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Space, youth and hope

Justin Webb | 09:22 UK time, Friday, 24 July 2009

Sorry to be so unreliable a contributor in the last few weeks of my time here - instead of blogging, we have been contributing to the Californian economy in a heartfelt bid to save it from itself.

Enjoyed LA and noted the owners of powder blue Bentleys seemed to have been unaffected so far by the economic crisis.

San Francisco is so European in contrast - prickly dislike of motor cars that stops you turning left or right when you want to and encourages you on to public transport. It's even cold and grey: we could be home already.

As for America's future - this country is full of space and youth and and hope. The rest of the world can seem so jaded in contrast. When people carp at America I think of the Robert Frost poem The Importer - sometimes reviled as racist and certainly not fashionable nowadays - that hits back with wit and, to me, wisdom.


Comments

  • 1. At 09:57am on 24 Jul 2009, Scotch Get wrote:

    LOL
    I suspect Robert Frost was a fan of Ogden Nash.

    >8-D

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  • 2. At 10:32am on 24 Jul 2009, U14072725 wrote:

    Picture This

    Clear Water


    I wish I could be more coherent

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  • 3. At 11:25am on 24 Jul 2009, SaltaireSam wrote:

    I envy you being in San Francisco. One of the most civilised of cities. The last time I was there they had Clean Air Days - free travel on bus and trains to reduce the pollution from cars. Can you imagine any city in England doing that?

    And you are right about the USA. Despite all its faults, it is an optimistic, can-do place and under Obama, hopefully a force for the positive in the world.

    You must be sad to leave. Hope you've got plenty of 'uppers' to get you through the shock of being back in depressing UK.

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  • 4. At 11:48am on 24 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    San Francisco is one of my favorite cities in the USA because of its architecture, beautiful scenery, and way of life. I did not care much for the weather though. The vast spances of land, the beauty of the landscape, from the Grand Canyon to the Rockies, Niagara Falls, the Shenandoah Valley, and those quaint little towns that can be found throughout the USA represent the best our country has to offer. Unfortunately, most foreign visitors seem to be more interested in large urban areas and the world of Disney than the true America.

    We are going through difficult times, but the spirit of the American people os not broken and we will bounce back. The question is: will we ever reach the level of greatness we once had?

    The global economy, the erosion of labor-intensive industries in the USA, and the fierce economic and intellectual competition from China, India, Japan, and Western Europe augur a very different world in the future, one in which there will be no single dominant nation and where cooperation will dominate international relations, cultural interaction, and commerce.

    There are signs that things are improving in the USA, slowly but in the right direction. Sales of existing houses is increasing at a rapid pace because of the $8K stimulus to first time buyers and because of very low prices. In the area where I live most of the sales involve modest homes, but at least something is happening. The same goes for car sales, noting spectacular but we are beginning to see people driving brand new cars.

    An interesting, but not surprising development, involves the behavior of politicians like Gov. Jindal, the one that a few months ago denounced the stimulus package as an unnecessary waste, only to accept $9B of it and now boasts of being able to create jobs, jobs, jobs with a grinning Sen. McCain standing next to him. Political cynicism and opportunism are some of the few bipartisan commodities we can count on.

    As for healthcare...follow the money! If people look carefully at the reason for the latest rally in Wall Street, what they will find is that the blue chip companies that are driving it up are insurance companies, pharmaceuticals, and energy-related commpanies. Looks like the big boys already know who the winners of the ongoing battles are.

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  • 5. At 12:03pm on 24 Jul 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    "As for America's future - this country is full of space and youth and and hope"

    "and and hope" eh?

    Got to 'and' it to you Justin. Distant and vacant springs to mind;- at least in respect of the editor, and his supporting team.

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  • 6. At 1:25pm on 24 Jul 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    Justin - a veritable Lazarus! "instead of blogging, we have been contributing to the Californian economy in a heartfelt bid to save it from itself."

    Come on Justin, we do have telephones, both land-line and mobile (cell), e-mail and wi-fi which actually connect with the the rest of civilisation. Surely you could have taken a break from your sybaritic visit to pen just a few lines? The Michael Jackson business consumed LA and was by far the most read news, and even now simmers because of potential criminal charges involved with the Memorial. That was America, yet you ignore it. Last time you were absent for so long it was because your son was apparently learning to use some miracle of modern American medicine. You make a certain Governor look reasonable for his absence.

    "Enjoyed LA and noted the owners of powder blue Bentleys seemed to have been unaffected so far by the economic crisis."

    Then you should have travelled beyond the West Side, Beverly Hills and Bel Air. A visit to almost any Home Depot or Lowe's (building material suppliers) would have shown you the other side of the coin, great numbers of able men hoping to find work, not to mention small businesses closing, affecting even automobile dealers, an ever reliable indicator of the economy. Perhaps a side visit to the San Fernando Valley, Lancaster or Palmdale (both of the latter also in Los Angeles County) to witness the vast numbers of foreclosed houses and those stopped in the middle of construction. Possibly a pleasant visit to Palm Springs, less than two hours from Los Angeles to view entire new housing developments abandoned. There really is more, far more, to California than Baghdad-by-the Bay and La-La-Land: it is regrettable that you did not avail yourself of the opportunity to report on the state of life in the most populous (and important) state in the Union. I may live in a relatively rarified atmosphere (even though my Bentley is black) but I do know - and see - what is happening around me. As you are unlikely to be this way again whilst on your present assignment, it is a pity that you didn't do the same - and report it to the British public.

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  • 7. At 1:27pm on 24 Jul 2009, U14078849 wrote:



    Justin Webb may be surprised when he eventually makes his much-heralded return to the UK (if, indeed, that is "home"). The UK weather this summer has been doing lots of things, but "cold and grey" it certainly ain't.

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  • 8. At 2:10pm on 24 Jul 2009, arclightt wrote:

    Justin: I really like the San Francisco area...much better than the LA basin. Fisherman's Wharf is fabulous. The surrounding towns are neat (Santa Clara, San Jose). The Point Reyes National Seashore is an absolute treat--one of the high points of my last visit there. Amazing that they were able to keep builders from putting hotels on the beach. I hope to return to NorCal again someday, and explore all the little towns between San Fran and the Oregon border. I think it will be a blast.

    @4 (StD): "We are going through difficult times, but the spirit of the American people os not broken and we will bounce back. The question is: will we ever reach the level of greatness we once had?"

    StD, I think that depends in large part on whether individual Americans decide to be citizens again or not. If they continue to just be consumers, then the answer is NO. If they on the other hand decide to pick up the responsibilities of citizenship again, then I think the answer is definitely YES. Our greatness was never measured in terms of our military might, or our economic prowess, or even the structure of our government or our cherished institutions. It always was and will always be measured by the willingness of our people to shoulder responsibilities, particularly when doing so provides no immediate payoff but only "pays out" in the distant future. You know this, of course; your writing reveals it.

    "...augur a very different world in the future, one in which there will be no single dominant nation and where cooperation will dominate international relations, cultural interaction, and commerce."

    Unfortunately, both nature and human nature seem to abhor a vacuum, and wherever there is a power vacuum one or more groups will attempt to fill it. The fact that human nature generally operates that way, though, doesn't remove our obligation to choose differently. Here's hoping that folks will make good choices as we move into the future.

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  • 9. At 2:52pm on 24 Jul 2009, carolinalady wrote:

    Robert Frost was an extremely witty poet, although his wittiest are seldom read or studied any more...but neither is poetry in general studied or appreciated as it ought to be. The surface layers of American pop-culture -- trendy, restless and in constant upheaval are difficult to break through, but once you do, you find cities like San Francisco, Seattle, St. Paul, Philadelphia (New Orleans used to be one, too), where the historic and the modern meld into something rather special and due honor is given to both.

