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Obama's improved performance

Justin Webb | 17:54 UK time, Thursday, 30 April 2009

Sitting in the East Room last night, I felt the president had conquered some of the demons that made him so prolix at his last news conference, including his desire to over-explain himself, but mainly his sheer exhaustion.

He looked perkier. The jokes were good. Some suggested that he laboured the issue of the sheer number of problems he faces, but I felt he was making light of them - none of that tedious stuff about the loneliness of the office etc etc.

Is this his secret foreign policy - or at least the underpinning of it?

UPDATE:
That's certainly the view of the Republicans whose foreign affairs attack is re-launched with this ad.

Comments

  • 1. At 7:14pm on 30 Apr 2009, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    ummmm. Thanks for sharing. I am providing a comment because I guess the blog was to meet some quota related to getting paid. There is already enough unemployed.

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  • 2. At 7:18pm on 30 Apr 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    He done good, didn't he?

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  • 3. At 7:44pm on 30 Apr 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#2 Hesiodos

    Yes he did!

    Did anyone else find it interesting that the Republican ad showed Virginia and South Carolina as two states who might have to house detainees? Paranoia anyone?

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  • 4. At 7:44pm on 30 Apr 2009, Andy Post wrote:

    RE: The end of the American century.

    I guess it depends on whether you agree with the author that the American century is based solely on the outcome of World War II. The fact that we ended the war with all of our infrastructure improved (let alone intact) was a huge benefit, but what the country did with that advantage was equally important. Some will argue that we lorded that power over the rest of the world, which in fact we did, but we did it in a way that no other superpower had done before: we built up aligned Europe and Asia into economic powers that rivaled our own. We were never interested in being the one and only power in the world. Americans would far rather do business with a foreign country than rule it. The former makes money while the latter expends it... and we all know how much Americans like money.

    It didn't quite work the way we planned, though. While aligned Europe and Asia have been more than willing to take part in the advantages of the new economic framework the U.S. set up, they have not returned to being military powers of the nature they were before the war, which has resulted in the U.S. taking on the military responsibilities of the new framework outside of those areas by itself. It's been impossible to get the former Axis powers to exert their military power outside of their own borders even after 60 some odd years of democracy within them, and frustratingly difficult to get our old democratic allies (like the U.K. and France, both former superpowers) to take any military action at all without a disproportionate amount of American commitment up front.

    If that's what's defined the American century, then that may very well be over. We may decide to fight only for a narrowed definition of our country's interests which very well may not necessarily include Europe's and Asia's. We may ask the British Navy for instance to return to at least sharing its previous role of policing the high seas, as well as asking all European powers to apply their considerable economic power to extending their military's reach across the globe (if for nothing more than improving the security conditions of their former colonies).

    Americans are now asking themselves whether the prestige of being the world's foremost power is worth the cost. This is nothing new, but for the first the time, I believe they're coming to the conclusion that it is not worth the cost. That could mark a big change.

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  • 5. At 8:05pm on 30 Apr 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    The add is just desperation. Torture is wrong and that is it. That is why we have the Geneva Convention.

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  • 6. At 8:16pm on 30 Apr 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    To really see what Obama can do, we need a filibuster-proof Senate. Originally I was against this. But a winning party's agenda is so often watered down through negotiation and compromise that we lose the opportunity to feel the full effect of a new administration. For this reason I have changed my mind. In England, when a party is voted in the whole landscape changes. I would like to see that happen here.

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  • 7. At 8:22pm on 30 Apr 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    As far as the foreign policy goes, I believe that it's fairly obvious
    that we are entering a multi-polar world in which nation-states are less
    likely to conflict with each other because of imperial ambitions, but
    more so for resources if global warming and rising population intensifies
    competition for them.

    What we really have to fear is not another nation-state. What we really
    have to do is to work together to solve problems of mutual concern,
    including the environment and terrorism.

    In a multi-polar world, it does not matter so much what your ranking is
    on military power. What's really important is what function your society
    performs as a global player. The US and Europe both have some unique
    strengths which other rising powers lack, and we just need to capitalize
    upon them.

    It's clear though, that Europe is going to have to take over more of
    the functions that the US provided during the 20th century if it wants
    to be secure.

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  • 8. At 8:23pm on 30 Apr 2009, Schwerpunkt wrote:

    5. allmymarbles wrote:

    "The add is just desperation. Torture is wrong and that is it. That is why we have the Geneva Convention. "

    You realize though that as, at best, partisans, the detainees are not protected by the Geneva Convention. They can, in fact, be legally executed out of hand. I lose no sleep over what methods are used to extract intelligence details from Hajjis. Victory is all that counts in war. Playing a "good game" sadly gains no points from the umpires.

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  • 9. At 8:39pm on 30 Apr 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    "That's certainly the view of the Republicans whose foreign affairs attack is re-launched with this ad."

    There's no direct attribution of the piece unless one looks at the ID of the poster, John Boehner, Republican leader on the House. Without any identification it is unlikely to be aired as a commercial. I imagine Fox News might run it as part of an opinion programme, but no-one else; it will probably get very little exposure. Those on YouTube who have commented appear to believe they are safer now than in the Bush-Cheney era.

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  • 10. At 8:41pm on 30 Apr 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    8, schwerpunkt.
    "You realize though that as, at best, partisans, the detainees are not protected by the Geneva Convention. They can, in fact, be legally executed out of hand."

    That was a legal technicality trumped up by the Bush administration to give them a free hand to do whatever they wanted. Intent and actions are more important than legal maneuvering. I'll bet Hilter was chock full of legal rationalizations.

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  • 11. At 8:49pm on 30 Apr 2009, Dark Side of the Goon wrote:

    @8 - you make a fair point, but only if you happen to be a despot.

    A non-despotic leader is going to get replaced, unless he becomes a despot, especially if the population has been told that:

    i) only bad guys torture
    ii) your cause is just and right is on your side
    iii) you are, in fact, the good guys.

    You can't torture everyone, unless you fancy becoming a despot. Machiavelli did say that it is better for a Prince to be feared than loved, but he would also have agreed that it is important for that Prince to not be universally hated also.

    Hence, we all pay at least lip service to the Geneva Convention.

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  • 12. At 8:51pm on 30 Apr 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Schwerpunkt (#8) " ... the detainees are not protected by the Geneva Convention."

    You may well be right on that point, but what matters is whether there has been a violation of US code: USC Sec. 18

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  • 13. At 8:56pm on 30 Apr 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Good open article. Hilarious Republican video. I'm sure there's many out there talking about secession from the union - starting another civil war - and stockpiling 'ammo.' You don't often report on them, but we all know they're out there. The softer ones even post here, despite the risk of catching something nasty like liberalism or socialism. They probably put on a breathing mask before the BBC page loads.

    The vast majority of sensible Americans will see that video for what it is. It simply confirms what they already know about the neo-cons, the crazies, the nut-jobs. A party built on instilling and encouraging fear of the unknown - playing on irrational fears - bankrupt of any cohesive policies. Even the sources in the video came from the Murdoch channel 'Fixed Views.' I predict Obama will emerge as one of the greatest men in history - taking a place alongside Nelson Mandela and Mohandas Gandhi. They had plenty of opposition from the radical right as well.

    Thanks for the laugh.

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  • 14. At 8:58pm on 30 Apr 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #8

    Schwerpunkt,

    This is covered by the Third Geneva Convention. There are strict rules relating to non uniformed combatants and they cannot be executed out of hand. Persons not covered by the Third Convention are covered by the 4th, regarding the treatment of civilians.

    A prisoner may be tried, found guilty of violating the third convention and executed legally, but they must be tried.

    Many folks take their interpretation of these laws from WWII movies ('You vill be shot as a spy'). But they would be wrong. The current conventions came into play in 1949 and replaced the 1929 convention at that time.

    Lawyer Sam

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  • 15. At 9:05pm on 30 Apr 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 7 gunsandreligion

    You say Environment is a priority - I absolutely agree. But Europe won't need to step up its involvement in world security because if USA backs off, the problem will be a fraction of what it is today. People aren't born terrorists. They don't just decide overnight to end their life as a suicide bomber. It takes anger - a desire for revenge - a last resort when no other avenues are open to them.

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  • 16. At 9:07pm on 30 Apr 2009, lochraven wrote:

    #4 AndyPost

    I'm not sure about everything you wrote, but I have been feeling the same way for a long time about your last paragraph. When do we start?

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  • 17. At 9:12pm on 30 Apr 2009, faeyth wrote:

    Sure Let's apologize for the mistakes for the WW2 generation,while I am at it I'll apologize for the mistakes of Baby Boomers.Now about the Dems they are only winning elections because they are not GOP, however they are not winning because of they have any merit.Obama is still giving away American tax money to foreign nations like Israel and Egypt,while Detroit dies a slow death.Gives away industry and technology.Still has us fighting 2 wars.Allows auto industry to go bankrupt while bankers get rich.Gives away welfare checks instead of creating jobs.Funds Head start for deadbeat parents who don't work(apparently poor people aren't capable of raising their own kids),while working parents can hardly pay for daycare.We are giving tons of money to disabled kids(not worth the educational investment) and less to Jr high,High school,and College kids.Community Colleges are closing.Poor kids getting Health care while middle class children go without and some going bankrupt.New buyers getting money for homes from government while the people kicked out of those homes have no where to live.Paying for benefits of illegal immigrants(before citizens) who we exploit for low wages,who bring in diseases and crime.The problem is both parties suck and could care less for working people.We need a new party.I can't understand why people think Democrats are some white knight.I voted for Obama but I always am stuck voting for the lesser of two evils.

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  • 18. At 9:19pm on 30 Apr 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #15, Richard_SM, I don't agree with your statement, because terrorism
    is not just a reaction of Islamic societies to the US, it is to the
    modern world. Pakistan is a case in point. The modern world is coming
    into contact with these formerly remote areas, and we're seeing a reaction.

    And then, of course, there are the Russians, a big question mark.

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  • 19. At 9:28pm on 30 Apr 2009, bere54 wrote:

    17, faeyth -

    So I take it you're for universal single-payer health care? Do you think it should be for all (that's the universal part) or just for people who aren't poor or disabled?

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  • 20. At 9:29pm on 30 Apr 2009, seanspa wrote:

    #15, wrong. OK, maybe sometimes correct, but not always. Gullibility plays a bit part as well. God, and his interpretors, have to shoulder some of the blame as well.

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  • 21. At 9:32pm on 30 Apr 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    AndyPost (#4), thoughtful remarks. I disagree with the point made in your last paragraph, however. My take is that Americans want to remain strong militarily, but oppose wasteful spending.

    Gallup poll

    No one poll is definitive, of course, but there are many others. For example, there is this one on North Korea.

    If you find a document showing that Americans are willing to be intimidated by North Korea (or whomever) because standing up to them costs too much, I'd like to see it.

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  • 22. At 9:41pm on 30 Apr 2009, BmoreJaffa wrote:

    Hey Justin
    Saw you in the crowd last night sitting a few rows behind Chuck Todd. How does one get on the list to ask a question?

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  • 23. At 9:43pm on 30 Apr 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    In that second linked document in my post #21, note that Newt Gingrich is trying to score points against Obama by talking tough on North Korea, conveniently ignoring the fact the Republicans held the presidency for 20 of the previous 28 years. Time enough to take some responsibility for the problem, I think.

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  • 24. At 9:44pm on 30 Apr 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    President Obama's performance during last night's press conference was excellent, and so were his first 100 days in office.

    On foreign policy he stopped the use of torture to extract dubious information from terrorist suspects and in so doing we regained the moral high ground and restored the ideals that were ignored during the past 8 years; his overtures to Iran, warnings to North Korea, the assignment of a high level diplomat (envoy) to work on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the rapproachment that is evident in our relations with Cuba, Venezuela and the rest of Latin Ameria demonstrate vision and the abandonment of policies that ceded a vital strategic region to our competitors for the exclusive purpose of pursuing policies that have not produced positive results for decades.

    On domestic policy I believe he was right in saving our financial institutions, auto industry, and AIG. We simply can not allow our industry to fail and millions of additional jobs to be lost. His focus on healthcare, energy independence, and education are a welcome development after years of neglect.

    It may be months before we can assess the effectiveness of his policies, but he is definitely trying, is doing the right things and we are lucky to have him as POTUS.

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  • 25. At 9:49pm on 30 Apr 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    So politics are usual.

    I thought the music was over the top, but a good touch having an interview on CNN as part of the commercial.

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  • 26. At 10:18pm on 30 Apr 2009, toughdirtyjoe wrote:

    Please tell me what was wrong with this Ad? He closed Gitmo without a plan of where to put these monsters. (Where are our European allies?)
    He has released secrets of our tactics to fight these animals.
    This adiminstration has made so many mistakes its just shocking. This guy is so far left his thinking defies logic. I think that Europe should not judge America on our methods when we share info on planned attacks in their countries.

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  • 27. At 10:18pm on 30 Apr 2009, Andy Post wrote:

    Gary (#21)

    "If you find a document showing that Americans are willing to be intimidated by North Korea (or whomever) because standing up to them costs too much, I'd like to see it."

    I don't believe one exists. I'd argue that facing down North Korea is very much within America's interests no matter how narrowly we define them. Indeed, I believe it's dangerous for the country not to.

    The paradigm switch I'm referring to is not one where we cast our military might aside, far from it. The world is still a dangerous place. Take piracy for instance. Does anyone share my surprise that the U.S. Navy (and Marine Corps) hasn't taken a more active role in policing the area? It sure looked like the rest of the world was. It was almost pathetic to see Russia trying to get surface ships into the area to rescue their cargo ship. What did it take them, three weeks? In fact, the only action the U.S. has taken in the area was to free its own ship. I, like most Americans, cheered the Seals on as they parachuted into dark waters like something out of James Bond to take up sniping positions on our destroyer. That's pretty darn cool, if you ask me. I'm all for retaining that kind of capability (and expanding it if we can), but my question is whether we can get by on maybe one-third the number of Seal teams (just making that fraction up, I don't really know) if all we take care of is ourselves.

    Do we really need 13 aircraft carriers? You know they're really, really expensive to maintain, and we only have so much coastline.

    I'm still in favor of being able to kick anyone's ass on the planet any time, any where, but I don't think we need the ability to kick everyone's ass on the planet all the time, in all places. I think Americans are starting to think the same way.

    I could be wrong.

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  • 28. At 10:27pm on 30 Apr 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Andy (#27) "I'm still in favor of being able to kick anyone's ass on the planet any time, any where, but I don't think we need the ability to kick everyone's ass on the planet all the time, in all places. I think Americans are starting to think the same way."

    When you put it that way, we are in agreement.

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  • 29. At 10:56pm on 30 Apr 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 27, Andy

    I am in full agreement with everything you said, including your comment about the apparent ambivalence of our armed forces towards the piracy that has been going on off the coast of Somalia the past couple of years. I suspect their reluctance to engage the pirates is influenced by the fact that while we have built a military force that is second to none when it comes to the capability of engaging nations with similar military forces, we have not addressed the immidiate problem we are facing. Our "enemies" are not nations, but organizations that use rudimentary tools to carry out their attacks, with the support of large segments of the population in Third World countries.

    Instead of building more sophisticated carriers, missile cruisers, subs, and jet fighters/bombers, we should invest in commando operations designed to engage low level operatives on their own turf instead of attempting to control them with a massive show of force that has not proven to be very effective...and it is, indeed, very costly.

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  • 30. At 11:28pm on 30 Apr 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    The referenced article is a superficial and badly flawed analysis of the United States which badly distorts the role of the America in the history of the 20th century. This is the view Europeans and those on the left of American politics cherish. It also feeds their hatred for America.

    "For example, to the extent that the demolition of totalitarianism deserves to be seen as a prominent theme of contemporary history (and it does), the primary credit for that achievement surely belongs to the Soviet Union. When it came to defeating the Third Reich, the Soviets bore by far the preponderant burden, sustaining 65 percent of all Allied deaths in World War II."

    The facts of how many died proportionally by country is correct. The conclusion is dead wrong. America was the decisive factor for allied victory in World War II in both Europe and the far East. The USSR's role was to supply an endless stream of bodies as canon fodder to keep as much of the third Reich's military machine tied down in the East as possible while Americans supplied the money, material, and together with the RAF bombed Germany flat eliminating its ability to sustain the war on all fronts. That is why it collapsed on all fronts simultaneously. Were it not for the material and money the US sent the USSR, it would not have been able to do even this. Had the US not applied military force in great measure by air power, sea power, and with the land invasions against Germany and German interests all over the world, first mostly in North Africa up through Sicily and Southern Europe and then in the Normandy invasion, the Allies in Europe including the USSR would surely have lost. Meanwhile, the US was also bearing the brunt of the war in the Pacific at the same time. After the war, it was US determination alone which in the end defeated totalitarianism in the USSR and its empire. Europeans belittle the sacrifice measured in trillions of US dollars and in millions of men and women who served in the US armed forces and in civilian capacities to support them in every way in its role in the defeat of Soviet Communism which took 40 years. During that time, many in Western Europe not only didn't take the Soviet threat seriously, they actively opposed the US effort such as the protests over installtion of Pershing II missiles in Europe and the visits of American Nuclear submarines in Scotland. Much of Europe has never forgiven America for destroying the USSR even as they refuse to acknowledge it.

    However America's current finances are in disarray or its short term expectations are currently unrealistic, it has experienced and survived far worse in the past. Many times it seemed America would not even survive. Each time though the struggle only makes it stronger, the Civil War being the worst of it. It is constructed in a way that maintains it in a state of perpetual self renewal and self re-invention which can be a painful process like many births. This is not characteristic of other nations, and certainly not to nearly the same degree. America has been written off many times in many eras only to come back stronger each time. John D. Rockerfeller said it best over a hundred years ago when he said that anyone who bets against America will go broke. America's power does not come from anything so superficial as its military armaments or money, those being the result, not the source of its strength. It comes much more profoundly from an inner strength of its people, the result of the structures the founding fathers put in place that shaped American civilization in a way that makes it unique, disginguishing it from every other society and civilization that ever existed. That is why it will recover and be even stronger than ever whether Barack Obama turns out in the retrospective of history to be its best president or its worst.

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  • 31. At 11:31pm on 30 Apr 2009, happylaze wrote:

    http://www.americasarmy.com/

    here's getting the training in young.
    just to show what they have to show their kids about our thirst for war.
    train em virtual first.

    17 Not only them forners bring in sickness.
    Your pretty sick yourself in some ways.

    24 Top post. covers a lot of ground and says it well.

    Splunkt . I'd advise not going on holiday. any country decides you are a threat and the precedence has been set for you to disappear.

    26 dirty
    "animals"
    seems harsh to consider people not proven to be anything but a goat herder with a gun in the wrong place, an animal.
    If you think that is the way (torture) give them a trial then torture them when they are proven guilty of a crime.
    (hint; I'm not serious about the then torture them bit.)
    Torture is wrong,
    what makes you think the Euro's have not provided anything top secret?
    Or the Syrians for that matter that did help, oh and while I'm at it there were reports of Iran helping with some info.
    Oh wait Do you want a one way Street. with help only for america.
    "all for america
    and america for none"


    Not a good way to get help.
    but america doesn't need help does it.
    ----------------
    Sorry on topic Obama's successes were so well pointed out by St there.

    The republicans have gone feral.

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  • 32. At 11:33pm on 30 Apr 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #29

    Saint,

    We should invest in both.

    Militarist Sam

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  • 33. At 11:35pm on 30 Apr 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Andy (#27) "Does anyone share my surprise that the U.S. Navy (and Marine Corps) hasn't taken a more active role in policing the area?"

    I don't. The last time a US flagged ship was hijacked was in 1975 (the Mayaguez incident). President Ford responded promptly with military force to make the point that the US does not tolerate piracy. It was reasonable to expect that the Somali pirates would leave US flagged ships alone. I have no doubt that the area has been under US surveillance, and that the US has been discussing the problem with our allies for some time. Without an action against a US ship, there was no basis for the US taking on the responsibility for cleaning up the problem, which is not easy to solve.

    Now the matter needs reevaluation, of course, and we will have to see how it turns out. Will the Somali pirates get the message and leave US flagged ships alone? Or will they follow through on their threat to get even?

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  • 34. At 00:10am on 01 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Barack Obama seems to have been spoiling for a war against al Qaeda, the Taleban, and Pakistan's military too if it's necessary to defeat the terrorists they give sanctuary to for a year now. His speech in Berlin last summer said as much. This is possibly the real reason why he wants to get out of Iraq so badly, to free up forces for redeployment, not to bring them all home. What his game is in Iran now is not clear. Does he just want to put them off and keep them on the back burner to deal with them another day after he's done with Pakistan or is he setting the prelude for political justification to attack them too? Surely he can't really be serious about America caving in and selling out to them. Perhaps he's cleverer than I think and is counting on giving America's enemies such as Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba enough rope to hang themselves with. Once they reject his seemingly open offers, that would give him a free hand justifying much tougher measures against all of them. If that's his game, I think they will fall for it and see his offers as signs of weakness. Generally this only emboldens them the way ceding Czechoslovakia emboldened Hitler. Their mentalties are all the same.

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  • 35. At 00:13am on 01 May 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #30

    Damn that shutter. The wind begins to howl.

    Home Improvement Sam

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  • 36. At 00:19am on 01 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    27 Andy and 28 Gary

    Andy (#27) "I'm still in favor of being able to kick anyone's ass on the planet any time, any where, but I don't think we need the ability to kick everyone's ass on the planet all the time, in all places. I think Americans are starting to think the same way."

    This was the policy of the Royal Navy from 1815 (if not earlier) to 1905, and the psychology of the Royal Navy right up until at least May 31, 1916. Not sure that this echo is particularly comforting.

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  • 37. At 00:19am on 01 May 2009, davep01 wrote:

    0. At 5:54pm on 30 Apr 2009,Justin Webb wrote:
    "Is this his secret foreign policy - or at least the underpinning of it?"

    I don't think it is. I don't even want the US to apologise for past errors or excesses, I just want it to stop repeating them and to accept the right of other sovereign nations to see things differently.

    And I think we're seeing the beginnings of a recognition that in the 21st century the US won't be able to pursue the hegemony it seemed to enjoy in the late 20th: perhaps we've already seen it in the Bush Administration's inaction faced with Latin America's swing to the left, something which 30 years ago would have incurred a rash of CIA-masterminded coups.

    Like it or not, the US is going to find its global freedom of action constrained in the next century by the rise of new powers and unforeseen shifts in favour of countries that barely register on the economic radar today. The sooner Washington prepares for the diplomatic demands of a less unipolar world the better for US long-term interests.

    Boehner's ad is plain sad, though. Along with the Iraq debacle, Guantanamo and the whole Republican fearmongering edifice that sustained it have served only to isolate the US and discredit its claims to be acting on legitimate security concerns. Voters showed last November that they weren't buying it anymore, and they'll feel they've chosen well if the Obama Administration shows itself to be as far-sighted as it claims to be.

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  • 38. At 00:19am on 01 May 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #34

    Darned shutter. No reason to get excited.

    Lyrical Sam

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  • 39. At 00:23am on 01 May 2009, mary gravitt wrote:

    I think the Republicans have lost their collective minds. I listened to Obama last night and heard him say what I wanted to hear in my own words: If you do not want to be part of the solution; you are part of the problem. Like I said my words, but his sentaments.

    These Right-Wing Rush Limbaugh Republican can't seem to understand that "the earth has move under their feet." they have had 8 years to work their miricle and it has failed.

    They need to leave off and get a new life in the cementary.

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  • 40. At 00:55am on 01 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    27. Andy, wrote

    "Do we really need 13 aircraft carriers? You know they're really, really expensive to maintain, and we only have so much coastline."

    Aircraft carriers are not for defending coastlines.

    Italy thought it was one big permanent aircraft carrier that would be sufficient to dominate the Mediterranean as an Italian lake. Land based aircraft would protect the coastline, and would dominate the adjacent bodies of water far out to sea.

    Admiral Iachino came to understand otherwise.
    Admiral Cunningham demonstrated otherwise.

    Aircraft carriers are one of the defining elements of a true blue water navy. They permit freedom of navigation for friends and allies, and deny it to others. They are about projection of force over the vast reaches of blue water, the way that dreadnoughts once were, as were tall 74's and 38 gun frigates before them. In the words of Alfred Thayer Mahan, they carry the war to the enemy's shore. In addition, aircraft carriers have an inland reach unlike any force projection weapon that any navy ever had before. And they have a certain flexibility that you can't get with rent-a-nation land bases in dodgy countries.

    I don't know how many carrier groups is enough, but I'd doubt that thirteen is too many.

    After WWII there was much discussion of the desirability of reducing the size of the navy, right up until the Navy saved the day at Inchon.

    Carrier groups are vastly expensive to operate, and clearly there is room for improvement. They are vulnerable to attack. But they provide an unmatched capability.

    How much is too expensive? Well, the Royal Navy was paid for by trade, as was the Dutch Navy before it, and, in a somewhat perverse context, as was the first globe-girdling enterprises, the Spanish and Portuguese navies. If you are the leading proponent of trade, and you regard freedom of navigation as critical to your prosperity, then you pay for the advantage it brings you in comparable measure. The US is still the world's leading trading nation.

    Just like most nations in the 19th century who were in large measure freeriders on the benefits of having the Royal Navy as the de facto maritime police force for the world, most of the world is extracting free-rider benefits from the US navy today, and has done for 60+ years.

    The thing is, just as Imperial Germany didn't have any real need for a blue water navy (its trade was protected by the freedom of the seas guaranteed by Britain), China doesn't need a blue water navy now, either, but will certainly have one before long. China's leaders seem to understand why this is important.

    It is not really that helpful for Somali pirates to give China, India, and others, the incentive to build their own blue water navies to protect their own shipping. That is the real cost of this recent piracy, because it is going to give a cloak, a cover, an excuse, for a shift in naval forces world-wide. That does not seem like a good thing.

    When you think of it that way, wouldn't you rather keep paying for the aircraft carrier battlegroups?

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  • 41. At 00:57am on 01 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #39

    It seemed when Bush was the President and similar thoughts were spoken, the left and the media howled about the my way or the highway approach.

    More Obamaphile hypocracy

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  • 42. At 00:59am on 01 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    30. MA II wrote:
    "Europeans belittle the sacrifice measured in trillions of US dollars and in millions of men and women who served in the US armed forces and in civilian capacities to support them in every way in its role in the defeat of Soviet Communism which took 40 years".

    Well, maybe some do. But if you are suggesting that the consensus view in western Europe is that they "belittle" US efforts either in WWII or during the cold war you are simply flat out wrong.

    Go visit some war cemeteries in western Europe. See how incredibly well cared for they are. They have never forgotten.

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  • 43. At 01:01am on 01 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    39, marygrav, actually, an American political party getting its butt kicked
    in a general election is the best possible medicine for it.

    Perhaps now we'll see the Republicans move towards the center, or be
    replaced by a more moderate party. Where is Ross Perot when we need him?

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  • 44. At 01:02am on 01 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    32. Sam
    Agreed. Invest in both. It is in the human capital side of things the the UK and Aussie forces excel. Professional soldiering has a different history, and a different place in the culture. Might learn something there. Might save money, too.

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  • 45. At 01:02am on 01 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    Oh, and I hope the Republicans can reinvent themselves. There is absolutely
    no hope for the Democrats, they are under the mistaken belief that the
    public actually agrees with them.

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  • 46. At 01:11am on 01 May 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    The ad is hilarious! Faux News at it's best"
    ;-)

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  • 47. At 01:13am on 01 May 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    Why We Fight

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  • 48. At 01:19am on 01 May 2009, davep01 wrote:

    30. At 11:28pm on 30 Apr 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:
    "Americans supplied the money, material... That is why [Germany] collapsed on all fronts simultaneously. Were it not for the material and money the US sent the USSR, it would not have been able to do even this. Had the US not applied military force in great measure by air power, sea power.... the Allies in Europe including the USSR would surely have lost."

    Not so. US supllies contributed barely a tenth of Soviet materiel, and the Red Army had already retaken something like 200,000 sq km by the time the Allies cleared North Africa and twice as much again before the Normandy invasion. The nazis were certainly in no doubt which was the major front, with 60% of their divisions in the East against only 10% in Italy and 20% in the West on the eve of D-Day. And the German front in the East collapsed weeks before the Normandy breakout, and again the following January while the western Allies were still fighting their way back from their Ardennes setback.

    If critics undervalue the United States' enormous contribution to defeating fascism it's largely in reaction to those who exaggerate America's role at the expense of its Soviet ally's. It's hardly surprising that countries hesitate to join US-led "coalitions" when their own part's likely to be airbrushed out whatever they do.

    "Meanwhile, the US was also bearing the brunt of the war in the Pacific at the same time."

    Yes, the Russians had already given Japan a sound thrashing at Khalkin Gol in 1939, so they didn't get any more trouble from that quarter until they swept in and took Manchuria in a few days six years later, rendering a Japanese collapse inevitable.

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  • 49. At 01:24am on 01 May 2009, as is wrote:

    "14. At 8:58pm on 30 Apr 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:
    #8

    Schwerpunkt,

    This is covered by the Third Geneva Convention. There are strict rules relating to non uniformed combatants and they cannot be executed out of hand. Persons not covered by the Third Convention are covered by the 4th, regarding the treatment of civilians.

    A prisoner may be tried, found guilty of violating the third convention and executed legally, but they must be tried."

    Which article(s) exactly do you envisage?


    Re waterborading: althoogh US (Dem) Congress banned it, it stopped short of defining it as "torture".

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  • 50. At 01:36am on 01 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

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

  • 51. At 01:49am on 01 May 2009, OldSouth wrote:

    The article cited from Salon is craven in tone, and deeply flawed on the facts--but then again, it's a product of the present American left.

    The ad from the GOP is craven in tone, and stupid.

    'The American Century' encompasses not only the military achievements(and they were genuine, bought at significant cost), but the cultural, economic, scientific and economic achievements that shaped the world in so many positive ways.

    Here's to another one. Our best days are ahead of us, to quote Ronald Reagan.

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  • 52. At 02:45am on 01 May 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #49

    Peter,

    Those not covered by Article 4 of the third convention are covered by the 4th convention. This has been upheld in the relevant leal bodies governing the conventions.

    Your follow on sentence is a non sequitur. The convetions define precisely how you can treat someone whether they be a civilian or non civilian. They don't say 'torture is naughty'. They don't allow for you being anything other than a fighter or not. They are simple to follow and execute.

    What Congress says is irrelevant in these matters, if we wish ourtroops to be treated under the conventions we must abide by them or withdraw. At which point anything goes.

    JAG Sam

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  • 53. At 02:46am on 01 May 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #51

    South,

    Amen to that.

    Patriot Sam

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  • 54. At 02:53am on 01 May 2009, as is wrote:

    Mr Webb, today, after spending anything between $10 and $15 bn of taxpayers' monies to avoid Chrysler's bankruptcy, Mr Obama announced ... Chrysler's bankruptcy. And then, after trying to blackmail in vain the bondholders, handed over the company to his electoral donors, UAW.

    Earlier, US Congress (House) passed his budget that is a first step in accumulating over $10 bn debt in the long run.

    Do these events register on BBC's/your journalistic seismograph? The Pres seemed "perkier"? Indeed.

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  • 55. At 03:08am on 01 May 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    Peter,

    $4bn was loaned to Chrysler. The return is a stake in the new company under Chapter 11. Cerebus lose their stake completely (80.1% of the company) as do Daimler (the remaining 19.1%). Fiat get a chunk for invested capital, so does the treasury for the $4bn. Bondholders are done.

    Auto workers right now have nothing, no contract. The appointed judge can define their contract and benefits.

    The good bits will be sold (to fiat. Likely Dodge and that's it). the bad bits will be closed. The shareholders will lose everything. The bondholders will get something. The unions have nothing. The new company may live or die.

    That is chapter 11. It hurts, but it works.

    Businessman Sam

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  • 56. At 03:45am on 01 May 2009, frayedcat wrote:

    War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength

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  • 57. At 03:49am on 01 May 2009, Andy Post wrote:

    Interestedforeigner (40)

    "Aircraft carriers are not for defending coastlines."

    They did a pretty good job of defending the west coast in WWII.

    But, yes, I take your point. They are indeed a projection of power. Ever since the war they have been the capital ships of the world... or the U.S. at least. The last I looked no other country had more than one (not counting non-nuclear carriers). The fact is that we don't know what that change means to naval superiority in a multi-polar world because no country has challenged the U.S. rule of the high seas since WWII. How do two carrier task forces interact during peacetime? We don't know. It's never happened.

    As far as whether 13 carriers are required, let me ask you this: when was the last time the U.S. had more than two carriers on station at a time? Vietnam? Korea? I don't believe we have ever had three in the Persian Gulf at one time I'm pretty sure it's just one. Really, one is enough. The military power projected by one of the things is unbelievable (not to mention the force that can be applied by the rest of the task force). When one is out of ammo, we just rotate another one in.

    Although I agree with your recounting of history, I believe the rules changed after the war. If the U.S. were to mothball, say, seven of its carriers, I don't think it would have the effect of making ocean transport less safe. Honestly, which of the world's navies do you think is interested in such an adventure right now?

    It's not just theoretical to me. The Feds take a lot of money out of my paycheck to pay for these things.

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  • 58. At 04:00am on 01 May 2009, Andy Post wrote:

    interestedForeigner(36)

    "This was the policy of the Royal Navy from 1815 (if not earlier) to 1905, and the psychology of the Royal Navy right up until at least May 31, 1916. Not sure that this echo is particularly comforting."

    Yes, but in the U.S. case that would be a step back from a more aggressive policy, one where we aspire to be in command of superior military force all the time, everywhere. The end of that should be comforting.

    [I think it was much earlier than 1815 if I take your meaning. I've always pegged it to the destruction of the Spanish Armada. Anyway, Britain already ruled the waves well before Napoleon appeared, and it could hammer just about anyone it wanted to.]

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  • 59. At 04:06am on 01 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    30. MAII wrote:

    "Were it not for the material and money the US sent the USSR, it would not have been able to do even this. Had the US not applied military force in great measure by air power, sea power, and with the land invasions against Germany and German interests all over the world, first mostly in North Africa up through Sicily and Southern Europe and then in the Normandy invasion, the Allies in Europe including the USSR would surely have lost."

    Simply not true.
    The German army was stopped in the suburbs of Moscow and Leningrad before Pearl Harbour. The following Summer and autumn they were stopped in Stalingrad. If you think American military potential had anything do do with this you are dreaming.

    Are you really going to argue that the manhandling the Russians gave the German Army at Kursk had anything to do with America? Dream on.

    You consistently belittle the quality of the Red Army, both in generalship and weapons. Was the T-34 designed in Detroit? The KV-1? Was Russian artillery tested at the Aberdeen proving grounds? Marshal Zhukov was perhaps the outstanding allied general of the war, the nearest challenger being William Slim, yet you show him the contempt of pure ignorance.

    The truth is that as time went on, the quality differential between the German Army and the Red Army got smaller, and the size and ability of the Red Army got bigger and better, and the industrial muscle behind it grew more and more powerful. By the Autumn of 1943, western allies or none, the German Army lacked the manpower and the materiel to push the Russians back. And the Red Army just kept getting bigger and stronger.

    A better argument can be made that American materiel contributed to stopping the Germans at El Alamein. But even then, the fraction of German war potential devoted to North Africa, Sicily, and Italy was miniscule as compared to that deployed in Russia. Is it not true that Tito tied up more German forces in Yugoslavia than were ever sent to North Africa?

    You are on stronger ground on the strategic bombing campaign, which eventually occupied nearly a quarter of German war potential, but that, too, was a shared effort, with the lion's share being carried by RAF Bomber Command.

    Would the war in Europe have been a lot longer and far more difficult without America? Was American effort huge? Unquestionably. But it is worth wondering if the main benefit of American entry was that the Red Army stop line would otherwise have been the Rhine,

    or perhaps the North Sea,

    or perhaps the Pyrenees.

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  • 60. At 04:16am on 01 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    48. Dave
    MAII's point of the Pacific is substantially correct. Although Japan had more troops tied up in China than anywhere else, the overall effort by the US Navy, first in the islandd hopping campaign in the central and second in its brilliant submarine campaign, determined the outcome of that war.

    The Russian effort in Manchuria was an unrequested, unnecessary campaign designed to stake a claim for spoils, and was not in any way a major cause of the collapse of japanese efforts. A significant Russian fear was that the war would end before they could establish facts on the ground, hence the hurry.

