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Too European?

Justin Webb | 08:04 UK time, Saturday, 25 July 2009

A friend sends this interesting piece of religious news. I hadn't seen it because I am still in San Francisco, where the religious mores of the rest of the nation don't really hold sway. In Borders Books, they have The Origins of the Species in their favourites section. In Kansas, you'd need a paper bag and a special order.

And yet I feel torn by the European familiarity of San Francisco - its rationalism and secularism and public transportism. Being European in outlook is not - it seems to me - the future for America.

Americans can learn things from Europeans but the essence of America - even if it involves weird notions of Biblical denial of women's rights - is somehow more brutally vivacious than the jaded options over the Atlantic. So many European tourists here: poor things, they have travelled ten hours to come to the only part of America that isn't American. They'll go home knowing nothing.

Comments

  • 1. At 08:21am on 25 Jul 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:

    San Francisco is a very beautiful and rich city, in many ways; it is impossible not to be thrilled by the natural setting and pleased by the civil tone. (Although I prefer Boston and NYC) One thing SF is NOT, however, is 'rational'. That made me laugh out loud.

    That is the last word anyone in the US would use to describe it. I wonder how many people would read this and think it to be true?

    The idea that "weird notions of Biblical denial of womens' rights" is somehow a part of the 'true' America that all Europeans must see, like vistors to an exotic zoo, is beyond weird - it is so odd and so truthless that it is difficult to grasp that anyone actually believes this either.

    This is where anti-Americanism can take such peculiar and uniquely offensive forms. This comment has no relation to reality, but it is the sort of thing that would fit in with the spectacular, fabulous condescension of the term "brutally vivacious".

    This concept of Americans as frightening yet fascinating savages fascinates me, in turn.

    It makes me realize again how enormous the gulf is between Europe and the US is, and that any return to a real alliance is out of the question. We are now so far apart that dialogue is impossible.

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  • 2. At 08:32am on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    I'm a bit bemused. So Marcus has finally taken over this blog after all, then?

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  • 3. At 08:52am on 25 Jul 2009, Reiner_Torheit wrote:

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

  • 4. At 08:54am on 25 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

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

  • 5. At 09:09am on 25 Jul 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    "..America... more brutally vivacious.."

    "..Europe... more jaded options.."

    Sorry, this Article reveals how urgent your case is Mr Webb! Get him back now BBC!

    Is a BBC Editor actually promoting the idea that a Nation with ".. weird notions..Biblical denial of women's rights.." is a good thing, or, is a BBC Editor actually suggesting that a Nation containing ".. the essence of.. brutally vivacious(ness).." should be the way to go for Europe?

    Frankly Mr Webb, you need to get back home (Europe) asap and breathe in the reality that neither Kansas nor San Francisco (and 'yes' I've been to both; admittedly 1980s) have much to offer anyone else in the World never mind Europeans.
    Both Kansas' bible-fundamentalists and San Francisco's exotic-trendists are typical Americana novelty-curiosity sideshows: Step-up, step-up! Get your ticket to watch the brutal and vivacious in glorious technicolor action and there's a prize for anyone who can tell the extremists apart!

    After a couple of weeks (your lengthy sojourn obviously explains your non-discerning condition) take the Jumbo back to planet earth this humane side of the Atlantic.

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  • 6. At 09:10am on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    (1) TimothyR444; (3) Reiner_Torheit

    Looks like the "Mission to explain America" hasn't been such a great success then. I was reminded of this.

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  • 7. At 09:14am on 25 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    I dig the hippy bohemian new age mentality of San Fran..meeting myself on the mat, every day, in search of love, truth & beauty. will you join me?

    In clarity, meditation,

    like clouds moving in water,

    problems make me forget

    I am clear.

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  • 8. At 09:17am on 25 Jul 2009, U14078849 wrote:



    What strange observations, Mr. Webb. What patronising generalisations you make.

    Have you talked to any of these poor "know nothing" tourists? Could it be that they are visiting San Francisco (already damned as "grey and cold" in your last post)for the pleasure of being in one of the most fascinating cities in the world? Could it be that they are the ones who eschew package tours to Orlando, in order to visit a place that they love?

    And, Mr. Webb, it might be a good idea if you were to remember that you are talking to - and financed by - a BBC audience before you let slip your views on the "jaded options" on the European side of the pond. We understood that you had elected to return to Europe - so it might be a good idea to show a slightly less jaundiced view of your homeland.



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  • 9. At 09:56am on 25 Jul 2009, U14078849 wrote:



    Oh dear, Oh dear.

    Mr. Squirrel at #6 takes us back to a sweet, innocent time when we actually believed that our Chief US correspondent was a serious observer of the American scene.

    That 600 years passed quickly, didn't it.

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  • 10. At 10:07am on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    9. At 09:56am on 25 Jul 2009, Svetlana

    Does that mean a job on the 'Today' prog is a "jaded option" after all?

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  • 11. At 11:05am on 25 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    Stick with me folks, I have all the answers..

    At first appearance, he is a mystic guru who spouts aphorisms on the evils of the modern world and the salvation to be found in mysticism and natural living. He has renounced the material world and lives off anything he can get in exchange for his nuggets of wisdom.
    Usually depicted as slightly overweight (although his size varies), he is bald, has a long white beard, and wears a gown which makes him resemble the Old Testament God or a prophet.
    Part wise man, part conman, Mr. Natural has strange, magical powers and possesses cosmic insight, but is also moody, cynical, self-pitying, and suffers from various strange sexual obsessions.

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  • 12. At 11:06am on 25 Jul 2009, gregohusa wrote:

    I live in Ohio which some consider part of the center of America and I am absolutely stunned by his comment that the essence of America "involves weird notions of Biblical denial of womens' rights". If this guy is the BBC's North American editor then he really needs to do some traveling and learn something about America because he obviously knows nothing. The idea that most of America is populated by right-wing religious nut jobs with a desire to suppress women's right is categorically wrong and baseless. San Francisco is a beautiful city but he needs to get out of there and learn something about Americans.

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  • 13. At 11:26am on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    12. At 11:06am on 25 Jul 2009, gregohusa

    I take it you didn't bother to click on the link and read Jimmy Carter's piece in The Guardian?

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  • 14. At 11:29am on 25 Jul 2009, American Sport Fan wrote:

    San Francisco it too European? Just because San Francisco has a differant outlook on life than say Perioa, Illonios doesn't make it any differant. Down in our hearts, Americans share the same basic value. Democracy.

    Unfotunately, San Francico is typical of the divide that exists between rural American and Urban America. But San Francico is no differant that Boston, LA, Chicago, and New York in that it has a more open minded approach to life.

    Justin I hear you say that European Visitors come to San Francico looking for America leave clueless. This would imply, as you have said, that San Francico is a European City. By that standard, New York City is also a European City as well. What other City, other than New York can you find that most British of Sports, Cricket co-existing alongside it's American Cousin Baseball. By that Standard, Boston is a European City as well since iit is more open minded than anything along the Yellow Brick Road of Kansas. Btw, As a New Yorker, I wouldn't mind giving Boston back to Great Britian but that's another story.

    Justin, America is a large country that is far more complicated than one visit will allow. In order to understand America you really have to move hear. Just visiting one place such as Hollywood, HAight Ashberry, Brooklyn or even TOpica, Kansas will give a visitor a warped impression of what our country is about. AS a public service to all tourists coming to America I would suggest you spend two months hear traveling from coast to coast visiting the Big Cities and small towns. That way you will gain an understanding of America.

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  • 15. At 11:45am on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    14. At 11:29am on 25 Jul 2009, AmericanSportFan

    I refer you to the link in Post No 6. And I'm sure you have posted on this blog sufficiently to know perfectly well that the BBC's North American editor lives in Washington and has not flown in for a fortnight in California.

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  • 16. At 11:57am on 25 Jul 2009, American Sport Fan wrote:

    Re # 3

    Piece of Free Advice,

    Don't call those right-wing gun toting, Euro-hating, Xenophobic, end of times, creationsists, religous fundamentalists Yankees. They're liable to take offence to that term. Because so many of them live in the South, they view the term Yankee as an insult. To them a Yankee is anyone from the North who's family fought in the Civil War. Yankees were the enemy, even though it was the south that was wrong during that conflict.

    Actually the term Yankee has so many differant meanings. Because of this I would like to take this time to explain all the differant means of the term.

    For most Americans the Term Yankee refers to a baseball player from the New York team in the American League and has become synoimous with names such as Ruth, Gerig, Dimagio, Berra, MAntle, Ford et all. This is especially true in both New York, where they are loved, and Boston, where they are hated. Because of this, in the United States most references using the term Yankee will appear in the Sports section of the local paper and refer to the New York Yankees.

    Term Yankee can also refer to anyone from the New England area, which includes the states of Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Conneticut, Rhode Island and Massachuets. In this usage of the term, it was used primarally to refer to some one who worked on a farm. However, this usage of the term has fallen out of use primarily since most people in New England root passionately for a baseball team that calls itself the Boston Red Sox, who happen to be the Arch Rivals of the New York Yankees. Because of this New Englanders have ceased referring to themselves as Yankees.

    And as I have mentioned before the term Yankee is used by Southerners to refer to anyone who lives in those states that fought for the Union in the Civil War. Even though the war has been over for nearly a hundred and fifty years, Southerns still carry a resentment of "Yankees" and do not appear as if they will get over the defeat of the civil war anytime soon.

    Finally, the term Yankee can also mean anyone from the UNited STates, this usage of the term is primarily used by Canadians and Europeans and is never used by Americans in part because we don't see ourselves as Yankees.

    That is all the usuage of the term Yankee. I hope this clears up any misunderstandings.

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  • 17. At 12:09pm on 25 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    The diversity of the U.S is far greater than most Europeans realize. Which is one of the many reasons we resent being lectured to by people who are pretty insular compared to most americans.

    Beside the basic Coast vs Heartland
    Hsipanic Southwest and Miami

    Indvidual States are very differnt.

    New Orleans is very different than the rest of Louisiana
    Same with NY City and upstate NY

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  • 18. At 12:10pm on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    16. At 11:57am on 25 Jul 2009, AmericanSportFan

    It's "Yanks", actually. (So as not to get confused with baseball teams and sides in the Civil War, etc. etc.)

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  • 19. At 12:14pm on 25 Jul 2009, American Sport Fan wrote:

    Re 15

    I am well aware that Justin lives in the District of Columbia but his notion that the "real" america can be found in Kansas is simply wrong. America is far too complicated to be found in one place and one town. America is too complex.

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  • 20. At 12:22pm on 25 Jul 2009, U14075704 wrote:

    Koroviev,
    "Mr. Natural has strange, magical powers and possesses cosmic insight, but is also moody, cynical, self-pitying, and suffers from various strange sexual obsessions."

    Not forgetting Comic insight...

    Some may know that I have a special talent for knowing the secret desires of humans, and regarding our "host", it is sad indeed (heh heh) that his ambition to fill the shoes of a certain Mr Cooke has fallen on such stony ground....Ah, the sweet schadenfreude from watching the failure of unsupportable aspirations!

    Adieu for now
    Woland

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  • 21. At 12:26pm on 25 Jul 2009, American Sport Fan wrote:

    Re 18

    Unfortunately, the term Yanks and Yankees are synonimous with one another. In New York when you say the yanks, it is assumed you're talking about the baseball team.

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  • 22. At 12:30pm on 25 Jul 2009, American Sport Fan wrote:

    RE 17

    Magic Karin

    I know exactly what you mean about Upstate New York being differant from New York City. Although I live in a city in Upstate New York that seems to think it is more important than New York City.

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  • 23. At 12:31pm on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    17. At 12:09pm on 25 Jul 2009, MagicKirin

    Oh aye. I were brought up i't north o' England. We're that insular nobody can tell t'difference atween them as comes fray Aberdeen, Aberystwyth, Andover, Nimes or Naples, ah can tell thee.

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  • 24. At 12:39pm on 25 Jul 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    Jock 16,

    • "Piece of Free Advice,

      .... Yankees were the enemy, even though it was the south that was wrong during that conflict."
    So, the winners were "right" and the losers are always "wrong"?

    Piece of Free Advice,

    Learn some real history, not just that (the usual) written by "the winners". Slavery was (and is) wrong. The War Between the States was much more about the conflict between agrarianism and industrialism than it was about Slavery (which was just a single factor of agrarianism, necessitated by the seemingly permanent reluctance of "civilised" folk to reward the lowly providers of food and fibre on a par with their clerical/industrial/urban peers). The South wasn't wrong. It just lost the war.

    To this day, status and financial reward are proportional to the indoor/abstract character of one's "vocation" as opposed to the outdoor/practical. Don't expect to get rich if a hat is appropriate apparel while actually at work, as opposed to while commuting.

    Next time you sit down to eat, consider that someone grew that food, and without it, your urban existence would be a non-existence.

    A piece of "Free Advice". Chew on it.

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  • 25. At 1:04pm on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    24. At 12:39pm on 25 Jul 2009, Hesiodos

    Yes, I missed that.

    When I was at school (in England) I can't say we got the idea it was "wrong" for states to want to secede from the Union. (We also knew perfectly well that abolition became a war aim later, and was not a cause.) Economically unwise, perhaps, but that's with the benefit of hindsight, and more than one country thought the Confederacy was likely to be viable at the time.

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  • 26. At 1:49pm on 25 Jul 2009, carolinalady wrote:

    Y'all are missing a point here...go back and read President Carter's piece in The Guardian about the religious suppression of women's rights around the world. Justin had something in mind by highlighting it, and while I don't mean to put words in his mouth or on his keyboard, the recent news about the secretive Christian sect "The Family" and it's connection to members of the US Congress underscores exactly the point President Carter makes about the selfishness of the paternal religious power structure.

    Just why, exactly, have Senator Ensign and Governor Sanford -- both admitted adulterers and guilty of fraud, both professed devoted Christians, and both loudly censorious of President Clinton's comparatively minor peccadilloes -- NOT resigned their posts and faded into the background as disgraced politicians have always done once their hypocrisy has been exposed? Because The Family preaches that they are God's chosen Men of Power and not required to abide by the rules that everyone else has to follow. And what does that make of the women they married and the women they "sinned" with? Simply vessels to be used as background for their campaigns -- see my perfect wife and family? -- or playthings to be sniggered over with the boys in secret.

    Google "The Family" and "C Street" and follow some of their links. They are truly scary people and have wormed their slimy way very close to the seats of power in this country.

    We're large, loud, diverse, argumentative, sometimes ignorant and we definitely don't observe some of the European niceties of manners but we do eventually get most things right if given time and the right information. Don't get lost in discussions over the definition of Yankee, all right?

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  • 27. At 1:51pm on 25 Jul 2009, newlach wrote:

    The leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention are clearly nut jobs. Vulnerable individuals will believe what they say and many women will suffer as a consequence. Of course, this is not the first time that Carter has quit the Convention - he may well return!

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  • 28. At 2:10pm on 25 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #22

    Being a New Englander I have mine own anti NY bias. But from what I have observed upstate NY residents seem to resent that their issues and concerns get little attention.

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  • 29. At 2:11pm on 25 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #23

    I was refering to the average Europeans lack of knowledge of those outside of Europe.

    Especially in regard to the Americas and the Middle East.

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  • 30. At 2:31pm on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    26. At 1:49pm on 25 Jul 2009, carolinalady

    Well, Justin obviously didn't get the Washington Post back on the 26th June.

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  • 31. At 2:35pm on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    29. At 2:11pm on 25 Jul 2009, MagicKirin

    Pardon me for not adding Baghdad and Beirut. Or San Paolo and St Kitts.

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  • 32. At 2:36pm on 25 Jul 2009, TinnyRose wrote:

    Yes, the leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention are nutjobs and they have succeeded in splitting their own denomination into shards. A great many Southern Baptist churches have walked away from the Convention and are now pseudo-nondenominational or "Original Southern Baptist" as a result. That said, Plato once commented, "Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools talk because they have to say something." Kinda makes me think of Justin's posts ever since he stepped foot in the United States... Justin, just give it up already, shut up, and go back home. You've been here all this time and yet you still know absolutely nothing about this country or its people and all you do is insult everyone at home and abroad.

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  • 33. At 2:43pm on 25 Jul 2009, American Sport Fan wrote:

    Re #24 Actually, the southern states decided to seceed from the Union because they feared that the Republicans, under Abe Lincoln, would use their power to abolish slavery. The war was always about Slavery whether one wants to admit it or not.

    re 28 little attention from whom? The state government? Well I think that has to do with the fact that NYC is the largest City in the state and there for has the most needs. Having said that, living in upstate new york I do think that people from Upstate tend to whine a littl bit about the influence from NYC, when we all want to go down their to visit and shop anyway.

    BTW Magic Karin why do you dislike New York

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  • 34. At 2:53pm on 25 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Justin, if you have time, make sure you visit Monterrey and Carmel; in fact, if time permits drive along the coast all the way to Santa Barbara. It is worth it!

    An interesting facet of San Francisco is the Russian influence in some of its architecture, which I found unique. While it is true that a significant segment of the population has a more liberal outlook than their fellow citizens in other US cities, they are as American as the rest of us.

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  • 35. At 3:06pm on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    29. At 2:11pm on 25 Jul 2009, MagicKirin:
    "I was refering to the average Europeans lack of knowledge of those outside of Europe.
    Especially in regard to the Americas and the Middle East."


    OK, I'm bored with this game of yours. Let's try a few questions shall we? (And you have to give the answers in 60 seconds or less, so we know you haven't been Googling them and getting the answers from Wikipedia.)

    1) What's the connection between Ahmad Chalabi and Jordan?
    2) What's the name of the most famous singer in the Middle East?
    3) The name of Saadam Hussein's English translator and where he went to University>
    4) Who is Michel Aoun?
    5) Can you take out cash from an ATM in Damascus?
    6) Name the communist Egyptian poet who spent much of his life in prison there?
    7) Is Ahdaf Soueif male or female?
    8) What would you drink from an oudh?

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  • 36. At 3:09pm on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    33. At 2:43pm on 25 Jul 2009, AmericanSportFan:

    Well, I know the past is another country, I just didn't realise they taught history differently there.

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  • 37. At 3:11pm on 25 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    29. At 2:11pm on 25 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:
    ref #23

    I was refering to the average Europeans lack of knowledge of those outside of Europe.

    Especially in regard to the Americas and the Middle East."


    Coming from someone who venerates a complicit war criminal over Desmond Tutu (unfortunately black of course) this is rich.

    Your ignorance is only exceeded by your prejusdice


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  • 38. At 3:17pm on 25 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    17. At 12:09pm on 25 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:
    The diversity of the U.S is far greater than most Europeans realize. Which is one of the many reasons we resent being lectured to by people who are pretty insular compared to most americans."



    Despite the fact that Europeans on average speak more languages than most Americans, travel more widely and themselves have widely differing populations.


    "Beside the basic Coast vs Heartland
    Hsipanic Southwest and Miami

    Indvidual States are very differnt."


    But not as different as Luxembourg from Norway or Northern from Southern Poland or Slovakia from the Czech republic

    "New Orleans is very different than the rest of Louisiana
    Same with NY City and upstate NY"


    But all speak english and are all subject to the overwhelming, levelling down popular culture of the US which makes the place (with worthy exceptions of course) so stultifyingly boring.




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  • 39. At 3:30pm on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    37. At 3:11pm on 25 Jul 2009, Simon21

    Don't pester Magick, please, he's got an exam.

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  • 40. At 3:30pm on 25 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    PreviousNext1. At 08:21am on 25 Jul 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:
    San Francisco is a very beautiful and rich city, in many ways; it is impossible not to be thrilled by the natural setting and pleased by the civil tone. (Although I prefer Boston and NYC) One thing SF is NOT, however, is 'rational'. That made me laugh out loud. "



    It is also full of beggars and mendicants.


    And you find that out as soon as you try to enter your hotel from the pavement, or go to restaurant, or go for a walk.



    "The idea that "weird notions of Biblical denial of womens' rights" is somehow a part of the 'true' America that all Europeans must see, like vistors to an exotic zoo, is beyond weird - it is so odd and so truthless that it is difficult to grasp that anyone actually believes this either."


    So you are saying these notions do not exist in the US? But one glance at the web shows that they do.

    This is the country where people still have disputes about evoloution and its inclusion in school textbooks - disoputes the rest of the civilised world abandoned 50 years ago.

    "This is where anti-Americanism can take such peculiar and uniquely offensive forms. This comment has no relation to reality, but it is the sort of thing that would fit in with the spectacular, fabulous condescension of the term "brutally vivacious"."


    Hmmm but you haven;'t disproved teh assertion so your comment is without any value.

    Unless you can prove that these ridiulous discussions do not take place vigorously in the US.

    Yes "brutally vivacious" is a pecular phrase. Gunning down a doctor in church because you take a weird view on abortion is certainly brutal, not sure about the vivacious.

    "This concept of Americans as frightening yet fascinating savages fascinates me, in turn. "


    Since no one holds it it must fascinate you. What do you mean by "savage" incidently. That was the word used by the US commanders when justifying the extermination of the American nations.

    In fact there was nothing shameful about being a "savage" in this context.

    "It makes me realize again how enormous the gulf is between Europe and the US is, and that any return to a real alliance is out of the question. We are now so far apart that dialogue is impossible."

    But yet it takes place 24 hours a day. The US also contrives to talk to the Chinese. Is this because the US and CHina have a lot in common?

    The thing that inhibits relations is the boneful ignorance of many in the US about the world. This is probably due to the appalling education system which even A Cooke stated was woeful.


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  • 41. At 3:39pm on 25 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    26. At 1:49pm on 25 Jul 2009, carolinalady wrote:
    "Just why, exactly, have Senator Ensign and Governor Sanford -- both admitted adulterers and guilty of fraud, both professed devoted Christians, and both loudly censorious of President Clinton's comparatively minor peccadilloes -- NOT resigned their posts and faded into the background as disgraced politicians have always done once their hypocrisy has been exposed?"


    It is certainly bizzarre that in the US, UK and Australia (and probably Canada, though the climate may lead to more restraint) that as soon as a politico starts sprouting guff about families and family values, they lose the ability to keep their trousers on.

    The UK had John Major's "back to basic values" campaign conducted at the same time as he elected to share baths with a former cabinet minister.

    In Oz the examples are too common to enumerate, particularly at state level


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

    Make a stand
    A man who stand for nothing will fall for anything. (Rene Descartes)

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  • 43. At 3:58pm on 25 Jul 2009, frayedcat wrote:

    Aww, don't feel bad, there are plenty of nut-jobs, stubborn farmers and religious fanatics in Europe - y'all jez probly dont travel in those circles back home. I give you football hooligans, Basque, the Vatican. What America has is a large chunk of land revelling in a long stretch of domestic peace on its soil - that brings out the quirky freedom in people - let's spread it around a little.