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  • 10. At 3:26pm on 24 Jul 2009, teh4125 wrote:

    Re #7 Svetlana - I just did a check of last weeks temps in Brighton on your south coast. The high temp did not break 66 degrees, and right now at 3:00pm in the afternoon the temp is 64F. You Brits consider that summer weather? Yeah right. I feel for Justin. You don't have what anyone in the USA would consider a real summer.

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  • 11. At 3:31pm on 24 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    Well, I think that example of "wit" and "wisdom" should be treated very frostily.

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  • 12. At 3:49pm on 24 Jul 2009, pattymkirkwood wrote:

    #10 Indeed we do not, and thank god for that frankly.

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  • 13. At 3:56pm on 24 Jul 2009, OldSouth wrote:

    'As for America's future - this country is full of space and youth and and hope.'

    One of your best-turned phrases, Mr. Webb!

    I have associates in the UK to whom I constantly issue the invitation:
    'Since you are doing business here, you may wish to come visit, to see how vast both the landscape and promise of this place are!'

    Sadly, they can't be bothered--and your use of the word 'jaded' is right on point. They already know all there is to know, because after all, they commute to the office every day in London.

    We'll miss you, and I suspect you will miss us.

    Ya'll come back now, ya heah?

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  • 14. At 4:19pm on 24 Jul 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    For St Dominick

    To your Health!



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  • 15. At 4:55pm on 24 Jul 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    Justin, you can always come back and visit. That's the best way to see a place,
    as a tourist, without an agenda.

    "Powder-blue Bentleys!" What an absurd notion. Powder-blue would look in place
    on a '57 Chevrolet, but a Bentley?

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  • 16. At 5:37pm on 24 Jul 2009, arclightt wrote:

    With regard to the Bentleys, I recall going to a restaurant in the LA basin and seeing "the Bentley row" where all the Bentleys were parked, and the "RR row" where the Rolls-Royces were parked, and the "common area" where the Corvettes, the BMWs, and the like were parked.

    My poor truck with antennas on it would have been parked in back, next to the garbage cans, I suspect (grin).

    @6 (DC): "There really is more, far more, to California than Baghdad-by-the Bay and La-La-Land: it is regrettable that you did not avail yourself of the opportunity to report on the state of life in the most populous (and important) state in the Union."

    David, I might debate the "most important" part of your comment (all the states are important in my pea-brain), but your overall statement is right on track, and you put it very nicely! There's the land of gently rolling hills to the east of the mountains, which reminds me of Kansas. There's also the desert lands in the southeast (I'm thinking around Edwards AF Base) which have a desolate beauty I have never seen anywhere else. The people in those places are for the most part gentle and helpful and disengaged to at least some extent from some of the unusual behavior on the coast.

    Truly it's a wonderful place to visit, and for a time I really wanted to live there, but the horrendous cost of housing and some of the social pieces discouraged me from doing so. Of course, I wound up close to the Capitol, and the housing is horrendous and some of the social pieces discourage me (grin)...

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  • 17. At 6:04pm on 24 Jul 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    John Muir liked California, but I expect he might have preferred the less overcrowded bits, and I'm not at all sure he'd like all the cars in Yosemite....

    John Muir and The Master Builder

    • "Yosemite Park is a place of rest, a refuge from the roar and dust and weary, nervous, wasting work of the lowlands, in which one gains the advantages of both solitude and society. Nowhere will you find more company of a soothing peace-be- still kind. Your animal fellow-beings, so seldom regarded in civilization, and every rock-brow and mountain, stream, and lake, and every plant soon come to be regarded as brothers; even one learns to like the storms and clouds and tireless winds. This one noble park is big enough and rich enough for a whole life of study and aesthetic enjoyment. It is good for everybody, no matter how benumbed with care, encrusted with a mail of business habits like a tree with bark. None can escape its charms. Its natural beauty cleans and warms like a fire, and you will be willing to stay forever in one place like a tree."

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  • 18. At 6:40pm on 24 Jul 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    You never think of the place you grew up in as being extroardinary. You consider it normal that your native city gets four inches of rain every month of the year, or that the weeds in your backyard are maple trees. You know the fall coloring is unique because everyone tells you so. To you it is just home. You visit the painted desert and the giant redwoods and enjoy the spanish moss and the scent of honeysuckle of the southern states. It is different from your native northeast, but is still "home."

    It is not until you travel the world that you become aware of the intense natural beauty of America. Our massive urban areas are merely interruptions in the landscape. Some South Africans visited us when we were living in northern New Jersey. It was fall and a banner year for color. They were overwhelmed and could hardly speak. They had never imagined that leaves could be saffron and pink and blue and purple and blood red. The America they heard about was New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Wall Street and vast industrial complexes. Our public relations people should get to work on the real America.

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  • 19. At 6:40pm on 24 Jul 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    Actually, the reason why God created the Sierras was to keep overpopulation
    from spreading too far east. The Eastern Sierras are California's real jewels,
    and likely to remain so, as long as some fool doesn't discover gold or oil there.

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  • 20. At 7:17pm on 24 Jul 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    Get your hankies ready
    Awwwwwww!

    Pure Iowa Corn, but hey!

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  • 21. At 7:56pm on 24 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    19. gunsandreligion
    Something to do with that Bible again. God, that books caused a lot of trouble in the past couple of thousand years.
    God is a Man


    Yes, this is angry Friday. You wanna make something of it?

    [Update - so supposedly the US bent a little. But not so much that the Bush government's industry paymasters need to worry. And the pernicious principle that developing countries have to meet emissions reductions or the US takes its toys home remains, despite the lack of any concrete commitment to support them in doing so.]

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  • 22. At 8:19pm on 24 Jul 2009, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    I would think that America is becoming more European with the development of institutional governmental and business corruption. Except for New Jersey that has always perfered the Chinese style of corruption. In America one generation feels no obligation to continue the follies of their parents so there may be hope. Would hope for a period of reform where the people rejected the current political crop of vile liars and passed laws that would curb both the size and influence of the banks...but won't happen....as with all great countries they rot from within and you can almost smell it. Insurance companies and Healthcare industry just B****Slapped the Senate to make sure the overly expensive and corrupt industry maintains control. Sec. of Defense and Senators on TV begging the defense industry to stop ripping off the taxpayers until the financial crisis is over...not many good signs on the road to recovery.

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  • 23. At 8:24pm on 24 Jul 2009, moderate_observer wrote:

    If the US is to remain a dominant force in the world then they will have to rely on the power of their mind and innovation. Trying to outcomplete China and India in the cheap labour market is ridiculous. Japan is one of the world's largest economies, despite it's size and despite being obliterated in world war 2.

    Currently the US, and north america as a whole has been slow to innovate since the 1980s due to influential members of the political landscape doing their best to protect certain industry from harsh competition. That is why the US is still dependent on foreign oil to drive the economy despite learning the lessons of the 1970s oil shortage. You will believe the US is the world leader in technology until you take a trip to Tokyo and see how far they have come.

    Things like 3g wireless technology which is just being implemented in north america, has been in japan and other parts of asia for 5 years maybe more, , their trains are faster, their cars are better , a country so denseley populated uses their minds to develop solutions to their complicated problems because it is their only defence.

    There needs to be more focus on the sciences and math in schools, kids need to spend more time in school also ( a few years ago i noticed that the US has less school days than many countries in the world). Their needs to be more focus on having quality graduates, not just making the work a little easier so as to let the statistics look better. The US has some of the world's best universities however the secondary level of education is surely lacking.

    That should be the focus of the future, education, it should not be acceptable that you have children in schools with the roofs cracking and leaking over their heads or ones where they need to be going through metal detectors before being admitted into the classroom.

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  • 24. At 8:25pm on 24 Jul 2009, U14078849 wrote:



    10 ~ teh

    We record temperatures in centigrade in the UK - and it has been pleasantly warm all summer, although maybe slightly breezier in coastal resorts such as Brighton.

    It was sad to read Justin Webb's swipe at San Francisco which must be one of the most fascinating cities in the world. His unfortunate remark managed to denigrate both San Francisco and his "home" country - which doesn't really bode well for future relations with the folks he is soon going to be talking to.