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  • 61. At 04:54am on 01 May 2009, as is wrote:

    52. At 02:45am on 01 May 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:
    #49

    Peter,

    Those not covered by Article 4 of the third convention are covered by the 4th convention."


    I know too well what Article 4 defines as covered by the GC. Now, please cite which article of the 4th GC covers what.

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  • 62. At 05:02am on 01 May 2009, as is wrote:

    52. At 02:45am on 01 May 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:
    #49

    Peter,

    ...Your follow on sentence is a non sequitur. The convetions define precisely how you can treat someone whether they be a civilian or non civilian. They don't say 'torture is naughty'. "


    Before anything else, you need to define torture. I challenge you, and anyone here, to provide a US SC decision, or a US Congress statute which would define the interrogation techniques in question as "torture". This is lalalegalland. The Eighth Amendment is valid only for US citizens/residents

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  • 63. At 05:13am on 01 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    62, Peter.
    "Before anything else, you need to define torture."

    I think you are being cute. We all know instinctively what torture is. We don't need a legal treatise. If we had one the lawyers would make it impossible to understand, and leave it open to convenient interpretation.

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  • 64. At 06:05am on 01 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    I would think that the retirement of David Souter and the now pending selection of a new Supreme Court Justice would make a difference to what is considered to be torture. Presumably a new member of the Court would reflect the views of the President.

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  • 65. At 08:07am on 01 May 2009, rodidog wrote:

    #48 davep01,

    Not so. US supllies contributed barely a tenth of Soviet materiel...

    This is true if you only count planes and tanks. The importance of Lend Lease to Russia is one of logistical support and material supplies. Lend Lease supplied between 30-60% of all Av-Gas, copper, aluminum, steel, tires, radios, explosives, machine tools, boots, and food. No Lend Lease means no rail roads, supply trucks, or fuel pipelines. This means there was no rail cars to move tanks and no trucks or pipelines to fuel the tanks. In addition, Soviet motor rifle divisions would have walked, in worn out boots, to fight the Germans with half the ammunition they actually needed. I would say Lend Lease made a huge difference to the effectiveness of the Soviet Red Army.

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  • 66. At 09:37am on 01 May 2009, Young-Mr-Grace wrote:

    The linked ad is terrible. Regardless of content the production is terrible. It reminds me of a cinema trailer for a cheap action picture.

    You're all doing very well !!

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  • 67. At 09:51am on 01 May 2009, Young-Mr-Grace wrote:

    Regarding the comments on aircraft carriers. Sooner or later all military technology becomes redundant. I would expect that such a large ship is in danger of becomming a sitting target. Advances in missile technology will soon allow a large number of relativlely cheap shore based or submarine launched missiles, enough to overwelm defences, to be deployed against a carrier. The aircraft carrier could easily go the way of the big dreadnought battleship. It will retain a use providing air support against small and less well armed adverseries but I suspect that they would be past their effective use by date in any potential conflict (say in 10-20 years time)with a well prepared China.

    You're all doing very well !!

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  • 68. At 09:54am on 01 May 2009, rodidog wrote:

    #59 Interestedforeigner,

    "Are you really going to argue that the manhandling the Russians gave the German Army at Kursk had anything to do with America? Dream on."

    If you look at the logistical capability that over 430,000 trucks gave the Soviets, along with ammunition and Av-Gas, you could say America provided critical support that allowed the Soviets to win at Kursk. Of course, having a spy give you the German plans goes a long way to. This does not take anything away from the Russian battle plan or their fighting ability. Btw, Kursk was hardly a manhandling, it was a vicious battle where the Russians lost a lot more men and equipment than the Germans.

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

    "You are on stronger ground on the strategic bombing campaign, which eventually occupied nearly a quarter of German war potential, but that, too, was a shared effort, with the lion's share being carried by RAF Bomber Command."

    While the bombing was certainly shared, I don't see how you can claim the lion's share went to the RAF. While the RAF lost more planes, both USAAF & RAF losses in men were practically equal.
    ---------------------------------------------------

    "Would the war in Europe have been a lot longer and far more difficult without America? Was American effort huge? Unquestionably. But it is worth wondering if the main benefit of American entry was that the Red Army stop line would otherwise have been the Rhine,"

    Without American assistance, Russia would not have been able to replace their losses in tanks and other material as they did. Without America, there would have been no Italian campaign or D-Day. It's doubtful Russia would have made it any where near Germany, much less the Rhine.



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  • 69. At 10:25am on 01 May 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    Its so good to be back home.

    I.F.#59. Was as I have understood things.

    Dresden was A warning to the Soviets.

    Its allways the innocent that pay most....

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  • 70. At 10:42am on 01 May 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    #67.Y mr G.

    So true.Look at the Falklands war,how mant anti air craft / missile type 22
    destroyers went down Hit with now old exercet missiles.Even with sea wolf systems defending.

    Big vessels = Big targets.

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  • 71. At 10:49am on 01 May 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    Can we all stop arguing about WWII please. Every ally had a part to play (apart from the French maybe... :P , without any one it would have been a lot harder. Without Russia Germany would not be occupied on both fronts, without Britain holding out Germany would have had control of western europe and America/Britain would not have a relatively safe place to launch attacks from.

    Anyway, rather than getting dragged ito this discussion, why don't we all just ignore MAII and get back on topic.

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  • 72. At 10:54am on 01 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #64

    Right now the court has two blocks with Kennedy as the swing vote. As Souter belongs to the Stevens bloc his or Ginsburg or Stevens himself retiring won't change the balance.

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  • 73. At 11:42am on 01 May 2009, dceilar wrote:

    #71 SaintOne

    Well said. It was the Allies that won it - all had their part to play and each would not have had success without others. I can't be bothered with this narrow minded nationalistic nonsense. It's the sort of nonsense that started the war in the first place.

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  • 74. At 12:02pm on 01 May 2009, frayedcat wrote:

    #26 and #54 - You sound like those types who treat Obama like some kind of messiah, or supernatural being.

    #26 - Wonder what was the genius original plan from Rumsfeld-Bush-Cheney for Gitmo. Keep the prisoners there forever without trial until they die? Or write another memo, one authorizing gas chambers? You can only blame Obama for their mess if you do think he has supernatural or devine powers.

    #54 - Maybe Mr. Obama is also personally responsible for Chrysler's decision to file bankruptcy. Do you think maybe he closed the checkbook like you wanted and this is the proper result?

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  • 75. At 12:11pm on 01 May 2009, frayedcat wrote:

    I think Bush's admnistration ended like most of his business endeavors - which was to be expected. Shortsighted. Use fear and images of isolation so no one will look past their noses, like in the ad.

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  • 76. At 12:17pm on 01 May 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    68. At 09:54am on 01 May 2009, rodidog wrote:


    "Without American assistance, Russia would not have been able to replace their losses in tanks and other material as they did. Without America, there would have been no Italian campaign or D-Day. It's doubtful Russia would have made it any where near Germany, much less the Rhine. "


    Completely and utterly wrong in every respect. America did not make T-34s or any other type of russian tanks and shipped none to the Soviet Union.


    Without the gallant sacrifice of millions of Russians America would not have landed one soldier in Europe.

    There wer eno GIs at Kursk, Stalingrad.

    World War two in europe was essenitally a conflict between Germany and the USSR and the USSR won. Both Hitler and Stalin understood this even if you do not.

    Sorry that is a fact.

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  • 77. At 12:23pm on 01 May 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    65. At 08:07am on 01 May 2009, rodidog wrote:
    #48 davep01,

    Not so. US supllies contributed barely a tenth of Soviet materiel...

    This is true if you only count planes and tanks. The importance of Lend Lease to Russia is one of logistical support and material supplies. Lend Lease supplied between 30-60% of all Av-Gas, copper, aluminum, steel, tires, radios, explosives, machine tools, boots, and food. No Lend Lease means no rail roads, supply trucks, or fuel pipelines."
    #

    Lend lease made a small difference, but if you read up on the campaign you will find the Russians often did have "worn out boots", their submachine guns were held up with string and some T-34s went into battle unpainted.

    However equipment isn't everything as the Germans found and it was the ability of the Russians to keep fighting (Beria in tank supply, Kaganovich on the railways) plus the discovery of effective commanders which turned the tide in their favour.

    To claim it was all down to lend lease is grossly offensive,

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  • 78. At 12:28pm on 01 May 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    73. At 11:42am on 01 May 2009, dceilar wrote:

    No th e point is an important one. The Russians felt, rightly, that their efforts and tremendous suffering in WWII were not appreciated or understood by the Western Powers. Consequently they felt they could take no risks with a repeat performance and remained paranoid about allowing Eastern europe, and Germany in particular, its freedom.

    This western attitude was typified most disgracefully in 1994 when no russian delegation was invited to celebrate D-Day - a pointless, insulting snub.

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  • 79. At 12:31pm on 01 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    One of the most important tests and opportunities for any U.S. President, because of its long term impact on our society, has just emerged with the announcement of Justice Souter's retirement. If Justice Ginsburg or any other member of the Supreme Court decide to do the same during President Obama's first term that is likely to be the end of the conservatives hopes to overturn Roe V Wade.

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  • 80. At 12:41pm on 01 May 2009, arclightt wrote:

    @29 (StD) et al: I agree as well; however, what we can't afford to do is to use the excuse of high-tech investment to set up development programs that extend 15 or 20 years. That's one aspect of DoD (and other Federal) procurement that needs to be reined in very, very hard. It's a principal driver in the huge cost of DoD.

    A second place that's more radical to go is to ask whether DoD could stand to be reorganized and split up, with the warfighters and their weapons in one part, and the non-weapon elements (transport, comms, logistics, etc.) in another part and rethought to not only serve the needs of warfighting but also the need for rapid, massive response to domestic emergencies. We don't need B-2s to deal with hurricanes, but the C-130s, the deuce-and-a-halfs, the satcom / tactical radio assets, and the other non-weapon items and the trained folks who use them would be huge assets to domestic security.

    Military spending is necessary, but wherever we can figure out how to dual-hat it, we should, because otherwise those assets just sit for the most part. I'd sure like our Congress to think more about how to do that, rather than guarding current desires and traditions.

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  • 81. At 12:43pm on 01 May 2009, frayedcat wrote:

    One thing warping our chances of another 'century' of Amercian 'exceptionalism' is this strange and extreme religiosity we have here in the US
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/04/30/religion.torture/index.html
    "I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians, they are very unlike your Christ" - Gandhi
    Our pilgrims ran from it...

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  • 82. At 12:50pm on 01 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    58. At 04:00am on 01 May 2009, AndyPost wrote:

    [I think it was much earlier than 1815 if I take your meaning. I've always pegged it to the destruction of the Spanish Armada. Anyway, Britain already ruled the waves well before Napoleon appeared, and it could hammer just about anyone it wanted to.]

    Not sure when it started. England was a third rate power at the time of the Armada. It took a whuppin from the Dutch as late as the 1660's. It had surpassed the French and Spanish by the time of Queen Anne's War. By the end of the Seven Years War the Royal Navy had world-wide reach. Still, it made an historically significant blunder off the Chesapeake in 1783, so it wasn't all-powerful even then.

    Even now, how galling for the navy to have been bested by the Frogs. The Frogs! The humiliation must hardly have been bearable. Its a wonder half the admirals in the fleet weren't strung up from the yard arm. Inexcusable.

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  • 83. At 12:52pm on 01 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    71 and 73.
    Yes.

    I know we should ignore MAII, but failure to give fair credit to our allies seems so small to me. Everybody played their part.

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  • 84. At 12:57pm on 01 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    68. Rodi
    Because the RAF were at it a lot longer.
    Because a Lancaster carried almost twice as much as a B-17, farther, and faster.
    Because for really tricky jobs it was almost always Mosquitos or Lancasters that were chosen.

    As others rightly point out, though, it is invidious to make these comparisons: The 8th AAF paid a heavy price, just the same as did 6 Group of Bomber Command.

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  • 85. At 1:11pm on 01 May 2009, as is wrote:

    "55. At 03:08am on 01 May 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:
    Peter,

    $4bn was loaned to Chrysler. The return is a stake in the new company under Chapter 11. Cerebus lose their stake completely (80.1% of the company) as do Daimler (the remaining 19.1%). Fiat get a chunk for invested capital, so does the treasury for the $4bn. Bondholders are done.

    Auto workers right now have nothing, no contract. The appointed judge can define their contract and benefits.

    The good bits will be sold (to fiat. Likely Dodge and that's it). the bad bits will be closed. The shareholders will lose everything. The bondholders will get something. The unions have nothing. The new company may live or die.

    That is chapter 11. It hurts, but it works.

    Businessman Sam"


    Yep, you're right, Chapter 11 hurts, but it works. The Obama billion-dollar intervention hurt (the paxpayers), but it did NOT work: remember, his stated goal was to AVOID bankruptcy.

    So the UAW does not have anything now, eh, the poor souls, except the 55% share of the restructured Chrysler through its healthcare trusts. I am not sure if you omit, or you are not aware of, the fact that the 55% share and the delution of the equityholder (Cerberus, not "Cerebus") share resulted from mounting obligations of the company towards healthcare plans forced on the company throughout the decades by that same UAW.


    While the obligation towards the healthcare plans of UAW was $10bn, they are to acquire, from Obama, on a tray, 55% of the new company. The obligations of the comapny towards the SECURED bondholders amounted to $27 bn, and Obama was offering them 33 US cents on the dollar. The blackmail was facilitated by US banks in which Obama has, or will aqcuire, a steak ("interest conflicted", as described by some of the negotiating dissenting bondholders).

    So far, the US and Canadian govn'ts' package to "save" Chrysler is estimated at $18 bn (CAD) taxpayers' monies. Need links?

    Disinformed, or disinforming, "Businessman" Sam?

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  • 86. At 1:11pm on 01 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 54, Peter

    "...after spending anything between $10 and $15 bn of taxpayers' monies to avoid Chrysler's bankruptcy, Mr Obama announced ... Chrysler's bankruptcy. And then, after trying to blackmail in vain the bondholders, handed over the company to his electoral donors, UAW."

    I believe the amount the federal government gave Chrysler to help them meet their debt obligations and keep them afloat was $4B. Most of that money, if not all, will be recovered under bankruptcy laws while in Chapter 11. Yes, the Republicans that called for GM and Chrysler to file for bankruptcy are seeing their dream come true. What was once a robust and prosperous industry is repidly becoming insignificant or being taken over by foreign corporations, while tens of thousands of Americans join the ranks of the unemployed, thousands of investors lose their investments and, in some cases, their retirements. I doubt any will be sending a thank you note to the Republican politicians for their lack of commitment and resolve to save our industry and way of life. Enjoy your TOYOTA...or is it a Fiat 500?

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  • 87. At 1:16pm on 01 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 72, Magic

    "As Souter belongs to the Stevens bloc his or Ginsburg or Stevens himself retiring won't change the balance."

    It will preserve the status quo, which is not what conservatives were hoping for.

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  • 88. At 1:18pm on 01 May 2009, faeyth wrote:

    To answer question #19 yes I am for universal health care provided that it is set up State by State (so the south can't ruin it for rest of us) and that Congress isn't allowed to borrow against any extra cash in it like they do with social security.Everyone should be able to take advantage of government programs payed for by their taxes including rich and middle-class not just the poor.

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  • 89. At 1:19pm on 01 May 2009, as is wrote:

    "63. At 05:13am on 01 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:
    62, Peter.
    "Before anything else, you need to define torture."

    I think you are being cute. We all know instinctively what torture is. We don't need a legal treatise. If we had one the lawyers would make it impossible to understand, and leave it open to convenient interpretation."

    Uh-oh, so Obama is talking of show trials, but there's not a legal definition of "torture" for the suspect techniques? I hope this wsj piece opens your eyes:


    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124078817411057411.html

    Or this one:

    http://tinyurl.com/3yrccz

    The problem with the left is, they "feel", and they are "instinctive", which means that their reason, most of the time, is fast asleep. And bears Obamas. Hey, why bother with leglities, it's "the-people-want-it-rule", innit?

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  • 90. At 1:23pm on 01 May 2009, dceilar wrote:

    #78 Simon

    You do raise a valid point though. I have noticed some right wing pseudo-historians here attempting to erase the important role the Soviet Union played in defeating Nazi Fascism whilst, at the same time, over-inflating their own Nation's role. It's silly and vile Nationalism.

    One also gets the impression that they attempting to erase the atrocities committed by the Nazis against Slavs during the war; the role of the Left played in fighting fascism; and the support right wing Americans gave to the Fascists prior to Pearl Harbour.

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  • 91. At 1:48pm on 01 May 2009, FrankPinBristol wrote:

    Hmmm, too many comments, not read them all. Apologies for that.

    7, "Imperial reasons" and "resources" are the same thing.
    You don't conquer Gaul, or India, or Poland so the Gauls, Indians or Poles lick your boots. You do it to take what they've got so the Romans, British or Germans - um, Russians - look up to you.

    15. Remember 9/11? That wasn't in protest against the U.S. Navy in the Persian gulf. Economic and cultural reasons.

    82. I've just read a history of Elizabeth 1. by Lacey and one of his themes is that Henry gave Gloriana the best and most numerous fighting ships, although Tudor finances made it hard to keep the fleet in being. Worth reading for his writing style alone (that's why I read it - my period of interest is WWII).

    Various about WWII - whose outcome has defined the world since, including the fact that "sleep deprivation" is now considered by some to be "torture" - "brave" Russian soldiers died in millions as "competent" Russian commanders pushed the Germans steadily west from Kursk. It's easy to believe the Russians would have run out of manpower before the Germans ran out of room if the German industry wasn't being progressively trashed, and if progressively more of the Army and Air Force weren't pulled out-of-theatre. Example 1: once the close-air-support failed @ Kursk, more of the fighters had to be used for homeland air defence, leaving the front lines vulnerable to Sov. air reconnaisance and attack on German artillery. Example 2, after D-Day - no more tanks for the Russian front they were all needed against the mechanised UK/US army.

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  • 92. At 1:49pm on 01 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    If the US is attacked again by terrorists during the Obama Administration, it will be the ruin of his presidency. Many Americans will blame his policies sharply reducing the effectiveness of American intelligence to find and thwart plots using extreme measures as the cause and they may be right. It will prove that not only was the Bush administration's assessment and actions correct, they may not have gone nearly far enough. If the attack is a nuclear attack, it may well also spell the end of Constitutional government in America. This is one scenario the American left who support Obama and his policies have not considered or given any credence to. When it happens, it will be too late to wish something different had been done, the course of actions that will follow will be locked into place. Many may then long for the good old days of George Bush.

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  • 93. At 1:53pm on 01 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    57. At 03:49am on 01 May 2009, AndyPost wrote:

    "It's not just theoretical to me. The Feds take a lot of money out of my paycheck to pay for these things."

    Yes, they are really expensive. But there are other weapons systems and bases that are of more dubious value.

    Why so many?

    Well, as you note, naval units move in rotation. Even under the most pressing conditions of wartime at any given time a third of them are in port replenishing. Another third of the time is spent working up or in transit, and a third of the time is spent on station. This applied to U-boats, to convoy escorts, to battleships, ... and it has applied in peacetime, too.

    "On station" for the carriers means at least one unit deployed in the eastern Med, another in the Arabian Sea, another in the South China Sea and another in the western Pacific.

    Now what happens if one is under mid-life refit, and is out of service for an extended period?

    What happens if one of them suddenly becomes unavailable because, somehow, an unhappy event occurs?

    What happens if some tinpot tyrant decides that while the US has its hands full in say, the South China Sea, it is time to invade a small, rich, neighbouring country?

    What happens if you need to be able to concentrate more than two of them in one place at a time? This does happen. It happened in the Taiwan Straits, where two carrier groups were deployed in mutually supporting positions, and a third stood behind them off the Phillipines.

    Certainly it happened in 1991, 2001 and again in 2003 in the Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf.

    Should a war break out, these units take a very long time to build.

    Yes, a single group can project an intimidating amount of military force. However, one of the lessons of Midway is not to operate carriers alone or in insufficiently large groups in wartime. The Japanese unwisely divided their force, and ended up being ambushed by a smaller American force.

    Even when operating in very large groups, the navy very nearly had a disaster at Leyte Gulf, with Halsey running in the wrong direction, and John McCain's grandfather picking up the ball and racing back to plug the hole.

    What if there is some lucky strike by an exocet-like device ? The reason that the navy is reluctant to come up close at times is because of the fate of HMAS Sydney - stupid things do happen from time to time.

    Where is the danger now? Well, China is going to build at least two big carriers, and supporting groups, to discourage any future interventions in the Taiwan Straits, and as yet another lever to use to get its way in various maritime boundary disputes around the South China Sea. Whether China has further ambitions - like protecting its supply of raw material commodities from Africa - is a much longer question.

    Why not count non-nuclear carriers?
    The UK has three small carriers, and has operated, typically, three fleet carriers pretty much continuously since Suez. It is now building two rather large ones, because the current capability of the smaller carriers has been found to be insufficient. In addition, the UK maintains, typically, three "assault ships".

    The reason there is no challenger is because almost everybody else is content to let the US pay for guaranteeing freedom of navigation - its that free-rider thing. The interests of Germany, for example, are entirely aligned with the US in this regard. So why should the Germans pay for something that the US is providing for free (or almost free) anyway? If you mothball seven groups, the US will find it very difficult to meet regional challenges - e.g., from China. And China, perhaps to a lesser extent India, and, of course, France, sometimes have goals and objectives that do not align with US policy.

    Nah, the US doesn't need fewer carrier groups. But it either needs to find a way to operate the same number of groups at far lower cost, or it needs to obtain financial contributions from the free-riders. The first one is a difficult problem, the second one is, well, don't hold your breath.

    Maybe the US should hold the free-riders' ships hostage and demand ransom; no, I mean tribute; no I mean er, um,. ...

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  • 94. At 1:58pm on 01 May 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #91

    I don't think anyone is saying that Russia were the "best" or anything like the that sort. The fact is, without America, Britain and Russia all fighting against the Nazis, things could have been considerably different. Remove one and the odds would have stacked against the other two.

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  • 95. At 1:59pm on 01 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 89, Peter

    "Uh-oh, so Obama is talking of show trials, but there's not a legal definition of "torture" for the suspect techniques?"

    Is that the best excuse you can come up with to justify the decision made by the Bush administration to torture terrorist SUSPECTS? It is a very sad day indeed when the best we can say for our policies and actions is that they are not as brutal as those employed by terrorists. Just in case you forgot, we are a nation not a terrorist group, and comparing our behavior to terrorists dishonors our Constitutions, Civil Rights, ideals and everything our country stands for. What is at stake is not whether or not we are more or less secure, or more or less savage than our foes, but whether or not we remain a nation of laws, freedom, and democracy.

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  • 96. At 1:59pm on 01 May 2009, FrankPinBristol wrote:

    92 If you even want to lay a glove on Obama you need to point out just how often "pragmatic" means "not the slightest intention of doing what I say" AND hope the river of money doesn't do what he hopes it will.

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  • 97. At 2:05pm on 01 May 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #60

    Interested,

    You are correct that the Russians played no real role in the Pacific campaign. You are correct in believing that one nation bore the brunt of that campaign. That nation being India, who destroyed more Japanese fighting divisions in the Burmese campaign than the US.

    While the US defeated the Japanese Navy, it was predominantly India who sucked in and destroyed the Japanese Army in Burma.

    Historian Sam

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  • 98. At 2:06pm on 01 May 2009, Muhammed wrote:

    Mr. Obama done a good job on last 100 days.God look the America & world.
    But I feel Iraq & Afghan matter he have to concern more.War never end.
    Day by day more disaster.Arab forces must send to Iraq & withdraw other all nation.This is totally mis management of M/s Bush & Blair.

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  • 99. At 2:06pm on 01 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:



    ref 92
    "As Souter belongs to the Stevens bloc his or Ginsburg or Stevens himself retiring won't change the balance."

    It will preserve the status quo, which is not what conservatives were hoping for.


    As liberals believe in judicial activism they are the ones that need the balance of the court changed.

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  • 100. At 2:09pm on 01 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

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

  • 101. At 2:19pm on 01 May 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #100

    It's nice for me to agree with you on that point. I can understand why people feel like Obama is making America less safe by not being as bullish as the previous administration. But I don't think there is much of an arguement for that working before, and so it's worth giving this new method a shot. If you can take away extremist's reasons to hate you, you won't get rid of them but you will make it a lot harder for them to recruit.

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  • 102. At 2:24pm on 01 May 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #85

    Peter,

    That deal is far from done. While the company has proposed the structure where the VEBA gets $10bn, this is unlikely to fly in Bankruptcy. The union in this case is an unsecured creditor, the senior secured creditors take preference over them in Chapter 11. This includes the tax payer loans ($4bn) and others. There are already legal moves to challenge the proposed structure.

    Even if the VEBA does get the stake in the company, this isn't the Union.

    This isn't done yet.

    Businessman Sam

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  • 103. At 2:27pm on 01 May 2009, abaloneca1 wrote:

    I went to the U-tube link, and after reading a couple of hundred comments, I was struck by the overwhelming disgust that the Republican party has stooped to the level of using the U-tube to continue with their 8 years of failed, fear mongering policy. It really does make one worry about the survival of their party, but even more worrisome that by some miracle they could return to power, and lead our country further down the road of their previous 8 years of failed policies. There is some comfort though, that using Bohner as the spokesperson, that my worry is likely unfounded.

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  • 104. At 2:30pm on 01 May 2009, Feohme wrote:

    Although Mr II's comments were (as usual) an off topic diversion designed to forment argument in an area he feels (incorrectly) that he has more authority - it does reveal some the underlying misconceptions which inform his peculiar world view:

    1. The USA is unique and special.
    2. The USA has done such good for people (especially those darn Europeans) that only an ingrate would raise even the mildest criticisms of current US Policy.
    3. The USA is the pinacle of human societal evolution and will remain, inviolate and unchanged henceforth until the end of time.

    Given these beliefs, it is perhaps understandable that he should react with such vehemence to any critcism of his country - not matter how mild or even well intentioned. Indeed , it is likely that he considers the very existence of this website - foreigners daring to comment on his beloved country - as an afront to his very being.

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  • 105. At 2:34pm on 01 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #101

    Your last point is the fundamental difference in philosophy.

    Despite what some terrorist apologists would tell you. the U.S did not encourage extremism before 9/11. In fact the U.S was too even handed in many conflicts.

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  • 106. At 2:40pm on 01 May 2009, as is wrote:

    86. At 1:11pm on 01 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:
    Ref 54, Peter

    "...after spending anything between $10 and $15 bn of taxpayers' monies to avoid Chrysler's bankruptcy, Mr Obama announced ... Chrysler's bankruptcy. And then, after trying to blackmail in vain the bondholders, handed over the company to his electoral donors, UAW."

    I believe the amount the federal government gave Chrysler to help them meet their debt obligations and keep them afloat was $4B. Most of that money, if not all, will be recovered under bankruptcy laws while in Chapter 11. Yes, the Republicans that called for GM and Chrysler to file for bankruptcy are seeing their dream come true. What was once a robust and prosperous industry is repidly becoming insignificant or being taken over by foreign corporations, while tens of thousands of Americans join the ranks of the unemployed, thousands of investors lose their investments and, in some cases, their retirements. I doubt any will be sending a thank you note to the Republican politicians for their lack of commitment and resolve to save our industry and way of life. Enjoy your TOYOTA...or is it a Fiat 500? "

    Before lamenting the glorious past of Chrysler and hurling the customary anti-GOP jab, you will need to explain, how the hourly rate at Chrysler/GM/Ford rose, throughout the decades, to $76/h, compared to $56/h at comparable companies, and who was behind that push (and CAFE) that destroyed their profitability. Facts, please. After that, I can enjoy my Panda, after Obama's admin raises taxes on gas, and coerces consumers through taxpayer-funded incentives to buy UAW's enviro-lunacies.


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  • 107. At 2:44pm on 01 May 2009, as is wrote:

    102. At 2:24pm on 01 May 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:
    #85

    Peter,

    That deal is far from done. While the company has proposed the structure where the VEBA gets $10bn, this is unlikely to fly in Bankruptcy. The union in this case is an unsecured creditor, the senior secured creditors take preference over them in Chapter 11. This includes the tax payer loans ($4bn) and others. There are already legal moves to challenge the proposed structure.

    Even if the VEBA does get the stake in the company, this isn't the Union.

    This isn't done yet.

    Businessman Sam"

    Only the first sentence exhibits any credibility: according to bankruptcy experts, instead of the light-speed bankruptcy resolve in two months, promised by Obama, the procedure will linger on for at least 12 months, with a good chance to close in 24. Partially, at your expense, too (more tax monies). Pick up the tax tab, Venezuelans.

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  • 108. At 2:52pm on 01 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:



    "Americans have perpetuated a mythic version of the past that never even approximated reality and today has become downright malignant."

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

    In this statement, the writer is merely confirming what hundreds of millions east of the Atlantic already know. Some in America are aware of the reality - like the writer. A large proportion are not and remain deluded. Commentators have made several suggestions on the origins of the national delusion. The Cowboy and Indian films of the 50's are implicated - the need to revise what really happened and portray the native Indians as the 'baddies' and evil savages. Plus it was easier -and cheaper - to make films that didn't rely on fact. The same filmakers made the WWII films - presenting popular fiction as fact. They re-inforced the notion there was something special in the American character. Something passed down in the genes from father to son, mother to daughter, that set Americans apart from the rest of the world.

    Of course, politics played a huge part, and direct influence of the film industry and the free press is well documented - the CIA's long running Operation Mockingbird just one example. When the domestic propaganda programmes have been exposed, just like now with the torture scandal, the pressure is applied to quickly "turn the page." Who are these journalists that urge Americans to "turn the page else it'll tear us apart," without learning the lessons, without tackling the cause?

    Fortunately, there are Americans willing to speak out, such as Andrew Bacevich, the author of the piece, who served in the US Army after graduating from West Point in Vietnam, Europe and the Middle East. He's a history professor now, teaching at West Point, John Hopkins and Boston Universities. Or such as Senator Pat Leahy who wisely stated, "Frankly, I'd like to read the page before we turn it."

    Indeed Mr Leahy. Thats how we learn - if we want to.






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  • 109. At 2:52pm on 01 May 2009, as is wrote:

    61. At 04:54am on 01 May 2009, peterbo wrote:
    52. At 02:45am on 01 May 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:
    #49

    Peter,

    Those not covered by Article 4 of the third convention are covered by the 4th convention."


    I know too well what Article 4 defines as covered by the GC. Now, please cite which article of the 4th GC covers what."


    Still waiting for a coherent response on that one (I mean, no long and winding posts, modish cliches, or the highly professional Alinskyite ad hominem that puts in jeopardy your virtual CV assertions).

    Because of requirements for openly carrying of arms and adhering to the customs of war, under Article 4 of the Third GC, no AQ operative or any other operative could qualify for any protection. Which article of the Fourth GC. as you claim, expands the coverage of Article 4 of the Third GC, and covers AQ/terror caprives?

    PLEASE, a two-word answer: Article, Number.

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  • 110. At 2:57pm on 01 May 2009, dceilar wrote:

    #105

    The US encouraged the jihadists in Afghanistan during the eighties with the help of Pakistan to fight the Soviets. Also, the US (with Israel) encouraged the growth of the Muslim Brotherhood in the occupied territories to affront the PLO!

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  • 111. At 2:58pm on 01 May 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    100. At 2:09pm on 01 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:
    ref #92

    As much I fear that Obama's measures have made the world less safe, I do hope I am wrong. Both sides except extremists like Michael Savage who would see the deaths as collatarel damage or terrorists like Bill Ayers who think the U.S should be punished, agree on this."


    COmpared to the Israeli foreign minister Bill Ayers is mother Theresa.

    But hey what do facts matter to a Dershovitz worshipper

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  • 112. At 3:00pm on 01 May 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    106. At 2:40pm on 01 May 2009, peterbo wrote:
    Chrysler/GM/Ford rose, throughout the decades, to $76/h, compared to $56/h at comparable companies"

    What comparable companies? No names?

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  • 113. At 3:01pm on 01 May 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    92. At 1:49pm on 01 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    And pigs might fly, even ones with swine flu.

    Got over your colour phobia yet?

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  • 114. At 3:05pm on 01 May 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #113

    Just ignore him. Your just giving him the attnetion he craves. If you ignore him long enough he will just stop. And if he doesn't then let him just ammuse himself.

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  • 115. At 3:07pm on 01 May 2009, as is wrote:

    112. At 3:00pm on 01 May 2009, Simon21 wrote:
    106. At 2:40pm on 01 May 2009, peterbo wrote:
    Chrysler/GM/Ford rose, throughout the decades, to $76/h, compared to $56/h at comparable companies"

    What comparable companies? No names? "

    Toyota, Honda, Nissan... Sound familiar?


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  • 116. At 3:14pm on 01 May 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #115

    Rover?

    :P

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  • 117. At 3:20pm on 01 May 2009, as is wrote:

    95. At 1:59pm on 01 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:
    Ref 89, Peter

    "Uh-oh, so Obama is talking of show trials, but there's not a legal definition of "torture" for the suspect techniques?"

    Is that the best excuse you can come up with to justify the decision made by the Bush administration to torture terrorist SUSPECTS?..."


    Classic tautology. Before claiming torture, first define torture, and then claim torture. Too hard on your logic?

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  • 118. At 3:20pm on 01 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #92. MarcusAureliusII: "If the US is attacked again by terrorists during the Obama Administration, it will be the ruin of his presidency."

    And if it isn't, does that mean an automatic second term? You cross too many bridges in order to exorciate the President - none of it may happen.

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  • 119. At 3:28pm on 01 May 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #105

    Apolgoies if I was not clear, but I do not think America encouraged extremism directly pre-9/11. There are a lot of things that America did that probably to anger a few people, but it was their actions after 9/11 that has made things worse.

    Unfortunately it comes down to extremism, as you pointed out. Religous brainwashing (whether Islamic, Jewish or Christian) creates conflict. The culture differences between the West and the middle East is a huge factor.

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  • 120. At 3:30pm on 01 May 2009, TanSauNg wrote:

    "117. At 3:20pm on 01 May 2009, peterbo wrote:

    Classic tautology. Before claiming torture, first define torture, and then claim torture. Too hard on your logic?"

    No, that's pretty easy on the logic. But are you seriously trying to claim that waterboarding isn't torture? If so, how bad does treatment have to be in order for it to be torture?

    You are right, though. In a court of law, torture would have to be defined before anyone can be charged with it. Thing is, it should be relatively easy to have waterboarding classified as torture, so that isn't the tricky bit. The tricky bit will be to get this to court in the first place.

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  • 121. At 3:31pm on 01 May 2009, Stakeholder wrote:

    Mr. Webb, Your reports on President Obama are beginning to sound like those of a Democrat Party operative. I viewed the add. Is it a Republican Party add as you imply or something produced by a splinter group? It had no credits as a normal add would.

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  • 122. At 3:39pm on 01 May 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #121

    If you read the previous reports you would notice the opposite...!

    I hope it is a splinter-group, because it's a load of tosh and I would hate for one of two major political parties of the world superpower being full of said tosh.

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  • 123. At 3:45pm on 01 May 2009, as is wrote:

    120. At 3:30pm on 01 May 2009, TanSauNg wrote:
    "117. At 3:20pm on 01 May 2009, peterbo wrote:

    Classic tautology. Before claiming torture, first define torture, and then claim torture. Too hard on your logic?"

    No, that's pretty easy on the logic. But are you seriously trying to claim that waterboarding isn't torture? If so, how bad does treatment have to be in order for it to be torture?"


    I am claiming that, currently, there's no LEGAL definition of waterboarding as torture. Because, you know, there's the rule of law. And then, there's the rule of yes-we-can.

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  • 124. At 3:51pm on 01 May 2009, U13912239 wrote:

    Mr. Webb has given a worthwhile and original psychological perception of Mr. Obama.

    We need original psychological perceptions as well as raw facts.

    As long as such observations are not the trite reductionisms of the "boys on the bus", they may be of considerable value.

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  • 125. At 3:54pm on 01 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 117, Peter

    A cursory look at any dictionary would provide you with a definition of torture, but I doubt such enlightment would influence change among those determined to defend the indefensible. My interpretation of torture, based on established criteria, is:

    Actions designed to inflict pain on somebody

    Actions that cause mental or physical anguish on somebody

    Actions leading to the distortion of reality for the purpose of causing pain and psycholoogical anguish on someone.