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  • 44. At 4:06pm on 25 Jul 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    Tinny Rose 32,

    • ""Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools talk because they have to say something." Kinda makes me think of Justin's posts ever since he stepped foot in the United States... Justin, just give it up already, shut up, and go back home. You've been here all this time and yet you still know absolutely nothing about this country or its people and all you do is insult everyone at home and abroad."

    Those who know do not talk.
    Those who talk do not know.

    Keep your mouth closed.
    Guard your senses.
    Temper your sharpness.
    Simplify your problems.
    Mask your brightness.
    Be at one with the dust of the Earth.
    This is primal union.

    He who has achieved this state
    Is unconcerned with friends and enemies,
    With good and harm, with honor and disgrace.
    This therefore is the highest state of man.Lao Tzu, ~450 BCE

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  • 45. At 4:09pm on 25 Jul 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    Jock,

    • "Actually, the southern states decided to seceed from the Union because they feared that the Republicans, under Abe Lincoln, would use their power to abolish slavery. The war was always about Slavery whether one wants to admit it or not.
    Nothing will change the conviction of those who can see into the minds of long dead folk

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  • 46. At 4:18pm on 25 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    Even when the way goes through
    Death Valley,
    Im not afraid
    when you walk at my side.
    Your trusty shepherds crook
    makes me feel secure.

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  • 47. At 4:28pm on 25 Jul 2009, U14078849 wrote:



    Why do people like Magic assume that Europeans who read this blog (which, let's accept it, is a pretty specialised taste) assume that they haven't visited the States. I - and most of my friends & family - have visited many times and many places. Which is what gives me my interest in matters American and which is one of the reasons I read these pages.

    The other reason is to top up my knowledge of truly dumb comments.

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  • 48. At 4:45pm on 25 Jul 2009, Matt wrote:

    Justin,

    As a liberal New Yorker, I am offended to see you buy into the media's concept of "real America," which is apparently rural, southern, and deeply religious.

    It's a lie. While that part of America certainly exists, it is no more "American" than the other parts. Millions of Americans live in on the coasts, and in New England, and in the Great Lakes region, and in the upper Midwest - all areas which tend to be more liberal. A majority of Americans live in urban areas of greater than 1 million people. Evangelical Christians are a minority (though a vocal one) in America.

    Your simple stereotype of the "real America" is certainly a popular one in the media, but it is not backed up by demographic data.

    And I, for one, am tired of the implication that I am somehow not American enough because I live in a big East Coast city with liberal values. I'm as American as any bible-thumping, gun-toting, pickup-truck-driving Southerner.

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  • 49. At 5:14pm on 25 Jul 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    "So many European tourists here: poor things they have travelled ten hours to come the only part of America that isn't American. They'll go home knowing nothing."

    But you're a tourist too, having travelled from DC to the City, as it is known. A train or bus journey across the nation would have given you a better insight to America; long ago I did it twice, once in each direction. One sees and experiences parts of the country which would never otherwise have been considered. Jetting in to this city or that is really never satisfactory. No doubt the BBC pays for upscale hotels and restaurants to ease the pain of travel to distant parts, but those are not representative of the United States. With regret, it seems to me that you'll go home knowing America from a privileged position, never having sampled the less savoury aspects of life here.

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  • 50. At 6:05pm on 25 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #38

    Yes on average they speak more languages.

    But are they appaling ignorant of the political and social situations in the Americas and the Middle East. They also don't get as a wide of range of views either.

    Having been to several countries in european I would say there are more differences between someone who lives in say NY city and a midwestern small town, then someone from Germany or Holland.

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  • 51. At 6:17pm on 25 Jul 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    MagicKirin,
    You are probably correct as usual, though Germany and Holland are pretty big towns over here. And of course we have different differences with each other which makes comparison, well difficult.

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  • 52. At 6:56pm on 25 Jul 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    Justin, as someone who grew up in the US, you'll have to pardon my observations
    if they don't completely coincide with your own. San Francisco and the rest
    of Northern California is really a state by itself. It's where the nonconformists
    from the rest of the country wind up. And, because this part of the country
    is so accepting of fruits and nuts, it has become the mecca of innovation for
    Americans. One can come here with a new idea and investors will give it a shot.

    That's not true elsewhere in the US. People invest in ideas with which they
    are familiar. In New York, they are familiar with ways of moving money around.
    In Philadelphia, they are familiar with drug and insurance companies. But,
    Northern Californians are familiar with the unfamiliar. It's the culture of
    mass conformity in other places which causes people to wind up here en masse.

    Now, San Francisco may appear to be "European-like" in many ways, but it's
    really a uniquely American phenomenon, in that tolerance of diversity is
    the norm. This cultural pattern goes all the way back to the gold rush,
    when people from all over the world arrived at once and had to get along
    with each other.

    So, you are misreading the place when you characterize it on some specific
    social issue. It has a cultural continuity of its own which has nothing
    to do with the politics of the day. Northern California is what it is because
    we don't exclude anybody here, regardless of how ridiculous they may
    seem to be.

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  • 53. At 7:07pm on 25 Jul 2009, zoyla_rip_2000 wrote:

    The jaw drops. Most Americans are appallingly ignorant of the "political and social situations" of most other countries. They can't even locate most other countries on a world map. Quite often they can't even tell you the continent or even the hemisphere of any country not the U.S.

    A great many Americans are even ignorant about their own country. I've met people who don't know that Virginia and West Virginia are two different states. (This is one fact at least on which West Virginians are one-up on a good deal of the rest of the population.)

    I don't know many Europeans so cannot possibly judge their collective intelligence. But I have a feeling they're more knowledgeable about world affairs than Americans in general are. They could not possibly be less knowledgeable. The poster at #50 is a good example of the average American. Sadly.

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  • 54. At 7:24pm on 25 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    50. At 6:05pm on 25 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:
    ref #38

    Yes on average they speak more languages."


    Yes they do and different art movemetns, histories, geographies etc


    "But are they appaling ignorant of the political and social situations in the Americas and the Middle East. They also don't get as a wide of range of views either."


    Well they do not think a complicit war crminal shouod be honoured over a nobel peace prize winner, even if one is nice and white and the other black.


    The also know the Palestinians are human beings and "arabs" are not a race - matters that escape many Americans


    "Having been to several countries in european I would say there are more differences between someone who lives in say NY city and a midwestern small town, then someone from Germany or Holland."


    I wasn't aware people in th emidwest spoke a different offical language from those in NY?


    I wasn't aware that mid west US was a monarchy compared to republican New York?

    What wre you saying about US ignorance?

    Stick to Dershovitz you are out of your depth with geography

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  • 55. At 7:31pm on 25 Jul 2009, DelightedImmigrant wrote:

    Reiner Torholt and Koroviev underscore why I am a delighted naturalized American. The former doesn't hide his distate for America and the latter lives in some dream universe where non-white people simply want to live in peace.

    Reiner, clearly you have no idea about America and the wonderful gift it is to the world. There are only a few countries in the world where an immigrant can enter a country as a foreigner and become that nationality. In Germany as soon as people saw my name they would say, some did within earshot, "dumb Bulgarian." The US has given me opportunities I would never have had in Germany or anywhere else in "advanced" Europe. Why are people still flocking into this country? Because it offers no guarantees only chances. That is all I have ever wanted. The bigotry in my adopted country is exceeded in "cultured" Europe. Remember Le Pen's slogan "France for the French." How about Haider's - "Austria for the Austrians." Filip Dewinter of Belgium stated to the NYT "it is impossible to assimilate in our country if you are of Islamic belief."

    For all of its problems, the United States is more accomodating to other cultures than any country in Europe.

    Koroviev, do you actually believe the fairytale you described? The non-Europeans want to live together in love, peace and harmony? Right. Darfur, the Kivus, Burma are all perfect demonstrations of that wish. I'm sure you will blame the whites for creating the paradigm that led to the horrendous violence there. There comes a time where people have to take responsibility for their own actions. The violence in those places is there because locals choose to make it so. Go ahead and argue the perpetrators are dancing to a tune they did not create. Fair enough but individuals can choose how they wish to live their lives. Clearly those choices have been made. You can not, although I'm sure you will try, lay the blame at the feet of the whites.

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  • 56. At 8:05pm on 25 Jul 2009, lochraven wrote:

    Justin, you should know by now that you cannot serve two masters. I don't think you are going to get a warm reception when you return to the mother-land. But good luck anyway, and keep in touch.

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  • 57. At 8:15pm on 25 Jul 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    David_Cunard and #49.

    How right you are: The Train is such a great way to see a country/continent.

    I managed a couple of USA east coast north to south journeys in the 1970s and was so pleased I did: And met all sorts of Americans and got to see so much of the urban and rural landscape. The mix of languages I heard was amazing although everyone reverted to at least pigeon-americanese whenever officialdom came around.

    In 1998 I did the Moscow to St.Petersberg train and it was the same experience of seeing so much, however, at that time Russia was going through such an appalling social breakdown a lot of it was also very unpleasant (almost Dr Zhivago with people holding out their hands at every stop for even a crust).
    I've been back and things are very much improved with credit given to Putin whether the 'west' approve of him or not.

    In the 1980s I also did London to Edinburgh and Paris to (West) Berlin which were also very revealing about people's attitudes and the contrasting lifestyles.

    Yes, as a wise and for once genuinely informative advert declared: 'Let The Train Take The Strain!'

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  • 58. At 8:55pm on 25 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    55. At 7:31pm on 25 Jul 2009, DelightedImmigrant wrote:
    Reiner Torholt and Koroviev underscore why I am a delighted naturalized American. The former doesn't hide his distate for America and the latter lives in some dream universe where non-white people simply want to live in peace.

    Reiner, clearly you have no idea about America and the wonderful gift it is to the world."



    Many Americans don't get this either. Why is that you wonder?


    "There are only a few countries in the world where an immigrant can enter a country as a foreigner and become that nationality."


    Except for the whole of Europe, Australia (where most people would like to immigrate, not the US), Canada etc etc.




    "In Germany as soon as people saw my name they would say, some did within earshot, "dumb Bulgarian." The US has given me opportunities I would never have had in Germany or anywhere else in "advanced" Europe."



    Have you lived in every country in Europe? What is the name of the president of France again, remind us? Is it a French name?


    "Why are people still flocking into this country? Because it offers no guarantees only chances. That is all I have ever wanted. The bigotry in my adopted country is exceeded in "cultured" Europe. Remember Le Pen's slogan "France for the French." How about Haider's - "Austria for the Austrians." Filip Dewinter of Belgium stated to the NYT "it is impossible to assimilate in our country if you are of Islamic belief."



    Plenty of people want to immigrate to Europe - hence the anti-immigrant parties.

    Not to hard to grasp.

    And bigotry? The US, you are joking. Or very stupid.

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  • 59. At 8:59pm on 25 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    55. At 7:31pm on 25 Jul 2009, DelightedImmigrant wrote:


    "Koroviev, do you actually believe the fairytale you described? The non-Europeans want to live together in love, peace and harmony? Right. Darfur, the Kivus, Burma are all perfect demonstrations of that wish. I'm sure you will blame the whites for creating the paradigm that led to the horrendous violence there."



    Hmmm you do know there are a lot of non-Europeans in the US. Are you saying they cause all the trouble?


    If you were a naturalised American you would know this. Latinos are the fastest growing group in the US and the wasps are declining

    So your claim is a little weird.


    "There comes a time where people have to take responsibility for their own actions. The violence in those places is there because locals choose to make it so. Go ahead and argue the perpetrators are dancing to a tune they did not create. Fair enough but individuals can choose how they wish to live their lives. Clearly those choices have been made. You can not, although I'm sure you will try, lay the blame at the feet of the whites."


    Oh right so there is no such thing as history or the past Very useful insight.

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  • 60. At 9:03pm on 25 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    This analysis is so far off the mark it's hard to know where to begin to critique it, so I won't. I think it is Mr. Webb who will "go home knowing nothing" (about America), sad to say.

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  • 61. At 9:04pm on 25 Jul 2009, American Sport Fan wrote:

    Re # 50

    Guns and Religion, I think you the nail on the head. When you think about it, San Francisco isn't really all that differant from the rest of the country in that people do invest in what's familiar to them. I think Justin needs to forgo his return to Britian and spend a few more years here in the United states.

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  • 62. At 9:05pm on 25 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #54

    Simple Simon I was talking about culture and way of life.

    I want eveyone to notice that Simon once again brought the Palestinian question in again.

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  • 63. At 9:26pm on 25 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    55. At 7:31pm on 25 Jul 2009, DelightedImmigrant wrote:
    ""Koroviev, do you actually believe the fairytale you described? The non-Europeans want to live together in love, peace and harmony? Right. Darfur, the Kivus, Burma are all perfect demonstrations of that wish. I'm sure you will blame the whites for creating the paradigm that led to the horrendous violence there. There comes a time where people have to take responsibility for their own actions. The violence in those places is there because locals choose to make it so. Go ahead and argue the perpetrators are dancing to a tune they did not create. Fair enough but individuals can choose how they wish to live their lives. Clearly those choices have been made. You can not, although I'm sure you will try, lay the blame at the feet of the whites.""
    ++

    Don't bother talking to me.

    You are full of false assumptions,non-whites/europeans are usually assimilated into society without hate, and just want an equal playing field. Children are the same they don't discriminate they mix.

    Questions
    when you look at Obama do you see a black man or do you see a President
    how many black friends do you have, (and not the usual I know this black man rubbish)

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  • 64. At 9:35pm on 25 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    62. At 9:05pm on 25 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:
    ref #54

    Simple Simon I was talking about culture and way of life."


    Oh so language is not a part of culture.

    Well in your case that may well be true since you hae a lot of problems with it.

    But to assert that Germany and Holland have more in common then any two areas of the US makes you look like a buffoon.

    Beethoven, Mendlesohn, Schubert.


    Rembrandt, Vermeer, van Gogh


    Oh an lifestyle. A Frisian fisherman has more in common with a German merchant banker in Frankfurt then two people in the US.

    As I say buffoonish.


    Gunter Grass, Herman Hesse

    "I want eveyone to notice that Simon once again brought the Palestinian question in again."

    I like pointing out your prejudices whihc undercut everything you say.

    A person who thinks a complicit war criminal is more honorable than a nobel peace prize winner is not a person to talk about intelligence.


    Just accept that once again you have proved that you do not kow what you are talking about.

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  • 65. At 9:44pm on 25 Jul 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    Justin, you wrote:

    Americans can learn things from Europeans but the essence of America - even if it involves weird notions of Biblical denial of womens' rights - is somehow more brutally vivacious than the jaded options over the Atlantic.

    Reminds me of what you said back in 2005:

    America is often portrayed as an ignorant, unsophisticated sort of place, full of bible bashers and ruled to a dangerous extent by trashy television, superstition and religious bigotry, a place lacking in respect for evidence based knowledge. I know that is how it is portrayed because I have done my bit to paint that picture...

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/4400865.stm

    Though you strongly defended America a little later that year:

    Stephen Sackur: One fascinating insight into human rights attitudes around the world I had in recent weeks was chatting to Mary Robinson who till very recently was the UN chief running the human rights commission. She said the problem is that because of what has happened post-Iraq in particular with Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, extraordinary rendition, a whole host of other things she listed - it is impossible now for countries like America which basically are democracies which many people around the world have always looked up to, the problem is now they cannot take the moral high ground and lecture other countries on how they should impose human rights values. It doesn't work any more.

    Justin Webb: That's absolutely ludicrous though, isn't it? I mean the view in America of that kind of comment is just to throw your hands up and say for goodness sake, look at the facts on the ground, look at the way that Iraq was run before the invasion, look at Iran now, and then look for instance at America and can you seriously say that there is some kind of moral equivalence between the way they treat their own people and the way Americans treat theirs, the way they behave on the world stage? There isn't.


    (From Radio 4, 30/12/2005)


    Will the real Justin Webb please stand up - preferably before you return to be locked into the PC straitjacket waiting for you on the BBC's home turf.

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  • 66. At 9:45pm on 25 Jul 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    26. carolinalady,

    I wouldn't read anything Jimmy Carter wrote, not even for a laugh.

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  • 67. At 9:59pm on 25 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

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

  • 68. At 10:05pm on 25 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    66. At 9:45pm on 25 Jul 2009, TrueToo wrote:
    26. carolinalady,

    I wouldn't read anything Jimmy Carter wrote, not even for a laugh."


    Consequently I am not abvle to say anything of value about him.

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  • 69. At 10:08pm on 25 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

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

  • 70. At 10:13pm on 25 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    69. At 10:08pm on 25 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:
    ref #68 and 68

    I have read Carter editorials and his books even though the latter made me sick to my stomache."


    But reading about Ari's role in the massacres of Sabra and Shatilla filled you with pleasure?

    "I am ashamed we ever elected him. As much as I disagree with President Obama he is not any where as loathsome as this racist and bigot."

    But he is not a complicit war criminal whom you want to honor.



    I am ashamed we ever elected him. As much as I disagree with President Obama he is not any where as loathsome as this racist and bigot.

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  • 71. At 10:15pm on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    50. At 6:05pm on 25 Jul 2009, MagicKirin

    "are they appaling ignorant of the political and social situations in the Americas and the Middle East. They also don't get as a wide of range of views either."

    Three hours later and you still haven't even startedyour exam on the Middle East at No 35?

    I did omit the rubric saying that it was about the Middle East, but I thought you knew such a lot?

    And me only one of those ignorant folks from "european", too. We'll have to skip Part II on "The Americas" then.


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  • 72. At 10:21pm on 25 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

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

  • 73. At 10:33pm on 25 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 48, MJK

    "As a liberal New Yorker, I am offended to see you buy into the media's concept of "real America," which is apparently rural, southern, and deeply religious."

    In my opinion, what Justin is highlighting is simply the diversity of our country and the influence of immigrants from every country in the world on our society, which can often be discerned as we travel across our country.

    The fact that San Francisco appears to be so different from other cities in the US does not make it better or worse, in fact, the same could be said for New York, Chicago, or San Antonio; all of which have their own uniqueness and character.

    I disagree vehemently with the insinuation that Justin, or anyone else on this blog, is trying to define our society as rural, Southern, and deeply religious. There are small cities and towns scattered throughout our land that are as American as any large city, some people are deeply religious, others are not. What is true for most of us is that we don't see ourselves as people from rural areas, large cities or small towns, but as Americans.

    The ancient enmities, traditions, and different languages that can be found throughout Europe, Africa and Asia are simply not present in the Americas where regionalism and ancestry take a back seat to national identity and commonality. That is the source of our strength and the essence of who we are.

    Yes, we have our problems, but so does everyone else.

    Ref 66, TrueToo

    It may do you a lot of good to read the works of former President Carter. You may find his religiosity disturbing, his political view naive, and his focus on equality, fairness and democratic principles unacceptable, but he is an honest and intelligent man whose opinion should be considered and who has devoted his life to serve his country. His post-presidential performance contrasts with those who spend their days playing golf, parachuting, or making millions delivering speeches.

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  • 74. At 10:52pm on 25 Jul 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #66

    TT,

    How can you take delight in your own ignorance? I disagree with someone so much that I do not take the time to know what they stand for is hardly a the statement of a rational person.

    Rational Sam

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  • 75. At 11:02pm on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    73. At 10:33pm on 25 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    "The ancient enmities, traditions, and different languages that can be found throughout Europe, Africa and Asia are simply not present in the Americas where regionalism and ancestry take a back seat to national identity and commonality."

    Are you absolutely sure about that?

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  • 76. At 11:03pm on 25 Jul 2009, Granten wrote:

    I wish that there was one 'America' for them to experience, it feels like this is really three countries mashed together.

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  • 77. At 11:08pm on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

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

  • 78. At 11:41pm on 25 Jul 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

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

  • 79. At 00:14am on 26 Jul 2009, zoyla_rip_2000 wrote:

    #73 - saintDominick:

    You say: The ancient enmities, traditions, and different languages that can be found throughout Europe, Africa and Asia are simply not present in the Americas where regionalism and ancestry take a back seat to national identity and commonality. That is the source of our strength and the essence of who we are.

    To a certain extent you are correct, because we don't have "ancient enmities and traditions," not being an ancient country. However, there are areas of the country where there are fresh enmities due to large immigrant populations and different languages. There is the red state/blue state argument as to which represents the "real" America. One hears those in the "Heartland" speaking with disdain of those on the east or west coast, and vice versa. There are areas where regionalism and ancestry still count for very much. There are people who refuse to believe Obama is an American because he is black and his father was a Kenyan, and he was born in Hawaii which some people apparently don't consider to be part of "real" America.

    I'm not sure what this national identity is that you say binds us together, or if it exists at all.

    I speak of the U.S. only, not being familiar with the rest of "the Americas."

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  • 80. At 00:32am on 26 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    74. At 10:52pm on 25 Jul 2009, SamTyler1969

    I had an answer, but unfortunately we have entered the joke-free twilight zone again. . .

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  • 81. At 00:35am on 26 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    MK's epithets for former President Carter in post #69 are so extreme and inappropriate as applied to Mr. Carter that they can only be intepreted as motivated by Carter's having found some merit in the Palestinian cause and some basis for criticism of Israeli policies and actions, which are unusual for an American politician. MK just cannot tolerate honest disagreement on this subject, it seems.

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  • 82. At 00:38am on 26 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    71. At 10:15pm on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:
    50. At 6:05pm on 25 Jul 2009, MagicKirin

    "are they appaling ignorant of the political and social situations in the Americas and the Middle East. They also don't get as a wide of range of views either."

    Three hours later and you still haven't even startedyour exam on the Middle East at No 35?

    I did omit the rubric saying that it was about the Middle East, but I thought you knew such a lot?

    And me only one of those ignorant folks from "european", too. We'll have to skip Part II on "The Americas" then."



    This poster openly abeleives a complicit war criminal should be honored over a nobel peace prize winner and a former president whose writing he dislikes.

    It is therfore only to be supposed he has little grounds to comment on the ignorance of others.


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  • 83. At 00:41am on 26 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    saintDominick (#73) "The ancient enmities, traditions, and different languages that can be found throughout Europe, Africa and Asia are simply not present in the Americas where regionalism and ancestry take a back seat to national identity and commonality. That is the source of our strength and the essence of who we are."

    I agree with this observation, with respect to the US. I am reminded of a Sikh gentleman quoted on the local news a few months ago saying how much he loved being in America. He didn't say exactly why, but it was hardly necessary. It was for the reason you state here.

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  • 84. At 00:41am on 26 Jul 2009, smileytm303 wrote:

    This whole line about exciting American brutality is itself the touristic viewpoint of one about to depart these shores. Gay, non-racist, cosmopolitan culture has been called un-American too many times by too many unsavory people, and I still have to live here.

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  • 85. At 00:43am on 26 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    #73 - saintDominick:

    You say: The ancient enmities, traditions, and different languages that can be found throughout Europe, Africa and Asia are simply not present in the Americas where regionalism and ancestry take a back seat to national identity and commonality. That is the source of our strength and the essence of who we are.


    Hmm not sure the native Americans, who never seem to be considered in any discussion of the US despite having discovered and settled the place, would agree with you.