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  • 25. At 8:39pm on 24 Jul 2009, seanspa wrote:

    #24, and everyone knows it's seattle that's just like back home.

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  • 26. At 8:41pm on 24 Jul 2009, seanspa wrote:

    The best thing about san francisco is that it s not oakland. That bay bridge is a bridge too far.

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  • 27. At 9:01pm on 24 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    Justin,

    This is probably what is missing :-
    You don't understand our love for..

    .. So Many Innuendos.

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  • 28. At 9:04pm on 24 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    Gabby (adjective): full of trivial
    conversation

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  • 29. At 9:12pm on 24 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    What's Wrong
    With The
    Youths?

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  • 30. At 10:45pm on 24 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    19.21. Blog Rage with gunsandreligion
    Sorry Guns but it was that annoying noise that pushed me over the edge
    I'm suing God for widespread death and destruction so I want an injunction
    against the man upstairs. I am making a political point against the
    Conservatives who push their narrow and bigoted views through the
    Courts.

    I Came I Saw I Conquer

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  • 31. At 11:11pm on 24 Jul 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    Hi SQUIRRELIST.
    Thanks for the invite to the kitchen.Tryed to gain access but my steam powered colossus "DELL"or the dinosaur at 58 operating it could not get in.May be just as well,as I would not want to leave,eat all the hob nobs & slurp tea from my saucer putting the other folk right off.
    There are some very gracious types on this blog,gentle
    folk who have patience & consideration to others,who do not have their width & depth of knowlelge or intelligence,Sam T,I Foreigner,Hedsiodos &
    Your self to name a few off the top of my head there are others.
    To keep up with the drift of things takes time,& at the moment I risk disappearing up my own exhaust pipe,I am unable to do so.I was so pleased MA called me a bloody lout,aka the old Contemptables.UK Wales bloody lout,I love it.They do not know how we tick,what!!.
    With what you endure & to remain so positive & cheerfull,
    you are an inspiration.
    My very best wishes,from, UK,W,B,L.

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  • 32. At 11:12pm on 24 Jul 2009, zoyla_rip_2000 wrote:

    Koroviev -

    May I please be a party to the lawsuit? I am not normally a litigious person but the death and destruction has gotten way out of hand and may push me over the edge too.

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  • 33. At 00:02am on 25 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    re 32 zoyla_rip_2000 & God Class Action
    Absolutely this will be a class action lawsuit due to the air of misery, abandonment and sadness which remains. It has everything to do with life that reveals the negative value of death that proves to us all our views and some nuances and sensations of life. We are young with little experience but are hungry for huge bucks in the lawsuit against God for death so detested, which is the executioner of life.

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  • 34. At 00:41am on 25 Jul 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    Gosh, did you guys ever think that perhaps he is actually your lawyer,
    and that death and destruction was not in the original plan?

    Shows what happens when you give primates too much authority. Back to the
    drawing board. Felines next?

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  • 35. At 01:02am on 25 Jul 2009, zoyla_rip_2000 wrote:

    If felines ruled the world, we minions would spend all our time opening cans and cleaning out litter boxes. Letting them in, letting them out. Planting, harvesting, drying catnip. There would be no death and destruction. Except that of very small rodents. The bird population might suffer too. And the furniture. But no bombs or guns would be permitted because of the loud noises.

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  • 36. At 01:34am on 25 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    SaltaireSam (#3), "Spare the Air" days are not sponsored by San Francisco, but by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, created and funded by the State of California.

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  • 37. At 03:08am on 25 Jul 2009, U14075704 wrote:

    Koroviev,

    Ehy not give us a true classic?

    That's better!

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  • 38. At 03:19am on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    31. At 11:11pm on 24 Jul 2009, ukwales

    How kind. This tree rodent, when dispirited (as of late) goes shopping down the Virtual Mall, while poring over the end of Iran. . .

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  • 39. At 03:33am on 25 Jul 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    I lived in the San Francisco Bay area for five years. I lived and traveled in Europe for nearly two. San Francisco is not like Europe at all. It is unique but it is also clearly American. Chinatown has an Asian flavor, Little Italy Italian. It seems like there is a street festival atmosphere there in many places all of the time. It's very scaled down compared to New York City. Where New York is overwhelming, San Francisco is managable, it's slow enough and small enough to exist on a human scale. If I liked cities and chose to live in one, San Francisco would be one of my top choices. It also does not get the blistering heat of the East Bay or the South Bay in the summer. LA by contrast would be one of my bottom choices. LA has too much sameness. One place in it looks just like another. It's is a vast suburb spread out within grids defined by its freeways.

    One of California's problems is that it doesn't know how to live withn a budget. Its government has spent billions more each year than it has taken in for at least the last 30 years which is why it is bankrupt. It is frivilous spending money on non-essential goods and services...like social welfare for anyone and everyone including illegal aliens. In the South Bay Area where I lived, every town seemed to have its own community college and the courses were just about free. Now it will have to face the reality of its predicament and deal with it. It's bonds are reduced to junk status.

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  • 40. At 03:38am on 25 Jul 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #31
    Taff,

    If you are a bloody lout, I'm a Dutchman. I mean, darn it, how dumb could a Roman be? You can' try to insult anyone from Wales or New Zealand wihout mentioning sheep. It is the way of the world.

    P.S. I know that the sheep jokes would never apply to you. That would be 'The other valley'.

    Smiley Sam

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  • 41. At 03:49am on 25 Jul 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

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

  • 42. At 04:11am on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    1. At 09:57am on 24 Jul 2009, Scotch-git

    Ogden Nash was a far better satirist. With a sense of humour. (Sorry, 'humor'.) Frankly, I think the Frost doggerel is merely distasteful.

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  • 43. At 04:16am on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    40. At 03:38am on 25 Jul 2009, SamTyler1969

    Don't think anyone mentioned sheep. That would be beastly. (As in Q: "Describe the customs and manners of Roman Emperors"; A: "Customs beastly, manners none.")

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  • 44. At 04:26am on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    Actually, I see I've not been too clear. What I find distasteful is that, especially given the way the previous thread developed towards the end, is that in those circumstancesthat poem can be read very easily two ways.

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  • 45. At 05:40am on 25 Jul 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    I thought the Frost poem was very clever, even if it was not great poetry. We do not owe the Asians reverence any more, any more than they owe us homage. Everybody in the world will mass produce trinkets if they think they will sell. Everybody will take advantage of the next tribe if they can, steal what they can get away with, and glory over scalps, horses, and slaves.

    Being jaded is not the same as being sophisticated, and does not indicate the wisdom that should have been acquired from having 'been there'. Energy is one of the prime requisites for success and happiness, which is why nations need children, or when that fails, at least fresh immigrants. Yesterday I complimented a young woman I work with, who said that both she and her new husband grew up where they couldn't see the nearest neighbor's house. So often the country boy or girl goes to the big city and winds up in charge. (Marcus Aurelius being a notable exception.) A level head is harder to acquire in a pressure cooker - perspective requires some distance.

    For America's future, I agree with the comment that we need to return to thinking as citizens again, and not just as consumers. Too often I see us and much of the developed world as cattle fattening in a fenced pasture - kept, fed and bred to produce someone else's milk, butter, and steaks. Or wool, lamb and occasional diversion, according to your chosen metaphor.

    Let the little man improve his own lot, let the great man amass his fortune. So long as they complement each others efforts, America will remain one of the most glorious experiments in human history.

    KScurmudgeon
    in the middle of all the glory

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  • 46. At 06:40am on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    45. At 05:40am on 25 Jul 2009, KScurmudgeon

    That rather illustrates what I meant in 44.

    You know, where I take issue is with the assumption expressed fairly often around here that "being well aware and a little weary of the ways of the world" (and saying so and getting irritated when obvious improvements sometimes seem to take forever) is the same thing as being "jaded".