    It is ironic that after decades of condemning totalitarian regimes for using interrogation methods identical to the ones we recently used, we now insinuate they are actually benign and acceptable practices. I do not find comfort in knowing that the deplorable actions authorized by the Bush Administration were not as bad as those employed by terrorist organizations.





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  • 126. At 3:56pm on 01 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 120, Tan

    "In a court of law, torture would have to be defined before anyone can be charged with it."

    The Nuremberg trials took care of that.

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  • 127. At 3:57pm on 01 May 2009, as is wrote:

    120. At 3:30pm on 01 May 2009, TanSauNg wrote:
    "117. At 3:20pm on 01 May 2009, peterbo wrote:


    You are right, though. In a court of law, torture would have to be defined before anyone can be charged with it. Thing is, it should be relatively easy to have waterboarding classified as torture, so that isn't the tricky bit. The tricky bit will be to get this to court in the first place."

    Oh yes, brighter minds before you have tried:

    http://tinyurl.com/3yrccz

    Maybe, you're The One.


    On a more general note, please, Venezuelan neighbours, do not fall into the Obama-Houdini traps. "Torture", auto bails, etc are distractions intended to cover the destructions: cap-and-trade, the healthcare trillions boondogle, and the federalization of education. Watch you liberties and pockets.


    Mark my words, my dear Venezuelan neighbours, there will be show trials of some kind once (2010-2012) the destructions kick in (inflation, high interest rates, soaring deficits, plummeting dollar, cap-and-trade taxes and etc. taxes). No/little panem, but plenty of circenses. Enjoy. Or immigrate to Canada.

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  • 128. At 4:02pm on 01 May 2009, TanSauNg wrote:

    123. At 3:45pm on 01 May 2009, peterbo wrote:
    120. At 3:30pm on 01 May 2009, TanSauNg wrote:
    "117. At 3:20pm on 01 May 2009, peterbo wrote:

    Classic tautology. Before claiming torture, first define torture, and then claim torture. Too hard on your logic?"

    No, that's pretty easy on the logic. But are you seriously trying to claim that waterboarding isn't torture? If so, how bad does treatment have to be in order for it to be torture?"


    I am claiming that, currently, there's no LEGAL definition of waterboarding as torture. Because, you know, there's the rule of law. And then, there's the rule of yes-we-can.

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

    And I agreed with you. I agree that we would need a legal definition of torture which includes waterboarding. All I'm saying is, I have doubts about whether or not this will ever get to court.

    And at the end of the day, laws should reflect what is right and wrong. Right and wrong should not be decided by looking at what the law is. That would be the tail wagging the dog. Forget the yes-we-can stuff, either waterboarding is wrong or it's right. Lets decide that first, then everything else can fall into place.

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  • 129. At 4:08pm on 01 May 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    Who is Peterbo and who are the Venezuelans he mentions!?

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  • 130. At 4:11pm on 01 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    peterbo (#89) " ... so Obama is talking of show trials ... "

    I haven't heard Obama talk of "show" trials. Where do you get this?

    I listened to his remarks on the subject a few days ago. He said he was inclined to look forward, not back, meaning that policy, not trials, was his priority. He also said that AG Holder would look into the question of whether any charges were appropriate.

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  • 131. At 4:12pm on 01 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 123, Peter

    "Because, you know, there's the rule of law. And then, there's the rule of yes-we-can."

    Indeed, there is the rule of law, which is why the Attorney General is investigating this case; and you are, obviously, correct in saying that there is also the rule of "yes we can" which is the real reason we did it.

    Clearly, the rules we apply to others do not apply to us, or at least not to those who believe we are above the law and bestowed by divine rights to do as we please whenever we decide it is appropriate to do so to achieve specific goals. Thankfully, the likes of Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, Abraham Lincoln and so many other Americans with a very different perspective of what our nation should stand for are not around to listen to the excuses that are being advanced to justify what we have always rejected.

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  • 132. At 4:14pm on 01 May 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    127. At 3:57pm on 01 May 2009, peterbo wrote:
    120. At 3:30pm on 01 May 2009, TanSauNg wrote:
    "117. At 3:20pm on 01 May 2009, peterbo wrote:


    You are right, though. In a court of law, torture would have to be defined before anyone can be charged with it. Thing is, it should be relatively easy to have waterboarding classified as torture, so that isn't the tricky bit. The tricky bit will be to get this to court in the first place."

    Oh yes, brighter minds before you have tried:

    http://tinyurl.com/3yrccz "


    Bright?

    Presumably this man and yuourelf do not beleive child abuse should be tried since it too is hard to define with the ridiculous precision you seem to think is required.

    Indeed are there any crimes outside murder that should be tried if such ultra precision of meaning is required?

    Fortunately courts operate more by common sense and not by intricate semantics.

    Water boarding was intended to be torture and the victims felt tortured.

    The word torture has meaning, like rape, assault, abuse etc



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  • 133. At 4:16pm on 01 May 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    115. At 3:07pm on 01 May 2009, peterbo wrote:
    112. At 3:00pm on 01 May 2009, Simon21 wrote:
    106. At 2:40pm on 01 May 2009, peterbo wrote:
    Chrysler/GM/Ford rose, throughout the decades, to $76/h, compared to $56/h at comparable companies"

    What comparable companies? No names? "

    Toyota, Honda, Nissan... Sound familiar?"


    Yes, are they equivalent? And what is the source for your figures? And can you confirm like for like in terms and conditions

    Or are you simply repeating blame the Union 1980s drivel

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  • 134. At 4:17pm on 01 May 2009, TanSauNg wrote:

    "127. At 3:57pm on 01 May 2009, peterbo wrote:

    Oh yes, brighter minds before you have tried:

    http://tinyurl.com/3yrccz

    Maybe, you're The One."

    I thought Jet Li was The One...?

    saintDominick - I'm no expert on the Nuremberg trials, so will take your word on that. Essentially, though, I don't need a legal definition to tell me the obvious. And obviously, waterboarding is torture. I agree totally with your previous definitions!

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  • 135. At 4:19pm on 01 May 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    114. At 3:05pm on 01 May 2009, SaintOne wrote:
    #113

    Just ignore him. Your just giving him the attnetion he craves. If you ignore him long enough he will just stop. And if he doesn't then let him just ammuse himself."



    Good advice but I am interested in right wing hysterical phobias. He claimed he hated europeans because of his colour.

    So what colour he thinks Europeans are is interesting.

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  • 136. At 4:20pm on 01 May 2009, as is wrote:

    #129

    The road to serfdom is always SHORTER (than you think). You will be surprised at the willingness of a majority of Americans to trade freedoms and liberties for "free", low-grade govn't services, and patronage. Already, MI, IL, CA, NY, WA, etc have this distinct Venezuelan flavour. The model is being replicated nationally, before your very eyes.

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  • 137. At 4:21pm on 01 May 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    On the definition of Torture, from Faux News (of all places!)


    "This is not rocket science and it is not art. Everyone knows torture when they see it."

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  • 138. At 4:26pm on 01 May 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    131. At 4:12pm on 01 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:
    "Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, Abraham Lincoln and so many other Americans with a very different perspective of what our nation should stand for are not around to listen to the excuses that are being advanced to justify what we have always rejected. "


    Yes one can imagine Jefferson and Lincoln sitting calmly while some intellectual pigmy tried to convince them that "waterboarding" wasn't torture.

    I don't think such an individual would have had a long career in govt.

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  • 139. At 4:26pm on 01 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #121. Hjamer: " I viewed the add. Is it a Republican Party add as you imply or something produced by a splinter group? It had no credits as a normal add would."

    Check out the name of the poster - John Boehner, Republican Leader in the House. I don't know that he could be called part of a splinter group or that he personally produced the piece, it looks a bit too professional for the work of a full time (?) politician. In any case, I haven't seen it run on any channel and Justin does not mention how he first came to see it - rather than being a Democratic operative, perhaps he's a shill for the Republicans, bringing it to our attention when otherwise it might have lain unseen.

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  • 140. At 4:32pm on 01 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Tan (#120) "In a court of law, torture would have to be defined before anyone can be charged with it/"

    No. Many things in the law are loosely defined, and become more specific through interpretations laid down in deciding cases.

    All the discussion above about the Geneva conventions is irrelevant, in my opinion, because the matter will be decided under US law. The applicable code is USC Title 18, part 1, chapter 113C, section 2340A (linked in post #12). This section prohibits torture, without defining specifically what is included. If a charge is brought under this section, the court will decide whether the specific acts alleged constitute torture.

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  • 141. At 4:38pm on 01 May 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #136

    Paranoia sucks, eh?

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  • 142. At 4:45pm on 01 May 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    89. At 1:19pm on 01 May 2009, peterbo wrote:
    "Uh-oh, so Obama is talking of show trials, but there's not a legal definition of "torture" for the suspect techniques? I hope this wsj piece opens your eyes:


    "http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124078817411057411.html "


    That fact you think this badly written, presumptious, arrogant drivel proves anything it says much for your limited understanding.

    The piece is rank with assumptions and tainted by the WSJs typical extreme prejudices.

    It is practically worthless as journalism or as an informative feature

    Or this one:

    http://tinyurl.com/3yrccz

    The problem with the left is, they "feel", and they are "instinctive", which means that their reason, most of the time, is fast asleep. And bears Obamas. Hey, why bother with leglities, it's "the-people-want-it-rule", innit?

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  • 143. At 4:48pm on 01 May 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    Happy Labour Day everyone.

    Remember the workers, and those who wish they were working but have lost their jobs.

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  • 144. At 4:59pm on 01 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Foeman, daveP, your gross distortions of history make it even easier for me to hate Europeans and view Europe with utter contempt. First of all, had it not been for American aid, the Soviets wouldn't have even been able to move their factories behind the Urals. That was the first thing they requested from America when aid was offered. If that hadn't happend, they would have lost for sure. Even with everything else including the Russian winters and the American and British attacks on Germany, had Hitler listened to his Generals and bypassed Moscow, he would have had a very good chance of defeating the USSR anyway. The Soviet campaign against Japan was a joke. By the time the US entered the war, Japan controlled all of East Asia. The USSR only entered the war in against Japan in the last few days before surrender to take four Japanese islands which has cost them all meaningful relations with the second largest economy in the world for 64 years. They were not a factor in the defeat of Japan and only played a diversionary role in the defeat of Nazi Germany. Their signifigance as a military force was greatly exaggerated deliberately. One Nazi general described their campaign accurately as an elephant being eaten by a swarm of ants. It was only through numbers alone and the impact the US and the RAF had on the rest of the German war maching that allowed the Soviets to win the battles they did. BTW, Britain lost WWII just the way it lost WWI. Had it not been for the Arrival of the Americans at the last possible moment, Brits would be speaking German and eating sauerkraut as their national food today. The rest is revisionism, all lies.

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  • 145. At 5:04pm on 01 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

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

  • 146. At 5:06pm on 01 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #138

    when you speak of intellectual pygamies you must include Joe Biden and Jimmy Carter.

    Plus Michelle, the entitlement Queen" Obama

    3 of the most clueless indviduals who have a national voice.

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  • 147. At 5:19pm on 01 May 2009, moderate_observer wrote:

    post #92 by m.a is a bit disturbing. Is this what you will want to happen just so you can villify a president you did not vote for? An attack on your country? I hope there is none like you in congress.

    Its so sad that politics is all about winning, and not about what is good for the nation. So many wishing the president will fail because they do not agree with his ideas, which I must admit most do not even care to know his ideas. they wish he will fail because he is from the wrong party or they did not vote for him. is not clear to them that a president's failure is also a nations failure?

    I guess the nation's failure and suffering is fine once your party is not blamed for it?

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  • 148. At 5:20pm on 01 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    I don't think many in USA realise just how much further the Bush Regime steered their nation away from their own values. One only has to compare the just and fair treatment given to Ms. Roxana Saberi recently, the American-Iranian journalist charged with spying. Iran have demonstrated higher standards and a higher ground than USA. Unconvinced Americans should check again to see how low their country's sunk.

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  • 149. At 5:38pm on 01 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    146 correct. Biden said yesterday that he would advise people to stay off planes and not take the subway. I think when the facts of the Mexican swine flu are dispassionately evaluated, it will be seen as a strain that is just about as contageous as most influenza viruses and at most only slightly more virulent than most strains communicated between humans. The worldwide panic will prove to have been unjustified. The Obama administration has been trying to undo the damage of Biden's remarks by spin control. If people listened to his advice, there would be a further major but unnecessary negative impact to the economy.

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  • 150. At 5:42pm on 01 May 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    146. At 5:06pm on 01 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:
    ref #138

    when you speak of intellectual pygamies you must include Joe Biden and Jimmy Carter.

    Plus Michelle, the entitlement Queen" Obama"



    Oh I don't think someone who worships at the feet of ALn Dershovitz and despises their racial inferiors should call other people intellectual pygmies.

    Aren't all these people Americans? Oh dear.




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  • 151. At 5:45pm on 01 May 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    141. At 4:38pm on 01 May 2009, SaintOne wrote:
    #136

    Paranoia sucks, eh?


    But is frequently funny, as on this occasion.



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  • 152. At 6:01pm on 01 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #144. MarcusAureliusII: "Had it not been for the Arrival of the Americans at the last possible moment, Brits would be speaking German and eating sauerkraut as their national food today."

    You don't really believe that the US entry into either world war out of sheer altruism do you? Had America stayed out and Germany succeeded, the United States would have been next on the list; it's not as if their aircraft, navy and submarines could not reach across the Atlantic. The development of an atom bomb coupled with their advances in rocketry could well have resulted in the German language becoming yet more widespread on the far side of the Atlantic. I imagine that Charles Lindbergh and his ilk might have even welcomed them.

    "The rest is revisionism, all lies."

    The cry of a defeated man in the face of the uncomfortable truth; paranoia at the very least.

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  • 153. At 6:07pm on 01 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #146. MagicKirin: "when you speak of intellectual pygamies you must include Joe Biden and Jimmy Carter."

    In that case, you must also include Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, neither renowned for their intellect.

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  • 154. At 6:18pm on 01 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    MO 147

    "Is this what you will want to happen just so you can villify a president you did not vote for?"

    No, it is exactly what I don't want to happen. But I think it very well might and it could well be the result of Obama's ill conceived policies. It's not about winning in politics, it's about survival of the American nation in a world filled with people who want to destroy America. And that includes much of Europe.

    S&M

    "I don't think many in USA realise just how much further the Bush Regime steered their nation away from their own values."

    I don't think Europeans or Americans on the political left know what those values actually are. They do not include surrender to anyone, they do not include the President of the United States acting as a supplicant to anyone. They do not include subordinating America's interests to anyone elses, and they do not include compromising the security of America for any abstract purpose or principle. Whatever those values are, they tower over everyone elses which is why America came from obscurity in less than two centuries to dominate the world and build a civilization unparalleled in history.

    The American women reporters being held captive in North Korea and Iran were utterly naive about the true nature of the world, just as most on the political left in America are. Those in Europe are not naive, merely cynical. I don't know whom I feel more contempt for.

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  • 155. At 6:26pm on 01 May 2009, toughdirtyjoe wrote:

    Let protect the rights of terrorists. America is so evil.

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  • 156. At 6:26pm on 01 May 2009, HabitualHero wrote:

    I wish Einstein was still around. He might be able to find a reason why every internet forum in the space/time continuum ends up being about WW2.

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  • 157. At 6:47pm on 01 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    97. Sam
    I do not disagree that India had more troops in the field, and, as will have been seen in other postings, Bill Slim is another of my big heroes.

    But, in the end, the campaign in the CBI theatre really wasn't the one that was critical. As far as I am aware, if you include Manchuria, even more Japanese troops were tied up in China than in India. But the capture of Singapore was, in the end, not that helpful to Japan, because it meant the Japanese naval forces were overstretched, and overmatched, trying to protect their supply of raw materials. This is where the US submarine forces came into their own.

    The US Navy crossed the western pacific in 500 mile leaps, and was bringing the war to the home islands, and that brought the war to a close long before Japan's land resistance would have been overcome by conventional land forces. In the end, while Japan had lots of troops, the thing that really mattered was ship building capacity, aircraft manufacturing capacity, and pilot training capacity. On all three Japan could not even come close to matching America - as Admiral Yamamoto had correctly forseen.

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  • 158. At 7:38pm on 01 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 129, Saint

    "Who is Peterbo and who are the Venezuelans he mentions!?"

    I suspect he is referring to Venezuelan-owned CITGO gas stations, refineries and petrochemicals operating and/or selling in the USA, and Chavez's audacity to donate heating oil to poor Americans.

    The US automaker problems that some posters have mentioned were not caused by unsustainable labor costs (the $76/hr ruse suggested by the right wing has been discredited and proven false). Their problems were caused by lousy investments such as buying Saab, Vauxhall, Opel and other foreign and domestic investments, their failure to prepare for the oil crisis that resulted in over $4 a gallon gas prices, and the ongoing economic downturn.



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  • 159. At 8:38pm on 01 May 2009, U13937281 wrote:

    Lets have a little grounding now

    .. Remember it is not all about Superman / Obama
    It is about the empowerment of the average citizen

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  • 160. At 8:58pm on 01 May 2009, somy_in_frankfurt wrote:

    If 'this' is indeed Obama's 'secret' foreign policy, it is admirable. I have not seen a more sincere take on America's role as a superpower(by an American)than that article by Andrew Bacevich.
    This approach would actually give America the moral highground it falsely claimed all these years while pursuing a self-centered foreign policy. It would be a step toward making America a beacon of rightousness it aspires to be.


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  • 161. At 9:18pm on 01 May 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    The only thing that is going to bring the Obama Administration down is either the Iraq war or the Afganistan one. He inherited the mess from a Republican Congress, the Executive Branch and the Judicial Branch of government during the GW Bush Administration.

    And he better think twice about getting "cold feet" by antagonizing or appeasing the Conservative Right. Even a grade school American child can can tell him the Conservative Right (and those Democrat conservative-donkeys in Congress) will be his downfall! And that is not a wild guess! President Obama knows he won the people's trust by promising that he would end the stupid, useless, costly, un-necessary war of attrition on both counts.

    He better not repeat President Lyndon B. Johnson mistake of taking on the Vietnam War knowing it was already lost and discarded his liberal plans for America. A war that both he and Kennedy inherited by a Republican President (Ike Isenhower). It cost JF Kennedy his life even before he begin the presidency.

    The fact is, Obama has already lost points by appeasing the Conservative Right on the Torture issue. He step right in the trap that the GOP and the Republicans wanted him in! Not a very smart step, indeed!

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  • 162. At 9:20pm on 01 May 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    119. SaintOne wrote:

    #105

    Apolgoies if I was not clear, but I do not think America encouraged extremism directly pre-9/11. There are a lot of things that America did that probably to anger a few people, but it was their actions after 9/11 that has made things worse.


    What do you imagine would have happened if America had done nothing to combat terrorism after 9/11? America's failure to react to the Islamic terrorist atrocities at her embassies in Kenya and Tanzania evidently did nothing to deter the terrorists.

    By the way, they are not extremists. There is a useful and accurate word for them, beginning with a 't'. And there is no reason not to use it.


    148. Richard_SM wrote:

    One only has to compare the just and fair treatment given to Ms. Roxana Saberi recently, the American-Iranian journalist charged with spying. Iran have demonstrated higher standards and a higher ground than USA.

    No, Iran has standards so low they can barely be seen from America's perspective. I note you continue to duck and dive and evade the debate about the extraordinary brutality the Iranians meted out to Zahra Kazemi, another female journalist with dual nationality, in her case Iranian-Canadian. If you really still don't know about her, I'll repeat that the Iranians raped her and tortured her to death, refusing to release her body to her Canadian son since then the torture would have been revealed. This didn't happen way back in a dark and brutal past; it was six years ago.

    You say Roxana Saberi has been given "fair" treatment. You have no way of knowing this because there is no evidence that she was guilty of any crime, or at least no published evidence, and her one-hour trial was closed to everyone, including her father. Her "appeal" is coming up soon and the Iranians may well release her try to draw attention away from their barbaric treatment of others whom they have accused of crimes.

    But you may be getting some support soon for your rosy view of the terrorist regime in Iran. Xie Ming is back at no. 124 in his latest incarnation as coololdiconoclast. And he is a real fan of Iran.

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  • 163. At 9:20pm on 01 May 2009, Dark Side of the Goon wrote:

    @155

    It's confusing, I know, but you have to.

    If you take prisoners, and they are uniformed soldiers, they are covered by the Geneva Convention and you have to treat them well.

    If you take prisoners and they are not in uniform, they are either

    a) enemey combatants, which makes them soldiers
    or
    b) Criminals. In which case they also have rights.

    Even if you come up with a set of definitions that changes what they are, they're still humans and they have the basic human rights. If you define them as something other than human, well, that just opens the door to situations like Rwanada, doesn't it?

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  • 164. At 9:21pm on 01 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #153

    GWB fine but although Reagan did not have an Ivy league education; his perception of the owrld is far more clear and nuanced than Obama's.

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  • 165. At 9:26pm on 01 May 2009, SONICBOOMER wrote:

    Andy Post, considering that the UK's post war economic recovery was slowed, denuded, by defence commitments, (the rearming for the Korean War-not part of previous British influence-was very damaging as an example), that only 1968 has seen, since the end of WW2, no British active military deployments somewhere, I'd would strongly argue against the familiar line of 'Europe relaxing while the US bears all the burdens'

    Unlike the US, European NATO nations maintained armies that needed conscription to be viable to help defend Europe in the Cold War. (The UK, against tradition outside of WW1 and WW2, did the same between 1947 and 1960 too).

    Considering how strained and stretched our forces are now, supporting US led ops, as well as routine commitments, this idea seems even more dubious.
    And contary to popular US opinion, most of the nations in Afghanistan are not subject to caveats limiting their operations, the one who most notably is however, Germany, has some historical and cultural reasons for this that should be obvious, however much we may not approve.
    Canada has suffered the highest losses relative to their size of any NATO nation.

    Often, some in the US (and guess on here will be the worst offender), throw 'ungrateful' at some of these nations.
    Frankly they can shove it, not the fault of them that these types in the US-granted a minority if a loud one, are just so hopelessly ignorant.

    And maybe not such a good idea to claim that the US has not 'lorded it', ask Central and South America about that.
    Which often well predated the Cold War too.
    This is the difficulty we have with the US over Cuba. Yes, it IS a repressive regime, however the US for a very long time helped, installed, armed many regimes far nastier.
    Often not for 'security', but for the shareholders of the United Fruit Company.

    It is impossible to be a world power without putting noses out of joint, I do agree that the US has done better than most in this regard, but lofty ideals do not sit easily with this with the best will in the world.

    The future?
    We know of the Marshall Plan, we know of the massive aid to Africa, they are both trumped though by another aid effort.
    From China, to the US economy, going on for years now.
    Could this one day create a tension?
    Maybe read up on the 1956 Suez Crisis and the reaction (and actions) by the US towards the UK involvement in this ill starred operation.
    And Wartime allies were running both nations, Ike in the USA, Eden in the UK.
    (For the record, the US was in the right here!)


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  • 166. At 9:38pm on 01 May 2009, rodidog wrote:

    76, Simon21,

    Your completely wrong. I never said America provided T-34 tanks. What I said was America was vital to USSR war effort by providing equipment essential to the logistical ability of the Red Army, as well as, raw materials essential to the war effort. If you care to argue otherwise, explain how they would have supplied these materials without greatly impacting their war production, especially between 1941 & 1943.

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  • 167. At 9:47pm on 01 May 2009, rodidog wrote:

    #77 Simon21,

    However equipment isn't everything as the Germans found and it was the ability of the Russians to keep fighting (Beria in tank supply, Kaganovich on the railways) plus the discovery of effective commanders which turned the tide in their favour.

    To claim it was all down to lend lease is grossly offensive,

    You do realize that almost all light skinned trucks Russia used was from lend lease. 90% of railroad rails, locomotives, and rail cars used by Russia came from Lend Lease. It's the ability to move men, equipment, and supplies that allowed the Red Army to be effective against Germany. It's not just about planes and tanks.

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  • 168. At 9:54pm on 01 May 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    #104, Feohme

    You are a good example of an "American" in self denial.

    The fact is, no one "hates" the USA much less "America" (which cover two continents and 30+ nations as a whole). They hate (and justly so) the conservative right wing's baloney the conservative right hurled at it's own people (Yes, USA citizens!). For eight whole years many of your countrymen and women criticized the GW Bush Administration for breaking international laws, establishing secret torture underground prisons (and bribing other countries to do so), trying to rip the US Constitution into shreds of paper, spying on it's own citizens, and that's just icing on the cattle dung!

    What the GW Bush Administration did during his eight years of administrating was to degrade, discredit, insulted, lower your nation's moral and obligation international standards to the level of a brutal dictatorial regime using lies, fear and torture. Why do you think Obama won hands down? And just like the rest of the Americas, the USA turned to the left and is now regaining some trust that was lost for eight whole years and the politicians who broke that trust are coming home to be judged. The problem is, will they be punished or just let go with a hand slap! If that happens, The USA will have another blood stain on it's history books for ever. It will no different than those right wing fascist governments who were brutally bought down during the last century in Latin America. Fascists thug which are being harbored in the USA at the expense of the US taxpayers.

    It seem you didn't learn much from the past 8 years or you just rather wish to ignore it!

    One thing you can be assured of, far too many in the USA will not forget it!

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  • 169. At 10:16pm on 01 May 2009, rodidog wrote:

    #102 SamTyler1969,

    Sam,

    I'm not sure what the WH was thinking, letting this go to bankruptcy was not a bright move. They should have offered the secured lenders a stake in the company for a chance to recoup their losses. I don't see a bankruptcy court agreeing that unsecured lenders and foreign companies can receive preferential treatment at the expense of secured lenders.

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  • 170. At 10:21pm on 01 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    153, David.
    "In that case, you must also include Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush (in addition to Joe Biden and Jimmy Carter), neither renowned for their intellect."

    It is pretty hard to define intellect. In any case it does not equate with performance. Jimmy Carter was an intelligent man, but a pretty poor president. Bush II does not appear to be intelligent, but.... I have to disagree with you about Reagan. Stupid people do not possess his sharp sense of humor

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  • 171. At 10:41pm on 01 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #161

    No what Obama can not do is cater to special interest group anymore than he already is.

    Most americans are against the auto bailouts and don't like the financial packages executive got.

    Most American do not want the Union perks paid by the American people.

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  • 172. At 11:05pm on 01 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 161, Fox

    I believe President Obama is making a mistake in Afghanistan, but I don't think failure to produce positive results in that area will hurt him politically. What would bring him down is a prolonged economic downturn after spending hundreds of billions of dollars to stimulate the economy or, heavens forbid, nominating a Centrist to replace Justice Souter. The latter would be tantamount to heresy and considered an attack on women rights to choose.

    It may be a few months before we can judge the effectiveness of his economic policies, but on the Justice issue I expect him to nominate a female pro-choice candidate, probably a Hispanic to guarantee the support of that pivotal constituency in 2010/12.

    If there is one thing that should be obvious to everyone by now is that President Obama is a strategist and that he considers every move carefully to ensure he achieves his long term objectives.

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  • 173. At 11:10pm on 01 May 2009, as is wrote:

    "141. At 4:38pm on 01 May 2009, SaintOne wrote:
    #136

    Paranoia sucks, eh?"


    ?!?! I am not a Venezuelan, ooops, American. Unfortunately, Canada will soon bear the consequences of the wise choice the neighbours made: through Nafta we'll import all the forthcoming niceties of the Obama era: inflation, protracted economic slow-down, increase of living/business costs through cap-and-trade, higher unemployment and higher interest rates, etc. Unfortunately, voting has consequences not only for the fools.

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  • 174. At 11:29pm on 01 May 2009, as is wrote:

    158. At 7:38pm on 01 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:
    Ref 129, Saint

    "Who is Peterbo and who are the Venezuelans he mentions!?"

    The US automaker problems that some posters have mentioned were not caused by unsustainable labor costs (the $76/hr ruse suggested by the right wing has been discredited and proven false). "


    Do please explain, how an investment in Saab/Opel/etc, oil price, etc. end up with higher UAW labour costs per hour?!


    Re labour comparable costs (according to leftist powerhouse AP):

    http://www.manufacturing.net/News-GM-Vs-Toyota-Wages-And-Benefits.aspx


    The difference is in the benefits, i.e. the Big 3 are in the retirement/healthcare business, and have an automotive business on the side.

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  • 175. At 11:47pm on 01 May 2009, timohio wrote:

    re. 8. Schwerpunkt:

    "I lose no sleep over what methods are used to extract intelligence details from Hajjis."

    Okay, I promised myself that I wasn't going to waste any more of my time on this blog, but I glanced at it when I came home from work and I can't let this one go. Hajjis, my ignorant friend, are people who have gone on a hajj, a pilgrimage to Mecca. It has nothing to do with Islamic fundamentalism. All good Muslims are supposed to go on one hajj in their lifetime, if they can afford it. Torturing hajjis is like torturing Catholics who have gone to Lourdes.

    At least get your terms right if you are going to smear an entire culture. Use a dictionary.

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  • 176. At 00:17am on 02 May 2009, as is wrote:

    "125. At 3:54pm on 01 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:
    Ref 117, Peter

    A cursory look at any dictionary would provide you with a definition of torture, but I doubt such enlightment would influence change among those determined to defend the indefensible."


    Mmmm, so in your fantacy world you may sentence based on a dictionary definition. I don't want to underestimate Chavez/Fidel, but this probably does not happen even in Venezuela/Cuba. My guess is tar and feathers will be just as efficient legal remedy.

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  • 177. At 00:20am on 02 May 2009, frayedcat wrote:

    Why do you act like the WH has any power to "let" Chrysler go into bankruptcy. Chrysler can do what it likes within the law, the Fed Gov money was on offer but Chrysler didn't like the deal. In Ch 11 they feel they can get a better deal...because they'll walk away from their debts.

    Or do certain critics actually PREFER big government and bailouts without strings attached, or do they not like bailouts, or does it depend on what day it is...

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  • 178. At 00:26am on 02 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

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

  • 179. At 00:29am on 02 May 2009, Andy Post wrote:

    SONICBOOMER (165)

    "I'd would strongly argue against the familiar line of 'Europe relaxing while the US bears all the burdens'"

    So would I. NATO won the cold war, not just the U.S. Also, when it comes to open warfare our allies have answered the call repeatedly, Britain especially (with the exception of Vietnam, which I'd argue was the right call). I have no issue there. My assertion is that the burden of security outside of Europe has been born almost exclusively by the American taxpayer over the past 60 or so years, and much of that responsibility has been centered on former European colonies. Much of this cost has been incurred during peacetime. Indeed, outside of Europe and Japan, I'd argue that the latter half of the last century could be labeled as a Pax Americana, which (while certainly not beneficial to all) sure did work out well for Europe and Japan. Believe me, it hasn't been cheap. That doesn't mean I don't believe it was the right thing to do. I don't regret it. We obviously benefited from it, too.

    But now things have changed. As many Europeans on this forum have proudly pointed out, the E.U.'s GDP is actually slightly larger than the U.S., and yet we continue to fork out most of the cash for security around the world (once again, outside of Europe). That doesn't seem right.

    I'm suggesting only that the U.S. might end that arrangement unilaterally, not that Europe should necessarily make up the difference. If a Pax Europa isn't judged necessary (and it might not be), then certainly we can end Pax Americana. As you point out, a lot of people around the world might actually applaud that.

    I'm inclined to agree with your side point about Latin America. We have interfered at every opportunity with often nothing but our own interests in mind. Still, there is one thing the U.S. can point to: with the exception of Cuba, the western hemisphere consists entirely of democratically elected governments (some openly hostile to the U.S. -- they aren't puppets). Somehow, some way, even with all our numerous missteps and miscalculations, and even when at times we seemed to be acting in the polar opposite direction, we did manage to achieve that. Latin America is unquestionably better off for it.

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  • 180. At 00:31am on 02 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

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

  • 181. At 00:39am on 02 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 174, Peter

    "Do please explain, how an investment in Saab/Opel/etc, oil price, etc. end up with higher UAW labour costs per hour?!"

    It doesn't, that's precisely my point. What I said, or tried to say, in my original post on this subject is that the financial difficulties that GM and Chrysler are having are not caused by high labor costs, but by bad investments, the recent oil ripoff, and a major downturn in the global economy.

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  • 182. At 00:55am on 02 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #179

    I would argue that in this generation the U.S has suportered progressive democracies in Latin America:

    Chile, Costa Rica, Colubmia and despite Lulu inflamatory comments towards caucasians Brazil.

    The human rights violators and repressive regimes are all opposed to the U.S: Cuba, Venezuela niCuragua and Bolivia.

    These 4 nations use terror and intimidation against domestic opponents.

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  • 183. At 02:03am on 02 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 165, Sonic

    "...the US for a very long time helped, installed, armed many regimes far nastier. Often not for 'security', but for the shareholders of the United Fruit Company."

    We did indeed, and we are now paying the price for the excesses of the past. The rise of socialist governments in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, Brazil and other Latin American countries is not an accident, but a consequence of untenable living conditions, despotism, exploitation, and absence of hope.

    In spite of our ill-conceived policies of the past Latin America remains our closest ally and trading partner, The dream of most Latin Americans is to someday enjoy the same standard of living and freedoms we have.



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  • 184. At 03:26am on 02 May 2009, Dark Side of the Goon wrote:

    Marcus: Europeans were angry that America fought at all, they were hoping Iraq would attack America. The polls taken at different times during those events prove it.

    Link, please, or it didn't happen.

    My memory of the feeling at the time was "oh, lorr, the Americans are going to do something ill-advised and unilateral that won't end well."

    Further, there was a feeling of "look, the last few times we've involved ourselves in modifying the Middle East it has actually made things worse in the long term. We should avoid doing it again."

    And also "What WMD? We haven't found any!"
    - and indeed there were none, as we now know.

    And, further "If we do this, doesn't that make Iran the major power in the area? Is that a good thing?"

    Obviously I can't speak for the entirety of Europe, just the bits I knew personally.

    Anyway, I look forward to seeing your polls which demonstrate unequivocally that Europe wanted Iraq to attack America. Should be a hoot.

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  • 185. At 03:28am on 02 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    176, peter.
    "Mmmm, so in your fantacy world you may sentence based on a dictionary definition."

    We don't even need a dictionary definition. Everyone, except lawyers for the defense, knows what torture is. Everyone also knows what rationalization is, what expediency is....

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  • 186. At 03:31am on 02 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #183. saintDominick: "The dream of most Latin Americans is to someday enjoy the same standard of living and freedoms we have."

    Fine, as long as they dream in their own countries rather than speeding up the process, becoming illegal immigrants in the USA.

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  • 187. At 03:33am on 02 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    Fidel Castro is much misrepresented. He overthrew the loathesome Battista, and chased American organized crime from his island. Let's have a little truth here. America has supported some truly vile foreign leaders. Battista was one of them.

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  • 188. At 03:39am on 02 May 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #157

    Interested,

    I disagree. The Burma Campaign was critical because it had a strategic objective that, while perhaps mistaken, could have won the war.

    Simply, Japan aimed to liberate India from Britain. In doing so they could have removed a huge source of material and manpower from the Allies. India fed and clothed Britain during the war, and she gave her best men and provided some of the finest units. India provided fighting men to every theatre in the war, no other nation did. India was there from Dunkirk to VJ day. The Gurkhas fought endlessly and at the tip of the tip of the spear.

    That the Indian populace would have been unlikely to ever support Japan is irrelevant, the objective was there. And Japan committed huge air, land and sea resources that could otherwise have been used to delay the Island Hopping Campaign.

    Much is made of America's industrial might and Britain's dogged resistance. But without India the Allies would likely have lost.

    Japan did not have the manpower to hold back the US in the Pacific because Burma ground down the Japanese army in ways no other campaign did.

    We rarely speak of India (including Benghal and Pakistan) as a major ally in the war. We need to reconsider our understanding of the Pacific theatre in the context of the nation that bled the enemy more than any other. To it's praise, the WWII museum (formerly D-Day Museum) in Nawlins does mention this effort. Not enough but they try.

    So when we bash our chests and yell about Russia or Britain or america winning the war, we forget the quiet, resiliant people who really made it possible. India.

    Without her Allies, India would have fallen. But that was the point of the Allies. Being Allies. We forget that in our drunken bar, trailer living, false patriot, chest thumping idiocy at our peril.

