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Obama v Cheney

Justin Webb | 17:51 UK time, Thursday, 21 May 2009

The battling cousins lived up to expectations I thought.

Both addressed real issues and both have real passion for their positions - if Dick Cheney seriously believes that thousands of people might die as a result of the new administration's mistakes then he has an absolute duty to speak out, not just a right.

Mr Obama took the high road again - calling on Americans to avoid a soundbite-dominated debate, think about the problem and come up with rational solutions. That is Obama.

His point about the Supermax prisons - nobody has ever escaped from one so what is the problem using them for Guantanamo detainees - will need to be answered by those, including the FBI Director, who have talked of vague "dangers" that lurk.

On the wider claim - that Guantanamo has created more terrorists than it ever housed - I think the president has a more difficult case to make. As Mr Cheney pointed out, the 19 9/11 hijackers acted in a pre-Guantanamo world. But there was no shortage of grievances real, or (as he would have it) imagined.

In researching my book on anti-Americanism, I came across plenty of US haters who would mention Guantanamo in a list of bellyaches. But only in a list - and the list, sans Guantanamo, is still long.

It will be fascinating to see who wins this tussle: will any Guantanamo prisoners not subject to trial be kept in the US for the rest of their lives? I wonder what local communities where all manner of folks have been sent to serve their sentences would make of this? Including some (Zacarias Moussaoui and Richard Reid among them) who have been tried and convicted and will never be heard from again.

Comments

  • 1. At 7:13pm on 21 May 2009, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    In a just world Cheney would be on trial for any number of his activities. He is a hate monger and always has been. Old school Republican politics of fear and division. Talk about unpatriotic. Self-serving facist trying to avert attention from his role in the financial collaspe. I guess this is what it would have been like to have Joseph Goebbles on German TV after the war making his case for the Nazi regime. It is good that the American people get to see what a low-life he is. Maybe he could find work in security, in Burma.

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  • 2. At 7:23pm on 21 May 2009, cannonballmartin wrote:

    well, they have both proved to be men of war. obama somehow won the anti-war ticket and now we have been exposed (how shocking) of killing women and children civilians in afghanistan. is anyone else sick of going to war?

    hope. change.

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  • 3. At 7:46pm on 21 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    It's too bad that Cheney and Limbaugh are grabbing the limelight as far
    as representing the Republican side in the media. Can't we just ignore them?

    This is how I would do it if I were in the media: sit very still in
    my domicile and wait until the doorbell stops ringing and they go away.
    I can deal with the leaflets that they leave by using them to heat
    my home.

    Sometimes I find myself agreeing with Colin Powell on this issue.

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  • 4. At 7:55pm on 21 May 2009, faeyth wrote:

    I like the Bin Laden response to Moussaoui why would Americans listen to him. I wish Cheney would go away.Your service is over.Thanks but no thanks for your policies.We are going in a different direction now.You failed to capture Bin Laden there for you failed at your job.You have cost our stock holders (taxpayers) money with failed Business endeavors(Iraq).You have been compensated for time with us with a more than generous contract with Haliburton which funds your Retirement.

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  • 5. At 7:55pm on 21 May 2009, HabitualHero wrote:

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

  • 6. At 7:57pm on 21 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    bbc website maintainers please note: when posting a link, frequently
    a "/br" is inserted in the URL, which prevents someone from being able
    to access the link.

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  • 7. At 8:31pm on 21 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    3,6 gunsandreligion -

    That was an interesting link; thanks. And I know how to do the deleting the br thing now.

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  • 8. At 8:38pm on 21 May 2009, moderate_observer wrote:

    whether or not they close guantanamo is really not going to make people who hate them love them any more. The US currently holds convicted terrorists in max security prisons, why are these alleged criminals any different? Is it because the majority of them they hold, they have nothing to charge them with?

    The US should have held these men as prisoner's of war, instead of holding them as 'enemy combatants' who will be charged one day. This was just one of the fantasies of the Bush admin. This whole issue could have been avoided if they only listened to other opinions who pointed out flaws inthe approach at the start. Talking to a lawyer who is not on their payroll maybe would have helped. But in true cheney style it seems, arrogance prevailed.

    What is going to happen, is that whether they stay at guantanamo or moved to the US, unless they find something to charge them with, they will be released. Its been 7 years. Some of these men were rounded up based on being suspicious, or being in someway associated with a terror organisation. Whether they knew about it or not. And how do you define guilt by 'association'?

    How are they going to prove these men guilty in court? And if you find any innocent, how do they explain them being incarcerated for 7+ years? Fortunately for the US, they wont be any international court that will dare challenge its legality.

    I wish the administration luck with this mine field, either way the president loses and the country looks bad. Bush/Cheney really left you a mess to deal with.


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  • 9. At 8:41pm on 21 May 2009, Dark Side of the Goon wrote:

    Goodness me, Godwinned at the first post?

    A couple of thoughts: if America changes the way it behaves, if it abandons those principles it claims to be hated for, then it has already lost. The whole point of terrorism is to create a climate of fear whereby the population forces the political aparatus to make changes that favour the terrorists. In order to win, America should have continued as it was pre-9/11. Pastriot Act, GITMO, Extraordinary Rendition et al are all symptoms of the USA attempting to enter a butt-kicking contest with the terrorists. This doesn't work.

    Storage of those captured: standard prisons are not the answer.

    Although the most dangerous of the GITMO detainees amount to perhaps 20% of the population, these are still not people you want mixing with the general population in a US prison. I'm sure people are concerned that such a situation would provide them with a recruiting ground. The same goes for those detainees held in Camp 4 and others of a lower security nature.

    I think there was a hope that GITMO would be America's oubliette. It hasn't worked out that way; it was clumsy and ill thought out. Camp Delta is only really viable when the social climate is fuelled by fear, making Cheney's comments tantamount to doing the work of the terrorists for them.

    Ironic, really.

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  • 10. At 8:50pm on 21 May 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    I think there are two fascinating points to be made about this issue. The first is that Cheney continues to make the case that Obama's policies will make the US less safe and that the previous adms policies were necessary. I think the reason Cheney is in the news is because the Party is in the wilderness without a single voice. There are 50 different state Republican parties and not a one has produced a definitive leader yet, so the default is Cheney and whoever speaks up. The result of Cheney's onslaught is that the Guantanamo issue has successfully been redefined in the States. The issue? Where do we house the inmates when the prison closes?

    The second thing that is fascinating about this topic is that the redefining of the issue has caused the Pres. to suffer his greatest legislative defeat yet in Congress. Congressional Democrats voted to deny the funding necessary to close and transport the inmates to America because no one wanted them in their own prisons-the classic "not in my backyard" problem. Only the Junior Sen. from Virginia approved of bring the detainees to his district. If no state will take them and no friendly foreign country will take them, then that prison in Cuba won't be closing any time soon.

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  • 11. At 9:02pm on 21 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    Maybe I've missed something somewhere, but why is it that the only options are to keep them in Guantanamo, a maximum-security prison in the U.S., or release them into the U.S.? Why not just send them home if they don't belong in prison? If they are going to be a danger to us if sent back to their own countries, it seems they would be more of a danger wandering around here.

    If they have been falsely incarcerated all these years, they should be given a bunch of money to help them "get over it" (as if that would make up for it) and start over again in their own countries. What would be the point of keeping them here if they don't belong in prison?

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  • 12. At 9:05pm on 21 May 2009, toughdirtyjoe wrote:

    Many britain folks are calling for the close of Gitmo. Why dont you ask your politicans to take all of the detainees?

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  • 13. At 9:22pm on 21 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    BEL (#10) " ... the (Republican) Party is in the wilderness without a single voice.:

    Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, is the official voice of the party, for the time being anyway. There is already some talk of replacing him, however.

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  • 14. At 9:31pm on 21 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    And here is a clip from the CS Monitor of a venerable old lady expressing
    her opinions.

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  • 15. At 9:33pm on 21 May 2009, jonnaboygirl wrote:

    Obama is right about Guantanamo-a dismal, wretched "failed experiment" -He should close it by executive fiat and use military funds if necessary. The Senate and House will follow suit.
    Why does the media still pay attention to Dick Cheney? He holds no office. He is attended to more than the real VP Joe Biden. Cheney was a shadow president who can't accept the failure (s) of the Bush-Cheney administration. I think he is also getting out in front of accusations of being a war criminal. These could potentially come at any time, and from many nations.

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  • 16. At 9:37pm on 21 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    bere54 (#11), where do you get the idea that any of the prisoners are to be released into the US?

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  • 17. At 9:40pm on 21 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    I don't know why a video clip posted on the Christian Science monitor
    website would be a copyright violation, but if you look on the web
    you'll find that John McCain's mother, Roberta, had some interesting things
    to say about Rush Limbaugh on the Tonight show last night.

    A feisty old lady - she should be the leader of the party!

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  • 18. At 9:42pm on 21 May 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    13:
    Michael Steele is the head of the National Party committee that oversees national elections for the party and decides the general party plank. He is merely one of many party heads. Thats why state parties can be so different from the national party, and its also one reason why Democratic Congressmen and women voted against the President's Guantanamo policy.

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  • 19. At 9:43pm on 21 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    bere, Gary, you can bet that wherever they wind up, we will also be able
    to place our spent nuclear fuel. Nobody wants either in their backyard,
    so they'll probably both wind up in the same place (separated by cement
    walls, I hope.)

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  • 20. At 9:51pm on 21 May 2009, ruralhills wrote:

    America has a long history of abandoning its constitutionally-guaranteed principles in times of duress, justified by the "extremes of the times." We suspended habeas corpus, locked up people for expressing unpopular sentiments, the list goes on forever. we did this during the civil war, WWI, and WWII.
    In every case, however, when the crisis passed, we returned to our core principles of constitutional guarantees. We suspended them when in extremis, restored them when peace returned.
    The legacies of Lincoln, Wilson and Roosevelt have suffered little criticism for what they did during their wars, the understanding being they employed desperate measures for desperate times.
    Bush had 3,000 deaths on American soil early on during his watch and was determined to do whatever it would take to prevent a recurrence. He was desperate during extreme times, as were his predecessors. And so the Constitution took a back seat, just as before.
    The following "attitude" would put the matter to rest:
    To torture is not American. We despise it. Hate it. It's not "us." But we did it and it has been argued that thousands of Americans walking the streets of our country today owe their lives to that brief suspension of relief from cruel and unusual punishment. We did it reluctantly but we did it and the extremes of the times may or may not have justified it. Debateable, like all previous suspensions.
    Now lets go back to our core principles. Get it behind us.
    Final point:
    Whatever your opinion of him, Bush never let another 911 get by him. You can argue until the cows come home but you cannot take that away from the man. He was determined to prevent a recurrence and, in that regard, he was extraordinarily successful.



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  • 21. At 9:55pm on 21 May 2009, mindAttacker wrote:

    It's real simple, sentence them to the same punishment they give their own people. Let's start with stoning to death,beheadings, hangings from cranes and my personal
    favorite - putting people in a wood chipper feet first.Our holier than thou, rookie president doesn't have a clue who he is dealing with. These are barbaric hordes who follow no laws or civility. The only thing they understand is force period. How do you think the Israelis have survived? by showing these cowards what blitzkrieg means. As far as Gitmo goes - keep them there until they rot. They are mass murderers and arch enemies of the U.S. General Patton is probably turning over in his grave.

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  • 22. At 10:05pm on 21 May 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    Perhaps if the Guantanamo issue hadn't been redefined so quickly, then the President would have been able to exercise more immediate and successful influence over Congress and the party wips in both chambers. Speaker Pelosi's bind with the CIA didn't help matters either. I think Obama's speech today may very well be the beginning of a wiping into shape of the Congressional Democrats by the President. We have to wait and see what happens.

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  • 23. At 10:08pm on 21 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    21, mindAttacker, it's too bad that an Air Force general who was sent there
    had to report that some sizeable fraction of the Gitmo internees were innocent.
    I guess that's why we have trials. It's awfully inconvenient to mix guilty people
    together with innocent ones. Not to mention that somehow I thought that our
    form of government was supposed to be superior to that of dictatorships.

    But, I do like the "feetfirst" part. It shows that you have a flair for
    showmanship.

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  • 24. At 10:14pm on 21 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    16, Gary -

    "where do you get the idea that any of the prisoners are to be released into the US?"

    Because for days that's what's been discussed on all the NPR programs. I assume they're talking about the ones they have no evidence against so cannot try and legally incarcerate them. Also the ones who may get less than a life sentence, if tried and found guilty.

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  • 25. At 10:16pm on 21 May 2009, goonerchakos wrote:

    "thousands of people might die as a result of the new administration's mistakes then he has an absolute duty to speak out, not just a right?"

    Oh yeah? say's who?? You?? After 8 years of naive, discredited and by all accounts, criminal policies, YOU are now, along with the other agenda setters in the corporate media, going to force this spermatazoa on us again? Good good man! Where is your sense of proportion? Why aren't you asking him the kinds of questions that Jane Meyer and Phillipe Sands are asking him? Why are you giving this hidious misanthrope a platform?? Why are you, albeit indirectly, almost aiding in the legitmization of torture and other "enhanced Interrogation techniques" by implying that his fraudulent and baseless remarks warrant attention? Instead, you should be picking his rather jingoistic and over simplified assertions apart and countering it with FACTS. Well, let's just say the BEEB of old would certainly have endevoured to do it. Instead, you follow along with this sensationalist and contrived "debate" just to get some market share. Lord, how times have changed !!

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  • 26. At 10:18pm on 21 May 2009, moderate_observer wrote:

    but ruralhills , of what value is core principles if you ignore them in a time of stress. That makes the US no different from any other country in the world. They also have their desperate times, like on going civil wars, separatists , home grown terrorists and so forth. If the US did not travel the world trying to influence countries on how to handle wars in a civilised manner and if they did not lead the charge on war crimes legislation and prosecuting human rights violations, then there would be no debate about torture, because it would be globally accepted or at least be a local issue.

    ANybody can be a saint on a good day. Core Principles means nothing if you cant stand by them when they are tested, so why not just scrap the pretense and move on? Under your description, they do not exist.

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  • 27. At 10:20pm on 21 May 2009, canadacold wrote:

    #21 mindattacker

    It is my understanding that these people have not yet been tried let alone sentenced. It is well known that many are known not to be terrorists.
    I think that it is important to not "jump the gun".

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  • 28. At 10:24pm on 21 May 2009, nonewnews wrote:

    It seems you habitually slip into the guise of "middle man" in American politics. You'd like to say their positions are equal and valid etc 'till you're blue in the face - problem being that this desire for "independence" just doesn't wash. Cheney, Bush et al will go down as a bunch of crackpots of the most dangerous kind. They have sacrificed the only leg America had to stand on. The rest of the world, Obama included, recognize this....how come you don't?

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  • 29. At 10:30pm on 21 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    BEL (#18), yes, there are individual state parties. Steele is nevertheless the single voice of the Republican Party nationally. That's why it's so newsworthy when he says something controversial:

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]Steele comments on abortion

    There are lots of other Republican voices, to be sure, but isn't that also true of any political party, whether in power or out? Steele doesn't make the Republican policy, but he represents it. If he misrepresents it, he will likely be replaced. If he were not the spokesman, what he says wouldn't matter so much.

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  • 30. At 10:33pm on 21 May 2009, mary gravitt wrote:

    Ask Dick Cheney and the rest of the Republican Cadaveras about the 371,683 German POWs scattered all over America, plus the thousands of Italian POWs that were brought onto the American Mainland during WWII. Thousands of them were put into Prisoner of War Camps in Algona and Clinda, Iowa, the Heartland of America. Now the Nazis were no pushovers. Americans like to brag about "American Science" and about the Nobel Prizes that they win every year. Prior to 1945 these honors belonged to Germany. Germany, a middle sized country setting in the middle of Europe took over Europe and was getting ready to take over Britian itself. The Werhmount was the finest fighting army the West has ever known. The Germans killed millions of Allies; 6 million Jews; 100,000 Roma/Gypsies; and thousands of Afro-Germans, as quiet as it is kept; and hundreds of homosexuals and dissadants including Reihardt Nieber.

    However they were housed on the US mainland, while the Japanese Americans were held under guard in Internment Camps/Concentration Camps. Their crime was to be Yellow in a White dominated society. So charge up all Dick Cheney's "American Endangerment" rhetoric about the danger to America in President Obama's plans to close GITMO to racism.

    The one thing America knows how to do is imprison men, women and children. The US has more people imprisoned than any Western nation. We have public and private prisons; segregated prisons; juvenile prisons, and psycological prisons. In fact people have been known to never surface out of the black hole of the American Prison System. But Mr. Cheney is afraid. He was too afraid to join the military, as was every other Neocon, during the Vietnam War. However, he was not too afraid to get the US in this mess by establishing a Concentration Camp of so-called dangerous "Enemy Combatants" 90 miles off the coast of Flordia. He working behind the scenes brought trouble to our front door, and sin into the Commonwealth.

    Cheney like Voltamore in the Harry Potter Series just likes to make trouble for "our Harry": Barack Obama. He sliizzers around talking out the side of his mouth like the Serpent in the Garden telling the weak minded that POWs have never seen the light of the City on the Hill, and never will. Obama should cut him to the quick by ignoring him and the rest of the Republican Cadaveras. Cutting out his tongue would be too much to ask at a time of war.

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  • 31. At 10:36pm on 21 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    VP Cheney's paranoia and fearmongering are a Godsend for the Obama administration and Democrats in general. Hopefully he will continue to speak, which is his right, and in so doing remind people of what we went through the past eight years and the reason for us booting Republicans our of office.

    President Obama's powerful speech not only reminded us of what it is to be an America, it also explained with great eloquence and clarity what could be done within the confines of the law to prosecute and incarcerate those found guilty of terrorist plotting or attacks against our country and our interests.

    Finding ways to circumvent the law to achieve an illusion of security if like being a little bit pregnant. We broke the law and carried out despicable acts of cruelty that will, hopefully, never happen again. As for the claim that transforming the Guantanamo naval base into a concentration camp and torturing suspect was not an excellent recruitment tool for Al Qaeda because 9/11 occurred prior to Gitmo becoming a symbol of totalitarian excesses I say that many criminals today are inspired by what the see on TV, the movies, or video games in spite of the fact that guns and crime existed long before these modern tools became available.

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  • 32. At 10:50pm on 21 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    The GOP have no one else to offer. Dick Cheney is their only option. Far right, overweight, 68 year old WASP. The snarling lip is a bonus. He couldn't do a better job representing his party. Long may it continue.

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  • 33. At 11:01pm on 21 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Who knows? Maybe Cheney is planning on running for President in 2012. :-)

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  • 34. At 11:01pm on 21 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    "In researching my book on anti-Americanism . . . "

    I found this laudatory quote from John Humphrys interesting: If you want to know what makes Americans tick, read this book. Webb knows America - and it shows.

    If Justin's book is anything like the opinions presented here, I doubt that many will agree with that. He sees the United States through the eyes of Washington - and I can't think that calling the citizenry of Kansas "overweight" enhances his supposed reputation for accurate reporting. I would have thought the Sunflower State was pretty typical of middle, "ordinary" America, far more so than DC, New York or California.

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  • 35. At 11:17pm on 21 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    bere54 (#24), I don't listen to NPR, but I just checked their website. There is a reference to the Uighurs, who are not considered enemies of the US. The problem there is that they have a legitimate claim for political asylum (from China), but most countries don't want to take them. Albania took a few. I don't see why these people shouldn't be accepted into the US.

    As for those who are considered dangerous but who cannot be tried, I don't expect they will be released into the US, and haven't found any evidence that they will.

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  • 36. At 11:34pm on 21 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 24, Bere

    "Because for days that's what's been discussed on all the NPR programs. I assume they're talking about the ones they have no evidence against so cannot try and legally incarcerate them. Also the ones who may get less than a life sentence, if tried and found guilty."

    The suggestion that Guantanamo prisoners against whom we have no evidence of wrongdoing will be released and free to meander throughout the USA is being advanced by the far right to scare the American public.

    The Obama administration has not suggested such thing and, moreover, if some are prosecuted. found guilty, and serve time in maximum security prisons in the USA they will never be released and allowed to walk our streets...if they even survive their time in prison, which is doubtful.

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  • 37. At 11:42pm on 21 May 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    I partially agree with you, as the Party Chairman Steele must be the arbitrator between the state parties and the communicator of a coherent and diverse GOP tent on the national level. Steele is performing his role admirably and should not be replaced in my opinion. However, it is not uncommon for there to be someone other than the party chairman as the so called voice of the party. Presidents, Senators, and Representatives almost always come out of the state parties rather than the national party, and this is where the vacuum of power within the party exists. Right now, Cheney has filled the vacuum that might otherwise be filled by a politically popular governor or representative. Steele wishes to steer the party in a different direction, but no other leader has successfully emerged, so the job of rebuilding the party basically fell in his lap by default.

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  • 38. At 11:49pm on 21 May 2009, vagueofgodalming wrote:

    Seems like you have home-grown Islamic terrorists like us now...

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8061772.stm

    That gutless lily-livered yellow-bellied cringing waste of space Harry Reid has gained nothing by his stand.

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  • 39. At 11:50pm on 21 May 2009, OldSouth wrote:

    Cheney is a man of few public words, and deserves a careful listen when he does speak publicly. He, unlike most members of the present administration and congressional majority, believes that words have meaning.

    BHO and company are myopic, to put it bluntly. In their heart of hearts, with decades of evidence to the contrary, they sincerely believe that there is no real threat from the radical reaches of the Islamic world. They think that Sharia law is really ok, just one more way of doing civic business, ignoring its cruelties to the body and soul.

    They think that if there is a list of grievances, then we must necessarily be at fault.

    They don't consider that if GITMO Islamist prisoners are housed in Joliet, for instance, that the suicide bombers might show up in Joliet.

    I have friends in Joliet, and I don't think it's worth risking their lives to find out if BHO and company are right.

    I think we really should quiet the chatter, and listen to what Cheney has to say.

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  • 40. At 00:05am on 22 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    35, Gary -

    Well, I don't bother with the NPR website because I have the radio on most of the day, and commentators on various programs keep using the expression "releasing these detainees into the U.S." and discussing the viability of this. I'm really not making this up. Perhaps the blowhards on NPR keep discussing something that is not an option. But I still don't understand why they can't just send them home (the ones who aren't actually guilty of anything).

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  • 41. At 00:26am on 22 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    36, saintDominick -

    Well, so much for NPR being a bastion of the left wing, as some claim!

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  • 42. At 00:58am on 22 May 2009, ruralhills wrote:

    moderate observer

    Of course you're right. Temporary abandonment of principles in times of stress smacks of not taking principles of human dignity, individual rights, etc., not seriously.

    But the matter is profoundly more complicated than that. Desperate times may call for desperate measures, some argue, and the stakes are dramatically higher when considered on a personal level.

    I spoke with a very nice lady, a physician, about the waterboarding thing. She's the sweetest lady you'd ever meet, horrified with the notion of mistreating anybody.

    "What if your six year old daughter was kidnapped and you feared for her life? If you captured one of the kidnappers who knew where she was, what would you do?"

    "I'd get a chainsaw and start with his feet," she said. "I'd take it right up to his ___s if I had to."

    Whew. Don't get between this lady and her kids, constitutional principles be damned.

    In a sense, this is a somewhat similar situation Presidents Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt and Bush faced. As president, each was intensely affected by the well-being of our citizenry. We can read about 911 in our living rooms but the president is responsible for the survival of the country and the safety of all of us. Bush agonized over 911, was accused of allowing it to happen, ineptitude, etc. His reaction was similar to my doctor friend's reaction to the kidnapping dilemma. Never again, intensely personal, the works. 3,000 of his charges died a fiery death.

    Then he captured a terrorist who knew what was going to happen next.

    That terrorist should be thankful my doctor friend was not president. she would have started with his feet.

    I'll end by saying I despise torture. There is no more greater form of cowardice than mistreating a helpless prisoner unable to defend himself. And I believe in the sentiment "If we do as they do, we become like them."

    But consider the intensely personal dilemma of the kidnapping scenario, the burning agony of facing the responsibility of thousands of deaths. Darned hard to pontificate on a pedestal of righteous indignation.




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  • 43. At 01:37am on 22 May 2009, moderate_observer wrote:

    so Bere (post 35), even if these accused terrorists are released after serving their sentence or if found not guilty, how can they be released in the american public?

    They are not even american citizens.

    Under current laws criminals of this nature are deported and are never released to walk freely on american soil. So anything statng that these men will be released in the US is nothing more than Propoganda. Thousands are deported every year after serving sentences, and currently convicted terrorists if ever released will also be deported although I do believe they are all more than likely to be serving life.

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  • 44. At 01:44am on 22 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    bere54 (#40) "But I still don't understand why they can't just send them home (the ones who aren't actually guilty of anything)."

    In the case of the Uighurs, it's because they have a legitimate fear of being subjected to torture in their homeland (China).

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  • 45. At 01:53am on 22 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    BEL (#37), you are correct in observing that the GOP has a dearth of leadership. Cheney is self-appointed as a spokesman for the policies of the last administration, I think. Colin Powell has been speaking up lately in response to Cheney, but as a Republican without portfolio. Jindal was given a tryout as party spokesman awhile back, but I don't think he will catch on. It's fine with me if they are leaderless for a decade or two.

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  • 46. At 01:57am on 22 May 2009, moderate_observer wrote:

    ruralhill, I do agree on the notion, that if your back is against the wall and there is no other choice then you may just as well do it. Personally I probably would be no different and even less patient than that nice old lady. But on a personal level I do not try to tell others how to handle their stressful situation or try to judge their behavior when they are faced with grave challenges.

    In the case of US foreign policy that is the role that the US plays, so the fact that they resort to the same practices that they currently condemn, hurts credibility, and that is realy the issue.

    Quite frankly, i dont care if the planners of 9-11 were tortured, even if it does not work, it is a lot less than they deserve, and perhaps their capturers just did it for the sake of doing it hoping to exact the pain that they inflicted.

    But how does the US go to others in the world and promote justice and principles, if they ignore it themselves? I really believe that is the issue. Other countries also have their own personal 9-11 type of challenges to deal with.

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  • 47. At 02:06am on 22 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #10. BienvenueEnLouisiana: "Cheney continues to make the case that Obama's policies will make the US less safe"

    Which provokes the question as to whether a former vice-president should be so critical of the present President. He is entitled to his view of course, but is really appropriate that he is so vociferous? I don't recall former vice-presidents speaking so badly of the successor administration - more and more, he sounds like a sore loser.

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  • 48. At 02:21am on 22 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    A little over a year ago, then Senator Hillary Clinton said that Barack Obama was not fit to be Commander-in-Chief of the United States Armed Forces. President Dopeya is proving she was right. He was a much better campaigner than he is a president so far. If he wanted to be President of Europe, he should have changed his nationality and run there. His actions in the last few weeks have been reprehensible. He has come out with policies that have brought him public admonitions from his own CIA Director, five past CIA directors, the director of the FBI, and now Congressional leaders of his own party. He's made dangerous disclosures, flip flopped on some issues, and now he is thwarting the will of the American people on a very critical issue to win only a small segment of American public support and that of foreigners whose opinions frankly doesn't count for a hill of beans in this country. He's making a big mistake and it is early on in his presidency. He's just a had a run in with the new Prime minister of Israel, the economy shows no signs of getting better, in fact it looks to be getting worse, and he reopened up a sore wound about abortion for no apparent reason at all. Not bad for just slightly over a hundred days, you have to wonder if there will be anything left of America after the next hundred or the first thousand days when he gets done with it. He may yet prove to be the worst President in American history. If the US is attacked again on its own soil the result of his naive ill conceived policies forced on the public against the best professional advice, that of his party leaders, and public portest, there will be a very major change in America very quickly. The nation may be headed for a precipice. Take one last glimpse at it before you leave Mister Webb, you may not see it this way again in your lifetime.

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  • 49. At 02:45am on 22 May 2009, canadacold wrote:

    #48 marcus
    I am speechless

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  • 50. At 03:06am on 22 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    canadacold #49

    I'm always appreciative of life's small often overlooked favors.

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  • 51. At 03:07am on 22 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    Obama has not taken the high road, he and surrogates haven taken many cheap shots at the Bush administration and it's policies.

    Justin how long are you going to accept the"Everything is Bush's fault line.

    Cheney won the debate on substance and arguments.

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  • 52. At 03:10am on 22 May 2009, canadacold wrote:

    #50
    I consider it to be your loss of perspective

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  • 53. At 03:23am on 22 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    You want the terrorists? Let's just see if Canada will accept them. Maybe they can file for political asylum there. Canada is one of America's most serious security concerns.

    The New York Times reported what we already knew, one out of seven detainees released from GITMO has returned to the battlefield to try to kill as many Americans as he can. The problem with Bush and Chaney was not that they went too far but that they didn't go nearly far enough. They were slow and ineffective in responding to Afghanistan, Iraq, and they blew it on Iran and North Korea. Had 9-11 been perpetrated by Soviets during the cold war, the response might have been a nuclear attack on the USSR. A clear act of war had been committed against the US and we didn't respond for an entire month. And the one we've got now is even worse if you can belive it. Dopeya is worse then Dubya.

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  • 54. At 03:46am on 22 May 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    34. At 11:01pm on 21 May 2009, David_Cunard wrote:
    " and I can't think that calling the citizenry of Kansas "overweight" enhances his supposed reputation for accurate reporting. I would have thought the Sunflower State was pretty typical of middle, "ordinary" America, far more so than DC, New York or California."

    Hey, I'm from Kansas, and I'm overweight...... And for calling the Sunflower state "typical of middle, 'ordinary' America", Kansas IS middle America. Nebraska is North-middle America, Colorado is west-middle America, Missouri is east-middle America (Southern), and Oklahoma is the desperate borderland of Texas.
    DC, New York, and California are admittedly out on the extreme edges of the nation.

    As for there being an 'ordinary' America, I don't think there is one, nor ever was. Do you mean 'bland', or 'median'? I don't doubt the pollsters could find someone half-way between Cheney and Obama, for example, but that would be just mean. I am fully convinced there is no such thing as 'most common type' by any terms or description, just as there is no permanent majority, which only exists as an evanescent image captured in a snapshot.

    your typical
    KansasCurmudgeon

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  • 55. At 03:58am on 22 May 2009, canadacold wrote:

    #50
    I disagree on all counts - so you may save your breath

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  • 56. At 04:38am on 22 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Justin:

    Are you kidding? Guantanamo has undoubtedly created a hundred terrorists for every one it holds, probably many times more.

    The US has handled this badly. It should try the ones who have clearly committed crimes, no dispute there. But that should not have been the basis, or the only basis, upon which they were held. These fellows have taken up arms against the United States, as informal or irregular forces. Well then, what is a combattant normally entitled to do with captured irregulars?

    In former times armed forces capturing people in these circumstances, e.g., those found on a battlefield for whom there was no identifiable authority to take responsibility for them or with whom to negotiate, were undoubtedly entitled to execute them as hostis humanis, the same as pirates.

    Why doesn't the US simply hold them until a credible state actor comes forward and takes responsibility for them? You don't release prisoners of war until the war is over, and you don't conclude a war and release prisoners of war until the parties agree a truce, a ceasefire, a treaty, and so on. Irregular combattants are entitled to even less protection, if any. That is one of the ways we dissuade people from becoming pirates, whether on land or at sea.

    If nobody comes forward to claim these folks as their own, and to take responsibility for their deeds, and to make a peace treaty, well, don't orture them, don't persecute them, don't mistreat them, but maybe leaving them to rot for a good, long time - e.g., until they are at least 60+ years old, would be a signal lesson to other would-be freelance killers.

    Perhaps, over time, they may rethink the wisdom of their allegiance: the greatest single factor in reducing personal criminal recidivism is sometimes said to be turning 35 in prison, looking at yourself in the mirror, and realising that you are wasting your life. Maybe the same thing happens to terrorists.

    Don't make martyrs of them by killing them, just let them rot, pitifully and pathetically. Make it clear that they can go just as soon as somebody (i.e., a credible sovereign state) is willing to take responsibility for them and their deeds, and has the capacity to make an enforceable peace on behalf of the group for whom these people claim to have been fighting, if any. Wouldn't it be a suitable victory over terrorism to show to the world, in the plain light of day, that nobody wants these pathetic brutes?

    Let'em rot.

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  • 57. At 04:42am on 22 May 2009, NoRashDecisions wrote:

    But Justin, it doesn't matter that the existance of Guantanamo Bay is just one, of many (some totally justifyed and some absolutely not) reasons why people around the world hate America. Its a reason. That's the only thing we need to know. And whether or not it has created far more terrorists than it has ever housed misses the point. People around the world (note I'm not saying all! I'm just saying some, and it is a fact) deplore the United States of America and the American people for our simply being ourselves and (pardon the Jefferson plajorism) pursuing our happyness without shame. So in my view whatever we can do to help lesson the list of grievences against us from abroad we should absolutely do without question. Now of course this does not include bending over for terrorists!!!! But if there is something, anything, that we can do to help the Europeans, for example, see us in a more favorable light, then by all means we should absolutely pursue it without hesitation!!! Anything to get us a little bit better liked, much less loved, by the international comunity. Lord knows after these last eight years we desperately need it far more than we ever have in the past!!