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  • 86. At 00:45am on 26 Jul 2009, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    71 squirrelist wrote:

    [referring to # 50 MagicKirin, who wrote

    "are they [sic] appaling [sic twice] ignorant of the political and social situations in the Americas and the Middle East. They also don't get as a wide [sic] of range of views either."]

    "Three hours later and you still haven't even startedyour exam on the Middle East at No 35? "

    Squirrelist, Squirrelist, Squirrelist.

    How often must I tell you folks?

    Stop confusing MK with the facts!

    [He certainly doesn't confuse himself with the facts.]

    In any event, the questions you ask him in your 'exam' are all entirely irrelevant.

    You see, he knows the truth. Which is, all you need to know about the Middle East is to loudly and repeatedly chant 'Israel Good - A-rabs bad! Israel Good - A-rabs bad!'. You then libellously smear anyone who dares question this - Carter, Mandela, Tutu, to name but 3 of the better known, though he also applies this technique to posters on this blog.

    If anyone does try to confuse you with the facts, you just put your fingers in your ears, and chant louder.

    Unfortunately, he appears to have adopted this habit in his Basic English classes - with obvious consequences...

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  • 87. At 01:01am on 26 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    86. At 00:45am on 26 Jul 2009, john-In-Dublin:

    "Squirrelist, Squirrelist, Squirrelist. How often must I tell you folks? Stop confusing MK with the facts!"

    OK.

    How many legs do you think he's got? I think it's four.

    I mean he's an . . . .(don't think I can write that word; the mods aren't allowing me puns any more.)

    ('Donkey' will have to substitute, I suppose, but it's not quite the same.)

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  • 88. At 01:17am on 26 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    83. At 00:41am on 26 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill:

    That's an anecdote followed by an assumption. Perhaps he'd just inherited fifty million dollars from an aunt?


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  • 89. At 01:33am on 26 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 79, Zoyla

    "I'm not sure what this national identity is that you say binds us together, or if it exists at all.

    I speak of the U.S. only, not being familiar with the rest of "the Americas."

    Perhaps the easiest way to explain what I meant is by citing an example. My wife was born in the Canary Islands, Spain. When she is asked where is she from her answer is always "from the Canary Islands". My maternal relatives identify themselves as Basque, and my paternal relatives as "Gallegos" (Galicians). They only acknowledge their nationality as Spanish when their interlocutors don't know where their birthplaces are, which happens quite often.

    Similar situations can be found in the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, etc. I lived overseas over 30 years, not once did I respond New Yorker when asked what my nationality was.

    Regarding my statement about "the Americas", I was referring to North, Central and South America and, on the subject of nationality, there are more parallels between the US, Canada, and Latin America than many people think. The difference, of course, is that the indigenous population in the US is a fraction of 1%, and they constitute the majority in several Latin American countries. Obviously, native Americans have a very different perspective of the meaning of national - and cultural - identity than most of us do, although in the USA most of them are so integrated and inter-mixed that the issue is often irrelevant. Not so in countries like Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru.

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  • 90. At 01:41am on 26 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 75, Squirrelist

    "Are you absolutely sure about that?"

    On the issue of national identity I would say that, with the possible exception of some member of native American tribes, the answer is yes.

    Obviously, we have problems that sometimes challenge the rights and equality of some segments of our population, but with very few exceptions we all consider ourselves Americans first and our ancestral roots are a distant second.



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  • 91. At 01:53am on 26 Jul 2009, zoyla_rip_2000 wrote:

    #89 - saintDominick

    Thank you for your explanation. However, the mere fact that some (or most) would identify themselves as Americans, rather than by state, when traveling in another country, does not mean that Americans at home share a "national identity." You did not address the point of my remark. There is a great deal of friction in this country and to sweep it aside, or under the rug, is a surprising denial. I did not expect this from you, based on earlier comments I have read.

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  • 92. At 01:53am on 26 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    An example of the "brutally vivacious" or the wide open spaces bringing out "the quirky freedom in people" here?

    [Hums "I am easily assimilated" from Bernstein's Candide.]

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  • 93. At 02:11am on 26 Jul 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #80 squirrelist

    I haven't been around on this blog since the election - but I'm overjoyed to find that the squirrels are still here!

    I'm back enjoying North Carolina in a family whose American members apparantly rejected the Southern Baptist Convention some time ago over its social attitudes.

    I don't pretend to understand those who believe in a God, but that's their choice and I wouldn't deny them their right to live their lives in the myriad ways that such people appear to want to do.

    The problem surely comes when the State becomes involved with these issues. Hence why I find it odd that the English/Brits who support an Established Church being involved with passing laws for the UK, commenting negatively on the US situation.

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  • 94. At 02:11am on 26 Jul 2009, zoyla_rip_2000 wrote:

    #92 - squirrelist

    What a sad story. I am sorry to sound harsh, but I believe the parents of that poor child should move back to Liberia. They may not have broken any law in the state of Arizona, but they have committed a moral crime, on top of the ghastly crime perpetrated on their child.

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  • 95. At 02:36am on 26 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    93. At 02:11am on 26 Jul 2009, oldnat wrote:

    "I find it odd that the English/Brits who support an Established Church being involved with passing laws for the UK, commenting negatively on the US situation."

    Yes, but the Bishops have been very careful on what issues they vote on for many years. Mostly, they abstain. (One of those unwritten compromises we go in for.) It's just one of those historical anomalies. Like having 'Law Lords' who can speak, but don't vote on legislation, just as the other Lords never sit to hear a legal appeal to the House of Lords, though in theory they could.

    They have nothing like the power, or influence, of some religious groupings in the US Congress or Senate. And there are Moslems, Jews, Methodists (Lord Soper being a famous example) and for all I know others in the House of Lords too.

    But "Bishops are expected to retain their seats in the House of Lords but be stripped of their voting rights under reforms being drawn up by Gordon Brown" according to a recent report.

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  • 96. At 02:45am on 26 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    93. At 02:11am on 26 Jul 2009, oldnat

    Ta for the nice squirrel compliment. We bounce back (even if the new BBC Mods 'humor filter' bounces some of our merrier little quips and quiddities these days.)

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  • 97. At 02:52am on 26 Jul 2009, toughdirtyjoe wrote:

    "Reiner_Torheit wrote:
    Frankly I doubt very many Europeans are in any doubt what the rest of America is "like". The reason they go to California is to *avoid* it.

    Anyone whose interest hasn't been slaked by the Iraq War, President Bush, Ronald Dumbsfeld, Abu-Ghraib or Guantanamo just has to go and look on YouTube. You'll quickly get your fill of Euro-hating, xenophobic, gun-nut, Creationist, End-Time, Religious Right yankees there"




    Why do you hate the US so much? Its funny you bring up Abu-Ghraib yet you and your type are silence on Human right abuses in Russia, China, and Iran. But its okay for them right? As far as religion Catholic and other Christian charities give millions to help other on this earth. How Much does atheist groups give?
    Morals does something for us it seperates us from the animals.

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  • 98. At 02:58am on 26 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    94. At 02:11am on 26 Jul 2009, zoyla_rip_2000 wrote:

    "They may not have broken any law in the state of Arizona".

    That rather surprised me. I can see it's an odd legal area, but I did rather feel that something more than 'moral disapprobation' would have been called for.

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  • 99. At 03:00am on 26 Jul 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #80

    Squirl,

    I know. It's tedious. One tiny tiny reminder about draft dodging being cowardice of the worst kind and I get referred. I guess the referrers are sort of cowards.

    This will probably get referred so let's enjoy it while we can.

    Sad Sam

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  • 100. At 03:06am on 26 Jul 2009, zoyla_rip_2000 wrote:

    #97 - Mr. Dirty Joe -

    Atheists donate to worthy causes as individuals. They tend not to belong to "groups." I believe your intent is to equate atheists with animals, and that you mean that to be a rude comment. I know many animals who have better morals than many people who profess to believe in a religion, and I would much prefer to associate with those animals than with hypocritical and rude humans.

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  • 101. At 03:13am on 26 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    squirrelist (#88) "That's an anecdote followed by an assumption."

    Yes, it is, and as we know anecdotes are not proof. I don't claim to have proven anything. All I claim is to believe what saintDominick has written about Americans putting national identity first. That (what I believe) is a fact. I do know what I believe, and I am merely offering saintDominick some support. What you and others may make of it is unimportant.

    I don't know about Canada and Latin America, but I believe that in the United States we are Americans first, and whatever other identities we may have take a back seat. Like any generalization, it is not uniformly true, but my belief is that it is more or less true. I also believe that it applies not only to people whose American ancestors go back far beyond living memory, as mine do, but also to immigrants who are eager to become Americans. I can't prove it, and won't attempt to, but merely state that my belief is based not merely on one anecdote but on a lifetime of experience as an American.

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  • 102. At 03:13am on 26 Jul 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #95 & 96 squirrelist

    I suspect the Beeb has outsourced the modding (or it's entirely South of England) as the peculiarly dry Scottish (red squirrel) humour continues to be unmodded.

    C of E bishops "have nothing like the power, or influence, of some religious groupings in the US Congress or Senate"

    Of course, that is true. But these American politicians are there because they represent the views of their constituents (however wierd I may think they or their constituents are!)

    I understand that many Americans may prefer theocracy to democracy and vote accordingly, and that certainly matches American foreign policy.

    I remain confused, however, as to why the English/Brits accept any actual or potential theocratic in the government of the UK, \while condemning it elsewhere.

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  • 103. At 03:22am on 26 Jul 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    In reference to the subjugation of women in religion, one wonders why (at least in Christianity) the women are more devoted to their religion than are the men. Do they feel more secure having men run their lives? If so, then they conspire in their own second-class status and reap what they consider a benefit.

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  • 104. At 03:25am on 26 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    99. At 03:00am on 26 Jul 2009, SamTyler1969:

    It is isn't it? Soon I'm going to qualify for writing those Times crossword clues nobody understands, I sometimes have to be so confoundedly circumlocutory.

    "Avoidance of draughts is nowhere near the same as braving the heat"? Something like that, was it?

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  • 105. At 03:37am on 26 Jul 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #103 allmymarbles

    You put your finger on the appropriate button. What you say of Christianity, appears to be even more true of Islam. Why women choose to accept subjugation (as in those Americans who remain in the Southern Baptists) requires an answer from them as opposed to those of us men who think religion to be a strange phenomenom.

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  • 106. At 03:40am on 26 Jul 2009, zoyla_rip_2000 wrote:

    #101 - Mr. Gary A. Holl

    It seems that you are not very interested in opinions or assertions that are at variance with your own. I wonder why, then, you post on a blog. Is it only to assert your own opinions and attempt to disguise those as "fact," based on your own personal experience, without taking into account the experiences of others whose lives may be quite different from yours?

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  • 107. At 03:41am on 26 Jul 2009, zoyla_rip_2000 wrote:

    Oh dear. I seem to have made a typo. I am so sorry.

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  • 108. At 03:58am on 26 Jul 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #103

    Marby,

    I suspect it has something to do with genetics. At risk of sounding like Dawkins, Males are more prone to risk taking behavior since from an evolutionary perspective they are less necessray as individuals (One male can produce the genetic material to produce offspring every 2 hours or so, on female every 4 weeks, therefore a male to female ratio 1 to 20 is completely sustainable. With a 52/48 female to male ratio of births, we can afford to lose a lot of males. Therefore they are the ones wired for risk).

    The only logical approach to religion is to believe, since if there is an afterlife all religions teach their path is the way to achieve it. To not be devout is a risk taking behavior, hence one that is a bit 'blokeish'.

    XY Sam

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  • 109. At 04:07am on 26 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 110. At 04:10am on 26 Jul 2009, zoyla_rip_2000 wrote:

    It is incorrect to say that in Christianity the women are more devoted to religion than are the men, and therefore willing to be subservient to men, when there are many branches of Christianity where this subservience is not considered an aspect of the religion and is certainly not adhered to. It is in main the Southern Baptists and Mormons who subscribe to this dubious tenet. These two groups certainly are not representative of all Christians.

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  • 111. At 04:13am on 26 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    101. At 03:13am on 26 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill

    "What you and others may make of it is unimportant."

    Oh, sorry. Pardon me for breathing. OK. I won't make anything of what you post in future then.

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  • 112. At 04:16am on 26 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    zoyla.. (#106) "It seems that you are not very interested in opinions or assertions that are at variance with your own."

    That is not correct. In fact, I have wide interests in the opinions of pthers. It seems that you have not reviewed many of my contributions, and those of others with whom I have communicated, and considered the particular remark which caught your attention in proper context.

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  • 113. At 04:29am on 26 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    105/103

    I hope this sub-thread doesn't develop the way I fear it might.

    I only want to chuck one thing into the ring: I know a lot of Muslim girls and women here in Britain who wear a headscarf as an act of pride in their religion, and almost (given various circumstances over the last eight years) as an act of defiance--certainly not of subjugation.

    Much as some Buddhist monks shave their heads, hippies in the 70's grew their hair long and some of my (British) West Indian neighbours have dreadlocks, Orthodox Jews wear scarves or hats depending on sex, or Sikh males (including policemen) wear turbans. Hindu women also often cover their heads, too. . .

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  • 114. At 04:34am on 26 Jul 2009, zoyla_rip_2000 wrote:

    #112 - Mr. Gary A_Holl

    Oh, but I have. I have indeed. You seem to be a person who views everything through your own experiences only. You seem to be lacking in empathy for the travails of others, and you also sadly lack a sense of humor. The latter is crucial to a well-rounded personality. I humbly suggest you attempt to cultivate a sense of humor, if you are not too old and it is not too late for you.

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  • 115. At 04:38am on 26 Jul 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #101. Gary_A_Hill: "I believe that in the United States we are Americans first, and whatever other identities we may have take a back seat. Like any generalization, it is not uniformly true, but my belief is that it is more or less true."

    If it were true, then there would be no hyphenated Americans. But with all the various combinations, Chinese-Americans, Polish-Americans, Irish-Americans, Russian-Americans, Mexican-Americans &c., one never hears of Anglo-Americans. Of those cited, many honour their homeland first, not to mention those who, being Jewish, support Israel to the detriment of America. I submit that the above statement (first sentence) is less true than more.

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  • 116. At 04:50am on 26 Jul 2009, zoyla_rip_2000 wrote:

    #115 - Mr. David_Cunard

    Oh, you are so right! Such an astute comment. I am most familiar with the Jewish community here and know many American Jewish people who would put Israel before their own native country without a second thought. It is, in my opinion, most disgraceful.

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  • 117. At 05:02am on 26 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    102. At 03:13am on 26 Jul 2009, oldnat wrote:

    "I remain confused, however, as to why the English/Brits accept any actual or potential theocratic in the government of the UK."

    In practice, we don't. We don't have a written constitution, so the bits that become irrelevant or anachronistic over time just get shunted off into a siding and left to rust away while the grass grows around them. And everybody except the more pompous constitution pundits gradually forgets them.

    Remember T Blair's remark that if he'd spoken about his religion, everybody would've thought he was a nutter?

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  • 118. At 05:55am on 26 Jul 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    73. saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 48, MJK

    "As a liberal New Yorker, I am offended to see you buy into the media's concept of "real America," which is apparently rural, southern, and deeply religious."

    In my opinion, what Justin is highlighting is simply the diversity of our country and the influence of immigrants from every country in the world on our society, which can often be discerned as we travel across our country.


    If his aim is really to highlight diversity, why use the word essence? Surely the two concepts are mutually exclusive?

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  • 119. At 06:06am on 26 Jul 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    97. toughdirtyjoe wrote:

    "Reiner_Torheit wrote:
    Frankly I doubt very many Europeans are in any doubt what the rest of America is "like". The reason they go to California is to *avoid* it.

    Anyone whose interest hasn't been slaked by the Iraq War, President Bush, Ronald Dumbsfeld, Abu-Ghraib or Guantanamo just has to go and look on YouTube. You'll quickly get your fill of Euro-hating, xenophobic, gun-nut, Creationist, End-Time, Religious Right yankees there"

    Why do you hate the US so much? Its funny you bring up Abu-Ghraib yet you and your type are silence on Human right abuses in Russia, China, and Iran.


    Their silence speaks volumes.



    68. Simon21,

    Right, and I guess you've spent some time glued to Warrior, the autobiography of Ariel Sharon.

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  • 120. At 06:32am on 26 Jul 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    115. David_Cunard,

    A large majority of Jewish Americans voted for Obama, despite his long association with people violently against the Jewish state.

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  • 121. At 06:39am on 26 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    120. At 06:32am on 26 Jul 2009, TrueToo

    Elucidate. If you dare.

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  • 122. At 06:39am on 26 Jul 2009, Erik_Turner wrote:

    I've read snippets of this blog a few times before and what i have gleaned leaves me kind of saddened. There is too much bickering, and bashing of not just america but the whole world. it just keeps going on round and round, without stopping. then again this blog is about america, and life here in america really is like that. nevertheless, people need to be more open to others and show a bit of respect. anyway, back to why I am saddened, some of the comments on here equate america as a cesspooled backwater. i am not going to say that america is a "city on a hill" i know it has problems. i see them everyday. for example, i live in a town near Saint Louis, Missouri which is rife with methamphetamine production, use, and distribution. every country has its issues, it's all just part of being alive, bear in mind i do know some issues are not acceptable. Now to my biggest issue which i thought some of you should hear about: stereotyping.

    I am from the midwest, does that mean i am a bible thumper? no, i am an atheist who believes in evolution, climate change, et cetera.

    I am from Missouri a former slave state. do i only like white people, no.

    do i love public transportation and traveling? why yes

    see the message here is that stereotypes are not appropriate because they mislead and are hurtful. people need to be less judgemental and more understanding. is america perfect? no, this country, my home, is far from it but i make my life here work out anyway because this place is my home even with all its faults, bigotries, and misdeeds. my take on america and the rest of our planet is this, get to know it before dousing on the gas and striking the match. the metaphor refers to judgement, not actual arson, just thought i would be clear.

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  • 123. At 06:43am on 26 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    119. At 06:06am on 26 Jul 2009, TrueToo
    "Their silence speaks volumes."

    I am sorry for your dual afflictions.

    "None so deaf as those that will not hear; none so blind as those that will not see." Please adopt the third monkey position.

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  • 124. At 07:03am on 26 Jul 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:

    Reiner #3

    "Frankly I doubt very many Europeans are in any doubt what the rest of America is "like". The reason they go to California is to *avoid* it.

    Anyone whose interest hasn't been slaked by the Iraq War, President Bush, Ronald Dumbsfeld, Abu-Ghraib or Guantanamo just has to go and look on YouTube. You'll quickly get your fill of Euro-hating, xenophobic, gun-nut, Creationist, End-Time, Religious Right yankees there. And although Justin will remove this message because the BBC are on a mission to promote America, it's *those* people who are the true image of the United States at present."
    ..................................................


    Thank you, Reiner!

    I am both a connoisseur and a collector of anti-American hysteria, and this blog is a veritable feast. This is a elaborate insult with just the correct combination of spite and malice.

    Bravo!

    No doubt there will be more?

    Please include a few more stereotypes the next time. Just a suggestion....

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  • 125. At 07:09am on 26 Jul 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:

    #12 gregohusa:

    "I live in Ohio which some consider part of the center of America and I am absolutely stunned by his comment that the essence of America "involves weird notions of Biblical denial of womens' rights". If this guy is the BBC's North American editor then he really needs to do some traveling and learn something about America because he obviously knows nothing. The idea that most of America is populated by right-wing religious nut jobs with a desire to suppress women's right is categorically wrong and baseless. San Francisco is a beautiful city but he needs to get out of there and learn something about Americans. "

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

    Yes, indeed, Greg! Well said!

    A thick skin and a weird sense of humor are needed on this site for any American who dares to venture here.

    This blog provides every type of anti-Americanism, from the ludicrous contempt you mention to the open insult! I prefer the spiteful mockery myself. There is so much of it and the ornate insults are often entertaining.

    There is nothing quite like it on the internet. And this thread looks exceptionally promising...

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  • 126. At 07:13am on 26 Jul 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:

    #48: mjk:

    Justin,

    As a liberal New Yorker, I am offended to see you buy into the media's concept of "real America," which is apparently rural, southern, and deeply religious.

    It's a lie. While that part of America certainly exists, it is no more "American" than the other parts. Millions of Americans live in on the coasts, and in New England, and in the Great Lakes region, and in the upper Midwest - all areas which tend to be more liberal. A majority of Americans live in urban areas of greater than 1 million people. Evangelical Christians are a minority (though a vocal one) in America.

    Your simple stereotype of the "real America" is certainly a popular one in the media, but it is not backed up by demographic data.

    And I, for one, am tired of the implication that I am somehow not American enough because I live in a big East Coast city with liberal values. I'm as American as any bible-thumping, gun-toting, pickup-truck-driving Southerner.

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

    My hats off to you! Well said!

    There are several Americans pointing out the offensive presuppositions involved in the original post.

    It's good to see several of us from very different points of view standing up and challenging these ridiculous claims.

    Bravo!

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  • 127. At 07:21am on 26 Jul 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:

    American Sports Fan: Re: #18:

    I enjoyed your comments about the word Yankee. I was born and grew up in NYC but my extended family is in Boston and I moved there as a teenager. So you can imagine the Yanks/Sox battles that still gon. I am a yank fan.

    And in New England itself, Yankee can mean NE as a whole but it used to mean Vermont. So it gets very specific.

    Yes, the upstaters are testy about NYC.

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  • 128. At 07:25am on 26 Jul 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:

    zoylarip 2000:

    "The jaw drops. Most Americans are appallingly ignorant of the "political and social situations" of most other countries. They can't even locate most other countries on a world map. Quite often they can't even tell you the continent or even the hemisphere of any country not the U.S.

    A great many Americans are even ignorant about their own country. I've met people who don't know that Virginia and West Virginia are two different states. (This is one fact at least on which West Virginians are one-up on a good deal of the rest of the population.)

    I don't know many Europeans so cannot possibly judge their collective intelligence. But I have a feeling they're more knowledgeable about world affairs than Americans in general are. They could not possibly be less knowledgeable. The poster at #50 is a good example of the average American. Sadly."


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

    Oh, this stuff is too good to be true.

    I can't keep up with all of this frenzied, delirious anti-Americanism.

    The claim that Obama has made things better is obviously not true. Anti-Americanism continues to grow and develop into ever more bizarre and noxoius forms!

    It's hard keeping track of all of this hatred. I have to find new categories.....

    But it is fascinating!

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  • 129. At 07:33am on 26 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    124-128 Y.A.B.R.

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  • 130. At 07:34am on 26 Jul 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:

    #65: This is quoted by Too True. This is a direct quote??

    "America is often portrayed as an ignorant, unsophisticated sort of place, full of bible bashers and ruled to a dangerous extent by trashy television, superstition and religious bigotry, a place lacking in respect for evidence based knowledge. I know that is how it is portrayed because I have done my bit to paint that picture"


    ================================================

    Of all the sites on the internet I have come across, this one provides the most interesting and detailed examples of anti-Americanism I have yet found.