    I see plenty of pretty lively, enthusiastic and creative people (old and young, native and new) here in poor old overcrowded London. (And from what I see plenty of other places as well, though it's London I know best.)

    But then, we've been basically an urbansociety for almost a century; maybe it makes a different difference, if you see what I mean.If you say the glass is half empty a lot, it doesn't mean you don't think it shouldn't get filled up. Or never will.

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  • 47. At 07:34am on 25 Jul 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #16. arclightt: your overall statement is right on track, and you put it very nicely! There's the land of gently rolling hills to the east of the mountains, which reminds me of Kansas."

    Thanks for the kind words, which reminds me that my favourite of all American patriotic songs, ridiculed by some Brits many months back, is America The Beautiful which really sums up the beauty of the United States. Even the melody, by Samuel A. Ward, can bring a tear to the eye.

    #39. MarcusAureliusII: "San Francisco . . . is unique but it is also clearly American. Chinatown has an Asian flavor, Little Italy Italian."

    You don't say! By the same token, Los Angeles has Koreatown, Little Armenia, Chinatown, Little Tokyo and so on. London has long had a Chinatown, and most of the great metropolitan areas have such enclaves.

    "If I liked cities and chose to live in one, San Francisco would be one of my top choices."

    With your reactionary opinions, I very much doubt if they would allow you to stay.

    "LA by contrast would be one of my bottom choices."

    Thank heaven for small mercies!

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  • 48. At 07:48am on 25 Jul 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:

    There is certainly a great deal of space here, and youth I suppose.

    But hope right now is in short supply. Obama is popular enough in other nations, but his popularity in the US is in steep decline as the recession continues to deepen and his attempts to push through mammoth spending and an explosion of anti-business and anti-growth regulations are leaving the independent voters who were drawn to him in shock.

    He has turned into an old-fashioned, retrogressive tax-and-spend leftist. That is not how he ran for office.

    No US president can remain popular if he is strongly anti-capitalism and anti-business. No doubt that will bring the usual squeals and shrieks of shrill anti-American hysterics, but it happens to be true - and we have to live with it.

    The congress is joining him in slamming the small businesses that are the basis for much of the US economy with a bewildering mass of taxes, regulations and government intervention. That is not why they were elected.

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  • 49. At 08:01am on 25 Jul 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #48. TimothyR444: "There is certainly a great deal of space here, and youth I suppose."

    Which would, I suppose, indicate that you're not among the young or young thinkers

    "But hope right now is in short supply. Obama is popular enough in other nations, but his popularity in the US is in steep decline."

    That depends on which Poll you read; if it's Fox they'll agree, but Gallup does not. What president has kept his approval ratings so high, the previous incumbent certainly didn't - and it was on his watch that the recession started and it was he who instituted massive bail-outs. You have a very short and selective memory.

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  • 50. At 08:03am on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    48. At 07:48am on 25 Jul 2009, TimothyR444

    So pleased to see an entirely new point of view on this blog.

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  • 51. At 08:47am on 25 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    Timothy

    It's not Obama's fault he was handed a basketful of rotten eggs by the incumbent Bush Cheney War on Terrorism and War in the East Republicans. The origins of the financial problems are the previous Government who short-changed and duped the country.

    It's do or die keeping your head above water when money is in short supply and it means downgrading lifestyles and services in a more restrained manner. Common strategies of frugality include the reduction of waste, curbing costly habits, suppressing instant gratification by means of fiscal self-restraint, seeking efficiency, etc.

    The profligate Republicans were able to spend money acquired by the thrift of their predecessors or ancestors and were too spendthrift spending money prodigiously and were extravagant and recklessly wasteful, ignoring domestic issues such as social development and investment. One should question and challenge the legality of the use and levels of military force to prevent or deter terrorist activity inside and outside the United States which incurred billions in costs.

    I hope americans will see the light and not blame Obama for his attempts. Remember that mad crowds of people crucified Jesus Christ and they sold Marcus Garvey for rice.

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  • 52. At 09:03am on 25 Jul 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    "this country is full of space and youth and and hope."

    Right you are Justin. We'll just have to see how our can-do spirit sees us all through the tough times we're going through. I have a feeling we will see some very interesting social and political changes in the US by the time Obama's presidency ends because his presidency will likely be as historically significant as Bush's.

    As for Robert Frost, I remember reading his works in middle school and high school; he was certainly a very talented poet.

    to saintDominick:
    Jindal accepting parts of the stimulus package is not really news considering he made it clear that he was not going to accept the parts of the package that required the Louisiana legislature to "temporarily" change state laws to make it easier for unemployed workers to qualify for benefits. "A temporary change in state laws" is really political code for the enticement of states by the Feds to change state laws for temporary cash, knowing full well that most state legislatures will forget or not bother to change the laws back.

    to carolinalady:
    New Orleans is still a place where the historic and the modern meld into something rather special.

    to squirrelist #46:
    I can understand the irritation; however, some of those obvious improvements may not be so obvious to other people, just as people on both side of the Atlantic can be jaded.




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  • 53. At 09:09am on 25 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    I Just Love The Way It Sounds

    And I made a rural pen,
    And I stained the water clear,
    And I wrote my happy songs
    Every child may joy to hear.

    the final stanza of the Robert Blakes poem
    Piping Down the Valleys Wild

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  • 54. At 10:29am on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    52. At 09:03am on 25 Jul 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana

    What I was trying to get at was that our oft-cited cynicism (or realism?) about politics and economics, particularly, is too often mistaken for absence of determination, drive, positivity creativity or will. A trap which Justin's recent stay in California (of all places) appears to have led him into.

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  • 55. At 11:40am on 25 Jul 2009, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 35 zoyla_rip_2000 wrote:

    "If felines ruled the world, we minions would spend all our time opening cans and cleaning out litter boxes. Letting them in, letting them out."

    "If"?

    ;-)

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  • 56. At 12:04pm on 25 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    Jus, (pus, marcus)
    You should go to Hollywood to see the real American Dream(s)

    Al Pacino
    Dog Day Afternoon Trailer
    A True Story


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  • 57. At 12:06pm on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    Well, this seems an appropriate place to point out posting on this blog apparently guarantees perpetual youth. I seem to have become "a new member" whose posts "need to be checked bu a moderator". That's nice. As long as I can carry on, I'll obviously never get to be an old member. Great!

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  • 58. At 12:08pm on 25 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    Dogs are more loyal than Cats. Cats will break your heart and make you cry. Dogs will always be true.

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  • 59. At 12:47pm on 25 Jul 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Canard

    I traveled to the LA area about half a dozen times last year. While Europe is characterized by millenia of built up layers old filth, LA is characterized by sterility. I particularly noticed it in Orange County where not a blade of grass could grow crooked or a millimeter too long without being cut, not a leaf could fall from a tree without someone to catch it lest it lay on the ground, an unbearable eyesore. Los Angelenos are so sterile that they must acquire and ostentatiously display expensive material goods, the only means they have of differentiating themselves from each other. Substantively they are identical, interchangeable, and sterile just like the environment they manufactured to live in. Without a map, it's virtually impossible to tell where you are in that vast endless suburb. In all the time I was there, not one of them said one interesting or provocative thing. How refreshing it was to get back to New Jersey and see upon leaving Newark airport potholes and all kinds of construction debris strewn all over the highways, a reminder that the place is inhabited by humans and not robots....like the rest of America.

    BTW, I'm curious about something. Why do they use the word "the" when referring to intrstate highways? Take the 405 South to.... I noticed they did the same thing in Toronto Canada. Wierd affectation. What kind of place has a strip mall with two Starbucks in it (selling their unpalatable overpriced burnt French roast bean bitter coffee?) What kind of place has a store called "The Bakery" where you can't buy a piece of cake but instead sells "healthy" croissant sandwiches? Small wonder it's the home of eating alfalfa sprouts, humans eating cow fodder...when they aren't smoking pot or getting drunk. I'd sooner live in Alabama or Louisiana...but not in Europe.