    But regarding Obama's claim, I think he's right. Guantanamo Bay has created more terrorists (perhaps not more than it has housed, because at one point it housed close to a thousand inmates,) but nevertheless more terrorists than would have been created had the detention camp not been set up. Put yourself in a terrorist's shews. You honestly believe that God is on your side and wants you to kill yourself in order to kill others, so that you can rid the world of "infadells." Now. If you are successful in making the world's most powerful nation flippant, and instill in them enough fear that they change their every action in order to protect against you, wouldn't you feel emboldended beyond your wildest dreams? Wouldn't you feel as if you could do anything? Or put yourself in an innocent Guantanamo Bay prisoner's shews. You were rounded up and flown to Guantanamo Bay for simply being of the wrong ethnicity and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You have know idea where you are being taken, and sincerely believe that you will be killed once you get to where ever it is you are being taken. Upon arriving at Guantanamo Bay, you then are subjected to so-called harsh "enhanced intaragation tecneqes," more formally known as torture, severe isolation for 23 hours a day, and a number of other inhumane treatments. Now. Imagine you are suddenly released one day, without so much as an appology. Would you feel like you admire the US? Like you want to help them fight terrorism? Or would you be more hardened against them than ever before? And that, is why I think it is very easy to see why, if it can ever be proven, the existance of Guantanamo Bay has created more terrorists than it has housed.

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  • 58. At 04:53am on 22 May 2009, NoRashDecisions wrote:

    mindAttacker #21: '"As far as Gitmo goes - keep them there until they rot. They are mass murderers and arch enemies of the U.S. General Patton is probably turning over in his grave."

    Several of them are wholly innocent. What say you on those "barbarians?" And General Patton, I'm quite sure, believed in upholding the rule of law and our constitution, and would be disgusted if he were to see what has been made of Guantanamo Bay in the name of the United States of America.

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  • 59. At 05:12am on 22 May 2009, darlingmitzy wrote:

    Good Lord people have some sense!!


    Dick Cheney does not have the right to draw breath (apt first name by the way)!

    This whole issue is like arguing whether a guy is wearing white socks after labor day when he is dying of cancer.................wrong bloody focus folks!!

    Can a whole world be hoodwinked?...that awaits to be seen I guess........


    The real issue isn't anything to do with torture, sure the US did it,
    So does every nation if pressed!

    The question is: Why the hell did we get into the stupid war in the first place?.....it's about money

    and oil

    and Cheney getting rich from Heliwhatsit

    and his friends slinking off with cartloads of cash CASH???

    Check your facts folks IT'S ABOUT GREED!!!!

    Obama is the best shot, the golden bullet and we all had better wake up and smell the coffee or we are going to find our selves on the third wold end of things with some jauled Cheyney whipping our poor sun scorched backs!!!

    You have been warned!

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  • 60. At 05:24am on 22 May 2009, strayarts wrote:

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

  • 61. At 05:25am on 22 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    58, NRD, I'm not so sure that Patton was such a great parliamentarian and
    paragon of American values, but he was a superb tactician at the operational
    (brigade and up) level. He actually believed that he was a reincarnated
    Carthagian; we can only hope that the next time he comes back that he
    is on our side.

    As for mindAttacker's comments, he is obviously in reverie. In fact,
    I would say that he is quite "chipper" today.

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  • 62. At 05:37am on 22 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    uninterestingforeigner, the "be nice to them and maybe they won't hurt us" mentality didn't work for Neville Chamberlain in Munich in 1938 and it won't work with closing GITMO today. Those people who want to destroy America will find one reason or another even if they have to make up a huge tapestry of lies about it. That is what Europeans do and what Arab leaders have done about Israel to divert attention from their own shortcomings. The whole world does not hate America. We have had very good relations with most of it, especially China, India, and Japan being prime examples. Latin America is a complex relationship yet more people from Latin America and around the world want to come to live and work in the United States than any other place on earth and many will risk their lives to get here even illegally. For the Arabs, they resent America's support of Israel. For Europe it is pure unadulterated jealousy. Too bad, America will not change for their sake.

    The debate over GITMO, the war between the Republicans and some Democrats on one hand and President Obama on the other is heating up. Speaker of the House Pelosi is under intense pressure from the Republicans to prove her allegations about the CIA lying or misleading Congress or if she can't, recant her accusations. Former Vice President Chaney has stepped into this debate with a speech today in which he said only three terrorists were waterboarded and then only after all other methods of interrogation had failed and one of them was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed the mastermind of 9-11 and the man who cut off the WSJ reporter Daniel Pearl's head. He said these enhanced interrogations were successful in uncovering plots and terrorists and saved many American's lives. He wants disclosure of secret documents proving it, something President Obama has strongly resisted.

    Republican Senator Chambliss of Georgia has introduced the "Keep terrorists out of America" bill which would prevent the Obama Administratoin from bringing terrorists into any state unless the governor of the state and state legislature approves it. So far President Obama has no concrete plans about what to do with the terrorists once GITMO is closed. There is strong resistance in both Congress and among the public to allowing these terrorists the rights conferred under the US constitution in an American courtroom. These terrorists were captured outside the US and were not regular soldiers. Technically they don't even have any rights under the Geneva Conventions.

    We'll see in coming weeks just how big a fiasco this turns out to be for President Obama. Meanwhile the economy continues to deteriorate.

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  • 63. At 05:47am on 22 May 2009, bfoulkrod1 wrote:

    "Fight the enemy without becoming the enemy."

    Those who blow their noses on the Constitution "in its defense" are a bigger threat to this nation than external foes.

    Foreigners can't be elected President, but fanatical, undereducated, misinformed political zealots born on our soil can. I registered Republican and supported McCain 8 years ago, then it only took pandering to the zealots to raise enough money to advertise against him in key states by the bush camp (until folks forgot about reporters heckling Bush on his complete ignorance, and got them thinking McCain's war record was somehow inadequate...as if Bush was in a position to sling mud in that direction).

    Once McCain picked a religious zealot as a running mate, I RAN from the polls. Let the Republicans have his former running mate and The Rush. Maybe their hot air will help them weather the LONG winter ahead.

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  • 64. At 05:52am on 22 May 2009, NoRashDecisions wrote:

    ruralhills #20: '"The following "attitude" would put the matter to rest: To torture is not American. We despise it. Hate it. It's not "us." But we did it and it has been argued that thousands of Americans walking the streets of our country today owe their lives to that brief suspension of relief from cruel and unusual punishment. We did it reluctantly but we did it and the extremes of the times may or may not have justified it. Debateable, like all previous suspensions. Now lets go back to our core principles."

    First, a quick analogy. Declaring that torture is loathesome and then turning right around and doing it anyway, and justifying it by saying that thousands of Americans oe their lives to its employment and so therefore it was justifyed and necessary, is like someone robbing a bank and justifying it in court by demonstrating all the bills that their histe helped pay.

    There is a reason why torture has been outlawed by all humane societies around the world. And it is that it simply doesn't work. It doesn't save lives. All it does is force people to say anything to get the pain to stop. Period. And sure "arguments" have been made claiming that its use has saved thousands of lives, but "arguments" have been made for the existance of a master race throughout the world too. That doesn't make it right. "Arguments" have been made for a separate but equal education system and segrigated public facilities throughout the US streight up until the 1960s. That doesn't make it right. Just because an argument is made for something, doesn't make it in the slightest bit right.



    And finally regarding our "core principles. Don't you see? The fact that we adhere to them during tough times makes them "principles" in the first place. Its nothing to merely follow them when it is easy or expediant. And as you have pointed out, we have unequivocally abandond those principles at every severe test of our democracy. During the civil war we suspended habious corpus. During World War I we stripped people of their first amendment rights. And most shockingly of all, during World War II, we not only interned thousands of wholly innocent Japanese-American citizens, but we stripped them of their first, fourth, fifth, and sixth amendment rights. So this has shown me that far from being "faithful" to our founding principles and ideals as Obama has claimed, we have cast them aside whenever we desired the smallest thing that caught our eye, and then when that turned out to be a marage as it always does, we reverted back to our "principles." I tell you, not very indicitave of a nation that supposedly holds these values most dear.
    Shame.

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  • 65. At 05:57am on 22 May 2009, NoRashDecisions wrote:

    AmericanSportFan, please read my comment at #24 on the '"Pragmatic on Health Care and Guantanamo" thread.

    Gunsandreligion please read my post #418 on the '"Who Has More Freedom?" thread.

    And SamTyler1969 please read my comment #475 on the same thread.

    Thank You

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  • 66. At 06:25am on 22 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    65, NRD, I may be a little dense tonight, as I am consuming a $2 bottle
    of California Merlot, but I don't see how #418 applies. Please enlighten.

    I hope you don't think that I in any way condone torture. Any comments
    that I might make in that regard are intended to humorously discredit
    the practice. It may seem odd to invoke humor on such a topic, but
    sometimes that is the best way to disarm an opponent.

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  • 67. At 06:34am on 22 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    As I understand it, Obama has reserved the right to authorize "enhanced interrogation" methods in special circumstances but only with his approval. He's not closing out any possibilities completely.

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  • 68. At 06:43am on 22 May 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    45:
    I would prefer the GOP to have sound Congressional leadership to help out Steele. I mean, does anyone even know who the minority leaders in Congress are? I'll give them to yall.
    --Sen. Minority Leader: Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
    --House Minority Leader: John A. Boehner (R-OH-8th)

    As far as I'm concerned, they need to be more vocal so as to draw media attention away from Cheney and do what their title suggests, lead.

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  • 69. At 07:51am on 22 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #48. MarcusAureliusII: "If the US is attacked again on its own soil the result of his naive ill conceived policies . . . there will be a very major change in America very quickly."

    And if there isn't? Why do you suppose that the worst will happen? The major change came after the naive, ill-conceived policies of the Bush-Cheney administration; had they been so wonderful, the electorate would have voted for McCain-Palin. The fact that they didn't indicates that already there has been "a very major change in America". Perhaps you should get a talk show and join the Ingrahams, Hannities and other loud mouthed broadcasters who spew so much venom against the President. And calling him "President Dopeya" does you no favours but simply shows what an unmitigated boor you are.

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  • 70. At 09:31am on 22 May 2009, Young-Mr-Grace wrote:

    Post 69 David Cunard....
    David you reference a comment from MAII aka Commodus where he calls Obama "President Dopeya". I must admit to not bothering to wade through his usual nonsense to find the context but I would have thought that the term "President Dopeya" would actually have been a better play on words if it had been used to refer to Obama's predecessor President "Dubya".

    You're all doing very well !!

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  • 71. At 10:03am on 22 May 2009, calcination wrote:

    Chicken Cheney seems to be afraid that the terrorists* will turn into 300 foot tall monsters and devastate cities, or start to exhale poison gas and massace hundreds of people using their superpowers. And lots of others, even Democracts, seem to believe him. So why are you all so scared? Will the evil terrorists defile your soil by touching it? Maybe they'll brainwash all the prisoners in a mximum security jail using their scary rotating eyeballs and escape after killing all the guards?
    If you're that scared, just send them here, I'm sure we have a few spaced in Northern Ireland we could put them in and charge you for their board and lodging. That is, after you have tried them in a court and found them guilty.

    * Not that all Guantanamo detainees are terrorists, but its not like they've tried very hard to sort real from fake terrorists.

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  • 72. At 10:20am on 22 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    There were some 750 detainees in Guantanamo. Europe and the Middle Eastern countries have taken in many of the former prisoners. It's now down to around 250 prisoners. How many have America taken from Guantanamo???

    America caused this problem. They wanted other countries to help them out. We have. But America have taken NONE. Forget asking other countries to do what you won't do yourselves.

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  • 73. At 11:00am on 22 May 2009, TommyEnergy wrote:

    If, as you say that "Dick Cheney seriously believes that thousands of people might die as a result of the new administration's mistakes then he has an absolute duty to speak out", then he had no right to cherry-pick the intelligence from the CIA to force this unnecessary war in Iraq which ended up killing hundreds of thousands of people including thousands of US service men and women. Do you call that patriotic? I call him a War Criminal.

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  • 74. At 11:04am on 22 May 2009, American Sport Fan wrote:

    Here is the thing

    WE not talking about letting these people roam the streets to do what they want. We not going to be allowing them out on the streets of New York to sell hotdogs. WE talking about housing them in SuperMaxes, which are the toughest and most secure facilities where we keep the most hardened criminals. To date, no one has escaped from a Super Max. Yet the republicans want to make false claims saying that we're going to allow them to roam the streets. I'm sorry, that is just not going to be the case.

    AS Dick Cheney, who reference September 11th no less than 25 times in his speach yesterday, I really believe that the more he speeks the more he's laying the ground work for his own conviction. Surely he realizes that the phrase "Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law" from the Miranda warning extends beyond what he says to law enforcement and includes his interviews and speaches as well. The more he talks, the more I become convinced that he's ultimately going to go to jail. Cheney should just stop talking and stop trying to defend a failed policy. He defended no one, he save the lives of no one. He's defended techniques that our own experts have said did not work and yeilded no information. He's tried to defy the constitution and operate above the law. In short, during the 8 years of the Dick Cheney administration (it is becoming increasingly clearer that George W. Bush was little more than a figure head)the constitution was largely ignored.

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  • 75. At 12:23pm on 22 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    What is becoming clearly evident, and confirms what many suspected, is that Dick Cheney was not only the brain in the Bush Administration, but the "Decider" when it came to foreign policy. It is ironic that it was his decision to invade Iraq, a nation that had nothing to do with 9/11 and was itself a target of Al Qaeda that allowed that organization to regroup, reorganize, and become more dangerous than ever. When we changed our focus from Afghanistan to Iraq we also allowed the Taleban to operate with impunity throughout that hapless country and allowed the ideology it spouses to grow to the point that it has now spread to large parts of Pakistan and, more ominously, it enjoys the support of tens of thousands of people throughout the Islamic world. Certainly, not a record anyone should be proud of or a policy anyone should continue to endorse as a panacea for a blissful future.

    Mr. Cheney's narrow goals were focused on revenge, geopolitical, and economic goals impaired our ability to succeed in Afghanistan and allowed the true masterminds of Al Qaeda, the terrorist group that attacked us on 9/11, to run free and become heroes to ignorant masses of religious zealots. The main beneficiaries of Cheney's policies include his pathetic boss who won re-election thanks to his underling's mis-information campaign, our enemies who not only survived but have become more dangerous than ever, and his beloved Halliburton who made billions "re-constructing" what Cheney ordered destroyed.

    When he claims that his policies kept us safe for over 7 years someone should remind him that 9/11 happened almost 8 months after he moved into the Executive mansion, that he had a sworn obligation to keep us safe for 8 years not 7, that bragging about no additional attacks on US soil after 9/11 ignores the fact that there were no successful foreign terrorist attacks in our country for two centuries before his pal was elected, and that there were two major terrorist attacks against our allies after his "war on terror" was well under way (Madrid 5/11, London 7/7) plus dozens of smaller but very lethal attacks in other parts of the world.

    I doubt President Obama will be able to eradicate terrorism, but at least he is focusing on our enemies, addressing the root causes of that malaise, and doing with dignity and without compromising our values and our leadership position in the world.

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  • 76. At 12:40pm on 22 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 21, Mind

    "They are mass murderers and arch enemies of the U.S."

    The U.S. has only pressed charges against 3 out of the 240 inmates held in Guantanamo. According to reports made by the Bush Administration there is circumstancial evidence against an additional dozen or so prisoners, the rest are there because, allegedly, nobody wants them. If we know that the majority of the prisoners in Gitmo are not guilty why don't we just bring them back to wherever we captured them and set them free? We didn't ask the Afghans or Iraqis for permission to extradite them and bring them to Guantanamo, why do we have to ask for permission to bring them back?

    We should focus on the few prisoners against whom we have either evidence or strong suspicion of wrongdoing, instead we are losing credibility by holding people that our government admits should be let go.

    As far as the "arch enemies" of the USA I am afraid we may need larger concentration camps than Guantanamo is the goal is to imprison them all.

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  • 77. At 12:48pm on 22 May 2009, carolinalady wrote:

    Ugh! Why is FORMER Vice President a.k.a. Darth Cheney getting top billing over CURRENT Vice President Joe Biden...who happens to be doing some effective foreign relations fence mending? To listen to the news (and I am including MSNBC along with FOX, here), you'd think the Dark Lord was still the Veep. STOP IT! And stop it immediately!

    Dark Dick and his insidious crew WANT us to revert to this way of thinking: they want us to continue to be as susceptible as they are to panic and violent reactionary "get 'em before they get us" thinking. We categorically rejected both the politics and the policies of fear last November. Let's live up to them.

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  • 78. At 1:29pm on 22 May 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    saintDominick @75,

    Good point about JWBush's track-record of 'preventing subsequent attacks on the USA'. Whenever I here the argument that he did a good job just because there was no repeat of 9/11 during his term, I am reminded of a joke. I goes like this:

    A guy is walking along the streets of NY, spreading sea salt. Somebody asked him: 'What's with all the salt?'
    The guy replied: 'I am spreading it against crocodiles.'
    'But there are no crocodiles in NY', was the amazed reply.

    'See!'- said the guy. 'It's working already'.

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  • 79. At 1:32pm on 22 May 2009, American Sport Fan wrote:

    Re 77

    I too am disturbed by this, although comparing Dick Cheney to Darth Vader is an insult to Darth Vadar, who to the best of my knowledge never approved of waterboarding.

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  • 80. At 1:34pm on 22 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Perhaps Europeans and extreme left wing Americans conveniently forgot that both houses of Contress and the American people as shown in the polls gave overwhelming suppport to the invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq.

    In American eyes, the crime the Bush administration committed is that it did not decisively win the war in Iraq, the outcome was not as promised. The strategy and tactics fell far short of the mission which was not accomplished. In European eyes, the crime was that America had the audacity to defend itself at all and against their demands that it should not. Americans should wake up to the fact that Europe is as real an enemy to the United States as al Qaeda is. With allies like Europe, America doesn't need enemies.

    Oprah's Dopra is proving that he is as bad or worse than his worst critics during the campaign feared he'd be. Chaney has an obligation to speak out. He also had an obligation to deal with this problem decisively during his term as vice president. The tribunals could have been over by now, the sentences handed down, those found not to have been involved released (but not to the US), those convicted incarcerated in a parmanent prison off shore, or in the case of the worst of them executed. If the mastermind behind the African embassy bombings who will be tried in New York City doesn't get the death sentence, you'll know the court has caved in to political pressure and the country has become as unsafe as it can be.

    Rather than close GITMO, would be terrorists around the world should be told that America will catch them, imprison them in GITMO or a place like it, and whatever interrogation techniques are necessary to get them to reveal everything they know about who else is involved and their plans will be forced out of them. Perhaps that will get them to think twice.

    If there must be a prison in the US where detainees are to be kept, Central Alaska hundreds of miles from the nearest structure would be as good a spot as any. Short of that, the Mojave desert would also be good. Escape from those places by the detainees would almost surely result in their deaths. It would be relatively easy to monitor the approach of their friends trying to rescue them and intercede with overwhelming military force. One consideration that has not been given much thought is reprisals against residents of the state in which the terrorists are kept, attacks by terrorists on their cities.

    Given the way these wars and foreign policy have been conducted even by Bush and Chaney, you'd hardly know America and the rest of the civilized world is in a war for its survival. How much damage is done to it and the rest of the world before it's over will depend on the will, the resolve to use the means we already have. It looked bad under Bush Chaney, it looks even worse now.

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  • 81. At 2:04pm on 22 May 2009, faeyth wrote:

    If they release the Uyghars they will probably end up in Detroit.We have so many Persians and Arabs,Chinese,and eastern euros.We don't mind them here at least their fixing neighborhoods in Detroit and surrounding Suburbs.That's where their sending many refugees who helped US in mid east anyway.

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  • 82. At 2:09pm on 22 May 2009, faeyth wrote:

    I did not support Iraq,I sign protest letters to my Senators and Representatives.My Senator Levin did not vote for Iraq.I don't know about Stabenow but I did not vote for her.I don't like her.Many people did not support Iraq.

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  • 83. At 2:11pm on 22 May 2009, Swamilicious wrote:

    Isn't it ironic that Cheney attacks the 'softening' of the language used in labelling a terrorist, yet when he talks about water boarding (causing pain, fear and panic to extract something from a prisoner, i.e. torture) he calls it "enhanced interrogation techniques"?

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  • 84. At 2:25pm on 22 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    The House of Congress and the American people were mislead into giving support to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars by false information and deliberate lies. The British people did not support these wars, however, their governemnt did, and they have to accept the consequences of the actions of their government. The governments of Afghanistan or Iraq did not take military action against the US or UK, yet they have been collectively punished. Now is time to correct the mistakes of the past.

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  • 85. At 2:29pm on 22 May 2009, canadacold wrote:

    #gunsandreligion

    $2 dollar merlot!!

    Ours is taxed high to help pay for health care

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  • 86. At 2:38pm on 22 May 2009, Br00klynBella wrote:

    MarcusAureliusII, I love the bitterness that is still on the tongue of American conservatives. Of course everything's wrong with the country now that Americans wised up and chose leadership based on actual qualifiers as opposed to ... bumbling, equally idiotic, chums. We have serious problems, as a nation, thanks to the Bush administration; whether or not Cheney was the puppeteer he gets the credit for being. The fact is, the US cannot keep creating these laws and placing themselves as a moral authority when everything we do go against the very laws and morals we are imposing and in some cases FORCING on others. Those people are being detained without charges, which is unconstitutional. We've earned these so called "arch enemies" and we should work to improve, that image rather than focusing on a select few in order to instill fear in the masses. The good news is, for the most part, it isn't working anymore anyway.... except for the delusional conservatives. Riddle me this, since they love putting everything on "god" why isn't this shift in leadership seen as a blessing too? I, for one, thank god we no longer have a mediocre idiot running this country.

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  • 87. At 3:01pm on 22 May 2009, ruralhills wrote:

    Fascinating.

    The prospect that thousands of deaths might be prevented by imposing discomforture upon a knowedgeable terrorist can be completely irrelevant. Non-lethal, no permanent damage, docs standing by, etc. No matter.

    No excuse for it. If thousands die, oh well --

    By the way, we were very lucky with 911. A friend of mine who worked in the WTC said there can be as many as 50K souls onboard those buildings at times. Had the plane pitched down and struck lower, at the base, the death toll likely would have been more like 30K v.s. 3K.

    I am a kind person who wishes harm to nobody but that extraordinary moral dilemma I can appreciate. To soundly condemn those who made those difficult decisions under such circumstances without consideration of the possible consequences seems closed-minded to the extreme.

    I guess those who can't stand Bush et.al., will continue to hate until their dying days no matter what logic is put forward. I'm glad I didn't have to make those decisions and cannot imagine how I would feel if another 3K or even 30k deaths had occurred, knowledgeable terrorist left unmolested, proud of his deed.

    Now THAT I couldn't sleep with.

    A little understanding.

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  • 88. At 3:14pm on 22 May 2009, frayedcat wrote:

    Obama is like Augustus or Claudius. Cheney is like Caligula or Nero - a sorry scion with delusions of grandeur. Read their bios - Cheney's fingerprint is on every aspect of the US demise over the last decade. And the conspiracy theorists believe that he WAS capable of 'allowing' 9/11 to centralize power. Now his people are using the daisy ad, in a ridiculous manner. Like an amoral fearmongering oil-lackey might do.

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  • 89. At 3:18pm on 22 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    84, Richard_SM, I can understand your point about Iraq, but Afghanistan?
    Weren't they ruled by the Taliban at the time, and given an opportunity to
    give up AQ before we sent the Army in?

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  • 90. At 3:23pm on 22 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    85, canadacold, I don't know what the root cause of our discontent is here.
    It could be the lack of affordable health care, or it could simply be the
    presence of affordable wine.

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  • 91. At 3:33pm on 22 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    S&M #84

    More of your lies.

    "The House of Congress..."

    Unlike Britain, America has TWO HOUSES in its legislative branch that are democratically elected from among all its citizens not one such house as in Britain whose House of Commons is the lower of its two. How fitting in a country where most citizens are considered lowly commoners not worthy of sitting in the higher elite House of Lords. If Congress was misled, then so was the President, perhaps in part by Britain's dodgy dossier. And I love reminding your kind that Clinton's appointed Driector of the CIA George Tenet told President Bush that Iraq having WMDs was a slam dunk. And Russia's President Putin warned Bush that his intelligence had discovered that Saddam Hussein was planning to attack the US on its own soil. A terrorist organization based in Afghanistan and protected by its Taleban government did attack the US. The US gave the Taleban a month to surrender al Qaeda and if it had, there would not have been an attack on it. The attacks on those two countries were the right thing to do and both countries and the world are better off for it. Not everyone in them are better off but the world as a whole and the US is safer.

    Most likely when the US pulls out of Iraq that country will plunge into civil war. It's what Europe has been demanding. The combatants have already been rubbing their hands in anticipation, the violence there has been ramping up since Oprah's Dopra who is committed to a pullout took office. Now some Iraqis say they want the US to stay. Too bad, the die has been cast. They should have spoken out forcefully before the election because McCain was prepared to stay there, now it's too late. Perhaps Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and others in the region will send in troops into Iraq to calm things down.

    We know that on the whole at least 50% of Brits did not support America's defense of itself against Iraq. Corrective action would be for the US to cut itself off from Britain and recognize it for the enemy it is. It only comes around when it needs something...like immediate help in fightintg a world war it's foolishly gotten itself into that it's losing.

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  • 92. At 3:44pm on 22 May 2009, seanspa wrote:

    guns, the discontent is that we do not have a trader joe's around here to provide the $2 wine.

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  • 93. At 4:13pm on 22 May 2009, Swamilicious wrote:

    91 - the usual comedy, thanks mate!

    You say you disagree with Richard SM but you seem to have done a good job of backing up all the points he made with your examples of false info and non-support from the UK public!

    "It only comes around when it needs something...like immediate help in fightintg a world war it's foolishly gotten itself into that it's losing."

    You are referring to the US in this part right? If not I do appreciate your humour after all- irony is my friend too!

    We all know such an anti-Euro/Brit person wouldn't spend this amount of time on a British website seemingly teaming with liberals, so we know you love us really so why not come over for a nice warm hug? You're welcome any time.

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  • 94. At 4:18pm on 22 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    92, seanspa, when you pay $900/month for a tiny apartment, the $2 wine
    is a consolation prize. But, I can see the pilgrims showing up. Busses
    of them showing up at a trader joe's, and then returning via Portland,
    Maine to throw a stone at the WCTU memorial.

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  • 95. At 4:43pm on 22 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    91, MAII, don't you think that's a little simplistic? The Europeans don't
    want Iraq to collapse. Obama is still going to leave enough troops in the
    country (50,000) to provide training and direct help, if required, to the
    Iraqis.

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  • 96. At 4:47pm on 22 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Swammi;

    I don't recall the US being bogged down in the hedgerows and trenches of Northern France for four years where an entire generation of its young men were poured down the drain of a war that was supposed to have brought the boys home by Christmas.

    I don't recall Americans sending their first family to Britain begging them to enter the war in Europe around 1936, Nazi V1 and V2 rockets falling on American cities day and night blowing up buildings and people, convoys of British freighters accompanied by warships to evade the Nazi "wolfpacks" to get food and other material to the US to keep its society from collapsing completely. Who was it who evacuated Dunkirk when they were defeated again? I've forgotten it's been so long.

    Tell me about it.

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  • 97. At 4:52pm on 22 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    93, swami, please take him!

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  • 98. At 4:53pm on 22 May 2009, Pancha Chandra wrote:

    President Obama would like America to stand tall again. The Guantanamo chapter has to be closed and closed at the earliest opportunity. Of course the detainees will have to be kept in high-security prisons till their cases are heard and decided by fair-minded judges. The cases should be heard either in the United States or in a neutral country. The possibility of detainees escaping does not come into the picture at all as maximum security would be exercised. Dick Cheney, on the other hand, has a lot of explaining to do as he was the architect of the Guantanamo policy; a failed policy which has put America on the ropes. Guantanamo needs to be closed and this sordid chapter ended.

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  • 99. At 5:04pm on 22 May 2009, seanspa wrote:

    Guns, I suggest you pay $900 a month on a large apartment instead.

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  • 100. At 5:07pm on 22 May 2009, middlecroony wrote:

    #48 MA
    Sounds like you, like many other republicans, wish for something terrible to happen on our soil, just so the President looks bad. "The Grand Old Party" should change their name to maybe "The Brick Wall Party"

    Those coersive arrangements which a still lingering savageness makes requisite.

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  • 101. At 5:24pm on 22 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    G&R

    It was said of Dewey when he seemed a sure winner in the 1948 Presidential election and then lost to Truman that he grabbed defeat out of the jaws of victory. That may be the Obama administration's epitaph in Iraq.

    Democratic administrations are usually so weak on defense and foreign policy that they wind up backed into wars or stumble stupidly into them. Democrats were responsible for gettig the US into WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Kosovo and if anyone is really honest, into Iraq and Afghanistan too. Kennedy's weakness nearly resulted in the end of human life on earth over his stupidity and incompetence in Cuba. If Iran acquires the ability to build nuclear weapons or Pakistan falls to the Taleban, I think nuclear war is very likely. In the case of Iran, I think Israel will attack first, in the case of Pakistan I think it will be India. With nuclear weapons in your enemies hands, you don't wait around to be attacked first. No amount of arm twisting or diplomacy can change that.

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  • 102. At 5:28pm on 22 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Swamilicious (#83) " ... when he talks about water boarding ... he calls it "enhanced interrogation techniques"?"

    The term is used because it applies to more than waterboarding. Here is a link to an ABC News article on the subject"

    http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/Investigation/story?id=1322866

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  • 103. At 5:40pm on 22 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Kooky

    First I am not a Republican. I'm also not a Democrat although I was a registered Democrat so that I could vote against Jessie Jackson in the primary when he ran. I have just as much contempt for Republicans when they are wrong as I have for Democrats when they are wrong.

    I do not want anything bad to happen to America. But with this Dope-ya in the White House I'm more afraid it will than I've been since 9-11.

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  • 104. At 5:45pm on 22 May 2009, Swamilicious wrote:

    96 - have I to put the Earl Grey and biscuits on hold then?

    Come along, there's no doubt USA helped win WW2, just like there's no doubt USA and us would have failed without the Soviets, or the rest of the Allies.

    Of course, ending the war there and then will have saved America from who knows what down the line, but that's not to say it is not appreciated.

    USA might not need the UK in Iraq and Afghanistam, but we are there too alongside you again, isn't friendship wonderful?

    Come on over, we'll cuddle your tensions away!

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  • 105. At 6:02pm on 22 May 2009, NoRashDecisions wrote:

    gunsandreligion #66: I don't think you support torture at all!! Where did you get that idea? I feel bad. And my post at #418 on the '"Who Has More Freedom?" thread was refering to your response, at #332, to my original post at #325. It has nothing to do with this current debate what so ever. But as you can see I had a lot to say regarding your response, and I just wanted to know your thoughts on the matter.

    AmericanSportFan: To clarify, please read my response to your post #5 on the '"Pragmatic on Health Care and Guantanamo" thread at #20, and my response to your post #13 on the same thread at #24.

    SamTyler1969: I haven't checked the thread in a while, but again, my response to your post at #422 on the '"Who Has More Freedom?" thread is at #475 if you're interested.


    Thank You

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  • 106. At 6:07pm on 22 May 2009, verycynicalsceptic wrote:

    Hi Justin, a simple question, is all distaste for the USA its culture and its 'values' (the real ones not those espoused) especially those voiced by the Cheney and his clones (bearing in mind a majority voted for those of his ilk) is unfounded and illegitmate? So I am a mindless bigot for not being a cheerleader for the glorious USA? I could go on in this vein for a while but I won't. As Bush and co said 'your either for us or agin us' well guess what I am glad to be in the 'agin' camp. Changing a label on a tin does not change its contents so the fact that they have a new president does not impress me at all.

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  • 107. At 6:11pm on 22 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    "Guantanamo needs to be closed and this sordid chapter ended."

    I don't think closing the detention facility at Guantanamo is all that important. The important issue is the treatment of prisoners. There may be some good reasons for having it offshore. If it's run properly, and open to inspection by journalists and members of Congress, then what is the objection to it? It's a lot closer than, for example, Diego Garcia.

    Those who will be tried in federal courts should be transferred to US prisons.

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  • 108. At 6:15pm on 22 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Attempts to justify the invasion of Iraq because they were, allegedly, preparing to invade the USA reminds me of President Reagan's claim that the Nicaraguans were planning to invade the USA via Harbinger, Texas, in the 1980s. Obviously, Iraq, a developing country with a NAVY that consisted of a few patrol boats, an air force that was defeated before it even left their tarmacs, and almost half of its territory controlled by "coalition" forces, was never a threat to the USA and, to his credit, President Bush never said it was. His statements focused on threat to our allies and our interests in the region, not a physical threat to the USA.

    It is worth remembering all the warnings and advice given by countries like Israel, who warned us of the probability of de-stabilizing the entire Persian Gulf region if we invaded Iraq, and reminded us that our enemy in that part of the world was Iran not Iraq. France was adamant in their opposition to an unprovoked invasion. Al Baradei and other IAEA and UN inspectors told us, repeatedly, that all WMDs had been destroyed and that there was no evidence of new WMDs in Iraq, only to be told unceremoneously who do you believe, Saddam or the US government? Even our own CIA tried to have exaggerated claims of a nuclear threat removed from one of W's State of the Union addresses, only to see it included again and confirmed by an embarrassing address to the UN General Assembly made by then Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell who went as far as showing the world the trucks that were being used to transport nuclear weapons from one facility to another, and the warehouses where they were being stored.

    In a climate of unmitigated paranoia and fear a hapless Congress approved an invasion that is now regarded by most nations as one of the greatest examples of misinformation, manipulation and abuse in the history of mankind. A combination of Machiavelli and Pinochio come to mind.