    The avalanche of ugly stereotypes and weird misconceptions is literally without end. Of course, the wonderful irony is that those who hold themsleves superior to Americans in every way allow themslves to fall for this junk.

    But anti-Americanism is trendy and fun. And trends are very difficult to fight when everyone is running in one direction.

    The future will see us moving further and futher apart as the US retreats into isloationism and Britain moves further and further into an alliance with Islamic nations. So all of this childish anti-American hysteria already belongs to the past. In the future we will be so far apart there will be no discussion at all.

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  • 131. At 07:55am on 26 Jul 2009, U14078849 wrote:


    ~ 130

    I have seldom read such rubbish.

    The contributor is either writing arrant nonsense in order to wind people up, or else he is woefully ill-informed and should henceforth be totally ignored.

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  • 132. At 08:03am on 26 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    128. At 07:25am on 26 Jul 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:
    Oh, this stuff is too good to be true.

    I can't keep up with all of this frenzied, delirious anti-Americanism.

    The claim that Obama has made things better is obviously not true. Anti-Americanism continues to grow and develop into ever more bizarre and noxoius forms!

    It's hard keeping track of all of this hatred. I have to find new categories.....

    But it is fascinating!"




    Do you think anyone is bothered aboput what you think?

    Talk about pompous.

    Now tell us - how can you be "slandered" on a written blog - now that would be fascinating.

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  • 133. At 08:04am on 26 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    120. At 06:32am on 26 Jul 2009, TrueToo wrote:
    115. David_Cunard,

    A large majority of Jewish Americans voted for Obama, despite his long association with people violently against the Jewish state."


    There is no jewish state.

    There is no white state anymore too is there.

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  • 134. At 08:08am on 26 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    119. At 06:06am on 26 Jul 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    68. Simon21,

    Right, and I guess you've spent some time glued to Warrior, the autobiography of Ariel Sharon.



    I've read several accounts of the complicit war criminal.

    A more self serving, self-pitying individual it would be hard to find.

    A supposed ardent jew who would make a deal with neo-fascists.

    You do disapprove of neo-fascists

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  • 135. At 08:09am on 26 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    131: "Yet Another Boring Rant". He's posted almost exactly the same thing before. Often. (See "Why America Deserves Three Cheers" Posts 1184-1189.)

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  • 136. At 08:14am on 26 Jul 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:

    #132:

    "Do you think anyone is bothered about what you think?"



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

    Well, evidently YOU do, Simon - or you would not have responded to my post.

    It is true that I am guilty of questioning the status quo. I can certainly understand the outrage. Anyone who dares point out the obvious here is hit with volleys of righteous wrath.

    Well, maye not wrath. On this blog, the instruments of choice among the elite are closer to nagging finger-wagging and irritable fishwife scolding.

    Not QUITE as effective.....

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  • 137. At 08:17am on 26 Jul 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:

    re: #131: Svetlana:

    have seldom read such rubbish.

    The contributor is either writing arrant nonsense in order to wind people up, or else he is woefully ill-informed and should henceforth be totally ignored.




    Hmmm....I have looked carefuly but I did not find any content in your post or any evidence of thought - just scolding, which quickly becomes tiresome. On this thread, there is an abundance of it.

    Apparently you forgot to include the content?

    So don't bother ignoring me. I will ignore YOU until you include at least ONE thought in your post.

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  • 138. At 08:36am on 26 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    137. At 08:17am on 26 Jul 2009, TimothyR444 wrote:

    "Hmmm....I have looked carefuly but I did not find any content in your post or any evidence of thought - just scolding, which quickly becomes tiresome."

    Are you talking to yourself?

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  • 139. At 10:49am on 26 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    Ref #128

    Which Americans are you talking about? most Americans I know unlike (where ever they come from)unlike say simon 21 John in Dublin are far more knowledgible about world affairs.

    Their philosophy is:

    Terrorism is acceptible against Israelis and the U.S
    Castro, chavez and Morales have the full support of their people
    9/11 was justified
    Bush stole 2000 and 20o4 elections
    The U.S does not contribute in helping the rest of the world
    Anyone who is not a supporter of Obama is a redneck or a racist

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  • 140. At 11:12am on 26 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    Since it appears that a handful of people want to do nothing more on this blog but re-post the same thing over and over again that they have done for most of the last twelve months have never come up with a single substantial post and continually stifle any real interchange by ignoring anyone else, I'm opting out of this blog.

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  • 141. At 11:22am on 26 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    Oh No. It looks like all the nice people have been swamped by the Red Legs.
    This time it was the turn of "MagicKirin" who is convinced that:

    (1) Simon21 & John-in-Dublin are dangerously subversive
    (2) That theres some kind of librul conspiracy, hell-bent on destroying America
    (3) That other people give a sh!t about any of this

    Is Mark-US Oreo's IIII working undercover now?
    I man saw a Stone coming to mash down Rome

    The ways of the ungodly shall perish

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  • 142. At 11:26am on 26 Jul 2009, rodidog wrote:

    Justin,

    San Francisco is a great city with some wacky people, but American all the same. Perhaps the density has fooled you into believing your back in Europe. Like Seattle and NYC its more about geography rather than rationalism in urban design. If you're equating rationalism in politics to San Francisco, it's nice in theory.

    I'm not sure if San Francisco is more secular than other large cities in the U.S., after all 'sin city' is just one state over. As far as 'transportism' I'm not sure what you mean, since several large cities in the U.S. have mass transit systems larger than San Francisco. Unless of course your talking about the trolley. I'm still hoping Seattle will bring theirs back.

    I totally agree with Carter on the SBC. Although, I thought this family act was adopted back in 1998.

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  • 143. At 11:30am on 26 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 139, Magic

    Their philosophy is:

    "Terrorism is acceptible against Israelis and the U.S"

    What most people in this blog and, indeed, the world believe is that many of the uprisings and opposition to US and "coalition" presence in foreign lands are not acts of terrorism, but rather a desire to expel unwelcomed foreigners from their countries. Don't forget, we are not fighting formal armies, navy or air force, we are fighting armed civilians. Obviously, there is terrorist activity worldwide, including in the USA (don't forget Oklahoma City).

    "Castro, chavez and Morales have the full support of their people"

    I don't know of any world leader who enjoys the "full" support of their people, but at least two of the three persons you mentioned do enjoy the overwhelming support of their people. Just because you don't like their ideology, policies, actions, and in the case of Chavez and Morales their indigenous ethnicity does not mean their people don't.

    "9/11 was justified"

    I have never heard anyone make such a claim on this blog. Some people have tried to determine or rationalize the root causes of that horrible act, but I don't recall anybody ever saying it was justified.

    "Bush stole 2000 and 20o4 elections"

    The results of the 2000 election and the way it was handled were worthy of a banana republic. Bush won the 2004 election by a comfortable margin.

    "The U.S does not contribute in helping the rest of the world"

    Acknowledging that more than half of our foreign aid goes to Israel, and over $1B to Egypt as a bribe to leave Israel alone, does not mean we don't help many impoverished nations.

    "Anyone who is not a supporter of Obama is a redneck or a racist"

    Your conclusion, not mine.

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  • 144. At 11:55am on 26 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 115, David

    "...Of those cited, many honour their homeland..."

    In my opinion, there is a difference between honoring our ancestry and patriotism. Most people are proud of their roots and go to great lengths to preserve the traditions and values passed along by their ancestors, a fact that is clearly evident in all the ethnic clubs, restaurants, shops, and churches that can be found throughout our country, but that doesn't mean we consider ourselves anything but American.

    My hobby, since I retired, has been genealogy which, not surprisingly, has uncovered interesting findings about my lineage, and required extensive reading of the history, geography, traditions and culture of my ancestral homeland. I can assure you that neithet my interest in the past or my findings have diminished my sense of patriotism, it simply expanded my knowledge of who we are, and it helps explain why we see certain things so differently.

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  • 145. At 12:07pm on 26 Jul 2009, rodidog wrote:

    #143 saintDominick,

    First off, I'd like to say I agree with your sentiment about how the majority of folks in the U.S. consider themselves Americans first and whatever their nationality is second. I think some folks confuse the hyphen American as meaning something more than simple pride of heritage.
    ----------------------


    What most people in this blog and, indeed, the world believe is that many of the uprisings and opposition to US and "coalition" presence in foreign lands are not acts of terrorism, but rather a desire to expel unwelcomed foreigners from their countries. Don't forget, we are not fighting formal armies, navy or air force, we are fighting armed civilians. Obviously, there is terrorist activity worldwide, including in the USA (don't forget Oklahoma City).

    I find it hard to imagine that people who blow-up markets, weddings, and mosques, killing other Muslims, can somehow be construed as fighting to 'free' their lands of unwelcomed foreigners. Who btw, many of which were foreigners themselves. Terrorist seems like the appropriate term to me.
    --------------------

    "Bush stole 2000 and 20o4 elections"

    The results of the 2000 election and the way it was handled were worthy of a banana republic. Bush won the 2004 election by a comfortable margin.

    The problem started when the media called the election before the polls even closed in Florida. How many voters in the panhandle just drove home depressed thinking their guy already lost. It was later compounded by Gore conceding the race then later taking it back. Only to be followed by lawsuits on what's a chad? It was certainly a fiasco. The difficult truth is that Bush won an extremely close election and Gore could not let go.

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  • 146. At 12:36pm on 26 Jul 2009, alphamiguel wrote:


    If a man does not keep pace
    with his companions,
    perhaps it is because he hears
    a different drummer.
    Let him step to the music
    he hears,
    however measured or far away. (Thoreau.)

    Makes sense no?

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  • 147. At 12:44pm on 26 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    I take the view that people are pretty much the same all around the world; but we are talking about society and culture on this thread, and differences in these areas obviously do exist. Here's one difference which always strikes me:

    Most people in the US seem to view with deep mistrust, any initiatives or claims by their 'national' politicians. I'd say 90-95% respond cynically, and with suspicion, to anything federal government has to say. Yet when it comes to foreign policy, the situation is reversed; there seems a willingness to believe everything the same politicians say. It's a consistent pattern, no matter whether talking to the corporate VP, the college lecturer, or the lady at the gas station.

    In Britain, this polarity is not so severe. I'd guess 50%-60% are suspicious of government intentions on national issues, and a slightly smaller proportion (maybe 40%-50%) on foreign policy. In both countries, I'm generalising over a 30 year period, and I know it would vary over time, depending on who is in government, but it's a general observation.


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  • 148. At 12:51pm on 26 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 145, Rod

    "I find it hard to imagine that people who blow-up markets, weddings, and mosques, killing other Muslims, can somehow be construed as fighting to 'free' their lands of unwelcomed foreigners. Who btw, many of which were foreigners themselves. Terrorist seems like the appropriate term to me."

    There is, obviously, no justification or rational explanation for acts of extreme violence influenced by religious convictions, politics, or tribal or ethnic hatred. By definition those are, indeed, acts of terrorism as were the lynchings and burning of crosses in our own country that took place until a few decades ago or, as I pointed out in an earlier post, the act carried out by Timothy McVeigh. Those are all irrational acts, but so were Sabra, Shatilla, and our own bombings of Third World cities, villages, and civilians which we cynically depict as collateral damage.

    The point I tried to make, perhaps not well enough, is our tendency to categorize attacks against our military forces as acts of terrorism. The only foreigners in the Middle East, Persian Gulf, Asia Minor and other troubled spots are us and our allies, not the indigenous people that have lived in those parts of the world since time immemorial.

    I deplore the death of our troops, and hold our leaders responsible for their deaths and injuries for putting them in harms way, and by promoting policies that have led to atrocities that undermine our claims of being a bastion of freedom and democracy...not to mention a nation that has as one of its mottos "In God we Trust". Strange fellow that elusive God, and a bit selective in his sense of inclusiveness and compassion.

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  • 149. At 1:19pm on 26 Jul 2009, American Sport Fan wrote:

    Re 139

    Magic Karin

    I think you need to understand a few facts before you go making a few generalizations.

    1 Supports of Obama do not view what happened on 9-11 as justified. Infact they believe that Bush deliberately dropped the ball because he was more concerned with Family Honor, in getting "even" with Saddam Husien that he was about arresting the men responsible for 9-11.

    2. It has been documented that Bush stole the election. Infact, he was appoited president by the Supreme Court.

    3. That's because many of Obama's detractos, like El Rush-bo and Glen Beck don't make any effort to hide their racism.

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  • 150. At 1:36pm on 26 Jul 2009, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 139 MagicKirin wrote:

    "Which Americans are you talking about? most [sic] Americans I know unlike (where ever [sic] they come from)unlike [sic] say simon 21 John in Dublin are far more knowledgible [sic] about world affairs./Their philosophy is:/Terrorism is acceptible [sic] against Israelis and the U.S [sic]/Castro, chavez [sic] and Morales have the full support of their people/9/11 was justified/Bush stole 2000 and 20o4 [sic] elections/The U.S does not contribute in helping the rest of the world/Anyone who is not a supporter of Obama is a redneck or a racist"

    MK's rant, typically, is as full of cowardly lies, smears and libel as it is devoid of fact, truth, honour and literacy. As ever he uses the anonymity of a blog to spew out defamation which he would never dare in real life, for fear of his bank balance being quickly reduced.

    Were he actually anyone that mattered, he'd certainly justify a whole chapter in the book "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right"

    I have never made the assertions he ascribes, and indeed doubt if I have made any comment on most of these issues. For the record, I do NOT believe them, with the following caveats-

    [a] Bush got c half a million votes less than his opponent in 2000. He won the election due to the split ruling of a Supreme Court largely appointed by Republicans, including his dad. That doesn't mean the law was broken, but it wasn't an episode that brought a great deal of credit to the US.

    [b] "Castro, chavez [sic] and Morales have the full support of their people". I have no idea whether they do or don't, but, as I recall, I have NEVER made any comment either way. Castro is a dictator - the others have won elections which appear to have been generally accepted internationally. If MagicKirin has objective evidence that they don't, apart from his own blind and tedious prejudices, let him provide it just for once. But that is not his way - who needs evidence when you can hurl around poorly spelled smears and prejudices?

    And if chavez [sic] and Morales don't "have the full support of their people" - so what? The UK govt doesn't, according to polls and elections. Nor does the Irish. [GWB certainly didn't for a number of years.] If that situation persists, both the current British & Irish govts they will lose their next general election. That's democracy.

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  • 151. At 1:46pm on 26 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 147, Richard

    We do tend to trust our elected leaders more than people in other countries do, and that is precisely one of the reason so many Americans distrust government-run domestic programs, Ideology, the demonization of government by some of our leaders, and the pervasive influence of propaganda financed by corporations, religious and political groups have been so successful that even when evidence or results demonstrate the absolute failure of specific policies or opinions many continue to support them and advocate for their return or preservation.

    The truth is that there are many successful government-run programs in the USA including Social Security, MEDICARE, NASA, NOAA, CDC, etc. Unfortunately, their effectiveness is often undermined by budget cuts, raiding trust funds to give the impression that our federal budget deficits are lower than they actually are, ill-advised decisions made by politicians who often don't have the best interests of those programs in mind, political appointments, and partisanship.

    Yes, most Americans trust the foreign policy decisions made by our leaders, but when we realize that we have been deceived the reaction is swift and far reaching.

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  • 152. At 1:51pm on 26 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 150, John

    "He won the election due to the split ruling of a Supreme Court largely appointed by Republicans, including his dad."

    Plus a little help from his baby brother Jeb Bush, who was Governor of Florida at the time.

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  • 153. At 2:06pm on 26 Jul 2009, cittadinadelmondo wrote:

    It is quite sad although no surprise to read the comments that are so full of hateful attitudes.

    Before commenting further, I would like to say that my experience is based on being a native American who left the US for an assignment with the US Dept of State in Moscow, Russia.

    After leaving the government, I remained abroad for 15 years and took dual citizenship with Italy.

    In all of this, my experiences span 31 countries and working with a large percentage of the world's cultures as well as enjoying wonderful friendships with people of varying nationalities.

    I returned to the US only 1.5 years ago although during this time I returned to Europe for 4 months.

    Based on this long-term experience, I have understood that American and European mentalities are quite different. I have also long understood that there are positives and negatives about any place.

    In addition, because we are all of the same human family, there exist universal truths, or I could say commonalities in this family.

    For sure, what people do not understand, they fear. What they fear, they come to hate.

    Specific to your comment, I would agree that San Francisco has a European feel. It would also be true that many foreigners, not just Europeans, do not understand that US citizens come from all parts of the world and that different states have very different cultures. I have had many occasions to explain this fact.

    In addition, it would likely be true to say that the only real American holiday is the 4th of July, considering the roots of most holidays, such as Halloween, are European, more specifically pagan Rome.

    It is widely known and published for many, many years that America is a culture of "Peter Pan", the eternal youth. Who desn't know that it is the country with the highest obesity rate and drug consumption in the world with a majority having the attitude of "our sh_t doesn't stink" or "love it or leave it"?

    To say the least, I am deeply distured by what has happened to this US and Americans, in general, since having left as a diplomat for the US government.

    I have returned to a country with a culture of violence and aggression, of every man for himself and of lack of social responsibility. To those who have stood once again on a justification of "democracy", kindly consider that the level of corruption and rotteness of Wall Street, corporate America and government is the responsibility of the people.

    The gas guzzling monster cars and prolific disregard towards energy efficiency, convservation... was truly amazing to me.

    I would also suggest folks to read today's BBC article entitled "Looking for the Land of Opportunity". The US is at the bottom of the list.

    In summary, besides Iraq, Bush and all the other previously mentioned US debacles, one must ask, were Americans on too much cocaine, too busy eating too much fast food, popping too many Buds or mesmerized by football? When did religion become so unhealthily involved in politics and business?

    Certainly, European countries, like others, have their down sides. Please note that topping the list of countries with the most opportunities are Denmark, Norway, Finland and Canada. From the standpoint of a citizen of Europe, I enjoy very much the social responsibility, not a gun culture, generally 6 weeks of paid vacation or balance of work vs life, secularism and de-emphasis on materialism.

    For those who feel compelled to tell me to "love or leave it", please send me the $ so that I can return to Europe where the overall quality of life is much better than the US.

    I have read this journalist's articles for a long time. I have no qualms with what he wrote, nor do I see that he doesn't understand much about America. That is not to say that I would agree with all his writes.

    In summary, the hateful attitudes that come clearly through many of the comments are based on what is not understood and the fear that comes with this. One could say ignorance; however, today there is the internet and every opportunity to be informed / understand.

    Kindly consider that when you point the finger at someone else, there are 4 pointing back at yourself. Rather than scapegoating, it would be more positive and productive to cleanup one's own house.

    For myself, I look forward to knowing and learning from the people of the remaining 2 continents that I have as yet to experience.

    Thanks to the BBC for the opportunity to share.

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  • 154. At 2:16pm on 26 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

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

  • 155. At 2:56pm on 26 Jul 2009, toughdirtyjoe wrote:

    Just for the record I did not say atheists were animals. I stated that we all benefit from morals and it separates us from animals.

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  • 156. At 3:55pm on 26 Jul 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #120. TrueToo: "A large majority of Jewish Americans voted for Obama . . ."

    So? What does that have to do with my post at #115?

    " . . . despite his long association with people violently against the Jewish state."

    Care to name some names? Who are these people with whom the President has associated? Making sweeping allegations was the technique employed by the former Republican Senator from Wisconsin. Perhaps you have an affinity for more than just his methods.

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  • 157. At 3:59pm on 26 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #154

    To the moderators since when does reporting truth about the misdeeds of two autocrats break house rules?

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  • 158. At 4:17pm on 26 Jul 2009, seanspa wrote:

    #157, how about when it is not the truth?

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  • 159. At 4:27pm on 26 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 120, TrueToo

    I suspect that a majority of "Jewish Americans" voted for President Obama because they support his policies and share his vision. I also believe that as people of conscience they agree with our current position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which emphasizes the need for commpromise, peaceful coexistence, and the creation of a sovereign state for a group of people that have been denied the most basic rights of any human being: the ability to support and care for our families, freedom, and hope.

    The fact that a majority of Jewish Americans disagree with Zionist policies does not imply they are anti-Judaism or anti-Israel, they simply adhere to the precepts they learned from the Old Testament and reject the policies of exclusion and expansionism that have characterized Israeli foreign policy for decades. Good for them!

    Although the USA is no longer controlled by ideologues, and many people are finding it increasingly difficult to accept the old lines we have been fed for years, the far right remains a formidable force with incalculable financial resources capable of launching misinformation campaigns designed to demonize and discredit their opponents to regain control, even if their tactics undermine our policies, national security, and the credibility of our country.

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  • 160. At 4:37pm on 26 Jul 2009, David Cunard wrote:

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

  • 161. At 4:47pm on 26 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #156

    In fairness to Obama with the exception of Rev Wright, I can think of anyone.

    He of course is to pro Palestinian.

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  • 162. At 4:54pm on 26 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 157, Magic

    "...since when does reporting truth about the misdeeds of two autocrats break house rules??

    For some mysterious reason I have the feeling you were not offering an opinion on our good friends Mubarak or the House of Saud. Were they perchance some democratically elected Latin American leaders who you despise? After all, you said a few days ago that you support Veronica Michelle Bachelet (the President of Chile, whose ancestry is from France and Spain) and Uribe (the President of Colombia, whose ancestry is Basque) as proof that your hatred of indigenous leaders like Morales, Correa, and Chavez has nothing to do with ethnicity. Alas, you should have included Cristina Fernandez Kirchner and Luiz Inacio Lula as further proof of your unbiased views.

    The reason indigenous leaders are trying to help their people, or in the case of Chavez, the masses, is because the majority of the population of their respective countries have been abused and disenfranchised since the conquest of the Americas. Their policies are not perfect, and the results of those initiatives remain to be seen (Honduran style coups d'etat are certainly not out of the question), but the intent of their policies is to remedy past wrongs and improve the standard of living of millions of people that have been barely surviving while a small oligarchy enjoy everything money can buy.

    I must admit that I am impressed by the fact that you have not yet jumped on the birth certificate bandwagon...

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  • 163. At 5:04pm on 26 Jul 2009, seanspa wrote:

    #161, I thought posts had to be in english?

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  • 164. At 5:30pm on 26 Jul 2009, U14078849 wrote:


    Many, many thanks to Cittadenadelmondo for his thoughtful and wise post back at 153 (and since then the usual dreary arguments provoked by Magic have held sway).

    Cittadena is prepared to calmly describe his observations of a wider world during a life which has obviously been well travelled. Although he mentioned Iraq in passing, his omission of any view on Israel may have disqualified him from being worth arguing with by the noisier elements on these pages.

    I don't know why the blog is called Justin Webb's America. It is Justin Webb's Israel (extreme views welcome, moderate views likely to be moderated) and has been for a very long time.