    Mr. Webb, If you don't like Robert Frost because "you think" his language and ideas are racist, you'd better never read Mark Twain, one of our greatest authors and definitely not Huckleberry Finn.

    " and it was on his watch that the recession started and it was he who instituted massive bail-outs. You have a very short and selective memory."

    Canard, it is you who have the short memory. The bail out was passed by both houses of Congress, both of which were controlled by the Democrats at the time. What's more Obama's Secetary of the Treasury agrees with it although hindsight is 20-20 and I'm sure there are some things he wished had been done differently. Blaming the depression on one party or the other misses the point, that they both conspired for different motives to inadvertently engineer it. It is dangerous when they don't confront each other to challenge and limit the power of the other to screw things up. That's how checks and balances is supposed to work. It took both parties, a lot of career professionals like Greenspan and Bernanke, and a lot of time to damage an economy as strong as America's. No one group can claim all the credit for it.

    Doubled over in Dublin

    I think most of you spend your time in pubs throwing darts. What angers and surprises you is that now there is someone out there who catches them and throws them back at you. Me.

    Mr. Webb, when you get back to London, do you really think you will be able to close your eyes and imagine that you are back in San Francisco? Whom are you trying to kid?

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  • 60. At 12:52pm on 25 Jul 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    Sciurus,

    • "As long as I can carry on, I'll obviously never get to be an old member. Great!"
    Some of our "old members" have been turned into U-numbers lately. Is that connected with a certain Matteson commercial, one wonders.

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  • 61. At 12:56pm on 25 Jul 2009, alphamiguel wrote:


    Darkside.

    When I mentioned that America is a Corporation and not a land mass you seemed to throw a hissy fit,why, I can't imagine.
    A history lesson: In 1871 things changed with regard to the constitution;
    If you look at The United States Code you will note that the capitalization shows, The Corporation not The Republic.Title 28 3002(15)(A) (B)(C)

    Also when I mentioned that those without medical insurance in America had the worst medical help in the world I meant in their world.So what on earth Somalia has to do with it beats me.

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  • 62. At 1:11pm on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    61. At 12:56pm on 25 Jul 2009, alphamiguel

    Somalia? Well, it's simple really. You can only be certain "All things are for the best in this best of all possible worlds" if you can find somewhere that is indisputably worse.

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  • 63. At 1:15pm on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    60. At 12:52pm on 25 Jul 2009, Hesiodos

    I see. Yes, all things considered, I think I'd rather get old than turn into that sort of sausage. And I don't much fancy being a U-boat either. I don't like the idea of drowning. Tried that once. (Not intentionally, you understand.)

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  • 64. At 1:25pm on 25 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    Americans like Marcus are generally less tactful then the British like Justin except in some cases when they are both the same..

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  • 65. At 1:35pm on 25 Jul 2009, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 59 Macho Autisticus [addressing me]

    "I think most of you spend your time in pubs throwing darts"

    What would we do without your tedious, bigoted generalisations?

    Be much happier.

    You have clearly never been here.

    Kindly do us the favour of persisting with your absence

    "What angers and surprises you is that now there is someone out there who catches them and throws them back at you. Me."

    You never surprise - you are entirely predictable. Nor do you anger. You're just an annoying house fly, endlessly buzzing around, getting nowhere.

    Your inflated self-importance would be droll, were it not so sad and tedious.

    Darts are sharp. That's the last thing anyone would say of your verbal incontinence.

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  • 66. At 2:10pm on 25 Jul 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

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

  • 67. At 3:51pm on 25 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    Silence
    Blessed is the man, who having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact. (George Eliot)

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  • 68. At 6:40pm on 25 Jul 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    59, MAII, YAPR (yet another pointless rant.)

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  • 69. At 8:05pm on 25 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Once again, "alphamiguel" (#610) is trying to mislead us. The section of US Code to which he refers is the following:

    (15) United States means
    (A) a Federal corporation;
    (B) an agency, department, commission, board, or other entity of the United States; or
    (C) an instrumentality of the United States.

    This is a definition under the Judiciary and Judicial Procedure title. It means only that the term "United States," in a particular section of the code, can apply to a corporation created by the United States, as well as to an agency or any other "instrumentality" of the United States.

    An example would be the FDIC, which is the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. That is a corporation which was created by the United States and which acts with the authority given it by the United States.

    This is just routine boilerplate which simplifies the writing of codes.

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  • 70. At 10:31pm on 25 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    65. At 1:35pm on 25 Jul 2009, john-In-Dublin wrote:
    # 59 Macho Autisticus [addressing me]

    "I think most of you spend your time in pubs throwing darts"

    What would we do without your tedious, bigoted generalisations?

    Be much happier.

    You have clearly never been here."



    Utter rubbish! MA spends a lot of time in bars and pubs!

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  • 71. At 10:34pm on 25 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    59. At 12:47pm on 25 Jul 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Doubled over in Dublin

    I think most of you spend your time in pubs throwing darts. What angers and surprises you is that now there is someone out there who catches them and throws them back at you. Me.


    This is seriious. I strongly urge you to avoid handling sharp instruments of any kind particularly anywhere near places that sell drink.

    You have enough problems without adding to them.

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  • 72. At 11:03pm on 25 Jul 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Justin can do some California Dreamin' when he's back in cold dark dreary London.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtVIhDgo_uU

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  • 73. At 06:56am on 26 Jul 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:

    Koroviev re: # 51:

    "It's not Obama's fault he was handed a basketful of rotten eggs by the incumbent Bush Cheney War on Terrorism and War in the East Republicans. The origins of the financial problems are the previous Government who short-changed and duped the country."

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

    No, you are quite wrong: there is a six month moratorium for all new administrations.

    They cam complain, whine and blame their predecessors for six months. (And they ALL do it). Then it's time to grow up, wake up and take responsibility for themselves.

    As for the "thrift of their predecessors", that is ridiculous. It was the Democrats in congress who created, presided over and voted for the enormous debts of the 70s and 80s. They refused the GOP spending cuts, at a time when Republicans were still fiscally sane.

    But that is yetserday - the GOP is basically a non-story right now. The Democrats have absolute power and can do literally whatever they want. It is the moderate Democrats, NOT the Republicans, who are the main opponents to the Obama plan (such as it is....)

    There has been a dramatic change in the US in the last year. Debt is suddenly no longer acceptable. Remember, the rest of the world yells, screams, howls and throws tantrums over American materialism AND evil Americans in government.

    We are saying now: "Tell us what you will do specifically. Tell us how much it will cost. Tell us the details. We want a better system but we are very sceptical about how you will do it"

    I should think the rest of the world would be pleased. And of course that's our main concern, isn't it? Pleasing other countries! There's just no pleasning them!

    The Obama administration does not yet know the answers to those questions, and it is their plan. Yet they are selling it. So far it is a complete mess because it is ten plans at once. This is entirely their fault, so no more nonsense about Republicans. They are irrelevant.

    Obama's press conference last week was an embarassing failure.

    I must admit I am stunned by the complete mishandling of something that might have succeeded. I expected far more from an administration that ran a brilliant campaign. Governing is quite different - and they don't know to do it yet.

    And ye gods - Marcus Garvey has nothing to do with any of it.

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  • 74. At 06:58am on 26 Jul 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:

    # 50 re: squirrelist:

    Thank you

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  • 75. At 07:15am on 26 Jul 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:

    re: #74:

    Just in case, squirrelist: That was intended ironically. Just in case there is a misunderstanding. I know that disagreement is not popular here and the status quo reigns.

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  • 76. At 12:06pm on 26 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    73. At 06:56am on 26 Jul 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:

    And ye gods - Marcus Garvey has nothing to do with any of it

    +
    "If you love Terrorists so much.. why don't you go live there?" ... Maybe God thinks you're a dick.