    Peersonally, I would have preferred a concerted effort to destroy Al Qaeda, while demonstrating to the Muslim world that the USA are not aggressors, unscrupulous businessmen, and that we respect their sovereignty and traditions. Instead, we took our eye off the ball and 8 years later Osama bin Laden continues to plot against us while he plays hide and seek in caves in Afghanistan or while being hosted by adoring crowds in Pakistan. Hardly what I would label as a great success, and certainly not something I consider as an example of keeping anyone safe.

    VP Cheney is laying down the groundwork for a possible defense, should charges be made against him. I doubt Bush or Cheney will be prosecuted, much less sentenced, not because they don't deserve it, but because that would be too divisive and damaging to our country. It is time to focus on the future, learn from our mistakes and let historians deal with what can not be changed.

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  • 109. At 6:18pm on 22 May 2009, NoRashDecisions wrote:

    Richard_SM #84: I don't want to get into yet another debate on this, but it is my understanding that 6 out of 10 Britains initially supported Britain's involvement in the Iraq war, but that support quickly plummeted after a year or two had passed.

    70% of Americans, however, endorsed the war initially, and their support took a much longer time to wane, because of the way in which Bush/Chene played off the fears after 9/11 to get their way. Blair didn't have the luxury of playing off the fears of people, because by that time Britain
    hadn't been attacked.

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  • 110. At 6:28pm on 22 May 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    104:
    Now I'm speechless. Cuddle?!

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  • 111. At 6:31pm on 22 May 2009, canadacold wrote:

    #guns

    If wine is only $2 then it can lead to more need for health care. Consider the Finns who are finding this to their cost
    However, can you tell me whether this wine was good or not?

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  • 112. At 6:33pm on 22 May 2009, Ricter wrote:

    The Bush-Cheney policies regarding terrorism are reactions based on fear. Gitmo, Torture, rendition flights, wire-tapping, terrotist threat alerts (Yellow, Orange, Red).....these are all negative reactions based on fear. Under their leadership we had to be "on guard" and live in fear of the next terrorist attack. Osama Bin Laden couldn't have asked for better result from his horrible crime on Sept 11th.....Americans living in the constant state of fear. When we elected Barrack Obama, I thought we had turned the page on fear in the direction of hope.

    Some argue that all the Bush-Cheney policies worked because we haven't had an attack since Sept. 11, 2001. Maybe some of the policies worked....tighter airport security, better equipment, better coordination within gov't and FBI....and maybe because Bin Laden said that the next attack would be even more spectacular and it is taking a lot longer to plan....or maybe another attack on the US would again unite the US and it's allies to turn it's full attention on eliminating Al-Qaeada and the Muslim community would join in....with The US unilateral invasion of Iraq igniting anti-Americanism throughout much of the Muslim world, maybe Bin Laden believes that he hasn't needed another attack on the US during the Bush-Cheney years.


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  • 113. At 6:34pm on 22 May 2009, Joe_Z_ wrote:

    Cheney is getting the better of Obama on this one. Obama's policy will fail because no one wants a suspected terrorist in their country, period. Maybe the people who support closing Gitmo could help, maybe a foster home type of thing. They could open up their homes and care for these confused souls. Show the rest of us how it's done. In fact, how about the first foster home for suspected terrorists being the White House. Now Mr. President, that would really impress the world.

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  • 114. At 6:49pm on 22 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    99, seanspa, if only life were so simple. A tiny apartment is not
    big enough, so you rent a bigger one ($1200). And then your relatives
    want to come out and visit... permanently.

    After they've seen all the tourist attractions, beaches and parks,
    they want to stay. But they can't find work. So they live on your
    couch. Then their friends show up... and their friends.

    I think I'll stick with the tiny apartment for now.

    But, I have a solution. I have heard about this lovely place called
    Idaho. There used to be Indians there, and they even have a lake
    named after them. Of course the Indians aren't there anymore, because
    they let the secret out, and their relatives showed up.

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  • 115. At 7:04pm on 22 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    canadacold (#111), we call it "two buck chuck" in California. It is a group of four wines, actually, priced between $1.99 and $3.99. Whether they are any good is, of course, debatable. What makes the debate interesting is that the chardonnay won a prize somewhere, which was an embarrassment to the wine snobs of Napa Valley.

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  • 116. At 7:05pm on 22 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 107, Gary

    "There may be some good reasons for having it offshore."

    As you pointed out, the problem is not so much the location but the way Muslim prisoners have been treated. I also think they would be better off in an off-shore location, sharing their imprisonment with fellow Muslims, instead of being transferred to a maximum security prison in the USA where they will live in virtual solitary confinement to protect them from fellow inmates.

    In addition to stopping torture, we must give all prisoners an expeditious and fair trial. Those found guilty of terrorism should spend the rest of their lives in prison, those deemed innocent because of lack of evidence or any proof of wrongdoing should be released wherever we captured them.

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  • 117. At 7:07pm on 22 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    100, middlecroony, fortunately MAII does not describe himself as a
    Republican.

    Someone on this blog mentioned the Whigs. I might try putting one
    on, if I wasn't the only one in California to do so.

    101, MAII, while the Democrats are suffering from false ideology,
    and have generally bungled everything, you'll have to agree that
    the latest Republican administration was probably one of the worst
    that we've ever had. I can't think of a single thing that they did
    well. They bungled Iraq, Afghanistan (by letting AQ and the Taliban
    get away), the banking system and the economy, food safety, trade
    policy, relations with the scientific community, veterans' health,
    industrial safety, made no attempt to negotiate with Iraq, Iran,
    and North Korea (until very late), the health care system, all of
    our infrastructure, energy policy, our border with Mexico and
    immigration reform, and probably another dozen or so things that
    I've forgotten about.

    Nonetheless, the Democrats are far worse because they don't understand
    economics at all. They are channeling FDR when they should be channeling
    JFK, but they're just too ignorant to understand the difference.

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  • 118. At 7:07pm on 22 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    My mistake. It was the shiraz.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1963794

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  • 119. At 7:08pm on 22 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 111, Canada

    "However, can you tell me whether this wine was good or not?"

    Not bad, if you want it for cooking, but be careful because it is only slightly different to wine vinegar.

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  • 120. At 7:08pm on 22 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    98, Panch, you are always so positive! You should come over here and
    give motivational seminars, I'll bet that you could print money that way.

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  • 121. At 7:09pm on 22 May 2009, moderate_observer wrote:

    marcus in post #53 you stated that canada is the biggest security threat to the US. I guess you will then find it interesting to know that today a convicted member of a islamic terror cell was convicted of planning attacks on government buildings and he was sentenced to 2.5 years and then released because he was in custody during trial for about a year and a half. . Some joke. You can get a bigger sentence for shoplifting than you can for terrorism eh!

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  • 122. At 7:13pm on 22 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    Obama v Cheney


    Now that would be good. Does Obama get to keep smacking when cheney is on the ropes?
    then when he's on the floor.

    He could do it US cop style, wait until he is unconscious.

    Cheney is a war criminal lock him up solitary throw away the key. Put him next to the Gitmo prisoners.

    Yea you all say but what about the country. well it is fallen already why not get rid of the dead-weight.

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  • 123. At 7:13pm on 22 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Post #113 is just silly. President Obama may or may not get his way on closing the detention facility at Guantanamo, but in any case, suspected terrorists are not going to be turned loose on the streets.

    There are already convicted terrorists in federal prisons.

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  • 124. At 7:16pm on 22 May 2009, cynic555 wrote:

    Cheney may have no personality .. but he is both intelligent and articulate and liberals are still terrified to get on the same stage and debate any issue with him.

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  • 125. At 7:16pm on 22 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    111, canadacold, the Merlot is actually fairly decent, the Cabernet is so-so.
    Of course, I grew up in beer-drinking country, so I am an unsophisticate.
    And, actually, I was breast-fed until I was 18, and then switched to beer,
    which perhaps proves the adage that beer is an "acquired taste."

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  • 126. At 7:21pm on 22 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    Joe Z.. some of these people committed no crime. We know they were totally innocent. 100%, when they went in. since they are vowed to get revenge because their girlfriend got married to someone else and then got bombed at the wedding.
    or some such horror story.
    Btu all you freedom loving Americans can't see that their anger is your problem. not even theirs.

    they have every right to shoot at american soldiers. they were illegally detained for almost a decade.
    the same as a gulag (but better conditions)

    I wish they didn't shoot but they have more right to shoot at a soldier who represents the country that illegally locked them up for so long than the soldier that signs up to fight half waty around the world against people that have done nothing.

    That is the perspective of the guy in the gitmo cell,maybe.

    We did wrong.
    America the land where they kill people for disobeying the laws.
    (savage)

    "If you can't do the time don't do the crime."

    Obama recognises that Cheney doesn't. lock him up.

    He wants to comment he should pay for his own secret service protection the traitor.(Valerie Plame)



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  • 127. At 7:25pm on 22 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    103 you have shown a long line of dubious bigoted comments in the past (thankfully most moderated).

    under several names as well.

    The fact that you joined dems to keep jesse out is no surprise and I suspect the GOP picking Steel had no influence on the greater hatred you show for the GOP now as to before the election.

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  • 128. At 7:44pm on 22 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    guns.. (#117), JFK? President Kennedy wasn't in office long enough to evaluate his performance satisfactorily. Americans are still debating his contribution the Vietnam War:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-oe-goldstein22-2008nov22,0,5602968.story

    Whether Kennedy gave us the Vietnam War or not is not certain, but his Vice President, Johnson, and his Secretaries of State and Defense, Rusk and McNamara, certainly did.

    I give Eisenhower and the Dulles brothers a lot of the blame, myself.

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  • 129. At 7:49pm on 22 May 2009, faeyth wrote:

    Bush was successful getting into Iraq not because of 9/11,this goes back further.The greatest gen ever put in there children (Baby Boomers)a fear of the bomb they dropped on someone else.I did not grow up with this fear.I was disappointed with Baby Boomers because when cold war ended their was a opportunity for world co-operation.Ruined not just by Americans but Euro and Russia not working together,China with it's neighbors,Israel,Iran with it's neighbors,Americans with ours Cuba and South America.We all failed.It's so hard to let go isn't it and trust and except that our way of life isn't what others want.

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  • 130. At 7:51pm on 22 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    moderate_observer (#121), ironically, it seems that he actually was a shoplifter:

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2009/05/22/brampton-terror.html

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  • 131. At 7:56pm on 22 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    cynic555 (#124), "terrified"? There is no need to get on a stage. The election is over and the Democrats are in charge. The only "stage" which is relevant at this point is the one provided by newsmedia. There is no shortage of Democrats (and one Republican) who are willing to answer Cheney in that forum.

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  • 132. At 8:13pm on 22 May 2009, moderate_observer wrote:

    117 guns n r, you forgot Katrina. I am still stunned at how badly they handled that situation. It is still an embarassment to this day. In other countries, the president or PM would have to resign after such a horrible display of leadership, but a president stepping down mid-term is a bit of an anomaly in american politics.


    As for the democrats, their heads will forever be in the clouds. They are just as ideological to the left as is some republicans to the right.

    The party has a very wide range of personalities and listening to them is like listening to 2 or 3 parties contradict each other. Some makes sense, but we cant differentiate between them since they are all in the same party.

    I really do not know where they are going with this guantanamo issue.

    This may be radical, but I believe political parties should be banned, then hopefully politicians will form their allegiances on a per issue basis instead of just toeing party lines.
    Hopefully if this were so independents will have more to choose from instead of party hopping between the two when none deserves to be in power.

    Its just a fantasy but it is because Partisanship has brought washington to a standstill and everyone is suffering for it but washington.

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  • 133. At 8:21pm on 22 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #98

    For all those who feel sorry for the poor little terrorists be advised that the conditions in a SuperMax facility will be far more restrictive than the Gitmo facility.

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  • 134. At 8:27pm on 22 May 2009, moderate_observer wrote:

    #130 indeed he is a shop lifter after all. and he showed 'genuine remorse' :) so set him free. the poor guy. i hope they give him some spending money on his way too. He may need it while searching for his next terrorist training camp.

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  • 135. At 8:42pm on 22 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    moderate_observer (#132) "This may be radical, but I believe political parties should be banned, ... "

    It certainly is! In the US, a political party is at its essence merely a group of people excercising their First Amendment rights, the cornerstone of our freedoms.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. - First Amendment to the US Constitution

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  • 136. At 8:45pm on 22 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    128, Gary, I have to reveal my age here... At the time I was very anti-LBJ,
    but, in retrospect, I have come to the conclusion that he did everything
    that he possibly did to keep us out of there. He once described Vietnam
    as a "Texas Hailstorm."

    Vietnam, unlike Iraq, was probably unavoidable given the threat of the
    Communist bloc as it was. It was really quite clever of them to sponsor
    conflicts like Vietnam to bleed us dry so that they could walk in and
    take Western Europe. Fortunately, that didn't happen. But, it almost did.

    It's not clear to me exactly what choices Johnson had regarding the war.
    In public he derided his opponents as "nervous nellies" and hauled out
    the infamous "H-Bomb" ad against Goldwater to present himself as a
    moderate. But, I have a suspicion that our options narrowed at some point
    towards the end of the Kennedy administration with the coup.

    Vietnam was proof (at the time) that nationalism trumps ideology, in that
    the North had Ho Chi Minh, while the South had no comparable leader. The
    North had Communism, which is a pretty crummy ideology, while the South
    had Catholicism, which, as a form of Christianity, is pretty good by
    comparison.

    So, now we come to the present day. In Pakistan, we have a similar problem,
    except that the enemy seems to be ideological Islamic extremism. It probably
    could be suppressed by moderates in the region, except that Pakistan seems
    to have a government which has suppressed its own democratic elements, leaving
    it vulnerable to an insurgency. A pure case of lousy leadership.

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  • 137. At 8:52pm on 22 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    132, m_o, thank you! How could I forget Katrina?

    What the Democrats don't get is how thin the ice is that they are
    standing upon. Even after an episode like Katrina, they were behind
    in the polls until the credit crunch.

    It's just amazing how isolated from reality these politicians are
    in America.

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  • 138. At 8:53pm on 22 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Here's a link to a summary of California Democratic Party v Jones, for anyone who might wish to understand the status of political parties in the US better. (Contains links to the full opinion and references to precedents.)

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  • 139. At 9:19pm on 22 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    guns (#136), if we were to debate that, we would require a new thread. The topic is just too big and controversial. My own view, in short, is that there was never anything in Vietnam of importance to the United States, and had the US role after the French left been limited to assisting in the implementation of the provisions of the 1954 Geneva Accords, the result would have been better all around. The Communists in Southeast Asia were never a threat to the interests of the US, in my opinion.

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  • 140. At 9:48pm on 22 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    G&R #117

    I think you are giving the Bush administration far more credit than it deserves. They couldn't possibly have done most of it without the support and cooperation of Congress.

    What was wrong with destabalizing the Middle East? It was none too stable to begin with. The war in Iraq was just what it needed. Same with Afghanistan.

    immoderate observer, while it is true that the Bush Administration did not perform even adequately in the aftermath of Katrina, the actual delay in taking rescue action was 60 hours. The rescue should have begun on Tuesday at daybreak, instead it began at noon on Thursday. There was also plenty of blame to go around for the Governor of Louisiana who held up the rescue for an entire day and for the Mayor of New Orleans. FEMA did not perform well either. The real damage was done through 40 years of neglect to the levees which all levels of government and both parties through many administrations had been long made aware of by the Army Corps of Engineers. Bush's delay in the rescue cost him control of both houses of Congress during his last two years in office, the outcome of the 2006 midterm elections.

    The Presidential election of 2004 was seen as a referendum on the war in Iraq and President Bush won that race clearly and cleanly. At that point Americans still supported the war.

    The economic disaster was the result of a collaboration of both political parties, Congress, the Bush administration, the Clinton Administration, the federal reserve, and the Treasury. The banks and insurance companies had a hand it it too as did borrowers who lied through their teeth to borrow money they couldn't possibly pay back to buy houses they couldn't afford.

    The economic disaster and the tade and cultural war with Europe will hasten its final demise. See, even the darkest cloud has a silver lining.

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  • 141. At 10:28pm on 22 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    140, MAII, I wish you would get off this anti-European kick. They're
    not even that big a part of the world. Why don't you put a map of the
    world up on a dartboard and throw a dart at it, and hate who you hit.

    If you hit us, please try again.

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  • 142. At 10:41pm on 22 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    139, Gary, I agree with you about Vietnam not being central to our interest,
    but that was not obvious until the split in the Communist bloc appeared
    in the late 60s. After Nixon and Dr. K. exploited their differences, Vietnam
    was no longer important (except to the people living there) and we could
    have pulled out.

    The proof is that a few short years after we pulled out, the Chinese and
    the Vietnamese went to war over something which I don't understand.

    The downside of our being driven out is that many Vietnamese did not side
    with the Communists and suffered as a result. My area of the country is
    full of them - bus and rail stations all have signs in English and Vietnamese,
    and I hear these horror stories all the time.

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  • 143. At 10:59pm on 22 May 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    In ref. to 132, 137, 140:
    The lessens of Katrina are simply too complex and disturbing to go into thoroughly on this thread as it would be a topic big enough to occupy an entire blog. I can only say this; Louisianians continue to live with the consequences of such negligence. Thankfully, the enterprising efforts of the Federal, State, local authorities-however slow to arrive-have complemented the efforts of the people of Louisiana in rebuilding, revitalizing, and providing new opportunities to a devastated region, vital to the success of the United States. And I must point out that things could be better, but we're still in a pretty good economic situation compared to much of the nation.

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  • 144. At 11:03pm on 22 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #140

    No the 2004 election demonstrated if you stand for nothing, you can't get elected President. John Kerry has never stood for anything and in most states he would never had been elected Senator.

    Obama learned from Kerry's mistakes and even muzzled Michelle when she started opening her ignorant big mouth.

    Something Kerry could not do to his Sugar Mama

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  • 145. At 11:07pm on 22 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    G&R (#142), I am certainly sympathetic to the plight of individual Vietnamese civilians. In fact, I have worked for several years with someone who left Vietnam in a small boat as a young child, one of the so-called "boat people." Things turned out much better for her in the long run. Better for me, too, as she is hands-down the best SQA department, all by herself, that I have ever had.

    Unfortunately, the US cannot provide a haven for every deserving person in the world.

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  • 146. At 11:22pm on 22 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #62. MarcusAureliusII: "Republican Senator Chambliss of Georgia has introduced the "Keep terrorists out of America" bill which would prevent the Obama Administratoin from bringing terrorists into any state unless the governor of the state and state legislature approves it."

    In the unlikely event that it were to be passed in its present form, the President most probably would veto it. You seem to have forgotten that, unless over-ridden (which takes a fight) the President has the last word.

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  • 147. At 11:31pm on 22 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #96. MarcusAureliusII wrote: "Who was it who evacuated Dunkirk"

    We know for sure who it wasn't.

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  • 148. At 11:39pm on 22 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    I wonder what Cheney's game is. Is he afraid that history will forget him? Is he afraid that he will be remembered as an eminence grise? It seems unlikely that he is acting to restore the validity of the Republican Party.

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  • 149. At 00:05am on 23 May 2009, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 144 MagicKirin wrote:

    "Obama learned from Kerry's mistakes and even muzzled Michelle when she started opening her ignorant big mouth."

    Rather amusing, and definitely ironic, that someone with only the faintest and most tenuous grasp of the rules of grammar, spelling and punctuation, and indeed someone who constantly posts prejudice masquerading as fact, has the nerve to describe Michelle Obama as having an "ignorant big mouth".

    More objective observers , in the US and elsewhere, seem to find her intelligent and articulate.

    Of course, things are different in MagicWorld.

    A place where words mean whatever Magic wants them to mean. Where there are no pots or kettles. Or mirrors. No concept of facts, proof, or evidence. And no sense of embarrassment.......

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  • 150. At 00:19am on 23 May 2009, yet_another_dave wrote:

    Re #42, ruralhills: "What if your six year old daughter was kidnapped and you feared for her life? If you captured one of the kidnappers who knew where she was, what would you do?"

    "I'd get a chainsaw and start with his feet," she said. "I'd take it right up to his ___s if I had to."

    This is a common strawman argument in favor of torture. It's relevant to the present public debate because it illustrates a seldom-mentioned underlying assumption: The assumption that torture is an effective means to obtain useful information from a prisoner. The problem with that assumption is that professional interrogators and torturers have consistently reported, for more than a thousand years, that torture is not effective for this purpose.

    So, the answer to the kidnap question is: "I would use whatever methods are known to be effective in obtaining useful information from a prisoner."

    Apparently, some people would rather leave their kidnapped daughter to her fate in order to entertain themselves at the expense of the prisoner. As for me, I would have greater love for my daughter than that.

    It is well known that torture is not useful for this purpose. Therefore, it follows that supporters of torture are not interested in obtaining information. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to speculate as to the true reasons some people seem so eager to practice torture.

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  • 151. At 00:20am on 23 May 2009, seanspa wrote:

    I wouldn't have put it quite the same way, but I agree with Magic to some extent. It's ironic that the dems blame the republicans for 8 years of Bush, but if they had come up with someone who could manage better than 'I have a plan and at some time I'll post it on my web site' then there would have been no 8 years.

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  • 152. At 00:22am on 23 May 2009, yet_another_dave wrote:

    Re #148, allmymarbles: "I wonder what Cheney's game is. Is he afraid that history will forget him?"

    He should worry. History has forgotten worse characters. That forgetfulness may be one of the reasons we are still debating the issue of torture today. Should humanity not have moved beyond this point by now?

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  • 153. At 00:59am on 23 May 2009, Via-Media wrote:

    139 Gary A Hill
    142 Guns

    For the U.S. involvement in Vietnam, like the the radicalization of Cuba, it is quite possible that we have no one to blame but ourselves. Ho Chih Minh's movement was nationalist first, communist only a distant second, and it was the nationalism that won him such popular support. But the sad fact is that, like Castro, did a few years later, he reached out to the U.S.. Our blind adherence to a black & white, we're gonna save the world worldview sold by fearmongers (and so entrenched in the US by the 20s that no one even questioned it) made us snub and instantly label both men as enemies without any provocation, driving them deeper into their ideologies.

    It's interesting to speculate, but the possibility that we could have reached a rapproachment via a bit of realpolitik and avoided the worst of the intervening 50 years or so of history is a sad and seductive one.

    Rapproachment w. a couple moderate communists leading to early trade with the Eastern Bloc?

    Trade leading to a lessening of tensions, playing into Krushchev's plans?

    An end of the Cold War 35 years early, without the massive buildup of nuclear and conventional weaponry?

    Ideology should never, ever trump diplomacy.

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  • 154. At 01:07am on 23 May 2009, Via-Media wrote:

    142 guns

    Oh, and the vast preponderance of evidence is firmly against any foreign power controlling the Viet Cong during the war. Yes, there were Soviet advisors, but it was unquestionably a Vietnamese struggle, and in there eyes an extension of the long fight against the French occupation.

    You cite what was further proof of the nationalistic nature of the war from the Vietnamese perspective. Vietnam and China have a very long history of bad blood- Vietnam was owned and occupied several times over a period of some centuries- and Vietnamese distrust against the behemoth to the North never abated after they drove the Chinese out. Combat broke out betwixt the two as a natural consequence of this antagonism.

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  • 155. At 01:15am on 23 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    148, Ms. Marbles, he is trying to save his own skin. The release of
    the memos has made him, Pelosi, and a whole host of characters extremely
    uncomfortable.

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  • 156. At 01:24am on 23 May 2009, Via-Media wrote:

    40/41 bere

    I've not had time to search since their stories online don't have full summaries, but NPR did a piece a day or two or three ago that discussed exactly what "releasing" the Guantanamo prisoners into the U.S. meant. As explained in the story, the media has fastened upon a misnomer- "release" means exactly as several others here have explained, i.e., release "into the U.S. criminal justice system."

    56 Interested Foreigner- excellent post, as usual!

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  • 157. At 01:31am on 23 May 2009, BraunSA wrote:

    Great article Justin! I just ordered your book on Amazon.com, looking forward to it!
    Cheney as you mentioned is the voice of the right and those who believe that way. Is there no younger Churchill who will sound the alarm?

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  • 158. At 02:08am on 23 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    155, guns.

    I guess what really surprises me is that Cheney was always behind the scenes and now his face is plastered all over the place. It seems odd, given his history.

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  • 159. At 02:10am on 23 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    Guns, I can't say as I mind him getting Pelosi.

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  • 160. At 02:33am on 23 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    156, Via-Media -

    Thanks. I missed that particular report. Silly me, I thought "release" meant, well, "release." As in "let go free." It didn't occur to me that one could be released into prison.

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  • 161. At 02:44am on 23 May 2009, bfoulkrod1 wrote:

    This "debate" could be shortened geometrically by doing two things:

    Read the U.S. Constitution.
    Stop reading bumper stickers.

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  • 162. At 02:44am on 23 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    158, Ms. Marbles, that's an interesting turn of phrase, "plastered all
    over the place." Billy the Kid, Butch Cassidy, and the Sundance Kid
    all received the same kind of attention, and look at what happened
    to them!

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  • 163. At 02:45am on 23 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

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

  • 164. At 02:49am on 23 May 2009, Via-Media wrote:

    160 bere

    There was just a single "time out" report like they do occasionally, to clarify the language. But their routine reporting seems almost as likely as the mainstream to latch on to the lazy catchphrases like "release," "enhanced interrogation," etc.. It's kind of amusing to have a report saying that "released into the U.S. doesn't really mean that, to be followed by a report that reports on releasing the Guantanamo prisoners into the U.S.

    At least some of them got the message.

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  • 165. At 03:05am on 23 May 2009, seanspa wrote:

    Guns, I think you'll find the binge drinking brits also get plastered everywhere. Hic. Cheers.

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  • 166. At 03:12am on 23 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    Second attempt, having had an opinion from Kitty Kelly removed by the Mods:

    #144. MagicKirin: "Obama . . even muzzled Michelle when she started opening her ignorant big mouth."

    At least she didn't conceive her first child out-of-wedlock, (the daughter being born eight months after marriage), hit one of them and rely on astrology. Or, as Kitty Kelly reports, have a "reputation". But we wouldn't mention those unfortunate things here, would we? Like MAII's nickname for the President, your comments about America's First Lady are entirely out-of-place.

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  • 167. At 03:15am on 23 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    P.S. What's wrong with saying someone was supposedly a slut in her earlier life? The truth can be painful for worshippers.

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  • 168. At 03:34am on 23 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    164, Via-Media -

    NPR is mainstream now. I find a lot of their coverage very annoying because of the lazy language, the repetitions of cliches, the shallowness of a lot of their stuff. I mean, waking up to hear that the lead story of the day is who "won" some reality TV show the night before does not inspire much confidence in them. Of course, I don't watch TV news so maybe that's much worse.

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  • 169. At 03:38am on 23 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    167, David_Cunard -

    Who was supposedly a slut in her earlier life? Please tell me, I have no idea who you're talking about. Is this something everyone but me knows?

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  • 170. At 04:05am on 23 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    G&R #141

    It is long overdue for America to withdraw its troops, its money, its support, its ties with the anti-American European intellectual sewer that blames America for everything that is wrong in the world.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/01/europes_antiamerican_blinders.html

    If they are gong to hate us no matter what we do, I say let's give them a very good reason. Let's do them.

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  • 171. At 04:07am on 23 May 2009, seanspa wrote:

    bere, I think you'll find more than one person may have behaved this way. Hang them all!

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  • 172. At 04:17am on 23 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

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

  • 173. At 04:29am on 23 May 2009, Orville Eastland wrote:

    A few comments:
    First off, Obama may be abandoning SOME of Bush's outrageous, unconstitutional and inhumane policies, but he is keeping many of them. He rolled back his Iraq withdrawal deadline to 2011- Bush's deadline. He's holding back from prosecuting the Bush administration officials who ordered torture- despite the fact that he's required to by the UN Convention Against Torture (Signed by Reagan, BTW) and its enabling legislation. (Perhaps he's afraid of Pelosi and company being caught up in the dragnet...) He's continuing to repeat the lie that Iran is pursuing a Nuclear Weapon, despite the IAEA saying no, Dennis Blair, the US's intelligence director saying no, and Ayatollah Khameni issuing a Fatwa AGAINST acquiring nuclear weapons. Finally, he has in his own cabinet Joe Biden, who knew Iraq had no WMD (Scott Ritter informed him that in 2000, back when he was on the Foreign Relations Committee) and Hilary Clinton, who also knew Iraq had no WMD (She was in the White House when Hussein Kamil defected in 1995, and told the world Iraq's WMD were destroyed)(And, did I mention that by lying about WMD, both Biden and Clinton (and all the Democrats and Republicans who knew about Iraq's lack of WMD) were in violation of the False Statements Act? This makes them criminals- hence subject to impeachment and prosecution). He's continuing to hold prisoners from Guantanamo indefinitely without being charged. (In clear violation of the Sixth Amendment.) I would much prefer a President Paul, President McKinney, President Kucinich, President Barr, President Nader, or President Gravel, who would remove these blots on our reputation.
    -His comments on Guantanamo making more terrorists than it houses is impossible to prove. It's a nice rhetorical device, but some of us prefer honest speaking.
    -Given that both Robert Gates (SecDef under Bush), Lawrence Wilkerson (Advisor to Colin Powell) and Tom Ridge (Secretary of Homeland Security under Bush) all say Cheney lied, it should be abundantly obvious that Cheney has no credibility.
    -Lastly, I was of the opinion that if prisoners from Guantanamo were put into the general population, it would be effective torture- or worse. (While I am sure some prisoners would like to associate with terrorists, others would be very willing to use force to kill or inflict pain on them.)

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  • 174. At 04:50am on 23 May 2009, bfoulkrod1 wrote:

    Our own constitution solves the issue of the layers of legal considerations simply:

    International agreements come first (if you check back, even the most mundane trade agreements in our earliest days required a rewrite of at least federal import laws to accommodate a new trade deal on occasion).

    Federal comes next, as no state law can supersede federal.

    That being said, we voluntarily signed accords on how to treat, try and punish all captives in wartime (both regular units and "irregular", as in ununiformed special ops groups and private groups acting in acts of sabotage).

    I took an oath upon entering military service to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic", not to support any politician, party or agenda. All elected officials take this same oath, and even local police do (as well as adding on carrying out the laws of their state and locality).

    Any politician or military member (or private citizen for that matter) acting in open and deliberate acts to undermine the Constitution are committing mutiny at best, treason at worst.

    You can't claim to be "protecting" my freedom by assaulting it from all sides.

    The Geneva Convention states what Sen. McCain has (partially) repeatedly reminded us on the treatment of prisoners.

    As for trials, POWs are returned after the end of hostilities (or the fall of the government on one side). Those found in acts of sabotage (as well as "irregulars" are tried by military tribunal, as their acts were committed in war and not considered civilian offenses.

    Try them. Correctly. If Innocent, release them. If guilty, shoot them. Everything else is opinion and not the legal norms of both our Constitution or the treaties we not only signed...we championed.

    Asking me to live out my life in a country that even sets precedents that *may* allow the slippery slope to happen is not what my oath asked of me.

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  • 175. At 05:28am on 23 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

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

  • 176. At 05:42am on 23 May 2009, bfoulkrod1 wrote:

    135. At 8:42pm on 22 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    moderate_observer (#132) "This may be radical, but I believe political parties should be banned, ... "

    George Washington (no less) kept his partisan cabinet in check by disallowing parties, being of the opinion back then that they were mere tools for propaganda and politics that were divisive (as opposed to constructive).

    Adams and Jefferson got their word out through private "newspapers" that went out of their way to not attach their opinions to any in government, both to avoid riling Washington and to be able to claim "neutral concerned party" status. Once Washington stepped down after two terms, the party system picked up where he had tried a break from European party politics.

    So you find yourself in heady company.

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  • 177. At 05:47am on 23 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    170, MAII, the article that you posted does not constitute "fact."
    It's just one person's perception. I was in France shortly before
    the Iraq invasion, and I repeated encountered the point of view of
    average French people that they were opposed to the invasion, not
    to America.

    So, I don't see what kind of point you can make from that article.
    For example, the Brits have been with us in Afghanistan since day 1.
    (and, actually, a few days before the first American units were sent
    in, a British SAS unit went in.)

    So, I wish you would just put this whole thing to bed, and if you
    must hate anyone, which is not a healthy thing to do, pick on some real
    criminals.

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  • 178. At 05:56am on 23 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #169. bere54: "Who was supposedly a slut in her earlier life? Please tell me, I have no idea who you're talking about. Is this something everyone but me knows?"

    I have twice attempted to reply in the most round-about terms, but our very sensitive moderators remove the hints I provided. I can't think of a tactful way to reply -perhaps you should just read the list of Kitty Kelley's books and see which women fit the bill. And it isn't Jackie Kennedy.

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  • 179. At 07:53am on 23 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    165, seanspa, so that's who those people are. And, all this time
    I thought that they were Irish.

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  • 180. At 08:36am on 23 May 2009, johnny-greek wrote:

    I agree with most of the comments too, as the Bush administration really left big problems for your country. But we shouldnt forget that your people chose them twice so you will have to stick to the consequences of that choice.

    Its a shame that those inmates are beeing kept at Guantanamo, because there are innocent between them too who only want to get back to their families. The guilty ones can stay in normal prisons... what are you afraid of, they are also only of flesh and bone like all the others, they can't break iron with their hands. Gitmo has really got the impression of a torture camp in the outside world, murky and non-transparent concerned the methods the guards use treating them. You should be ashamed. Of letting this happen and as american people chosing for this with your vote. Shame on America for their pitiful torture.