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  • 165. At 5:37pm on 26 Jul 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #128. TimothyR444, #118. TrueToo - Could you both refrain from re-posting the entire post on which you wish to comment? A simple number sign (#) and possibly the offending words would suffice. We do know how to scroll up and down to see what others have written.

    #124. TimothyR444: "I am both a connoisseur and a collector of anti-American
    hysteria . . ."

    Since that appears to be a highly negative occupation, what positive contributions to society do you make?

    " . . . this blog is a veritable feast."

    Greed and gluttony are not attractive qualities; you could eat yourself to death - and we wouldn't want that, would we?

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  • 166. At 5:53pm on 26 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #162

    For some mysterious reason I have the feeling you were not offering an opinion on our good friends Mubarak or the House of Saud. Were they perchance some democratically elected Latin American leaders who you despise? After all, you said a few days ago that you support Veronica Michelle Bachelet (the President of Chile, whose ancestry is from France and Spain) and Uribe (the President of Colombia, whose ancestry is Basque) as proof that your hatred of indigenous leaders like Morales, Correa, and Chavez has nothing to do with ethnicity. Alas, you should have included Cristina Fernandez Kirchner and Luiz Inacio Lula as further proof of your unbiased views.

    The reason indigenous leaders are trying to help their people, or in the case of Chavez, the masses, is because the majority of the population of their respective countries have been abused and disenfranchised since the conquest of the Americas. Their policies are not perfect, and the results of those initiatives remain to be seen (Honduran style coups d'etat are certainly not out of the question), but the intent of their policies is to remedy past wrongs and improve the standard of living of millions of people that have been barely surviving while a small oligarchy enjoy everything money can buy.

    Let talk about the ethnic backgroud, We both come from a country that is a melting pot. I will critize a Mass Senator who is Irish Cathloc or a NY Rep who happens to be Jewish so it's positions and polcies that matter to me.

    In regard to Chavez, Morales and Corea you seem to excuse thier abuses of power. Zeylia was expelled by congress and the court for trying to have an illegal refendum with ballots produced by dictator Chavez.

    The question becomes can these leaders that you mention serve all the people of their nation. The answer is not. Morales does not seem to care about the people on non indian descent. What has he done for them? Chavez is afraid of dissent.

    Can you imagine President Obama ever sending the FBI in to shut down Fox or former President Bush doing that to MSNBC?

    In regard to your shot about the birth certificates, I don't believe in the 9/11 conspiracy, the Illumanati either. I will leave that to Alex Jones and Rosie O'Donnell

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  • 167. At 5:55pm on 26 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    Ref #159

    how do you definie Zionist policy?

    Most Jewish Americans and most American support the soviergn state of Israeli's existance. A minority may think Israel should go back to the 67 borders.

    But lets be honest the Palestinians would still demand more land because their leaders don't want peace.

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  • 168. At 6:00pm on 26 Jul 2009, U14078849 wrote:



    ~ 165 ~ David. C. Last Para.

    Sorry, but some of us might.

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  • 169. At 6:04pm on 26 Jul 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    147. At 12:44pm on 26 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    "... Here's one difference which always strikes me:"

    "... Yet when it comes to foreign policy, the situation is reversed; there seems a willingness to believe everything the same politicians say. It's a consistent pattern, no matter whether talking to the corporate VP, the college lecturer, or the lady at the gas station."

    Keep in mind that you are talking about a nation in which, for a solid week, the major news services tried to outdo each other in devoting wall to wall press coverage to the sad death of a rather creepy entertainer than to (a) the G8/G13/G20 meetings; (b) the summit in Russia (c) the GM bailout (d) the Healthcare struggle; and (e), all other foreign news, combined (and were justly ripped for it pretty thoroughly on the NewsHour).

    It isn't about acquiescence. It's about ignorance and apathy.
    It is the by-product of not having a serious heavyweight public broadcaster. So instead they have ... Wolf Blitzer.

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  • 170. At 7:07pm on 26 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 166, Magic

    "In regard to Chavez, Morales and Corea you seem to excuse thier abuses of power."

    I don't excuse their, alleged, abuses of power and I certainly don't endorse all their policies, but you have to understand what it means to be a native American in countries like Bolivia and Ecuador, and what it is to be poor in Venezuela, to have an appreciation for the policies that are being implemented by Presidents Chavez, Morales, and Correa. What they are doing is unprecedented in the annals of Latin American history, they have become champions of the dispossessed. They are determined to improve the standard of living of the masses, are intent on improving healthcare and education in countries where million of people have lacked basic medical care for centuries and where illiteracy has been the norm for the majority of the population, while a tiny minority enjoys the best medical care in the world, send their children to the best universities in Europe and the USA, and spend fortunes on lavish vacations.

    "Zeylia was expelled by congress and the court for trying to have an illegal refendum with ballots produced by dictator Chavez."

    President Zelaya proposed a national referendum to determine whether or not the Constitution should be ammended to allow Presidents to serve more than one term, consistent with Article 5 of the Honduran Constitution. A referendum is not policy, and it is certainly not a manifestation of dictatorship. On the contrary, it is a mechanism used to determine public opinion on issues of national interest. The fear that so many right wingers in the USA had was that President Chavez would use his petro-dollars to influence public opinion, and the likelihood that Zelaya, a left-leaning president, could be eventually re-elected. Obviously, there is no evidence to suggest that the referendum would have produced the results sought by Zelaya, and much less that he would have been re-elected at the end of his term a year later.

    Have you considered the fact that Chavez's popularity and influence in most Latin American countries would not be an issue if instead of allowing the World Bank and the IMF to rip off Third World countries we had put in place policies conducive to reducing their debt and improving their standard of living. We hate Chavez because he is doing what we have failed to do.


    "The question becomes can these leaders that you mention serve all the people of their nation."

    No leader enjoys the support of everyone and their policies, by necessity, do not benefit every constituent. Their goal is to help the majority, which in countries where a small oligarchy dominates all facets of life and owns most of its treasure, means the minority will pay for its excesses and share the cost of lifting up those they have abused and exploited for centuries.

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  • 171. At 7:08pm on 26 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 167, Magic

    "how do you definie Zionist policy?"

    Exclusion and expansionism.

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  • 172. At 7:10pm on 26 Jul 2009, LissiC wrote:

    I always enjoy reading your blog, Mr. Webb. However, I must say that if you honestly do not consider progressive American cities like San Francisco (New York, Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis, et al) to be a part of "real America," then it would appear that you have not learned much from your time in the States either. I can tell you that we progressive "big city" Americans deeply resented the "real America/fake America" rhetoric when it was employed by the McCain/Palin campaign, and I am extremely dismayed to hear it coming from a BBC correspondent. Please keep in mind that America is a vast, complicated, socially and politically divided country whose people, though often violently at odds, are all Americans. That is what I hope the European tourist learns.

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  • 173. At 7:12pm on 26 Jul 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    To the extent that Justin is merely saying the downtown San Francisco is not particularly representative of middle America, his comment is fair. It isn't.

    As for tourists gaining an appreciation of what middle America is about, well, a tourist would have to visit a lot, and go well off the beaten track to get a good grasp of that. Huck Finn would be a good starting point. Middle America is Cincinatti. It's Peyton Place, or Winesburg Ohio. It's Council Bluffs. It's Baltimore. It's Minneapolis. Or Spokane. It's Fresno or Bakersfield, or Shaker Heights, or Bluefields, or Wilkes Barre, or Buffalo, or, maybe, Plano or San Antonio, or Fayetteville.

    It's a lot easier to learn about this if you do business in the states. I like Europe. A lot. I like the variety of cultures. I like the languages. Given my druthers, and enough money, I would like to retire to a particular small, multi-cultural European country.

    But for all that, a thousand times over I would rather do business with Americans. You know what you're getting right away. You don't tend to get nickeled-and-dimed to death. Americans tend to understand customer service, and set fair store by it: they tend to distrust people who show themselves to be either small-minded or selfish. They usually have a good sense of the difference between right and wrong, and what is fair and reasonable. I won't say I haven't had some bad experiences, but by and large Americans have an openness, a positiveness, and a native optimism and a generosity of spirit that makes business so much easier.

    This isn't something you learn overnight, and it is an understanding of America that Europeans rarely have. Some do, for sure. Lots don't.

    Based on my own experience, I would say that Justin's feel for this is actually pretty good.

    Finally, on Jimmy Carter - first, there hasn't been much comment on this string on the topic raised by the Jimmy Carter piece. Marbles tried to get it going, but it fizzled out. Not sure why.

    Second, the comments evincing dislike, even hatred, of Jimmy Carter flummox me. He might not have been a very good President, but the man is a living saint. He has dedicated his life to humanitarian good works. How can you slag that?


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  • 174. At 7:23pm on 26 Jul 2009, djherm78 wrote:

    Justin,

    I think your claim that San Fransisco is a part of America that does not represent the real "America" is to not truly understand the true essence of this country. There is no one culture or perspective that defines America. To truly understand the complexity of the US, one must appreciate the immense diversity of the country, in terms of cultures, perspectives and ways of life. Yes, there exists a segment of America that is more conservative, more religious and, at times, more xenophobic and close-minded but that does represent all of America. San Fransisco (and hundreds of other cities like it), and the ideals it represents, is just as "American" as Kansas and Alabama. It is a fallacy to claim that San Francisco is more European while Kansas is more American. America is simultaneously both. Many forces exist in American society and culture. To claim, however, that one overriding force (i.e. religious conservatism) is at the heart of understanding America is to not understand the deep diversity and complexity of this country.

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  • 175. At 7:57pm on 26 Jul 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    172. At 7:10pm on 26 Jul 2009, LissiC wrote:

    "Please keep in mind that America is a vast, complicated, socially and politically divided country whose people, though often violently at odds, are all Americans. That is what I hope the European tourist learns."



    Quite so.

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  • 176. At 8:01pm on 26 Jul 2009, parityisbetterthancharity wrote:

    Conservatives get a rather bad rap on this blog so I am hoping to show what a true conservative (TC) is.

    Rule #1 of TCs: conserve words.

    Rule #2 of TCs: conserve venom. It is much more potent when not diluted. For example, the statement "pedophiles are despicable" is much more fiery than weak, watery, useless generalizations like "Europeans are ignorant" or "Americans are bigoted".

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  • 177. At 8:13pm on 26 Jul 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #168. Svetlana: "#165 ~ David. C. Last Para. Sorry, but some of us might."

    I wrotet to that effect in my original post at #160, but it was "referred". Otherwise the post at #165 was identical. Too PC for words!

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  • 178. At 8:55pm on 26 Jul 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    110, zoyla.

    Add Catholicism, in spades. It is the women who drag their husbands to church. It is the women who make novenas. And this religion is absolutely run by males.

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  • 179. At 8:58pm on 26 Jul 2009, quiscustodiet wrote:

    Reiner_Torheit wrote:
    "...Anyone whose interest hasn't been slaked by the Iraq War, President Bush, Ronald Dumbsfeld, Abu-Ghraib or Guantanamo just has to go and look on YouTube. You'll quickly get your fill of Euro-hating, xenophobic, gun-nut, Creationist, End-Time, Religious Right yankees there.....it's *those* people who are the true image of the United States at present."


    Ja, Reiner... Pot? Kettle? There are xenophobic religio-ethnic-political fundamentalists in Europe too.

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  • 180. At 9:01pm on 26 Jul 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    113, squirrel.
    "I know a lot of Muslim girls and women here in Britain who wear a headscarf as an act of pride in their religion, and almost (given various circumstances over the last eight years) as an act of defiance--certainly not of subjugation."

    As to your last comment, in recent years the wearing of the hijab is often worn to give the finger to the West.

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  • 181. At 9:22pm on 26 Jul 2009, quiscustodiet wrote:

    Dear Mr Webb:

    I am sorry to see that you are leaving the USA without having learned very much. Your recent view of us is not one that takes account of the cultural richness and diversity of our regions or of the basic friendliness and decency of our people. In fact your portrayal of the US seems to reflect the superficial aspects-especially, the components of our network nightly news. Of course, many who have never visited us will consider your portrayal accurate, because you have been here. What a shame.

    Its rather like taking all of the bad news from poorer areas in the UK--slums, poverty, hooliganism, environmental degradation--and using this to characterize the entire United Kingdom to the rest of the world. Of course YOU know that that's not a fair representation of your wonderful country, but will others? Especially others who have never been there to see?

    Perhaps when you return home you will reconsider your point of view.

    With kind regards,

    QuisCustodiet.

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  • 182. At 9:39pm on 26 Jul 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    105, oldnat; 108, Sam- in reply to 103:

    I expected all sorts of indignant replies to my comment and was happily surprised not to have gotten them. With the modern emphasis on aggressive feminism, and a resulting move on the part of women towards androgyny (working out in gyms, developing muscles, hardening a body that is naturally soft), the nature of women and their relationship to men has become confused and deceptive. This is a simple subject only made complicated by misguided perceptions.

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  • 183. At 9:42pm on 26 Jul 2009, gregohusa wrote:

    "13. At 11:26am on 25 Jul 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    12. At 11:06am on 25 Jul 2009, gregohusa

    I take it you didn't bother to click on the link and read Jimmy Carter's piece in The Guardian?"

    Yes....yes I did. Problem is I live in the USA. The Southern Baptists do not speak for America nor do they represent America. That is the problem. To take what those nut jobs say as being representative of what the entire country of America thinks is not only incorrect but stupid. NO one religion represents what all Americans think. Somehow I would think that would be common sense but apparently it isn't. That is why I say the contributor needs to get out of San Francisco. Because if he would do that, he would realize that. It pisses me off when I read these kind of things because it perpetuates this notion that Americans are all a bunch of ignorant religious hillbillies seeking to rollback civil rights 200 years. Stupid. Really stupid.

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  • 184. At 10:42pm on 26 Jul 2009, ColdEarted Arfur wrote:

    Frankly I doubt very many Europeans are in any doubt what the rest of America is "like". The reason they go to California is to *avoid* it.

    We only go to Garmische-Partenkirchen when in Germany, probably for the same reason.

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  • 185. At 10:45pm on 26 Jul 2009, ColdEarted Arfur wrote:

    Anyone whose interest hasn't been slaked by the Iraq War, President Bush, Ronald Dumbsfeld, Abu-Ghraib or Guantanamo just has to go and look on YouTube. You'll quickly get your fill of Euro-hating, xenophobic, gun-nut, Creationist, End-Time, Religious Right yankees there. And although Justin will remove this message because the BBC are on a mission to promote America, it's *those* people who are the true image of the United States at present.

    Thank you your faith in us Reiner; we'll remember you next time you try to take over the world

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  • 186. At 10:48pm on 26 Jul 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    130. At 07:34am on 26 Jul 2009, TimothyR444,

    Yes, it was a direct quote. If you click on the link I provided at no. 65 under the quote, you'll see the context. It's a startling confession by Justin Webb of how he used to express his scorn for America and reduce Americans to the narrowest of stereotypes. I heard some of it on the World Service and his impression of himself in anti-American mode is quite accurate. Has he changed? He seems to swing back and forth. I have an idea that he has learned very little from his stay in America but at least he has moderated his mocking tone.

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  • 187. At 10:53pm on 26 Jul 2009, ColdEarted Arfur wrote:

    It always amazes me when Europeans (including Brits) start shouting off about how dreadful America and Americans are, when the fact is that the ones who leave Florida, New York and California are rare indeed.
    It's a bit like Brits and Germans in Spain - they only lurk around the beaches and bars, getting drunk and even more obnoxious, with never a thought to the interior of the country. I want to say get out there and see some of the country, and interact with the natives, but then perhaps it would be better if you did stay near the beaches and leave the real America to those of us who appreciate it.

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  • 188. At 10:59pm on 26 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #171

    Arabs and non Jews have full voting rights in Israel.
    there is no exclusion.

    All new settlements are not authorized by the Israeli govt. The building on existing settlement sin natural growth and fully appropriate.


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  • 189. At 11:03pm on 26 Jul 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    108, Sam/
    "The only logical approach to religion is to believe..."

    Some would say that the only logical approach to religion is not to believe.

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  • 190. At 11:07pm on 26 Jul 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    It is hard to take Jimmy Carter seriously. He always seemed kind of sappy. Even worse, boring and inconsequential.

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  • 191. At 11:09pm on 26 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #170

    Sorry I think there is a way that Morales in particular could try to work with the non Indians which actually comprise 40 % of the population.

    He came in with hate European descendents mind set. He insulted Prsident Bush even though there was no conflict between the two nations.

    In the case of Chavez he is a dictator who cares nothing about his people. He is in for power and I hope sincerly the next coup suceeds.

    People of Venezuela learn from the courage of the Hondurans.

    BTW if the majority and the disenfranchised for centuries are your concern. Tell the Palestinians to give up their wishes. Because Jews have suffered far long than Indians of the Americas

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  • 192. At 11:11pm on 26 Jul 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #187. ColdEartedArfur: "It always amazes me when Europeans (including Brits) start shouting off about how dreadful America and Americans are, when the fact is that the ones who leave Florida, New York and California are rare indeed."

    Who are the Brits "shouting off about how dreadful America and Americans are"? I don't read any of them on this blog. Perhaps you would like to amplify your remark?

    "It's a bit like Brits and Germans in Spain - they only lurk around the beaches and bars, getting drunk and even more obnoxious, with never a thought to the interior of the country."

    And perhaps you'd care to substantiate that as well. To characterise all immigrants in that way is ridiculous.

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  • 193. At 11:11pm on 26 Jul 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #182 allmymarbles

    "women and their relationship to men has become confused"

    After 41 years of marriage, I am no more confused now than I was in 1968!

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  • 194. At 11:13pm on 26 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #173

    He was a terrible President far worse than Bush.

    Second he has been a discrace afterwards. Breaking the tradition of not intefering in foriegn policy issues with his sucessors.

    As Bush has been quoted "Obama deserves my silence". Clinton respected that as did Bush SR.

    Also for his outright lies(which promompted mass resignations from the Carter center) about the Palestinians conflict.

    Carter joins the list of infamous including Joeseph McCarthey, Cynthia McKinney, George Galloway and Neville Chamberlen.

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  • 195. At 11:28pm on 26 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    Some say the cold war between USA and USSR was phony
    It justified both sides building up thousands of warheads

    The US V European Blog wars by Marcus Magic True Timmy
    And Allowed by Justin are phony too as both continental sides
    are allies in the war in the middle east (whites V the rest of world)

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  • 196. At 11:40pm on 26 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

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

  • 197. At 11:42pm on 26 Jul 2009, lochraven wrote:

    #183 gregohusa

    Amen! Some people just don't get it, do they? Wait! Maybe they do get it, and just want to pull your chain.
    Sick.

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  • 198. At 00:07am on 27 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    196.
    or should I say white English speaking nations V the Rest of the world

    [stereotypical french/italian references were possibly removed by french/italian moderators]

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  • 199. At 00:31am on 27 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 191, Magic

    "Sorry I think there is a way that Morales in particular could try to work with the non Indians which actually comprise 40 % of the population."

    Indians live in India, the indigenous population of the Americas are more accurately described as native Americans (Signore Vespucci's merit notwithstanding). Approximately 60% of the population of Bolivia are Aymara, Quechua and Guarani natives. About 30% are categorized as "mestizo", a term used in Latin America to describe people of mixed European and indigenous ancestry. Approximately 10% are white. Not surprisingly, the latter have held power since the earliest days of the colonization of Bolivia and hold most of the wealth in that impoverished country. President Morales' option were: the status quo, beg for crumbs from the elite, or redistribution of land to benefit the indigenous population. He chose the latter.

    "He came in with hate European descendents mind set. He insulted Prsident Bush even though there was no conflict between the two nations."

    Considering the history of his country, and the social and economic injustices that exist to this day, do you wonder why Morales and the indigenous population of Latin America resent the descendents of Europeans? How would you feel if you were in their shoes? As for insulting President Bush, the only thing I can say on that subject is that W did not have a patent or copyrights on insults and threats.

    "In the case of Chavez he is a dictator who cares nothing about his people. He is in for power and I hope sincerly the next coup suceeds."

    President Chavez was elected by a substantial majority of his people and enjoys the support of most Venezuelans and, consequently, does not meet the definition of being a dictator. Obviously, there is opposition to some of his policies, as it should be in any democratic society, but barring a military coup I expect him to be re-elected by a landslide. I must say that your advocacy of military totalitarianism is very disturbing.

    "People of Venezuela learn from the courage of the Hondurans."

    The people of Venezuela, like the people of Honduras, are determined to preserve their freedom and democracy. Unfortunately, the elite and some military officers have different plans. The fact that you support right wing military dictators over left of center Presidents does not surprise me in the least. Obviously, your support for dictatorships comes to a sudden halt when the target is a right wing dictator. I am sure Batista, Somoza, Trujillo and Pinochet would have been more to your liking.

    "BTW if the majority and the disenfranchised for centuries are your concern. Tell the Palestinians to give up their wishes. Because Jews have suffered far long than Indians of the Americas"

    Alas, I finally understand what negative logic is! I have to admit, you are correct in pointing out that the Palestinians are the majority in the concentration camps they live in. Which wishes do you want them to give up? Being able to support their families and enjoy the opportunities that are available to most of us? Being free? Having a home they can call their own?

    Jews have, indeed, been persecuted for centuries and deserve to enjoy the same freedom, peace, and opportunities as everyone else; which is why the radical elements responsible for Israel's policies should consider a similar approach towards their fellow human beings.

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  • 200. At 00:46am on 27 Jul 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    Justin and some others here are right when they say that San Francisco is not a good representation of America. However, no one city or state is truly representative of all of America because what makes America America is the complexity of all the peoples and cultures, and cities and states united under the Constitution and the flag. The point that so many are trying to make is that European countries-though very different from each other with respect to culture and language-are more homogenous within their respective nations than the US. To use an example, Texas is very different from Louisiana, though both states are in the south. Both have a uniform interstate system, currency, and majority English speaking populations. But Texas and Louisiana have sizeable minorities in both race and language that are completely different. And both states' majority populations have provincial and colloquial differences; any outsider who meets a Texan or a Louisianian on the street almost immediately knows exactly what state, sometimes even what parish (county), that person is from. If I could give a European equivalent it would be like when East Germans meet someone from Bavaria.

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  • 201. At 01:20am on 27 Jul 2009, rodidog wrote:

    #148 saintDominick,

    There is, obviously, no justification or rational explanation for acts of extreme violence influenced by religious convictions, politics, or tribal or ethnic hatred. By definition those are, indeed, acts of terrorism as were the lynchings and burning of crosses in our own country that took place until a few decades ago or, as I pointed out in an earlier post, the act carried out by Timothy McVeigh. Those are all irrational acts, but so were Sabra, Shatilla, and our own bombings of Third World cities, villages, and civilians which we cynically depict as collateral damage.