    Marcus Garvey told US
    That Freedom is a must
    He told us that the Black Star Liner
    was coming for US
    7 miles of Black Star Liner's
    are coming in for US

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  • 77. At 12:42pm on 26 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    73. At 06:56am on 26 Jul 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:

    (a lovely journal of what happens when we are invited to Have Your Say. One for the blogroll - definitely. And high up).

    "And ye gods - Marcus Garvey has nothing to do with any of it".

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Timmay

    "If you love Terrorists so much.. why don't you go live there?" ... Maybe God thinks you're a Richard Dick Nixon.

    Re: Marcus Mosiah Garvey
    MAN KNOW THYSELF Marcus Garvey rose to lead the largest black organization in history

    BIG TUNE TRUE CLASSIC

    Marcus Garvey told US
    Freedom is a must
    The Black Star Liner will be coming in for us
    7 miles of Black Star Liner come in the harbour


    p.s. Never Trust a Hippy and always speak your brain
    Ridicule as a substitute for moderation now?

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  • 78. At 12:54pm on 26 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkAnw8NydUo

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  • 79. At 12:55pm on 26 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    And ye gods - Marcus Garvey has nothing to do with any of it.

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  • 80. At 12:57pm on 26 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    Richard Dick Nixon
    Ridicule as a substitute for moderation?
    Wonderful stuff. Definitely one for the blogroll too.

    Never Trust a Hippy
    The road to hell is paved with bad intentions.

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  • 81. At 1:01pm on 26 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    For the record :

    I am NOT HAPPY

    I am well VEXED

    if you like it so much why dont you go live there - a lovely journal of what happens when we are invited to Have Your Say. One for the blogroll - definitely. And high up.

    create a link
    Labels: Green Hypertext, Knuckledraggers, Negativism, Vibes

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  • 82. At 1:05pm on 26 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    re 78 Koroviev wrote

    Fred Locks

    BIG BIG TUNE

    TRUE CLASSIC!

    very nice song

    marcus garvey, we can't thank you enough

    View all 6 comments
    Would you like to comment?

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  • 83. At 1:35pm on 26 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    The Reggae Regulars says:
    This is a war.. you little fool stay far
    My sound has no time for bargaining
    Now my selector the time has come

    (1) The Black Starliner
    (2) Trappers
    (3) Dubplate To A Soundboy

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  • 84. At 2:11pm on 26 Jul 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Doubled over in Dublin;

    "You have clearly never been here."

    There are lots of places I've never been that I have no desire to visit. But having access to books, television, the internet, and people who have been there because they lived there or emigrated from there doesn't mean I don't know anything about it. After Angela's Ashes, I'll never see Ireland quite the same way again although I knew before that Ireland was never the paradise it was painted to be.

    The recent scandal about the priests who abused children came as no surprise to me because something similar happened in the US although that was confined to sexual abuse where the reports about Ireland were even more horrific. The difference seems to me to be about the fact that in Ireland, they will get away with it scott free. I'm not surprised about that either due to the politics of that country.

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  • 85. At 2:26pm on 26 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    MarcusAureliusII ! Long time no one seen! Well you come down right now with new things cause a brother know you is winner of things and clash them back in the days! ...
    LITTLE HARRY Rougher than Rough

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  • 86. At 4:02pm on 26 Jul 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Simple Simian;

    All reports I've seen and read about Ireland say that it is a male dominated culture where women are relatively powerless and regarded as subservient compared to say the US where women have far greater equality with men. I've also gathered that much of Ireland's social life revolves around local pubs and it is a culture in which alcoholism is a relatively common affliction. Clearly the Catholic Church plays a major role in its politics, among the reasons the Irish rejected the Lisbon Treaty. Some provisions such as a possible imposition of legalized abortion were unacceptable and whatever assurances the Irish got in opt outs were not satisfactory to them. How interesting to see a relative handful of Irish voters who were the difference between rejection and acceptance of Lisbon upset the entire European super state advocates' applecart. I'm sure in time they'll find a way around it as they always do when minor obstacles like democratic votes rejecting their grand plan slows them down but for now they've had a setback. If I were Irish and had voted for the treaty or hadn't voted at all, I'd strongly consider rejecting it when it comes up again just to prove that the voters in Ireland are every bit as important in the EU's affairs as the rubber stamp Parliaments in the UK, Germany, and France who accepted it without a plebecite.

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  • 87. At 4:40pm on 26 Jul 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Korviev

    "Timothy

    It's not Obama's fault he was handed a basketful of rotten eggs by the incumbent Bush Cheney War on Terrorism and War in the East Republicans. The origins of the financial problems are the previous Government who short-changed and duped the country."

    If President Obama didn't understand what he was getting into, he has no one to blame but himself. He wasn't just some observer off the street, he was a United States Senator who participated or was supposed to in all activities of the United States Senate including the bailout last Fall. Perhaps if he'd spent more time doing his job as a Senator and less time campaigning and even served another term or two before running for president, he'd have had a better grasp of events. He had access to all of the information the government has regarding the economy and everything else. Tony Blair may have skated by excusing his own shortcomings for ten years on the pretext that he and his party inherited a mess from the Tories but that kind of blather won't fly any longer in the US. If he finds he is in over his head, perhaps he should resign. If there isn't drastic improvement in the next three years he will not be re-elected. He and the Democratic party now own the government and all of its problems. Pointing a finger at the Republicans won't work any longer.

    "It's do or die keeping your head above water when money is in short supply and it means downgrading lifestyles and services in a more restrained manner. Common strategies of frugality include the reduction of waste, curbing costly habits, suppressing instant gratification by means of fiscal self-restraint, seeking efficiency, etc."

    It also means no longer giving the store away. It means that because Europe and other nations are NOT pulling their fair share of the weight in Afghanistan and many in NATO did their best to block action in Iraq, it's time for the US to pull out of NATO telling Europe to defend itself and to tell China, Japan, and the rest of East Asia that if they want the US to continue keeping the peace among them in their region with US military presence, they will have to pay America for the cost of it. It is not the American taxpayer's rightful burden to keep peace in the world. If other countries wind up having less to spend on their lavish social safety nets, the US government will have more to spend on its own and perhaps it will shut them up when they can't afford then what we can't afford now. It's also time for the US government to use America's vast economic power as a political and economic weapon to assert and advance the interests of Americans the way other nations advance the interests of their citizens.

    "The profligate Republicans were able to spend money acquired by the thrift of their predecessors or ancestors and were too spendthrift spending money prodigiously and were extravagant and recklessly wasteful, ignoring domestic issues such as social development and investment."

    Social investments are for the most part the extravagent and reckless expenditures. It is not the job of the United States government to assure that every citizen and non citizen legal or illegally in the US lives in comfort and luxury at the expense of others who have more than they do by stealing it through taxes. That is socialsim and it is what Europe is about, not America. And in the long run, history proves that it never works.

    "One should question and challenge the legality of the use and levels of military force to prevent or deter terrorist activity inside and outside the United States which incurred billions in costs."

    Under America's laws and Constitution, it is not illegal to use military force to prevent and deter terrorist activity inside and outside the United States that are directed against American and at any cost. By their sworn sacred oath they take when they get a job or assume office having been elected, it is illegal for every Federal employee not to. This is the government's number one obligation and priority. International laws in reality don't exist, wouldn't count if they did, and it is and would be criminal of the US Government to impose it upon the American people. The US government as stated at the very beginning of the Declaration of Independence justifying the seperation from Britain and the right to declare its own government asseerts that The People are sovereign over the government and not the other way around which is what some Americans forget and people in virtually all other nations foolishly accept. Therefore the US government does not have the legal power to transfer or cede any part of that sovereignty to extranational organizations such as the ICC or WTO where Americans would be judged and possibly punished by people not accountable to them under any treaty and they are therefore all illegal under American law.

    "I hope americans will see the light and not blame Obama for his attempts."

