to
    PRE-EMPTIVELY STRIKE.


    this from a propaganda site

    "The PLO?s belligerent rhetoric was matched by deeds."

    this from this

    http://i-cias.com/e.o/sixdaywr.htm

    History
    1967 May: Forces on both Arab and Israeli sides of the borders are mobilized.
    June 5: Israel attacks Egypt, Syria and



    Oh has anyone seen Gherkin around when Roplop and the true pooh are in too?



    So pooh We now have the proof you are a dumb idiot.
    a plant and an intellectual fraud .


    "the latter" made no pledge that was you.
    so
    Answer or bug off.

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  • 467. At 8:04pm on 16 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    though evidently the latter has forgotten his original pledge.


    Quote my pledge Allpooh.

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  • 468. At 8:05pm on 16 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

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

  • 469. At 01:23am on 17 Nov 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    465 marbles yes very tedious I find.Not Hey I have time to kill occasionally but would go back to the fact that it is so often the most polite that are the most offensive.

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  • 470. At 3:34pm on 17 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    About war crimes: Sharon's plan to drive out several hundred thousand more:

    http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/opinions/temp_pics_transfer

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  • 471. At 3:37pm on 17 Nov 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    # 459

    The correct spelling is Tanya Rheinhart.

    The basic article: "The Gererals' Grand Design".

    Using the gush-shalom website to search Uri Avnery's articles will yield much more.

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