    Historian Sam

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  • 189. At 03:54am on 02 May 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    156. At 6:26pm on 01 May 2009, HabitualHero wrote:
    "I wish Einstein was still around. He might be able to find a reason why every internet forum in the space/time continuum ends up being about WW2."

    That's easy, just look at the evidence before you:

    a) It's been just long enough ago that every 'expert' knows an exhaustive amount of detail about it.
    b) It's scale is large enough that examples can be found in it to support any preconception.

    Thucydides used the Peloponnesian war to explain all the symmetries and asymmetries in his world. Now his version is almost all we know about the subject.

    KScurmudgeon
    reading Thucydides, but not Einstein

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  • 190. At 04:04am on 02 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #188. SamTyler1969: "Japan aimed to liberate India from Britain."

    That was ultimately Gandhi's doing - the Empire was dissolved in August 1947.

    "India fed and clothed Britain during the war"

    I don't think so - there was very stringent rationing, including clothing, until years after the war had ended. All of the Empire nations contributed.

    "We rarely speak of India (including Benghal and Pakistan) as a major ally in the war."

    Since Bengal straddles two countries, shouldn't that be "including Bangladesh"?

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  • 191. At 04:44am on 02 May 2009, Andy Post wrote:

    Sam(188)

    "We rarely speak of India..."

    Who's denigrating the role India played in WWII? There's no way the U.S. and Britain push back a previously undefeated Japanese army that fast in Burma without India. Without India, the Japanese could simply have just turned south at the Indian border. That may have cost us parts of Australia.

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  • 192. At 04:52am on 02 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

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

  • 193. At 05:41am on 02 May 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    Post 163.

    It is said that if it wasn't for Latin America the US would starve and if it wasn't for China the US would go barefoot and naked. Just noticing in a 24 hours period the thousands of trucks of produce and other commodities crossing the US-Mexican border into El Paso alone makes that observation possible.

    It's a funny thing to realize there is no love lost between Latin Americans and their neighbors to the north. Especially between Mexico and the USA.

    The polite talks between Obama and Latin America is temporary. During the Last 8 years of the conservative right and the GW Bush Administration the USA lost what little respect it had in Latin America. The fact that most Latin American nations are now looking toward Europe and Asia for trade, weapons technology, and cultural interactions has been going on for the past 8 years. Most USA embassies are sandbagged in most Latin American countries and they are not very effective in diplomacy.

    NAFTA, which was designed, approved and implemented by the US for the past ten or so years is now being blamed by Canadians, North Americans and Mexicans as being responsible for enslaving half of their populations. One must remember that NAFTA was implemented when right wing governments supported by the USA were in control. What is interesting indeed is China, Russia, the Middle East making inroads diplomatically in Latin America. Most Latin American nation do not consider the US a friend but the neighborhood bully. Decades of US Administration supporting brutal ultra right wing fascist dictators in the Western Hemisphere has created a hatred many Latin Americans have for the US.

    Although President Obama is more popular in Latin America than all the US presidents (past and present) put together is not going to settle the traditional and regional indifference between the US and Latin America.

    It going to take longer and that is a big "if." The next 10-20 years will tell the story.

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  • 194. At 06:00am on 02 May 2009, BraunSA wrote:

    30. At 11:28pm on 30 Apr 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:
    "America's power does not come from anything so superficial as its military armaments or money, those being the result, not the source of its strength. It comes much more profoundly from an inner strength of its people"

    I love your comments and agree with your statements. Never bet against America! I just want to add to this portion that the Military might and the grit and fortitude to use it is also our strength! It's not superficial as the Royal Navy allowed Brittania to rule the Waves, the US Military is the main reason any one takes us seriously or our money. The world is full of well intentioned kind hearts. Dr. Spock Diplomacy is not effective. And as the last sentence states, the inner strength of it's people, willing to take up arms against tyranny, will prevail...

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  • 195. At 06:37am on 02 May 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    Back to the original question -
    "Is this his secret foreign policy - or at least the underpinning of it?"

    First, it is no secret policy - He has been shouting it since the beginning of his campaign for office.

    Second, showing respect for other nations, acknowledging the errors of the past, in particular but not exclusively the errors of the recent past, is both a gesture of reconciliation and a step toward placing future relationships on a basis of truth. And so an opening toward transparency in our relationships.

    Third, a humbler attitude is only one piece of a comprehensive policy designed to improve American standing in the world, which must improve our security and all our other interests.

    Look, we are the 900 pound gorilla in the room. Even when we are not in the room, we dominate all the action. Who is equal to even half of our power in any significant international measurement excluding only sheer population? China? Russia? India? Brazil? Any European nation? The EU would be close in some measures, IF they were actually united in a way that significantly multiplied their significance in the measurement of your choice. Shaking some man's hand, even giving traditional honor to some mediaeval monarch, cannot diminish our real power one iota - and they just may enhance our diplomatic effectiveness.

    But this knowledge, in our naivete, has led us to offend where our interests as well as our nature should have us befriend. We are a trading nation - rich trading partners, and lots of them, make us much, much richer. (China cannot become a serious competitor with us in any sphere, except by becoming very much like us, as they have shown they now well understand. Russia cannot be both prosperous and totalitarian, in spite of a readiness to sacrifice her people again and again in the effort.)

    Our best interests are best served by returning to our true nature, refined and made both more realistic and more sophisticated by the experience of the "American century". But then, that century is barely half over. Like an able CEO Obama looks to the opportunities of the future, not to the clumsy postures of the past.

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 196. At 08:16am on 02 May 2009, rodidog wrote:

    #193 foxtrottango1,

    It is said that if it wasn't for Latin America the US would starve and if it wasn't for China the US would go barefoot and naked. Just noticing in a 24 hours period the thousands of trucks of produce and other commodities crossing the US-Mexican border into El Paso alone makes that observation possible.

    The U.S. is the worlds largest exporter of food compared to any nation; only the EU exports more food. The U.S. is also the worlds largest importer of food, again only second to the EU. The reason for high imports in food is due to diversity rather than necessity.

    China does accounts for 86% of all shoe imports and 34% for all apparel wear. We might go temporarily barefoot, but not naked. In any case, we can find another supplier for both shoes and clothes, China would be hard pressed to find another consumer.

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  • 197. At 08:23am on 02 May 2009, U13937281 wrote:

    maybe obama is acting more white than black
    (just joking)

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  • 198. At 08:56am on 02 May 2009, U13937281 wrote:

    re 197
    whoops 'This comment has been referred to the moderators'.
    .. what I meant was maybe Obama is settling into his new role gaining some credibility

    (Get Your Hands Dirty)

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  • 199. At 10:50am on 02 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #187

    There is bad than there is worse

    Batista and the Shah bad

    But Castro and Khomeni worst.

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  • 200. At 12:56pm on 02 May 2009, as is wrote:

    Surprise, surprise. Obama will be reviving the Bush military commissions in Guantanamo:


    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/02/us/politics/02gitmo.html?hp


    Get indignant, lefties!

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  • 201. At 1:04pm on 02 May 2009, as is wrote:

    193. At 05:41am on 02 May 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:
    Post 163.

    ...

    NAFTA, which was designed, approved and implemented by the US for the past ten or so years is now being blamed by Canadians, North Americans and Mexicans as being responsible for enslaving half of their populations..."



    Sir/Madam/Comrade, speaking on behalf of the exploited proletariat/masses is a noble and time-honoured marxist tradition, while research of public opinion is merely a capitalist maneuvre of distraction from the epic class struggle.

    Just for the record, poll after poll shows the majority of Canadians support NAFTA. NAFTA and the GST, introduced by the Malroney's CP, and fully exploited by Chretien/Martin, dragged Canada out of the Trudeau social engineering deficit bog.

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  • 202. At 1:08pm on 02 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 186, David

    "Fine, as long as they dream in their own countries rather than speeding up the process, becoming illegal immigrants in the USA."

    My point was that in spite of our meddling in their internal affairs, and the bellicose statements from some "Latino" politicians, most people in Central and South America look up to us for guidance and try to emulate our way of living and our values. Our relationship with that part of the world would have been very different if we hadn't supported so many ruthless dictators (Trujillo, Batista, Perez Jimenez, Gomez, Stroessner, etc.) and allowed our corporations to plunder their natural resources with absolute impunity for decades.

    Illegal immigration is a serious problem, and that is not limited to Latin Americans, it also includes the Eastern Europeans that enter the USA illegally via the Canadian border, but can you envision a raid or an officer manhandling a Ukranian grandmother because she doesn't speak English and is here illegally? I would not want to be in the shoes of the police officer or police department responsible for such behavior, which seems to be not only acceptable but encouraged when applied to Mexicans and Central Americans.

    People enter the USA - and Europe - illegally because of the desperate conditions they endure in their country, but also because there are employers ready and willing to give them a job the moment they settle down in our countries. Unless we fine and eventually shut down farmers and business owners who hire illegal immigrants the flow of undocumented workers will continue. The reason our government has not been more forceful in enforcing the law is not because they love illegal immigrants, but because of pressure from several industrial sectors who depend on the influx of unskilled or semi-skilled workers to fill the vacuum cause by the prosperity we enjoy.

    I don't mind admitting that none of my children or grandchildren is planning to apply for back breaking farm jobs that pay $30 a day with no benefits. College graduates and tradesmen are simply not interested in doing the work that illegal immigrants tend to do and unless we manage to talk unskilled Europeans into coming to our country to perform agricultural, meat packing, and other low paying jobs I am afraid we are going to have to accept a darker shade as part of our landscape.


    I think it is also important to remember that immigration visa requirement is relatively new. When my Dad entered the USA via Ellis Island in 1920 he had no immigration papers, few possesions, but big dreams of achieving what his country had denied him. Those dreams are now being selectively granted to those whose physiognomy and culture are more akin with the Norman Rockwell image we are so desperately trying to preserve, and whose skills best satisfy our needs. Ironically, the latter often means the entry of immigrants who compete with Americans workers seeking similar employment, while those we love to hate perform jobs we are not interested in.

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  • 203. At 1:45pm on 02 May 2009, british-ish wrote:

    175. At 11:47pm on 01 May 2009, timohio wrote:

    "Hajjis, my ignorant friend, are people who have gone on a hajj, a pilgrimage to Mecca. It has nothing to do with Islamic fundamentalism. All good Muslims are supposed to go on one hajj in their lifetime, if they can afford it. Torturing hajjis is like torturing Catholics who have gone to Lourdes"

    It could be exactly like that. A friend of mine proudly bears "Haj" as part of her name. Her family is Greek Orthodox. Christian Arabs take the honorific if they go to Jerusalem. (Which has been impossible for the last forty years.)

    Yes. This blog seems to descend into the usual madness even faster than before, doesn't it?

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  • 204. At 2:03pm on 02 May 2009, Muhammed wrote:

    first 365 day is the milestone.This is too early to say any thing. But senate have to cooperate with him.Senate is not cooperating with him on first 100 days.

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  • 205. At 2:13pm on 02 May 2009, british-ish wrote:

    201. At 1:04pm on 02 May 2009, peterbo wrote:

    "Sir/Madam/Comrade, speaking on behalf of the exploited proletariat/masses is a noble and time-honoured marxist tradition, while research of public opinion is merely a capitalist maneuvre of distraction from the epic class struggle."

    Yes. Couldn't have put it better myself. What provoked that sudden change of heart?

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  • 206. At 2:25pm on 02 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #201

    the majority of Americans support NAFTA and would have liked it extended to Central America and Columbia.

    Union and their democratic lackys opposition blocked that mutually beneficial trade agreement

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  • 207. At 2:28pm on 02 May 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    A New York View

    ;-)

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  • 208. At 2:42pm on 02 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    158 St. D wrote158. At 7:38pm on 01 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    "The US automaker problems that some posters have mentioned were not caused by unsustainable labor costs (the $76/hr ruse suggested by the right wing has been discredited and proven false). Their problems were caused by lousy investments such as buying Saab, Vauxhall, Opel and other foreign and domestic investments, their failure to prepare for the oil crisis that resulted in over $4 a gallon gas prices, and the ongoing economic downturn."

    Well, maybe. This isn't recent, and it isn't just about $4/gal. fuel. For 40 years (or more) GM has been in denial about its problems, and if GM has been in denial, the UAW and CAW have been in denial-beyond-denial.

    Here's an example: with wages and benefits, the average Chrysler Canada employee's total wages and benefits package is more than double the average annual household income in this country (source: Globe & Mail, last week). The CAW thinks it is outrageous that they should be asked to pare back wages and benefits to the level of Toyota, Honda and Nissan.

    But hold on a minute. Why should the Chrysler employees be paid as much as the Toyota, Honda, and Nissan employees? Those companies are making money, selling products consumers actually want to buy. Shouldn't the Chrysler workers expect to be paid substantially less less?

    No siree. Nothing like a bullet proof culture of entitlement.
    Denial, denial, denial.

    In any case, perhaps GM might have done a little better if they had concentrated on making a better product at a better price.

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  • 209. At 2:45pm on 02 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    188. Sam.

    Preliminary comment: "The Gurkhas fought endlessly and at the tip of the tip of the spear."

    Absolutely.
    Still do.
    And their recent treatment by the UK Gov't is shameful.

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  • 210. At 2:54pm on 02 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    peterboo

    "Surprise, surprise. Obama will be reviving the Bush military commissions in Guantanamo:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/02/us/politics/02gitmo.html?hp
    Get indignant, lefties!"

    He has no choice. After all his trash rhetoric has gotten him elected, he is confronted with exactly the same problem President Bush had, what to do with dangerous people who if let free would clearly attack the US again and again until they die. They can't be let go. Of those who have been mistakenly released, around 10% or more have returned to the battlefield already. Caving in to the naive sentimentalism of the inane American left or the cynical Europeans would be suicide. Even Obama isn't that stupid.

    BTW, America produces far more than enough food to feed itself and can bring manufacturing of shoes and clothing back to the US if it had to. Where does anyone think all of those shoe factories in China came from in the first place anyway?

    Except for a few rare minerals not found in sufficient quantity or at all on US territory, America does not need anyone or anything beyond its borders to survive very comfortably. Transferring technology and factories overseas where it is cheaper to exploit them is not necessarily a one way ride. They can be brought back. BTW, should a company like Microsoft be punished by the EU, it has the power to alter its operating systems, exclude them from Europe, and effectively shut Europe down single handedly by locking them out of other computers around the world. By the time the cumbersome legal process against them took it's course, Europe would be dead. It almost is already. Other companies like Intel have the same power. If there is any dependency in this world, it is Europe's dependence on America...and Russia. It wouldn't bother me one bit if the apron strings were cut without warning. Russia did it just to show Europe that in its energy supply, Russia, not Europe is in control. America could do the same with technology. Europe may be the weakest and most vulnerable political bloc in the world today.

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  • 211. At 3:09pm on 02 May 2009, C Smith wrote:

    Anyone notice the music on the advert?
    How hilarious.

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  • 212. At 3:19pm on 02 May 2009, amishtechie wrote:

    The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment defines torture as "...any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions." The United States is a signatory of the treaty.

    Major Edwin Glen was court-martialed for authorizing the the use of the "water cure" for interrogating Filipino guerrillas after the Spanish-American War.

    The U.S. Military Commission in Yokohama charged Yukio Asano with "willfully and unlawfully, brutally mistreat and torture Morris O. Killough, an American Prisoner of War, by beating and kicking him; by fastening him on a stretcher and pouring water up his nostrils." He was sentenced to 15 years for that.

    http://antipemurtadan.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/waterboarding-in-vietnam1.jpg

    The American soldier involved in the above photo was court-martialed as well.

    It seems the US military has long defined water boarding as torture.

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  • 213. At 3:22pm on 02 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

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

  • 214. At 4:18pm on 02 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    188. Sam - Here's why I disagree.
    The points you make are true enough, and it is a very long time since I read about the CBI in any depth. What I remember is this:

    First, the Japanese hopes of bringing about an armed uprising in India had a lot of wishful thinking about them. Yes, it was clear that British days in India were numbered, and this was visible even before the war. But the kind of civil unrest or civil change that was likely to occur was not what the Japanese envisioned. I could be wrong, but that is my impression. Further, the British had allocated the worst, most clapped out equipment to 14th Army, reflecting their own assessment of the CBI as a backwater. It was Slim who turned this army of castoffs into something remarkable.

    After a visit to the Gambia (transit stop on the way to Cairo and Teheran) FDR made it very clear to the British that America was not in the war in any way to restore the British Empire in Africa and Asia. America did not consider allocation of resources to India a very high priority.

    Second, the effort the Japanese were willing to devote to this task was both inadequate and ill conceived. They were at the end of a very long, extremely tenuous supply chain. They were vulnerable to naval attacks on their supplies, they were vulnerable to the Chinese forces in Northern Burma (another murky tale of venality and corruption - I seem to recall something about Vinegar Joe and a Peanut, warlords, venality and corruption, unreliable troops, civil war within China, venality and corruption, more warlords, profiteering, and - oh, did I mention venality and corruption?), and they had to face the British and Indian forces in India. It also seems to me that the Japanese commander at the front loathed his superior officer in the rear, and at one point accused him of not supplying even a single grain of rice to the forward units.

    Yes, they eventually got to Kohima and Imphal, but really, they were miles and miles and miles away from anywhere, and those battles took place late in June 1944 - way, way, way too late. After, in fact, the great Marianas turkey shoot, that pretty much broke the back of Japanese naval aviation.

    American efforts to fly supplies to China over the hump, to operate B-29's out of China, and to build the Burma and Ledo roads are amazing, and interesting stories. They certainly had a symbolic and political purpose (the political consideration resulted in China being a permanent member of the Security council) but were of almost no military value. Well, they did suck more Japanese troops into mainland China, that part is true.

    The British objective of the campaign, aside from keeping the Japanese out of India, was to return to Burma, and retake Rangoon. In some measure it was to regain a bit of the prestige lost in the humiliating rout at Singapore. Slim achieved all of these things, and brilliantly so. But Rangoon is still an awfully long way from Osaka.

    Even if the British had lost all of India, how would that have prevented the US from commissioning the carriers that made the taking of Saipan and Tinian possible? The 16 fleet and light carriers that formed the backbone of this ever growing force (remember the photo of the fleet anchored at Ulithi?) were all commissioned before December 31, 1943, and the keels of the remainder had all been laid. Nothing that happened in India would have changed this.

    The Japanese did not lose the various pacific island for lack of raw manpower. On the contrary. Japan lost the pacific islands for lack of logistical capability: Not enough merchantmen; not enough destroyers, frigates, sloops, and escorts to protect their supply chain; not enough aircraft carriers - and especially not enough trained pilots - to prevent the US Navy and Marines from advancing across the western pacific. The problem here (for Japan) was one of raw industrial might: Japan had nothing to match, e.g., the steel mills of Pennsylvania and the Ohio Valley.

    I agree that every soldier, bullet, and grain of rice sent to the Japanese Army in NW Burma was a diversion of materiel and attention from the fronts that mattered, and, worse, an additional strain on a supply chain that was already beyond Japan's ability to maintain. I.e., the entire campaign was a strategic blunder by Japan from its very inception. But it was a voluntary choice by Japan to pursue that campaign, whatever mission-creep may have occurred later.

    The British in India posed, at best, a very remote threat to Japan. Japan had little to gain even if successful. If Britain had been ejected from India entirely, it would have done little to stop the US Navy and Marines in the Western Pacific. The American advance across the Pacific posed a direct and mortal threat to Japan, and one that Japanese heavy industry was incapable of meeting.

    When the war ended, Japan still held all of Fr. Indo China, still held large portions of the Dutch East Indies, and still had over a million men deployed in China. Little good it did Japan. It all withered on the vine.

    Without disparaging the efforts of the Indian army, in pursuing the campaign in Assam Japan was fighting the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time, against the wrong enemy.

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  • 215. At 4:21pm on 02 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 208, Interested

    "This isn't recent, and it isn't just about $4/gal. fuel. For 40 years (or more) GM has been in denial about its problems, and if GM has been in denial, the UAW and CAW have been in denial-beyond-denial."


    The average skilled-trade UAW members at GM earn $32.32 per hour. Obviously, that does not include the cost of the benefit package which adds an additional $12 an hour to GMs labor costs. It is a good wage, but nothing spectacular and it is not a major factor in the demise of the auto industry if we consider the fact that labor costs amount to about 8% of the cost of a vehicle. Unfortunately, companies that have been around for decades and that offer pensions to its workers do incur considerable liabilities and that is, indeed, a problem.

    The biggest problems facing the U.S. auto industry are bad investments, lack of vision, indifference towards fuel efficiency, and inadequate quality control.

    Most of the financial assistance given to the auto makers in recent months has been used to meet debt obligations rather than structural and design improvements needed to compete with foreign firms. Not surprisingly, we continue to fall behind and sooner or later our auto industry will go the way of the steel industry: overseas or owned by foreign firms operating profitably in North America.

    The UAW and CAW have made significant concessions in recent months, it is now up to the CEOs, Directors, Board Members, engineers and designers to mitigate the effect of existing debt and produce vehicles that people want to buy.

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  • 216. At 4:43pm on 02 May 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    Sam# 188 [ and others]
    Thanks for the reminder about the Indian Gurkhas and their valuable part in support of the allies.

    Marcus # 213
    Your mention of the shameful treatment of the Gurkhas leaves many in the UK with a bitter taste in the mouth as well regarding the governments decision. Governments do not always get it right.
    Thought you would find this interesting, seeing as the Special Force, or Chindits as they were called, operating behind enemy lines included some American personnel.
    http://www.chindits.info/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chindits
    As you so rightly state the peoples of many countries, America included have revolted against Britain in the past. I think most on the blog would agree that at the moment you are revolting too.
    FYI, We Brits are very well informed on all the relevant facts reading British History books, though we never took the time to make a long search through the comic section in the libraries for the American slant on things. { Our libraries are sacrosanct where silence is golden and reading some American History versions and ending up rolling around on the floor with laughter is never appreciated there.}

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  • 217. At 4:45pm on 02 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    213. MAII

    Well, not really.

    The American colonists were hardly slaves (although, as pointed out in previous threads, that certainly didn't stop those colonists from owning slaves themselves).

    The origin of the American War of Independence was the wealth of the colonies and their reluctance to part with any of that wealth to pay for a war that had been of enormous and enduring economic benefit to those colonies. Arguably one of the most bourgeois revolutions in history.

    Some slaves.

    Then, too, I don't seem to recall the British playing dead before the Nazis, either. Maybe I missed the part about the RAF flypast welcoming the Germans to London in the long hot summer of 1940.

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  • 218. At 4:53pm on 02 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #202. saintDominick: "My point was that in spite of our meddling in their internal affairs, and the bellicose statements from some "Latino" politicians, most people in Central and South America look up to us for guidance and try to emulate our way of living and our values."

    I understand that - and there are many in Europe who do the same thing. But they do it at home; for example, consider the UK. So much of the American way of living has been absorbed there, even down to changes in the use of language. Forty years ago (and more) few people had what we would consider the necessities of modern life - mostly baths, not showers, tiny refrigerators, very plain kitchens and bathrooms, only black and white television, almost no personal hygiene products for men, no microwave ovens, no pizza, MacDonalds and other fast food sellers - and little or no ice in drinks! The list of the Americanisation of Britain is almost endless. Those of us who wished to live a better life took the steps to immigrate legally; if I could do it, then why not others? It goes without saying that Britain has caught up with America with regard to its way of life but also with many of its values, if not always admirable; for example the litigious nature of America has been imported by the British. Even in the political arena American ideas have been absorbed; the former prime minister, Tony Blair, attempted to use a "presidential" style and needless to say, against the will of the British people, joined his American contemporary in sending forces to Iraq. Britain now has a Justice Department, as if there never had been "justice" in the UK.

    All this and more indicates to me that American values and lifestyle can be achieved in one's own homeland; where there's a will there's a way. I have no doubt that this will be dismissed as simplistic (for which I apologise in advance), but if you lived in an area which had become so changed because of illegal immigration, perhaps you would better understand my feelings on the matter.

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  • 219. At 4:53pm on 02 May 2009, SONICBOOMER wrote:

    Those STILL defending torture, knock yourselves out.
    Since you seem so keen to defend illegal acts (it seems to salve your own paranoia and fear of.....I dunno, stuff), why not go further?
    Tell us about the bravery of Capt Calley and his men at Mai Lai.

    Said it before, it is just moral cowardice, nothing more, perhaps therapy might help?
    What exactly are you so scared of?
    You live in country of 300 million, a vast place, with a defence budget that exceeds the next two dozen nations combined, with a huge intel apparatus (that is reliant on not only the co-operation but on the bases in nations you keep on insulting).

    The chances of you being a victim of a terrorist attack from Islamists is tiny.
    I quite understand those in places like NY or Washington being a bit more concerned, but it is noticable that the most swivel eyed proponents of torture are, more 'Red State'.

    You have much more chance of being a victim of violence from one of your own, be it domestic or being in the wrong place at the wrong time when a fellow citizen loses it and starts shooting up a mall, or store, or school, or church or just takes shots at passing cars.

    But, lest we forget who was behind the second worst terror attack in US history.
    And a huge, awful one by any standards.
    The late, unlamented Tim McVeigh.
    A man who had views it seems not that far removed from certain types on the radio of a certain TV channel.
    He was also deeply paranoid.

    Now we hear of various groups stockpiling up against, well nothing in reality but plenty from inside their heads, egged on by the more far out members of what was once a much more moderate party.
    Who no doubt agree with all this 'Obama is a socialist / commie / UN plot / anti christ dribbling.
    I would say if there IS an elevated terror threat, it is more likely to be very home grown.

    So be careful who you consort with, keep away from those gun shows (where McVeigh hung out remember), since by your own twisted logic, if you think the US should still torture, YOU might be the one who would find out just what water torture is, hey, we read your e-mails, we reckon you might know something, we don't really know, but just to be sure.
    Your rights? Hey buddy, YOU thought it was OK to trash them when it was only against brown skinned people who are not your own pretend version of 'Christian'.

    Of course, you now have no fear of such things, since the man you so despise in the White House had ended that sort of thing.
    To protect you, protect you in the real world, not on planet fruit loop.



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  • 220. At 5:10pm on 02 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    215. At 4:21pm on 02 May 2009, saintDominick wrote, inter alia:

    "The biggest problems facing the U.S. auto industry are bad investments, lack of vision, indifference towards fuel efficiency, and inadequate quality control."

    Lack of Vision - agreed, in spades. These are the folks who for example canceled, and literally crushed, the EV-1. A decade ago.

    "Indifference towards fuel efficiency"
    No, I disagree. They weren't indifferent to fuel efficiency. They were (and, no doubt in their hearts still are) actively hostile to any attempt to improve fuel efficiency.

    They were also hostile to any suggestion that cars were unsafe in any way and might need measures to improve safety. They fought the introduction of seat belts. They fought the introduction of air bags for a generation.

    Read "Unsafe at any Speed" sometime, if you can ever find it in a library.

    Why is it that the Library copies of this book constantly disappear, no matter how many copies the libraries purchase? Perhaps it is related to the reason GM had to pay Ralph Nader what was, at the time, the largest punitive damages award in a defamation case in US history.

    The Globe & Mail put total compensation including all wages and benefits to CAW members at well over C$ 100/hr. The argument that direct labour costs only make up 8% of the cost of the assembled product is specious, and, if I may say so, a shining example of the mentality of entitlement that has killed these companies. The CAW settlements set the pattern for the industry - including many component suppliers. It reminds me of the example in Slaughterhouse V where the cook doling out the soup keeps getting fatter and fatter, because nobody will miss the little amount he skims for himself.

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  • 221. At 5:29pm on 02 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #208 and 215

    The U.S car manufacturers made some very bad business and financial decisions with their apporach to labor and to product.

    Ford was not as negligant as the other two. I don't like Fords as a car but if I were going to buy a car from the big 3, I would only buy a Ford.

    In regard to the UAW contract GM and Crysler may have signed those ridicolous agreements; the job bank is obscene as a Hummer. But none of us agreed to it and since most americans are not union members why should we subsidze this group?

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  • 222. At 5:32pm on 02 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 219, Sonic

    "I would say if there IS an elevated terror threat, it is more likely to be very home grown."

    I would not discount the probability of another foreign attack, but I agree with your observation about the probability of internal social unrest being a greater cause for concern. Our government should spend more time investigating the vigilante and extremist groups that are popping up everywhere in the USA to minimize the possibility of another Oklahoma City disaster or increased violence in the USA. The paranoia of those who are arming themselves to the teeth in preparation for a foreign invasion, or because they don't trust our government, is very worrisome and should not be ignored. These are very radical elements, well armed, and convinced they are victims of perverse plots to take away their freedom and rights.

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  • 223. At 5:40pm on 02 May 2009, Feohme wrote:

    168. At 9:54pm on 01 May 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:
    #104, Feohme

    You are a good example of an "American" in self denial.

    ...er..."what are you talking about foxy".

    Just a couple of points:

    1. I'm not American
    2. Give the size of my waistline at the moment, I'm probably not exercising enough self denial.

    Can I ask you yo look at my post again? You may have confused a few posts there.

    OOh - nice bit of cheddar there - lovely...don't mind if I do.

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  • 224. At 5:41pm on 02 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    uninteresting foreigner;

    "The origin of the American War of Independence was the wealth of the colonies and their reluctance to part with any of that wealth to pay for a war that had been of enormous and enduring economic benefit to those colonies."

    Is that the trash your history books are spewing to rationalize the British Empire's loss of the American colonies? The American Patriot Thomas Paine wrote that it was illogical for an island to rule a continent. He didn't say anything about the opposite. Just be glad Britain isn't America's colony...or if it is that we don't impose the kinds of taxes the King of England imposed on Americans. We say that the power to tax is the power to destroy. Taxation without representation, the cry of the American patriots acknowledged that without any power to control or even influence the power to tax them, the colonists were in effect slaves just like the rest of the subjects of the British evil empire. One third of the Colonists supported the revolution, one third supported the Crown, and one third were indifferent. If a large percentage of the colonists were bourgeois merchants, artisans, or farmers, that's because in the godforsaken wilderness they inhabited, that was the only way to survive. Britain hadn't invented the social welfare state it lives under yet.

    "Then, too, I don't seem to recall the British playing dead before the Nazis, either."

    What do you call the surrender of Czechoslovakia? What do you call Chamberlain's refusal to accede to the British military's demands to build armaments because he was afraid of antagonizing the Germans? What do you call allowing Germany to secretly rearm without forcing inspections and compliance the way Europe reacted to the conditions of the truce in the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq in 1991. Europe wouldn't even sign on to a UN Security Council demand for inspections under threat of military reprisals if Iraq continued to resist cooperating. For Chamberlain as for Europe today and in 2002 it was peace at any price. That attitude is the surest way to become a slave. If you are not willing to fight for your freedom and maybe die defending it, you won't have it long. Fortunately for Britain, someone far more powerful came to its rescue only because America knew that if it didn't, eventually it would have to confront the Nazis when they were even stronger. Most Americans, 80% according to the polls of the day opposed entering the war in Europe prior to Pearl Harbor. A visit from the Royal family begging for help a year or so earlier and pleas from Churchill didn't change anyone's minds. America intends to maintain the strongest military in the world indefinitely. It spends as much as the next 24 nations combined on its armed forces. It will not forget the lesson of Pearl Harbor even as Europe has clearly forgotten all of the lessons of WWII. Those who forget the lessons of history are condemned to repeat them according to Santyana. If Obama forgets the lesson of 9-11, we will repeat that too. If we do, he's toast.

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  • 225. At 6:00pm on 02 May 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    Marcus,
    Why dont you go out more,find your self a nice Lass.
    But for goodness sake stop annoying the good folk on this blog.
    Play your cards right and change your attitude,at the moment all you have
    is a weak hand with little to play with.

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  • 226. At 6:04pm on 02 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 218, David

    "Those of us who wished to live a better life took the steps to immigrate legally; if I could do it, then why not others?"

    I suspect that most, if not all, illegal immigrants would rather enter the USA legally. Unfortunately, our immigration laws do not allow that and put strict limits not only on the number of immigrants coming from each country (quotas), but on their skill level as well. The need for new or additional talent to satisfy our needs is understandable, but shouldn't we make similar provisions available for unskilled workers whose services we desperately need? I live in Florida, where there is still a relatively large agricultural base, and most of the farm workers I see are "Hispanic". I doubt employers hire them because they don't like Americans, they do it to take advantage of cheap labor and increase their profit margins and because most Americans do not want to do that kind of work.

    IMO, we should have laws that allow unskilled or semi-skilled workers to enter the country legally for a specific period of time - e.g. one or two years -if they can provide evidence of a job offer. Such arrangement would allow farmers to meet their labor needs, the government would realize an increase in tax revenues since "legal" immigrants would be subject to tax liabilities, and the immigrants would enjoy the opportunity of having a job without fear of raids and overt cultural antagonism.

    The current situation is untenable and contributes to criminal elements taking advantage of the mayhem to enter our country and carry out activities that are inconsistent with what most immigrants come here for.

    BTW, I lived in California (Barstow) for 9 years, and used to visit Texas (Houston, El Paso) and New Mexico (Las Cruces, White Sands Missile Range) fairly often before I retired. I am not insensitive to the concerns you voice, I simply believe that there are ways to solve this problem without resorting to inhumane treatment or serious impact to our industry at a time when they need help.

    Your description of England long ago reminded me of my one-year stay in Kings Sutton and Oxford in 1959, especially the part about baths (no showers)and there were definitely no McDonalds where I lived, which was a good thing; I sort of liked fish and chips and an occasional cup of tea when the coal fireplace was not enough to warm up the place. I do enjoy the comforts of modern life, but miss the simplicity of long ago and the values we enjoyed, which I believe are far more important than the material benefits of modern life.

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  • 227. At 6:35pm on 02 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    225. At 6:00pm on 02 May 2009, ukwales wrote:

    "Marcus,
    Why dont you go out more,find your self a nice Lass.
    But for goodness sake stop annoying the good folk on this blog.
    Play your cards right and change your attitude,at the moment all you have
    is a weak hand with little to play with."

    Dear Wales:
    (Who knew the Prince would like this blog - feather in your hat, Justin.)

    Please re-read your post. It has a somewhat earthy and distinctly humorous secondary interpretation that perhaps you may not have intended. Not unlike Sam's omission of a hyphen a week ago.

    If your observation is correct, the "nice Lass" may not be interested.

    Yours,

    IF

    p.s. Marcus, the advice at 225 probably isn't bad advice. It is clearly well intended, although it is a bit personal for a blog.

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  • 228. At 6:55pm on 02 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    224. MAII
    Yes, well "taxation without representation".
    A fair enough point, to be sure.

    But are you unable to admit that the 13 colonies gained enormously from the Seven Years War? Do you think the colonies paid anything like the taxes paid in Britain to fund that war? Do you not feel that those who benefited from the war ought reasonably to have been expected to pay a share toward the cost of that war?

    Are you implying that the colonies would gladly have paid their share of tax the very next day if only they had been granted the vote?

    It seems that the financial aspects of the Seven Years War may have been omitted from your schooling.

    The irony of it is that the colonists, including one George Washington, were happy enough to volunteer to risk their lives to remove the French menace from their frontier. No complaints about lack of representation then.

    But just ask them to dip into their pockets to pay for the war in ready cash, well, that's something completely different. Then it's not merely their lives, but money. Intolerable.

    Now there's a parable about love of gain.

    Ah, the enduring industriousness of Americans. Too bad that habit of thrift was forgotten after 1980.

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  • 229. At 7:35pm on 02 May 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    #27 I.F.
    My intensions to that eminant historian Marcus was only for is well being.
    His grasp of world events is breath taking.
    His ability to see the other side of things is only mached by his knowlage in all things.Did I entend that second meaning?,was my post subliminal,was it done tongue in cheek, so to speak.
    Sir, I am as pure as the driven snow!!.

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  • 230. At 7:53pm on 02 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    228, IF, we forgot about thrift long before 1980.
    FDR probably had something to do with it.

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  • 231. At 8:02pm on 02 May 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    #228.I.F.

    No taxation without rep;etc.
    America had many friends and supporters in Parliment,all taxes were repealed by Pitt long before the main shooting started.
    So they still owe us for the tea in Boston!!!

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  • 232. At 8:15pm on 02 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    227, InterestedForeigner:

    "somewhat earthy and distinctly humorous secondary interpretation"

    I did not notice that secondary meaning in ukwales' post until you mentioned it. It is indeed very funny, and so appropriate. Even if it was unintended, it shows that ukwales is a deeply witty person. And so are you, for picking up on it.