    He will not be blamed for his attempts but for his failures to keep his promises. That is what accountability in a democratic nation, prehaps the only really democratic nation in the world is about. That judgement will be made collectively at the voting booths in 2012, possibly sooner in the mid term election (we don't have "bi-elections) in 2010.

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  • 88. At 7:03pm on 26 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    Marcus I should be blooming President of Rome and United States of America Next

    Tags: lonely--but not that lonely yet
    trackback
    Hey, sometimes you get busy, and your obligations to the online literati do not get met (I have no idea if literati is appropriate, but I like the sound of it).

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  • 89. At 7:56pm on 26 Jul 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    korviev

    "Nomenclatura" has an even more elitist European penache to it. In monarchies like Tsarist Russia, Bourbon France, Austria, Germany, Italy, Britain, they would have understood it perfectly, the incorporation of the intellectuals into the power elite to corrupt them for the purpose of maintaining absolute power through an engineered intellectual justification rationalizing it. Today they do it without justification, everyone in Europe just accepts that it's the way it ought to be.

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  • 90. At 9:04pm on 26 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    Marcus Whatever
    U-R not my friend
    If U trouble trouble
    U will get it on the double
    and then the triple
    No trouble me
    I no trouble U

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  • 91. At 9:45pm on 26 Jul 2009, parityisbetterthancharity wrote:

    Marcus Aurelius
    The fact that you are from New Jersey explains it all. Your state is half a suburb of New York City and half a suburb of Philadelphia, with nothing to claim as its own. No wonder you work so hard to make other people think the United States is a horrible place. I'm glad G&R, Cunard, Squirrelist, et al have seen other, better, parts of the States.

    Please think before you speak. You are the cause of a significant amount of the "anti-Americanism" that you perceive.

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  • 92. At 9:54pm on 26 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    "If you love Chelsea so much..
    why don't you go live there?"

    U-N-I-T-Y
    What we really need is
    that is Unity
    that for you
    that for me
    love your brother man
    like you love your own
    love your sisters
    like your own
    what we need is love
    and they won't end up like a rolling sotne

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  • 93. At 10:02pm on 26 Jul 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #59. MarcusAureliusII: "Canard: I traveled to the LA area about half a dozen times last year. While Europe is characterized by millenia of built up layers old filth, LA is characterized by sterility. I particularly noticed it in Orange County where not a blade of grass could grow crooked or a millimeter too long without being cut, not a leaf could fall from a tree without someone to catch it lest it lay on the ground, an unbearable eyesore."

    Like so much you get wrong, geography is not your strong point: Orange County is not Los Angeles County. If you should ever be out West again, take a more comprehensive look at Los Angeles - go to Wrightwood one day and Malibu the next, then perhaps see the difference between Compton and Beverly Hills. None of those places - or any in between - are "characterized by sterility".

    "I'm curious about something. Why do they use the word "the" when referring to intrstate highways? Take the 405 South to . . . Wierd affectation."

    What would you say in Noo Joisey? Freeways here (where they originated) had - and still have - names: the Pasadena Freeway, the Hollywood Freeway, the San Diego Freeway, the Golden State Freeway, &c. No-one says "take Interstate 5", but rather take the I5 to wherever. I can't see there's any affectation in that.

    "Small wonder it's the home of eating alfalfa sprouts, humans eating cow fodder...when they aren't smoking pot or getting drunk."

    As for the last, consider all those very expensive bottles of Chateau This 'n' That which you consume nightly and tell me you remain stone cold sober. Getting high on grass seems no worse than getting high on alcohol, and it seems likely that the Golden State may be the first to regulate and tax the former, just as it does the latter.

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  • 94. At 10:26pm on 26 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    92.
    I mean
    like a rolling stone

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  • 95. At 10:28pm on 26 Jul 2009, parityisbetterthancharity wrote:

    #93 DCunard
    Actually, MA2is right that here in the east we don't put "the" before a highway's name. Obviously, that doesn't make either way correct. I guess it's just like soft drinks, which can be called soda, pop, or soda-pop depending on where you grow up. It's not the big deal that MA2 thinks it is.

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  • 96. At 02:00am on 27 Jul 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    95:

    Interesting...in Louisiana we say "the 10/12 split" and almost never call an interstate a freeway. And to add one more name for soft-drinks, we mostly use "Coke" as the generic word for soft-drink.

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  • 97. At 03:38am on 27 Jul 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    phonyconservative;

    I was born and raised in New York City. In fact born in the Bronx. Nobody on this earth is tougher than anything born in the Bronx that survives it. We eat nails and $*#+ two by fours. We eat Californians for breakfast. While I lived in California, I'd need three valium just to put me on a par with the locals. As for Europe, I won't even go there. It's by far the dumbest place I've ever seen. But then I've never been to the Middle East so there may be worse. BTW, I've also lived in other states including Pennsylvania and Maryland, I've been in nearly half the states and in over 40 foreign countries on three continents so I haven't seen the whole world first hand....but I've seen enough of it.

    Canard, I know Orange County is not Los Angeles County or the city of Los Angeles but being directly adjacent to it and being that it seems only differentiated by a line on a map there is a boring continuity to it. I think the LA Airport is as bad if not worse than Newark's. We had to pick someone up and they made a big deal about some local hamburger joint called "In and Out." You'd think it was haute cuisine to hear them talk about it but from my experience it was no better than MacDonalds. The only place I've ever been in the United States where I didn't feel perfectly comfortable and at home was in California, land of fruits and nuts, especially in Southern California. It is pretentious beyond all reason. In the the Bay area in the town I call Palto Alpo, Stanford University is held in awe as though it was Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and MIT rolled into one but if it were back east, it would just be one more Ivy League school. In fact if you want an education, Berkeley is probably superior although it doesn't have nearly the reputation. Glad you like it there. I'll take snowstorms over earthquakes and forest fires any day.

    "Getting high on grass seems no worse than getting high on alcohol"

    I wouldn't know, I've never tried illegal drugs. And while pot may be legal under California law for limited medical use, not recreational use, it is illegal under federal law which supercedes state law. I think canibis became California's number one cash crop decades ago. Lighting up a joint seemed as blaise to most Californians I met as having a cup of coffee. So did kiting checks. That seems to be the way the state government was run too.

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  • 98. At 04:51am on 27 Jul 2009, parityisbetterthancharity wrote:

    Marcus Aurelius II Re:post #97

    You have actually lived in my beautiful state of PA? Horrors!! Remember that the toll over the Delaware River is one way. You can go in NJ free, but by the time ordinary people have spent a little time in NJ they are willing to pay the toll to get back to PA. Ha!

    You seriously think life in the Bronx is the toughest on earth? What about life in the Yukon Territory, or Siberia, or the Sudan, or Arkansas (the poorest state in the US), or Washington, D.C. (the most dangerous place in the US)?

    Please keep your responses brief in the same way that I keep my posts short. You know (?) the Golden Rule.

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  • 99. At 09:35am on 27 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    97. At 03:38am on 27 Jul 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:
    ""I was born and raised in New York City. In fact born in the Bronx. Nobody on this earth is tougher than anything born in the Bronx that survives it. We eat nails and $*#+ two by fours. We eat Californians for breakfast""
    +
    Yeah Marc Ax them Brooklyn Boys are bad in Crooklyn.

    The Bridge is over.

    Brooklyn's in the House :

    "If we don't like them - we gun them"

    " I don't like your T-shirt... blam blam blam"

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  • 100. At 10:08am on 27 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    Re: Poster 97:

    MAII You're really are a smokey faced demon. An act of hatred and violence is a thrill ride for a demon, they not only participate, in so far as influencing someone to commit acts of violence, they get a thrill during the act.

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  • 101. At 11:38am on 27 Jul 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    falseconservative...

    I cross the Delaware river on I95 (not "THE 95") back and forth to work every day and it does not cost even one cent.