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  • 181. At 11:52am on 23 May 2009, yet_another_dave wrote:

    Re #170, MarcusAureliusII: "If [Europeans] are gong to hate us no matter what we do, I say let's give them a very good reason. Let's do them."

    They don't hate us, despite your best efforts to give them a reason.

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  • 182. At 12:19pm on 23 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #166

    I stand by my comments about Michelle Obama ignorance and mean spiritedness. Considering the free ride she has been given as an adult any criticism is warranted.

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  • 183. At 1:16pm on 23 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 182, Magic

    Sorry Magic, but your opinion on this subject does not make any sense. Are you suggesting that members of the elite, those who are born with a silver spoon in their mouths, are worthy of praise and deserve accolades for their accomplishments, but people born from poor or middle class families are somehow opportunists that take advantage of special privileges?

    Michelle Obama is, clearly, an intelligent, driven, and very eloquent woman. Her behaviour as First Lady, and the efforts she has made throughout her life have been exemplary and deserve praise, not the bile that emanates from your childish criticisms.

    If you disagree with President Obama's policies, go ahead and voice your opinion and provide alternatives, but please refrain from personal attacks against the character and values of our First Lady. Do you recall similar comments about Laura or Barbara Bush on this blog?

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  • 184. At 1:29pm on 23 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Dave 78756692108

    You don't want to face reality. Don't argue with me, take it up with Dr. Markovits;

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/01/europes_antiamerican_blinders.html

    http://www.andymarkovits.com/un_reviews.htm

    His book "Uncouth Nation" documents Anti-Americanism thoughout Europe going right back to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Their hatred I think is ultimately based on the same reason Islamic terrorists hate us, not for what we do but for who we are. They detest our civilization as much as I detest theirs.

    I wonder if Europeans really believe they are superior to us or if in their heart of hearts they know that they are inferior because their civilization is inferior to ours. Having seen it first hand by living there I am eternally grateful to my grandparents who had the courage to leave Europe and make their lives here in America. If they hadn't and I'd been born, I'd have wound up just like the Europeans.

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  • 185. At 1:31pm on 23 May 2009, Parrisia wrote:

    it is very unusual for former US presidents and VPs to express themselves openly about the policies of the sitting president. In my mind, cheney's behaviour just goes to show the vested interests that the former Huliburton executive has served and continues to serve

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  • 186. At 1:35pm on 23 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Oh sainted one

    Michelle Obama made herself an issue when she opened her big stupid yap and said that she hadn't been proud to be an American until her husband was nominated. This despite the fact that she and her husband were both attorneys who could easily have commanded between them an income in the top 1% of all Americans. And this despite humble beginnings. Now tell me where else in the world could that have happened? Yes a big stupid yap which she should keep securely closed whenever anyone with ears or any microphones are around.

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  • 187. At 1:35pm on 23 May 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

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

  • 188. At 1:46pm on 23 May 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    David_Cunard # 178
    Just read your posting.
    Googled your Kitty link to books, [ you and your obsession, you're as bad a Sam], but could find nothing written about him and her. You rule out Jackie { with a K-O]. It couldn't have been Liz Taylor could it? Then all my dreams will have gone for a burton?.
    Like bere54, I am still confused, not being up to speed with gossip or factual reports.
    Please stop beating about the bush and hope that the electronic moderator is working when you return from your slumbers. You then have the chance that it will accept AC input since a living moderator will not accept a D_C one. [Unfortunately I got a live one too, though feel it was unwaranted]

    MagicK # 182 returns to make further moral judgements.

    You make a good pair the two of you together, pontificating on what goes on behind the scenes. Surely it is all water under the bridge now for all. Those wishing to play with fire and water, can better stay with lighted Pooh sticks.
    Please remember we are talking about ladies here.

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  • 189. At 1:54pm on 23 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #183

    No to the Silver Spoon comment, if you recall I expressed contemp for Caroline Kennedy's assumption she was entitled to a NY Senate seat.

    Michelle Obama was given a 300K no show job at a hospital.

    she has demonstated a lack of understanding of issues other than liberal rhetoric. She can't hold a candle to Sarah Palin's accomplishments and life story.

    forget politics Palin is a far better role model than the shallow Michelle.

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  • 190. At 2:01pm on 23 May 2009, FHeydenreich wrote:

    Dick Cheney is now in opposition. His personal financial interest in war seems to me pretty obvious. Already this simply fact disqualifies him to keep on talking about politics. His personal interest stands far above the interest of the American people.
    It is also obvious that he needs to understand what democracy is.
    Maybe he might be able to become a consultant to the dictatorship of China, he got some good skills

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  • 191. At 2:05pm on 23 May 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    #181,Yet-another-dave.

    "They dont hate us despite your best efforts to give them a reason"

    Dead right fella,US folk are like folk the world over,Some good,some bad & others indifferent.In my experience of about 7 fortnightly stays & having lots of US navy familys over our house for food when they were posted to Pembrokshire, I found Americans to be the most kindest & generous people bar none,I really,really like them.
    We dont even hate Marcus,he can be rather unpleasant,I would class him as an excentric & are tolerant of that trate.In fact the more excentric the better.There have been times when he has rattled even me,but what the heck.To argue with him is as challanging as with a 4 year old & just as rewarding..

    Ps, the top secrat U S navy base in pembrokshire was used to listen out for soviet subs, so dont tell any one else.Ours post man Knoall Evans told us.US folk were very tight lipped re their dutys...

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  • 192. At 2:09pm on 23 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 186, Marcus

    If the population of the world was judged by a single gaffe I suspect we will all have to spend the rest of our lives in seclusion.

    Yes, Michelle Obama bungled what she tried to say, which I suspect was something like "I have never been so proud of being an American as when my husband, an African American, was nominated for the presidency of the USA." Unfortunately, that's not what she said and her statement will be used as a weapon by her critics to attack her for the rest of her public life.

    You are absolutely right in pointing out that both President Obama and his wife managed to rise to the top, but that had less to do with the opportunities afforded to them and much to them with their intelligence, focus, and commitment. Our country does offer tremendous opportunities to those willing to educate themselves, work hard, and contribute to our society, but few take advantage of those opportunities and few accomplish what people like the Obamas have. While our President's policies are open for criticism and subject to alternative opinions, what they have achieved deserves praise instead of childish denigration.

    Don't forget that the record for immature remarks remains in the hands of a former President who was re-elected by a comfortable margin in spite of being intellectually challenged and devoid of the attributes that we should expect and demand from a President. That certainly doesn't say much for those who voted for him, regardless of how scared they may have been of Middle Eastern Supermen.

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  • 193. At 2:29pm on 23 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 189, Magic

    "...she has demonstated a lack of understanding of issues other than liberal rhetoric. She can't hold a candle to Sarah Palin's accomplishments and life story.

    forget politics Palin is a far better role model than the shallow Michelle."

    First of all, Michelle Obama did not run for public office, her husband did...and so did Sarah Palin. 53% of Americans voters chose Barack Obama as President because we wanted a new direction and because we agreed with most of the policy changes he proposed during the presidential campaign, not because Michelle Obama was his wife.

    I admit that the discomfort I feel with comments like the ones you made about our first lady are influenced by my upbringing and the fact that whenever I had a problem with a man, or female peer or politician, I confronted or opposed them, but never their spouses.

    I guess this is symptomatic of the mindset and priorities that allowed the previous administration to ignore our most cherished values and rights in exchange for an illusion of security. If you have a problem with President Obama go ahead and criticize his policies and statements, but please refrain from targeting wives and children. That doesn't say much about who we are.

    I have no problem with Sarah Palin, the person, and I certainly have nothing to say about her family, but I question her credentials and qualifications to become a national leader and the double standard of some of her expressed values.

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  • 194. At 3:04pm on 23 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

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

  • 195. At 3:09pm on 23 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    178, David -

    Ooh, Nancy R? I assume it's not Elizabeth Taylor, though she was a political wife for a few months.

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  • 196. At 3:24pm on 23 May 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    Marcus # 184, # 186
    Have you got your brother, sister or mother working as moderator today?.
    Together you would make a great pair- the spin doctor advisor and the politician , one making up stories, one telling them and together both avoiding or withholding the truth with surgical selection, cutting out what the public need to hear, or view statements in a different light. In Gods we trust, but in mods we bust! Here as well? Surely not? How do you do it?
    The only problem as far as I can see is which party you yourself should front, since a spin doctor / moderator is only doing his job for the gravy, and any side is good enough for them.
    You are a Republican who says he is not a republican? Not a Democrat yet a registered democrat?. Libertarian and Independent you have mentioned in the past but no. No chance of Unity, Green or being a Moderate, and the Peace and Freedom party goes out the window. Patriot party or Scabbard party? You are running out of possibilities.
    Unfortunately the Greenback, Nullifier and Vegetarian parties have all gone up in smoke in the past, besides you would have difficulty getting your teeth into the last one despite loving the greens in your billfold.
    Please help me out and drop me a hint. Wiki informs me that the Guns and Dope party and the O.W.L parties are still going strong, and yet despite thinking you have all the attributes to make a go of it with them, I feel it unfair to push you into their arms.
    I believe the whole of the blog here looks forward to hearing your answer. We promise to dutifully accept it and leave the party as soon as we hear about your political leaning. Nobody I hope would question a man who is proud of his banner and shield.
    Though all here are Red, White and Blue with differing backgrounds, I am trying to remove the shades of gray that shadow your persona. Please nail your colours to the mast. Just saying Stars and Stripes will not do.
    You can not be all things to all men, or even all men to all things.
    Regards wma.

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  • 197. At 3:24pm on 23 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Oh sainted one;

    "Our country does offer tremendous opportunities to those willing to educate themselves, work hard, and contribute to our society, but few take advantage of those opportunities and few accomplish what people like the Obamas have."

    What are you talking about? Tens of millions of people have come to America from all over the world with literally nothing more than the shirts on their back, often speaking no English and not even having a high school diploma and made wonderful lives for themselves. They got jobs, started businesses, bought homes, raised families, went on vacations, and never went hungry another day in their lives. My grandparents were living proof of that and they were not alone, they were typical. What many complain about is that life is not handed to them here on a silver platter. America is about opportunity, not guarantees. People fail. If there is no possibility of failure, there can be no possibility of success. There's always another chance. This is what Sarkozy told Charlie Rose he admired about America that they don't have in Europe. The guarantees of places like Europe locks people into a life that at best will be mediocre because it steals away the first shoots of success that grow even before they can mature to give to others who are failing. Some in America had it easier than the Obamas, some had it harder but they are not unique either. In most other countries they would not have even been given a chance. What would have become of them for example in France. Show me some examples in France where someone of African decent started out about where they did and had a successful life. How about in Spain then?

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  • 198. At 3:30pm on 23 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 178, David

    I have not read Kitty's books, and have no interest in reading them, including the one you are referring to, because I am not interested in gossip or unsubstantiated accusations based on information provided by unnamed sources, innuendo, or hearsay. I remember the insinuations that circulated years ago about certain famous singer, but I don't see the need or the value to bring tabloid fodder to this blog.

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  • 199. At 3:59pm on 23 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    waterworks;

    You're just angry because some of your words of wisdom were vaporized while an opinion entirely opposite of yours was published. Don't worry, everyone knows where you stand.

    Has it ever occurred to you that I vote for the candidate whom I think is best regardless of which party they are in? Unfortunately, lately it's had to be the one who is least worse. This last election I couldn't decide since both major candidates seemed awful to me. The last Republican I voted for was the first George Bush in 1988. That's over 20 years ago.

    Something bothering you? Don't tell me what it is, keep it to yourself. Everyone has problems.

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  • 200. At 4:04pm on 23 May 2009, ruralhills wrote:

    re: 150

    I don't know. It's really easy to take the high road and pontificate righteous idignation when it's not your daughter.

    I suspect the chainsaw would never touch flesh. After starting it up, the little girl's whereabouts would likely be revealed forthwith. I'm no criminal but if I were laying there, they'd know right away.

    By the way, I keep hearing of "other methods" more effective. By all means, use them. Don't hurt somebody if you don't have to. Cheney claims they did that, used waterboarding as a last measure, which finally worked, saved lives with the information obtained.

    I'd like a detailed explanation of what those other methods are, since nobody has yet described them.

    So. A smiling terrorist is smugly watching you as you ask questions, has information that will save thousands of lives yet tells you he will never reveal it to you because you and all who are about to die are agents of Satan. You have 48 hours.

    Please. You know of kinder, gentler methods of obtaing that information. Do all who read this and all humanity a favor and SPECIFICALLY tell us what exactly what that is. Obama won't tell us, either.

    Thousands await a firey death and will never return to their loved ones if you fail.

    It's all on you. Go for it. We're all waiting.

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  • 201. At 4:06pm on 23 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 197, Marcus

    "Show me some examples in France where someone of African decent started out about where they did and had a successful life. How about in Spain then?"

    What I am talking about is that while tremendous opportunities do exist, and are available to everyone in our country, few managed to achieve what the Obamas have. Clearly, the vast majority have benefited to migrate to our country and, believe it or not, most of those who have migrated to Europe have also benefited from their decision.

    Comparing the ability of a person of African ancestry to rise to the highest position in our country with what happens in European countries ignore the fact that the population of Europe is predominantly white, while ours included native Americans and people from virtually every country in the world since the discovery of the New World and the colonization of what is now known as the United States of America.

    African Americans constitute approximately 12% of our population, and have been an integral part of our society for centuries. Understandably, their rights and opportunities must be the same as everyone else's. The question, if anything, is why did it take them so long to rise to the top?

    Conversely, the African population in Europe is a tiny minority composed, largely, of recent migrants pursuing a better life and escaping the misery in their homeland.

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  • 202. At 4:07pm on 23 May 2009, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 182 + 189 - 'MagicKirin'

    Magic's further verdicts on Michelle Obama - "mean spirited" and "shallow"

    As I said before - pot, kettle.

    And his suggestion as an alternative 'role model'?

    "She can't hold a candle to Sarah Palin's accomplishments and life story./forget politics Palin is a far better role model than the shallow Michelle."

    You couldn't make it up......

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  • 203. At 4:39pm on 23 May 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    MarcusAureliusII # 199,
    Crystal clear Marcus. We are all putting you down as a don't know. As if there could have been any other result [or answer].
    Sorry, but my visit to the sin bin had nothing to do with your postings pointing out something over your head.
    Thanks for the compliment about my words of wisdom. Why does it not surprise me that you finish your reply explaining about your having ongoing problems.
    Waterworks at the start and a suggestion of waterworks at the ending? Need a handkerchief.
    ps Regards to your mother. Good that somebody keeps Mum on the blog.

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  • 204. At 4:41pm on 23 May 2009, glottman wrote:

    What part of "that's not who we are" doesn't Cheney understand?

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  • 205. At 4:44pm on 23 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #188. watermanaquarius: "I am still confused"

    See my response to bere54, below.

    "Please remember we are talking about ladies here."

    Despite appearances, I'm not so sure she was ever a "lady". One doesn't judge the book by its cover.

    #195. bere54: "Ooh, Nancy R? I assume it's not Elizabeth Taylor, though she was a political wife for a few months."

    Bingo!

    #198. saintDominick: "I have not read Kitty's books, and have no interest in reading them, including the one you are referring to, because I am not interested in gossip or unsubstantiated accusations . . . "

    If you haven't read them, how do you know it's gossip and innuendo? You sound like another poster and his views on Britain - never been there but relies entirely on what he sees on television.

    "I don't see the need or the value to bring tabloid fodder to this blog."

    Hardly tabloid fodder, even The New York Times was impressed - and the sales figures were extraordinary. My remarks at #166 were in response to the unfortunate comment made by MagicKirin at #144. Unlike him I attempted to be tactful by not mentioning the name of the woman concerned - who indeed did conceive her first child out-of-wedlock, did hit her daughter (substantiated by the same) and did consult an astrologer. Hardly the behaviour we expect from the wife of a president. The right wing has sanctified the woman (much as Margaret Thatcher has been in the UK) when she is not so perfect as MagicKirin and his cohorts would have us believe. He criticised Mrs Obama in the most vulgar of terms and I attempted, without naming names, to show him that one of his (presumed) idols was not as pure as the driven snow.

    #186. MarcusAureliusII: "her big stupid yap"

    Have you no respect? No-one here refers to other First Ladies in such immoderate terms - you represent "the ugly American" of yesteryear, brash, loud-mouthed and ignorant. IF there is any anti-Americanism, it's because of people like you. At 60, I would have thought you might have learned some basic manners, but apparently not.

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  • 206. At 4:56pm on 23 May 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    David # 205,
    You obviously missed your reference to William.
    Or did you?

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  • 207. At 5:05pm on 23 May 2009, seanspa wrote:

    What an odd post from David. Deriding posters for disrespect to the first lady while simultaneously castigating another first lady. A strange way to teach manners.

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  • 208. At 5:53pm on 23 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Canard

    "Have you no respect?"

    To get respect you have to earn it by showing it to other people. Mrs. Obama didn't, she did exactly the opposite. What that earned was contempt. A lot of other people have also earned contempt, a whole continent's worth in fact and now seem to resent getting paid back even a fraction what they so readily dished out or ignored from their countrymen who dished it out freely. People who live in glass houses are now furious that a few rocks are being thrown back at them. Too bad, they've supplied plenty of ammunition by throwing them at us for a long long time.

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  • 209. At 6:30pm on 23 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #206. watermanaquarius: "David -You obviously missed your reference to William."

    William? Now you've lost me. Unless you mean MagicK, whom I did omit.

    #207. seanspa: "What an odd post from David. Deriding posters for disrespect to the first lady while simultaneously castigating another first lady."

    Unlike MagicKirin I did not castigate (reprimand) anyone, named no names, but pointed out the known frailties of another individual. I specifically chose not to mention the name, just the contrasting behaviour. And first lady is usually capitalised as First Lady to indicate her position.

    #208. MarcusAureliusII: "To get respect you have to earn it"

    That's not in the least true; Mrs Obama is the First Lady of the United States and deserves respect for her position, even if it did come about because of her husband. I have disagreed with the politics of former First Ladies but am respectful of their place in Society. I was no fan of presidents Reagan, Bush I and Bush II, but respected them because, for awhile, they were each President of the United States. I realise that some people believe that deference and etiquette are out-of-place today, but I continue to disagree; I open doors for people, stand up when a woman comes into the room or to my table at a restaurant, eat with my mouth closed and know how to use a knife and fork. It may be an old-fashioned approach, but that's the way it is.

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  • 210. At 6:49pm on 23 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #193

    When a political spouse makes public policy statement while the spouse is in office or on the campaign trails it's fair game.

    President Obama daughters are not was Bristol Palin who was attacked far more than Michelle Obama.

    Tony's Blair's wife a sucessful attorney never made public policy statments she understood as did Barbara and Laura Bush we did not elect them.

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  • 211. At 6:56pm on 23 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    209, David -

    In general I think First Ladies should be left alone, but that particular one in my opinion was worthy of derision. I had forgotten about the astrology. I lived inside the Beltway during those years and she was the common butt of jokes and derision around town for various reasons. I've always suspected that the treatment of Mrs. Clinton by the other side was due at least as much to revenge as for any real faults of her own.

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  • 212. At 7:23pm on 23 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    What strikes me particularly about Cheney is the cruelty written on his face.

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  • 213. At 8:04pm on 23 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 205, David

    "If you haven't read them, how do you know it's gossip and innuendo?" You are right, and I admit that my decision not to read the works of some authors has been influenced by their reputation and pre-conceived conclusions, rather than fact; and you are absolutely right in reminding us that you were very tactful in the way you broached the behavior of another First Lady. I knew who you were referring to because I enjoy politics and I remember some of the rumors that circulated a few decades ago. I simply prefer to focus on our elected officials and I find it distasteful to criticize their families.

    BTW, I enjoyed the comment about knowing how to use a knife and fork...

    Ref 210, Magic

    Hillary Clinton became a legitimate target when she championed healthcare reform in the early 1990s. The same could be said of Eleanor Roosevelt, considering her very active role in promoting social reform. Michelle Obama's public appearances are consistent with those of most former First Ladies and in no way should be interpreted as policy making. She has demonstrated exceptional intellect, class, and a desire to inspire girls and the young, hardly deserving of criticism.

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  • 214. At 8:16pm on 23 May 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    David # 209
    Like yourself I tried to leave a subtle breadcrumb trail but to no avail. Further info could result in a posting getting the heave-ho.[ Or me too because of my twisted sense of humour having already been penalised for a reference to little cats.]
    Go back to the beginning, and end of your discussion with MagicK concerning ex Presidents and their character traits and my abridged reply # 188.
    I was confused remember? Who could it be?
    Ronny Raygun rode tall in the saddle. Bush senior had the drive though his golf playing was abysmal. Then there were the Clintons. and Dubya who made Rip van Winkle look like a super athlete.
    Still no clue come back to me, but the double entendre was your unintended clue /joke? that I misinterpreted and I blush to reveal it directly. { I have nothing against the fairer sex even though others do.}
    I note that bere54 is doing the same. My understanding of written and spoken English has gone down the drain. I promise to rinse out with soap and water tonight, although the fault is between my ears..

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  • 215. At 8:35pm on 23 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    I have mixed emothions about the first lady, any first lady. I would much prefer that they stayed in the background, and particularly that they steered clear of any political issues. As someone said earlier, we did not elect them. That puts me in a awkward position in regard to Michelle Obama because of her great charm and the good influence she may have on children. I also remember, with great admiration, Lady Bird Johnson who cleaned up our highways and saved the redwoods. Those are the good first ladies. but we also had Hillary Clinton who seemed to think she was co-president, and that was galling. Overall first ladies should take a back seat so as not to influence our evaluation of the president, who, after all, was the person we elected.

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  • 216. At 8:52pm on 23 May 2009, Pass Torian wrote:

    #4 summed it all up pretty well. Let me add this: Cheney should be a has-been at least ten years ago. Contrary to the perception of a valid, significant, and persuasive voice on any matter of concern in today's world his arguments have no real validity. He may be good in "leading the blind" to a quicksand but that's about all. What one needs to evaluate to put this old man wisdom in perspective is the review of where this country was before he became the gray eminence of the Bush administration and what Obama "received" after eight years of this Wyomingnian applied wisdom. Cheeney guidance dealth this country such a blow that it may not totally recover. His wisdom already proved to be a total failure. Old age plays tricks with brains. Picking Limbaugh over Powell as a representative of the new age Republican Party? We should not regard seriously what the old timer is saying anymore.

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  • 217. At 10:50pm on 23 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    201, saintD.
    "African Americans constitute approximately 12% of our population, and have been an integral part of our society for centuries. Understandably, their rights and opportunities must be the same as everyone else's. The question, if anything, is why did it take them so long to rise to the top?"

    What is particularly mystifying is that the large majority of America's "blacks" are of mixed race. And I wonder what percentage of "whites" are partly black.

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  • 218. At 11:03pm on 23 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    162, guns.

    Belatedly read your comment. Are you suggesting yu would like to see Cheney's face on a wanted poster? He certainly has the right snarl for it.

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  • 219. At 11:26pm on 23 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 217, Marbles

    "And I wonder what percentage of "whites" are partly black."

    Considering the likelihood of a common ancestor, and the high probability that it originated in Africa, I would say we all share the same lineage and are distant cousins; but as I am sure you already know that was not the subject of my discussion with Marcus.

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  • 220. At 11:31pm on 23 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    17, guns.
    "A feisty old lady - she should be the leader of the party!" (McCain's mother)

    McCain did himself an injustice when he ran a campaign based on the views of the right wing. Being himself he probably would have lost anyway, but would not have damaged his reputation. Giuliani made the same stupid mistake (although he hasn't realized it yet). They are both moderate Republicans. The only way the Republicans can survive is to stand behind the moderates and hopefully bring back to the fold the intellectuals they lost.

    The northeast is densely populated, affluent, well-educated, and the least religious area in the nation. It went overwhelmingly for Obama. That is an important chumk of real estate. How long will it take the Republicans to catch on to the fact that the evangelicals are a drag.

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  • 221. At 11:53pm on 23 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    218, Ms. Marbles, he's trying hard as heck to get noticed, but everytime
    I saunter down to the telegraph station, the entire wall is covered by
    "wanted" posters for the big-time bank robbers, i.e., AIG execs.

    It is nice to be wanted, though.

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  • 222. At 00:20am on 24 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #158

    It some ways Cheney is following Al Gore's example. Of an ex VP making major policy statements which disagree with the current administration.

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  • 223. At 00:25am on 24 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Did you all hear President Obama praising Justice Scalia's writings, and criticizing O'Connor? I found the comments he made on C-SPAN about what he is looking for in the nominee to replace Justice Souter a bit disconcerting. I got the impression that Sotomayor is out of the race and that non-judges such as Kagan and Granholm are more to his liking.

    Considering his adoption of some of Bush's policies in Iraq and Guantanamo, his unambiguous support to Israel, his ultimatum to Iran, and the number of Republicans he has appointed to key positions in his administration "the most liberal President in history" may turn out to be the star of Dubya II, the sequel.

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  • 224. At 01:07am on 24 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    223, saintDominick -

    I voted for Obama and was thrilled when he won because the alternative was simply unthinkable. I've never seen him as being particularly liberal or left wing, but hoped he would at least work toward the changes he did promise and that he could be swayed towards full equality for gays and single-payer health coverage. I did not expect him to bend over so far to accommodate the Republicans. I do not like to complain so early in the game, but must admit I find his actions, and non-actions, to be very disconcerting. It is sometimes hard to remember that the Democrats have the White House and the Congress. Change has not been particularly noticeable, especially since the Republicans behave as if they are still in the majority and no one seems to be disabusing them of this notion.

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  • 225. At 01:14am on 24 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    223, saintD.

    I did not read about Obama's praise of Scalia, but it should be noted that Scalia is a strict constitutionalist. I know liberals (mainly those who take an interest in law) who take exception to the court's cavalier attitude towards hearing cases that do not belong there. That inlcudes abortion. I believe Obama taught constitutional law. Given that, maybe his choice will surprise us.

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  • 226. At 01:14am on 24 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 222, Magic

    Former Presidents and VPs, from both parties, engage in a variety of activities after they leave office, but it is very unusual to hear a former VP talking directly to the American people expressing dismay for the abandonement of the policies he helped put in place and expressing his opposition to new policies, including warnings of possible terrorist attacks against our country because of his successor's decisions. Perhaps he missed it, but his policies were soundly rejected last November by a solid majority of Americans.

    Perhaps he should try golf or quail hunting since I doubt he is interested in altruistic projects, and jumping from airplanes, preferably without a chute, may prove exhilarating.

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  • 227. At 01:19am on 24 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    219, saintD.
    "...but as I am sure you already know that was not the subject of my discussion with Marcus."

    Saint, I neither read Marcus' comments nor replies to his comments.

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  • 228. At 02:32am on 24 May 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    Comparing Obama to Cheney is like comparing Franklin D. Roosevelt to Adoph Hitler.

    Obama is what the USA should be, Cheney is what the USA is!

    Sorry, but that's the way it looks from here.

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  • 229. At 02:41am on 24 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    Ref #228

    Where is that?

    Adolph Hitler was a genociadal murderer, the only close comparison today are the various Islamic terrorists such as Al Quada, the Mullahs of Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas.

    Dislike cheney all you like but don't compare a man who served his country to one of the great villians of history.

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  • 230. At 02:42am on 24 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #223

    I thought Sotoymayer had the inside track. I hope I am wrong. Her ruling on the New Haven Fire Fighters case demonstrates she should not be a judge at all.

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  • 231. At 03:26am on 24 May 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    #228, Magickirin.

    A little confused there, Magickirin?

    The only "serving" Dick Cheney did was to "serve" himself and his buddies the riches at the expense of his country's young men and women blood, toil, sweat and tears, not to mention the taxpayers.

    The lives of innocent, women, children, beast or of the rest of the world, for that matter, didn't mean much to him.

    In my book, that just about makes him worse than Mad Adoph!

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  • 232. At 06:56am on 24 May 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    223. saintDominick,

    You speak of Obama's "unambiguous support to [sic] Israel."

    If you could clear the red mist that forms in front of your eyes every time you think of Israel, you'd perhaps be able to see things in perspective. Like a true politician, Obama also shows unambiguous support for the Palestinians. During his campaign he demonstrated the politician's ability to unambiguously support the two opposing sides, depending on his audience at any given time.

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  • 233. At 07:05am on 24 May 2009, smileytm303 wrote:

    Americans probably felt the same way about imprisoned Irish "terrorists" as Brits feel about Gitmo detainees. (Remember them?) And some of them are British too.

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  • 234. At 08:29am on 24 May 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    212. At 7:23pm on 23 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:
    "What strikes me particularly about Cheney is the cruelty written on his face."

    That's not cruelty, it's pain masked with defiance. The Republicans in general, their right wing especially, and the neocons particularly are filled with angst at the moment. Cheney must be particularly chagrined to be their spokesman, although he always will rise to a challenge.

    The modern conservative movement that began with Goldwater, passed through Reagan to Gingrich, and had too-high hopes for the W / Cheney brand, feels like the earth has been pulled out from under it. I hope that they will at least secretly acknowledge to themselves that for all their promise to remake the society, they have simply failed to persuade. Now their ideas are discredited, largely due to the fumbling of this same Bush-Cheney cabal, and so are a lot of honest, well-meaning folks who were led by them into destruction, their very ideals have been tainted with the dishonor.

    As a conservative who still believes in many of these social and fiscal ideals, I see this lost opportunity as a setback for the nation - and as a betrayal of those ideals by an administration that clearly pursued a very different agenda from the one they sold to us.

    Now this Barak Obama has the authority to be the nation's moral leader, and he deserves it because he is talking truth, truth to our weaknesses as a nation, truth to the mistakes of the past, and truth to the promise of America - which is something that the conservative movement somehow garbled and muddied beyond recognition.

    Dick Cheney appears to be the evil genius of this debacle, the destruction of the conservative movement's momentum - but his arrogance was widespread, even among the evangelical section of the movement - we at least should have known better than that. That arrogance hardened us against the rest of our nation, and hardened them against us. It is hard not to be arrogant and proud when you find yourself in power after a long absence. If liberal Democrats have the good sense that we conservatives lacked, they will look with concern at the chest thumping going on in the halls of Congress these days.

    And remember, more than half of the nation can appear conservative, or more than half can appear liberal, on any given election day.

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 235. At 09:58am on 24 May 2009, alphamiguel wrote:

    America, as Justin Webb well knows(or should know)are world experts on internment camps having perfected the technique with the American Indians.Even Hitler was impressed and wrote about what a sensible way it was to remove lesser humans from the scene.This was followed up by the Bantu settlement acts in apartheid South Africa which were written up almost word for word from the original Indian reservation system. What are Gaza and the west bank other than Indian reservations?Does the American government ever say sorry for the disgraceful boarding school system that forcefully took Indian children away from their tribes,stopped them speaking their own language,and tried to force them to be good little Americans.Thankfully it failed.So Justin, when are you going to start writing about the first people of America and what they think rather than what the invaders and occupiers think? Just a thought,nothing personal you understand.They are still out there.

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  • 236. At 1:42pm on 24 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    235, Alpha

    "So Justin, when are you going to start writing about the first people of America and what they think rather than what the invaders and occupiers think?"

    I am certainly not going to defend the indefensible, but you may want to include your ancestors - and Spanish ones - in the plight of native Americans and, for that matter, the African slaves that followed. Their demise did not occur when the USA became a nation, it started with European landings in the Caribbean and, later, in South, Central and North America. Let's face it, the famous pilgrims, and their pals further south, were anything but benevolent when it came to treating the natives whose land and resources they were appropiating.

    Unfortunately, it is not easy to correct past wrongs, particularly when those wrongs were carried out long ago by someone else; and when it comes to injustices in Gaza and the West Bank you may want to spend some time reading history, it is not like the UK was an innocent bystander in the creation of the State of Israel and the ethnic cleansing that followed...

    Yes, we have made many mistakes, but not everything we have done has been evil, and it should be evident to everyone that we are trying to find ways to do better in the future. Compare that to former "Great" nations who after losing their empires continue to claim the moral highground by denigrating what their cousins learned from them.

    I apologize in advance for sounding defensive, but I think people who live in glass houses...

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  • 237. At 1:58pm on 24 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 228, Fox

    "Sorry, but that's the way it looks from here."

    Hopefully the fog over the North Atlantic will dissipate soon. Most Americans rejected the Bush-Cheney policies last November, and long for a new direction on both domestic and foreign policy. Yes, the right wing remain powerful, and their influence is evident in the compromises being made by the Obama administration. Have a little faith and don't forget that national and societal changes take time.

    Ref 232, TrueToo

    I am not surprised you disagree with my comment on President Obama's unequivocal support to Israel, which he announced for everyone to hear. You are correct in saying that our President is also interested in a two-state solution, which will hopefully take place in the not too distant future if the Zionists allow it...and that is a big if.

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  • 238. At 3:03pm on 24 May 2009, ann arbor wrote:

    I wish Obama and Cheney would both go away.

    Cheney has enough gumption to not need a teleprompter or to create "theatre" to look more majestic than he is.

    At least Cheney looks you in the eye when he lies to you. Obama STILL looks away.

    Re: Bere 224

    You have an interesting perspective.

    To paraphrase Chairman Mao's "Red Book", "Your statements are Politically Correct".

    Congratulations, you have your one-party system.