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  • 233. At 8:15pm on 02 May 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#202 #222 and #226 Saintdominick

    Yes. Sad to say but yes, very probably. Lastly, yes again but with this thought. Many undocumented immigrants DO pay taxes if they have forged documents which some do. I doubt they would file for tax rebates or try to collect Social Security benefits.

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  • 234. At 8:16pm on 02 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    231, it wasn't really very good tea. Especially after it fell overboard
    after being mishandled by the longshoremen's union.

    So, we probably owe you guys some Big Macs, and that's about it.

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  • 235. At 9:18pm on 02 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    225, ukwales.
    "Play your cards right and change your attitude,at the moment all you have is a weak hand with little to play with."

    Maybe that is why he is so angry.

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  • 236. At 10:27pm on 02 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    uke of wales

    I don't look to see the other side of things, I look for the right side. Fortunately I don't have to rely on this site or anything related to BBC to find it or I would be lost in an abyss of distortions and lies forever. You seem slighted that I didn't respond to your previous posting. Normally when I see your moniker at the top I just skip it knowing in advance what to expect. You on the other hand have no I idea what I am going to say, just that you won't like it.

    I think Iranian American traitors should visit Iran to find out what they are really selling out to, not their imagined fantasy of some non existant Islamic paradise. Just try to keep your mouth shut while you are there and stay out of jail though or you may not make it out alive. Others who took that chance haven't. They don't look kindly there on anyone who dissents from the Islamic Revolution's rhetoric or performance, especially women who may have attended soccer matches or basketball games in other contries that exercise less control over them. Maybe they see it as the taming of the shrew or something. They have yet to discover the dunking stool though. Our colonial forefathers were more clever and perceptive about keeping civil order at least domestically.

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  • 237. At 10:57pm on 02 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    Some interesting points on the nomination

    1. obama believes that empathy is important to the position. to many that looks like judicial actvism. The role of the court is to judge and render decisions by the law. Putting a judge who lets their feeling dictate decision is going down the slippery slope.

    2. Leaving aside Harriet Myers, the Dems did not show GBW courtesy in allowing his nomination to go to a vote. Historicly the republican have allowed almost all judicial nominees to go to a vote. There is an obscure rule in the Senate (I heard this on two different programs) that the ranking minority party on the judicial committee can block the vote in that commitee. And since Al Franken has not taken his stolen seat the Republicans can still fillibuster.

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  • 238. At 11:18pm on 02 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Uninteresting foreigner

    "But are you unable to admit that the 13 colonies gained enormously from the Seven Years War? Do you think the colonies paid anything like the taxes paid in Britain to fund that war? Do you not feel that those who benefited from the war ought reasonably to have been expected to pay a share toward the cost of that war?"

    I don't see what benefit or difference it made to the American colonists whether they were slaves of the British Imperial Empire or the French Imperial Empire. The mistake they made was in thinking they were citizens of the British Crown just like all other British Citizens. When they found out their mistake and that they were not in fact full fledged British citizens with whatever rights that would have conferred upon them living in say England, (sham that it was) they took the best possible action they could...they gave Britain the treatment it deserved and "threw the baggage out."

    Unfortunately, it is illegal under the Constitution for the US to impose export taxes, otherwise I'd push for an export tax on all technology especially anything exported to Europe...like the next version of Microsoft Windows. But even so, it does feel good to know that people in Britain and the rest of Europe see that they are affected by decisions made in the United States with nothing to say about it and their welfare, the consequences for them given little if any weight in those decisions. The shoe is on the other foot now...permanently. You don't like it?

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  • 239. At 11:32pm on 02 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    uke of wales

    "231. At 8:02pm on 02 May 2009, ukwales wrote:
    #228.I.F.

    No taxation without rep;etc.
    America had many friends and supporters in Parliment,all taxes were repealed by Pitt long before the main shooting started.
    So they still owe us for the tea in Boston!!!"

    Wrong as usual and whatever was done was utterly insufficient. From the Declaration of Independence;

    "Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends."

    Here's the original full text with its original spellings. Read it sometime and learn something about what America is and why it is.

    http://www.earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/freedom/doi/text.html

    One difference I have with my fellow countrymen is that I don't think there is peace between the US and Britain yet. At least not until it stops telling itself, its people, and the world lies about America. And BBC is one of its voices telling those lies. Brits posting here are others parroting the lies they've been told. Most Europeans in general and certainly Brits know even less about America than most Americans know about Europe. The difference is that Americans have no reason to care.

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  • 240. At 11:46pm on 02 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    238. Export taxes only penalize the countries that impose them on their own industries.

    Trying to tax the export of technology would be particularly problematic. If you don't obtain patents for it in the other countries, then it is free for everyone else to use anyhow, so that's obviously a self-defeating strategy, and if you do obtain patents, then not licensing or otherwise exploiting the technology is an exercise in cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    Given that the US is the world's largest exporter, and a fair slice of America's exports include proprietary technology, your policy would injure Americans first and foremost.

    And then, if for some bizarre reason other countries chose to retaliate by shooting themselves in the foot the same way, you'd pretty soon find out that technology transfer is a two-way street. America also imports a lot of technology, to its benefit.

    Sam thinks you're French, but I'm beginning to wonder if your last name isn't something like Chavez, or Milosevic, or Mugabe. Similar level of comprehension of basic economics.

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  • 241. At 00:18am on 03 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    238 continued.

    I notice that you didn't answer the questions. That being the case, lets ask some more questions about the seven years war, since you don't seem to understand what that was about, either.

    Take a look at a map of the 13 colonies before the seven years war.
    Now take a look at a map of the 13 colonies after the seven years war. Can you see a difference?
    Did that increase in territory increase the wealth and opportunity for the American colonies?
    What industries eventually developed in those lands taken from the French?
    Did American commerce benefit from ridding the coast of the presence of the French?

    American colonists had the same rights as Englishmen generally, with the exception of not being able to elect members from "rotten boroughs", and the like. Sort of like Puerto Ricans, today.

    Of critical importance, they had the right to become stinking rich by the standards of the times, according to their merits and abilities, a right of which thousands and thousands availed themselves.

    These former peasants could own land, without an overlord. It was far better and more productive land than their ancestors had ever known. They could have it simply for staking it out and clearing it. They could have a social status and standing based not on birth, but on merit. At the time they had more effective personal liberty than almost any other society on earth, and a future of almost unbounded economic opportunity. Ever wonder why so many Scots, English and Irish (and Germans, and others) picked up sticks to move to the colonies?

    Some of my ancestors built a roaring great business in the American colonies before the revolution, and then rebuilt it in British North America later on. They, and thousands like them, didn't settle in North America with the idea of becoming poorer.

    So the British subjects in North America were slaves, eh? Right. Sure.
    Just like people who live in DC or Puerto Rico, or Guam, are slaves.

    Please point to the source reference in which Franklin, Washington, or Jefferson identify themselves as slaves.

    Lessons on the US Civil War can't be far off ...

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  • 242. At 00:41am on 03 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    uninteresting foreigner

    You are proof of what I say. The expansion of British colonies in America was of benefit to the government of Great Britain. If Americans made more money from it, the British government could collect higher taxes it felt justified in and Americans had nothing to say about it. I still suggest you read the Declaration of Independence and then an American history book written by an American, not your pack of British lies. Then read the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights and find out what a real democracy is about. Then read the EU Constitution and find out what democracy isn't about. Then read the UK's constitution...if you can find and assemble it...wherever...whatever it is.

    I hope the next time Britain calls 1-800-USA HELP, we are as unhelpful as Brits say we were the last five times. If that happens, there may not always be a Britain, a plessed blot to pontificate from.

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  • 243. At 00:49am on 03 May 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    #155, Dirty Joe "Let protect the terrorists, America is so evil".

    You really work on being obnoxious, don't you? First of all, your definition of "America" is incorrect, annoying and disgustingly stupid. The term "America" cover the entire Western Hemisphere of which the United States is a piece of it. In fact, with the exception of a few tiny islands, the USA one of the two major countries in the Western Hemisphere who speak the English Language. One speaks Portuguese and the rest speak Spanish. Obviously, History, languages and geography are not required subjects in your grade schools.

    Why do you North Americans insist on insulting the rest of the Americas by inclusion and insinuating you are the only "Americans" on the Western Hemisphere? Why not say United States of America, Amerika, or North America? That would pin point the area where all the finger pointing is coming from and it's more in tune with the ignorance, arrogance and prejudices in regards to the Western Hemisphere and the rest of the world, wouldn't it?

    The point is, and with the exception of Obama, the US has no credibility in the Americas especially in the Southern Hemisphere. It's going to take a lot more than Obama to gain the respect the Americas have for the rest of the world.

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  • 244. At 00:51am on 03 May 2009, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 236 Macho Autisticus [with sincere apologies for the comparison to anyone genuinely suffering from autism, their families and friends]

    "I don't look to see the other side of things..."

    For some reason, the words Sherlock, No and Sh*t spring to mind.

    "Fortunately I don't have to rely on this site or anything related to BBC to find it or I would be lost in an abyss of distortions and lies forever."

    But Macho - you are

    "Normally when I see your moniker at the top I just skip it knowing in advance what to expect. You on the other hand have no I idea what I am going to say, just that you won't like it."

    Yes Macho, you're just sooooo unpredictable. Every time, we ask ourselves 'Will his latest posting be warm, witty, wise and openminded? Or just the usual ultra-right-wing anti-foreigner-and-anyone-to-the-left-of-Attila-the-Hun-or-even-Macho hate-filled rantings?"

    And every time, the answer is the same.....

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  • 245. At 01:14am on 03 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

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

  • 246. At 01:27am on 03 May 2009, Bluecity88 wrote:

    It's nice to hear Obama seems to be looking up, and all it really comes down to once you get past the ominous music and what not is yes, after one hundred days i do feel safer thank you.

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  • 247. At 01:35am on 03 May 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    #223, Feohme.

    Sorry for my post #166, Feohme. Thinking that you were Marcus Aurelius ll posting was my mistake. It's like comparing the BBC with the FOX news media. But look at this way, that Marco is really an entertaining fella with all his misguided logic. We could learn a lot of what went wrong in the US during the GW Bush Administration with this dude on board. He is the typical Conservative Right individual in the USA. He is now calling the the British and the BBC nothing but a batch of liars (post 239). Isn't that hilarious and typically Republican?

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  • 248. At 01:48am on 03 May 2009, Kittle wrote:

    Marcus, it is true that Britain followed a foolish path of appeasement before the start of the Second World War, pursuing peace at any cost right up until Hitler was knocking on their doorstep. But you seem to be forgetting that the USA did exactly the same thing, ignoring Imperial Japan's conquests and expansionism in favour of peace, right up until the Japanese forced them to act by attacking Pearl Harbour.

    I'm not going get into an argument here, but this, I think, needs spelling out to you. Most of Europe, contrary to your belief, does not hate the USA. Most Europeans don't hate American citizens. What they do dislike is a certain subset of Americans. Arrogant, ignorant, xenophobic bigots. People who have an image of America as the great infalliable saviour of the planet. People who decry anything that they don't agree with as lies and who proudly proclaim that they won't even try to see other people's points of view in an argument. People who try to claim that America is solely responsible for victory in every war and campaign it has won, ignoring the contributions of the millions who've fought and died alongside Americans as allies on countless battlefields across the globe. In short Marcus, people like you. I don't hate you. I pity you. Because you can't seem to see that it's your attitude, and the attitudes of people like you, that give America such a bad reputation in Europe and make us all that much more resistant to working with you; and that makes us all weaker.

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  • 249. At 02:04am on 03 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    foxtrottango1, we booted him out of the Republican party. Now, if we
    could just get rid of a few other people...

    Kittle, we're not sure that he's an American. That is to say, we're innocent
    as a group until proven guilty.

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  • 250. At 02:07am on 03 May 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    #241 Interestedforeignor, "lesson of the US civil War can't be far off...."

    Let's hope that don't happen. Most African Americans still have a grudge and over two centuries of grievances against those who chained, enslaved, tortured and lock them up. Is it any surprise that when the Red states (right wing conservative southern region) had control of the Legislature, the Executive and Judicial Branches of government for eight long years, they reintroduced torture in Amerika?

    I shudder to think of a civil war in the USA. But it seem the Conservative Right is bent on starting one. Thanks to Obama that can be avoided and perhaps the reason why he won big time!

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  • 251. At 02:12am on 03 May 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    All,

    It is interesting to me, and deeply troubling, that the folks who like to spew extreme views both in general and on this blog, really hate America. And while they are consumed by this hatred they claim to be America, to live 'American' values.

    Small example, they claim to want a strong America, but one without allies. They claim to love America, but want our President to fail. They want this so much that they keep whining on and on about another terrorist attack, hoping for it so that they may get some grasp at power again.

    It is sad that such people honestly think they represent America. That they honestly believe they are the majority. And the saddest thing is that in taking control of the Republican party, they have destroyed one of our great institutions. And in doing so have left the conservatives in this nation without a political institution.

    No wonder the Republican party has shrunk to 20% of the voting population, is extinct in the NE and West coast and dying out in the 18-30 demographic. When guys like Arlen Specter change parties, there is something deeply wrong. When idiots in the Republican party try to shrug it off with weak humor, it is worse.

    For those of you who are not American, I can reassure you these guys are crazies. There is no point arguingf facts with them, they don't believe in facts. No value in arguing science, they don't believe in science. No point in arguing ethics or religion, they are not Christian or anything similar. You cannot argue history, it has been revised to fit their voew of the world.

    Fat sweaty old men in black shirts praying that something awful happens so they can somehow scare the population into reelecting them. They are sad. They deserve your pity.

    Forgive them, but don't think for a second you can change them. They are everything that is wrong with America. Sad under achievers. Intellectual miniatures. Ethical disasters.

    I'm bored with the increasing idiocy on these threads. I'll check back in a while to see if it has improved, but for now this is a good place for the loonies to scream. After all, in the real world they look like loonies. The guy who corners you in a bar and bangs on and on without listening or changing the subject. The guy who smells a bit, drinks too much and never achieved anything.

    G'night All. Be a lover, not a hater.

    Sad Sam

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  • 252. At 02:20am on 03 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 243, Fox

    "Why do you North Americans insist on insulting the rest of the Americas by inclusion and insinuating you are the only "Americans" on the Western Hemisphere?"

    Generalizations seldom reflect reality. Most North Americans (people born in the USA, Canada and Mexico) do not insult or put down our neighbors to the south. I spent many years in South America and the Caribbean and I actually found it odd that most people in that part of the world refer to US citizens as "Americanos". I suppose that may be due to the fact that we identify ourselves as such, or perhaps because Unitedstatians is an odd term to use.

    In the end what is important is the way we treat each other, not the term we use to identify our nationalities.

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  • 253. At 02:20am on 03 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Whirling dervish;

    "It's like comparing the BBC with the FOX news media."

    I think the people at FOX would strongly resent that slight. FOX is openly self proclaimed as a conservative view of the News while it clearly separates its reporting of facts from its opinions. BBC by contrast gives us a sham pretense of being an independent objective non partisan observer when in fact it intermixes its opinions with its reporting so inseparably, it's often hard to see where one ends and the other begins. If for no other reason than this alone, BBC is an inferior journalist to any of the Commercial American news media no matter how superficial their reports are. Compared to the best of it like NPR/PBS, BBC is a joke.

    Kettle;

    This is the pot calling back.

    "Most Europeans don't hate American citizens. What they do dislike is a certain subset of Americans. Arrogant, ignorant, xenophobic bigots."

    Oh, you mean like the majority of American voters who elected George Bush...twice (well only once really if you don't count the election of 2000 he and the Republicans stole...but it's a tradition. How do you think Kennedy got elected in 1960?)

    "People who try to claim that America is solely responsible for victory in every war and campaign it has won, ignoring the contributions of the millions who've fought and died alongside Americans as allies on countless battlefields across the globe"

    Frankly, the truth is that while we appreciate the sacrifice, most of the time they just got in the way. It was Patton who said "I'd rather have a German division in front of me than a French division behind me." That didn't come from thin air. General Monkey Boy was nothing but trouble and so was Britain's high command. It was all Ike could do to keep the alliance from falling to pieces because of British lamebrainedness. Being Britain's military ally is no easy task.

    "In short Marcus, people like you. I don't hate you. I pity you. Because you can't seem to see that it's your attitude, and the attitudes of people like you, that give America such a bad reputation in Europe and make us all that much more resistant to working with you; and that makes us all weaker."

    America would be much stronger without Europe, particularly France and Germany. Defending Germany from the USSR was a lead weight around America's neck for over 40 years. If I can in any way contribute to a complete separation of my country from Europe as President George Washington sagely advised in his farewell address and to which every President adhered until Woodrow Wilson, the worst President America ever had, I will consider that I've done my patriotic duty. Here's hoping you're right.

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  • 254. At 02:48am on 03 May 2009, Kittle wrote:

    "Oh, you mean like the majority of American voters who elected George Bush...twice"

    Not at all. I was specifically refering to you and your ilk who crop up on forums like this and spew hatred and bile everywhere. (I would at this point like to reasure other readers that I'm not refering to anyone on this specific thread other than Marcus and I recognise he's part of a small, albeit vocal, minority)

    I'm too tired to reply to the rest right now. I'll give it a go after a good night's sleep, if I feel like feeding the troll.

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  • 255. At 02:51am on 03 May 2009, Via-Media wrote:

    214 InterestedForeigner

    True enough about industrial production. The City of Pittsburgh alone produced more iron & steel than the output of all 3 big Axis powers, combined.

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  • 256. At 02:58am on 03 May 2009, Via-Media wrote:

    219 Sonicboomer

    I agree that the internal threat has been neglected. Newsweek had a very interesting article recently about the resurgence of white supremacy groups due to the bad economy and the election of our first black president. Membership is way up, and although they don't use hate as a recruiting tool any more (they don't want to scare anyone away) they are doing all that they can to preserve what they call "white rights."

    I was utterly sickened by the photos of 4 and 5 year old little boys and girls holding up homemade signs saying "white power."

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  • 257. At 03:21am on 03 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Kettle

    This is the pot calling you back again. For years I heard Europeans spew hatred and lies about the US. Those that didn't didn't ever seem to care no matter how much America had sacrificed in the past on their behalf. When it's pointed out to them, it is always dismissed as having ultimately been in America's interest too. I wondered why Americans never answered them. So I decided to take it upon myself to do just that, to play their game. And I must say that this being my first taste of it on BBC blogs, it's pretty much as I expected. Europeans can dish it out but they can't take it, not at all. That's the sure sign of losers. For people who live in such fragile glass houses, they sure threw a lot of stones. And wow do they get boiling mad when the few simple facts of who and what they and their countries are all about and what America and Americans are all about gets thown in their faces. That's what makes it so much fun. I just can't seem to help myself, I can laugh at people like you all day long.

    In the larger scheme of things, Europe, once the center of the political solar system is now nothing more than a group of minor objects getting relatively smaller and in farther out orbits all the time. I think I'll demote European nations here an now being a self certified political astronomer as a cluster of Plutoids, no longer even small rocky planets. The real big players on the scene, China, Japan, and India which along with the US represent about half of the people in the world and half of the world's GDP are on pretty good terms with each other. They are also the future while Europe is consigned to the past, it's obsolete inefficient self indulgent self deluded societies utterly uncompetitive, increasingly irrelevant, utterly unimportant. The recent financial crisis is just one more force pushing it into a farther out orbit even faster than it was going there before. I'll watch for you in my telescope before you disappear over the horizon altogether.

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  • 258. At 03:44am on 03 May 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#251 Sad Samwise

    Your good voice is heard by many. Do not think that there are not others here who share your thoughts and also hope for the madness to end.

    Peace be with thee this night.

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  • 259. At 04:26am on 03 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    aquarizonagal

    Feeble, insipid, mewling.

    If you want to take me on then take me on. Don't hide behind that miserable excuse for a man's skirt.

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  • 260. At 04:57am on 03 May 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    In ref. to 243 & 252:
    "Why do you North Americans insist on insulting the rest of the Americas by inclusion and insinuating you are the only "Americans" on the Western Hemisphere?"

    Realize that Americans are not consciously insulting anyone or insinuating anything when we call ourselves Americans. This is an old spat between the US and Latin American. Unfortunately, many Latin Americans refuse to believe that it has nothing to do with our attitude towards them and feel even more insulted when we explain it to them because they think we are lying. But we are not!

    Unlike Canada, the American colonists had no real common name for themselves because they saw each other as citizens of their respective colony. And when the US split from the British Empire, we needed a name, but we couldnt decide on one. So, we gave up, and went with the literal United States of America and left it alone. People continued to think of themselves as citizens of their states rather than of the Federal government, but eventually "American" caught on. Some over the years suggested other names like Colombia-hence Washington, District of Colombia-but none of them ever caught on. Eventually many of the suggested names were taken by Latin American countries, so the whole thing was dropped.

    I know its hard to believe, but this is the truth; Americans calling ourselves "American" is entirely the result of us never figuring out what to call ourselves-its inclusive, not exclusive. So Latin America, give us some slack on this one; at least yall all names.

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  • 261. At 04:57am on 03 May 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    In ref to 251, Sam:

    It is certainly unfortunate that you have resorted to stereotyping millions of American citizens in the way that you have because of the party that they are registered as. Not only do you needlessly and inaccurately slander them, but you contribute to the inaccurate vision that many Europeans have of all Republicans. Whats done is done, but in your own words, "Be a lover, not a hater."

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  • 262. At 05:08am on 03 May 2009, british-ish wrote:

    259. At 04:26am on 03 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII:

    You, sir, are despicable.

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  • 263. At 05:31am on 03 May 2009, british-ish wrote:

    234. At 8:16pm on 02 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    231, it wasn't really very good tea.

    It was very good tea. Supplied by the East India Company. Not longshoremen, smugglers.

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  • 264. At 05:36am on 03 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    BienvenueEnLouisiana

    Americans have nothing to apologize to anyone for. Europeans would even have us apologize for our name, isn't that something. European nations on the other hand could apologize for a thousand years and not atone for the crimes their ancestors have committed for millenia all over the world. There is hardly a corner of the earth left untouched by the damage they've inflicted. Britain can start by returning the Elgin Marbles to Greece where they belong. Yes we know they were rescued from destruction but that does not give Britian the right to keep what is not theirs. That's the problem, they and their counterparts in France, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Portugal, and other European Imperial nations thought everything in the world was theirs, the whole world including its people. The Brits think the US still belongs to them. There are so many of them here I have to wonder how many are left back in Britain. Are they planning their ultimate escape from Eurabia or a secret invasion? The good news is that they fought each other so vehemently over the booty, the spoils of their crimes, they have reduced themselves to the point where they are now harmless to anyone but themselves and each other. I say we should walk away and let them finally have at it for the last time. Pull the plug on our involvement with NATO and see what happens. They've shown us in both Iraq and Afghanistan that the so called mutual defense pact is nothing but one more lie, a sham, a way to sucker Americans to defend them and pay the huge bill for it while they skate free to buy their lavish welfare state and ridicule us for not being able to afford one too.

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  • 265. At 05:51am on 03 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    I should really write something that plugs in to Firefox or IE and
    allows a user to filter out posts by user on Justin's blog, but
    I don't have the time this week.

    Is there another programmer on this blog?

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  • 266. At 05:55am on 03 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    260, benienvue.

    I agree with you. I can never understand why people get upset that we call ourselves American. Shall; we say that we are "United Statesers"? That's pretty clumsy. Anyway, aside from us, no one uses the name to designate a nationality. When someone asks a Brazilian what he is, he says he is "Brazilian," not "American." A Canadian says he is "Candaian," and so on. Note that: those in the eastern hemisphere all call us American, in all their different languages. By the way, when there still was a U.S.S.R. we continued to call them the Russians, In both cases, custom makes it valid. (This sensitivity stuff is a little tiresome.)

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  • 267. At 05:57am on 03 May 2009, british-ish wrote:

    264. At 05:36am on 03 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Americans have nothing to apologize to anyone for.

    There is one who has a lot to apologise for on this blog. Like for making gratuitous personal insults. So start.

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  • 268. At 06:08am on 03 May 2009, british-ish wrote:

    49. At 02:04am on 03 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    "Kittle, we're not sure that he's an American."

    Dammit, I was so annoyed I forgot he won't show his birth certificate/naturalisation papers.

    I amend, hastily, my 267. For 'American' please read 'person of dubious antecedents'. My apologies.


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  • 269. At 06:17am on 03 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    268, if your luck is as bad as mine, British-ish, you'll be fortunate
    if he wasn't born in a manger in a barn on the outskirts of London or
    Rome in the dead of winter.

    Let's hope that the truth of his origins never come to light.

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  • 270. At 06:31am on 03 May 2009, british-ish wrote:

    269. At 06:17am on 03 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    268, if your luck is as bad as mine, British-ish, you'll be fortunate
    if he wasn't born in a manger in a barn on the outskirts of London


    He's certainly got the manners of someone born and brought up in a barnyard.

    I'm still waiting to see the apology from him.

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  • 271. At 06:44am on 03 May 2009, british-ish wrote:

    270.

    11.44pm, the subject closed a post (about purchasing pigs cheaply) on another BBC blog: "Cough, cough, cough . . ..Ha choooo."

    I invite readers to draw their own conclusions as to that person's associates.

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  • 272. At 07:27am on 03 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #242. MarcusAureliusII: "read the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights and find out what a real democracy is about."

    Actually, it's a Republic, not a Democracy.

    "read the UK's constitution...if you can find and assemble it...wherever...whatever it is."

    Since there isn't one, it's virtue is that it is flexible and moves with the times, not stuck in the 18th century with the judiciary and others attempting to divine and interpret what the Founding Fathers might have done today.

    #251. SamTyler1969: "The guy who corners you in a bar and bangs on and on without listening or changing the subject. The guy who smells a bit, drinks too much and never achieved anything."

    Interesting company you keep!

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  • 273. At 08:31am on 03 May 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    Ish (270)

    • "He's certainly got the manners of someone born and brought up in a barnyard."
    Please! I live amongst farmers and their animals, and you do them a great injustice!

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  • 274. At 08:52am on 03 May 2009, Lee Roy Sanders, Jr. wrote:

    Intriguing, it's quite remarkable how powerful the media is. Thoughts are portrayed to the worlds public weltering disbelief and descent. Formed out of fear the world citizen are made comfortably numb. Anesthetized without self awareness the public never really form thought of their own. Awaited is their next thought, as if their next breath and the medias readily provide it.

    Obama is a actor and demented if not the whole world today. The worlds people are walked upon and abused so much any encouragement keeps them hoping for better tomorrows. The propaganda machine spins out hopes and wishes that never are fulfilled because their purpose is prompt us to continue in delusional thoughts. We preform our daily occupations and social tasks. Like empty vessels constantly thoughts are poured in and thought are poured out.

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  • 275. At 09:18am on 03 May 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    In ref. to 266:

    You know, identifying my self as an Americano as opposed to Estatos Unidense is much easier. On the other hand, in an alternate universe, I think Americans could very well have been happy to call ourselves Columbians because the name was used quite often as the poetic personification of the Republic in the early years, even before Uncle Sam. In fact, Lady Liberty in New York, and the statue of Freedom atop the Capital building are all considered to be representative of Lady Columbia.

    It is very late now, and time for me to go, but I leave yall tonight with an excerpt from Phillis Wheatley's, 1776, letter and poem to Gen. George Washington:
    One century scarce perform'd its destined round,
    When Gallic powers Columbia's fury found;
    And so may you, whoever dares disgrace
    The land of freedom's heaven-defended race!
    Fix'd are the eyes of nations on the scales,
    For in their hopes Columbia's arm prevails.
    Anon Britannia droops the pensive head,
    While round increase the rising hills of dead.
    Ah! cruel blindness to Columbia's state!
    Lament thy thirst of boundless power too late.

    Proceed, great chief, with virtue on thy side,
    Thy ev'ry action let the goddess guide.
    A crown, a mansion, and a throne that shine,
    With gold unfading, WASHINGTON! be thine.

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  • 276. At 10:09am on 03 May 2009, SONICBOOMER wrote:

    I thought it would not be long before the resident, as we say over here, 'care in the community case' cited Chamberlain / appeasement.
    (Which was wrong in principle but, 1) the deep scars of WW1 was still very fresh in the memory, the US entry into WW1 was due to the circumstances of it, never going to have that same result, without the mass losses and long grind over the years. 2) After 1936/7, in part it became about playing for time as rearming at last began. This was affected by the fact that unlike the US under FDR, the British had not enjoyed the great public investments so the industry took a lot longer to ramp up).

    But since we are talking about 'appeasement', since those who bang on about their version of it are scared out of their minds about Islamist terror, consider.
    Who withdrew US forces from Lebanon in 1984, after a suicide bomb attack? Thus demonstrating in the minds of Islamist terrorists that the US runs given enough casualties.

    Who engaged in a sordid (and illegal) deal to ship arms to, of all nations, Iran, just to get a few hostages out of Lebanon? Who were being held by terrorists acting in part as Iranian surrogates.
    Not long after Iran had directly held US hostages themselves, today the right wing types cite the 1979/81 hostage crisis as being still a sore point, so how sore was it over 20 years ago?

    It got even more sordid remember, since even more illegally, the ill gotten sums from this deal, went to other terrorists in C.America (this time US surrogates), who engaged in not only death squad activity (most victims being innocent people) but also were involved in the narco-crime network with real effects of their trade inside the US.

    So there we have it, Ronald Reagan, the appeaser of Islamist terror.
    But then again, his fans cite him as the 'great communicator', cite him as the man who always had his finger on the pulse of what the average American wanted.
    Using that logic..........

    Then in 1993, after an unfocussed, ill planned operation in Somalia started by the first President Bush, public pressure led to an cut and run. We now know that at least at some level Islamists were active in that part of the world. (A certain Mr Bin Laden lived there for 5 years until 1996, after his expulsion from Saudi Arabia).
    What sort of message did that send?

    So I would zip it about appeasement, given the much more recent history of the US in this regard.
    I would not bang on too much about the glory of the US coupled with the opposite being true of nations who are allies.
    Better stick to maybe watching 'Sports Bloopers' or shows about the pets of Hollywood stars, stuff more in tune perhaps with your general intellect.

    To the comment about fiscal rectitude ending not in 1980, but under FDR, if that is the case, at least in the 1930's it was done for the greater good of the US, all of the US.
    In infrastructure, in probably staving off the potential for much more serious disorder as unemployment and poverty soared.
    Not as in after 1980, just enriching a very few, who went on in many cases to de-industrialize large parts of the US to cheap labour offshore.
    Hey, they had share portfolios to look after.

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  • 277. At 10:24am on 03 May 2009, Lee Roy Sanders, Jr. wrote:

    A douche, sad but true, a washing out of the truth. For as vile as it might be, to hide the truth with ideals that are dreamed upon in the last efforts of dominating reality without substance are poured forth. The idol is made of stone and covered with gold. It is not alive and it does not exist but in the minds of those that fear forming a soul of their own.

    Criminally propaganda is set before the world and demanded to be worshiped as a God of it's own. But there is no substance in it. It's worship is detrimental to truth and the generations of humankind forced to abide by the degrees of those that formed the idol they use.

    Sorry but governments are a ruse. They exist because they train their people to be cowards and to be fools. Obama or any leader are just cogs in some propaganda machines agendas rule.

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  • 278. At 11:59am on 03 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    british-sh

    "262. At 05:08am on 03 May 2009, british-ish wrote:
    259. At 04:26am on 03 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII:

    "You, sir, are despicable.""

    And that is one of my better virtues. I see you are quoting another great American philospher, Daffy Duck.

    You, your European clones, and those water blooded Americans who sympathize with you are on the other hand insufferable. However, coming from a culture that braved the mountains and the deserts, Indians attacks and buffalo stampedes, and only had one recorded case of cannibalism I'm aware of until the late 20th century to conquer the vast untamed wilderness, my mettle is steely enough to endure even you and your kind.

    But if being insufferable and entirely predictable boors to boot weren't crime enough, you and your kind sir have no sense of humor at all, not one trace.

    Ah-choooo, ah choooo, ah-chooo. And I didn't even cover my mouth. Why not ask your doctor if you can catch swine flu over the internet...that is if you can get an appointment to see one. With the NHS I'd guess that would be sometime around Septober at the earliest.

    BTW, if you don't like my postings, why do you go trapsing around other blog sites looking for them? I can no more confer a sense of humor on you by example than I can confer a working mind on you by facts and logic. I've concluded your cultural upbringing precludes those possibilities.

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  • 279. At 12:16pm on 03 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Canard;

    ""read the UK's constitution...if you can find and assemble it...wherever...whatever it is."

    Since there isn't one, it's virtue is that it is flexible and moves with the times, not stuck in the 18th century with the judiciary and others attempting to divine and interpret what the Founding Fathers might have done today."

    When I say the UK doesn't have a constitution, you brits tell me that there is such a thing in some nebulous body of laws. Now when I reference it, you tell me it doesn't exist. Make up your minds. Where I come from we have a saying; an oral contract isn't worth the paper it's printed on.

    What a pathetic rationalization trying to turn a fatal shortcoming into a virtue. How European in concept. If the UK doesn't need a constitution, then why does the EU? If the UK doesn't want a written constitution, then why would it agree to accede to one written by people it has no control over? Oh, I forgot, the tyrant king Gorgon the first signed it on your behalf by fiat without so much as a vote in his rubber stamp parliament. Oops, that was Lisbon, son of the Constitution he single handedly committed Britain to. That's the shortened version with fewer pages...and 8000 more words in smaller more tightly printed space. How can anyone take Europe seriously? The French and Dutch rejected the constitution in an election. You can be sure the tyrants who rule France will never allow a mistake like a plebecite on anything important to them to happen there again. How surprised they were when the majority of voters didn't acknowledge and bow to the supreme wisdom that created France as paradise on Earth. If you don't think so, just ask any Frenchman...if you've got about 8 or 10 hours to hear him wax rhapsodic over it.

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  • 280. At 12:42pm on 03 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #256

    Almost all of us are repulsed by White Power racist demonstation. Just as we should feel the same disgust for the Black Panthers and La Raza racism.

    I would not take Newsweek too seriously however remember they published a lie about a Koran being flushed down a toliet by U.S forces.

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  • 281. At 1:04pm on 03 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 256, Via

    The problem is more widespread and more ominous than the KKK, who at least made an effort to hide their identity. The White Supremacist movement, neo-nazis, and vigilantes, make no effort to put a hood on and are proud to advocate their cause and their determination to pursue their objectives by force.

    The efforts of some to compare organizations intent on achieving supremacy and subduing their targets with organizations such as La Raza whose agenda is to achieve parity with other ethnic groups illustrates the magnitude of the problem.

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  • 282. At 1:07pm on 03 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    263. At 05:31am on 03 May 2009, british-ish wrote:

    "It was very good tea. Supplied by the East India Company. Not longshoremen, smugglers."

    Nah, not smugglers. Monopolists. By Royal Charter.
    With a right to own and operate their own fleet of armed ships.
    Now those were the days!

    The East India Company was a state-sanctioned monopoly. Not unlike the Company of Adventurers Trading out of Hudson's Bay, an enterprise that is still with us (just). It was the age of mercantilism.

    Sort of like contracting out colonialism by hiring Blackwater, or Brown Kellogg & Root to do the job for you.

    But if you're talkin' Magellan, now there was a big-time smuggler.

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  • 283. At 1:15pm on 03 May 2009, as is wrote:

    #251

    O la la, Sammie, that's what I would call a true coming out. You posts struck me initially with the unusually abundant for a blogger personal info. You were building virtual credibility and a virtual CV: sophisticated, prosperous, gun-toting, church-going.... On the other hand, there would be the rabid liberal rhetoric, disinfo and outright lies (from economics to the Geneva conventions), the VERY professional, straight-from-Alinsky's-Rules-for-Radicals ad hominem of an extremist liberal. A Soros with guns and religion?! TOO inconsistent to be true, to say the least, eh?


    Your # 251 comes directly from a Obama/lib warroom:



    1) Obama is USA, and USA is Obama (l'etat c'est moi): whoever is against Obama's disastrous policies is against USA, he/she is not a patriot, is an American hater. That's unadulturated Stalinism

    2) The GOP is irrelevant and shrinking, the LIBERAL/DEM advice for the GOP is to move to the centre/left, and commit a suicide by becoming a me-too party. I have news for you: while the top of the GOP has definitely lost touch with quite a number of conservative values/voters, and will eventually be replaced by a new generation, the generic congressional vote is currently split evenly, 41% - 38% IN FAVOUR OF THE GOP (a drop from 50% for the Dems, a jump from 24% for the GOP, all that since Jan 2009), and while Obama's overall (PERSONAL) approval hovers around a measly 54-55%, the approval for his POLICIES rarely exceeds the 50%:

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

    That's why Obama is pushing his agenda through Congress: in 2010, the Dems will most probably lose a lot of seats, and the GOP may have at least a firm filibuster option.