    Two of those other places you mentioned, the Yukon and Siberia have only natural hardships where skills to survive them are available and learnable. I have no explanation for why anything from the Bronx is so tough, it's just a consistant observation I've seen throughout my life...and it it is tougher than Brooklyn, Brooklyn is merely larger. If Brooklyn was once tough, it was because people who lived there had to put up with perpetual taunting about the Dodgers from Giant and especially Yankee fans. I've got two mixed breed female Rottweilers both adopted as small puppies 7 and 8 years ago, one 160 pounds part Saint Bernard rescued by the Port Gervis Humane Society, one 100 pound mixed breed German Shepherd rescued from a junkyard in the Bronx by the North Shore Animal League. Both are extremely affectionate, friendly, love everyone including children and other animals, neither would hurt a fly. But the one from the Bronx is the most fearless animal I ever saw, the other more typical of most dogs. Last night was a good example. We had a bad thunderstorn. The one from the Bronx wanted as always to sit outside in the pouring rain and watch the lightning, listen to the thunder, the one from Port Gervis wanted to hide in the linen closet until it was over. It's just their nature due to where they came from. I see it all the time being a native New Yorker.

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  • 102. At 1:18pm on 27 Jul 2009, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 84 [and various other endless, tedious, verbally incontinent and unread whines] - Macho Autisticus II.

    "There are lots of places I've never been that I have no desire to visit"

    Not nearly as many as the number of places that have no desire to be visited by you

    "After Angela's Ashes, I'll never see Ireland quite the same way again"

    Indeed. I recently saw Michael Mann's excellent Public Enemies, about John Dillinger. Clearly that makes me an expert on the US.

    You really are a sad, tedious and unpleasant sort. Thank Goodness you are so untypical of most Americans.

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  • 103. At 2:41pm on 27 Jul 2009, U14074320 wrote:

    Turdus Turdus, (the common thrush, Mods)
    "I cross the Delaware river on I95 (not "THE 95") back and forth to work every day and it does not cost even one cent."And, after that commute and a working day, you still have time to type and post reams of original thought! What an accomplishment!

    Unless, of course, said typing and posting is paid work...., in which case, another instance of disproportionate pay (if non-zero)


    Gotta fly!

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  • 104. At 8:07pm on 27 Jul 2009, U14075073 wrote:

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

  • 105. At 9:30pm on 27 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    102. At 1:18pm on 27 Jul 2009, john-In-Dublin wrote:
    # 84 [and various other endless, tedious, verbally incontinent and unread whines] - Macho Autisticus II.

    "There are lots of places I've never been that I have no desire to visit"

    Can't fault the logic here. Personally there are lots of places I have seen because I er wanted to see them.

    If I had not wanted to see them I wouldn't have...

    I hope that is clear.

    MA must work for pseuds corner in Private Eye

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  • 106. At 11:31pm on 27 Jul 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #97. MarcusAureliusII: "The only place I've ever been in the United States where I didn't feel perfectly comfortable and at home was in California, land of fruits and nuts, especially in Southern California. "

    Then I guess you won't be coming back any time soon. Good news for all concerned.

    "I've never tried illegal drugs."

    You could never tell it from the way you write. And what a boring youth you must have had; even our recent presidents have had a toke. Take a trip to Holland and pop into a "coffee shop", try it, you might like it. And far healthier for your liver, no danger of cirrhosis or gout.

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  • 107. At 00:55am on 28 Jul 2009, parityisbetterthancharity wrote:

    #101
    Were you out in the rain with your fearless dog? I think you need to put those dogs on a diet. A St. Bernard weighing 160 Lbs? That's more than I weigh, and at 5'10" I'm no small woman.

    If you've spent much time in Philly, I'm sure you know the bridge I'm talking about.

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  • 108. At 05:38am on 28 Jul 2009, srook2 wrote:

    #45
    "Let the little man improve his own lot, let the great man amass his fortune. So long as they complement each others efforts, America will remain one of the most glorious experiments in human history."

    This would be as near to Utopia as we imperfect humans could get if the 'great man' didn't own the elected representatives and use them to facilitate the systematic screwing of the 'little man' and to keep him from becoming competition.

    #48
    "The congress is joining him in slamming the small businesses that are the basis for much of the US economy with a bewildering mass of taxes, regulations and government intervention. That is not why they were elected."

    Small businesses like AIG and General Motors? They're a liability to this nation, not an asset. If the climate in the U.S. were truly conducive to small business then stimulus for creating jobs would make sense. As it is, the entities like those mentioned above got by far the largest pieces of the stimulus pie in the form of bailouts and they've been cutting jobs instead of creating them. Any money that goes to a large corporation will be used to line the pockets of greedy executives, not to create jobs.

    And to all who participate in partisan finger-pointing: as long as Democrats are busy blaming Republicans for the current crisis and vice versa, nothing is being accomplished. Now is the time to fix the problem, not to fix the blame.

    But while we're on the subject it was neither party and both that caused this fiasco, it was corrupt lawmakers doing the bidding of their industry paymasters, to steal U14075039's apt characterization.

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  • 109. At 6:57pm on 29 Jul 2009, dianaatkin wrote:

    6. At 1:25pm on 24 Jul 2009, David_Cunard wrote: (See post)

    ---
    Thanks for that David. I did try and say the same thing but got blasted by the Beeb team a while back and had to apologise by email to them.

    It's not that Justin isn't a nice guy etc it's just that as you say, some real reporting from all of the US wouldn't have been amiss. A bit from Washington DC etc didn't cut the mustard. Wish you well Justin you're camera friendly.

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  • 110. At 02:59am on 30 Jul 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    dianaatkin.
    don't worry about justin . he's the sort that would go to war and come back rich.

    you should watch making sense it can lead to unexplained things like all them U numbers

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  • 111. At 06:50am on 30 Jul 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    "When people carp at America I think of the Robert Frost poem The Importer - sometimes reviled as racist and certainly not fashionable nowadays - that hits back with wit and, to me, wisdom."


    People have been predicting demise of USA since early '60s (cf. Khruschev's pronnouncements just before Cuban Missile Crisis).

    Rather than quoting Frost I'll quote Mark Twain on US's behalf:

    "REPORTS OF MY DEATH HAVE BEEN GREATLY EXAGGERATED". ;-)

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  • 112. At 4:22pm on 02 Aug 2009, britchris wrote:

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  • 113. At 4:40pm on 02 Aug 2009, britchris wrote:

    Good luck to you and your family as you return to the UK. I have enjoyed reading all of your contributions to the website, however, your recent article in which you reflect on the past 8 years in DC has really resonated with me. My job took me to the US 13 years ago and I am at the point of considering retirement back in the UK. The US is a wonderful country, but like many expat Brits I have a constant yearning for the homeland. Is it still such a green and pleasant land or are my lenses just a little too rose tinted? I look forward to your thoughts and continued contributions to the BBC website. Safe travels!

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  • 114. At 04:05am on 03 Aug 2009, bfoulkrod1 wrote:

    We did interservice field day competitions twice a year (one at the defense Language Institute in Monterey, the other at the DLI San Fran. Both have hills that could almost cause a front end collision with a cross street on the way down, by SF has public transport that is much easier than trying to drive that terrain. The DLI SF was sold off in the first round of base closure back when, and somebody got a real steal. Prime location with the Golden Gate Bridge spanning right outside your door and the city and all its wonders belows just a jump away.

    As for the Frost piece, calling something racist years after the fact in a PA rewrite misses it (your take was better). A comparison to a laid back, ancient culture that has no use for our ways isn't racist, it's merely a comparison and a statement on our differences in life and expectations. A revisit to its theme is timely in the midst of a global recession the west blames on export driven eastern economies, and the east blames on western models.

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  • 115. At 4:11pm on 03 Aug 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    bfoulkrod1 (#114), I don't know to what you refer as being a "real steal." The Presidio of San Francisco was closed as an Army base, but it is now managed by the Presidio Trust (which see), a public body.

    As for the Defense Language Institute, the history is here:

    http://benefits.military.com/misc/installations/Base_Content.jsp?id=460

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