    Is it time to march Republicans through the streets? Shame them? Criminalize them? Seize their assets? Entice the people to point out other dissenters?

    When the dissenters have no more assets, we will have support from the people. They shall be proud to support our cause because "We are Right", and it is Politically Correct.

    Be sure to include Pelosi in the march through the streets. She condoned torturing the enemies of the state.

    Re: #234,

    "As a conservative who still believes in many of these social and fiscal ideals, I see this lost opportunity as a setback for the nation - and as a betrayal of those ideals by an administration that clearly pursued a very different agenda from the one they sold to us."

    I would be proud to walk with you through the streets.

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  • 239. At 3:16pm on 24 May 2009, steelpulse wrote:

    I think I did my duty. Ok Steven of Scully "show me" I said. C-Span. One hour only I was going to watch more but somehow the Daily Telegraph has an employee based out there in the USA and he obviously had little interest in MoPs expenses here in Britain. Lol

    Turned off.

    So the first talking head was a man who thought the USA was the only nation on Earth that could be trusted to be ahead in the nuclear arms race. Peace through strength effectively. Ok but then two more speakers with Mr Scully and a phone in.

    One caller suggested that the USA had somehow voted into the White House someone whose passport hadnt been properly checked?

    Good grief! I can imagine large men and women with names like Elmer Fudd, Calamity Oakley and Hiram Holliday looking at each other saying, I thought I asked you to do that? You didnt? Well yikes! Who are we going need to call? lol

    Republican blogger very personable Newt Gingrich mentioned a lot. Appearance of blogger - think a young Tom Tyron, actor with Keir Dullea. actor hints but he - blogger failed to convince Hal. I groaned every time Cosmopolitan Conservation Man prefaced what he was about to say with let me just say this.. No offence.

    That in some circles is a tell I thought but no offence. You just say that and I will just yawn and intone "Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do......... " lol

    Narcissistic? Not American?

    Personal attacks seem the bread and butter of Opposition in the USA at the moment and that is fine.

    One caller said that just the ability of C-Span to have talking heads is enough. They dont have to agree on anything just debate and we the viewers will take what we want from it. A lady caller seemed to want nowt but President Obama supporters from the Democratic side on C-Span and I disagree with that too. The third opinion is always welcome.

    Ok USA. I will go away and think about a few things. Daily Telegraph? Oh dear but he did admit as a journalist - he too knew about expenses too but as I always say - it aint about you journalist is it? Lucky for you perhaps - allegedly?

    What really worries me though Justin, is an idle interest from someone wanting to know if I want to visit the USA. Yikes

    Now I am scared. That so called British passport of mine wouldn't pass muster now! Elmer, Calamity and Hiram are "ahead of the curve" - now! lol

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  • 240. At 4:00pm on 24 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 238, Young

    "At least Cheney looks you in the eye when he lies to you. Obama STILL looks away."

    We must have been watching different programs because what I have observed is the exact opposite, President Obama looks at people or the camera and smiles when he speaks, former VP Cheney reads a paper and has a tendency to avoid looking at people in the eye when he speaks with a snarl in his face. I don't blame Mr. Cheney as I am sure it must not be easy to lie or mislead a nation with a straight face regardless of how often he may have done in the past. As for President Obama going away, get used to it, he'll be around for 7.5 more years.

    I believe the "debate" between these two gentlemen on the issue of terrorism and Guantanamo was a good thing for our country, and I would not be surprised if the outcome involves a very pragmatic solution to the Gitmo issue, which could be discerned from President Obama's recent use of the term "Prisoners of War" to define the status of people who until now have been labeled terrorists or enemy combatants, regardless of whether or not there is evidence to justify their incarceration.

    If there is one thing to be learned from Barack Obama's performance thus far is that he is a superb politician and strategist. I would not be surprised if he has concluded that closing Guantanamo, regardless of how badly he may want to do that, is not a good move from a political perspective. A more likely outcome for that infamous prison camp is to transform it into a POW camp, under the protection of the Geneva Convention. After all, the right wing has been and continues to claim that most of the Guantanamo inmates were caught in the battlefield which, technically, makes them POWs.

    What would be interesting to see, if that happens to be the case, is where the outrage will come from. The far right will dutifully object to anything President Obama does, but I would not be surprised if the liberal wing of the Democratic party turns out to be the most disenchanted with the latest demonstration of political pragmatism.

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  • 241. At 4:15pm on 24 May 2009, alphamiguel wrote:

    236
    I have taken in what you say,but these injustices are continued today.When the United Nations brought out a non binding resolution on the rights of indigenous peoples guess who refused to sign, you got it, America, Canada New Zealand and Australia who has now reversed its position and signed.This argument is with the American government over the course of 175 years.Long enough don't you think to stop lying and cheating on its responsibility to its ethnic people.A nation is judged on its attitude towards its most deprived not its most wealthy.On this it fails most miserably.Indian lands are held in trust, so without property rights how do you raise credit in order to farm?Take the Black Hills of Dakota,this is sacred ground to the Sioux nation.The American government offered 250 million dollars for them back in the 80's,with interest it is now grown to 1.3 billion and still they refuse the money.Would buy a lot of plasma tv's would it not.Suffice it to say,the Indians gave you your constitution(Iriquois conference)but you only put into effect one third of it.Its your government but they could put to rights by doing what Australia has done ie put up huge tv screens in major cities and say sorry.What about it Obama.

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  • 242. At 4:17pm on 24 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    I am constantly dumbfounded that some people can read a clearly written comment and fail utterly to grasp what it said. They see the word "black" and read it as "white." Is there a name for this disability?

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  • 243. At 5:17pm on 24 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 242, Bere

    I doubt it is dyslexia; I suspect the most likely causes involve ideology, pre-conceived ideas, misinformation, envy, and hatred.

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  • 244. At 5:43pm on 24 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    alpha-omega

    So the Sioux turned down 1.3 billion for their otherwise worthless happy hunting ground and sacred cemetaries and you think they are being exploited. I guess by your way of thinking, they should have gotten the 1.3 billion and gotten to keep their land too. And of course nobody who is a Native American can ever make any money or prosper in the United States. Then how do you explain this?;

    http://www.foxwoods.com/

    And in a state where unless you are a Native American who lives on land that is technically not part of the United States, opening up and operating a gambling casino is illegal.

    So the Native Americans gave America its Constitution. I'm afraid you'll have to argue with Europeans over that one, they claim it was stolen from their ideas. America's founding fathers had nothing to do with it. Maybe they could also take credit for the first American government under the Articles of Confederation which failed.

    I've never met or known of a Native American with the name Miguel, at least not north of the Rio Grande. However, I'd like to recognize contributions that Mexicans have made to American life. I think about it every time I buy food at Taco Bell. Not only did they give us the recipes for that food, they have come here at the risk of life and limb no matter what it takes to see to it that the ingredients to make it arrives fresh in our markets and restaurants daily.

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  • 245. At 5:45pm on 24 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #235

    Gaza is a haven for terrorists.

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  • 246. At 6:35pm on 24 May 2009, Desktopjohnsimon wrote:

    Dick Cheney should be indicted for war crimes period.

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  • 247. At 6:42pm on 24 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    235, alpha, you obviously have not spent any time in the states. Yes,
    up until just 80 years or so there was tremendous prejudice against
    American Indians, Blacks, Eastern and Southern Europeans, Asians, and other
    ethnic groups by the Anglo-Saxons, and other Northern Europeans.

    But, look at what has happened since that time. In the 50s, the Jews,
    Italians, and other Southern and Eastern Europeans became full-fledged
    members of our society. We have a Black president. The Japanese and the Jews,
    having suffered terrible discrimination during and after WWII are now the
    nation's most affluent ethnic groups. And, the American Indians are finally
    on their way up.

    Now, I do not wish to denigrate the accomplishments of the British Empire
    in its era, but did it ever make comparable progress of this nature in
    such a short span of time?

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  • 248. At 7:08pm on 24 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    G&R, don't confuse alpha-omega with the facts, his mind is made up.

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  • 249. At 7:33pm on 24 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    245, Ubermensch.
    "Gaza is a haven for terrorists."

    And some would say that Israel is a haven for terrorists. I guess you are evenly matched.

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  • 250. At 7:38pm on 24 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    247, guns.
    "Now, I do not wish to denigrate the accomplishments of the British Empire in its era, but did it ever make comparable progress of this nature in such a short span of time?"

    Sorry to disagree, Guns, but 150 years for the blacks to find their way up is not a short span of time. As for he other minorities, you are right. It only took a generation or two, about th length of time it takes to become integrated in a new society.

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  • 251. At 7:46pm on 24 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    Ms. Marbles, the blacks are an exception because they came here in chains.
    But it did eventually happen. When is the last time that any European
    parliament had an Asian or Black PM?

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  • 252. At 8:17pm on 24 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    251, guns.

    The makeup of population is a factor. We have a vast numbers of non-Europeans. They don't. It is likely that they would dismiss this small minority as being not truly representative. And if they are not integrated into the community (and I don't know if they are) there may be some validity to this view.

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  • 253. At 8:21pm on 24 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #251. gunsandreligion: "the blacks are an exception because they came here in chains. But it did eventually happen. When is the last time that any European parliament had an Asian or Black PM?"

    The President's forebears did not arrive in chains, but by legal immigration! One might ask when America last had a Jewish president?

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  • 254. At 8:22pm on 24 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 241, Alpha

    "...but these injustices are continued today..."

    Don Miguel, you may want to take a vacation in the USA before you pass judgment on the way we treat Native Americans. Most have become integral and productive members of our society, and those who choose to remain in reservations do it because they want to preserve their identity and traditions, or to take advantage of tax incentives and business opportunities that are not afforded to their "oppresors".

    Native Americans, and I include those from South and Central America in this category, suffered immensely from the greed and the religious and cultural prejudices that consumed the conquerors and early settlers of the New World. Sadly, those prejudices and greed lingered until not long ago, but to insinuate that Native Americans are still being persecuted or held in reservations against their will is simply not true. The same goes for African Americans and, if in doubt, you don't have to go any further than look at the pictures of the Presidents of the USA, Bolivia, Venezuela and other countries in the Americas to get a better perspective of what you are saying.

    On the issue raised by someone else about why African blacks and Asians have not risen to positions of prominence in Europe, I would say that it may be due to the fact that they constitute less than 1% of the population of most european countries, and most are new comers. That, of course, is not the case in the USA where Native Americans were the original owners of this land, black Africans were brought in chains and sold to the highest bidder, and members of various ethnic groups had to struggle to gain acceptance to our society. We are an ethnic melting pot
    where half the population is categorized as minorities. Not surprisingly, one became President (let's not forget that his Mom was a white woman from Kansas), and others have risen to important positions in government, business, sports, and the arts.

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  • 255. At 8:28pm on 24 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    Ms. Marbles, here is one view. I'm not sure about the conclusions
    drawn in the article, but the numbers are indisputable: the neo-nazis
    are much better represented in European parliaments than Blacks, Asians,
    and other minorities.

    And, the Europeans actually have quite a bit of immigration going on
    at the present time from Turkey and Africa. I don't know what the
    figures are, but they must be considerable considering the frictions
    which have been produced.

    For example, the last time that I was in France, there were huge
    sections of their cities which were in riot. That sort of thing
    has happened here, but not lately, and not over such an extended
    period of time.

    None of this, however, is meant in any way to denigrate the Europeans
    or their attitudes. But, they have issues related to immigration
    just as we do, and I submit that they are less successful at it.

    P.S., you may have to edit the above link to be able to read it.
    If it does not load, most likely the BBC machinery that processes
    posts inserted a "/br" or something like it in there.

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  • 256. At 8:35pm on 24 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    253, DC, it may happen someday. I take it that the point that you are
    making is that the UK has had a Jewish PM. Of all of Europe, the UK
    is probably the most tolerant. But, in the original post by alpha (#235)
    to which I was replying, there was a direct accusation that the US
    was somehow an intolerant place, and incapable of any kind of progress.

    And, while the US is far from perfect in any respect, the speed with
    which it can assimilate people from all over the world is, in my
    opinion, one of its strong points.

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  • 257. At 8:53pm on 24 May 2009, Via-Media wrote:

    241 alphamiguel

    The fate of Native Americans has been the darkest blot on America's history, but even that history is complex and varied as the many nations of Native Americans involved. They are not one people, but many, some as different from one another as China is from Ecuador is from Sweden.

    After over 500 years of war, social disruption, deliberate policies of discrimination and subjugation, perhaps things have started to turn around. Local, state, and Federal government can help, but it is up to each tribe now to determine what they want for their future. Many smaller tribes are in danger of drowning in the culture around them, losing their identity and own sense of unity. Things are still unspeakably bad in many places, but the general culture has changed to the point that most are willing to start making redemption for the the past.

    As far as the Black Hills, the lawsuit over the Paha Sapa was immensely complex, and stymied more than a few times by Government attempts to impose conditions, or to use procedural moves to delay and obstruct. So I would ask if there is more to the Sioux refusal to accept the money. Context is everything.

    But I guess it all comes down to this- the descendants of the tribes who were cheated out of their lands have a claim to most of the nation; I write from the Seneca borderlands, Sam from the Lenape heartland, bere from Wabanakiak, the Dawnlands of the Abenaki. So how do you make reparations for past misdeeds, as horrible as they were, when it is a whole country? The only answer I think is helping the tribes achieve the goals they set for themselves- rising from poverty, education, economic development...

    One last thought: the United States was no better or worse than just about every other nation in our treatment of the indigenous population. The settlers consciously and unconsciously exploited unique situations that allowed rapid domination. Consider that in the 3 or 4 years prior to the settling of Plymouth Colony, New England lost 90% of its Native population- perhaps 300,000 died. Had the Native Americans not been so absolutely devastated by European diseases that dissolved their entire social fabric, and not been so politically fragmented, the history of North America might have been entirely different. The Pilgrims might've been met with a "no vacancy" sign, Jamestown perished by Powhatan's realpolitik...

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  • 258. At 8:55pm on 24 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #249

    Only someone that is either ignorant or anti-semetic would call the most progressive democracy in the Middle East and Africa that.

    Any suprise bythe minimumal outragre when the Sri Lankans dealt with the Tamil Tigers. Hamas and Hezbollah are far worse and had no interst in just a homeland.

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  • 259. At 8:55pm on 24 May 2009, Pass Torian wrote:

    Come on! whether Obama looks one straight in the eye or not should create a basis for his veracity. Same holds true in case of Cheeney. You heard of good and bad acting, I hope. Good politicians tend to be good actors. Who could forget Ronnie Reagan, the fellow telling people with straight face what they wanted to hear. Acting carrier helped Reagan a lot. He would introduce his tax reform as something people ought to love - and they did. Those who should be the most unhappy with the trickery, still revere "uncle' Ronnie.
    When will we learn that actions count not words alone? As someone already pointed on this board actions by Obama are rather quite disappointing so far. He reneged on and altered many of his preelection promises. Either he is under an enormous pressure from the powers-to-be behind the "curtain" of which we are not fully aware, not really a man of his word, or an actor playing his role sufficiently well so far. Time will tell. Posing on TV or in public, talking convincingly to the public is one side of a story. Most important are expected by the electorate PROMISED changes. Cheeney is proven already failure. Whether Obama will be regarded as a success - it is still much to early to say.

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  • 260. At 9:24pm on 24 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    MagicLantern

    If lostallhermarbles went to Iran and criticized the government Iranian there the way she criticizes the US government here, she'd quickly find herself occupying the same prison cell that Roxana Sabieri just vacated. The Princess of PP knows that instinctively which is why living in Tehrroran, she will not criticize Iran's government. She doesn't want to wind up living in the Ayatollah's Gulag either.

    Speaking about Tehrroran, the Arabs are so frightened of rising Iranian Shia power in the region and their surrogate terrorists in Iraq, Lebanon, and Gaza, they are very quietly disavowing themselves of their connections to the Palestinians especially in Gaza and are courting Israel as the only local power that can stand up to this most dangerous government of terror and terrorism. When the truth finally comes out, Iran will prove to have been as repressive as Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany. They have a network of secret prisons where people are tortured for anything from political dissent to religious heresy. They are as cruel and brutal as any nation in history. Talking to them is the dumbest waste of time possible.

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  • 261. At 10:35pm on 24 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    MAII, can you provide any direct evidence of these "secret prisons?"

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  • 262. At 10:35pm on 24 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 253, David

    The President's forebears did not arrive in chains, but by legal immigration! One might ask when America last had a Jewish president?

    The real question is why haven't we elected a woman to the presidency of the United States?

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  • 263. At 10:41pm on 24 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    DC, saintD, if Hillary had not forgotten to tip a waitress in Iowa,
    we may well have.

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  • 264. At 11:01pm on 24 May 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    237. saintDominick,

    Well, let's hope you are right and that Obama leans more towards Israel than the Palestinians when it comes to "unambiguous support." Because if the Palestinians ever succeed in their aim of replacing Israel with Palestine between the River Jordan and the sea they will create anything but a stable and democratic country.

    A two-state solution is unworkable. Going by the map, joining Gaza and the West Bank would split Israel into two pieces. Besides, the very last thing Abbas wants is unity with Hamas, since that would quickly lead to Fatah's downfall. Ain't no such thing as democratic government in Palestine.

    236. saintDominick wrote:

    ...it is not like the UK was an innocent bystander in the creation of the State of Israel...

    You have it back to front and inside out here. Though mandated to facilitate the establishment of Israel, Britain in fact did everything it possibly could to strangle the nascent state, thwarting immigration of Jews, arming the Arabs and disarming the Jews and even going so far as to fight on the side of the Arabs in Israel's War of Independence. In the end, Israel was established despite the best efforts of the British.

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  • 265. At 11:05pm on 24 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #262. saintDominick: "The real question is why haven't we elected a woman to the presidency of the United States?"

    Well, we almost did! I think colour trumped gender last time around.

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  • 266. At 11:10pm on 24 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    gunk, I'm assigning that task to you. Your job is to get in, get to the bottom of it from the inside and make it out alive so that you can report. Between your guns and your religion to protect you, I'm sure you can do it. BTW, are you from Pennsylvania where Obama said in April 2008 that " bitter small-town Americans cling to guns or religion" Lucky you, you've got both.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/us_elections/article3740080.ece

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM8QDuO2qXk



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  • 267. At 11:23pm on 24 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    266, MAII, I take that as a "no."

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  • 268. At 11:24pm on 24 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 264, TrueToo

    "A two-state solution is unworkable. Going by the map, joining Gaza and the West Bank would split Israel into two pieces."

    The biggest impediment to a two-state solution is not going to be geographic issues posed by the inclusion of the Gaza Strip, but the status of the Jewish settlements that continue to be built at a frantic pace in Palestinian territories.

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  • 269. At 11:50pm on 24 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    There are at least three people whose only message on this blog is hatred. It doesn't matter what the subject of the thread is, they will come in from outer space, sing their old song, and spew vitriol. Whether they are someone's pawns, or acting on their own, their minds are nonetheless twisted. They use the anonymity of the internet to express what they could not were their identiies known. They would make a good case study.

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  • 270. At 11:58pm on 24 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    Someone said that the Palestinian mandate was created to facilitate the creation of Israel. Not true. The Balfour Declaration came some time later (I think 1922). In any case, the entire Arab area was mandated, not just Palestine.

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  • 271. At 00:03am on 25 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    269, Ms. Marbles, they probably are already case studies.

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  • 272. At 00:22am on 25 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    There should never be a Palestinian state. It would be a base for terrorists to continue their efforts to destroy Isael which is why Europeans support it, that is what they want too. Arabs have never accepted Isreal's right to exist as a Jewish state. When Arafat had every demand he'd made conceded to at the end of the Clinton Administration's negotiations, he pulled a new one out of the drawer, the demand for the return of all Arab refugees and their families, up to five million people that he knew Israel could never accept. Then he walked out of the talks and started his second war of terrorism or intifada.

    The settlements are a necessary buffer because without them, Israel would only be 9 miles wide at some points. This enticed Arabs to start three of the four genocidal wars the they waged to destroy Israel. The Golan Heights are very sparsely populated. Their only value is military. Israel should never give them up as their only purpose would be for Syria to launch another attack. Jerusalem was off limits to Jews when it was in Jordan's possession. Now it is open to people of all religions. It should remain the capital of Israel forever. Let the Palestinians make the best of what they have. It's all they are ever likely to get anyway. So far all they've done with what they have is to plan more attacks on innocent Israeli civilians. If it keeps up, a day may come when Israelis have had enough and put an end to the Palestinians' ability to wage war against them once and for all. If they do, they won't hear any complaints from me.

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  • 273. At 00:22am on 25 May 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:

    verycynicalsceptic #106:

    "Hi Justin, a simple question, is all distaste for the USA its culture and its 'values' (the real ones not those espoused) especially those voiced by the Cheney and his clones (bearing in mind a majority voted for those of his ilk) is unfounded and illegitmate? So I am a mindless bigot for not being a cheerleader for the glorious USA? I could go on in this vein for a while but I won't. As Bush and co said 'your either for us or agin us' well guess what I am glad to be in the 'agin' camp. Changing a label on a tin does not change its contents so the fact that they have a new president does not impress me at all."

    Quite correct!

    A distaste for the United States, for the American people, our values and our beliefs, and all that we are is VERY popular and trendy today - not least here on this site.

    Contempt for Americans is easy and fun, and there is no price to pay - but those who dislike and despise others eventually may find themselves imprisoned by their own xenophobia.

    Just a thought....

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  • 274. At 00:30am on 25 May 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:

    alphamiguel #235:

    alphamiguel #235


    "America, as Justin Webb well knows(or should know)are world experts on internment camps having perfected the technique with the American Indians.Even Hitler was impressed and wrote about what a sensible way it was to remove lesser humans from the scene.This was followed up by the Bantu settlement acts in apartheid South Africa which were written up almost word for word from the original Indian reservation system. What are Gaza and the west bank other than Indian reservations?Does the American government ever say sorry for the disgraceful boarding school system that forcefully took Indian children away from their tribes,stopped them speaking their own language,and tried to force them to be good little Americans.Thankfully it failed.So Justin, when are you going to start writing about the first people of America and what they think rather than what the invaders and occupiers think? Just a thought,nothing personal you understand.They are still out there."

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Ah!

    Another bumper crop day for hysterical, poisonous anti-American diatribes on this ireepressible and irresistably entertaining site.

    Truly, according to these frenzied posts, Americans are uniquely and profoundly evil. Unfortunately for the authors, we do not live in a cartoon universe, but that doesn't stop those who want to express their "opinions" of Americans!

    So many have questioned me about why I make reference to anti-Americanism. The evidence is literally staring you in the face.

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  • 275. At 00:35am on 25 May 2009, ann arbor wrote:

    Re: 240 Saint

    Obama looked like he was talking during a tennis match.

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  • 276. At 00:37am on 25 May 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:

    KScurmudgeon:

    "As a conservative who still believes in many of these social and fiscal ideals, I see this lost opportunity as a setback for the nation - and as a betrayal of those ideals by an administration that clearly pursued a very different agenda from the one they sold to us.

    Now this Barak Obama has the authority to be the nation's moral leader, and he deserves it because he is talking truth, truth to our weaknesses as a nation, truth to the mistakes of the past, and truth to the promise of America - which is something that the conservative movement somehow garbled and muddied beyond recognition."

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    I very much like your post and agree with most of what you say.

    However, I am somewhat bewildered by your highly romantic and idealistic view of Obama. Worship of him is common now, and worship of ANY politician is a questionable proposition.

    No traditional conservative would give Obama such unquestioning approval. His economic policies are quite far left and anathema to conservatives.

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  • 277. At 01:21am on 25 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #269
    You Marbles, John in Dublin and Happydaze: Thank you for admiting it.

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  • 278. At 01:55am on 25 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    276, this mass adoration will pass. Sooner or later this country will lose
    its AAA rating and a generation of young Americans will be unable to go
    to college because the Democrats are on the wrong path. The math just doesn't
    add up.

    I was sitting at a bar with some friends after the election watching all
    of the euphoric victory rallies being pimped by the MSM, and one of my
    compatriots asked the question, "How long do you think that this will last?"

    It could go on for a while, but not much longer.

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  • 279. At 02:07am on 25 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    "Well, we almost did! I think colour trumped gender last time around."

    That's patronizing. What actually happened is the best candidate won.

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  • 280. At 02:28am on 25 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 275, Young

    "Obama looked like he was talking during a tennis match."

    Instead of focusing on appearances, you may want to listen next time our President speaks to the nation. Personal attributes, decisions, policy-making, actions, and deeds are far more important than appearances,

    Yes, he has changed his position on several issues, but I think it is important to remember that he has only been in office four months and, most importantly, that the solution of dynamic events often require pragmatism and compromise. Stubbornnes and intransigence are flaws, not virtues.


    seems to bIn my opinion, it is premature to pass judgment on Barack Obama;s performance as President,

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  • 281. At 02:30am on 25 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    271, guns.

    Re: #277, I rest my case.

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  • 282. At 03:09am on 25 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    For ten years, Tony Blair got away with blaming the Tories in the Thatcher/Majors government for all of the unsolved problems in Britain. How much longer does anyone think Obama will get away with blaming the Bush Administration for America's problems if the economy doesn't start turning around soon? If Iran continues to develop its nuclear weapons capability and its delivery systems, if things continue going down hill? When will it become his responsibility, when will the buck stop in Obama's lap? Not much longer, this honeymoon can't go on forever. Besides, the unending irrational adulation is nauseating. At one point, President Obama won't be able to fly on his peronality and charisma alone. He'll have to start showing some real results. Don't anyone hold your breath waiting, you could wind up hurting yourselves.

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  • 283. At 03:49am on 25 May 2009, akinmusuru wrote:

    With hundreds of prisons in the US, it shouldn't be difficult to distribute those found guilty to prisons across the country. Those who are not guilty should be set free to return home where this is possible. If we worry about these few that may not wish us well, there are a few millions more in Pakistan and the Middle East. Just hating us is not a crime, even in our courts. The earlier Obama resolves the Gitmo problem, the earlier we can finally put the nightmare of the past seven years behind us.

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  • 284. At 05:20am on 25 May 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    276. At 00:37am on 25 May 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:

    "...However, I am somewhat bewildered by your highly romantic and idealistic view of Obama. Worship of him is common now, and worship of ANY politician is a questionable proposition.
    No traditional conservative would give Obama such unquestioning approval. His economic policies are quite far left and anathema to conservatives."

    Forgive me - I am a student of classical and mediaeval history, and the context gives much of this a different perspective. I can be romantic, even idealistic, and still smell the mud, blood, and gore. Pres. Obama has my unquestioning approval as a healthy anodyne to the remarkably un-nuanced performance of the last administration, and of the recent narrowing of conservative perspectives.

    But a couple of hundred years has shown that in the American democracy, the wait is rarely very long to see corrections at the tiller. Were FDR's corrections healthy for our democracy? Were they beneficial in the long run? I judge they were, although if that arc had been sustained without the interruption of WWII, we would have labored under the restrictions of an increasingly socialist economy.

    WWII ushered in an almost unprecedented increase in federal involvement in the economy and in our everyday lives, unprecedented except by the expansion of government during the Civil War under Lincoln. Was that necessary - I think so, if the war itself can be judged to be beneficial - and it ushered in a period of unprecedented expansion, wealth and ultimately benefit to all Americans (not realized until early in the next century). The real problem and abuse came from reconstruction and the dominance of national affairs by the Republicans for over two generations. FDR's three plus terms seem a short time.

    There are many grades of conservatives - please do not fall into the trap of thinking only of the most radical and visible - they really are more the creatures of the media than they are creatures of the marketplace. Who are the real leaders on the Left? Really? I am very interested in correcting the obvious flaws in the financial markets - demonstrated by our latest debacle. Creative moneymaking ought not be allowed to bring the whole world economy to it's knees, and it has. It makes no sense to have any private interest be so powerful and pervasive that it is seriously seen as too big to fail. Those interests are a present threat to national security, in my opinion, as great as is Mr. Bin Laden's enterprise.

    "How long do you think that this will last?"

    'It could go on for a while, but not much longer.'

    - that is a good thing, too.

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 285. At 05:42am on 25 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    284, KS, I believe that the situation is really more complicated than
    you present. We have this demographic problem emerging as the baby-boomers
    retire and start collecting benefits.

    The only way out of this is for Americans to save more money for
    retirement, and I don't see either party addressing the problem. Some
    huge chickens are about to come home to roost.

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  • 286. At 06:25am on 25 May 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:

    #278

    "....this mass adoration will pass. Sooner or later this country will lose its AAA rating and a generation of young Americans will be unable to go to college because the Democrats are on the wrong path. The math just doesn't add up.

    I was sitting at a bar with some friends after the election watching all
    of the euphoric victory rallies being pimped by the MSM, and one of my
    compatriots asked the question, "How long do you think that this will last?"

    It could go on for a while, but not much longer. "

    I am not as hopeful here - and it has more to do with the Dems as a whole than with Obama.

    We have moved from a crude and aggressive neo-conservative government (which has little to do with traditional conservatives) to a tax-and-spend left-wing government that is spending on a scale not seen since WWII without any concern at all for the deficit or for future inflation.

    We will likely lose our triple-A rating, as you say, but I do not see any potential leaders who will return to fiscal sanity and pro-business policies.

    One interesting development is that a majority of Americans are now independents.

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  • 287. At 06:33am on 25 May 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:

    284

    scurmudgeon:

    "But a couple of hundred years has shown that in the American democracy, the wait is rarely very long to see corrections at the tiller. Were FDR's corrections healthy for our democracy? Were they beneficial in the long run? I judge they were, although if that arc had been sustained without the interruption of WWII, we would have labored under the restrictions of an increasingly socialist economy.

    WWII ushered in an almost unprecedented increase in federal involvement in the economy and in our everyday lives, unprecedented except by the expansion of government during the Civil War under Lincoln."

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    I have not yet seen anything in your comments that would suggest even a sympathy for conservative views.

    With the significant exception of social security, FDR's economic policies were an unqualified disaster.

    As for WWII - the enormous increases in government spending did not produce a dramatic increase in goverment intervention and interference in personal lives. That came well after the war.

    It may be that we will see a move towards a more moderate, centrist policy but I doubt that it will be before 2020 at the earliest. Obama is beloved by a worshipful media. That is a very powerful factor. The left-wing policies we are now seeing will produce inflation and interest rates that will reach the double digits.

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  • 288. At 06:46am on 25 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    TR444, it's really quite amazing what kind of dribble comes out in the media
    about the Obama administration. I like what he's done in foreign policy,
    but the financial side is just a warmed-over Bush/Paulson strategy.

    And, this stimulus plan is exactly the kind of thing that got us into
    trouble to begin with. Instead of blowing a trillion dollars over five
    years, they're doing it all at one shot.

    Ron Paul and H. Ross Perot are looking better and better all the time.

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  • 289. At 07:48am on 25 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #282. MarcusAureliusII: "For ten years, Tony Blair got away with blaming the Tories in the Thatcher/Majors government for all of the unsolved problems in Britain."

    On the contrary, Blair was a great admirer of Mrs Thatcher and to a large extent he carried on her work. For example, his campaign promises to the elderly with regard to long-term care were never fulfilled and in fact the situation has become worse under his leadership. As America leans toward some kind of universal health care, Labour has gone in the other direction.

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  • 290. At 08:21am on 25 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    288, guns.

    Ross Perot always looked good to me. I know less about Ron Paul but all my kids are enthusiastic about him, and we tend to think alike. I agree that Obama is showing fairly good sense in foreign affairs (it was his stance on foreign affairs that got my vote). I don't expect him to do that well domestically. There should be a total overhaul of stock market and banking practices - but it won't happen. Neither will the much needed reforms in healthcare. Congress has too much invested. Expansion of healthcare as it is construted today merely expands the corruption.

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  • 291. At 09:14am on 25 May 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    268. saintDominick wrote:

    The "biggest impediment to a two-state solution" is in fact the Palestinian obsession to destroy Israel, backed by so many in the wider Arab and Muslim world. The concept of "Land for peace" has been latched onto to weaken Israel in order to facilitate that hoped-for destruction. When Israel withdrew from every last square inch of Gaza, the Palestinians resumed their rocket fire on Israeli towns - only pausing long enough to celebrate, destroy whatever had been left standing in the abandoned settlements and set up more rocket launchers in the rubble. That took a day or two.

    Far from seeing the withdrawal as a painful compromise for peace on the Israeli side, Hamas and company saw it as weakness and acted accordingly. But they miscalculated badly here: Western liberals, couched in their well-meaning naivete re the Palestinians, could not at first fathom what had gone wrong. After all, the Israelis had complied, at least as far as Gaza was concerned, with the incessant demands of that strange animal called the "international community" and had begun to trade "land for peace." Why were the Palestinians giving them war for land instead?

    I believe that opened many liberal eyes to the real aims of the Palestinian side of this conflict.

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  • 292. At 09:46am on 25 May 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    272. MarcusAureliusII,

    I believe that at some stage after the talks collapsed Arafat praised Clinton as a "success," and Clinton responded by saying, "No, I am a failure and you have made me one."

    His heart really was set on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It's unimportant whether this was out of egoism or a genuine desire for peace or a mix of the two. Difficult to know at this stage how close to Obama's heart is the resolution of the conflict. I guess time will tell.

    He'll be visiting Egypt next month but wont be popping across the border to visit Israel. Obama's people are insisting this is not a snub to Israel and perhaps it isn't. Obama wants to mend relations with the Muslim world. Good luck with that one. Along the way he may discover how many in the Arab and broader Muslim world will not make the slightest compromise or concession towards Israel. Certainly they will not visit Jerusalem. I believe Anwar Sadat was the only one courageous enough to do that, on the way to peace with Israel. He paid for it, of course, with his life.