    Your posts, in the ad hominem section, follow very closely, TOO closely to be coincidental, a few tested Alinsky rules:

    1) Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it (the men in black, all losers and underachievers, ignorants, sweaty crazies, etc - over 50 million of them who didn't vote for Obama?)

    2) Ridicule is man's most potent weapon (those smelly, crazy, uneducated drunkards and loonies)

    3) Keep the pressure on. Never let up

    4) If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive


    My conclusion: a professional Obama operative post, solid agitprop. Keep up the good job.



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  • 284. At 1:19pm on 03 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Well, doesn't that just beat all.

    Imagine, the UK Constitution being described as "typically European".
    Clearly there is no limit to the depth of the insults that are posted on this blog.

    And after half a century of UK exceptionalism, and Mrs. Thatcher's handbag, Europeans must be spluttering their coffee all over the tablecloth.

    Time to haul out Bagehot, clearly.
    Or perhaps R. MacGregor Dawson.

    Strange how documents whose roots lie in the development of civil rights of Englishmen (For he is an Englishman, oh he i-i-i-i-is an Englishman!) in the Enlightenment can somehow be held up as totems by those who clearly have no understanding of their history or meaning, but there you have it. Sort of light biblical interpretation by the illiterate.

    Justin will be back tomorrow, and maybe he will get around to starting a new thread.

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  • 285. At 1:33pm on 03 May 2009, british-ish wrote:

    282. At 1:07pm on 03 May 2009, Interestedforeigner:

    "The 'Party' was organised not by irate consumers but by Boston's wealthy smugglers, who stood to lose out. . . . 'Will not posterity be amazed' wrote one sceptic 'when they are told the present distraction took its rise from the parliament's taking off a shilling duty on a pound of tea, and imposing three pence...'

    In 1763 the average Briton paid 26 shillings a year in taxes. The equivalent figure for a Massachusetts taxpayer was just one shilling."

    [Niall Ferguson, Empire p85]

    Have they found out in Boston yet you put sugar in your tea, not salt?


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  • 286. At 1:33pm on 03 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Sonicboomer

    "the US entry into WW1 was due to the circumstances of it, never going to have that same result, without the mass losses and long grind over the years."

    Actually, the US entry into WWI was precipitated by the so called Zimmerman telegram decoded by British intelligence. In it, Germany offered Mexico suport and eventually annexation of major areas of the Southwestern United States in return for Mexico fighting a war against the US to keep America preoccupied and out of the war in Europe. It backfired on Germany. But America was in no real danger because Mexico had neither the means nor the desire for such a war. Those areas were then largely populated by English speaking Americans and Mexico had written them off many decades earlier after the Mexican American War. Had the US not entered WWI, Britain and Germany might still be slogging it out in the trenches of Northern France and WWII might never have happened if America hadn't entered. WWI was the largest single political blunder America made in the 20th century, perhaps in all of its history.

    You are right about the US having naively believed the vast oceans that separated it from other major military powers in the world could still protect it. Pearl Harbor was a lesson the US hasn't forgotten so far and hopefully will never forget. Many Americas are already forgetting the lessons of 9-11. It isn't clear what Obama's intentions are. Is he setting the stage for more wars by giving America's enemies one last chance knowing they won't take it and then being able to rationalize attacking them by convincing Americans that he tried every reaasonable avenue to deal with them short of war and failed or is he really going to sell America out? No way to know yet.

    Reagan did appease the Islamic world. For example, Israel had the PLO bottled up in East Beruit and could have and should have wiped them out. But the US put pressure on Israel to allow them to escape and so they high-tailed it to Tunisia for awhile. I don't know if we will ever know the full story of Iran-Contra. The one person who could probably tell most of the truth, Oliver North shredded all the pertinent documents and isn't talking. Architects of the US sellout to the Islamic extremists were John Sununu and Cap Weinberger. So much for the Hoover Institute as a conservative think tank. The Iran Contra episode was designed to provide money for arms, training, and other support for the Contras in Nicaragua in an effort to fight off the Communist government there. In the context of the times, the US was still engaged in a worldwide life and death struggle with the USSR over the future of the civilization. Support of tyrants such as the Shah of Iran and dictatorships in Latin America were necessary tactics even though many in the US found them distasteful. It was better to have a dictator who was our dictator than one who answered to Moscow.

    The US hasn't won a military victory since WWII with the possible exception of Kosovo. It has the means but lacks the political will. It never actually declares war and fights to a standoff having forgotten that the purpose of fighting a war is to vanquish an enemy by eliminating his ability to continue to wage war and then to force political change so that the particular enemy no longer has the political will or interest in becoming a threat to American interests again. As a result, every single one from Korea to Iraq and Afghanistan has been an unmitigated disaster. If you are not going to fight a war to win all out victory, you'd be better off not fighting at all. It's a lesson the US government and people have precious time to re-learn. The failure to pursue enemies in the wilds of Pakistan and Afghanistan, Iran, and North Korea could each have dire consequences for America and the world.

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  • 287. At 1:50pm on 03 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Uninteresing Foreigner

    Can't you read? What I actually said was; "What a pathetic rationalization trying to turn a fatal shortcoming into a virtue. How European in concept."

    I did not say that the British Constitution was European in concept. But now that you mention it, reflecting on it....it is. That is because it is confused, ambiguous, and if you take Canard at his word, it doesn't really exist in law, just the way the EU Constitution doesn't exist in law...yet. So perhaps you'd like to debate Canard and tell us what exactly the UK Constitution is and isn't. And may the lesser fool win.

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  • 288. At 2:47pm on 03 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #279. MarcusAureliusII: "When I say the UK doesn't have a constitution, you brits tell me that there is such a thing in some nebulous body of laws. Now when I reference it, you tell me it doesn't exist."

    I would have thought it obvious that the word 'written' was implied, but apparently you are not sophisticated enough to see that, just as you did not respond to the fact that the United States is a Republic, not a Democracy.

    #287. "And may the lesser fool win."

    He has, and it isn't you.

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  • 289. At 2:52pm on 03 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 285, British

    "Have they found out in Boston yet you put sugar in your tea, not salt?"

    I think they prefer Starbucks, with coffee beans picked dutifully by Juan Vandez for $1 a day.

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  • 290. At 2:55pm on 03 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    I have to say that I find these comment sections some of the best entertainment around. I dont often have the time to read all the comments and usually the time difference makes it pointless to reply to comments of some hours earlier. Also, more often than not, other posters pretty much address the issue beautifully. I particularly love reading the comments of Sam Tyler, All My Marbles, Aqua et al (by the way wheres Ed?).

    Today I just had to come back with this one.

    MAII Your comments are just so entertaining your woeful arrogance is precisely of the narrow minded, tunnel vision type that has given Americans a bad name. I could comment on almost all of your points but will stick to just one. With regard to your comment on Iran 236 while I dont plan to get into the rights and wrongs of the government today, you need to be put straight on a couple of facts. Daily life in Iran is as normal as anywhere else if one is not involved in politics. In the two years since I moved back here from Europe, I havent encountered any issues and by the way I have been to many a football match, I was even in Paris to see Iran beat the US. These fantasies people like you have that we are riding around on camels wearing robes is pretty tiring. Iran has a dynamic young society and with time we will create our own change thank you very much. With over 60% of our population being under 30, that change is not going to take forever.

    With regard to all your Euro bashing where exactly do you think most of the people of the US come from? Its as if you are ashamed of your own ancestry. A huge number of the really smart and successful ones, from scientists to entrepreneurs are first generation Americans, from countries right round the globe (including many from Iran). Be proud of the things that do indeed make the US great, but dont get so carried away that in doing so you actually belittle yourself and your country.

    Oh and by the way, the Shah was not a tyrant.

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  • 291. At 3:10pm on 03 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Canard, I take you at your word. You said there is no UK constitution. Now you say it's implied that it isn't written. Does that mean it's an oral constitution? (I said oral contracts aren't worth the paper they're printed on but WTH, if that's good enough for you why should I care. I don't have to live with it. I don't have to depend on it to protect my rights. That's Britain's problem.) So let's have some evidence of it and see if the other guy agrees with you or will debate the point if he doesn't.

    "#287. "And may the lesser fool win."

    He has, and it isn't you."

    That's right because I am not a fool. But I did make one mistake and I'm going to correct it here and now.

    "267. At 05:57am on 03 May 2009, british-ish wrote:
    264. At 05:36am on 03 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Americans have nothing to apologize to anyone for.

    There is one who has a lot to apologise for on this blog. Like for making gratuitous personal insults. So start."

    Yes, I apologize for making gratuitous insults. I should have been charging you for them all along and sent a bill for you to pay for them...just like the tea tax. Only I'd probably have to persuade the United States Navy to send an Aircraft Carrier Battle Group to Britain to collect it...just like the tea tax. You have no representation with me. I can impose my tax arbitrarily if I can just persuade my government to enforce it. Just like the tea tax. What kind of twisted mind puts milk in tea anyway? Yuck! :-(

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  • 292. At 3:12pm on 03 May 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    # 260 -BienvenueEnLouseana.

    Well, the lack of proper identity just about explain why so many "AmeriKKKans" living in the fundamental dogma red states address themselves as Confederate "Rebels." They even worship a different flag (Bars and Stars) almost resembling the British flag (no offense to Great Britain intended) and the only symbol missing (at least for visible purposes) is the hated Swastika Germany used during the Hitler regime. Shucks, just recently the Republican governor of Texas even suggested succeeding from the Union, most likely because a descendant of black slaves was elected as President of the USA. Amusingly, it prompted one of the comedy night shows to remark that if "Texas had succeeded from the Union before the 2000 elections, the US wouldn't have had GW Bush and the national and international mess he did."

    One thing for sure, if these "most nations have their fools, but not many have them in high places" USA citizens weren't so serious in their idiotic remarks, they could be very amusing.

    # 262 British-ish.

    That Marcus dude just about brings out the worst in all of us, doesn't he?

    Now you see why so many "Americans" in the Western Hemisphere are always angry.







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  • 293. At 3:34pm on 03 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #291. MarcusAureliusII: "Canard, I take you at your word. You said there is no UK constitution. Now you say it's implied that it isn't written."

    You obviously did not , or chose not, to read what I had written; let me spell it out for you - the United Kingdom has no written constitution. I'm still waiting for a response to my observation that the United States is a Republic rather than a Democracy . . .

    "I am not a fool."

    Sounds like Richard Nixon: "I am not a crook." Nevertheless, you appear foolish with your unrestrained antipathy to Continental Europe and Great Britain. Like Fox News, you are neither fair nor balanced.

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  • 294. At 3:34pm on 03 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #289

    Ignoring the cheap shots at Boston, it should be noted with shame this is a Dunkin Donuts town.

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  • 295. At 3:41pm on 03 May 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    #265

    If you really want to find out what the right wing conservatism in the AmeriKKKa is all about, try the YAHOO "buzz" posts where liberal views are not included and the very worst the right wing fundamentalists have to offer are allowed. Everyone else need not apply.

    A bit of warning. These YAHOO posts are ten times worse than listening to the FOX News and even Rush Limbaugh, so be prepare to burf!

    That Marcus dude would fit in the YAHOO looney-tunes just fine.

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  • 296. At 3:49pm on 03 May 2009, Kittle wrote:

    Just a correction Foxtrottango1. I believe that President Obama isn't actually descended from slaves. Only his father's side of the family are black, and his father emigrated from Kenya. His wife Michelle, on the other hand, can trace her ancestry back to slaves.

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  • 297. At 3:58pm on 03 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Princess-on-the-pill

    "With regard to your comment on Iran 236 while I dont plan to get into the rights and wrongs of the government today, you need to be put straight on a couple of facts. Daily life in Iran is as normal as anywhere else if one is not involved in politics"

    Yeah, all those reports about how women can't go to soccer matches because they might become sexually aroused by seing men's bare skin, how they have to wear Islamic clothing when they leave their homes, how there are Islamic morals police prowling the streets, how an Iranian American women reporter was tried in an Iranian Kangaroo court and convicted of spying, how another woman reporter was raped and tortured to death by the Iranian police and a lot more are just lies. Even the BBC is complicit in spreading them. I don't blame you. If I lived in Iran and felt compelled to post on a blog site like this, especially if I was a woman, I'd keep my mouth shut and go along with the party line just like you do...or I might wind up like one of those women reporters.

    I am grateful that my European ancestors left Europe. Otherwise I might be like Europeans...or more likely dead or never born, the result of one of their infamous World Wars. When people from around the world come to America, they bring not only their talents, energy, ambitions, and hopes but their cultural baggage along with them. We usually tolerate it unless it breaks our laws such as arranged child marriages or female sexual mutillation. Then we punish the perpetrators for the crimes they have committed as we see it. By the next generation, their children born here are virtually 100% guaranteed to be fully assimilated often much to the horror of their parents. They do not carry that baggage around with them. We give them a new cultural identity which is stamped on them for their entire lives. What vestiges of the "old country" are instilled in them by their parents are minor twists on our mainstream culture. By the following generation, even that is usually little more than the faintest trace.

    As for my reaction to your posting...we are not amused.

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  • 298. At 4:01pm on 03 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Dancing dingo

    "# 262 British-ish.

    That Marcus dude just about brings out the worst in all of us, doesn't he?"

    No, I bring out the truth in you. If you don't like what you see, don't blame me. You are what you are.

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  • 299. At 4:17pm on 03 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    The Iranian-American journalist Roxana Sab??? must be counting her blessings that she was detained in Iran. It could have been the other way round. As a muslim, she could just have easily been detained by the American authorities where her treatment would have been far worse. It just demonstrtaes how far Iran has progressed - and USA has regressed.

    Compare and contrast.

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  • 300. At 4:25pm on 03 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    S&M;

    Oh I'll bet she's just thrilled to death. Literally.

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  • 301. At 4:28pm on 03 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref #283 peterbo

    Obama is proceeding quickly because thats the way to deliver the quickest results, not because he's trying to predict the political complexion in Congress in two years time. The first year of the Presidency is critical. Lets face it, after the last eight years, there's a lot to be done.

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  • 302. At 4:33pm on 03 May 2009, U13937281 wrote:

    some one is
    getting more
    monotonous
    absurd and
    looks so
    primitive
    and insignificant

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  • 303. At 4:36pm on 03 May 2009, SONICBOOMER wrote:

    I know it can seem rather odd to many Americans, the status, such as it is, of the British constitution.
    But remember, the history is so much longer and complex, so it is grounded on 'precedence' more than anything else.

    The history is not of revolutions but evolution.
    The one real, stark, political revolution deposed a monarch who thought he was chosen by god to rule absolutely.
    But his replacement turned out to be a faith based fanatic, even by the standards of the time.
    And brutal, also by the standards of his era.

    Maybe that has led to an ingrained distrust of 'big ideas' and revolutionary zeal, though the differences are most stark not compared to America-despite the revolutionary war, but with much of continental Europe.
    There is no British version of the 'left bank' Paris types, politics here is much less polarized too-in the sense of the size of parties on the far left and right.
    They have the National Front in France, who can command significant votes, our own BNP, thankfully, are pigmies by comparison.
    And no British version of a recent new arrival on the French scene, the Trotskyite postman!

    I'm not deriding them for this, it's a result of their history, I do think that many Brits see France too much as Paris and the northern Channel towns- where they go pick up their cheap tobacco and booze, yet much of France is more of a Latin style nation.
    With the higher energy politics to match.

    But perhaps this is why those in the UK who follow the US political scene, have looked askance at the rightwards drift of the GOP over the last decade or more. I would not compare Goldwater-seen as well to the right in the 1960's, with the likes of Sarah Palin and others. Goldwater, agree with him or not, if he once scared you or not, did not lapse into unreason. (Just before his death, he did warn his party of the threat posed by the 'Christian Right').
    What we don't detect, is a similar leftward shift with Democrats.

    Those that some in the US call 'far left Dems' look to us like moderate social democrats.
    Where is the lapse into unreason there, I don't mean in political policy, but generally, all the science denial and crude nativism.
    All this still allowing for the much greater role faith plays in US politics, which is not so new.
    What is more recent, is how it's been used (distorted?)
    Maybe our own history made faith based politics so toxic to us, thanks to Cromwell.



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  • 304. At 4:40pm on 03 May 2009, U13937281 wrote:

    re: 302
    BTW not President Obama (he's doing fine)

    but a certain unnameable blogger who is
    not worth getting angry about as that would
    involve an unnecessary emotional attachment

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  • 305. At 4:44pm on 03 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    Marcass
    I do not go along with the party line I choose however not to discuss them at the moment. You miss my point however there is plenty wrong with Iran today but life in the day to day is normal. People do not walk around in fear as you imply. We work, rest and play much as you do (although by the amount of time that you obviously spend on this site, I wonder if you have a life.)
    At no point did I suggest that the imprisonment of the Iranian reporter is a lie, so kindly dont put words in my mouth and a trial, mock or otherwise is more than all those people detained by the US have received so don't be so self-rightous.
    I dont like it that women cant go to football games if they so wish, however we have a few more important things to worry about at this time.
    Anyhow it is now 8.10 in Tehran and Im late for a dinner party (I do have a life).
    We bid you farewell



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  • 306. At 5:15pm on 03 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

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

  • 307. At 5:24pm on 03 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 300 MarcusAureliusII

    Except she's not dead. Another amusing Marcus distortion.

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  • 308. At 5:31pm on 03 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    S&M

    "Ref 300 MarcusAureliusII

    Except she's not dead. Another amusing Marcus distortion."

    How do you know, you speak to her recently? Before long, she just might be. She wouldn't be the first. They have a history of it.

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  • 309. At 5:35pm on 03 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref #306 MarcusAureliusII

    "Besides just being labeled again by the US government as the number one state sponsor of terrorism in the world"

    Oh well, it must be true if US Government says it is!



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  • 310. At 5:37pm on 03 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    303, SonicBoomer, that's an interesting observation.

    But, here in the colonies we don't have such a long history,
    and we're still making things up as we go along.

    The Constitution stands as one of the most magnificent documents
    relating to human government of all time. It's a pity that the
    religious right doesn't understand it.

    As for the Democrats, you'll have to understand that their philosophy
    of Big Government is doomed to fail. Unlike your society, our
    federal government is far too inept to help anybody, and does not
    engender trust in the average American.

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  • 311. At 5:47pm on 03 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref #308 MarcusAureliusII

    How do I know?

    Quite easily. Her parents have visited her and have been interviewed on BBC several times, both before the prison visit and after. The parents looked remarkably relieved after their visit: she's being treated well; shares a cell with two others.

    I don't expect you to believe it - 'all BBC reporters are liars.' But thats your problem, not mine.

    Going out now - someone's now finished doing their make up. Have fun.

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  • 312. At 5:52pm on 03 May 2009, HabitualHero wrote:

    One thing that's struck me since I first started reading internet forums is that the people who have the most outspoken opinions about everyday life in a specific country are people who have never been there. For instance, I keep seeing comments from americans (usually) who insist that Britain has become an Islamic state, an anti-Christian, anti-semitic hellhole whose citizens live in fear of the Islamic minority. It's insane fantasy that bears not the tiniest resemblance to reality but trying to tell that to these mad people is a waste of time. Despite the fact that they've never been within 3000miles of Britain they consider themselves experts and refuse to listen to the people who have lived in Britain all our lives because we've become "Islamisised". They're utterly, utterly mental.

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  • 313. At 5:58pm on 03 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    S&M

    "Oh well, it must be true if US Government says it is"

    When is your government going to start telling the truth about the billions of dollars it paid in illegal bribes to Saudi princes to secure military contracts?

    The brief visit by the Iranian American reporter's parents was nearly a week ago. By now she might be dead for all anyone knows. I'm glad you think more highly of Iran than the US. It means if you ever decide to emigrate from the UK, you'll go there, you won't come here. I think that's your kind of place anyway, it seems to fit you to a tee.

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  • 314. At 7:00pm on 03 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    311, Richard.

    Even those Americans held in Iran during the hostage crisis were not abused and they all were freed looking fit and healthy. I think one man had become ill and was sent to Germany for treatment, but I am not sure about that.

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  • 315. At 7:33pm on 03 May 2009, SONICBOOMER wrote:

    gunsandreligion, point taken.
    However, 'Big government' did a pretty good job during WW2, built the interstate system, played a major role in maintaining US technological prowess.
    And, lest we forget, sent 24 American citizens to the Moon, 12 of whom walked upon it.

    I use that last example not only because of it's magnificence, but also consider the way we are communicating here.
    The Apollo programme required small, lightweight, reliable computers to aid in landing the Lunar Module safely.
    This caused a spurt in the development of microelectronics.

    Sure, it would have happened in time, but as it happened how and when it did, meant that the basic technology was there a few years later, when some scruffy long haired types started looking at taking computing out of the office and industrial plant and into the home, first as hobbyist kits, to where we are now, they could do so because of technology boosted by a big government programme.

    My area is aviation, the rise of the US industry here, was in large part due to 'big government'.
    The Wright Brothers started it true, but from the subsidised mail services that gave the pioneer US airlines the scope to develop in the 1920's, to the massive advances post war, government was there.
    True, conflict provided the spur, but it went deeper than that.

    Or as a former boss of mine said, who was involved in the airline working groups that helped to define the Boeing 777, then went to run the engineering department of a famous airliner (the clue is in my username), 'the Europeans tend to subsidize production, the Americans subsidize development'.

    I've just used two examples of where US industry is still very strong, computing and aerospace.
    Both are in private hands, both accountable to shareholders, boards, both have to act in a free-enterprise, market driven way. But that is not, never has been, the whole story.

    But I do understand the phobia many have in the US to government, for a start, the scope for government error, waste, pork barrel stuff, is far greater in a nation the size of the USA, than in any European one.
    At both Federal and State level.

    However, consider where we are now.
    Who has been responsible for the economic crisis enveloping all of us?
    Those who not long ago liked to call themselves the 'Masters Of The Universe'.
    Who loathed any government interference, regulation, whose power enabled them to pressure and bribe to get their way.

    THEY knew best, you could make money from money, goods and services? Outsource to the cheapest.
    Short term ruled, not common sense.
    They had the discipline of a crack addict - the base material of that substance in powdered form was well known to many of them too.

    At least you can vote out your President, Congressman, Senator, Governor, Mayor, who were these 'Masters' accountable to?
    Shareholders, but in this case the major ones, who were? Well them mostly.
    Absolute power and all that.

    This is not a call to go to a kind of 'socialism', but that word is too often over simplified and misused.
    More 'socially democratic' then?
    Why not?
    The US has been here before, I know the objection to that with many, the fear of 'European style' government.
    But that is not a given since the differences in size, history, habit, ethos is so great.

    However, even if this is the case, the economic crisis was not born in Berlin, Tokyo or Paris, but in New York, Washington and London.
    Who are we to lecture anyone on economics anymore?
    You see many more cars of German design, often too of manufacture, on US roads than you do of US design and manufacture on German roads.

    They must have been doing something right, also, it undermines the idea that a unionized work force in a nation that is not known for low tax, can ever succeed.
    It just so happens that the large German financial sector has long been geared towards long term investment and not Casino capitalism.






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  • 316. At 8:06pm on 03 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    315, I basically agree about the US government role in R&D, etc.
    I was part of the personal computer revolution, and deal with
    different government R&D agencies, including US ones, so I
    am familiar with success stories.

    But, there a limits to what can be done at the federal level.
    I don't think that we'll ever see anything like the NHS here,
    it'll more likely be a combination of public and private entities.

    As far as the auto industry goes, the last time I heard about it,
    Audis were being built in Hungary, so at some point the term
    "German car" will have to be redefined.

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  • 317. At 8:24pm on 03 May 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    In Ref. to 295 foxtrottango1:

    Referring to America as "Amerikkka" is beyond reasonable criticism, derisive, and slanderous. Do not use such a suggestive name again.

    And dont think that I did not notice that you hide your nationality to prevent criticism of your own country either.

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  • 318. At 8:32pm on 03 May 2009, toughdirtyjoe wrote:

    I don't think many in USA realise just how much further the Bush Regime steered their nation away from their own values. One only has to compare the just and fair treatment given to Ms. Roxana Saberi recently, the American-Iranian journalist charged with spying. Iran have demonstrated higher standards and a higher ground than USA. Unconvinced Americans should check again to see how low their country's sunk.

    America is worst then Iran? Women have no freedom there. I sick of US being a puncingbag.

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  • 319. At 8:57pm on 03 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 320. At 9:34pm on 03 May 2009, Kittle wrote:

    Marcus, the whole world is lucky you're not President, or indeed in any position of power, because your ignorance, xenophobia and refusal to listen to other people's opinions would have long since destroyed your country.

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  • 321. At 9:37pm on 03 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    318, tough.
    "America is worst then Iran? Women have no freedom there."

    Utter nonsense. I lived in Iran for 16 years. I was co-head of a business and submitted development programs to the ministries. One minister in particular was delighted to work with an educted woman. His own daughter was studying at the Wharton School of Finance. You have no idea how sophisticated Iranians are. You cannot trust the media or U.S. propaganda for the truth. The first loves sensation, and the second has its own agenda. You are naive to fall for that crap.

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  • 322. At 9:44pm on 03 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    317 -

    Americhrista. Is that better?

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  • 323. At 9:46pm on 03 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    275, bienvenue.
    "I think Americans could very well have been happy to call ourselves Columbians because the name was used quite often as the poetic personification of the Republic in the early years, even before Uncle Sam."

    I agree, but unfortunately Columbus did not discover America, at least not the mainland. I always wanted our anthem to be "Columbia the Gem of the Ocean." It's so much prettier than what we have now, and spritely too.

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  • 324. At 10:01pm on 03 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    Marcass

    Just back from a lovely dinner party with intelligent and interesting company. I see that you are still at it!

    It is utter bull to say that the prisoners inGuantanamo have no rights under the Geneva Convention that is a complete distortion by the Bush administration that you have obviously swallowed. Gee, I bet Bin Ladins driver is a master criminal. The US government was party to charging the Vietnamese and Chinese for using waterboarding as torture and now its okay because you are the perpetrators?

    The US government has lost all credibility and while I am a big fan of Obama, I have yet to see real advances in the US foreign policy to make me think that change has come.
    The US, over an eight year period has completely lost the moral high ground and needs to partake in some serious affirmative action. Your government still seems to be in the thrall of the Arabs and the Israeli lobby. Until such a time when they can see, without the distortion of dollar bills in front of their eyes, that the real threat to the middle east and the world at large is Wahabism out of Saudi Arabia, funding the Jihadists in Afghanistan and Pakistan, we are all in trouble (oh and by the way, the Pakistanis already have the bomb). Add to that the lack of spine in dealing with the Israeli/ Palestinian issue, without which there will be no peace in the middle east (the Israelis also have the bomb). The stuff of nightmares for all of us.

    On which, I bid all a good night its 1.30 here in Tehran!






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  • 325. At 10:20pm on 03 May 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    Post # 317 - BV in 'Louse'anna.

    My, My, hit a nerve. didn't we? If you had read my comments correctly I didn't include all of "America" and only inserted the fundamental bible belt region of the USA which includes Louse-ianna. The term "AmeriKKKa" applies and inserted for good reasons, and that is to let the international community know that all of the USA is not like y'all. That AmeriKKKa is located mostly in the red state (southern region) of the USA and harbors almost all of the conservative right in the USA.

    I know you won't comprehend the logic in that, but try to give it another shot, won't you?

    And I don't appreciate a member of AmeriKKKa using the term "America" to include us all in your category of citizenry. That is an insult to many individual in those blue states who don't think, act, sing or dance like y'all right wing conservatives. "AmeriKKKa is the region where all the hatred toward everything that is different originate. By the way, the term has been used before. You just want to pretend you haven't heard it before. Sort of self denial, I suppose.

    By the way, your threats don't work with me. So don't push it!


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  • 326. At 10:22pm on 03 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    324, princess.

    May I ask what you are doing in Tehran? Are you an Iranian, a foreign wife, or a foreigner? Anyone with direct involvement in Iran is of interest to me.

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  • 327. At 10:33pm on 03 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #325

    This thread went way of track. But it seems your contention is that anyone who is conservative and listens to Fox or disagrees with Obama is racists.

    You also seem to dismiss other intolerance.

    Here is a partial list of intolerants:

    KKK
    American Nazis
    La Raza
    The Black Panthers
    Perez Hilton and his millant supporters.

    You get it? There is intolerance across the political and racial spectrum.

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  • 328. At 10:33pm on 03 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 329. At 10:36pm on 03 May 2009, Schwerpunkt wrote:

    175. timohio wrote:

    "Okay, I promised myself that I wasn't going to waste any more of my time on this blog, but I glanced at it when I came home from work and I can't let this one go. Hajjis, my ignorant friend, are people who have gone on a hajj, a pilgrimage to Mecca."

    Ah but, my presumptuous acquaintance, you assumed I didn't know that. I did. Since 1980 I make no distinction between the followers of that faith who actually do the killing and those who give them tacit support.

    Islam is right on track actually. They are 700 years behind Christianity and has an outlook much like Christendom in 1400. It just is I have no interest in seeking to coexist with them.

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  • 330. At 10:45pm on 03 May 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    278 marcus wrote
    "However, coming from a culture that braved the mountains and the deserts, Indians attacks and buffalo stampedes, and only had one recorded case of cannibalism I'm aware of until the late 20th century to conquer the vast untamed wilderness"


    Did cannibalism increase dramatically from the late 20th century onwards? We demand more information. Should I worry next time I go to the US?

    Or is your ability to follow your own tortured arguments deteriorating?

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  • 331. At 10:57pm on 03 May 2009, SONICBOOMER wrote:

    Gunsandreligion, well in an age of globalisation, it is no longer true to view companies as we may have done decades before.
    However, your point about German cars illustrates their strength, they build not only in Germany, but as you say, elesewhere in Europe, in the US too.
    GM are shedding their Opel division in Germany, have shed others including SAAB, in a desperate fight for survival.

    The 787 aircraft (though it's running two years late), however American, has Japanese wings, undercarriage from the UK (but a French owned company), engines either from Britain or America, have systems from Germany, Britain and France, download a PDF of the equipment list and be surprised.
    Major parts of the fuselage from Italy too.

    The Eurofighter Typhoon is as the name suggests, a multinational project, built in the UK, Italy and Germany,
    Spain plays a significant role too.
    It is however, as an original design, largely the work of British Aerospace.
    But a UK 'national programme' would never have got past the British government's Treasury.

    The lastest (and possibly last manned) US fighter, the F-35, is not an obvious multinational effort like the Typhoon.
    But it's pretty close to one.
    Major parts and design input from the UK, a range of other parts from Italy, contributions from the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Australia.
    The vertical take off version is reliant on Rolls Royce technology.

    What do these examples mean?
    For one, pure economic nationalism is futile.

    I've cited admittedly areas I know more about, I've no doubt that it's true in other areas of industry too.

    One thing is for sure, the obvious and understandable temptation to run up a kind of economic drawbridge must be resisted.
    It's no answer, in fact it's a distraction from the real issue, to prevent the financial market led chaos from ever happening again.










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  • 332. At 10:58pm on 03 May 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    283 peterbo wrote...
    "1) Obama is USA, and USA is Obama (l'etat c'est moi): whoever is against Obama's disastrous policies is against USA, he/she is not a patriot, is an American hater. That's unadulturated Stalinism"


    Now I don't know where you were during the early part of the Iraq war when the Bush administration used identical political machination against anyone who disagreed with the war, or Bush's "disasterous policies". It sopped short of McCarthyite witch-hunts, but the word "unamerican" was used.

    Pot meet Kettle

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  • 333. At 11:06pm on 03 May 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    # 312. You speak the truth in every sense of the word, H-Hero, but you must understand the very nature of those from the USA who have the courage to visit other countries and only those places their government permits them to do so. Coming in contact with many of these visiting North Americans, one gets the impression they only come to see the bad in the country they are visiting. Unlike most European and Asian countries who go abroad to listen, see the best,interact or mingle with the natives, exchange pleasantries and than go back with a sense of belonging. My experience with US tourists is not like that. They boast about how everything is better in the USA, which give a notion to the natives of what in the hell do they want or what are they doing here, anyways! Why do they pay to see the worst in another country.

    #312. "I'm glad you think more highly of Iran than the U.S." - Marcus

    How dare you insinuate that anyone or everyone who don't agree with your misguided arrogance based on insanity comments "emigrate, leave, or go there, etc.,. That would include just about 75-85% of the USA, wouldn't it?

    You "love it or leave it" bible thumping flag waving super-patriotic hypocrites bordering on insanity just don't get it. Your conservative right wing ideology is kaput, not only in the USA, but throughout the Americas and the world.

    Obama getting elected should give you people a clue.

    True "Americans" have had enough of you dudes!


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  • 334. At 11:09pm on 03 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    330, Rome.
    "Did cannibalism increase dramatically from the late 20th century onwards? We demand more information. Should I worry next time I go to the US?"

    As long as you stay away from staph. aureus you should be OK>

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  • 335. At 11:17pm on 03 May 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    329 schwerpunkt wrote
    "Since 1980 I make no distinction between the followers of that faith who actually do the killing and those who give them tacit support."


    But would you distinguish between supporters of the IRA in the USA and Rep of Ireland and the actual IRA terrorists? ..... or the right-wing Christian anti-abortionists who praise the actions of the murderers who bombed abortion clinics?

    Or do you just employ double standards to suit your narrow prejudices?


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  • 336. At 11:24pm on 03 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    eh loco_muchacho

    Let's play....Truth or Consequences :-) Puerto Rico will remain a Commonwealth by its own choosing indefinitely. The embargo against Cuba will not end soon. The wall on the US Mexican border will continue to be erected. Americans will continue to pay relatively low prices because of plenty of inexpensive illegal farm labor. That's the truth. Now for the consequences. How come you didn't emigrate to the UK since you liked it soooooo much better than where you are? This isn't about love it or leave it. America is what it is. The door isn't unlocked...from the inside. I think they'd be happy to have someone who emigrates from North America to Britain. From what I can see, the current is flowing strongly in the opposite direction. Must be plenty of available housing there too. Same with Mexico. I'll bet on a decent retirement salary, Puerta Vallarta has some nice homes and inexpensive domestic help available. Weather's probably good all year round too. Instead of complaining about life, why not find a place where you'd be happier than you obviously are. Me, I love New Jersey.

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  • 337. At 11:28pm on 03 May 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:

    I would agree that the article about the End of the American Century is the basis for Obama's "foreign policy" such as it is.

    There is a very strong masochism at the heart of the Obama administration's view of foreign policy. We have moved from vulgar, aggressive neo-conservative policy to the other end of the spectrum - a melodramatic self-hatred that is extremely appealing in Europe because it panders to the anti-Americanism that is so profound and deeply rooted there.

    But how many apology tours can we have? How many times can Obama apologize for American arrogance while praising other nations unreservedly? How many photo-ops can there be of our president giggling and cuddling up to Chavez and other dictsators?

    The world loves it when Obama tells them how dreadful Americans are, but there is a limit how many times this can be expressed.

    At some point there has to be a real policy, and it is very likely that we will move towards isolationism and away from the the world.

    This is what the rest of the world wants and it is what many Americans want as well. It is a dangerous idea in my opinion but it is inevitable. After years of whining, complaing and griping about evil Americans, we will have isolationism instead. The world may not like it as much as they assume.

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  • 338. At 11:32pm on 03 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    312, hibitual;
    333, foxtrot.
    The problem is the naivete of Americans. They actually take the media seriously. They actually take government progaganda seriously. Part of their problem is being separated on both sides by huge oceans. Most Americans go abroad as tourists. Were you to speak with American businessmen (not big corporation men who suffer their ownform of brainwashing, but entrepreneurs) you would hear very different stories. Your exasperation with the misunderstanding of Britain mirrors mine with the Middle East. Almost no one on this blog has ever visited there, and of that paltry number I have found only one or two who have intimate knowledge of the area. I am excluding those who have only visit Israel, because their view is partisan and distorted.