    The difference, IMO, is you have terrorists who specifically target civilians in order to undermine society and promote sectarian violence vs the unintended consequences of fighting wars in an urban environment. This distinction means nothing to those killed, but it is a difference of intent. To suggest a moral equivalency between the two, with such a broad brush, is itself cynical. If your view is correct, why would we bother with spending billions of dollars on systems and ordinances designed to improve accuracy and limit collateral damage? Surely it would be easier and less expensive to simply use gravity bombs.
    ---------

    The point I tried to make, perhaps not well enough, is our tendency to categorize attacks against our military forces as acts of terrorism.

    Except for the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon and the U.S.S. Cole, I'm not aware of any instance where attacks against our military were considered acts of terrorism rather than acts committed by insurgents and terrorists groups like Al Qaeda. Perhaps I'm wrong, I simply do not recall such statements.
    -------------

    I deplore the death of our troops, and hold our leaders responsible for their deaths and injuries for putting them in harms way, and by promoting policies that have led to atrocities that undermine our claims of being a bastion of freedom and democracy...not to mention a nation that has as one of its mottos "In God we Trust". Strange fellow that elusive God, and a bit selective in his sense of inclusiveness and compassion.

    I mostly agree with you on this, especially the part these episodes played in undermining our credibility.

    God is repeatedly blamed for the acts of men.




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  • 202. At 01:34am on 27 Jul 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    178:

    Very funny, and also not far from the truth. It also explains why half the pews are empty on Sunday during college football season and Saturday mass is so popular.

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  • 203. At 01:49am on 27 Jul 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #194. MagicKirin: "Ref #173: (Carter) was a terrible President far worse than Bush."

    That wasn't what the post concerned. Interestedforeigner had written "the man is a living saint. He has dedicated his life to humanitarian good works. How can you slag that?"

    Rather than acknowledge any good he has done, all you do is to make unsubstantiated and libelous accusations which categorize him as a liar. What have your favorite presidents done in retirement? Neither Bush 1 or 2 have a history of good works and the sainted Ronald Reagan was probably ill before he left The White House and of no further use to humanity when he left it. Alzheimer's or any form of demential is not something that should be permitted to someone who has the nuclear arsenal at his command.

    "Carter joins the list of infamous including Joeseph McCarthey, Cynthia McKinney, George Galloway and Neville Chamberlen."

    Infamous? Why the disgust with Neville Chamberlain? What did he ever do that you would take issue with his decisions? Whether inadvertent or not, at Munich he gave the British much needed time to prepare for another conflict. Or perhaps you think he ignored what was happening to certain groups in German occupied lands? Communication was not as it is today; you may as well blame FDR for inaction. Your disapproval of Senator McCarthy is surprising given that you make the same kind of unproven accusations as he did.

    What a pity that you always see the glass as half empty: a very sad individual you must be.

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  • 204. At 01:55am on 27 Jul 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #189 Marby,

    Well, if you don't believe and you are right, you simply go away. If you are wrong you could suffer eternal damnation. If you do believe and you are right you hit the jackpot. If you are wrong you simply go away. It makes sense to believe.

    It may also prevent you from going crazy.


    On #182 I guess that would depend on whether you prefer the Cadillac or the Corvette. I prefer the vette but that's just me.

    Pervert Sam

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  • 205. At 02:04am on 27 Jul 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    194 & 203:
    Carter is a perfectly good man and humanitarian, but he was an awful president. I think it's more appropriate to say that he got in over his head as president.

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  • 206. At 02:05am on 27 Jul 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Marbles:

    108, Sam/
    "The only logical approach to religion is to believe..."

    You didn't think this was really funny, eh?

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  • 207. At 02:22am on 27 Jul 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    206:

    Faith is the point of organized religion.

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  • 208. At 02:35am on 27 Jul 2009, NoRashDecisions wrote:

    "And yet I feel torn by the European familiarity of San Francisco - its rationalism and secularism and public transportism. Being European in outlook is not - it seems to me - the future for America."

    Care to explain why exactly? Yeah, because who wants rationalism, secularism, and public transportism
    to be the mind set of their fellow citizens and fellow man throughout the world anyway? Really is a waste of time. Those damned environmentally friendly rationalists who saw their faith (if they had one) as a personal thing between themselves, their families, and the God or Gods they worshiped never did anything decent for this world. They're all nothing but a bunch of selfish trouble makers. I say ship them to consintration camps...to hell with the constitution!

    "Americans can learn things from Europeans but the essence of America - even if it involves weird notions of Biblical denial of womens' rights - is somehow more brutally vivacious than the jaded options over the Atlantic."

    And it is this precise observation presented as fact that is exactly the kind of thing that cements So many (I would dare to venture the majority) of Europeans' negative, sometimes vitriolic opinions of the United States of America, and of who's views are even sometimes expressed on this blog. You honestly believe that the "essence" of America is its Bible thumping religious extremeists? Do you know how offensive that sounds? That's like someone going to Germany and visiting some X-Nazi consintration camp guard awaiting his trial, and claiming that the essence of Germany is Nazi idiology. Ever the hopeful kind however, I sincerely hope that the real message that you are trying to convey in your own quircky way, is that America shouldn't try to be anything but itself, and shouldn't lose that which makes it unique; its diversity. But if you're not, and if you honestly believe that the only part of America which is the slightest bit sane is San Francisco, well then I am very, very disappointed in you indeed. And to think once upon a time I actually thought you had come to understand America. Oh how wrong I was!

    "So many Europeans here: poor things they have travelled ten hours to come the only part of America that isn't American. They'll go home knowing nothing."

    Did Sarah Palin take over your blog in your name by any chance? There is no "real" America. There is merely a mass of flawed, sinful people who unfortunately have a far larger and more vocal extremeist element to it than every other country in the developed world. And it is this element, unfortunately, which does the most damage to our image and reputation in the international comunity. So in my opinion we certainly shouldn't lose sight of who we are, but that in no way means that we should in any way exemplify or amplify the extremeist element of our nation's genetic make-up. We should be doing everything possible to play it down, explain it to foreigners, and temper it as much as possible. It sounds rude I know, but religious extremeists simply damage this nation's international reputation, and are bluntly too much of a national embarrissment, for us not to take action.

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  • 209. At 02:47am on 27 Jul 2009, oldnat wrote:

    #204 Insurance Agent Sam

    So how many contradictory beliefs do you want me to hold? Can I hold them all at different times, and hope that I'm believing the right one when the truck hits me - or can I be like the Electronic Monk and hold them simultaneously?

    The Christians are going to be really unhappy when it turns out that worshipping Baal was the best bet - though they might get a favour from him considering how many human sacrifices they made.

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  • 210. At 02:58am on 27 Jul 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #204. SamTyler1969: "It makes sense to believe."

    Belief is not something one just do - it has to come from study or, more likely, indoctrination. If there is an afterlife I very much doubt that the sheep are separated from the goats anymore than they are here on Earth - and what of those peoples, ancient and modern, who worshipped multiple deities? Are they to be left out as well? If I believe in Ra, the Sun God, do I get a free pass also? I can't see that believing can be of any assistance whatsoever.

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  • 211. At 03:09am on 27 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #203

    It not a half glass empty situation.

    I see except for building Cater Presidency and ex presidency full of hatread and failure.

    chamberlen's appeasment is well documented.

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  • 212. At 03:12am on 27 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    Presidential Demographics
    What colour* is America ? (*= note English spelling)
    When South Africa's prime minister was from the white minority it was considered a white country (with apartheid / segregation). When Nelson became PM it became a black country (and more distanced from America).


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  • 213. At 03:12am on 27 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #199

    No Chavez bullies his oppnents and arrests. In a fair election with equal access to the media he would lose.

    No fine of the right wing dictators you mentioned

    But Batisa was a less evil than Castro
    Somoza was less of a war criminal than Ortega.

    The Palestinians have been given land though they have repaid the generosity with terrorism.

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  • 214. At 03:14am on 27 Jul 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    194. At 11:13pm on 26 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:
    ref #173

    "He was a terrible President far worse than Bush."

    "Carter joins the list of infamous including Joeseph McCarthey, Cynthia McKinney, George Galloway and Neville Chamberlen."

    ________

    Which Bush?

    Carter did about as well as George Bush Sr.
    Both of them were, and are, good men who were disappointing Presidents.

    By contrast, George Bush, Jr., was a disaster for the US comparable to the reign of Charles VI ("Charles the Mad") in France. He was a laughing stock, ignored by other world leaders for the last two full years, and more, of his Presidency. Never in my lifetime has there been anything like that - and he inherited full employment, low inflation, a budget in surplus, and generally good diplomatic relations with the world. After 9/11 he had the undiluted sympathy and good will around the globe.

    Yet he managed to piss it all away in less than 24 months, and left the worst economic crisis since the 1930's to his successor, with an empty treasury and America's standing in the world lower than at any time since Pearl Harbour and Corregidor. The only President whose term in office was arguably worse is Buchanan.

    I am no great fan of the Carter Presidency, but it wasn't even in the same league as the unmitigated disaster that was the Bush Jr. Presidency.

    And that really is saying something.
    ______

    I will ignore your spelling, and simply assume it is due to haste in typing.

    Joe McCarthy?
    Either you must be kidding, or you don't know much about Joe McCarthy, or Jimmy Carter for that matter.

    You would put Neville Chamberlain in the same grouping as Joe McCarthy?
    And you would put that clown George Galloway in the same category as either of them? What are you smoking?

    Neville Chamberlain was well meaning, but horribly foolish, and horribly, horribly wrong. But being foolish and wrong is very different from being evil or being a demagogue, or both.
    Joe McCarthy on the other hand ...

    ... And George Galloway ???

    No, you do not seem to have a balanced view of this.
    You might want to check and see whether your scale needs recalibration.

    _______


    I have been a supporter of Israel all my life, but your postings here have made me question that view.

    Except for the fact that the Hamas and Hezbollah representatives on this blog are just as ham-fisted, I would almost have suspected that you really represent Hamas or Hezbollah, and that your postings are intended to discredit Israel in the eyes of reasonable people. I cannot think of any other reason why anyone would submit the posts that you have submitted.

    Your posts are merely turning people against Israel.

    But don't let that stop you. No siree. If it makes you happy, why, you just keep a'going on, until every last reader of this blog hates the very mention of Israel.

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  • 215. At 03:14am on 27 Jul 2009, U14075039 wrote:

    Maybe America is coconut coloured

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  • 216. At 03:32am on 27 Jul 2009, oldnat wrote:

    213 MagicKirin

    I'm sure you have absolute belief that your assertions are true.

    For the benefit of the rest of us, would you like to provide some supporting evidence?

    For example, "Batisa was a less evil than Castro". You will. of course, also define evil for whom, since your assertions are so rational.

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  • 217. At 04:19am on 27 Jul 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    Wouldn't it be awfully darn nice if any posts about Israel and the Palestinians
    were immediately removed? It might even be a blog about North America!

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  • 218. At 04:44am on 27 Jul 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #211. MagicKirin: ref #203 "It not a half glass empty situation."

    Well, you never seem to see anything positive about life here or elsewhere but are full of gloom and doom.

    "I see except for building Cater Presidency and ex presidency full of hatread and failure."

    I have no idea what that means - President Carter cannot possibly be considered a failure as a man. His term in office may not have been the greatest, but he's done more since than any other president in living memory. He could have sky-dived or played golf, but no, he's helped mankind. What's so wrong about that?

    "chamberlen's appeasment is well documented."

    Couldn't you at least learn to spell the name correctly, you mention him so often. It's C-h-a-m-b-e-r-l-a-i-n. LAIN - Get it? And so what if appeasement is well documented, of what concern is that to you? It was something for the British people to be concerned with. I know that my elderly relatives (now deceased) were glad to have a little extra time of peace before the War began. I can remember it as a child, but you were snug in your cushy, well fed home, not bothered by the prospect of bombs or invasion. So easy for guys like you to be critical from thousands of miles away when you have absolutely no idea what it was like.

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  • 219. At 05:15am on 27 Jul 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    206, Interested.
    "You didn't think this was really funny, eh?" (Reference to Sam's comment that "The only logical approach to religion is to believe...")

    Sure. Logic and belief are like oil and water. Maybe Sam was pulling our legs.

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  • 220. At 07:34am on 27 Jul 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    217, guns.
    "Wouldn't it be awfully darn nice if any posts about Israel and the Palestinians were immediately removed?"

    Would you deprive those people who can only sing one song, even if that one is off key?

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  • 221. At 07:35am on 27 Jul 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    199. saintDominick,

    Thats your typical blinkered and biased portrayal of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. You should study it a bit. Then you would come to realise the vast difference between the concentration camps into which Jews, Gypsies and others were crammed by the Nazis and the Palestinian areas. You would also understand the difference between the genocide perpetrated by the Nazis on innocent Jewish civilians (the Nazis butchered one-third of world Jewry) and the Israeli struggle against Palestinian terror. Equating the Israelis with the Nazis and the Palestinians with the Jews is an old slur from those obsessively anti-Israel and very often, of course, anti-Semitic - though they attempt to hide that fact with their thin anti-Israel disguise. But the slur has lost none of its venom through endless repetition by those who cannot think for themselves when it comes to the Israel-Arab conflict.

    214. Interestedforeigner wrote:

    I have been a supporter of Israel all my life, but your postings here have made me question that view.

    You have? And one contributor to a blog makes you start to change your mind? That cannot be. This is an extraordinary departure from your generally level-headed comments - almost as if it had been written by someone else.

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  • 222. At 08:11am on 27 Jul 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    $221. TrueToo: "199. saintDominick, Thats your typical blinkered and biased portrayal of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

    I fail to see the relevance of anything to do with Israel in connection with the topic at the head of this column. Answering someone who makes a tangential point with yet another rant is inconsiderate to the rest of us who are tired and, I dare say, bored by the entire subject.

    Incidentally "the Nazis butchered one-third of world Jewry" omits to mention that, although blame for inaction is frequently handed to Britain, at the same time America stood idly by. Explain that if you can. Tub thumping does your cause not an ounce of good.

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  • 223. At 08:48am on 27 Jul 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    222, David.
    "Incidentally "the Nazis butchered one-third of world Jewry" omits to mention that, although blame for inaction is frequently handed to Britain, at the same time America stood idly by."

    Honestly, David, how can you expect politicians of any nationality to act altruistically? They are rogue humans.

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  • 224. At 09:34am on 27 Jul 2009, U14078849 wrote:


    ~ 217 ~ Guns. Dream on, dream on.

    After a brief and legitimate foray into the diversity of America and its cities, we seem to be firmly back in the old mire - stuck in our respective Middle East trenches, firing blanks and getting absolutely nowhere.

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  • 225. At 09:37am on 27 Jul 2009, U14078849 wrote:



    .... and some of it is very nasty too (post 221 refers).

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  • 226. At 10:06am on 27 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #221 and 224

    Blame Simon 21 who will use any excuse to bash Israel and anyone who supports that nation.

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  • 227. At 10:39am on 27 Jul 2009, leftoversaint wrote:

    What a curious post. As a San Francisco Bay Area native currently working in Europe, I am surprised by the notion that San Francisco is 'European.' What makes it so European? Being small and densely populated and offering public transportation? Cable cars? The way people interact with one another here is 100% American. And just because Mr. Webb hasn't seen a particular news article during his stay doesn't mean that religion doesn't play a role in the life of San Franciscans. (Glide Memorial Church is one of the pillars of the community)

    I might ask if Mr. Webb has ever ventured to Oakland, Visitacion Valley, South San Francisco, Berkeley, etc. etc. I don't see much that resembles Europe when venturing away from the Financial District. And don't even get me started on the notion of 'the real America.' While there are many things we share as a culture and a nation, attitudes, permissiveness and day to day life vary widely in our continent-spanning nation. New York and Miami are night and day and you'll find almost as large a divide between Indianapolis and Minneapolis.

    I find it appalling when silly generalizations are made even about countries as small as yours, Mr. Webb, but it becomes the height of absurdity when applied to such a large nation. Next you'll tell me that Mumbai isn't Indian or Shanghai not Chinese.

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  • 228. At 10:41am on 27 Jul 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    225. Svetlana,

    My comment was not "nasty" but simply a factual representation of the extent to which some bloggers will go to demonise Israel. SaintDominick makes a habit of it. Be nice if you could present a counter-argument, if you have one, instead of silly one-liners.

    222. David_Cunard,

    Sorry I didn't include what you would have liked to see in my comment. Tell you what, you write what you want and I'll do the same. I note you have no rebuttal to my comment and it seems pointless to reiterate the point I've made many times: the majority of my comments on the Israeli-Arab conflict are an attempt to correct misconceptions and expose some really vile propaganda I see here and elsewhere. I rarely introduce the subject independently. Re being on topic, of course one only has to point to the "kitchen" and endless other comments here to render that argument invalid.

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  • 229. At 10:55am on 27 Jul 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    226. MagicKirin,

    True. Simon21 is obsessed with bashing Israel. Can't help but notice that.

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  • 230. At 11:01am on 27 Jul 2009, U14078849 wrote:

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

  • 231. At 11:22am on 27 Jul 2009, seanspa wrote:

    TT, as usual you do not tell the truth. The kitchen was a reaction to your insistence in going off topic in every thread. Some people are obsessed, some are paid. You are both.

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  • 232. At 11:53am on 27 Jul 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Mr. Webb;

    Can you name even one other place in the world outside America where women have anything remotely close to equal rights with men not merely on paper but in fact? There is no such place. If you are a man, any other country is preferable to get a divorce compared to any place in the United States.

    However much you like San Francisco, the fact is that it has little in common with Europe beyond the superficial, but that seems to be the limit of your understanding of America. How sad that you cannot accept that below its veneer, its pecularly local culture, it is in essence no different from any other part of America....and that includes its medical system that is infinitely superior to anything in any other country including all of Europe and Canada. Your son would have gotten exactly the same treatment, timely, accurate diagnosis, the best technology for dealing with his illness available in San Francisco that he got in Washington DC. Scratch below the surface and the rest is also exactly the same. Perhaps you wish it was Europe and perhaps you will get a recording of Tony Bennet singing "I Left My Heart in San Francisco", most of us love it too but it is not Europe. And it should be offensive to those who live there as well as the rest of America to suggest that it is. Ironically, I find it to be the one West Coast City that strongly resembles an East Coast city.

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  • 233. At 12:04pm on 27 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 213, Magic

    Beware of what you hear on FOX News and the Rush Limbaugh radio show. As incredible as it may seem to you their views represent one side of the story, and they are more often than not conveyed by people whose exposure to the rest of the world is limited to their socio-political biases and Rambo-like movies. A long sabbatical overseas would do you a lot of good.

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  • 234. At 12:23pm on 27 Jul 2009, Captjen74 wrote:

    Ahh, yes. Mr. Webb's comments about Kansas bring back a flood memories of my childhood growing up in the red-stated Midwest. I'd almost forgotten summers at the county fair. We'd always hold the public stonings between the tractor pull and the pie-eating contest and we'd save the witch burnings for the grand finale. We'd stand there with our funnel cakes and spiral potatoes, with powdered sugar, cheese, and grease spraying from our wide open gobs, while we screamed with joy and cheered on the destruction of iniquity. I also recall the daily prayers in my public school in which we prayed for guidance and that God would smite the evolutionists and homosexuals in our midst. Then there were the church ice cream and book burning socials. Those were the days.

    I take it Mr. Webb has never actually been to Kansas or anywhere else in the Midwest for that matter. There are Borders Bookstores in Wichita and Omaha and it's not difficult to find The Origin of the Species or anything else you might want to read. And no, you don't have to carry it out in a paper sack for fear of attack by Bible-wielding creationists. Cities in the Midwest aren't culturally-stagnant backwaters and they're not filled with mean, benighted dolts. There are conservatives and liberals, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and atheists, gay and straight. We have people of many stripes and it wouldn't be just Christian conservatives who would take issue with Mr. Webb's broad brushstrokes. Thinking everyone outside California and New York is like Deliverance is like thinking everything outside of London is like Cold Comfort Farm.

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  • 235. At 12:33pm on 27 Jul 2009, arclightt wrote:

    I can't comment on how "European" SF is because I have never had the opportunity to travel to Europe. I've also never had the opportunity to travel to Asia, Africa, or South America. Maybe someday I'll get that opportunity (I particularly want to go to Europe and retrace my dad's steps across France, Belgium, and Germany in 1944-45).

    One thing's for sure, though: Folks everywhere and everywhen have the same basic needs, fears, desires, and ability to choose to do good and evil. It's also true that folks use their ability to choose evil far more than they use it to choose good. That's why the "we're better than you" comments here aren't terribly useful, regardless of where they come from. The ugly acts which some folks cite as evidence of the superiority or inferiority of this group or that nation aren't reasons for boasting or comparisons--they are reasons for humility and thankfulness and watchfulness.

    Justin's references to creation-vs.-evolution, and far too many of the responses here, are of soundbite quality (that statement could, though, be an insult to soundbites (grin)). It's too bad that that's the case. Instead of really chewing on it, though, to determine what they believe and (more important) why they believe it, we instead see folks on all sides using this issue as an excuse to load their verbal missiles and fire broadsides at each other. How useful is that?

    Regards to all this rainy Monday!

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  • 236. At 12:41pm on 27 Jul 2009, U14083100 wrote:

    Oh Look U14075039 is dead
    Jolly Good show BBC Mod chaps
    It's better to be dead but not forgotten
    than forgotten but not dead
    We the Righteous Right say so
    Long live MATT and the possies

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  • 237. At 12:48pm on 27 Jul 2009, U14083100 wrote:

    Magic Kirin,

    "Terrorism is acceptible against Israelis and the U.S
    Castro, chavez and Morales have the full support of their people
    9/11 was justified
    Bush stole 2000 and 20o4 elections
    The U.S does not contribute in helping the rest of the world
    Anyone who is not a supporter of Obama is a redneck or a racist"


    More or less correct, but I would change "acceptible" (sic) to "expectable" or "unsurprising"

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  • 238. At 1:00pm on 27 Jul 2009, U14083100 wrote:

    153, cittadinadelmondo

    Right!

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  • 239. At 1:02pm on 27 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #233

    I believe I have told you I don't listen to Rush.
    I do watch Fox New, listen to NPR and read the economist besides getting NYT, Boston Globe and Boston Herald on line.

    Can you claim to have having a diverse range of sources?\
    what would be good is for all the fans of the Palestinian cause to live in an Israeli settlement near the border for a month and then try to engage in free speech in Venezuela the next month.

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  • 240. At 1:02pm on 27 Jul 2009, U14083100 wrote:

    Mr Cunard,
    "Making sweeping allegations was the technique employed by the former Republican Senator from Wisconsin. Perhaps you have an affinity for more than just his methods." It also calls to mind the methods of a certain Furher, and his colleague Goring

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  • 241. At 1:04pm on 27 Jul 2009, U14083100 wrote:

    RE 236

    or dead and forgotten

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  • 242. At 1:04pm on 27 Jul 2009, U14083100 wrote:

    St Dominick,

    ####
    a group of people that have been denied the most basic rights of any human being: the ability to support and care for our families, freedom, and hope.
    ####

    for more than six decades!