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  • 293. At 11:56am on 25 May 2009, alphamiguel wrote:

    Hysterical, poisonous, anti-Americanism.Excuse me,there are plenty of good people in America.Some them believe it or not, even do charity work on Indian reservations.If you read my post the argument is with successive governments not with you personally.The Sioux know full well that things cannot return to pre colonialism.All they ask is that the history of America is truthfully told and not sugar coated so that you can ignore just what price some people have had to pay in order for you to believe in the propaganda doled out to you.Well things are a changing, thanks to the internet, Indians are not ignored any more and they are beaming out their views to the world.As Ghandi used to say"FIRST THEY IGNORE YOU,THEN THEY LAUGH AT YOU,THEN THEY FIGHT YOU,THEN YOU WIN.So look up www.republicoflakota.com and see what the folks are doing over there in Pine Ridge rez.The American Indians are not after civil rights you know,they want their sovereign rights respected.They have never given them up.That is why they are known as the Nations,and the even the governments haven,t said otherwise.So don,t confuse anti-Americanism with justice. You are free to be responsible!

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  • 294. At 12:08pm on 25 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 291, TrueToo

    "...only pausing long enough to celebrate, destroy whatever had been left standing in the abandoned settlements.."

    Perhaps they concluded that the few walls left standing after Israeli bulldozers leveled the abandoned settlements posed a threat to children playing outside their traditional concentration camps.

    Needless to say, you are entitled to your opinion, but I assure that few liberals, and definitely not a single person with an ounce of common sense, would consider Israeli overtures to peace sincere. With this I end my discussion on this topic as it is not my intention to turn another of Justin's threads into the eternal topic of Israeli-Palestinian atrocities and intransigence. IMO, both need to grow up and take a closer look at thos Holy books that they supposedly venerate.

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  • 295. At 12:15pm on 25 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Canard;

    Those who did not watch the PMQT comedy half hour once a week on C-SPAN for many years like I did might actually believe you (it used to be 2 fifteen minute sessions, one on Tuesday and one on Thursday, then it changed to a single 30 minute session. There was hardly a week that went by, maybe not a question that went by regarding Britain's domestic problems when Blair did not use the excuse that the reason for both a problms existing at all and their magnitude were not laid on the "policies of the party opposite" right to the end of his term in office. Nor did he miss an opportunity to take credit for any improvement no matter how small and ascribe them to his own policies which were the right ones. To hear him and Brits who post on Blogs in places like this, you'd think the UK was paradise on earth, just as other Western Europeans claim about their nations, just as the USSR and Chinese governments claimed about their own countries to their own people, just as North Korea and Cuba tells their people what utopias they inhabit as they starve in poverty. The truth is belied by the fact that while very large numbers of economic migrants fled to the UK legally and illegally (unable to get to much further away America mercifully) an equal number of native born Brits have fled the UK for greener pastures elsewhere, 10% according to one BBC report several years ago. That's a pretty damning indictment and the ones I've met tell a consistent and very different story than what most Brits posting here would have the world believe.

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  • 296. At 12:15pm on 25 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 290, Marbles

    "Expansion of healthcare as it is construted today merely expands the corruption."

    I agree. The Obama administration modified its position so much on healthcare reform to please the right and address the traditional ideological bias of a large segment of our population that what is being proposed is nothing more than a huge handout to the insurance industry. No wonder the business community is so quiet and, in some cases, so supportive of what is being proposed! Nevertheless, the uninsured and under insured are bound to benefit, and so will corporate America who will see their operating expenses reduced by about 15%, making them more competitive and profitable.

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  • 297. At 12:22pm on 25 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 286, Timothy

    "I am not as hopeful here - and it has more to do with the Dems as a whole than with Obama."

    I am not so sure about this. The liberal wing of the Democratic party is becoming increasingly nervous with Obama's shift to the center on foreign policy, and is starting to question the benefits of his healthcare reform package and the stimulus package which, thus far, has not produced anything tangible. If his nominee to the Supreme Court turns out to be a pragmatic centrist, regardless of whether or not she is pro-choice, Obama may have to start doing a lot of backpedaling or he risks losing his base.

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  • 298. At 12:31pm on 25 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 283, Musuru

    "With hundreds of prisons in the US, it shouldn't be difficult to distribute those found guilty to prisons across the country."

    There is absolutely no danger in doing that. Contrary to what is being said, none of the inmates held in Guantanamo are supermen capable of breaking steel doors or reinforced concrete walls in maximum security prisons in the USA. Opposition is strictly political, but I would not be surprised if it succeeds and we end up with another compromise to the right, such as turning Guantanamo into a POW camp under the protection of the Geneva Convention.

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  • 299. At 12:41pm on 25 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Too True, in an interview on American television several years after the failed talks in 2000, Ehud Barach in an interview on American television when asked why he conceded to all of Arafat's demands said to my astonishment that it was because he knew Arafat wouldn't accept them. I found this to be a remarkably frank statement and a very dangerous way to negotiate. If Arafat had, it would have all but forced Israel to place itself in a very vulnerable situation that would have left it in dire military straits and would have set the stage for another war to destroy it. From what I could tell, most Israelis including military leaders were aghast at those concessions even though they would have to had to have been approved in a democratically held public referendum (unlike the EU Constitution and the son of the EU Constitution, the Lisbon treaty which in many places in the despotic EU like the UK, the people have no say in such critical matters of their nation's life.)

    I've often wondered how Henry Kissinger managed to persuade Sadat to accept the terms of the peace treaty. The only explanation I buy is that it was made clear to him that signing it was the only way to get the Sinai Peninusla back. Egypt had lost all of it in a humiliating defeat in the 1973 war. I think most Arabs considered his peace agreement with Israel as a betrayal because among other things, it recognized Israel as a nation with a right to exist. To this day they haven't forgiven him. I think in the current geopolitical realities in the Middle East, those Arab nations we incredulously refer to as "moderates" are privately on the verge of deciding, or have already decided to throw their lot in with Israel out of fear of the large and growing menace of Iran and Palestine be damned. In truth they never really cared what happend to Palestine or Palestinians and only used it as a diversion to push attention away from their own miserable failures at home. Many now view the Iran backed Hamas government in Gaza as a direct threat to themselves. Their only problem is how to save face with their own populations having spread so many lies about Israel that has engendered so much hatred against it and the Jews over the last 61 years. They dare not tell the truth that these were all lies but they cannot ignore the Iranian threat to themselves. It's a dilemma of their own making. Were Israel or America to somehow neutralize that threat with the use of force, they would publically condemn it with the greatest of outrage and privately breathe a huge sigh of relief. In this respect, the US led war invading Iraq that made the growth of Iran's menace possible was a huge successs. It has not merely upset the Middle East apple cart, it has overturned it scattering the apples in a million directions and smashed the cart to splinters. President Bush, mission accomplished. Congratulatoins and and many thanks of appreciation to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces who risked and sometimes sacrificed their lives to make this happen and make the world just a little safer for all of us in the United States on this America's Memorial Day.

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  • 300. At 2:11pm on 25 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    alpha-omega, like most of the other approximately 298,999,999 other Americans who are not Native Americans I do not give much thought most of the time these days to their history or current situation both of which are highly variable depending on what period is being discussed and where and which tribe. Certanly I studied them as a child and was fascinated by them as I think most Americans are. They are an integral part of our history and their relationship with European settlers, colonial governments and the American government very complex, certainly not always amicable, sometimes tragic. If by sovereignty, you are talking about the right to raise an army and conduct foreign policy independently of the US government, they will never get that, it will not happen. If you are talking about making their own laws, enforcing them themselves, deciding how to run their communities by their tribal councils on their reservations they already have that. They are always free to leave their reservations and live in the mainstream of American society and culture. We are already aware or can easily learn of the many shameful things done to Native American tribes since the arrival of Europeans in the Americas. We are also aware of the inverse. Some of us are aware that the tribes didn't always get along well with each other and had their own wars among themselves, real wars where many people died.

    It was inevitable I think that societies who were what sociologists now call "hunter gatherers" would come into conflict with newcomers because the tribes claimed vast stretches of land as their own private domain precluding the newcomers from building first their agricultural society and then their industrial society.

    If history had played itself out as you would seem to have had it, America as we know it now would not exist and a relatively small number of people from around the world would live here in small enclaves while Native Americans would live much as their ancestors did four hundred years ago. It didn't happen that way and it is ludicrous to suggest that anything like reversion to that will occur. Get out of your dream world and enter the real world. Native Americans have as much opportunity as anyone else who is a citizen of the United States and it is up to them alone to decide what advantage to take of it.

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  • 301. At 3:08pm on 25 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #295. MarcusAureliusII: "To hear (Tony Blair) and Brits who post on Blogs in places like this, you'd think the UK was paradise on earth, just as other Western Europeans claim about their nations . . . "

    Likewise, you and a number of similarly-minded posters consider that America is heaven on earth; nowhere is perfect, not even the USA. Once again you judge something without having experienced it. With regard to Mr Blair's words, show me some pages in Hansard which would verify you claim. Every word is written down. You remind me of Joseph McCarthy - "I have here in my hand a list . . ." when in fact the figures were fictitious.

    "the (British immigrants) I've met tell a consistent and very different story than what most Brits posting here would have the world believe."

    How many have you actually met? As is said, "birds of a feather flock together" and no doubt you mix with like-minded people; a couple of disaffected individuals (whether American or British) cannot speak for all.

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  • 302. At 3:53pm on 25 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    Two interesting articles from yesterdays New York Times

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/24/opinion/24leverett.html?th&emc=th
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/24/magazine/24prom-t.html?th&emc=th

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  • 303. At 3:54pm on 25 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

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

  • 304. At 4:25pm on 25 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    302, Princess-on-the-pea -

    I had read your second linked article last night. Pretty disturbing, isn't it? Disgusting might be a better word. I'd had no idea that sort of thing was still going on anywhere here in the States.

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  • 305. At 5:23pm on 25 May 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    Good afternoon MA11,
    How is Captain America to day?,hope one is well.
    I am more than a little worried about you.Why oh why,would you want to watch PMQT for many years??Its something Nobody but nobody would want to do,Its a very bizarre habit,so stop it! this instant.
    Judging a nation by watching TV is not an accurate method of getting a true picture,if it was, George Armstrong Custer,would be the most courageous man ever!.Oh yes,that reminds me,you leave Benedict Arnold out of things,the Lad did good in the end,after a some what confused start.At least old Benny was disliked by each side in turn whilst you seem to be,not the most popular bunny,by both sides at the same time.Well done that takes some one special.Oops #303 there goes another one...

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  • 306. At 6:15pm on 25 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    305, ukwales, if MAII is really Captain America, then all is doomed...
    I guess that I'll have to throw out a quarter of my comic book collection
    now, I am so disillusioned.

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  • 307. At 6:17pm on 25 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    ukeawailee, could you translate your posting into the American language so that it is comprehensible to me? This is supposed to be a discussion presumably involving Americans.

    One thing I did understand was your question about my watching PMQT. Besides being the best comedy show to come out of Britain, it is I think important for Americans to know what their enemy is up to, what they are thinking. Watching a government is not the same as wasting time watching some trivial situation comedy although I'd say PMQT does outshine all British sitcoms I've seen, even including Keeping Up Appearances. Perhaps Patricia Rutledge could replace Michael Martin as a latter day Betty Boothroyd...acting in her role as Hyacinth Bucket of course. What surprised me most about the House of Commons is that during normal proceedings, the MPs seem to show the same lack of civility for others and lack dignity for themselves that they show during PMQT. It's more like watching a collection of babbling zoo animals than elected legislators representing their constituents.

    You said something about Benedict Arnold which I didn't quite understand. In the culture of America, the name Benedict Arnold is synonymous with the word traitor, even more so by far than Judas, Aaron Burr, or the Rosenbergs. I think Arnold was a highly regarded general on our side during the American revolution prior to his betrayal but being a traitor is all that is usually remembered of him. Of all the crimes in America, the one that has the lowest heirarchy down at the bottom along with pedophilia is betrayal. That is why I think France can forget about ever having amicable relations with the US population again regardless of what the relationships between governments become. Britain seems to be heading down the same road. It's a road that goes nowhere and once the bridge is blown up, there is no turning back. I think we're at about that point now.

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  • 308. At 6:40pm on 25 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    302, Princess, I'm interested in hearing how your views correlate with
    the first link that you posted.

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  • 309. At 6:50pm on 25 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    202, princess.

    As to your first link, I am beginning to lose faith in Obama and his Middle East policy. The increased attacks in Afghanistan looks more like an attempt to box in Iran than to catch Osama bin Laden. Notice that we seem to accept the nuclear advance of North Korea with a certain amount of aplomb. Maybe, like Bush, Obama seeks to subdue the whole of the region. Sad. Sad. Sad. This is not the way to stop terrorism.

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  • 310. At 6:51pm on 25 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    gunk;

    If you throw out your comic books, what will you have left to read? I suppose you could always thumb through magazines written for adults and look at the pictures.

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  • 311. At 6:56pm on 25 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #307. MarcusAureliusII: "could you translate your posting into the American language"

    There's no such thing - it's English with American usage. It must be very galling for you to write and speak in a language originated by a country which you despise so wholeheartedly.

    "Besides being the best comedy show to come out of Britain, it is I think important for Americans to know what their enemy is up to"

    That is a new low, even for you. If the Government of Great Britain is such an enemy, why then did it join in the hostilities in Iraq and Afghanistan?

    "PMQT. It's more like watching a collection of babbling zoo animals than elected legislators representing their constituents."

    I never yet heard an animal babble, in or out of a zoo. They might roar, bark, mew, squawk, hiss or neigh - but never babble.

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  • 312. At 7:37pm on 25 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    309, Ms. Marbles, it's interesting to hear your perspective. I'm not
    in the loop, but I suspect that things are pretty messed up in Afghanistan,
    what with Taliban attacks on villages and so forth. They were well on
    their way to taking over Pakistan before our DOD people went over there
    and talked with them about it.

    What is your prognosis about Iran and the Taliban? Do you think that they
    are supporting them or are they really opposed to them?

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  • 313. At 7:42pm on 25 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Sorry Canard, I forgot to translate the word "babbling" into British English. In this particular case it means "braying." Look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls.

    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/162313/A-Dictionary-of-the-American-Language

    Canard...Google it!

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  • 314. At 8:12pm on 25 May 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:

    saint dominick:

    "If his nominee to the Supreme Court turns out to be a pragmatic centrist, regardless of whether or not she is pro-choice, Obama may have to start doing a lot of backpedaling or he risks losing his base."

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    A pragmatic centrist?

    There is no chance of that.

    The Obama administration is the distilled essence of political correctness.

    They have started the search for a new justice by declaring the race and sex requirements before talking about any qualifications.

    They deal with people by CATEGORY - not as individuals. This is the epitome of the politically correct view of the world. It is not WHO we are. It is WHAT we are.

    And it isn't possible to separate the administration from the congress. Together, they represent a dream come true for the far-left.

    It isn't possible to please everyone. The left may not "approve" of everything, but they have a genuine leftist government for the first time since FDR's second term.

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  • 315. At 8:31pm on 25 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 314, Timothy

    "They have started the search for a new justice by declaring the race and sex requirements before talking about any qualifications."

    Would you mind telling us when did the Obama administration make such a declaration? The short, medium, and long lists we have all seen on TV and newspapers were produced by political pundits, and insistence on the need to nominate another female and/or minority to fill Justice Souter's seat have been advanced by special interest and advocacy groups, not the administration.

    Do you have a problem with the potential nomination of a qualified woman or minority to the SC? Are you one of those who believes only white men are qualified to fill positions of responsibility. I think it is an embarrassment that only two women and African Americans have served in the Supreme Court, and I would be very pleased if this and the next two vacancies are filled with women. Contrary to what some people may think intelligence, education, knowledge of the Constitution and our laws, honesty, good judgment, and ability to think is not limited to white men.

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  • 316. At 9:01pm on 25 May 2009, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 307 MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "What surprised me most about the House of Commons is that during normal proceedings, the MPs seem to show the same lack of civility for others and lack dignity for themselves that they show during PMQT."

    Ah, Mr Pot - meet Mr Kettle....

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  • 317. At 9:14pm on 25 May 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#315 Saintdominick

    Cheers! Cheers! And Cheers again for your post!

    I will also add this thought:

    If the law and our justice have no compassion and humanity then where are ethics and morality?

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  • 318. At 9:32pm on 25 May 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    311. David_Cunard wrote:
    "307. MarcusAureliusII: "could you translate your posting into the American language"

    There's no such thing - it's English with American usage."


    David, I think Marcus must be refering to the Navajo or another Native American language. Someone who hates all things European as much as he does surely could not stand to speak a European language!

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  • 319. At 9:36pm on 25 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    Good evening all
    304 Bere54 - I must admit that I felt a mixture of disappointment and sadness as much as disturbing and disgust. I truly did not think that was possible in 2009. It somehow puts on a whole new layer on lectures re discrimination and tolerance. Coming from the bastion of freedom, it tarnishes everything coming from the US.
    308 Guns I would say that to my mind it was a very reasoned argument. There was no varnishing over any of the truths. I have read in numerous places that Iran was more than helpful during the Afghanistan campaign but also that a letter was sent to the Bush administration indicating readiness to deal with all the outstanding issues from nuclear weapons to Hamas etc. This was met instead by the arrogance of the Bush administration launching instead into the whole Axis of Evil rhetoric that remains to date.
    From my personal point of view I would absolutely agree that it is totally delusional to think that an Israeli-Moderate Arab coalition against Iran is possible. Anyone believing that has no understanding to the man on the street in the Arab countries (alternatively just speak to a taxi driver in Paris). I just pray that a few of the supposed brains working with President Obama will take note of this article as the writers appear (to me at least) to be coming from a non-partisan position but who carry the voice of experience.
    309 AMM I so very much hope that we are wrong. I too am beginning to despair. I very much fear that a much more pernicious agenda is at work.
    312 Guns If I may, I would just like to put in my two cents worth The Taleban and Iran are absolutely incompatible. Contrary to many an ignorant opinion on this site, Iran has never supported the Taleban. While Iran is far from perfect, the narrow minded discrimination that is exercised by the Taleban daily would never be able to find any sort of footing in Iran. Not only are women in Iran way too strong, but also there is too much of an ingrained respect for culture, arts and poetry to allow such a narrow minded bigotry and cruelty that is that regime.
    As an aside AMM just back from a couple of days at the Caspian. While so much of it has been ruined that it breaks my heart, there is still so much including just the drive up there that literally takes your breath away. I hope that you can revisit all the wonders that are Iran again one of these days.

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  • 320. At 9:46pm on 25 May 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#318 Romestu

    Please!

    Most probably our good Navajo people would find this blog site appalling.
    They seek balance, peace and beauty by living in alignment with the natural world, metaphysics, family and clan.

    Also their language is most complex and evolving.

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  • 321. At 10:00pm on 25 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    319, Princess, do you happen to know if the contents of the letter
    sent by the Iranian leadership to the Bush administration were ever
    made public? Not that foreign affairs are my area of expertise, but
    if the contents were made widely known, then they might have an effect,
    even at this late juncture.

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  • 322. At 10:00pm on 25 May 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#302 and 319 Princessonthepea

    I respect your view and judgment and Allmymarbles about these issues but hope for a more positive outcome. I think that it is still early days yet and there may be hope for change.

    I would so love to visit your country, meet your people and see some of what you have described.

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  • 323. At 10:09pm on 25 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    In reference to Justins essay Guantanamo has undoubtedly created more terrorists. Cheney is nuts this is a given. I am appalled that he is even being given this airtime. The grievances (real or imagined) against the US in the wider Arab world remain the same today as they did prior to 09/11. Guantanamo has only served to exacerbate them. They basically start and end with the issue of Palestine. The rest of it is some elements of justified anti colonialism and the remaining part is opportunism. Most of the terrorism in the world during the past eight years has been Sunni (read Wahabi for a better picture) and yet the US continues to support/ally itself with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

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  • 324. At 10:13pm on 25 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #313. MarcusAureliusII: "I forgot to translate the word "babbling" into British English. In this particular case it means "braying." Look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls."

    I prefer the Larger Oxford English Dictionary (OED), of which I have a copy, considered to be the authoritative dictionary of the language.

    Despite its name, the Encyclopædia Britannica is owned and edited by the University of Chicago - no wonder it considers there is an"American" language. To paraphrase Francis Urquhart, "You may very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment."

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  • 325. At 10:24pm on 25 May 2009, Cholmer wrote:

    Cheney is an American, 0bama is a Kenyan. They will never agree.
    0bama is a disgrace that America will reject, in spite of his racist gang.

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  • 326. At 10:25pm on 25 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    319, princess.
    "As an aside AMM just back from a couple of days at the Caspian. While so much of it has been ruined that it breaks my heart, there is still so much including just the drive up there that literally takes your breath away. I hope that you can revisit all the wonders that are Iran again one of these days."

    What always thrilled me on the trip north to the Caspian was travelling through an almost barren dun-colored land, entering the tunnel that cuts through the high Alborz range, and exitng into the misty green of a totally different world. Going in the other direction I remember my husband yelling for his sun glasses when we exited the tunnel. There had been no time for his eyes to adjust to the brilliant sun of the semi-arid south side and was temporarily blinded.

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  • 327. At 10:28pm on 25 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    321 Guns - attached is a site that still has details of the letter and the proposal - interestingly many references no longer exist. As it is late here and I am about to sign off, I have not read all the information on the link but it should make for interesting reading. I look forward to your thoughts.
    http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000467.htm

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  • 328. At 10:28pm on 25 May 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#323 Princessonthepea

    I agree about Cheney. I can never remember any ex-president let alone an ex-vice-president conducting himself in such a manner. I find it not only tasteless, ridiculous and tedious but also bordering on the so called anti-Americanism that so many enjoy bleating about on this blog.

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  • 329. At 10:34pm on 25 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    322 Aqua - Thank you. Actually you would have no problem coming to Iran even now. Just last week I met a group of 12 US citizens here on a cultural and historical exploration trip and they were having a great time. I hope the day comes soon where you can visit in complete confidence.

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  • 330. At 10:36pm on 25 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    Past 2 am here in Tehran so that's the end of the day for me.
    Good night all....

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  • 331. At 10:37pm on 25 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    twilightzonagal;

    Native Americans stopped scalping Europeans a long time ago...except in their casinos and bingo parlors.

    Stewed In Rome;

    From the website I cited above;

    "A Dictionary of the American Language
    work by Webster"

    After Samuel Johnson was finished with his piddling blather, an American Noah Webster created a dictionary defing a language worthy of the people of the United States of America. We use words like billion instead of thousand million. We use windshield instead of windscreen, hood instead of bonnet, trunk instead of boot. You get the picture. You also know that our language is rapidly taking over where British English used to be spoken even in not so merry olde. Now repeat after me; Ay not Eye, Owe not ow, don't say petrol say gas, don't say motorway say parkway or highway as in "it's my way or the highway." Capiche?

    How lucky Iranian women are that they are strong enough to get away with just wearing head scarves and do not have to wear Bhurkas. At least not yet. Of course they are not allowed to watch men in any sport where their skin other than their hands and faces might be seen such as at soccer matches and basketball games. Who knows what would happen if they did. Princess PP, are there public beaches or pools that both men and women can go to at the same time in Iran? What is considered proper attire for women who want to swim in such a beach, bhurkinis? What do men wear to them? Do they have honor killings in Iran the way they do in places like Pakistan and Afghanistan? We know they have fatwas which can be nothing less than contracts for murder for hire issued by the Ayatollahs such as the one issued some years back against Salman Rushdi who wrote "The Satanic Verses." That makes Iran's government no different from La Cosa Nostra, the Sicilain Mafia. Maybe I'll get a copy of The Satanic Verses just to see what it was about. I'll bet it is not available in bookstores in Iran. But I bet I'll find a copy to borrow at my public library.

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  • 332. At 10:40pm on 25 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    312, guns.
    "What is your prognosis about Iran and the Taliban? Do you think that they are supporting them or are they really opposed to them?"

    Maybe the first question is what is going to happen to the Taliban and how great is its support in Afghanistan. It seems to be sweeping the area and moving into Pakistan. I was never in favor of continuing the war in Afghanistan, a war that can never be won.

    I can't see Iran supporting the Taliban. Not only does Iran seem to be moderating it strict religious stance, but its main interest is in economic development. That is the sort of power it wants.

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  • 333. At 10:40pm on 25 May 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    299. MarcusAureliusII,

    Ehud Barak is a strange mix - tough as nails on defence, but a leftie toeing the PC line when it comes to negotiations and prepared to make concessions with nothing in return. I didn't see that TV interview and I'm not sure if he was telling the whole truth there. Seems crazy to gamble Israel's security on the likelihood, however strong, that Arafat would not accept the proposed concessions.

    Anyway, the Palestinian who makes peace with Israel will be a dead man walking.

    I agree with your take on the Arab countries. Many of them don't give a damn about the Palestinians and have always used them as a club to bash Israel with while denying them rights and citizenship in their own countries and expelling them or worse whenever they got too uppity. And the closer the Palestinians cuddle up to Iran the more they will alienate the more moderate Arab nations - who don't have the Western liberal doubts about what Iran is capable of. The Sunni-Shia divide plays a significant role here.

    294. saintDominick,

    You don't want to debate Israel-Palestine, fine. But you were the one who brought it up by claiming Obama's "unambiguous support" for Israel. Somehow I don't think he will be demonstrating this unambiguous support when he woos the Muslim world from Egypt next month. I don't expect that he'll be draped in an Israeli flag as he steps off the plane onto Egyptian soil. And as I said, he wont be visiting Israel on that trip.

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  • 334. At 10:47pm on 25 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 325, Cholmer

    "Cheney is an American, 0bama is a Kenyan."

    Should we assume you are not American? Our President is as American as the rest of us. His father was born in Kenya, his mother in Kansas, and he was born in Hawaii. A typical American if you ask me. As for the racist gang, may I suggest wiping the fog off your mirror?

    The recent "debate" over Guantanamo was, in my opinion, necessary and helpful, but I agree with Aqua, former Presidents and VPs seldom engage in open discussions or public criticisms of an incumbent's policies, certainly not the way Dick Cheney has.
    Cheney, the citizen, has a right to speak. Cheney, the VP, should adopt the same norms of etiquette and exhibit the same class shown by his predecessors.
    Mr. Cheney is a radical ideologue, dangerous, a coward, and a symbol of an orthodoxy that, hopefully, will never influence our decisions, policies or actions ever again.

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  • 335. At 10:57pm on 25 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 323, Princess

    "Most of the terrorism in the world during the past eight years has been Sunni (read Wahabi for a better picture) and yet the US continues to support/ally itself with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan."

    Thank you for reminding us of that. I have been saying the same for months, although not as eloquently and conclusively as you have. BTW, I enjoy your posts, particularly the subtle insight you give us of what life is like in Iran.

    The unfortunate reality of our national disagreements and overt antagonism is that a harmonious and mutually beneficial relationship would help solve most of the problems in the Middle East and Asia without loss of life and the horrible suffering of millions of people. Unfortunately, zealots on both sides benefit from the status quo and are determined to maintain a climate of instability to achieve their narrow goals.

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  • 336. At 11:22pm on 25 May 2009, Scotch Git wrote:

    Re: #331 'The Satanic Verses'

    Marcus,

    Life is too short.

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  • 337. At 11:34pm on 25 May 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

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

  • 338. At 11:37pm on 25 May 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#334 and 335 Saintdominick

    Is it permitted to cheer your posts yet again?

    I would make this observation: We may be at a crucial nexus for the survival of our planet and for humanity.

    The question is:

    Will we continue to allow divisiveness and petty self interest to undermine all efforts for peaceful accord or will we work together for the welfare and benefit of all?

    This is an interesting debate, no.

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  • 339. At 11:42pm on 25 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Too True

    Jordan threw the Palestinians out. They tried to take over Lebanon. Israel had the PLO bottled up in East Beirut but that horrible man Cap Weinberger arranged for them to escape to Tunisia by twisting Israel's arm...big mistake letting them go. They were in Kuwait as "guest workers" basically menial labor when Iraq invaded in August 1990. They turned on the Kuwaitis and fought to kill them along with the Iraqi soldiers. They are not to be trusted. Whatever Arafat said in English on American television in 1992 or 1993 to get the Oslo farce going, I'm sure he straightened it out in Arabic for his followers after which they no longer wanted to kill him. Arafat never showed any signs that he was serious about peace with Israel, every promise he made was a lie, he never kept even one of them. He was a terrorist through and through.

    Canard, British English like Britain itself and like Europe is obsolete and no longer relevant to the modern world. Aren't you a British ex-pat living in Florida? If you are, you're living proof of what I say. From the accents I hear on TV and all the Brit ex-pats I meet, sometimes I think half of Britain is in the US. What do I have to say or do to discourage the other half from joining them?

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  • 340. At 11:49pm on 25 May 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    331. MarcusAureliusII,

    I found Satanic Verses unreadable. I struggled through a chapter or two and that was it. Others I have spoken to have the same opinion of the book. Before putting a fatwa on Rushdie, the Ayatollah should have realised that only the most determined would be able to struggle through all the gunk Rushdie wrote to get to any bits that insulted Islam. All the fatwa achieved was to ensure that many more people would try to read the book to see what all the fuss was about.

    319. Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    From my personal point of view I would absolutely agree that it is totally delusional to think that an Israeli-Moderate Arab coalition against Iran is possible.

    Obviously any coalition in the normal sense would never happen. It would have to be largely covert. However, it's already happening with Egypt cooperating with Israel in preventing the arms smuggling into the Iranian-supported Gaza Strip. And Egypt recently arrested a group of Iranians bound for the Sinai and intent on terror attacks against Israelis. At the time, the mocking language the Egyptian press used against Nasrallah, who fights Iran's wars for it against Israel, was most revealing.

    "Totally delusional?" You overstate your case.

    Anyone believing that has no understanding to the man on the street in the Arab countries...

    The man in the street does not make policy. And in dictatorial Arab countries, he doesn't have much ability even to influence policy.

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  • 341. At 11:55pm on 25 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    309. Dear Marbles:

    The North Korean problem is very strongly related to the physical vulnerability of Seoul.

    Seoul is ringed with North Korean artillery, and North Korea is run by a bunch of thugs with a mafia mentality. Effectively Seoul is a giant hostage, surrounded and protected by the largest, densest belt of landmine fields in the world. Any military step against the North would be followed immediately by the destruction of Seoul. The concentration of North Korean artillery is far beyond what the US, South Korea, and Japan could hope to suppress fast enough to save Seoul.

    The United States will not act militarily against North Korea without the agreement of the government of South Korea. The government of South Korea will not act because even to take steps like building enough bunkers for the population of Seoul, or moving non-essential personnel out, would be seen as a provocation by the North.

    This being Asia, the assumption is that the problem can be solved with sufficient patience, perhaps including the death through old age of the dear leader. Don't know whether that is right or not.

    But it certainly doesn't help that both China and Russia can still use North Korea to make mischief of their own; that any action requires unanimity between the US, Japan and South Korea - all of whom have different strategic interests and concerns - while at least China, if not both China and Russia, agree to turn a blind eye, no doubt for a price; and that the dear leader's son seems to have learned how to play the extortion game just like his father, and doesn't give a hoot if in the meantime every North Korean peasant starves to death or dies trying to swim the Amur.

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  • 342. At 00:08am on 26 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 338, Aqua

    "Will we continue to allow divisiveness and petty self interest to undermine all efforts for peaceful accord or will we work together for the welfare and benefit of all?"

    Divisiveness, suspicion, intolerance, and greed dominated our decisions, policies, and actions the past 8 years and, frankly, I don't think it was an accident. I also doubt the mayhem in the Middle East and, particularly, in the Persian Gulf is an accident. Keeping people ignorant, feeding them misinformation, and continuous warfare have been the most effective tools used by "leaders" and governments to control the masses and achieve their goals since humans learned to stand on two feet.

    It is unfortunate to see that the unique opportunity afforded by the election of Barack Obama may escape us once again because of the tremendous influence that special interests, including foreign lobbyists, have on our government.

    The adoption of Bush's policies in Iraq and Afghanistan, the backpedaling on Guantanamo, and the recent ultimatum issued against Iran as a concession to PM Netanyahu suggest a clear shift to the center-right, regardless of the usual conservative diatribe about of socialism and liberalism. Let's face it, even the nomination of a clone of Attila the Hun to the Supreme Court would be regarded as an example of unacceptable liberal bias by the GOP.

    There is still an opportunity to seize the moment and pursue goals consistent with the essence of our Constitution, our laws, and values; but unless Democrats voice their opinions and encourage our President to fullfil the promises he made on the campaign trail, I fear he will continue to appoint Republicans to key posts and embrace some of the policies we thought he was going to reject.

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  • 343. At 00:14am on 26 May 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:

    saint dominick:

    "Do you have a problem with the potential nomination of a qualified woman or minority to the SC? Are you one of those who believes only white men are qualified to fill positions of responsibility."

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    *chuckle*

    Hysterics and carrying on - and completely unrelated to my comments.

    This site runs so quickly away from discussion when anyone dares to question the status quo of political correctness. Surely even you become weary of talking to people who agree with you on everything?

    I will ignore youur projections and accusations of racism. I strongly oppose the hiring of people based in race and sex.

    But never mind.