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  • 339. At 11:41pm on 03 May 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    333 foxtrot
    "Coming in contact with many of these visiting North Americans, one gets the impression they only come to see the bad in the country they are visiting. Unlike most European and Asian countries who go abroad to listen, see the best,interact or mingle with the natives, exchange pleasantries and than go back with a sense of belonging. My experience with US tourists is not like that. They boast about how everything is better in the USA"

    Now while I agree with much of your sentiments regarding the situation within the USA, I must take issue with this. You have fallen into the trap of crude generalisation, which you denigrate in others.

    Firstly to give some context, I have worked in tourism in Europe with mostly (around 90%) US clients for nearly 20 years. While some fit your "profile" most are coming to learn and understand .... whether it is to discover family heritage, fulfil a life's dream (Eiffel Tower, Colosseum etc), see the art, pilgrimage to Rome .... any number of reasons.

    Many do have preconceptions, often incorrect, but ignorance (not knowing) is not the same as stupidity.

    Many of my clients go home appreciating America all the more, but a surprising number are entranced by th positives of European living, and go back to the USA to plan the next trip, often relieved to find out that they are not hated as certain media outlets like to say.


    And Europeans are certainly not immune from the kind of charges you level at Americans .... many British tourists/holiday-makers only go abroad for the sunshine and then fulfil the lager-lout steroetype (the rest try to undo the damage!) .... many Italians are notoriously picky about food and coffee outside their own borders .... and to suggest that Asian tourists "interact or mingle with the natives, exchange pleasantries and than go back with a sense of belonging" is hilarious as the asian travel companies are renowned for fitting a 3 week trip into 7 days, and you can always tell when they are using the hotel you're in because there is rice on the breakfast buffet!

    The one thing I've come to realise is that if you meet 100 strangers and one of them does something you don't like, then that's the person you remember .... and then you often tell all your friends about it, and then they are prejudiced against those people. Think how many people don't like the French without ever having met one.

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  • 340. At 00:00am on 04 May 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:

    Kittle: ". Because you can't seem to see that it's your attitude, and the attitudes of people like you, that give America such a bad reputation in Europe and make us all that much more resistant to working with you; and that makes us all weaker."

    It has been several months since I posted here and it is good to see that good, old-fashioned anti-American hysteria is alive and well.

    Americans are indeed hated in Europe and there is nothing left of our alliance or even an ordinary friendship. At least the Europans have someone to hate.

    We will move further into isolationism while Britain and the rest of Europe will formalize their alliance with the Islamic nations.

    The only question that remais is: Why does this blog exist?

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  • 341. At 00:02am on 04 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref 3338

    So going to Israel makes you partsian? I've been to Europe several time on both business and pleasure.

    I stand by my contnetion when it comes to the world, the average European is far less informed and more influenced by the media. Look at the protester in Europe who excuse terrorism but will protest the U.S, U.K and Israel.

    Or the lack of tolerrance and diversity in not welcoming Turkey into the EU.

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  • 342. At 00:04am on 04 May 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:

    "You speak the truth in every sense of the word, H-Hero, but you must understand the very nature of those from the USA who have the courage to visit other countries and only those places their government permits them to do so. Coming in contact with many of these visiting North Americans, one gets the impression they only come to see the bad in the country they are visiting. Unlike most European and Asian countries who go abroad to listen, see the best,interact or mingle with the natives, exchange pleasantries and than go back with a sense of belonging. My experience with US tourists is not like that. They boast about how everything is better in the USA, which give a notion to the natives of what in the hell do they want or what are they doing here, anyways! Why do they pay to see the worst in another country."

    Surely these cude, vulgar insults have little place in a serious discussion? Or perhaps I am giving this discussion too much credit?

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  • 343. At 00:06am on 04 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #324

    Your nation( if you are truly an Iranaian) was far better of under the Shah. You had more unlightened society instead of some bigoted mullahs who still think it is the 16th century

    Khomehni was one of the worst villian of the last century and your country will be associated with him like Stalin with Russia and Hitler with Germany.

    Hoping for a revolution and the Mulahs to be put on War Crime trials and Khomeni image to hit with a million shoes

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  • 344. At 00:10am on 04 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    339, Rome.
    "The one thing I've come to realise is that if you meet 100 strangers and one of them does something you don't like, then that's the person you remember ...."

    Just as Americans stereotype the British injustly, the reverse is also true. Some years ago in Iran we had business with a British company. We drove with one of its VIP's to a party. Our two very little children were sitting in the back seat. As we are driving along the Brit started started to talk about how badly brought up American children were, unlike ours who were so polite and sweet. We did not say anything and the Brit finally realized we were American, not British. (His mistake about our nationity was understandable. After many years abroad you tend to lose your national accent and develop a hard-to-place "international English.") This is only one of several instances of the British stereotyping us.

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  • 345. At 00:14am on 04 May 2009, british-ish wrote:

    330. At 10:45pm on 03 May 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    278 marcus wrote
    "However, coming from a culture that braved the mountains and the deserts, Indians attacks and buffalo stampedes, and only had one recorded case of cannibalism I'm aware of until the late 20th century . ."


    Nothing surprises me any more about the mania of the Aurelians. He's made it perfectly clear he thinks it's a dog-eats-dog world, I'm just surprised he is willing to admit publicly his own clan have returned to the practice. Isn't there a law against that over there?

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  • 346. At 00:19am on 04 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    341, ubermensch.
    "So going to Israel makes you partsian?"

    Not of itself. But the vast majority of Americans who visit Israel are Jews and they are visiting co-religionists. They don't get to know any other nations in the Middle East. This results in tunnel vision. That is why I said, "I am excluding those who have only visit Israel (as opposed to others who visit the Middle East), because their view is partisan and distorted.

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  • 347. At 00:31am on 04 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    343, ubermensch.

    It is your concept that if you repeat a lie often enough it will be taken for truth. As you well know I am not an Iranian. I am a second-generation American of Sicilian ancestry. My husband is a many-generation American WASP. Do you think your brain is large enough to retain that information?

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  • 348. At 00:32am on 04 May 2009, Schwerpunkt wrote:

    335. RomeStu wrote:

    "But would you distinguish between supporters of the IRA in the USA and Rep of Ireland and the actual IRA terrorists? ..... or the right-wing Christian anti-abortionists who praise the actions of the murderers who bombed abortion clinics?

    Or do you just employ double standards to suit your narrow prejudices?"

    Oh not at all. I'm an American who was living in the UK at the height of the IRA attacks and don't view fund-raisers for the IRA any differently than the supporters of any other terrorist group. Nor those who attack abortion clinics or praise those who do (I'm pro-choice). Not all of the latter are Christians though from those I encountered directly in Providence. Perhaps a sign of your own narrow prejudice there?

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  • 349. At 00:35am on 04 May 2009, Schwerpunkt wrote:

    345. british-ish wrote:

    "I'm just surprised he is willing to admit publicly his own clan have returned to the practice. Isn't there a law against that over there?"

    I believe Marcus is referring to the Donner Party of 1846.

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  • 350. At 00:41am on 04 May 2009, Kittle wrote:

    340.
    Yes, that's right Tim, saying that most Europeans don't hate America is anti-American hysteria. Of course. If there's nothing left of your alliance, why have Brits been fighting and dying alongside Americans in Iraq for the last six years?

    341.
    "Or the lack of tolerrance and diversity in not welcoming Turkey into the EU."
    Actually, one of the big reasons that Turkey isn't being allowed into the EU yet is because of a lack of tollerance on their part. Their human rights record is abysmal. Did you know that a transsexual is murdered on average every fifteen days in that country? LGB people are still murdered regularly too. And that's not even touching on the way Turkish Kurds are treated (I know the Kurds aren't helping their situation, but two wrongs do not make a right). The EU has standards of human rights that it expects it's member states to uphold, and until Turkey starts to show that it's willing to protect the most vulnerable members of it's society, it doesn't deserve to be part of the EU.

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  • 351. At 00:42am on 04 May 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#339 Romestu

    If you meet 100 strangers and one is kind, welcoming and gracious, this is the person you will always remember with happiness. This is a reminder to always treat the stranger with loving kindness because one can never know who that visitor might be.

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  • 352. At 00:46am on 04 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Stewed in Rome;

    The cannibalism of the infamous Donner Party was the only recorded incident of cannibalism I think in North America, maybe the entire Western hemisphere until the Jeffrey Dahmer incident a few decades ago. The first was an act of desperation, the second an act of lunacy. There may be others but I'm not aware of them. Not one of my favorite topics. When I think about cannibalism, I prefer to think of some primitive tribes eating Christian Missionaries. Weren't the MauMau cannibals?

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  • 353. At 01:15am on 04 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 354. At 01:41am on 04 May 2009, british-ish wrote:

    349. At 00:35am on 04 May 2009, Schwerpunkt wrote:

    I believe Marcus is referring to the Donner Party of 1846.

    His family made them into kebabs? Gets worse.

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  • 355. At 01:43am on 04 May 2009, chronophobe wrote:

    re 329 Schwerpunkt: Islam is right on track actually. They are 700 years behind Christianity and has an outlook much like Christendom in 1400. It just is I have no interest in seeking to coexist with them.

    Ah, now I get the Guderian-ish moniker; got a final solution in mind?

    Hugs,
    Pinko

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  • 356. At 01:48am on 04 May 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    Donner Pass is, even now, nearly impassable for weeks during a bad winter. It is hard to imagine what the so called "Donner Party" had to endure in their trek to find new lives. It is my understanding that the survivors consumed their dead, which were many. They did not exactly slay each other out of hand for a good meal. This is very sad but who is to say what any of us would do for our own basic survival.

    I think some people might even consume themselves if they thought the meat was tender enough.

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  • 357. At 02:01am on 04 May 2009, Via-Media wrote:

    To All

    This started out as a reasonable discussion of President Obama's performance. It quickly deteriorated into an ongoing debate over Iran, the Middle East, World War II history, etc. Digressions might be normal, but the entire forum has been hijacked by a single poster, and those who have fought repeatedly for sanity.

    Might I suggest something? (OK, I will anyway.) Responding to irrational, venom-spewing attacks wastes time, distracts from the topic at hand, and disrupts the civil conversation at hand. Worse, we demean ourselves by retaliating in kind, and cheapen ourselves even just by trying to respond rationally.

    If we want to continue a reasonable discussion, it will only require that as many as possible not rise to the bait. Don't acknowledge even with a negative response. If there is a post that is simply intolerable, it can always be referred without comment to the board.

    Please, don't feed the troll!

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  • 358. At 02:07am on 04 May 2009, Via-Media wrote:

    280 MagicKirin

    While you and disagree on what exactly constitutes a hate group, thank you for agreeing that white supremacy is abominable.

    As far as Newsweek: These were first person interviews, and actual photos of preschoolers and kindergarteners holding up White Power signs. I don't think they'd make this up- especially because there are plenty of these groups and people out there.

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  • 359. At 02:12am on 04 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    357, Via-Media

    Oh wonderful! I hope they listen to you.

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  • 360. At 02:14am on 04 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    british-ish, Schwerpunkt, Ms. Marbles, RomeStu, wasn't there a case in the Andes
    where the survivors of an airliner crash had to heat up the frozen dead bodies
    and consume them to stay alive?

    I come back from working for a few hours, and discover that you guys have
    descended to the depths of talking about airliner cuisine!

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  • 361. At 02:18am on 04 May 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#357 Viamedia

    I believe that many here are in total agreement with you!

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  • 362. At 02:21am on 04 May 2009, british-ish wrote:

    360. At 02:14am on 04 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:


    british-ish, Schwerpunkt, Ms. Marbles, RomeStu

    Not our fault, honest. Guess who started it.

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  • 363. At 02:24am on 04 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    british-ish, is there such a thing as self-cannibalism?
    I believe that I saw Hannibal Lechter apply such a remedy
    in one such case.

    Criticize all you want, but the man had a sense of justice.

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  • 364. At 02:24am on 04 May 2009, Via-Media wrote:

    359 bere

    I'm not betting on it. I get tired of good people on both sides of a topic being drowned out and driven off. Ostracism works, as the Amish (big in our area) can attest.

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  • 365. At 02:30am on 04 May 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    What exactly is a "hate group" might be well worth some debate. La Raza was mentioned as a hate group. I would like to read some specifics cited that show this group has a "hatred" for others. Please no rhetoric but some real examples of what they have done to show they are a hate group.

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  • 366. At 02:33am on 04 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    the scroll bar is your friend, until better technology is available...

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  • 367. At 02:44am on 04 May 2009, chronophobe wrote:

    re 225 ukwales Marcus,
    Why dont you go out more,find your self a nice Lass.
    But for goodness sake stop annoying the good folk on this blog.
    Play your cards right and change your attitude,at the moment all you have
    is a weak hand with little to play with.


    Priceless!

    Glad to see you back!

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  • 368. At 02:46am on 04 May 2009, british-ish wrote:

    357 Via-Media:

    Unfortunately, the mods (you awake and taking notice?) seem not to apply the same standards in his case as to others of us; numerous referrals in the past have failed to curb him; I'm willing to try ostracism again, but he has taken to attacking people who ignore him or refuse to address him as well. I think ridicule is the only thing that sometimes brings him to a halt, though never to his senses.

    Sadly, I think this thread's been destroyed now.

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  • 369. At 02:46am on 04 May 2009, Via-Media wrote:

    310 Guns

    I think the fear of big government can be overstated. We have double- double!- the population we did during WWII, and the world has gotten vastly more complicated.

    As someone who's worked from the inside of govt. (as a civil servant and as a contractor) for nearly 20 years, it's the quality, not the quantity, that counts. There are some poorly managed Federal agencies who couldn't spend a dime responsibly, and others who skimp by brilliantly on next to nothing, doing a bang-up job with no recognition. Which is as it should be.

    The government is a reflection of the American (Norteamericano) people- our wants, needs, and dreams. Like the people, it is fallible, and frequently falls short. But most of the civil servants I've met truly want to serve. Many could be paid far more in private industry, but instead want to do something worthwhile.

    Politicians also run the gamut, but tend to like meddling with things. Not fixing things that are broken, trying to fix things that are not... they can be like a child who tries for hours to build a block tower, and once they finally do, they have to try to change the bricks at the bottom...

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  • 370. At 02:48am on 04 May 2009, Via-Media wrote:

    361 aqua

    Thanks, but I don't think it'll do much good.

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  • 371. At 02:51am on 04 May 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#366 Gunsandreligion

    I agree but when one has to scroll nearly an entire thread it does get very tiresome.

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  • 372. At 02:52am on 04 May 2009, british-ish wrote:

    366. At 02:33am on 04 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    "the scroll bar is your friend, until better technology is available..."

    Until it is I'm wondering if old technology might have something to offer.

    (Curses. Spells.)

    (I was brought up in sight of Pendle Hill.)

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  • 373. At 03:03am on 04 May 2009, Via-Media wrote:

    372 british-ish

    Sorry, that didn't translate this side of the water. Pendle Hill? Like Salem?

    And 368: I've seen the attacks. It seems like my children when they fight (actually, when don't they fight?) Keep the insults flowing until the target loses patience... Like momma always said, it takes two sides to make an argument.

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  • 374. At 03:09am on 04 May 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    In ref. to 325 Fox:

    On the contrary; I know you find it hard to believe that someone in the deep south would be able to "comprehend [your] logic", but I knew exactly what you so skillfully implied, and thats what made it so insidious.

    I suggest you visit us down here and educate yourself before you go borrowing Rev. Wright's material again.

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  • 375. At 03:14am on 04 May 2009, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 357 Via

    It's all Justin's fault! That video, the Bacevich end of the "American Century" thing ... he's chumming for sharks.

    Yours,
    Pinko

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  • 376. At 03:14am on 04 May 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#369 Viamedia

    Well written! It is easy to criticize so called "government waste" while forgetting the countless people who do their good jobs each day with no recognition and the worry of how to do the same job on reduced budgets. Some of these workers even put their lives on the line, forest fire fighters, border patrol, federal agents etc. Not all federal workers are a waste. We need them unless we would all like to do their work ourselves.

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  • 377. At 03:24am on 04 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    BienvenueEnLouisiana

    poco-loco superficially appears to be an Hispanic American living in New Mexico. He was supposedly in the service in the 50s and served as an attache' in the UK for some time. He may have been in the Air Force. At least that is what he'd have us believe. But there is something about his story which does not ring true. I have never met any American who would write off even a single state yet he appears to have written off an entire section of the country, one he clearly knows nothing about. It is not surprising when foreigners make sweeping statements about America that have no connection with the reality of the US or even of their own country or the rest of the world but for an American to not understand anything about the South and be so vehemently prejudiced against it just doesn't add up. He also equates the South with the "Red" states and clearly doesn't know that there is strong republican support in other regions such as the monutain states. I think he's lying. I don't know who or what he is but I don't think he is what he has proported to be from his prior postings. I don't think he is an American, I'm not sure he ever actually lived in or visited America. He seems to have invented a fiction and created imaginary straw men to whack. Maybe he's more than poco loco.

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  • 378. At 03:25am on 04 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    Via-Media, aquarizonagal, I believe that we are in violent agreement.

    But, governments have to look at ways to trim waste, and all too often
    politics gets involved in such a way as to create waste.

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  • 379. At 03:50am on 04 May 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#378 Gunsandreligion

    A question I have is that whenever "waste in government" is to be eliminated it mostly seems to focus on the bottom, those people actually doing the work, and seldom on the bureaucrats who spend their time counting beans and shuffling papers.

    How many bureaucrats might be able to dance on the head of a pin?

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  • 380. At 04:07am on 04 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    379, here's an example from my locale. I live in an area where there are
    separate towns, each with their own police and fire departments. Due to
    the current economic situation, they are combining those departments to
    save money. They are not laying off any policemen or firefighters, but
    they are able to reduce administrative staff.

    Could this have been done at any time in the past? Definitely. Why
    didn't it happen? Because the bureaucrats didn't want to lose their jobs.

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  • 381. At 04:08am on 04 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    368, ish-ish.
    "I'm willing to try ostracism again, but he has taken to attacking people who ignore him or refuse to address him as well."

    Do you think Jeffrey Dahmer will take a case pro bono?

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  • 382. At 04:16am on 04 May 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#380 Gunsandreligion

    Exactly!

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  • 383. At 04:27am on 04 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    My, my! What people won't do to assume a false American identity even vicariously in cyberspace on the internet. An Iranian posing as an American of Sicilian heritage living in Manhattan. Someone else, possibly a Canadian who posted under various names including Xie Ming posing as an Hispanic American living in New Mexico. The extreme left anti-American positions are a dead give-away. If you want to hide among the reeds, you have to make yourself look like a reed. A poison oak tree sticks out like a sore thumb.

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  • 384. At 04:35am on 04 May 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Gunsandreligion and aquarizonagal

    The smaller, older suburban communities ringing the City of Detroit are beginning to negotiate shared services due to the economy. Crisis has brought into play an idea long overdue. Metropolitan Toronto, Ontario is a good model and worthy study of how an urban community has operated for several decades.

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  • 385. At 04:35am on 04 May 2009, chronophobe wrote:

    Hi guns,

    In my experience there is in the States, far more than in Canada or Europe, a deep seated fear of government. Usually relating to, dare I say it, guns ("they" want to take them away) and religion ("they" want to take it away). And taxes, of course.

    Well, taxes are OK, as long as they are used to buy really, really big guns to blow up the bad guys who seem to appear, God knows why, out there in the strange, wide world.


    But isn't it a myth that big government doesn't exist? When I go south, I am immediately struck by the overwhelming size and array of government agencies and institutions. Big complex societies lead to big complex government. Throw in state's rights, and local independence, and the structures multiply, intertwine, and form incredibly complex systems that even specialists have a hard time navigating.

    It is no different up here (though being a smaller country everything is on a smaller scale -- and we don't have the military and security apparatues on anything like the same level). But our national mythology has always held government to be a major, and necessary player in the national project. "Peace, order, and good government" were in fact the legal principles upon which Canada (and other Commonwealth nations) were founded.

    We expect government to be there, we generally speaking accept that its role is to redistribute wealth in the name of a rather broadly defined notion of equality, and, further, that this rude equality is a prerequisite for social order and individual peace.

    Of course we complain about waste, corruption, excessive taxation, and so on. But these complaints are generally made within a discussion of how government can be made more effective.

    In the US (and I may be wrong about this) it seems that the same discussions become entangled in the fear of 'big government' encroaching on individual liberties. Which to me looks like arguing over a myth: big government is already there. What matters is making it work better. And making it work better makes people freer, happier, and may even let them live longer to persue their happiness.

    Yours,
    Pinko

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  • 386. At 04:49am on 04 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    380, guns.
    "Could this have been done at any time in the past? Definitely. Why didn't it happen? Because the bureaucrats didn't want to lose their jobs."

    Yes. This has been done in the near past. Rudy Giuliani has behaved like such a fool these last few years that one forgets what a marvelous mayor he was. There were three different police departments in the city. Over much opposition he combined them into one. He joined the Emergency Medical Service with the Fire Department, again over opposition. (By the by, he reduced crime drastically and ran the Mafia out of the wholesale fish business. There is more too.) I am so sorry that such a fine mind has turned to jello.

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  • 387. At 04:51am on 04 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    385, chrono

    I think the fear of big government may be fading in the U.S., except in a few paranoid pockets, now that people have seen what havoc big unregulated non-governmental entities can wreak.

    Peace, order, and good government sound like excellent principles to me. Big government is not the problem; bad government is the problem.

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  • 388. At 05:06am on 04 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    381, afterthought.


    Forget I said that. Dahmer might get indigestion and sue us.

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  • 389. At 05:07am on 04 May 2009, amishtechie wrote:

    Ah, the Donner party. I do enjoy going to a restaurant when there is going to be a wait. The hostess will tell me it is going to be a while and ask for my last name and the like. I love telling them the name is Donner. After a bit of a wait The hostess will call out "Donner, party of three." I reply with "There is only two now."

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  • 390. At 05:15am on 04 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    360 Guns.
    The book was titled just that: Alive.
    You might also read the story of "The Whaleship Essex" to which parts of both "Moby Dick" and "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" have resonance.

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  • 391. At 05:19am on 04 May 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#386 Allmymarbles

    Very well stated and I agree. Somehow this good man lost his way or his mind turned to "jello." He did so many good and innovative things that could be used for models elsewhere. Government does not have to be inefficient.

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  • 392. At 05:31am on 04 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    380 Guns; 384 Publius

    Not sure metro Toronto is a very good example. It seems to me that Toronto ended up with a larger combined bureaucracy than the sum of the former five boroughs. It seems they had to hire more people to co-ordinate integration of the corresponding departments of the boroughs or something. The problem, as always, is that each little fiefdom had its web of political support, the jobs were all unionized, and nobody was going to vote in favour of upsetting anyone else's applecart.

    So, instead of having North York, Toronto now has the "northern region"; ditto for Scarborough, East York, Etobicoke, and the former City of Toronto itself. "Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose."

    Not sure what happened to the unlamented, deeply troubled City of York - a borough that had the distinction of having 5 of the 7 members of its municipal council investigated for corruption at one time.

    Anyhow, Toronto ended up with "more" rather than "less".

    Oh yeah, and the provincial government unwisely devolved taxing power on the municipal government (giving yet another cruelly ironic twist to John A. MacDonald's dream that the provinces would be as municipalities compared to the Dominion government). So now the current mayor has his foot to the floor increasing taxes on everything that moves or doesn't move. The Globe and Mail, usually a fairly staid paper, has likened Toronto's municipal government to a marxist politburo.

    Good old hogtown.
    It is to laugh ...

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  • 393. At 05:33am on 04 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    Many years ago my father was the public safety director for a mid-size southern city, and he combined the police and fire departments into one Public Safety Department. The police cars had one red light and one blue light, and carried minor fire fighting equipment in their trunks to use in case they were the first to arrive at the scene. Under this plan, some of the firefighting jobs were phased out and it cut down on administrative positions.

    He also instituted a new rule requiring all new police hires to have a college education, and the current officers had to take college classes if they wanted promotion.

    This scheme won him the enmity of both police officers and firefighters, at first. It was an unsettling and sometimes scary time as he received anonymous threats. But it all worked out and saved the city money and the police and fire departments became reconciled to it.

    I don't know if this city still uses this system, but my father was invited to cities around the country to teach them how to switch over to it.

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  • 394. At 05:53am on 04 May 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 392 Interestedforeigner

    Sorry. I read my post again and noticed I failed to mention it was not a model to serve as a pattern. It is a good study of what can be done; as well as what not to do when consolidating government functions to a metropolitan system.

    I am familiar with many of the problems Toronto faces; but in comparison to many major cities in the U.S., there are good things to learn. Living in a city where mass transportation is dismal, at best, I enjoy visiting Toronto (even Windsor) where public transportation is much more efficient and convenient.

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  • 395. At 06:05am on 04 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    Point taken by Canadian Pinko about governance; but the very scale of the US
    makes delivering services from the Federal gov't much less feasible than
    in smaller, more nimble countries.

    Fortunately, we do have smaller political units. They are called states!
    And, many of the functions that a medium-sized country (in population) such
    as Canada provides at a federal level could be done at the state level
    here.

    And, another advantage of dealing with problems at the state level is
    that citizens have a free choice as to which state (if any) they choose
    to live. This allows states to act as laboratories to determine which
    approaches work best with respect to such problems as education and health
    care.

    Nonetheless, the Federal government can provide resources that no state
    can match, such as R&D funding for breakthrough technologies. But, their
    role in direct funding of social programs has to be limited because the
    country is just too diverse.

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  • 396. At 07:05am on 04 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #323. allmymarbles: "I always wanted our anthem to be "Columbia the Gem of the Ocean."

    DId you know that in the United Kingdom it was published as "Britannia, Gem of the Ocean"? Even then publishers wanted to make a buck! Of course, it worked both ways since "America" (My Country 'tis of Thee) is sung to the melody of the British national anthem.

    #327. MagicKirin: "Here is a partial list of intolerants: . . Perez Hilton and his millant supporters."

    If all of America was actually tolerant, Mr Hilton would not have had reason to say what he did about Miss California. His supporters are not necessarily militant, but trying to get some semblance of equality for committed same gender couples. Incidentally, the young lady was foolish to have voiced her religious opinions and should have just left out the last part; apparently she was not bright enough to do that.

    #383. MarcusAureliusII: "A poison oak tree sticks out like a sore thumb."

    As well you exemplify.

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  • 397. At 07:35am on 04 May 2009, Eboe89 wrote:

    When are people going to realize it wasn't under-regulation or lack of government intervention that caused this problem? It was WAY too much intervention from the government who forced banks to make risky loans so that anyone and everyone could own a nice home, regardless of their ability to pay for it.

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  • 398. At 08:02am on 04 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #397. Eboe89: "When are people going to realize it wasn't under-regulation or lack of government intervention that caused this problem? It was WAY too much intervention from the government who forced banks to make risky loans so that anyone and everyone could own a nice home, regardless of their ability to pay for it."

    No-one forced banks to make loans; you do not consider the sheer greed of both the mortgage bankers and their officers (thinking of the commission . . . ) who approved such loans, they're as much to blame as anyone.

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  • 399. At 08:08am on 04 May 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    Via-Media # 357
    "Please, don't feed the troll!"
    Many go to the ball game to stand on the terraces or sit comfortably in the stands and watch the "gladiators" of opposing teams do battle. We do not necessarily have to support one side or the other, but enjoy the 'sport' itself, for what it is. Nobody wishes to see blood flow but a contestant being tackled, tripped up, even the occasional crash and burn or wipeout makes for the spectator enjoyment.
    Guns suggests the scroll bar is your friend, but then we would miss the answering retort , put down , explanation and valued information that gets suggested by the more even keeled blogger.
    Think of it as casting your pearls of wisdom before swine.
    {Pearls are formed inside the shell of certain mollusks: as a defense mechanism to a potentially threatening irritant such as a parasite inside its shell, the mollusk creates a pearl to seal off the irritation.} Wiki.
    Justin's blog is the mollusk and our good friend Marcus is the irritant, the parasite that oils the works. He himself is the black pearl, the synthetic un-missable uncultivated bauble that completes the display.
    Of all the colours exhibited in this rainbow kaleidoscope, please tell me which colour, pebble or object should be removed to improve the symmetry of the view?
    Live with the flu, apply an antidote or broad spectrum cure, or retreat to a cave until the possible threat has passed.?
    Marcus and his kind are like London buses. They suddenly appear occasionally 5 in a line together- always going to the wrong destination but they give us hope that one of ours will come along soon.
    He is incorrigable but never inadmissable.
    When embracing poison ivy, we must learn to enjoy the rash.

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  • 400. At 08:13am on 04 May 2009, Eboe89 wrote:

    That is true. I just don't buy that it was under-regulation that did us in whenever the Bush (i'm not a fan, but they did) Administration and other Republicans did try to regulate more than the democrats in some cases such as Fannie and Freddie. Both parties are stupid, people are going to be dissapointed by putting their faith in the Democratic party.

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  • 401. At 08:58am on 04 May 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    #389 Amishtechie,

    The Donner party?

    I am compleatly lost with this one ???.

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  • 402. At 09:29am on 04 May 2009, SONICBOOMER wrote:

    TimR444, I must have missed that sackcloth and ashes from Obama, oh wait, it only happened in your head!

    On planet Earth, while he DID not the arrogance and mistakes of recent years, he also made clear that there is no excuse for knee jerk anti Americanism.
    Which of course is just as bad as the arrogance of the Bush years, however that is from a minority on the fringes.
    If the US is so hated, please explain the forces from these nations you insist hate you so, fighting in Afghanistan, providing the US with bases and other assistance.
    Because they are all democracies so their governments are ultimately accountable.

    Really, this whole made up notion of yours is untrue, exaggerated, simplistic in the extreme and perhaps rather revealing.

    'No one loves us, boo hoo,'
    Rubbish.
    Childish.


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  • 403. At 09:49am on 04 May 2009, U13937281 wrote:

    399. At 08:08am on 04 May 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:
    Marcus and his kind are like London buses. They suddenly appear occasionally 5 in a line together- always going to the wrong destination but they give us hope that one of ours will come along soon.
    He is incorrigable but never inadmissable.
    When embracing poison ivy, we must learn to enjoy the rash.
    +
    ..sorry but I have to disagree with you
    in a tolerant multi culti world & society
    you have to squish the likes of marcus
    and kill them dead before they spread

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  • 404. At 10:11am on 04 May 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    OBAMA SAVES CHRYSLER BY FIAT

    ;-)

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  • 405. At 10:51am on 04 May 2009, amishtechie wrote:

    #401 ukwales

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

    They are remembered mostly for resorting to cannibalism to survive their ordeal. Seeing as how they were previously mentioned in the comments I thought I would share my sense of humor.

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  • 406. At 11:16am on 04 May 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    254. Kittle wrote:

    (I would at this point like to reasure other readers that I'm not refering to anyone on this specific thread other than Marcus and I recognise he's part of a small, albeit vocal, minority)

    That's one of the funnier comments I have seen from the left. The reason why MarcusAureliusII is in the minority here is that the leftie dears have done their best to turn this blog into their own private club. He is certainly not part of a "small minority" out in the real world.


    262. british-ish wrote:

    259. At 04:26am on 03 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII:

    You, sir, are despicable.


    265. gunsandreligion wrote:

    I should really write something that plugs in to Firefox or IE and
    allows a user to filter out posts by user on Justin's blog, but
    I don't have the time this week.


    304. just_like_the_sea,

    and others,

    Insult is a shaky refuge for those unable to come up with a rebuttal.


    299. Richard_SM,

    You are starting to sound like a comedy act. You ignore all the evidence of Irans brutal crimes against its own people and then repeat your ignorant assertions like a stuck record.

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  • 407. At 11:49am on 04 May 2009, U13937281 wrote:

    Pah, I'm more of a man than too true will ever be

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  • 408. At 11:57am on 04 May 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    just_like_the_sea # 403
    Marcus is the salt of the earth.
    It stings a little when administered to a wound but in the long run can be helpful in seeing the big picture and reaching a cure.
    Think mustard, horseraddish sauce, pepper, chilli etc.Maybe on their own they have an abysmal, bitter troublesome taste and can get up your nose promoting tears but life without spice is bland and boring.
    Imagine that we all agreed with each other. What a disaster for the blog.
    I am just disagreeing for the hell of it, as does Marcus, the 406 bus to the WestBank, Uncle Tom Cobbely , even Justin himself.
    In the ocean of knowledge posted here [ or lack of it on my part], perhaps the only difference is some of us have been brought up to play but not to piss in the water.

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  • 409. At 11:58am on 04 May 2009, arclightt wrote:

    @398 (David Cunard): I believe that Eboe was referring to the actions of Congress in the late 1970s. Unfortunately, Congress has a disgusting habit of trying to hide what they are doing, rather than be up-front about it and take the political heat.

    @403: " ..sorry but I have to disagree with you
    in a tolerant multi culti world & society
    you have to squish the likes of marcus
    and kill them dead before they spread"

    You reveal your unwillingness to guard the freedom of those around you with this remark. What happens when Marcus (or someone else you disagree with) is correct? "Kill them dead", huh? I can't speak for anyone else, but if this is truly your attitude I hope you never hold power over any other human being, particularly children who will be molded by your attitude into thinking the same way.

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  • 410. At 12:03pm on 04 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ha haaaaa Just to prove Justin's point MarcusAurellius employs the same cheap tricks used in the Republican video.

    First in #300 he tries to suggest the American-Iranian journalist imprisoned in Iran is dead.

    Thats knocked back by the fact that her parents have visited her in prison several times, the last visit just two days ago. (#307)

    Confounded, he then resorts to suggesting that " by now she might be dead ". (#313)

    On that faulty logic, we haven't heard from George W Bush in the media either for the last two days - so he might be dead! Tom Cruise and Michael Jackson might be dead.

    Marcus Aurellius not only trips over flat on his face, which is funny in itself, he's also right ON-topic by proving the GOP have no strategy other than to try lies and plant false fears in people's minds.
    Game, Set and Match.

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  • 411. At 12:15pm on 04 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 412. At 12:20pm on 04 May 2009, U13937281 wrote:

    Oh good we got a mass debate going
    No man, I was just joking about the kill them dead lyric
    but you are sharp like a razor

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  • 413. At 12:26pm on 04 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    326 AMM I am in fact half Iranian half European. I moved back to Iran a couple of years ago and am very happy living here. While life will have changed some since you lived here in the 70s (Im guessing) at the same time it is still much the same. I just had coffee with a friend of my mothers who is also married to an Iranian and she had not been back since 1976 she was amazed at how much the city has changed but still life was not that unchanged. What were you doing here?


    Marcass, Marcass, Marcass. Where to start with you and your rants.

    Im no fan of Ahmadinejad and make no excuses for him. I would say however that if you look up a correct translation of his words, he wanted Israel wiped off the map geographically he was not suggesting a second holocaust. His point is that Israel was arbitrarily put on the map and so can just as easily be taken off.

    Why is it that no one asks who is arming the Sunni jihadists in Iraq as well as the Taleban in Afghanistan and Pakistan and of course not to forget Al Qaeda. The number of coalition soldiers killed by Sunni action is actually greater than by the Shia. Also more Shia are killed in sectarian violence than Sunni. But addressing these issues would offend your great friends the Saudis whom you cannot live without its much more convenient to blame it all on Iran.

    The reason the Arabs in the region are nervous of Iran is not actually about their potential nuclear ability. The real reason is that the largest oil reserves in most of the countries from Saudi Arabia to Bahrain lie in the Shia regions of those countries. They want to ensure that there is no further rise in Shia strength as it may undermine their power. Iran has not attacked or invaded another country for over 300 years. We already suffered hugely during the eight year was with Iraq (when you were Sadaams best friend even when he used chemical weapons, supplied by the west, on Iranians).

    343 Magic as I confirm above, I am indeed Iranian. I dont disagree some of what you say in this post. I would however say that to compare Khomeini to Stalin is ridiculous. Stalin was responsible for the deaths of up to 30 million people (figures still in dispute but ranging from 15 to 30 million). We had a revolution, people died (including many that were family friends) that is the nature of revolutions. And exactly what war crimes would the Mullahs be guilty of? If there are war crimes as relate to Iran, then they belong to the western countries that supplied Sadaam with chemical weapons.

    Going back to your post 341 Europeans on the whole are much better informed that Americans and are more politically engaged. Kittle answered the rest of your point well.

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  • 414. At 12:28pm on 04 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 406 TrueToo

    The point obviously goes right over your head. Ms Roxana Sab? is an American-Iranian. She has been imprisoned in Iran. She's Muslim as well, so she could have also found herself detained by America.