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  • 243. At 1:07pm on 27 Jul 2009, U14078849 wrote:



    Oh ! Blessings on Captjen at 234 and Arclight at 235 for their fairminded and sensible comments. They have brought this weird blog back to where it should be - a place for folks to calmly put their point of view, sticking to the subject under discussion, and talking good common sense.

    I will never in a million years understand why our hosts so readily allow their blog to be hi-jacked for racial insults and for some very dodgy interpretations of history, all delivered by bombasts who hold no truck with a gentler view of the world.

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  • 244. At 1:13pm on 27 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    240. At 1:02pm on 27 Jul 2009, The Choirmaster wrote:
    Mr Cunard,
    "Making sweeping allegations was the technique employed by the former Republican Senator from Wisconsin. Perhaps you have an affinity for more than just his methods." It also calls to mind the methods of a certain Furher, and his colleague Goring"


    You probably mean Goebbles.

    Hitler ate vegetarian food too, presumably an example of what too much broccoli can do to a man

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  • 245. At 1:17pm on 27 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

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

  • 246. At 1:21pm on 27 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    228. At 10:41am on 27 Jul 2009, TrueToo wrote:
    225. Svetlana,

    My comment was not "nasty" but simply a factual representation of the extent to which some bloggers will go to demonise Israel. SaintDominick makes a habit of it. Be nice if you could present a counter-argument, if you have one, instead of silly one-liners."



    FOr someone who thinks the Palestinians do not exist it is rich to talk about demonisation.



    "Sorry I didn't include what you would have liked to see in my comment. Tell you what, you write what you want and I'll do the same. I note you have no rebuttal to my comment and it seems pointless to reiterate the point I've made many times: the majority of my comments on the Israeli-Arab conflict are an attempt to correct misconceptions and expose some really vile propaganda I see here and elsewhere. I rarely introduce the subject independently. Re being on topic, of course one only has to point to the "kitchen" and endless other comments here to render that argument invalid. "


    Your use of the term Arab-Israelie conflict demonstrates your bigotry. There is no Israeli/Arab conflcit.

    There is no US/Swarthy molsem war in Afghanistan. There is no country called "Arab"


    There are Palestinians who you beleive do not exist.

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  • 247. At 1:22pm on 27 Jul 2009, U14083100 wrote:

    St Dominick,
    ####
    "I have to admit, you are correct in pointing out that the Palestinians are the majority in the concentration camps they live in."
    ####
    They are the majority in PALESTINE, including "Israel"

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  • 248. At 1:34pm on 27 Jul 2009, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 226 MagicKirin wrote:

    "Blame Simon 21 who will use any excuse to bash Israel and anyone who supports that nation."

    Alternatively, blame MagicKirin, who will use any excuse to "bash", smear and mendaciously libel anyone who dares to express anything less than 100% support for the policies of whichever government is in power in Israel, anyone who supports treating the Palestinians like human beings, and in fact anyone he disagrees with.

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  • 249. At 1:41pm on 27 Jul 2009, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 233 saintDominick wrote:

    "Ref 213, Magic....... A long sabbatical overseas would do you a lot of good."

    If he took a long sabbatical from this blog it would do a lot of good for the level of debate. Sadly I am sure that a "long sabbatical overseas" would do little if anything to change his mind. His prejudices are set in stone, like those of Macho Autisticus II, and hence impervious to fact, logic, reason or evidence.

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  • 250. At 1:41pm on 27 Jul 2009, U14075704 wrote:

    Magic Excrescence,

    "The Palestinians have been given land though they have repaid the generosity with terrorism."

    And who "gave" it to them? Was it the same folk who drove them off it in the first place, maybe? The people who stole it?

    If you weren't so stupid, you might make a decent comedian

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  • 251. At 1:45pm on 27 Jul 2009, KhassimAManyoukeh wrote:

    228 and 221
    TrueToo wrote:

    "Equating the Israelis with the Nazis and the Palestinians with the Jews is an old slur from those obsessively anti-Israel and very often, of course, anti-Semitic"

    "Equating the Israelis with the Nazis and the Palestinians with the Jews is an old slur from those obsessively anti-Israel and very often, of course, anti-Semitic."

    I have looked into this blog one time and another, and I have seen many comments such as these. There seems some confusion in your mind if I may say so.

    Can you be unaware that Arbas of the Middle East are Semitic, too? Or that to criticise the policies or actions of a country can hardly be properly described as "anti-semitic"? Would you characterise, then, criticism of US policy or actions as "anti-Christian"?

    I do not understand why "equating Palestinians with Jews" would be a "slur"? Unless you wish to imply one ethnic group is superior to the other? I think I might myself be justly held to account were I to suggest that (I wish to avoid any implication of racism) a poodle was superior to a wolfhound, as it were?

    (As I know some names can cause difficulties, should you reply, you may address me as "Khassim".)




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  • 252. At 1:50pm on 27 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #248

    The question was who brought up the Israeli/Palestinian terrorist conflict on this thread. It was Simon 21.

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  • 253. At 1:52pm on 27 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #233

    I never said I hated the Economist, I merley stated that Lexington was biased.

    Lexington does not equal the economist.

    What is this no border nonsense, Israel has not approppriate land that it did not win in a war of aggression by the other side. Israel unlike the Palestinians and Lebanese actually honors it's agreements.

    Has Hezbollah been disarmed yet?

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  • 254. At 1:58pm on 27 Jul 2009, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 234 Captjen74 wrote:

    About public stonings, witch burnings, pie-eating, and evolutionists-and-homosexuals-smiting - inter alia.

    Firstly, I'd have to say that this was genuinely witty and well written - I may not have rolled on the floor, but I certainly laughed out loud.

    And the line "Thinking everyone outside California and New York is like Deliverance is like thinking everything outside of London is like Cold Comfort Farm." says a lot.

    Having said that, in defence of J Webb, he is apparently being judged on the basis of a few short paras, probably dashed off in haste. AFAIK he's written at least one book on the US, not to mention various columns, and also AFAIK he would have travelled round the country before and during the election. Ie I think he's seen, and knows, a bit more of the US than SF & Washington, and indeed a bit more than is summed up in the few short paras above.

    The point about generalisations is quite valid though. For example, the Republic of Ireland is minuscule in terms of population - c 4m or so. Not only would an Irish person think it ludicrous to make generalisations about all Irish people, he would think it ludicrous even to do so about, say, all Dubliners. So obviously it is even more ludicrous to try to generalise about c 60m Brits, c 300m Americans, or 700m+ Europeans.

    Only someone so crazy he thought he was a Roman Emperor, someone doubly Macho and Autistic [with apologies to genuine Autistics] would do something as ridiculous as that.....

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  • 255. At 2:05pm on 27 Jul 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    232 Marcus:

    Well, for a start:

    Canada.
    New Zealand.
    the UK.
    Any society that in earlier times worshipped Odin and Frigga, and in which subsequently there are, or were, lots of Lutherans.

    There are probably others.

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  • 256. At 2:07pm on 27 Jul 2009, VanitySmurf wrote:

    I live in Georgia and "The Origin of the Species" is in my Borders Bookstore favorites shelf too. And the "God Delusion" is right next to "The Purpose Driven Life" in the "Buy 3 get your 4th book free" table. Yes and all those crazy Southerners manage to trip through the store without swooning or rioting every time they see it too. I'm a Northerner, and certainly things about the South show that the culture is different. But it isn't quite so different as Webb appears to suggest.

    And I'm suprised that this article has been up for so long without someone mentioning that lovely "South Park" episode about SF. "It's really a EUROPEAN city. Like PARIS or MILAN..."

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  • 257. At 2:21pm on 27 Jul 2009, MeganinLondon wrote:

    I agree that San Francisco is nothing like Kansas... but New York is nothing Denver or Montgomery anything like Boston. America would probably be the hardest country to try to define. San Francisco is America just as much as Kansas (albeit SF is better).

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  • 258. At 2:22pm on 27 Jul 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    221 TT

    Well, I may have put that a bit strongly. But these stupid, rabid postings make support for Israel stick sideways. If this is how supporters of Israel behave, why are we supporting Israel? You start to grit your teeth.

    I suspect that there are groups in Israel that have their heads stuffed so far up that they have little or no appreciation that patience with the Israeli government is wearing very thin in North America. The only thing that keeps it from disappearing entirely is the behaviour of Hamas, Hezbollah and friends. Opposite views, same sickness.

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  • 259. At 2:22pm on 27 Jul 2009, U14074320 wrote:

    231 Seanspa,
    "TT, as usual you do not tell the truth. The kitchen was a reaction to your insistence in going off topic in every thread. Some people are obsessed, some are paid. You are both."
    And you might add stupid, offensive, mendacious and boring

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  • 260. At 2:23pm on 27 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #250

    250. At 1:41pm on 27 Jul 2009, Professor Woland wrote:
    Magic Excrescence,

    "The Palestinians have been given land though they have repaid the generosity with terrorism."

    And who "gave" it to them? Was it the same folk who drove them off it in the first place, maybe? The people who stole it?

    If you weren't so stupid, you might make a decent comedian

    Hey dumb Prof: There is doubt on their legimitacy to the land. Second they lost their war of aggression. The U.S is not expected to return the southest to Mexico so why should Irael.

    Oh I forgot Jews don't have the same right as non Jews.

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  • 261. At 2:26pm on 27 Jul 2009, KhassimAManyoukeh wrote:

    253. At 1:52pm on 27 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    "Israel has not approppriate land that it did not win in a war of aggression by the other side."

    Perhaps I may suggest if you knew a little more of the situation in Israel, particularly Jerusalem, and the West Bank you would consider that statement not altogether correct.

    There have been many cases of Arab citizens being deprived (perhaps I may even say 'cheated') of their lands and houses because of "errors" in their deeds. Are you saying it is correct for a country to "approopriate" and settle its own inhabitants on any land it likes beyond its agreed boundaries if it was the victor in a war?

    Was not that a principle of another country and a different war?

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  • 262. At 2:36pm on 27 Jul 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    "226. At 10:06am on 27 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #221 and 224

    Blame Simon 21 who will use any excuse to bash Israel and anyone who supports that nation."

    ________

    Oh, for Pete's sake. How juvenile.

    HE STARTED IT.
    DID NOT.
    DID TOO.
    YOU'RE LYING.
    I'M NOT, YOU ARE.
    ARE SO.
    AM NOT.
    ...

    ________

    Trash talking is a behavioural problem in children's sports that often leads to violence rather than conflict resolution. Coaches who fail to stomp on it immediately, or, worse, encourage it, do a great disservice to the players.

    Here is the correct response:

    Coach: Silence, there. Another word, and you don't play another shift.
    Player: But he started it.
    Coach: That is a measure of his character, not yours. You will exhibit good sportsmanship, or you will not play on this team.

    End of discussion.

    When both coaches do this, immediately, behaviour improves. All the other players on the bench notice. We don't have to solve as many problems, because they don't arise. Everyone is better off. The league runs much better, the players treat each other with respect, and gain a lot of friends by the end of the season.

    Grow up, and show that you're an adult.

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  • 263. At 2:38pm on 27 Jul 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #228. TrueToo: "222. David_Cunard . . I note you have no rebuttal to my comment and it seems pointless to reiterate the point I've made many times . . "

    That's precisely my point, you've reiterated it so many, too many times. I had no intention of feeding the fires of your obsession. However, I notice you make no rebuttal to my comment about America standing idly by: you're nothing more than a hypocritical fraud.

    #232. MarcusAureliusII: "Can you name even one other place in the world outside America where women have anything remotely close to equal rights with men not merely on paper but in fact?"

    Although your knowledge of it, such as it is, comes solely from the broadcast and printed media, you omit Justin's native country. Had you ever been there, you would have seen that British women have as many, if not more rights than those in the United States. Moreover, in case you have forgotten, they have had women in high positions of state long before such a thing was repeated in the USA. Perhaps in seven years a woman will become President, decades after the British had both a female Prime Minister and Head of State.

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  • 264. At 2:42pm on 27 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 239, Magic

    "Can you claim to have having a diverse range of sources?"

    I do listen to the opinions of conservative, liberal and moderate commentators, politicians, and friends. I admit, however, that the opinions I have expressed on Latin America are not based on what I hear on the media, but on what I learned from living In Latin America for many years, not as an American staying in an American hotel and given a tour by an English speaking guide, but by living among the native population as one of them. I am fluent in Spanish, speak enough Portuguese, to hold a conversation, I am intimately familiar with the history, geography, traditions, music, food, prejudices and ambitions of Latin Americans to understand how they think and the reason for what has been taking place in that part of the world in recent years.

    I realize that an intimate familiarity with a subject matter, or in this case a culture, are irrelevant to you when they do not conform with the conclusions you have reached after listening to FOX, NPR, and the Economist, but take it from an old man, life experiences often provide more insight into how a person or culture thinks than what we hear from the talking heads in the media and our politicians.

    Concerning freedom of speech in Venezuela, I wish you had heard the conversation I had with one of my cousins, who lives in Caracas, a couple of months ago concerning Chavez's policies and his effectiveness as President. The criticisms and concerns he expressed during our phone conversation are simply not made in countries ruled by totalitarian dictators, take it from a person that lived in Spain in the Franco era, and in Venezuela when Gen. Perez Jimenez was President. The opponents and critics simply vanished or were found on the side of the road with a bullet hole in the back of their heads.

    Your comment reminded me of a distant experience I had when I visited Spain for the first time in 1944. We were staying in the house of one of my aunts, and I will never forget the horror and fear on her face when my Dad said he had become Free Mason while living in the USA. The poor woman almost had a heart attack, and warned him to make sure he never repeated such a thing or the Falange or Civil Guards would be knocking on her door. That's what lack of freedom of speech and freedom of choice means to me.

    I apologize in advance for going on a tangent and drifting off topic again, but I find the unsubstantiated claims made by some so bizarre that I feel compelled to either respond or burst out laughing. I'll try the latter next time.

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  • 265. At 2:55pm on 27 Jul 2009, _marko wrote:

    To MagicKirin, TrueToo, TimothyR444, MAII

    You're stuck, just like a repeating an advert (paid?), motivated mainly by limited information or tribal behaviour and have no interest in expanding human knowledge.

    Do you notice any difference in style between yourselves and saintDominick?

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  • 266. At 3:02pm on 27 Jul 2009, KhassimAManyoukeh wrote:

    258. At 2:22pm on 27 Jul 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    "patience with the Israeli government is wearing very thin in North America. The only thing that keeps it from disappearing entirely is the behaviour of Hamas, Hezbollah and friends. Opposite views, same sickness."

    This does not seem entirely clear to me. However,you speak of "sickness". Perhaps, were your children to be educated at a school run by Hamas, or medically treated in a clinic or a doctor provided by them, when otherwise neither would be available, then whatever this view of Hamas is would change, even broaden, too?

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  • 267. At 3:05pm on 27 Jul 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    247. At 1:22pm on 27 Jul 2009, U14083100 wrote:

    • "They are the majority in PALESTINE, including "Israel""
    That single FACT must be the cause of more disturbed Zionists' sleep than any other, and the thought pleases me.

    In 1948, the proto-Israeli forces and their "Israeli" successors drove out and dispossessed some 800,000 native Arab Palestinians and destroyed or took over their homes and farms.

    Now Majik and his ilk praise Israeli generosity in suggesting that (maybe, some day, if they cower and crawl enough under the heel of the IDF) the rightful owners of Palestine just might be allowed to occupy a few isolated bantustans in their native land.

    My God! Such generosity of spirit, and we thought the Israelis were stingy!

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  • 268. At 3:18pm on 27 Jul 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    247. At 1:22pm on 27 Jul 2009, U14083100 wrote:

    • "They are the majority in PALESTINE, including "Israel""
    And that simple fact must cause more sleepless Zionist nights than any other. It warms my heart.

    In 1948, the protp-Israeli terrorist Zionist militias and their "Israeli successors drove out and dispossessed some 800,000 Native Arab Palestinians, stole or destroyed their homes, farms and villages and have refused to allow their return - more than sixty years ago!

    And Majik and his ilk praise Israeli generosity in hinting that if the exiled folk crawl enough and cower enough under the Israeli boot, that they may yet (some indeterminate day) be allowed a few acres in isolated bantustans within their ancient homeland...

    Such generosity! And we thought the Israelis were stingy!

    Zionism Primer
    The Situation in Palestine/Israel

    Study the facts and make up your own minds

    Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Peace

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  • 269. At 3:25pm on 27 Jul 2009, bigsteve3OOO wrote:

    Jimmy Carter has legitimized most of the worlds dictators with his Carter foundation which could not see election fraud if it bit them on their communist butts. Please do not ever associate anything he says with the vast majority of Americans.

    For you American bashing Europeans......We are you. Your cousins; Uncles; Aunts; we are the best and worst of you who wanted to try a 200 year experiment called freedom. The majority of mankind has for most of history lived under tyranny; America was a place to see what true freedom would bring. It brought about 200 years of prosperity and wealth to those who worked for it.

    Today alas it is being Europeanized and will soon be the same Nanny States you live in with almost no personal freedom. and therefore will fail to thrive like you are failing.

    That is why you Europeans mock and despise us. It is because while you have the history, culture and intellect we thrive and you wither. I assure you it is the lack of freedom that causes the blight you feel not some American plot or plan against you.

    Don't worry you need not pass the Lisbon treaty to destroy us with a truly unified European Union you merely need to let our foolish politicians emulate you so we will fail like you are.


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  • 270. At 3:32pm on 27 Jul 2009, U14078849 wrote:


    ~ Khassim,

    I beg you not to give up. As you will have seen these pages are largely used by at least one character to promote his obsessive belief that Israel is always right and everyone else is always wrong. Even when we are meant to be discussing whether San Francisco is European in nature, we seem to end up back with the Israel/Palestine situation.

    And the character I mention above has several little sidekicks - like some chav girl on holiday in the drink-swilled nightspots of Ibiza jumping up and down on the sidelines of a punch-up, yelling "kick 'im, thump 'im, get 'im while he's down".

    Which is why most of us would like to hear what you have to say, Khassim .

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  • 271. At 3:35pm on 27 Jul 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    234, Capt, you're right. Somehow Justin has the Midwest confused with
    someplace else. The bible thumpers have acquired notoriety out of proportion
    to their numbers, and have managed to convince the rest of the world that
    there are no normal people left in America.

    It's the same with the Left, though. They have Justin convinced that they
    are proper Quakers and that they won't get thrashed in the next election.

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  • 272. At 3:38pm on 27 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 194. MagicKirin

    "Carter joins the list of infamous including Joeseph McCarthey, Cynthia McKinney, George Galloway and Neville Chamberlen." [sic, sic, sic]

    Carter, McKinney, Galloway, Chamberlain.

    The list of infamous? Do explain.



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  • 273. At 3:56pm on 27 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:




    TrueToo wrote: "Thats your typical blinkered and biased portrayal of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. You should study it a bit."

    Amusing - coming from the person who didn't know how the '67 war started, didn't know the protagonists, didn't know about the USS Liberty incident.


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  • 274. At 3:58pm on 27 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #264

    In your time in Latin america have you ever spoken to the people victimized by Chavez and Morales. Here there side on how they are being burdened with supporting the country. How in Bolivia Morales ethnic groups get special privilidges and special judicial decision making rights?

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  • 275. At 4:17pm on 27 Jul 2009, KhassimAManyoukeh wrote:

    270. At 3:32pm on 27 Jul 2009, Svetlana

    I would certainly wish to correct what seem to be erroneous, if not egregious statements made here. especially about the Middle East. Foremost, of course, that the term includes other countries than Israel and Palestine,

    But I have also read what appear to be equally egregious examples of antipathy to Europeans (bigsteve3000 and MarcusAureliusII, for example). Is this not odd, apparently coming from several correspondents claiming to belong to a country (the USA) which was settled (though you will understand why I do not find that word entirely satisfactory) initially by Europeans?

    To separate oneself from one's origins and ancestry in this way is to lead inexorably to believing that there is some form of separateness, there is no commonalty, between the nationals of one country and those of others.

    Has not the USA benefited from the arts and philosophy of the Italian Renaissance? And did not that itself benefit from Arab philosophers, translators, astronomers and physicians? Some entirely new species of human being surely did not come into existence as the ink dried on the Declaration of Independence less than 250 years ago?

    Perhaps this is the real reason behind the support of the USA for Israel for example? Or the current animus against Iran?

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  • 276. At 4:20pm on 27 Jul 2009, U14078849 wrote:


    ~ 269

    Whether we like it or not, our British Government is pouring resources - in terms of both materiel and men - into your American wars. If we ultimately fail, as you seem to predict and seem to hope, it will be because we spent too much time and money helping America with her adventures.

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  • 277. At 4:23pm on 27 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 269. bigsteve3OOO

    "Today ...[America] is being Europeanized and will soon be the same Nanny States you live in with almost no personal freedom. and therefore will fail to thrive.."

    "It is because .... we [America] thrive and you wither."


    Can you make up your mind?



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  • 278. At 4:25pm on 27 Jul 2009, bigsteve3OOO wrote:

    272. At 3:38pm on 27 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 194. MagicKirin

    "Carter joins the list of infamous including Joeseph McCarthey, Cynthia McKinney, George Galloway and Neville Chamberlen." [sic, sic, sic]

    Carter, McKinney, Galloway, Chamberlain.

    The list of infamous? Do explain.

    I am sure that he meant fools who did foolish things thinking they were right and caused great hardships on the very people they were trying to help with their foolishness.

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  • 279. At 4:31pm on 27 Jul 2009, bigsteve3OOO wrote:

    277. At 4:23pm on 27 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 269. bigsteve3OOO

    "Today ...[America] is being Europeanized and will soon be the same Nanny States you live in with almost no personal freedom. and therefore will fail to thrive.."

    "It is because .... we [America] thrive and you wither."

    Can you make up your mind?

    you are quite correct....I meant barely thriving but pre Johnson were thriving. The Great Society is not quite as great as they wanted. that is always how it goes when every mans(womans) rights are compressed for the benefit of everyone.

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  • 280. At 4:33pm on 27 Jul 2009, U14078849 wrote:


    ~ 278 Bigsteve

    I can think of at least one person on that list who is very much alive and might considered that he has been libelled. If I were the author of the post, I would ask to have it removed.

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  • 281. At 4:35pm on 27 Jul 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    An example of Israeli "generosity" regarding the nature of any future Palestinian State:

    • "The character of the provisional Palestinian state will be determined through negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. The provisional state will have provisional borders and certain aspects of sovereignty, be fully demilitarized with no military forces, but only with police and internal security forces of limited scope and armaments, be without the authority to undertake defense alliances or military cooperation, and Israeli control over the entry and exit of all persons and cargo, as well as of its air space and electromagnetic spectrum."
    From the Israeli "reservations" to the "Roadmap to Peace"

    My, my, what generosity!