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  • 344. At 00:15am on 26 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    uninteresting foreigner

    We don't know exactly how far NK has to go before the alarm bell rings in the Pentagon but if they are believed to have an ICBM capable of reaching the United States and have weaponized their nuclear capability to the point of being able to put a warhead on it of the size they just detonated, that will probably be sufficient. The US will not ask anyone's permission to act in its own self defense. Not the UN, not anyone has a veto over the Obama administration's freedom to act any more than they had over President Bush's. Has NK gone too far already? I don't know but they seem to keep pressing their luck. So do the Iranians.

    When push comes to shove, Saudi Arabia's government will be entirely preoccupied with its own surivival and won't give one whit of concern about the Palestinians. They won't even pretend in public anymore.

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  • 345. At 00:29am on 26 May 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#342 Saintdominick

    I agree with much of what you have written but I take a more hopeful position. I realize that our country has been poisoned by the tremendous greed, self-interest and sheer stupidity of our leaders. However, I believe that there is still an opportunity to bring our country back from this destructive cycle.

    It will take ALL of us, having care for each other, working hard, and always being vigilant with our government. No one person can solve the problems we have. E Pluibus Unum, out of many we are one! It is about time that this country began to remember that!

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  • 346. At 00:51am on 26 May 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#343 Timothyr444

    I have not read where it was ever proposed here that a Supreme Court justice should only be nominated on the basis of sex or ethnicity.

    I think that the real question was this: Would anyone be opposed to a woman or a minority who was well qualified for the position?

    The answers of some posters have reflected their bias and racial prejudice which is no surprise to me.

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  • 347. At 01:12am on 26 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #339. MarcusAureliusII: "British English like Britain itself and like Europe is obsolete and no longer relevant to the modern world."

    You get more petulant and irrational by the hour. If Britain and Continental Europe are so obsolete, why is it, for example, that some of the most popular shows on American television originated there? American Idol, Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?, The Weakest Link, Big Brother, The Office, Three's Company, All In The Family, Dancing with the Stars and your own much quoted Keeping Up Appearances, to name but a few.

    "Aren't you a British ex-pat living in Florida?"

    No. Wrong coast.

    "What do I have to say or do to discourage the other half (of Britain) from joining them?"

    Keep on talking and writing the way you do, that should discourage anyone from visiting the United States. Who would want to mix with such a self-absorbed (and quite possibly, self-hating) personage such as yourself? Your rants epitomize the American no-one likes, whether at home or abroad. I wonder what you did for pleasure before the British Broadcasting Corporation made it possible for your to vent your spleen so conspicuously? As far as the publication of your frequently obnoxious opinions are concerned, to quote Harold Macmillan, "you've never had it so good."

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  • 348. At 03:06am on 26 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    341, Interested.
    "This being Asia, the assumption is that the problem can be solved with sufficient patience, perhaps including the death through old age of the dear leader. Don't know whether that is right or not."

    Why does patience apply to North Korea and not to Iran, who is not nearly as big a threat? I should think it has to do with our government's agenda. By the way, Iran is also in Asia.

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  • 349. At 05:08am on 26 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    348, Ms. Marbles, I believe that the point that IF was raising was that
    we can't really do much about NK except to deploy missile defenses, whereas
    diplomatic options are still available with respect to Iran.

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  • 350. At 05:14am on 26 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    348. Marbles.

    Patience does apply to Iran.

    My point was more along the lines that patience as applied east of the Bosphorus is not something that North Americans tend to be good at. (Gosh, them maybe it would be good if President Obama weren't really an American, as suggested by at least one poster here ... What luck.)

    Not sure, though, that Iran isn't just as big a threat, or bigger. Certainly Iran is a much different challenge than Korea, and much different again from Pakistan/Afghanistan.

    When you think of the North Korean leadership, you think of some kind of wacko 1960's villain, with some harebrained scheme to achieve world domination - sort of like Jack Nicholson playing the Joker in a later era, or Auric Goldfinger or Blofeld from those corny James Bond movies - except it isn't a joke; these people are wacko enough to fire one of these things off; Commander Bond will not be despatching the villain in some heroic, and yet suitably gruesome hand-to-hand manner (after first having massacred countless astonishingly inept underlings along the way to, and within, the secret mountain top hideout/underground or underwater bunker, without wrinkling his tuxedo or mussing his hair); and the film will not end with the scantily clad heroine being asked whether she would like a re-fill, or with an excuse to M that "something just came up".

    No, when you think of the North Korean leadership, you think of serious mental health problems. A bad joke, but a really dangerous bad joke with scheming, extortionate lunatics at the controls. "The hermit kingdom", indeed.

    This looks like it is going to be solved by military means, but perhaps only when China is good and ready. I wonder what tribute, what homage, China will extract from South Korea for this service?
    Or from Japan.
    Or from America.
    Whatever it is, it will be a very, very high price.
    Thank you so much, Douglas MacArthur.

    Iran, by contrast, is a large, powerful, technologically modern, influential state, the heir to a great civilization with a very long cultural history. Iran's power and regional influence have grown immeasurably thanks to the former Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy act in the White House. The present government of Iran is both resolutely hostile toward everything for which America stands, and rather clever in achieving what it wants. It has run rings around America in the last five years. It is Iran's far greater power, influence, and economic potential that make Iran seem like a much larger, and much more dangerous issue than North Korea - but dangerous in a very much different way.

    The government of Iran does not seem like a science fiction evil master villain caricature. It seems like a chauvinistic religious regime that would have no qualms about frying Tel Aviv on religious grounds. Logical, and religiously justified. We've seen this before, lots of times - its what the 30 years war was about; it's what starvation in the Ukraine was about, it's what lebensraum and the final solution were about. And many other examples, besides.

    However, as far as I can see, that government is not particularly representative of the population, and there are clearly signs that lots of Iranians would be only too glad to have done with these religious conservatives. (Now ain't that a coincidence ...) No doubt you and Princess will have better insight.

    It seems to me that what has prevented military action up to now is not fear that Iran's neighbours will be injured, but rather that nothing justifies the probable mass loss of life of innocent Iranian civilians - who themselves might well be glad to be rid of their present government. In this instance, it is Iran's own population that is implicitly held hostage: Is anyone other than a nut-case prepared to vaporize 500,000 civilians to kill 500 religious leaders? And who is to say it would work, anyway - they might not be home when you knock, and even if they are, there might be someone else willing to step in afterward. And then, too, who has the military and financial resources at the moment to do the job? A lot of blood and treasure has been squandered elsewhere.

    There is also the problem that (not unlike plenty of other cultures), there may be plenty of people in Iran who may well be proud of Iran's increased influence and power. Attacking Iran's nuclear program only strengthens that feeling, and may strengthen the position of the wrong folks. Nationalism is the last refuge of scoundrels, and there were plenty of Argentinians who cheered to occupation of the Falklands, too.

    These are both tricky problems, where patience and level headedness are required, but also where time is clearly growing short. No, neither one is an easy problem, and President Obama has three of these little chestnuts simultaneously - along with some other piddlingly minor financial and health care issues to iron out at home. He already looks like he's aged 10 years.

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  • 351. At 05:40am on 26 May 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    276. At 00:37am on 25 May 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:
    "However, I am somewhat bewildered by your highly romantic and idealistic view of Obama. Worship of him is common now, and worship of ANY politician is a questionable proposition."

    I have to go back to this last sentence and open another issue with you.

    I object to the use of the term 'worship'. No one I know or have heard of recently worships a politician. Even when Bill Clinton had the popular status of a rock star in some circles, that was not worship. He was idolized, but that is not worship. While I respect and admire Mr. Obama, I certainly do not worship him. Worship is the adulation given to a deity.

    It is so far removed from the relationship people have with public figures that saying people worship a public figure has the effect of simultaneously distorting and mocking the actual relationship they may have with him or her. This form of distortion and denigration by hyperbole is not an honest contribution to discussion or public perceptions.

    False characterizations of this sort are too common in the dramamedia, and the readiness to use them has muddied our collective understanding and exacerbated our divisions. This kind of rhetoric is one of the roots of the anti-Americanism we seem to be discussing.

    TimothyR's comments have generally been thoughtful and fairly expressed - so it is not only as he says, a questionable proposition to worship any politician, in my opinion it is inaccurate and unjust to suggest that people do worship politicians.

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 352. At 05:42am on 26 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    IF, Ms. Marbles, I sometimes wonder if the Iranian leadership is deliberately
    provoking a confrontation with us to squelch opposition voices at home.

    They must be aware of the consequences in the region of a live nuclear
    test, so they are probably aiming to be a "screwdriver away" from deploying
    nuclear weapons. They probably have already gotten usable warhead designs
    from Pakistan.

    IF, I like your characterization of the NK leadership. He'll probably
    settle for "one million dollars."

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  • 353. At 06:00am on 26 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    349, guns.
    "348, Ms. Marbles, I believe that the point that IF was raising was that we can't really do much about NK except to deploy missile defenses, whereas diplomatic options are still available with respect to Iran."

    I would be more trusting if we had no troops to the west of Iran and no troops to the east. Also Isreal now appears to be in the picture.

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  • 354. At 06:10am on 26 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    350, interested.
    "Not sure, though, that Iran isn't just as big a threat, or bigger. Certainly Iran is a much different challenge than Korea, and much different again from Pakistan/Afghanistan."

    I don't know much about Korea except that she has nuclear weapons and our response is to have the U.N. fire off the usual nonsense. As to Iran being a bigger threat that is not true. She is making big noises to keep from being attacked. She knows what has happened to Iraq and Afghanistan and doesn't want it to happen to her. The last thing she wants is to attack or be attacked. How stupid do you think the Iranians are? Can you imagine her attacking a superpower? These are very sophiticated people, not the wild fanatics they are purported to be. You saw Princess' comment in reply to my fear of a change in agenda. She was very upset, because the power lies on our side, not Iran's. I don't know what is going on in the back rooms, and maybe I don't want to know.

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  • 355. At 06:29am on 26 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    354, Ms. Marbles, I accept your judgement about the Iranian people being
    rational, but that Holocaust Denial conference was really quite a provocation.

    Nonetheless, I believe that the most probable reaction of the US and its
    allies is deployment of a missile defense system, not a preemptive strike.

    I'm assuming throughout all of this that Iran doesn't give a suitcase bomb
    to Hamas or something like that; all bets are off if that happens.

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  • 356. At 07:17am on 26 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #276. TimothyR444: "No traditional conservative would give Obama such unquestioning approval. His economic policies are quite far left and anathema to conservatives."

    Why is it that you presume to speak for an entire group of people? What does Colin Powell say about the President's economic policies? You could have written "most" or "many" conservatives, but no, you have the gall to make sweeping, all-inclusive statements. So doing has no persuasive qualities; like so much of what you write, it is merely your opinion, not based on fact.

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  • 357. At 07:44am on 26 May 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    339. MarcusAureliusII,

    All true, but Jordan didn't simply throw the Palestinians out, of course. In the 70s the Palestinians were essentially trying to establish a state within a state. They were sending terror groups across to attack Israeli civilians and then fleeing back to Jordan, drawing Israeli reprisal attacks. They were also resisting any control King Hussein tried to exercise over them. An attempt was made on Hussein's life. He had to reassert his authority and did so by killing thousands of the Palestinians during Black September, 1970 and through to 1971.


    342. saintDominick wrote:

    ...and the recent ultimatum issued against Iran as a concession to PM Netanyahu...

    You should try to separate wishful thinking about what is going on from what is actually going on. Though Israel is obviously Iran's prime target, the Iranian threat is far broader than that. Obama is well aware of this. But whatever evidence people present, I guess you'll grimly keep your blinkers on and insist that Obama is in the pocket of Israel.


    353. allmymarbles wrote:

    Also Isreal now appears to be in the picture.

    What a strange way of putting it. As if Israel simply wandered into the picture. You can't be unaware of Iranian terror against Israeli civilians over the past decades through arming, training and funding of Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. And anyone half awake must by now have heard Ahmedinejad threaten to destroy Israel and call Israel a "disease."

    Feel free to fool yourself but you are not fooling anyone else.

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  • 358. At 08:08am on 26 May 2009, Arkatakor wrote:

    "On the wider claim - that Guantanamo has created more terrorists than it ever housed - I think the president has a more difficult case to make. As Mr Cheney pointed out, the 19 9/11 hijackers acted in a pre-Guantanamo world. But there was no shortage of grievances real, or (as he would have it) imagined." I don't believe this is a difficult case to make; Obama understands that while guantanamo is still active, the US will have no moral authority to point fingers at nations who violate human rights. If they were to do so while keeping the prison open, it would be called double standards.

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  • 359. At 09:22am on 26 May 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    Will someone do more than slap North Korea on the wrist please?

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  • 360. At 11:25am on 26 May 2009, alphamiguel wrote:

    Marcus Arelius11,
    You simply don't seem to read the posts that are put up here.So I repeat:the American Indians do not believe that they can revert to pre-colonialism.International law states that where treaties are violated,in this case by successive American governments,these treaties are null and void,and the position reverts back to before the treaty was agreed.Since the tribes were sovereign nations all they have to do is tear up the treaties,like the Lakotah Sioux have done in South Dakota and claim
    back pre-treaty lands under both American and international law.This with the help of International lawyers working for free is happening today not in pre-history.You see, when they signed these treaties they actually believed they would be honoured.The Sioux never had a word for lie as lying could ruin a whole society.Be honest,do you really believe that an old widow on Pine Ridge can relocate and follow the white road?All I am saying is too many reporters like Justin,ignore the underbelly of America.On Pine Ridge the average life expectancy is 46 for men and 55 for woman,one of the worst in the world.This in the richest country in the world.Is this a story worth recording by the BBC?
    You are free to be responsible!

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  • 361. At 12:16pm on 26 May 2009, lochraven wrote:

    #209 David_Cunard

    "That's not in the least true; Mrs Obama is the First Lady of the United States and deserves respect for her position, even if it did come about because of her husband. I have disagreed with the politics of former First Ladies but am respectful of their place in Society. I was no fan of presidents Reagan, Bush I and Bush II, but respected them because, for awhile, they were each President of the United States. I realise that some people believe that deference and etiquette are out-of-place today, but I continue to disagree; I open doors for people, stand up when a woman comes into the room or to my table at a restaurant, eat with my mouth closed and know how to use a knife and fork. It may be an old-fashioned approach, but that's the way it is".

    So, David, I suppose you feel it's ok to show disrespect for First Ladies after they are out of the White House.

    P.S. You left out pompous as being one of you many attributes.

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  • 362. At 12:18pm on 26 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 359, SaintOne

    "Will someone do more than slap North Korea on the wrist please?"

    Don't forget the Korean War. Almost 37,000 Americans died in that conflict, only to see it end in an armistice that divided the Peninsula into two countries.

    It is time for the most affected to step up to the plate and defend themselves. I have no interest in seeing my grandsons go to another war in a faraway land to defend the interests of someone else, or those of corporate America in some cases. Enough warfare already!

    Kim Jong Ill is a delusional nutcase, but I don't think he is suicidal. Launching a single missile with a nuclear warhead against South Korea or Japan would be the end of North Korea, and I suspect he is well aware of that.

    His bellicosity is likely to be a ploy to elicit respect, recognition, and economic aid. I hate to admit it, but the Bush administration did the right thing when they sought China's help as mediator to defuse this crisis and followed it with a few concessions and aid. Evidently the amount of aid was insufficient to satisfy North Korea's needs and they decided to go back at it.

    Paying bribes is, obviously, not a solution, but verifiable agreements can produce good results. IMO, China, South Korea and Japan should be the ones taking the lead in solving this conflict...and in providing whatever assistance is necessary to help the starving people of North Korea survive, not us.


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  • 363. At 12:21pm on 26 May 2009, alphamiguel wrote:

    Marcus.

    Appendage:The upcoming Lakotah suit of the United States in respect of fraud in relation to article VI of the American Constitution.Article VI:
    All debts contracted and engagements entered into,before the adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution,as under the Confederation.
    This Constitution,and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof;and all treaties made,or which shall be made under the authority of the United States,shall be the supreme Law of the land:and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby any thing in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.
    The battle goes on with Cheney or Obama,using their own Laws to shame them into honouring them.

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  • 364. At 12:24pm on 26 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 360, Alpha

    You may want to study the native American issue a bit more. Yes, injustices were perpetrated and are one of the most embarrassing parts of our history - and that "our" includes several European countries - but to insinuate that native Americans continue to be forced to live in reservations and are consistently abused to the point of having a lower life expectancy than the rest of our society is an exaggeration.

    One of my daughters in law is a Cherokee native American, and I assure you she is anything but deprived, confined or abused.

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  • 365. At 12:40pm on 26 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #354

    I suggest you read today's AP aricle about the 2 latin American despots Chavez and Morales supplying uranium to Iran.

    Please don't discount because of your bias against Israel.

    In regard to North Korea it is telling that Russia and China who usually oppose Western sanctions have condemned North Korea.

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  • 366. At 12:40pm on 26 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    alpha-omega

    I think the position Native Americans were in before the treaties was a state of war with the Unted States government. Is that what they would want by tearing up their treaties with the US government as you suggest? I think the US Army can do a little better than sending General Custer next time. I'd hate to think of Native Americans fighting with rifles on horseback and pickup trucks against F16s. Get real. The Pnobscot and Passamquady tribes claimed most of New Hampshire and Maine. When that was their hunting ground perhaps three hundred years ago it might have made some sense. Today they can buy their food in a supermarket like everyone else. Besides, raking it in at Foxwood's Casino is far more lucrative and easier than trading pelts and beads. Get real, grow up.

    lostallyourmarbles;

    "How stupid do you think the Iranians are?"

    Stupid enough to trade a prosperous relatively benign dictatorship if you were not involved in politics where there was opportunity, jobs, and good relations with the rest of the world for one that has brought them poverty, isolation, a completely unnecessary devastating war with Iraq, enmity and fear from much of the rest of the world, a repressive theocratic dictatorship with the promise of much worse to come all for the sake of being ruled by lunatics who place more value on life in the next world than in this one. Stupid enough to frighten two major military powers who have vast arsenals of nuclear weapons at their disposal with threats backed up by development of long range and short range missiles, what appears to most of the world to be a nuclear weapons program, and terrorist armies that have taken over one country Lebanon already and threatens the rest of the region. Stupid enough to invite a pre-emptive devastating military strike against them. How much stupider could they get?

    Too True

    Isn't Jordan the Arab state that was created from the Palestinian mandate? Didn't the Hashimites steal the land that belonged to the Palestinians? Not sure if it really matters, that's between the Arabs to sort out.

    Canard;

    ""What do I have to say or do to discourage the other half (of Britain) from joining them?"

    Keep on talking and writing the way you do, that should discourage anyone from visiting the United States."

    Sounds like a plan. I'm sure I'll be able to get many other Americans to contribute to the effort but quite frankly...I don't think it will work. Many Brits seem to that like America still belongs to them and it's their escape plan for the mess they and their government created at home. Seems like there's a constant flood of them. No way to slow it down. At any given time, half of BBC's employees seem to be here....at British license fee payer expense. Do they really have to crisscross America to conduct audience participation programs on WHYS for an hour at a time? How much did each of those shows cost the ratepayers? Perhaps if they stuck to reporting the news and nothing but the news, they'd learn how to get it right without interjecting their opinions every third sentence.

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  • 367. At 1:03pm on 26 May 2009, Simon21 wrote:

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

  • 368. At 1:06pm on 26 May 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    357. At 07:44am on 26 May 2009, TrueToo wrote:
    339. MarcusAureliusII,

    All true, but Jordan didn't simply throw the Palestinians out, of course. In the 70s the Palestinians were essentially trying to establish a state within a state. They were sending terror groups across to attack Israeli civilians and then fleeing back to Jordan, drawing Israeli reprisal attacks. They were also resisting any control King Hussein tried to exercise over them. An attempt was made on Hussein's life. He had to reassert his authority and did so by killing thousands of the Palestinians during Black September, 1970 and through to 1971."


    Yes the Jordanians didn't see why the4y had to solve Israel's ethnic cleansing problem

    Very sensible of them. Or to make it siomple for you the Palestinians belong in Palestine like yarpies belong in SA and Marcus belongs in the dry tank.

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  • 369. At 1:14pm on 26 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 365, Mirek Kondracki

    "Please don't discount because of your bias against Israel."

    I definitely would not discount it, even if the information is based on information in "secret" Israeli documents given to AP. Iran has acknowledged they are pursuing nuclear power development, they have friendly relations with both Venezuela and Bolivia, and the latter have publicly endorsed the right of Iran to enrich uranium.

    I don't know if they also endorsed the right of Israel, the USA, and others to do the same. Do you know if "secret" Israeli documents have been released on the issue of US deliveries to Israel?



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  • 370. At 1:22pm on 26 May 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #362 saintDominick

    Your right of course. It just NK's attitude totally disgusts me. not to mention the poverty most of the civilians there experience :(

    The other thing that annoys me is that NK have nuclear weapons. We know that. We thought Iran had wmd's. They didn't, but it was enough to go to war with them though....

    double standards anyone?

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  • 371. At 1:38pm on 26 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #369 The U.S and Israel are ligitimate countries who govern by the consent of their people in free elction. Iran and Venezuela do not.

    Morales does but is engaged in major class warfare and persecution of non Indians.

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  • 372. At 1:57pm on 26 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 370, SaintOne

    "We thought Iran had wmd's."

    Many people and countries didn't share that opinion, including IAEA and UN inspectors who were chastised and ridiculed for asserting that all the WMDs provided to Iraq by the Reagan administration during the Iran-Iraq war had been destroyed, and unambiguous warning from several allies who were dismayed by our overt determination to invade a country that had done nothing against us and because of the de-stabilizing effect of that horrible decision. Even our own CIA desperately tried to remove claims of Iraqi nuclear threats from one of W's State of the Union addresses only to see them put back in by an ideologue in the Executive Mansion.

    North Korea is a threat to the region, and the ongoing crisis should not be ignored, but our role should be as facilitator rather than enabler. American "boots on the ground" should not be an option. Let China, South Korea, and Japan handle it. It is them that are most at risk, and they sure have the economic resources to lift NK out of poverty.

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  • 373. At 2:03pm on 26 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Well, it is Sonia Sotomayor! If confirmed, she will be the third woman to serve in the US Supreme Court, and the first "Hispanic" to do so.

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  • 374. At 2:03pm on 26 May 2009, arclightt wrote:

    @350 (IF): "It seems to me that what has prevented military action up to now is not fear that Iran's neighbours will be injured, but rather that nothing justifies the probable mass loss of life of innocent Iranian civilians - who themselves might well be glad to be rid of their present government. "

    I think your characterization of both NK and Iran is pretty accurate. I don't think that we will ultimately resort to military force in either place unless nuke weapons technology from either location is actually put to use. You may be right about the reason; here are two other possibilities:

    1. Keeping both countries heavily focused in this area is actually pretty good psychology for the US and allies, and perhaps the world at large: They will spend many dollar-equivalents on technology that we know plenty about and understand thoroughly how to detect and protect against, rather than running off and pursuing biological or other weapons that may or may not even be possible to protect against, much less be able to protect against in any inexpensive fashion. In short, if we can keep NK and Iran busy draining their treasuries by refining their nuclear arsenal, that keeps them from focusing as much attention on weaponizing biology or similar, which is all the better.

    I absolutely don't want to minimize this, but once a nuclear detonation is done, it's done. There will be EMP effects, and blast damage, and residual radioactivity that causes cancers and other diseases, and (in a populated area at least) a lot of dead people, but all these are mitigatable with effort (in many cases a LOT of effort). The tools, mechanisms, and processes to do this are all well-documented and have been for years. Contrast this with the prospect of state or non-state actors "horsing around" (and that is ALL it can be considered to be) with biology, and winding up creating a mechanism or mechanisms of mass destruction that become so virulent and uncontrollable that the entire facility and the surrounding area must be themselves turned to a hot plasma by the simultaneous detonation of multiple high-yield nuclear weapons (in a Time-On-Target fashion). Is this possible? I think the probability is already there, and rising. Given the choice between the two, I'll take nukes any day.

    2. Another possibility is that the real relations between the nations have little to do with what is presented for public consumption. You alluded to this with your comments elsewhere about domestic consumption. There's no question that a lot of what every government says, whether in the UN or elsewhere, is done for domestic rather than international reasons. I suspect but don't know that the transition by both Iran and NK to become nuclear powers was recognized years ago and accepted as part of the future fabric, and the current decrying of this in the UN is just there for window dressing for us commoners.

    If actual use of either country's technology happens, however, then I suspect that retribution will be both swift and devastating, particularly if the US or an allied nation is attacked with a nuclear detonation (as opposed to a dirty bomb). If a nuke attributable to either power were actually detonated on US soil, the pressure on Congress to order the President (through a declaration of war) to carry out such an attack would be irresistable, and they and he would both absolutely comply or lose their elective offices in the following days at the hands of an absolutely enraged public. This is the scenario that both NK and Iran had better be thinking long and hard about as they go down this road.

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  • 375. At 2:10pm on 26 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 371, Mirek

    "The U.S and Israel are ligitimate countries who govern by the consent of their people in free elction. Iran and Venezuela do not."

    Hugo Chavez was elected and re-elected by an overwhelming majority of the Venezuelan people. As a result, his policies and actions represent the wishes of most of his constituents.

    I find his immature rhetoric very disturbing (I felt the same way about W), I disagree with his efforts to consolidate and centralize power, and with his megalomaniac dreams, particularly the so-called "Bolivarian revolution", not so much because of the difficulties that movement poses for us, but because it is draining Venezuela's treasure at a time when there are still large segments of its population lacking adequate housing, a good education, or jobs. He should focus on his people before he embarks in grandiose Quixotic quests.


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  • 376. At 2:18pm on 26 May 2009, alphamiguel wrote:

    364.
    Yes,another one who doesn't read posts.Who said anything about people being forced to live in reservations today? No wonder the U.S.A ratted on its treaties, it had trouble reading what it had just written.Look, do you really believe that the Sioux would turn down 1,3 billion dollars for the Black Hills if they wanted to follow the white road,come on.We would have settled long ago,all that lovely lolly to blow on our toys.The figures on Pine Ridge are correct.No wonder your surprised,I was too.
    Marcus.

    Get real? So Wall Mart are going to build a store on Pine Ridge are they?LOL.You just love this Casino idea don,t you? Gamble your way out of your problems.Guess who the clients are at Pine Ridge.On a mean annual income on the rez of 5000 dollars a year.That will help.I tell you what,why not donate some dollars to the rez for propane gas come winter time, after all 30% don't have electricity.Maybe that will make you grow up as well as me.

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  • 377. At 2:30pm on 26 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    354 Marbles wrote:

    "I don't know much about Korea except that she has nuclear weapons and our response is to have the U.N. fire off the usual nonsense. As to Iran being a bigger threat that is not true. She is making big noises to keep from being attacked. She knows what has happened to Iraq and Afghanistan and doesn't want it to happen to her. The last thing she wants is to attack or be attacked. How stupid do you think the Iranians are? Can you imagine her attacking a superpower? These are very sophiticated people, not the wild fanatics they are purported to be. You saw Princess' comment in reply to my fear of a change in agenda. She was very upset, because the power lies on our side, not Iran's. I don't know what is going on in the back rooms, and maybe I don't want to know."

    I don't think that the Iranian leadership are "wild fanatics".
    They are indeed both sophisticated and subtle.

    No matter how unsavory we may find these leaders and their despicable policies, they are clever people, and they have used their superior regional knowledge and intelligence gathering ability to great advantage.

    Iran's mischief-making has exploited American weakness in so many ways and in so many places - diplomatically, commercially, and militarily in Ankara, in the transcaucases, in central Asia, Lebanon, Gaza, Kurdistan, central Iraq, Baghdad, Basra, and all the way to the Hindu Kush. It has been a vituoso demonstration of insightful strategic opportunism.

    Afraid of being attacked? No, that doesn't ring quite true, not with America's economy in the shape it is in, and not with the improbability of America convincing itself, let alone other nations, to undertake any more military adventures in west Asia. On the contrary, the expensive hash that GWB made of Iraq has clearly emboldened not only Iranian bad guys, but just about everybody else, too. Iran is on the offensive, all over the place. Iran is expanding its power and influence, but in ways that avoid giving justification to a military response, typically by waiting for opportunities to present themselves, and then filling a gap.

    Danger doesn't just come in starkly military forms, it can come through proxies in both the military and political arenas, and it needn't be sudden. It can creep up on you. Yes, Israel should be very concerned about nuclear attack; Israel and others should be worried about nuclear blackmail. But Iran does not have to attack the US or US properties directly or in a military sense to be dangerous. What it really reminds me of is the continual intrigue in Italy in the Renaissance, with the current leader cast, perhaps, as Cesare Borgia.

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  • 378. At 2:38pm on 26 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #373

    Soutmeyer will be confirmed because of the Senate makeup and Reublican generally do not fillibuster Supreme Court nominees.

    I am concerned because she stated on the Aol report that her judging will reflect her gender and heritage.

    Judges are supposed to rule on law.

    Her action in the New Haven firefighters case did relect law but politcal correctness.

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  • 379. At 2:45pm on 26 May 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    Why can't people just get along...*sigh*

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  • 380. At 2:50pm on 26 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 376, Alpha

    You may want to take your own advice and read the posts you challenge before you voice criticism. The term I used to describe the essence of your opinion on this subject is "insinuate", which is precisely what you are trying to do in your efforts to depict the USA as a nation consumed by cultural intolerance and laws that do not protect all segments of its society.

    The plight of indigenous people affected by ancient and not so ancient migrations is, indeed, a sad and very unfortunate chapter in the history of the world, but to single out America as a symbol of ethnic abuse is simply wrong and ignores what has taken place since humans learned the benefits of moving to more fertile grounds and taking advantage of the riches of others.

    As for the Sioux, I am sure they'll be able to get the best deal possible, if they decide to pursue one. The fact that they can negotiate, litigate, and refuse offers is a testament to their freedom and power. I hate to admit it though, but I am not planning to give my house to the Timuacan or Seminoles that meandered throughout Florida long before I set foot on this not so sunny Peninsula.

    Considering all the invasions of Britain, are the descendent of invaders prepared to hand their property to those that can prove a direct lineage to the Welsh, Cornish, or Scottish inhabitants that lived in Great Britain since pre-history? Not sure where you are trying to take this issue, which evidently disturbs you greatly, but there are other "crusades" with a better chance of bearing fruit.

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  • 381. At 2:54pm on 26 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 371, Mirek

    I forgot to respond to your comment on Evo Morales. I can understand how offensive land appropriations are to American conservatives, but you may want to take into consideration the abuses and exploitation that the Quechuan people have endured during the past five centuries. Is it fair to allow a small elite to preserve their feudal estates while millions of indigenous people starve?

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  • 382. At 2:54pm on 26 May 2009, seanspa wrote:

    #379, as in, "Move along"?

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  • 383. At 3:03pm on 26 May 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #382

    These are not the droids you are look for?

    Sorry...as in help each other out and stop killing each other, stop trying to horde power (Kim Jong-II) or money etc etc

    The human race frustrates me to no end.

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  • 384. At 3:09pm on 26 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #381

    First I am a moderate. You are disregarding that Morales want to give special status to his ethnic group. The people who he is expoliting are responsible for most of the economy, unlike President Lulu of Brazil; Morales refuses to even consider their concerns.

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  • 385. At 3:21pm on 26 May 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #384

    Most people think of themselves as moderate, just like everyone thinks they are correct. Tis our nature

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  • 386. At 3:24pm on 26 May 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    Oh yes,MarcusAurelius the second!!
    To continue our heated disscussion,on the subject of British & American navel action during the 1800s,on this thread. I bet your history books dont say too much about the pride of the US fleet, USS Chesapeake Vs HMS Shannon, 1 June 1813.
    The timbers of the Chesapeake can still be seen at Chesapeake mill, Wichham, Hampshire,compleat with grape shot embeded.
    No,you can not have them back!they are ours now,all ours..
    From, sometimes perplexed,but mostly serene...

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  • 387. At 3:45pm on 26 May 2009, arclightt wrote:

    @377 (IF): "Iran's mischief-making has exploited American weakness in so many ways and in so many places - diplomatically, commercially, and militarily in Ankara, in the transcaucases, in central Asia, Lebanon, Gaza, Kurdistan, central Iraq, Baghdad, Basra, and all the way to the Hindu Kush. It has been a vituoso demonstration of insightful strategic opportunism."

    Very, very true! So has China, BTW...very smart in sewing up long-term relationships for raw materials. Now, we either manufacture in China (and pay in terms of intellectual property) or try to pull the manufacturing out and pay through the nose for raw materials. Too bad we were too focused on creating paper wealth through finance and non-attention to debt rather than creating real wealth through heavy R&D, hard labor, and responsible spending. Now we will get to "enjoy" what comes next. I suspect a lot of folks won't like it...

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  • 388. At 3:55pm on 26 May 2009, alphamiguel wrote:

    SaintDominick.

    Point taken,but I am not aware of any land claims by the Celtic clans.Anyway,the point I was trying to make when I started this point was that so many foreign reporters go to the States and invariably write,film,and discuss white and black issues and leave out red issues.I know they only make up 0.8% of the population but which of us does not know of Sitting Bull,Crazy Horse,Red Cloud,Geronimo amongst others.They always at the very least punched above their weight.So it is not responsible to ignore what has become of their descendants.Now, if they made another stand at Wounded Knee the place would be knee-deep in reporters from all over the world like they were the last time.Then it would be back to cowboys and Indians,now that's a story.

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  • 389. At 4:01pm on 26 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 384

    "You are disregarding that Morales want to give special status to his ethnic group."