    In Iran - she's been treated fairly. She's got the charge specified. Had a trial. She knows the sentence. She has an appeal ooportunity. Her parents have been able to visit her. Her arrest was made public and is well known.

    Had she been detained as a Muslim by USA - the media would not have known, like the many hundreds of Muslims who've simply disappeared - only to appear on a list of detainees released to the media three years later. She would have been interrogated and tortured. Restrained in stress positions. Piled on top of other prisoners naked. Forced to walk around naked with a sack on her head. Been subject to simulated drowning. Have no prospect of a fair trial. Have no knowledge how long she was to be detained. Have no visits from parents.

    Now, given that choice: Either as an American being given fair and just treatment in Iran OR being treated like an animal by USA as a Muslim - she'll be counting her blessings she's been detained by Iran.

    I don't know how many times I have to explain it to you. Lets hope you now understand the point.

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  • 415. At 12:48pm on 04 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    MarcusAureliusII


    Marcus - you're a Scatterbrain. First, you raise the issue of the American Journalist Roxana Sab??? which I try to explain for you - then suddenly jump to something completely unrelated to do with the British. This is the Justin Webb page who is the BBC USA Editor - and the thread is about Obama's foreign policy and the hilarous Republican scare video.

    Now you're posting something else completely unrelated. You need to go to one of several Economics pages with your views. This isn't the right page.

    If you've anything to say about American foreign policy, the piece by the American History Professor or Republican propaganda methods - then please feel free to add post your comments. Its quite straightforward. Most other seem to understand it OK.



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  • 416. At 1:03pm on 04 May 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #403

    Sea,

    So so wrong. The whole point of having a tolerant multi cultural system (and more importantly the First Amendment) is to allow folks like Marcus to talk dso we can understand where the extremists are.

    You can disagree with what he says, and show his arguements to be wrong, but why bother? The poor man is ignorant on almost every subject he posts, from his interpretation of the Geneva Conventions to basic economics to Cannibalism (American examples in the 20th century include Arthur Shawcross, William Seabrook, Ed Gein, Albert Fish and, who cpould forget, Alferd Packer). If you don't take it personally (and no one should)and see him for what he is, it becomes quite funny.

    I know a few Marcus types, they are hilarious. They badger you with their views and the crap they make up to support them. They don't realize as soon as they turn their backs everyone laughs at them. As Guns points out we don't really know that he is American. For the uber American he has an unnatural fondness for cheese and many of his observations are picked from TV.

    Honestly, who could like New Jersey? It's an outhouse shared by Pennsylvania and New York. Trailer parks and swamps. As for the cities, ugh. Trenton, derelict, Newark broke and crime ridden. As for Camden, how would you feel about being Philadelphia's poor relation? In the last Rocky movie they had to film the run down houses in Camden because Philly has revitalized and doesn't have the right kind of slum any more. Only a Soprano's fan (who has never been there) would like it.

    Don't hate Marcus. Pity him, laugh at him, camapign to improve adult education because of him. But don't be a hater, you'll make yourself just like him.

    Me? I'll defend his First Amendment rights to the death. But I wouldn't let him breath on me. Bad idea.

    Anti-halitosis Sam

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  • 417. At 1:07pm on 04 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    Anyone know why my apostrophes keep disappearing?

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  • 418. At 1:18pm on 04 May 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    #405 amishtechie,

    Thanks for the explanation.I was just trying to be a smart Alec by saying the Donner party was "Lost" on me.My humor is obscure at times sorry,but I like yours.
    Regards

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  • 419. At 1:27pm on 04 May 2009, U13937281 wrote:

    Sam,
    Marcus is used to insulting people as his usual normal form of communicating.
    I was speaking in Marcus lingo which he would appreciate with no offense taken.
    Sometimes lonely people like Marcus need to express themselves or they go mad.
    (I note sometimes even your levels of patience with Marcus can temporarily diminish)

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  • 420. At 1:41pm on 04 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref #314

    Yes - I do believe you're right.

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  • 421. At 1:43pm on 04 May 2009, U13937281 wrote:

    I used to live in NJ but I'm alright now

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  • 422. At 1:50pm on 04 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 423. At 1:58pm on 04 May 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #419

    Sea,

    I do, but only when the childish insults get nasty. It's usually when he runs out of ditto head points from that day's Rush broadcast.

    Then I think about those poor souls sitting in dank, squalid trailers tuning their am receovers and waiting for their daily dose of Rush like crack addicts so they have something to talk / blog about as they are told they are living the American dream.

    Which in a way they are. They live the way they do so Rush can live the way he does. His black shirts are silk.

    I was unfair to NJ. Short Hills is quite nice. Cape May too in winter. And Newark does have an Ikea, so it's got that going for it. Plus the Boss.

    Hang on, it's begining to sound like Paris. Great in spots, except for the locals.

    I take it back. New Jersey, the Paris of North America. I'm copyrighting that.

    Samtrak Sam



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  • 424. At 2:13pm on 04 May 2009, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 417 Princess-on-the-pea Anyone know why my apostrophes keep disappearing?

    Are you composing in a text editor and then pasting into the "Comment" box? That will sometimes do it, though the BBC software usually replaces apostrophes with question marks.

    I am enjoying your posts, BTW, apostrophes or not.

    Yours,
    Canadian Pinko

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  • 425. At 2:19pm on 04 May 2009, british-ish wrote:

    Ma/TT:

    "Ridikulus!"

    (Probably won't work. Worth a try anyway.)

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  • 426. At 2:22pm on 04 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 422 MarcusAureliusII

    1) Why would Roxana Saberi be detained by US? Simple. Seems she's not very good at keeping her documents up to date, so just like other muslims in Guantanamo Bay, Binyam Mohammed for example, she would have been detained in similar circumstances. Before you know it, you're being tortured - razor blades etc - and are off to Guantanamo Bay where you stay with no end in sight.

    2) I see you've now jumped to Israel/Palestine. Do try and keep on topic. Those nice people at the BBC have put a big sign at the top of the page for you - A M E R I C A. The thread Justin Webb has started is about Obama's New Foreign Policy and the Republican's Video Attack on Obama's Foreign Policy. You're very welcome to post your comments on American Foreign Policy if you have anything to say.




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  • 427. At 2:51pm on 04 May 2009, british-ish wrote:

    426. At 2:22pm on 04 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    "You're very welcome to post your comments on American Foreign Policy if you have anything to say."

    He has. Innumerable times. It's nuke everywhere in the world except Israel. (But torture the populations all first and execute them in public afterwards.) The only new twist he's come up with in over a year's worth of this is eating what's left.

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  • 428. At 3:02pm on 04 May 2009, british-ish wrote:

    422. At 1:50pm on 04 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "Large areas of rural New Jersey are as beautiful as any place in Britain or anywhere else."

    Oh, now I believe you when you say you've never been to Britain. Huge tracts of the country have been turned into desert with only the occasional oasis from which you can glimpse in the distance the multitude of minarets on the town skylines from the high-speed camel trains now we've been taken over entirely by fundamental Islam. What you see on the BBC is all faked, didn't you know? I thought you of all people had grasped that?

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  • 429. At 3:05pm on 04 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    Richard_SM

    While I agree with much of what you say, I am increasingly puzzled by your insistence on the "fairness" of Saberi's treatment. It sounds to me as if she was arrested on trumped up charges and not allowed proper legal representation. A closed one-hour trial on such serious (and quite possibly spurious) charges does not come under my definition of "fair." Yes, she has not been subjected to the treatment so many detainees in American hands have been, but that does not mean she has been treated fairly and with justice. If her "crime" was working without press credentials, how is being sentenced to 8 years in prison for espionage considered "fair"?

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  • 430. At 3:24pm on 04 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

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

  • 431. At 3:27pm on 04 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #297. MarcusAureliusII: "As for my reaction to your posting...we are not amused."

    Originally said by an old queen (British at that!) and now repeated . . .

    #422. "Large areas of rural New Jersey are as beautiful as any place in Britain or anywhere else."

    A miracle! MAII actually admits that, despite never having seen it in person, parts of Britain are beautiful. He must be mellowing; either that or he has misstated the lack of any past visits.

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  • 432. At 3:38pm on 04 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 433. At 3:39pm on 04 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

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

  • 434. At 3:40pm on 04 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

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

  • 435. At 3:48pm on 04 May 2009, amishtechie wrote:

    #422 MarcusAureliusII

    The Jewish population in the ancient state of Israel was scattered by the Romans in 66 - 70 CE. After a good 1800+ year absence many European Jews began emigrating to Palestine which happened to have people living there. The European Jews said "This is the land of our ancestors and we are here to reclaim it" and the people living there said "This is our land because we live here."

    Two hundred fifty years ago the Delaware Indians were forced to leave the state of New Jersey by the British. For the sake of argument let us say that earlier on today their descendants knocked on your door and said "This is the land of our ancestors and we are here to reclaim it." What would you do? All I can say is that I am thankful that is a decision I do not have make.


    The Jewish people were never denied access to Jerusalem while it was under Islamic control. A cursory search revealed that "The Ottoman Empire becomes a worldwide Torah study center..."
    http://www.geschichteinchronologie.ch/ottoman/EncJud_juden-ottoman13-kulturleben-ENGL.html
    The same search also revealed that the group second largest population in Jerusalem while those Muslims were in charge was Jewish.

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  • 436. At 3:50pm on 04 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    seems the mods don't like being called mad.


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  • 437. At 3:54pm on 04 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    Sam he just makes you feel good about yourself.
    Sad comment really.

    Common. he has been proven fake long ago reading your witty replies is as boing as reading his posts. Same with arguing so why bother.

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  • 438. At 3:56pm on 04 May 2009, amishtechie wrote:

    #418 ukwales
    Oh my. And I thought it was you who wasn't getting the joke.

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  • 439. At 4:05pm on 04 May 2009, Kittle wrote:

    "the other side has all the queens, Iran just has a few pawns"

    That's because Iran has a nasty habit of executing all of theirs, or forcing sex changes on them. But I thought the American military prefered you not to ask or tell about who's in their forces?

    ...What?

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  • 440. At 4:15pm on 04 May 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    #383 Welcome to the world of international realities, MucusAurelius#2

    But I doubt if it will drag you out of that cocoon you wrapped yourself around in. Yes, indeed, ignorance is bliss and the brain-washed bible thumping flag waving nationalist socialist super-patriot hypocrites in the USA is proof of that.

    Let me give you a little reference on knowledge and wisdom, Marcus, but I doubt if it will do you and your kind any good since you were bought up in the bible belt region of the US. Francois Rabelais (1494-1553) said: "than I began to think, that it is very true which is commonly said, that the one half of the world knoweth not how the other half liveth." Sounds familiar to you, Marcus?

    The truth is, Marcus, most North Americans are tired of the ignorance and the arrogance and downright stupidity that was shoved up their throats during the last 8 years of what will be known in the history books as a dictatorship. Obama is a breath of fresh air in a paranoiac fear mongering society that was imposed upon us for 8 whole years with nothing but lies and more lies. It turn a great country in reestablishing torture! It turn the world against the USA and even now some countries are on the verge of having criminal tribunals against those individuals that participated in the crimes against humanity and breaking international laws that were implemented by the USA in the first place.

    As some one earlier said before, Marcus, people don't hate you. Pity is more like it!

    By the way, Marcus, I am an internationalist first and foremost. I try to gather the best in people around the world and will speak against those who think otherwise. Besides, as a draftee, I served my time in the trenches in Korea back in the early 50's so don't preach to me what
    violence or patriotism is all about.




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  • 441. At 4:17pm on 04 May 2009, as is wrote:

    429. At 3:05pm on 04 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    "While I agree with much of what you say, I am increasingly puzzled by your insistence on the "fairness" of Saberi's treatment... Yes, she has not been subjected to the treatment so many detainees in American hands have been, but that does not mean she has been treated fairly and with justice."



    Moral equivalency as a basic reasoning defficiency indicator. Journalist Ms. Saberi and unlawful combatant Khalid Sheikh Mohammed on legal par? It dawned on Obama that the Guantanamo military commissions should be kept. Hopefully, his admirers follow suit: Bush commissions bad, Obama commissions good.

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  • 442. At 4:18pm on 04 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    Sam, I actually like most of New Jersey. But, you are right, there
    are parts to avoid.

    What can one say about a place whose state super-hero is the "Toxic Avenger?"

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  • 443. At 4:29pm on 04 May 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    Post 416, could only be written by a officer & gentleman.

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  • 444. At 4:42pm on 04 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #428. british-ish: "What you see on the BBC is all faked, didn't you know?"

    Careful - someone (and especially that someone) might think you're serious.

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  • 445. At 4:49pm on 04 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    peterpooh
    where is your mate TT?

    still "outlining an administration plan to amend the Bush administrations system to provide more legal protections for terrorism suspects."

    which is what people were looking for. trials. something GW didn't think were needed.

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  • 446. At 5:23pm on 04 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    I'd like to say RIP to Tim in Ohio.
    He has said He wishes to waste no more time on this blog.

    Well said Tim.

    It has been a pleasure hearing your opinions in the past . Have a good time. thanks for all the Great posts.

    Seems tabloid tactics are better than reasoned thought here on the BBC as in the rest of the media.

    Happy blogging elsewhere

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  • 447. At 5:25pm on 04 May 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    441. At 4:17pm on 04 May 2009, peterbo wrote:

    Moral equivalency as a basic reasoning defficiency indicator."


    That depends on the equivalency.

    Basic commonsense indicator.


    " Journalist Ms. Saberi and unlawful combatant Khalid Sheikh Mohammed on legal par?"


    Yes exactly on a legal par.


    Maybe not a moral par, but a legal one certainly.


    " It dawned on Obama that the Guantanamo military commissions should be kept. Hopefully, his admirers follow suit: Bush commissions bad, Obama commissions good."


    Has it? When did he recommission them?

    Fantasy indicator?

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  • 448. At 5:29pm on 04 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    I sick of US being a puncingbag.

    sorry can you do that again?

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  • 449. At 5:29pm on 04 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref #158 saintDominick

    Justin Webb's linked article is about the "myths and fallacies" USA surrounds itself with. You gave a good example:

    You wrote about GM "Their problems were caused by lousy investments such as buying Saab, Vauxhall, Opel"

    GM bought Saab sometime in the 1980's. GM bought Vauxhall and Opel back in the 1920's. Are you really attributing GM's demise to these acquisitions?? You don't think they had time to divest themselves of the acquistion if they didn't like what they'd bought? Blaming others is part of the problem the Professor in the article is suggesting.

    Remember GM's policy to buy up, in order close down, city passenger transport systems to ensure Americans almost total dependency on the car - thus removing their choice. Or their policy of hiring 'ladies in the oldest profession' in order to smear/blackmail and thus silence, those from the 'environmental lobby.' Or their policy to continue to make gas guzzlers way after it was obvious to everyone these cars had no future - SUV's just one example.

    Its not lousy investments made 80 years ago as you would have, but corrupt, incompetent management who have steered their company to bankruptcy - expecting the tax payer to bail them out - after having prevented the American public and tourists from having a choice of urban transport.

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  • 450. At 5:30pm on 04 May 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    429. At 3:05pm on 04 May 2009, bere54 wrote:


    We donot know whether Sabveri is innocent. It seems she may be but we have seen no evidence.

    It must not be forgotten that the US and Israel have threatened repeatedly to bomb Iran.

    One US presidential candidate thought this a "joke".

    One can understand the Iranians taking this seriously and being a little paranoid as regards western spies.

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  • 451. At 5:45pm on 04 May 2009, as is wrote:

    445. At 4:49pm on 04 May 2009, happylaze wrote:
    peterpooh
    where is your mate TT?

    still "outlining an administration plan to amend the Bush administrations system to provide more legal protections for terrorism suspects."

    which is what people were looking for. trials. something GW didn't think were needed."



    As I said, Bush Guantanamo military commissions bad, Obama Guantanamo military commissions good. Enjoy your mojito, KSM. "which is what (leftist) people were looking for" was a burbon in a US prison near a federal court somewhere in the fruity plains.

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  • 452. At 5:52pm on 04 May 2009, aegeanblue wrote:

    Obama's foreign policy (to stay on topic) has encouraged me to return to the US to live. Not New Jersey this time (despite Short Hills and Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge) but California (despite a scary Miss C.).
    Am I going to meet many like MAII...? For a whole year he's made me gasp at his outrageous and dated views of Britain and Europe.
    But can anyone - honestly - give me a percentage of how many Americans think like him? I speak with an English accent and when I was there 5 years ago everyone could not have been more pleasant. I never got abuse for being British (just the opposite actually).
    Anyone like to hazard a figure on people with his viewpoint - and who may be simiarly vocal?

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  • 453. At 5:55pm on 04 May 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    Princess on the Pea (417), Namaste,

    • "Anyone know why my apostrophes keep disappearing?"
    As noted by the Pinko above, it may have to do with the software and your editing software. This blog software has been cobbled together over decades and has some idiosyncrasys...

    I've prepared a few (hopefully) helpful hints.

    It's really to hear from someone who has a realistic perspective on Iran, I mean really refreshing! Welcome and

    Blessings!
    Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Peace
    -ed

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  • 454. At 6:06pm on 04 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    peter you mock the Idea that two different people could exist and there be two different ways things are done.

    you suggest that no matter what ,if Obama gets them to not torture the detainees, to give them access to a lawyer and to otherwise obey the rues of law of the US and the UN. there is no difference to when GW ran it and they were not allowed access to the lawyers etc.

    Tar all because your brush was a bog brush.


    "Bush commissions bad, Obama commissions good." Mock mock.
    but Hitler as your judge?= Bad

    according to you all people are the same therefore we should have left him to run the world, because all do the same.

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

    UNITED WE STAND divided we fall.

    These by your way of thinking could not be the same nation.

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  • 455. At 6:06pm on 04 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref #154 Marcus Aurellius

    Bang on topic! Well done! You provided some examples to support the sentiments in the History Professor's article.

    In #154 you said "I don't think Europeans or Americans on the political left know what those values actually are." And then said, "Whatever those values are, they tower over everyone elses"

    Do you know what they are yourself! Apparently not. "Whatever they are" is the best you can do.

    You also "perpetuate the array of illusions" that Professor Andrew Bacevich refers to. You seem to believe that under the Bush Regime your values still held good and did not compromise your security, yet your security was massively compromised! ! ! Not by a foreign power. Not by a terrorist organisation. But by your own Bush Government, when nuclear weapons were flown across the heads of the population ignoring all safety values and concerns. You think I'm joking? Only around 150 million Americans security was jeopardised. And the remaining population would have had to evacuate the rest of the country to avoid the radiation - quite probably much of Canada's population as well.

    Of course, Europe would have tried to make help you out - we've got large supplies of refugee tents that could have been used - and blankets. Say four to a tent if you didn't mind who you share with. African countries could have provided camp locations. Perhaps 150 tented camps across Africa each holding a million people per camp.

    You claim title to the 'greatest civilisation', yet you still have 50 million Americans, almost the population of UK or Canada, without adequate medical cover, denied access to anything but the most basic. Its what the History Professor at West Point Academy describes as "the persistence of this self-congratulatory account." The backslapping that goes on in Washington is hardly justified and somewhat premature: 150 million at risk through careless handling of nuclear weapons; 50 million without health care!

    And then there's the torture , and its not just waterboarding as some have claimed here, its systematic beatings and worse, some to extract false confessions to link Iraq to al Qaeda. Why were they trying to obtain statements to link Al Qaeda to Iraq?? I thought the Bush Regime had that evidence BEFORE they authorised the invasion of Iraq. No?

    There's a long way to go down the road of civilisation yet, and for the last eight years America has been walking the wrong direction, allowing others making progress, like Iran, to pass it by.




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  • 456. At 6:07pm on 04 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    3%

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  • 457. At 6:14pm on 04 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    452, aegeanblue, I don't think that the extremists that you see posting
    here are representative of Americans or of any other nationality. Most
    people are just normal folks.

    One of the reasons why extremists post on blogs is probably that nobody
    in the "real" world will listen to them. Here, they can spout off without
    consequence.

    I feel sorry for Justin, though, in that sometimes it appears that his
    blog has been taken over by that ilk.

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  • 458. At 6:16pm on 04 May 2009, timohio wrote:

    re. 329. Nincompunkt:

    I was giving you the benefit of a doubt and assuming you were merely ignorant. It turns out I was wrong.

    Do you actually know anything about Islam--have studied it, tried reading the Koran--stuff like that? Do you actually know--really know, not just sneer at on the street--any Muslims? I live in a community with a lot of Muslims. Doctors, lawyers, shop owners, local politicians, tradesmen. All of those I know are good decent people and loyal Americans. One man actually went on a speaking tour of the Middle East for the State Department after 9/11, trying to counter the stereotypes some in the Middle East have about the U.S. Whatever good he might have done on that trip is undone by people like you posting your racist opinions on the internet. If you are an American, you are doing our country a tremendous disservice.

    And that is it. I'm outa here. For good.

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  • 459. At 6:17pm on 04 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    Oh, and aegeanblue, if I were to guess, I would suspect that the percentage
    of people here like the kind that you mention are down in the 1-2% range.
    It would be nice if there were fewer, but there are always evolutionary accidents.

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  • 460. At 6:18pm on 04 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    408 you mean like salt in a farm field.

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  • 461. At 6:21pm on 04 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    458 well Said TIM.

    As always.


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  • 462. At 6:31pm on 04 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

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

  • 463. At 6:42pm on 04 May 2009, british-ish wrote:

    458. At 6:16pm on 04 May 2009, timohio wrote:

    "And that is it. I'm outa here. For good."

    Don't go; there are only four or so of them. Just seems like there are more some days. You'd be welcome where some of us have adopted a different 'strategy' until they get fed up I'm sure.

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  • 464. At 6:43pm on 04 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    457, 459, guns -

    I doubt people of that ilk do much spouting off anywhere but this blog (and others) because they know their views are outrageous and only under the cloak of anonymity can they freely spew. Which makes me wonder sometimes if these people could be neighbors and acquaintances. Scary thought. I suppose I'm naive but I haven't in many years heard anyone say these kinds of things and didn't realize until I started reading blogs, just in the last few months, how really nasty some people can be.

    So the question is, are these spewers on the blogs just the tip of the iceberg? What's hiding under the water? And do I really want to know?

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  • 465. At 6:46pm on 04 May 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    One cannibal to the other,
    I do not like your mother in law.
    The other,
    Nevermind just leave her at the side of your plate.

    sorry folks...

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  • 466. At 6:55pm on 04 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref #429 bere54

    I'm not sure why you say "trumped up." I believe she was arrested on an alcohol charge originally. Appareently she's admitted that. After her arrest, further investigation showed her papers were found to be out of date, and that appears to be true. And it just got worse the deeper they dug, until it seems she has confessed to gathering and passing on intelligence for US.

    Compared to a muslim detained by America, her treatment has been vastly superior. I don't know where you get one hour trial from. The trial started on 14 April as reported by much of world press, and concluded on 18 April. I make that five days. She was represented throughout by a lawyer. Spying in Iran caries a maximum punishment of death. She was given eight years. She has the opportunity of an appeal. Seems all very fair and just to me.

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  • 467. At 6:55pm on 04 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    459 lol GnR were pretty close on our guesses.

    Sonic

    Vive la evolution.
    368 ish british ish..

    do you see what I've bin sayin

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  • 468. At 6:57pm on 04 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    463 or one?
    lol

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  • 469. At 7:03pm on 04 May 2009, U13937281 wrote:

    Marcus is like Andrew Dice Clay acting like Pat Buchanan

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  • 470. At 7:06pm on 04 May 2009, british-ish wrote:

    467. At 6:55pm on 04 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    368 ish british ish..

    do you see what I've bin sayin

    Oh yeah; had a few goes a good while back and they all got canned. Maybe they've woken up now, though. (We can hope, anyway. It makes the Webbie look a bad joke, doesn't it?)

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  • 471. At 7:06pm on 04 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    468, happy, are they consuming each other now? What kind of wine
    would you serve with that?

    I grew up in beer-drinking country, so I'm completely out of my element.

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  • 472. At 7:30pm on 04 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Richard_SM (#466), " ... it seems she has confessed to gathering and passing on intelligence for US."

    What sort of intelligence? When does reporting become spying? In an open society, intelligence gathering is legitimate, if garnered from public sources. Has she done anything which would be considered a crime in the US?

    Of course, when in Iran, she is bound by their rules.

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  • 473. At 7:33pm on 04 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    471 I don't drink wine so I'm not sure, but I think Cheap wine will do.

    I'd not say consuming but

    more like this
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9tPiu0rRPg&feature=related

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  • 474. At 7:38pm on 04 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    466, Richard_SM

    I guess you and I have been reading or hearing different news reports about Saberi. NPR has reported over and over again, as has the BBC, that the trial lasted one hour, and that she was not represented by her lawyer at that trial but that he is now being allowed to file an appeal. They have also reported that she told her parents that she confessed under "severe" questioning; she has since retracted that confession. It has also been reported that the only evidence against her was that "confession." Colleagues in Iran have reported that she was always very careful to abide by the laws and mores of Iran except that she continued to report from there after they took her press credentials away. I personally think she was foolish to do that.

    It is my opinion that they used the espionage charge in order to have a reason for a closed trial. I do not see any fairness in this. "Espionage" is a great reason for any government to avoid publicizing evidence. The U.S. has, as we know, used it many times in the last few years. This does not make it acceptable. We can have no idea as to any evidence against Saberi. But it does appear that she was an extremely principled journalist and such journalists follow a strict code against using their profession for spying. I also base my opinion, and it is just that - opinion, on my impression that she is by no means a stupid woman, and only a very stupid person would have done what the Iranian government accuses her of.

    It appears to me that she is being used as a pawn against the U.S. and I see nothing fair in that at all.

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  • 475. At 7:43pm on 04 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Here's a link to a report on the prosecution of journalists in Iran:

    http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=30815

    I think any outsider who would vouch for the fairness of a closed Iranian trial, or the legitimacy of so-called "confessions," or the conditions inside an Iranian prison, is being rather foolish.

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  • 476. At 7:45pm on 04 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    473, very good happy, you have made my day! Now we know what goes on
    in those trailer-parks in N.J.!

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  • 477. At 7:50pm on 04 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    Regarding my #474, I should have said "national security" instead of "espionage" as the reason for governments withholding their evidence, since most often, at least here in the U.S., spying doesn't come into it.

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  • 478. At 8:00pm on 04 May 2009, toughdirtyjoe wrote:

    Utter nonsense. I lived in Iran for 16 years. I was co-head of a business and submitted development programs to the ministries. One minister in particular was delighted to work with an educted woman. His own daughter was studying at the Wharton School of Finance. You have no idea how sophisticated Iranians are. You cannot trust the media or U.S. propaganda for the truth. The first loves sensation, and the second has its own agenda. You are naive to fall for that crap.

    I got the info from a professor from my college. A Iranian proffessor gave us insight into Iran. Funny its so great she hasn't moved back.

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  • 479. At 8:00pm on 04 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    lol GnR

    Good film that give it a go if you haven't already.

    PS the rest.
    people with camera's in forn countries should be careful.

    even taking pictures of guards in front of the building can get your film taken and should you say no you're camera taken, if you still don't get the point you will end up consulting with you local consul.

    Given the hundreds that were locked up of forn decent by the Americans in gitmo.
    the point being made is not that Iran has the best judicial system. but that it does have one.

    Sad as it may be america's paranoia after reefer madness nancy has produced hundreds of people in jails. many heads have been lost and deaths occur because our "laws" and morals dictate the rules here. and around the world.

    Iran should have more open trials. but if we are to ask for this america has to show some b and have trials for their "detainees"



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  • 480. At 8:14pm on 04 May 2009, dceilar wrote:

    #458

    All the best Tim. Always enjoyed your posts.

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  • 481. At 8:25pm on 04 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #458, Tim, ditto to #480.

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  • 482. At 9:02pm on 04 May 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #442,

    Guns,

    Actually me too, they have some great places to shoot clays and hunt. I just don't like the traffic and attitude of some of the bridge and tunnel people. At least Marcus told us he is one hour drive from Midtown, which puts him in that broken down trailer by the side of the Lincoln Tunnel approach road. As for the Toxic Avenger, that is the problem in NJ, everything is close to something that smells.

    #443

    Taff,

    Perhaps one but never the other.

    Captain Samerica

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  • 483. At 9:06pm on 04 May 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #459

    Guns,

    I believe the technical term is 'throwback'.

    Biologist Sam

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  • 484. At 9:07pm on 04 May 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #481

    Ditto ditto

    Ditto head Sam

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  • 485. At 9:25pm on 04 May 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    #458, Best Wishes.

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  • 486. At 9:31pm on 04 May 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    I agree that Saberi may have been foolish to keep reporting from Iran if her credentials had been revoked but I do not believe that she was double stupid enough to do all that she has been accused. I think it was a very nicely timed political ploy and we shall see how this all plays out. She is merely one ring in an international game of ring toss.

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  • 487. At 9:57pm on 04 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref Bere54

    Ms Roxana Saberi's 'National Security' detention: was made public; has not been tortured; been given a specified charge; a lawyer; a trial; a sentence; quite a few parental vists; and the opportunity of an appeal. And the whole process from 'arrest to trial' took approx 3 months.

    The hundreds of Muslims detained on 'National security' in Guantanamo who: were kept incommunicado for three years; were tortured; not been charged; not had access to a lawyer for 3 years; not had a trial; not been given a sentence; been denied ALL visits except a lawyer after three years; without a trial then no prospect of an appeal in the forseeable. And the period 'arrest to trial' is still not yet known.

    Back to my original point then. Based on what we know, as above, would you say Ms Saberi's treatment by Iran is BETTER than what she would have received by America or WORSE?

    It's a clear enough comparison so far.

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  • 488. At 10:22pm on 04 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    Hi Canadian Pinko and Hi Ed
    Thank you for your kind advice I will look into it tomorrow when my head is clearer. Right now it is 1.50am in Tehran and having just got in, I definitely need to go to bed. I point this out, not to boast about my social life which is actually rather great but just to confirm that it is possible to lead a really normal life here in Tehran.
    Ed Im really glad to discover that you have changed your online moniker as I had not been on the site for a while I missed the change and thought you had disappeared.
    I will return with my rebuttal to Marcass in the morning when I am fresh.
    On that note.
    Shab be Kheir (otherwise known as Good night!).
    Sweet dreams!

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  • 489. At 10:32pm on 04 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    487, Richard_SM

    I am not arguing that Saberi's treatment in Iran is worse than what she would have been subjected to had she been arrested as a "terrorist" here. I am not denying that those arrested here and in other countries by the U.S. have received abominable treatment. I am not saying that any of the detainees in the hands of the U.S. government have been treated with any sort of fairness and justice. In fact, I deplore what's been going on.

    However, all that is completely irrelevant to the Saberi case. Even if Saberi is not being treated in a worse manner than the detainees (which is an odd word; they are prisoners), that does not mean that she was arrested for any justifiable reason and received justice. I do not think there is anything just about what has happened to her. If you are imprisoned for eight years for something you didn't do, after having received a mockery of a trial, is it a consolation to know that other accused prisoners have had no trial at all? I don't think so.

    One thing has nothing to do with the other. I disputed one aspect of something you wrote and now it seems you are trying to start a fight with me. I'm not interested in fighting with anyone.

    486, aqua

    I totally agree with you.

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  • 490. At 00:17am on 05 May 2009, Kittle wrote:

    My gut feeling is that this whole thing with Ms Saberi is an attempt by the Iranian government to gain the moral high ground against America, using just the arguments we see here. So she got a trial and has a sentence far lower than it could have been. That's doesn't mean Iran's any better than America. This is still a country that's quite happy to execute children for being gay. I don't trust them one iota. Either she'll be released in a few months as a gesture of goodwill to try and build some bridges with the US or her release will be contingent on the lifting of some sanctions or something similar. Either way, I highly doubt there's any justice involved in the whole process and it certainly should not be used in a way to contrast how America has been treating the detainees at Guantanamo, because that's exactly how the Iranian government wants it to be used.

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  • 491. At 00:27am on 05 May 2009, Kittle wrote:

    Let me rephrase that last sentence. What I should have said was "because that's ALMOST CERTAINLY exactly how the Iranian government wants it to be used." It didn't need to be an absolute. I don't deny the possibility that this situation is just as it seems, I'm just very sceptical about it.

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  • 492. At 04:15am on 05 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    413, princess.
    "I just had coffee with a friend of my mothers who is also married to an Iranian and she had not been back since 1976 she was amazed at how much the city has changed but still life was not that unchanged."

    I will remark on this first. Before I headed out to the Middle East (final destination Iran) I read "Hajji Baba of Isphahan." It was a perfect intorduction to the Iranian people, even though the book had been written in 1824. So even though I have not been back to Iran for some time, I am not in the least surprised that the people are much the same.

    I became intrigued with Persia as a young child when my father read "The Thousand and One Nights" to us. And then there was the Persian rug we played marbles on. I fell in with a Middle Eastern group in my twenties, some of whom were with the U.N., others with the Iranian Consulate. It was time to go to Iran. I went there on a job and met a fellow American who was also staying with Iranian friends. We married a year later and decided to specialize in Iran. So we went back to the States briefly to bone up professionally and returned. Ultimately we became heavily involved in economic development. Three of our four children were born in Tehran. We llived in the Iranian community and on the Iranian economy. All in all I lived in Iran for 16 years and spent another two in Arab countries. We left sometime after the revolution. We all speak, read and write Farsi. It is curious that I never had to "adjust."

    Much of what is written in this blog is by people who have no idea what they are talking about and who repeat the propaganda meant to shape their thinking.

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  • 493. At 08:24am on 05 May 2009, Lee Roy Sanders, Jr. wrote:

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

  • 494. At 08:43am on 05 May 2009, Lee Roy Sanders, Jr. wrote:

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

  • 495. At 3:31pm on 05 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    well it does seem that the Iranians understand diplomacy better than the US.
    Bere I admire that you are basically saying the same as i on the torture case, one counties bad habits don't excuse another. but the bad country is the USA who has tirtured and killed and hid it's detainees.

    and Iam with you , just because america acts like an ass why should the Iranians behave like them.
    But they as Rich points out did not act as far as we KNOW in a manner half as bad as the US has.

    Kitty The US dragged 14 year old kids in for herding goats. let alone having sex with one.

    At least in Iran that is pretty abnormal.

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  • 496. At 3:33pm on 05 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    rich don't try to discuss with that. just refer those that are referable.

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  • 497. At 4:13pm on 05 May 2009, KristinaBrooker wrote:

    I wanted to be responsible citizen; I shouldn't be experiencing this
    level of control over perfectly capable people.

    I am the interest rate; down and consecutive negatives please sir,
    for example 0, -.25, -.50, -1.0.

    Regards, 126 395 086

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  • 498. At 4:14pm on 05 May 2009, KristinaBrooker wrote:

    I'm going to live next store for a week, I was there over christmas
    from Dec 26 to Jan 8th, I think the effect was positive. Living next
    door does change my sleep, I find tv sleep or exercise sleep effects
    the stocks the next morning.

    Also Thursday (April 30th) changed direction when I started posting
    on The Wall Street Journal.

    Remember I'm only claiming a percentage and some days it really does
    seem to be that my noted actions move a gross lot of stock cash.

    Just fix St. John's the city and then the provience, their are so few
    people, and they'll never let me "win" alone, it's fair to point out
    that should be an option to total employment.

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  • 499. At 4:25pm on 05 May 2009, Lee Roy Sanders, Jr. wrote:

    Rules that prop up criminal states disguised as benevolent regimes sucking the life out of the people belong to that regime and so thus are the comments not allowed here to be post.

    Obama's government has stolen from the people. $250.00 is being offered those on Social Security but next year it has been stated there will be no cost of living increase for those that live on Social Security.

    I do not incite violence or hate but BBC and other controlled medias do. It is the crimes of governments and those that support those crimes covering up the truth. You are the ones that incite hatred and out of cowardliness, irresponsibility and immaturity promote evil.

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  • 500. At 5:29pm on 05 May 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    #499

    Spoken like a true blue fundamentalist brain-washed "AmeriKKKan", Lee Roy.

    But instead of accusing international "hate controlled medias", try your own US corporate "controlled" news medias like the FOX News outlets or the YAHOO "Buzz" post, and really get a taste of what hate controlled news media are all about!

    By the way, why did it take you so long to crawl out of that cocoon?

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