    President Evo Morales is giving more than special status to the ethnic majority in Bolivia, he is championing their cause by trying to correct past wrongs that have afflicted the indigenous people of that country since colonial times. Expropiating someone's property is a difficult subject, but whose property rights are we discussing? The rights of the Quechua people who inhabited the Andes since time immemorial or those of the elite who have controlled every facet of life in that part of the world since Pizarro set foot in the region?

    I think it is also important to consider that most of the land that is being appropiated is unproductive and has been neglected for centuries by their "owners".

    Hopefully Alpha is reading this debate on a topic close to his heart.

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  • 390. At 4:02pm on 26 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #361. lochraven: "So, David, I suppose you feel it's ok to show disrespect for First Ladies after they are out of the White House."

    Clearly you did not read the entire discussion. Out of respect, I named no names.

    "You left out pompous as being one of you many attributes."

    Yep, and I'm a snob too. Someone has to be: age has its privileges. But I can spell.

    #366. MarcusAureliusII: "Seems like there's a constant flood of (Brits). No way to slow it down."

    You forget that to live and work in the USA, like all others, they are required to obtain a permanent residency visa. There is no longer a quota system which, in its day, did favour certain nationalities. The "constant flood" is actually a trickle.

    "At any given time, half of BBC's employees seem to be here....at British license fee payer expense. . . How much did each of those shows cost the ratepayers?"

    How kind of you to be concerned with the finances of the BBC and of British licence payers, although, since you are an American, I cannot see that it is any of your business. However, there are no longer "ratepayers" in Britain; the system of "rates" was replaced by the (local) Council Tax years ago.

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  • 391. At 4:34pm on 26 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

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

  • 392. At 4:38pm on 26 May 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    389:
    Except the problem we have is this: When is it ever ok for governments to take property legally belonging to someone so as to give it to a certain favored group? The answer is never; if it was wrong to do it the the natives of America, then it is still wrong to do it the descendants of the Europeans. The recognition of private property is a central tenate of the rights of man and of representative government. There is no excuse, no special consideration, no exception to the rule.
    Anything less than just payment for any property taken by the government is tyranny.

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  • 393. At 4:45pm on 26 May 2009, alphamiguel wrote:

    Don't get me started on Bolivia!

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  • 394. At 5:21pm on 26 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    ukawailee

    "The timbers of the Chesapeake can still be seen at Chesapeake mill, Wichham, Hampshire,compleat with grape shot embeded.
    No,you can not have them back!they are ours now,all ours."

    That's the funniest post I've read all day. Okay, you keep the timbers of an American ship Britain sunk in 1813 in the war of 1812 to prove your Navy's prowess two hundred years ago against a small weak nation, we'll keep the 2 million + square miles of land in North America that would have been Britain's colonies were it not for the Revolutionary War. Sounds like a good deal to me. How glad I am that I was born into this culture and not yours. Tea with milk in it, what an awful thought. And cricket with a flat bat. Why not just use a two by four?

    BienveneuEnLousiana

    As I recall, the SCOTUS ruled a few years ago that the right of emminent domain was extended to include land deemed to be put to better private as well as public use. As I also recall, the ruling created great public anger and I think it was Justice Sutter who voted for it whose land was the first appropriated from him by local authorities under that ruling immediately afterwards to be put to better private use. I forget what they did with it, maybe built a bar and grill or something. I think the Native Americans should do what the Palestinians should do, use the land they have as best they can and not fight the inevitable. The Native Americans have more than enough of it for any reasonable purpose. So far, except for places like Foxwood I don't see much change to it. The seventeenth century cannot be preserved as it was in the twenty-first, at least not in America. Maybe in Britain where they have kings, queens, lords, and ladies and play make believe we're in a fairy tale they can but not here in the real world.

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  • 395. At 5:35pm on 26 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #389

    To the moderators, you can't criticize socialists now?

    Thhere is a dspute about wether the land being used. This is the argument Robert Mugabe used to steal land from white farmers. Although Morales has not send in armed thugs in yet, his actions and words should not bring comfort to those Bolivians are not of Morales ethnic group.

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  • 396. At 6:02pm on 26 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #394

    Souter did vote that the State of CT did have the right to appropriate private land for private development. This was by the liberal side of the court plus 1.

    What happened is a group in NH wanted to appropriate the land where Souter's cabin was, claiming more productive use could be made.

    The suit went no where

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  • 397. At 6:19pm on 26 May 2009, alphamiguel wrote:


    Marcus,

    I was going to drop this subject,but there you go again.Indian land is held in trust by your government,how do you suppose they are able to raise credit for farming(like white or black farmers)without collateral?You might ask how when your treaty gave you 60million acres,you ended up with what you have now.But more fool you for believing in honour.You believe in simple games,cricket is too complicated for you that's all.

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  • 398. At 6:20pm on 26 May 2009, rapidTruthseeker wrote:

    Obama got in on the slogan "Change". Plus ca change plus ca reste la meme chose. Looks like Obama now has the complete Cheyney paraphanalia and is using it not just to chase bucks but to build up the body count! 100 days ago I would have thought this cynical. Now it is shattering.

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  • 399. At 6:35pm on 26 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #394. MarcusAureliusII: "cricket with a flat bat. Why not just use a two by four?"

    Just remember that baseball, with a round bat, is virtually the same as rounders, a girls' game in Britain. And their football ("soccer") requires no armour. Incidentally, cricket is played all over the world, far more so than baseball.

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  • 400. At 6:45pm on 26 May 2009, alphamiguel wrote:


    398,

    Who did you expect? Jesus? Trouble is you haven't got a true democracy Only demo-publicans.Oh yes and the independents that decide elections.

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  • 401. At 7:26pm on 26 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #377, IF, I have to concur with your conclusions. We are seeing jockeying
    for position is a classic power vacuum. A lot of influence in the region
    is up for grabs as a result of the last administration's massive blunders.
    At least Hillary seems to be playing our side properly with respect to
    Turkey and central Asia. Whether Iraq will collapse after we pull out
    is the central issue.

    #386, ukwales, a lucky shot. Besides, as we all know, lumber is a declining
    industry.

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  • 402. At 7:27pm on 26 May 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    394 & 396:
    I am well aware of the ruling and I vehemently disagreed with it, but it is now the law of the land. Still, the Supreme Court upheld the most important part of the preexisting law which was the just compensation for property clause. I know we're walking a thin line, but we haven't crossed it into tyranny yet.

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  • 403. At 7:40pm on 26 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Alpha Omega Miguel

    "You might ask how when your treaty gave you 60million acres,you ended up with what you have now."

    We also ended up with Texas and what was once more than half of Mexico! :o)

    Canard, I can play you like a fiddle. You'd get worked up over a popsicle stick.

    Twilightzonegal, ever hear of emminent domain? It's what lets the government take your land. What's the good of having land if you don't do anything with it. The Native Americans seem to have far more land than they need for the purposes they put it to. The largest landowner in the US is the Federal Government. It probably owns more than two thirds of the land in the United States, you can look it up. It makes for wonderful national parks and will be of great value in decades to come if they find oil or gas on it. Just because the Native Americans claimed all of the land in what became the United States before Europeans came and settled it doesn't mean they could keep it forever. I don't see the Mexican government returning all of its land to the descendants of the Mayans and Aztecs. I don't see Britain returning all of its land to the Druids. Accept the world the way it is, you will not change it but if you want to beat your head against that rock, I won't try to stop you.

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  • 404. At 7:42pm on 26 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    MK (#396) "The suit went no where [sic]."

    There was no lawsuit. It was a ballot initiative.

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  • 405. At 8:05pm on 26 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #403. MarcusAureliusII: "Canard, I can play you like a fiddle."

    But you're not playing my song - and what there is is tuneless.

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  • 406. At 8:14pm on 26 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    David_Cunard (#399) "Incidentally, cricket is played all over the world, far more so than baseball."

    This is misleading. According to the International Cricket Council, there are only 10 "full" members, all former members of the late, great, British Empire. There are 34 "associate" members (which include the US) and 60 "affiliate" members.

    In the US, and likely many other associate countries, cricket is no more than a club sport. You can't read results in any general circulation newspaper. The broadcast news outlets never report on cricket. Half the members of the US ICC team are expatriot Indians and Pakistanis, as are those who play on the local club teams. It is not taught in any public school (in the US, "public" means state-operated) in the US, as far as I know.

    Baseball is also a "club" sport in much of the world also, but it is played in 86 countries according to a report by Knight Ridder which is available on the web. This is not that far behind the ICC total. Sixteen countries send teams to the World Baseball Classic, more than the number of "full" members of the ICC.

    Most significant, I think, is that some countries in which baseball is a major sport, such as Japan and Mexico, adopted it on their own initiative, not by learning it from their colonial masters. Is there any country for which that is true of Cricket?

    After all that, I think it is a pointless argument. I wouldn't try to argue that either game is superior to the other. Nor would I try to learn cricket in any depth, although I have looked into it. I admit to being ignorant of its charms. The biggest puzzlement to me: can anyone explain the point of matches which end with a score of 300-something to two, or something like that? Do spectators stay to see how it will turn out? Most baseball spectators would leave early with a ten run difference.

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  • 407. At 9:04pm on 26 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #406. Gary_A_Hill: "I think it is a pointless argument."

    So why bother to do so?! It doesn't matter how the game came about in any country - take "soccer" for instance, the United Kingdom didn't rule Central or South America but her football export conquered those Latin nations. Since India has in excess of a billion citizens, and say half of them are men and of those most play cricket, I'd guess that more Indians either play the game or follow it than Americans play or follow baseball. There is no doubt in my mind that more people in the world play games which originated in the United Kingdom than those which originated in the USA. I won't even go into golf . . .

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  • 408. At 9:12pm on 26 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Here's a link to a list of places around the world where baseball is played: http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/IBAF_Members

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  • 409. At 9:48pm on 26 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    There is a distinction to made, in determining popularity of ball games, between spectators and participants. I expect football (soccer) may rank first in both categories. I doubt if either baseball or cricket is second in number of participants (at any level). This is because of the athleticism required, the specialized (and expensive) equipment, and the number of players to make a game. The most popular game to actually play, not merely watch, is likely to be something which can be played anywhere, by anyone, with inexpensive equipment. Croquet comes to mind as a possibility. Who hasn't played that? Nowadays, bocce is probably near the top.

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  • 410. At 10:32pm on 26 May 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    366. MarcusAureliusII,

    It was complicated with much intrigue as Britain was carving up the area as far as Iraq and Kuwait and also competing with French claims re Syria. But you're right, it doesn't matter much now. Interesting though, that after all the dust has settled Jordan is Jew-free while Israeli Arabs number well over a million, representing around 20% of the total population. I understand that it is against Jordanian law for a Jew to become a citizen of Jordan. And they call Israel an apartheid state.

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  • 411. At 10:35pm on 26 May 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    Alphamiguel,

    You probably know that great song by Elton John, Indian Sunset:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtfDrWf8yPI

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  • 412. At 11:04pm on 26 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #409. Gary_A_Hill: "There is a distinction to made, in determining popularity of ball games, between spectators and participants. I expect football (soccer) may rank first in both categories. I doubt if either baseball or cricket is second in number of participants (at any level). This is because of the athleticism required, the specialized (and expensive) equipment, and the number of players to make a game"

    Cricket isn't expensive and doesn't require the athleticism of football or Rugby football. I can't see what is specialised about a cricket ball and three stumps and eleven a side doesn't seem difficult. I haven't crunched all the numbers, but my bet would be on cricket (rather than baseball) as having the most players in the world. Incidentally - have you ever bought a Croquet set? Not cheap!

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  • 413. At 00:15am on 27 May 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    407. At 9:04pm on 26 May 2009, David_Cunard wrote:
    #406. Gary_A_Hill: "I think it is a pointless argument."


    It is in essentials. There is no telling the origin of sports since many only entered the record when they were codified and leagues established.

    Before then many sports had very loose rules. For example early versions of what became Australian rules did not have time limits and games stretched for all day

    Modern football does descend from British codes but it may also be true that the Spanish also had ball games and this provided fertile ground for the growth of Association Football.

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  • 414. At 00:17am on 27 May 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    403. At 7:40pm on 26 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:
    Alpha Omega Miguel

    "You might ask how when your treaty gave you 60million acres,you ended up with what you have now."

    We also ended up with Texas and what was once more than half of Mexico! :o)"

    But the Mexicans are winning it back, and other large parts of the US.

    What is the fastest growing population in the US again?

    Oh dear, still the food will improve.

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  • 415. At 00:21am on 27 May 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    384. At 3:09pm on 26 May 2009, MagicKirin wrote:
    ref #381

    First I am a moderate. You are disregarding that Morales want to give special status to his ethnic group."


    Isn't this much like Israel? Surely you're in favour of ethnic preferences.

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  • 416. At 00:27am on 27 May 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    264. At 11:01pm on 24 May 2009, TrueToo wrote:
    237. saintDominick,

    Well, let's hope you are right and that Obama leans more towards Israel than the Palestinians when it comes to "unambiguous support." Because if the Palestinians ever succeed in their aim of replacing Israel with Palestine between the River Jordan and the sea they will create anything but a stable and democratic country."


    Well it would be an improvement on the ethnicly obssessed, politically unstable and declining state that is there now.

    "A two-state solution is unworkable."


    Agreed it is a non starter and always was.


    " Going by the map, joining Gaza and the West Bank would split Israel into two pieces. Besides, the very last thing Abbas wants is unity with Hamas, since that would quickly lead to Fatah's downfall. Ain't no such thing as democratic government in Palestine."


    Except the government in Palestine whihc is democractic,



    You have it back to front and inside out here. Though mandated to facilitate the establishment of Israel, Britain in fact did everything it possibly could to strangle the nascent state, thwarting immigration of Jews, arming the Arabs and disarming the Jews>


    Never heard of Orde Wingate, Arthur balfour or Moshe Dayan.

    As a former South African, we all know the type of state you long to see. One in which the inferiors know their place.

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  • 417. At 01:37am on 27 May 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    401. Guns
    Don't know. Agree on Turkey.

    At the start of the second gulf war, I figured it would take twenty years before anyone could really begin to tell whether the war was a success or not. I still think that's probably going to turn out to be true.

    I also thought it was naive to believe that people who had ruled at the point of a gun, who had run a brutal police state, and who were a privileged minority would give up without a long, bitter, and bloody fight. Which has happened.

    It also seemed to me then that the time horizon, and depth of analysis that led to the invasion of Iraq didn't go much past "that feller made a fool o' my daddy".

    But history is full of odd twists, and unintended results, and Iraq may yet land on its feet, despite all the blunders.

    It may also be true that very few countries have ever become, and stayed, democracies without a fair amount of blood being spilled along the way. Maybe that will eventually lead to a silver lining from the five+ years of agony that Iraq has endured. In that regard, maybe there are grounds for cautious optimism about Iraq's future. Of course, every time I have thought things were getting better in Iraq, some new disaster unfolded in short order. Still, Iraq seems to be on the mend, if slowly. I'm not so pessimistic.

    I'm also not so pessimistic on Iran. The revolution is 30 years old. At some point Iran is going to have its Deng Zhaopeng moment, the gang of four is going to be vanquished, metaphorically speaking, and a rational, modern, middle sized power is going to emerge. It may not be a secular power, but it will be more secular than it is now.

    People simply get tired of puritans and puritanism. Cromwell was a no-fun-freddie. Fransisco Franco eventually died. The PRI finally gave up power in Mexico. Fidel Castro will eventually die. Robert Mugabe will eventually die. The members of the SLORC in Burma will eventually die. (Of course, some of us wouldn't mind if some of those events were encouraged by, e.g., the SAS, but leave that aside). Even the USSR finally ran out of steam. Eventually something similar may happen in Iran.

    The time to lay the groundwork for a mature relationship in the future is now. It doesn't require chest beating, or military threats. They know all about that, it doesn't need saying, and shouting about it just antagonizes everybody needlessly. (Echoes of "walk softly, and carry a big stick", perhaps?) It probably does require steadiness, calmness, firmness and fairness - an ability to agree to disagree, and an ability to wait it out until something more favourable comes along, if need be.

    And when that day comes, as it will, Iran may not be a bad regional friend to have.

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  • 418. At 04:10am on 27 May 2009, Nom DePlume wrote:

    I find both Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld to be utterly frightening examples of the worst kind of people that fall into power in the USA. I truly believe that former President GW Bush was basically 'led around by his nose' by these two gentlemen, et. al. and I admit that scared me beyond comprehension on occasion. His narrow mindset and clearly biased viewpoints should never have been instrumental in forming US policy either domestic or foreign. At this point, I think President Obama's administration should simply ignore him and when questioned by the press using a 'Cheney quote' should state that the opinions of the people who created the 'mare's nest' that we are in are both irrelevant and the reason we are in this mess to begin with. To hear people defend the utter disregard of our country's beliefs is staggering to me. I don't defend the policies of the administration that 'interned' the Japanese American citizenry during WWII. I find that another (fortunately rare) disgusting breakdown of America's beliefs and morals. While it's true that our beliefs make us vulnerable to the tactics used by terrorists I always reflect back to some of the quotes of our founding fathers.

    Benjamin Franklin - "They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

    George Washington - "Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

    Thomas Jefferson - "I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to the principles of it's Constitution."

    Cheney is advocating we ignore these statements from the men who founded our country. In this the man is simply 'un-American' in my opinion and while I support his right to free speech I truly wish he would just shut the hell up and retire to his family life.

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  • 419. At 04:18am on 27 May 2009, _marko wrote:

    To #403 MAII

    "We also ended up with Texas and what was once more than half of Mexico! :o)"

    This is obviously the next step...
    http://www.theonion.com/content/news/texas_constructs_u_s_border_wall?utm_source=c-section

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  • 420. At 04:23am on 27 May 2009, Nom DePlume wrote:

    Can I ask why we are debating the various popularity of differing sports in this thread? Not to mention arguing over the 'root' of the sport and who 'invented' it. I can guarantee that sports like Football/Soccer and some version of Basketball existed LONG before any of the countries mentioned have existed. After all they are the simplest of sports are they not? Nearly all other sports are simply modifications on human warfare in some fashion which again existed long before any of the countries mentioned. Enjoy your favorite sport and please let us get on with a conversation that is relevant to the topic posted by the blog's author. Thank you.

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  • 421. At 1:39pm on 27 May 2009, alphamiguel wrote:


    TrueToo

    Thanks for that.

    Marcus.

    Here is the settlement (or part of)of the Skokomish Tribal Nation and Tacoma Power.The Skokomish will receive money and lands from Tacoma Power including $12.6 million one time cash payment:7.25% of the value of electric production from the Cushman no2 powerhouse;transfer of land valued at $23 million including Camp Cushman on Lake Cushman,the 500acre Nally Ranch and Saltwater park on Hood Canal.The fight goes on.Whether its Cheney or Obama.

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  • 422. At 6:54pm on 27 May 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    Ref:420 guiwhiz,
    I would like to express total support for the sentiment of post 420.
    Far too often these posts have been hijacked (to quote John Bunyon,'Taken down by-pass meadow').
    I have struggled to keeps these threads on topic, but it is a losing battle..
    Far two many folk have a juvenielle and flippant atittude to the important topics of the day..
    Obama v Cheyney... What a golden opportunity to discuss the differant stances of the body pollitic of both view points, with the resulting knock-on effect to the wider world.
    These posts must not be wasted on irrelevancies, after all this is the BBC......
    Personally, I blame the Americans for this lack of maturity.After all, in all things including political debate, anything they can do, we can do better!!

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  • 423. At 9:29pm on 27 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    ukeawailee;

    "I blame the Americans for this lack of maturity."

    And why not? After all, Europeans blame Americans for everything else wrong in the world. If the trash collector doesn't come to you lane in Blathershire or wherever you live one day, it's obviously an American's fault.

    "After all, in all things including political debate, anything they can do, we can do better!!""

    You Brits sure showed us in America how to lose an empire and two world wars. I don't think Americans will ever top you in anything like that.

    Alpha-Omega, until tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on building a dam and a hydroelectric power station, and millions more to operate and maintain it, it's just a lousy waterfall and nothing more. They should be glad they got even that.

    Simple Simon;

    I think there was another demographic study done about immigrants recently again which confirms that by the second generation of, the first one born in the US, virtually 100% speak American English as a first language and know only some of their parent's language if it wasn't English. By the next generation, most all any of them know is American English. Wherever they came from, the great "Melting Pot" of America assimilates them very quickly. I'm not worried about the demographic shift away from predominantly European ancestry. BTW, for second generation Americans and later, on the phone, we cannot tell what their ancestry was and only their names, the morphology of their faces, and their food preferences suggests to us where they ancestry came from. America will always be America no matter what its culture. That's because America is (probably) uniquely not based on a shared ancestry or historic culture but on shared values.

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  • 424. At 10:33pm on 27 May 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    Ref 423,
    Marcus,422 was a spoof,a wind up.Have you no sence of the ridiculous?

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  • 425. At 00:41am on 28 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    ukawailee, you and your British clones here have given me as much sense of the rediculous as one man can stand.

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  • 426. At 11:36am on 28 May 2009, alphamiguel wrote:

    Marcus,

    As you well know,America is a British Colony.The United States is a Corporation not a Land Mass and it existed before the Revolutionary War,and the British did not leave till 1796.

    Didn't know that? Oh dear.

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  • 427. At 3:14pm on 28 May 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    Ref 423. Marcus,

    Its spooky man,my rubbish was not collected on wednesday,& its Americas fault.
    The dust bin lorrys over here are made by Dennis,of UK manufacture.They use engines are made in the US by International.A series of turbo charger
    failure along with poor design with the charger mounted high on the inlet/exhaust manifold,results in debris entering the engine causing catastrophic secondary damage to pistons & valve gear.Dennis should have used Volvo or Perkins engines, euro design & made, much better, but the US ones were cheaper.
    If my rubbish is not picked up next week I hold America in general & you personaly, responsible, as you saw all this coming..

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  • 428. At 5:50pm on 28 May 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    427:

    That's pretty funny. Maybe Marcus has a few connections in the garbage pickup business.


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  • 429. At 08:56am on 29 May 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    427. ukwales,

    428. BienvenueEnLouisiana,

    That is quite funny, if accurate. But that's not the reason you guys only get your garbage collected once every week or two weeks. I had a look at some of the comments on the articles linked to below. Apparently in Spain they collect rubbish daily and you guys are debating fortnightly vs weekly. Perhaps you are trying to bring back the Plague? I was thinking that's exclusively an abdication of responsibility at local government level, especially when you get absurd opinions like this:

    A spokesman for the Local Government Association said decisions about collection frequency were to be made by individual councils. "From our point of view fortnightly collections are no bad thing," the spokesman added.

    "This study conclusively nails the idea that they cause rats and other vermin as long as food waste is wrapped up. If people are clean and efficient with waste, there should be no problem at all."


    Then I came across this:

    Under EU rules, councils must reduce the amount of rubbish they send to landfill by 2010 or they will be fined £150 for every ton over a prescribed limit.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1545659/Green-light-given-to-empty-bins-every-2-weeks.html

    Except of course that any fines will be levied on the taxpayers:

    Council employees will patrol the streets and dish out £100 penalty notices, under a new plan.

    Fining people a 100 pounds per wheelie bin should more than pay the 150 pound fine per ton, I guess. I wonder where all the millions councils will raise through fines will go and how they'll spend it.

    Residents who fail to pay within two weeks could end up with a £5,000 fee and be left with a criminal record.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/3095841/Residents-could-be-hit-with-5000-rubbish-collection-fine-for-leaving-bin-out.html

    Nice. How does it feel to be ruled by faceless bureaucrats from local council level in the UK right up to Brussels?



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  • 430. At 2:37pm on 29 May 2009, sean33z wrote:

    America has spawned many dictators like Dick Cheney. For example, Harrisburg Pennsylvania mayor Steve Reed recently lost a re-election primary campaign after winning the seat seven times. An African American woman challenged him for his position with the city citing his mismanagement of tax money. She won the nomination on the democratic ballot.

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  • 431. At 4:04pm on 29 May 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    #429 True-too,
    "Nice how does it feel to be ruled by faceless bureaucrats from council level in the UK right up to Brussels"

    I would say similar to the US small town hall, right up to the fed.
    Runing rings around EU law is much more fun than declaring war on each other, V1s & V2s are much more problematic than EU directives.Any way a law that is not enforced is only a suggestion.
    The good people of Wales never came to terms with the Romans, Vikings or Normans.Brussels means sprouts ,You can take em or leave em,for the swiched on its the latter...

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  • 432. At 6:02pm on 29 May 2009, north_of_49 wrote:

    MarcusAureliusII
    #96
    It is so refreshing to read someone who knows everything about everything and is more than willing to share it with the rest of the world. Believe it or not the world got along quite nicely before USA and will probably do well after USA unless USA gets us all blown up. Tell us about the develop of radar, the jet engine, engines that unlike the Allisons originally installed, made the p51 a real plane. How about USA's win in Vietnam and Somalia?
    Maybe you know something I don't but isn't America responsible for determining who enters the USA across the Canadian/ US border? Tell us about the security of the Mexican/American border. Where and who does all the drug smuggling? Is it fairies?

    You should read your histories a bit more especially the part about who goaded Japan to Pearl Harbour. BTW seeing as Kennedy did such a lousy job about Russian missiles in Cuba, what would you have done, Perhaps start WWIII?

    With a little work perhaps you can become funny instead of pathetic?

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  • 433. At 7:51pm on 29 May 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    For any who may be interested:

    Carl levin, a Senator from Michigan has challenged Dick Cheney in very strong words regarding the issue of torture and Cheney's recent press coverage. Levin's remarks are well worth reading, in my opinion. I also think there are some interesting implications.

    One quote from Levin:

    "The seeds of Abu Ghrib's rotten fruit were sown by civilians at the highest levels of government."

    There is a lot more.

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  • 434. At 10:17pm on 29 May 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    I will try to post a link to the full text of Senator Levin's speech.

    httpp://levin.senate.gov/newsroom/releasecfm?id=313722

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  • 435. At 10:26am on 30 May 2009, alphamiguel wrote:

    You do know American Indian reservations on paper at least are graded as prisoner of war camps.No, this is not the case that it is in fact today.Its just the case that the all the abuse has happened before.Its not new.America(government)since the Corporation was founded,always believed any body standing in the way of progress as it saw it was getting in the way of civilisation and should be eliminated.Since selfishness is the basis of civilisation, how do you deal with people whose philosophy is sharing?Well its easy,you make sure that in order to survive in life,you have to become like us,or you will pay a heavy price.What has justice got to do with it?We make the rules o.k.

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  • 436. At 10:50am on 30 May 2009, steelpulse wrote:

    Post 239.

    That is the chappie! Daily Telegraph commentator on C-Span.

    And he is highlighting someone agreeing with him?And it is good because said agreer has a big TV following? lol

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/toby_harnden/blog/2009/05/27/rush_limbaugh_toby_harnden_is_right

    If Rush Limbuaugh ever - EVER said I was right - on ANYTHING I think I would need to retire and go into a place to get my mind right. Lol.

    No offence,

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  • 437. At 11:26am on 30 May 2009, steelpulse wrote:

    Radio following. Not TV.

    I am YouTube ga ga. Rush is a Radio man - yet I have these YouTube visions of him commenting on everything - On Camera and boy it puts BBC in studio cameras in the shade.

    So Ok I am wrong. On the medium. But not much else.

    lol

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  • 438. At 3:26pm on 30 May 2009, Tankrat72 wrote:

    For those who are misinformed, look it up if you don't believe me:

    1. The US Constitution applies to the US government and the US citizens and legal resident aliens who bequeath their power to make the government as it is today. Detainees are foreigners who committed their crime in a war zone and are punishable/detained under the Geneva Conventions not US law.

    2. All those who are detained in Gitmo are illegal combatants in accordance to the Geneva conventions. They did not wear an uniform of a country or possess a government issued id identifying them as a military member, and thus they are not afforded the rights of POWs.

    4. 90% of the detainees are from other countries not Iraq or Afghanistan and over 60% of those who were released went back to their evil ways of murderous terrorism.

    5. Max security prisons are designed to keep dangerous prisoners in jail. They cannot very well protect itself from an outside attack. There are terrorist cells operating in the US that could conduct a operations to release the detainees if they were in a prison on mainland US. Gitmo is a US base on constant alert from attack from Cuba. It has two guarded entry points, sea and air. These detainees committed a military/Geneva convention crime not a civil crime.

    6. Detainees are treated better than prisnors in a US jail, heck beter than a US citizen. free medical and dental care, three square meals a day, and every consideration for their religious beliefs and cultural practices without discrimination.

    7. Information retrieved from detains has stop a number of terrorist attacks in the US and other countries. Obama administration will not release the memos and reports from gitmo that had directly stop another attack.


    Through all of Obama's speeches he has put the cart before the horse. He has stated what he wants to change but no details on how he is going to do it, just either vague outlines or nothing at all. He has no plans on gitmo, he just signed a presidential order saying gitmo detainee camp will be closed nothing on how and what to do with the detainees whether to hold tribunals or trials, put them into prison, or send them back to their countries (of which do not want them), nothing. That is why Gitmo is still open today.

    To fight terrorism you need to either fight them on their level and/or remove the things that encourages them to do more, media spotlight, inaction by any government, and the money source(cannot fight on an empty stomach with out ammunition).

    If you know a person has information that will stop the murder of 20, 100, 1000, 1,000,000 people would you do what it takes to get the information? If someone had information on your kidnapped spouse or child what would be the limits to get that information? Or would you rather give a person guilty of killing people amnesty to get the information?

    Personally if it was my family I would do everything and anything to them to get the information. Even to save one life i would do what it takes to get the information. Yes we need to stand on the high moral ground but is it worth it if it cost the lives of your countrymen your family?







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  • 439. At 5:55pm on 30 May 2009, alphamiguel wrote:

    438,

    The U.S.Constitution does not apply on reservations.Lets get it right.

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  • 440. At 11:05pm on 30 May 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    alphamiguel # 439
    I expect you have read these before, but just in case you missed them, I link them for your perusal.
    They are unfortunately not bedtime reading matter, and back up all you attempt to explain that occurred in the past:- A sad history of Native American peoples.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guns,_Germs,_and_Steel
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_history_of_American_indigenous_peoples

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  • 441. At 00:50am on 31 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    alphamiguel (#438) "The U.S.Constitution does not apply on reservations."

    That's not true, and in any case is a simplistic statement. US Indian Law is a complicated subject, and is controlled by Federal law, and adjudicated by Federal courts. Here's a link to a brief discussion of this complicated subject:

    http://topics.law.cornell.edu/wex/American_Indian_law

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  • 442. At 04:36am on 31 May 2009, McJakome wrote:

    saintDominick please stop refering to Morales as Quechua, he is Aymara. They are not the same. In Bolivia Quechua are a minority and in Peru vice versa. This is a result of Spanish imperialism followed by post independence factionalism. Consider what this means if we get to righting old wrongs. The border between Peru and Chile is in land seized by Peru and Chile from Bolivia in the Pacific War. World War III could have started in Bolivia if Lula had responded to Morales' expropriation of Brazilian assets by military force, and the neighbors then joined in.
    The Palestinians vs Israelis, Ulstermen [both colors], the Caucasians, Balkans.....Righting old wrongs leads to new wrongs. The world needs truth, apologies and reconciliation, not more fuel on too many fires.
    BTW No one in my family took this land from the Wampanoags, and did not own slaves, it would be unjust to tax or punish me for reparations for things that happened in the centuries past.

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  • 443. At 04:43am on 01 Jun 2009, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    Obama....a child world-view consumed by "how it should be"

    Cheney...an adult world-view consumed by "how it is" and how do we deal with it..

    Its just that simple..

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  • 444. At 5:46pm on 04 Jun 2009, dceilar wrote:

    There doesn't seem much debate about the reasons for the US torturing in the first place (ignoring all the lying right wing hyperbole about defending America from future attacks etc).

    Former Army psychiatrist Maj. Charles Burney testified that "a large part of the time we were focused on trying to establish a link between Al Qaeda and Iraq. The more frustrated people got in not being able to establish this link ... there was more and more pressure to resort to measures that might produce more immediate results"; that is, torture.

    The US has been torturing people around the world for decades, but in the past they didn't do it themselves - they trained others to do it for them. It seems that Obama wants to return to the way it was.

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  • 445. At 1:30pm on 06 Jun 2009, ynda20 wrote:

    Again the only real hard hitting political opposition against Cheney and the Bush Administration comes from John Stewart.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/04/dick-uncut-daily-show-cal_n_211240.html

    Cheney's only podium should be the one in a courtroom answering charges for starting the torture program and now also lying about its supposed effectiveness.

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  • 446. At 1:37pm on 06 Jun 2009, ynda20 wrote:

    I am not pointing fingers per se, but listen to this wife of US Marine General, Kay Griggs. She appears credible, names names, names organisations and locations and basically puts flesh on Seymour Hersh's allegations of official assassination in the Bush administration. I'd be interested if her testimony has been challenged.

    http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=-341031042963487862

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  • 447. At 10:43am on 10 Jun 2009, Patchoris wrote:

    Although Cheney's efforts at colonising Iraq and harvesting the yield of it's assets failed. He siphoned out a substantial part of the cost of the effort into the companies he has interests in via no bid contracts. The American tax payer picked up the tab. He won when he wielded his weapon -fear.He is at it again.What is he after this time round? Cheney needs to change the changing ethos of middle America. He and his cronies spent a lot of time to create the fear syndrome - he wants to bring it back.

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