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  • 282. At 4:38pm on 27 Jul 2009, seanspa wrote:

    BS3000, you haven't met magic before, have you? I doubt if you understood what he meant, as he has a unique thought process.

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  • 283. At 4:42pm on 27 Jul 2009, NoRashDecisions wrote:

    "In Borders Books, they have The Origins of the Species in their favourites section. In Kansas, you'd need a paper bag and a special order."

    In every store? Its a rather large state. Just how do you know this exactly? I must say, for someone who 90% of the time has been very fair and accurate in their observations and portrayals of American life, this disgustingly negative generalisation of a particular reagon comes as an even bigger shock and surprise than Mark Sanford's affair and refusal to step down from office, and I never thought anything could top that!!

    Now perhaps, if you did an extensiv survay, you could say with some certainty that Kansas is in fact the most religious part of America. But to equate a high percentage of Christians with the rights of a free press enshrined in the first amendment, well that is just simply wrong.

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  • 284. At 4:44pm on 27 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #270

    Simon 21 brought up Israel not me.

    Get your facts straight.

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  • 285. At 4:45pm on 27 Jul 2009, bigsteve3OOO wrote:

    280. At 4:33pm on 27 Jul 2009, Svetlana wrote:


    ~ 278 Bigsteve

    I can think of at least one person on that list who is very much alive and might considered that he has been libelled. If I were the author of the post, I would ask to have it removed.

    unlike you I stand by my words
    I am a man of principle not fear and cowardice.
    by that I mean an American.

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  • 286. At 4:47pm on 27 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 274, Magic

    There is no point carrying out this discussion any further, Your mind is made up and nothing I or anyone else coould say will change your conclusions and opinions.

    Sadly, that is the mindset that has influenced our foreign policy for decades. Listening to President Obama this morning, and in recent weeks, is definitely a welcome respite from the overt hatred, contempt, and ambivalence to the plight of others that our government has exhibited in the past. Hopefully he will succeed in his quest and is able to avoid the dangers facing anyone who dares promote peaceful coexistence, respect for other cultures, and fairness.

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  • 287. At 4:52pm on 27 Jul 2009, bigsteve3OOO wrote:

    282. At 4:38pm on 27 Jul 2009, seanspa wrote:

    BS3000, you haven't met magic before, have you? I doubt if you understood what he meant, as he has a unique thought process.

    true I projected my opinion on his post. Magic I am sorry for tromping on your brilliance.

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  • 288. At 4:57pm on 27 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:



    Ref 278. bigsteve3OOO

    "I am sure that he meant...."

    You're clearly a committed interventionist. You can't even let someone else speak for themselves. Answering on behalf of others, you're a fine example of a 'nanny' yourself.


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  • 289. At 4:58pm on 27 Jul 2009, U14078849 wrote:



    ~ 285

    Claiming to be a big, brave American is all very well. But walking oneself into an expensive libel case errs on the side of stupidity.

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  • 290. At 4:58pm on 27 Jul 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    266. Khassim

    and you might have added, "and attempts to avoid rampant corruption in the FATAH style".

    The social agencies of Hamas have stepped in to provide schooling and medical care where there was a failure or vacuum of civic institutions.

    Nobody has a problem with that, with humanitarian relief, with protection and advance of human rights, adherence to the rule of law, or with the renunciation of violence. It is the people who are willing to work to make things better, to set aside old disputes, without regard to the colour of the other person's skin, or the language they speak, without hatred based on religious belief, who are trying to end the cycle of retributive violence that leads nowhere.

    The "sickness" is the obsessive, Tit-for-Tat behaviour, the argumentativeness, the small mindedness, the pettiness, the selfishness, of the people who lob rockets into Israel for no purpose other than to provoke a military response, or who build settlements on occupied land, the people who are trying to stoke the fires of hatred, rather than to damp them down, the people who promote violence, or indoctrinate children (or adults, really), into committing violent acts, whether suicide bombings or otherwise.

    It comes out in blog postings here all the time, and not only in respect of the middle east, but more often than not.

    There is no effort to be positive, or constructive, or to renounce violence.

    Svetlana is right in saying "at least one". There are, in fact, several. They are not limited to supporters of Israel, by any means. They ruin discussion on this blog over, and over. And they all have the same sickness.

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  • 291. At 5:02pm on 27 Jul 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    231 Seanspa.

    I have lost track of where the kitchen is.

    Yours,

    I.F.

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  • 292. At 5:03pm on 27 Jul 2009, KhassimAManyoukeh wrote:

    278. At 4:25pm on 27 Jul 2009, bigsteve3OOO wrote:

    I am sure that he meant fools who did foolish things thinking they were right and caused great hardships on the very people they were trying to help with their foolishness.

    In what way would Mr Galloway have caused hardship? And what would cause two people to describe him thus?

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  • 293. At 5:04pm on 27 Jul 2009, NoRashDecisions wrote:

    Regarding Carter's piece, I have nothing but the utmost respect and admaration for him. He, I believe, was/is the most honest public servant that has ever served in this country by far, and perhaps even the world.

    And he's totally right. Discriminatory thinking and selfishness are the reasons why, until this day, there is a rather hefty gender gap in pay in Britain and America, and why there are still so few women in public office when compared to the ratio of women to men in office in other developed countries. Ironic isn't it, that the nations which go around the world brest beating and boasting about how good we are at upholding the values of "equality" and "justice" under the law have been consistently proven, in survay after survay, to be the ones in desperate need of a little of their own advice and who could take a few leafs out of the books of countries such as Norway and Sweedon so that they can show us what equality really looks like.


    Sad, very sad.

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  • 294. At 5:07pm on 27 Jul 2009, alphamiguel wrote:

    274;

    Isn't it about time they did or am I missing something?

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  • 295. At 5:13pm on 27 Jul 2009, bigsteve3OOO wrote:

    292. At 5:03pm on 27 Jul 2009, KhassimAManyoukeh wrote:

    278. At 4:25pm on 27 Jul 2009, bigsteve3OOO wrote:

    I am sure that he meant fools who did foolish things thinking they were right and caused great hardships on the very people they were trying to help with their foolishness.

    In what way would Mr Galloway have caused hardship? And what would cause two people to describe him thus?

    I am not an expert at British politics but wasn't he the guy who used his political office to funnel money to him and prohibited items to Saddam Hussein? Thus putting his represented people at jeopardy (as Saddam was a murdering bastard and could have used the prohibited items to harm Galloway's represented people) and allowed Saddam to have said prohibited items allowing GW to unconstitutionally declare war on Iraq wich injured Iraqi people.

    like I said"fools who did foolish things thinking they were right and caused great hardships on the very people they were trying to help with their foolishness."

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  • 296. At 5:19pm on 27 Jul 2009, alphamiguel wrote:

    269.Bigsteve.

    I really would like it if you could go over to Pine Ridge rez in South Dakota and give them that speech,should go down a bundle.
    Whoops,don't mention the American Indians.Marcus doesn't like it.

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  • 297. At 5:22pm on 27 Jul 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #272. Richard_SM: "Ref 194. MagicKirin . . Carter, McKinney, Galloway, Chamberlain. The list of infamous? Do explain."

    Don't encourage him! It only sets off another round of untruths and misinformation.

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  • 298. At 5:23pm on 27 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    290. At 4:58pm on 27 Jul 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    "The "sickness" is the obsessive, Tit-for-Tat behaviour, the argumentativeness, the small mindedness, the pettiness, the selfishness, of the people who lob rockets into Israel for no purpose other than to provoke a military response, or who build settlements on occupied land, the people who are trying to stoke the fires of hatred, rather than to damp them down, the people who promote violence, or indoctrinate children (or adults, really), into committing violent acts, whether suicide bombings or otherwise."


    This is the usual pap one gets from people who either wilfully or ignorantly attept to comment on the Palestinians as if the latter were living in Cleveland or Surbiton and only fought the Israelies out of a peverse desire to find something to do on Sunday afternoons.

    Try at least to understand that if you had been subjected to the same brutality these people were subjected pious statements about peace and lover might mean very little.

    It is unlikely you are going to tell your children to love the people who are starving them.

    Black South Africans did not get their freedom by laying down passively and singing hymns.

    The Irish and Americans did not expel the British by writing them nasty letters.


    When you are faced with an enemy who do not accept your existence, who attempt to starve you, refuse you rights to water, land and movement you do not feel inclined to shake hands with them and slap them on the back.


    The amazing thing is that people who beleived the old RSA had to be destroyed and aparhtied was a sickening belief, seem to think it perfectly fine for similar horrors to be inflicted on the Palestinians, because the latter aparently are "arabs".

    It is frankly obscene to expect a people who have been subjected to decades of systematic abuse, slaughter, land stealing (even up to the present day) to be told they must embrace their oppressors.

    Presumably all the Karens have to do is run into the arms of the Myanamar army and they will be greeted with sweets and open arms, all the Mong have to do is dance down Vientiene and all will be well.

    Of course as the above egs show (Ireland the US, Cyprus, etc etc) as soon as the "whiteys" are oppressed its a different ballgame - then its parades, heroes of the resistance etc - but have the wrong colour and oh dear.

    Just ask the Koories how far peacefull protest has got them.


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  • 299. At 5:28pm on 27 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    274. At 3:58pm on 27 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:
    ref #264

    In your time in Latin america have you ever spoken to the people victimized by Chavez and Morales. Here there side on how they are being burdened with supporting the country. How in Bolivia Morales ethnic groups get special privilidges and special judicial decision making rights"


    You don't like seeing native Americans getting uppitty? They should always play second fiddle to "nice people".

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  • 300. At 5:30pm on 27 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    283. At 4:42pm on 27 Jul 2009, NoRashDecisions wrote:
    "In Borders Books, they have The Origins of the Species in their favourites section. In Kansas, you'd need a paper bag and a special order."

    In every store? Its a rather large state. Just how do you know this exactly? I must say, for someone who 90% of the time has been very fair and accurate in their observations and portrayals of American life, this disgustingly negative generalisation of a particular reagon comes as an even bigger shock and surprise than Mark Sanford's affair and refusal to step down from office, and I never thought anything could top that!!


    Sorry are you saying Kansas is not part of America?

    Or that idiotic bigotry is OK if it occurs in some places not others eg lynching occurred in SC, but not in Rhode Island - so it can be ignored?

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  • 301. At 5:33pm on 27 Jul 2009, bigsteve3OOO wrote:

    289. At 4:58pm on 27 Jul 2009, Svetlana wrote:



    ~ 285

    Claiming to be a big, brave American is all very well. But walking oneself into an expensive libel case errs on the side of stupidity.


    what you claim is stupidity I say is Free S peach. Nanny States usually restrict Free Speech that is a part of what is tyranny but it seems to be ok with you folks as long as they restrict others speech and opinions not yours.......THE TROUBLE IS YOU ARE NEXT!!!!!!!

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  • 302. At 5:40pm on 27 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    260. At 2:23pm on 27 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:
    ref #250

    250. At 1:41pm on 27 Jul 2009, Professor Woland wrote:
    Magic Excrescence,

    "The Palestinians have been given land though they have repaid the generosity with terrorism."

    And who "gave" it to them? Was it the same folk who drove them off it in the first place, maybe? The people who stole it?

    If you weren't so stupid, you might make a decent comedian"


    This from soemone who thinks a complicit war criminal shold be honored.

    As CJ says that is literally beyond a joke.

    Tell us how you disaaprove of terrorism again, that would be a laugh.


    "Oh I forgot Jews don't have the same right as non Jews."


    I think you will find no one including "jews" (whatever this means) has the right to kill babies, unarmed women and steal someone's land and also help people commit war crimes do they?



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  • 303. At 5:45pm on 27 Jul 2009, arclightt wrote:

    @234 (C74): Great post! That can't be described as "tongue-in-cheek"; nope, that qualifies as "tongue-through-cheek" or stronger. It brought a big smile to my face. You did, however, forget the combination spelling bees and Inquisitions. Reminds me of the fictional story called "The Lottery" that we had to read in school.

    @264 (StD): "We were staying in the house of one of my aunts, and I will never forget the horror and fear on her face when my Dad said he had become Free Mason while living in the USA. The poor woman almost had a heart attack, and warned him to make sure he never repeated such a thing or the Falange or Civil Guards would be knocking on her door. That's what lack of freedom of speech and freedom of choice means to me."

    That's a great post also, for a different reason. It's one thing to philosophise about freedom, etc. It's another thing to have run into the alternatives first-hand. A work associate at Nextel came with her parents from Armenia in 1979 with only the clothes on their backs. She was quite fed up with our whining about the imperfections of our American existence (e.g. politics, etc.); in a meeting one morning she told us in no uncertain terms to grow up, because we were at least enjoying sufficient freedom to be able to complain, and an awful lot of folks didn't even have that. It's still good advice today, I think.

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  • 304. At 5:47pm on 27 Jul 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    B.S. 3000,

    You might perhaps look into the laws on libel

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  • 305. At 5:49pm on 27 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    297. At 5:22pm on 27 Jul 2009, David_Cunard wrote:
    #272. Richard_SM: "Ref 194. MagicKirin . . Carter, McKinney, Galloway, Chamberlain. The list of infamous? Do explain."

    Don't encourage him! It only sets off another round of untruths and misinformation."

    The surprisng thing is is that this individual appears to have a job. He certainly could not work in the UK or Oz with his type of negative views, the company would find itself being sued by its non-white employees (and fully supported by their white colleagues).

    He simply would not be employed in a government job, at least not for very long.

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  • 306. At 5:53pm on 27 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    263. At 2:38pm on 27 Jul 2009, David_Cunard wrote:
    #228. TrueToo: "222. David_Cunard . . I note you have no rebuttal to my comment and it seems pointless to reiterate the point I've made many times . . "

    That's precisely my point, you've reiterated it so many, too many times. I had no intention of feeding the fires of your obsession. However, I notice you make no rebuttal to my comment about America standing idly by: you're nothing more than a hypocritical fraud."


    I had many conversations with Afrikaaners etc in the old RSA and though sometimes charming, it swiftly became clear that one could not have a rational conversation with them anymore than one could have with a Zionist.

    Sooner or later you would expected to agree that the "blacks" were inferior to the "volk" and no one understood.

    So I do not think you are going to get much sense from TT>


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  • 307. At 6:06pm on 27 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 295. bigsteve3OOO

    George Galloway "...wasn't he the guy who used his political office to funnel money to him and prohibited items to Saddam Hussein?"

    I'm sure ex-Senator Coleman won't thank you for raising this - but here's the answer to your question. It's always good for a laugh.

    C-Span recordings of Senate hearing on Youtube:
    (CAUTION: Very embarassing for Republicans; sickening for Neo Cons; funny for the rest of us)

    Galloway v Norm Coleman Pt 1
    Galloway v Norm Coleman Pt 2

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  • 308. At 6:12pm on 27 Jul 2009, U14081247 wrote:

    Foreigner,

    Do you have any thoughts on the nature of industrial tourism?

    Treebeard

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  • 309. At 6:15pm on 27 Jul 2009, alphamiguel wrote:

    264 StDom,

    Estupendo.

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  • 310. At 6:45pm on 27 Jul 2009, Feohme wrote:

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

  • 311. At 6:50pm on 27 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    279. bigsteve3OOO

    You wrote : "you are quite correct....I meant barely thriving but pre Johnson were thriving."

    So in your opinion, America has been 'withering' since 1969.

    Good luck with your libel case - I think you'll need it. Galloway has a habit of winning libel cases. I believe he's won five - and lost none, including putting an Israeli radio station out of business.












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  • 312. At 7:07pm on 27 Jul 2009, KhassimAManyoukeh wrote:

    295. At 5:13pm on 27 Jul 2009, bigsteve3OOO:

    But I understood that Mr Galloway had no "political office" but was a Member of the British Parliament? And these "prohibited items"? What were they? Were not there sanctions in place against Iraq?

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  • 313. At 7:58pm on 27 Jul 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    293, NoRash.
    "He (Carter), I believe, was/is the most honest public servant that has ever served in this country by far, and perhaps even the world."

    But he was incompetent and gullible. He might make a great father, or priest, or social worker, but he was a lousy president. He was the one who got suckered into the Iranian Revolution. He was the one who had no understanding of foreign cultures and made gaff after gaff after gaff - the most horrifying being his kissing the Empress Farah on national television. (That went over really big in Moslem Iran.) He thought the whole world was American, or should be. Perhaps his problem was his deep religion. Religous people tend to think from the inside out - all truth emanates from them.

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  • 314. At 9:25pm on 27 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 313, Marbles

    I agree with your assessment of President Carter's performance in office, not only because of his handling of foreign policy but because of his inability to inspire confidence among the American people. In some ways he was a victim of circumstances, including inheriting out of control inflation and the draconian interest rate increases imposed by the Fed, which Carter was blamed for. Unfortunately, his deep religious convictions and unblemished personal integrity produced a naive view of the world that ultimately unraveled his presidency.

    I must say, however, that his post-presidential performance should serve as a model for other Presidents, if nothing else because of the lack of greed he has shown and because of his focus on peace, fairness and equality.

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  • 315. At 9:33pm on 27 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    314. At 9:25pm on 27 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:
    Ref 313, Marbles


    I must say, however, that his post-presidential performance should serve as a model for other Presidents, if nothing else because of the lack of greed he has shown and because of his focus on peace, fairness and equality. "


    Here here. He has proved to be a remarkable man, and a courageous one. Lionel Lindsay once wrote that a mind which grows keener and more tolerant as it gets older is a sign of truly powerful intellect.

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  • 316. At 9:37pm on 27 Jul 2009, john-In-Dublin wrote:

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

  • 317. At 9:41pm on 27 Jul 2009, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 87 squirrelist

    I must insist you immediately withdraw that unwarranted slur on donkeys, who are well known to be hard-working, good-natured animals.

    And excellent spellers.....

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  • 318. At 9:43pm on 27 Jul 2009, bigsteve3OOO wrote:

    @313
    Jimmy Carter was at best a fool at worst a traitor to his country. He by every exit poll done and statistical analysis by MIT wrongly certified the election of Hugo Chavez in 2004. His habitat for humanity homes are so badly built his foundation is being sued by the people who live in them. The biggest problem with Jimmy is he keeps flapping his communist lips in every anti-American way he can since the Electorate hostility took him out for incompetence and put the great on Ron Reagan in. Oh were those the good old days of limited govt. good times....good times...so long ago.....

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  • 319. At 9:47pm on 27 Jul 2009, seanspa wrote:

    Now if Carter was to use a gaff on anything, it would have been a killer rabbit. Sticking his oar in turned out to be a gaffe.

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  • 320. At 10:00pm on 27 Jul 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    Obviously, Carter encountered one of these.

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  • 321. At 10:11pm on 27 Jul 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    251. KhassimAManyoukeh,

    Thanks for your even-tempered comment. Makes a refreshing change. You wrote:

    Can you be unaware that Arbas of the Middle East are Semitic, too?

    We had this debate last year on this blog. Anti-Semitism has never referred to Arabs and probably never will. From the very beginning it applied to Jews and only Jews. I take your point that there's a difficulty with describing critics of a country as anti-Semitic. But when people make a hobby out of bashing Israel, virtually to the exclusion of any other country, then that is certainly anti-Semitic - especially when there are so many countries really deserving of the venom, contempt and ridicule reserved for Israel.

    I mentioned "equating Palestinians with Jews" in the contexts of Nazi Germany and current Israel. People who say that today's Palestinians are the Jews of Nazi Germany suggest, in the same breath, that the Israelis are Nazis. Such a statement is almost certainly anti-Semitic, and/or simply ignorant. These people have an obvious agenda, and it sure ain't pretty.


    258. Interestedforeigner,

    If Israel's supporters adopt an exasperated tone at times that should be understandable. No country, with the exception of the US, comes under attack as does Israel. One settler just has to add a bedroom to his house and the well-oiled Arab lobby swings into action with the raucous support of a motley assortment of Israel-haters from Galloway to the gesticulating hordes of Israel-obsessed lefty media organisations like the BBC. And of course the blogosphere is riddled with people who instantly form packs and bay for the blood of anyone who shows support for Israel. Like this blog of course, where the Israel-bashers shy away from coherent, rational argument and simply fling insults around.

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  • 322. At 10:32pm on 27 Jul 2009, dceilar wrote:

    #273 Richard

    Amusing - coming from the person who didn't know how the '67 war started, didn't know the protagonists, didn't know about the USS Liberty incident.

    Nor that Israel went to war twice in 1956 and 1967 on the grounds - or so it claimed - that it's access to the outside world (through the Gulf of Aqaba) was restricted by Arab countries. And that these restrictions are nothing compared to the current siege of Gaza. If the restrictions of 1956 and 1967 were an act of war then the siege of Gaza most definitely is.

    Does he know that Israel began its attack on Gaza on the Sabbath during the busiest time of day to maximise death? And that a couple of weeks later the IDF refused entry for humanitarian aid to help innocent civilians because of the Sabbath? An un-holy land indeed!

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  • 323. At 10:36pm on 27 Jul 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    321 TT

    Actually, I do not support the "settlers" in any way.

    Their activities are open and deliberate provocations to violence, and their determination to continue in this course of conduct marks them as people who are not trying to make peace.

    The Israel of Moshe Dayan and Golda Meir I understood. The Israel of today, not so much.

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  • 324. At 10:46pm on 27 Jul 2009, bere54 wrote:

    317, john-in-Dublin -

    If you'll refer back to #140, you'll see that squirrelist has left the blogs. I don't spend much time here myself anymore, but did notice your comment and his. His witty posts will be sadly missed, but I think the muck became too much for his gentle soul.

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  • 325. At 10:54pm on 27 Jul 2009, Reuben wrote:

    To equate lingering gender bias in the US and UK to the persecution of women in the Muslim world is not only a gross exaggeration, it's insulting.

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  • 326. At 10:58pm on 27 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    323. At 10:36pm on 27 Jul 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:
    321 TT

    Actually, I do not support the "settlers" in any way.

    Their activities are open and deliberate provocations to violence, and their determination to continue in this course of conduct marks them as people who are not trying to make peace."


    Far more than provocations, they have committed actual murder and they use the army to terrorise (there is no other word) unarmed civilians.

    They are aslo quite open about ethnic cleansing.

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  • 327. At 11:00pm on 27 Jul 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    322. dceilar wrote:

    You can try to distort and twist history as much as you like but you can't change the historical record. It's there for anyone who wants to look at it. Egypt's closing of the Straits of Tiran was an act of war, along with massing troops and tanks in the Sinai, hysterically calling for the annihilation of Israel and sending terrorists in to murder Israeli civilians - which Egypt and other Arab countries had been doing since the creation of Israel. If any country but Israel had been on the receiving end of these combined actions nobody would have doubted that country had the right to strike first and strike hard. Wiping virtually the entire Egyptian air force out on the ground was a brilliant and highly effective move. It not only almost guaranteed Israel's victory there and then but saved lives on both sides through avoiding a long war.

    Israel was not attacking Egypt prior to '56 and '67. Gaza was attacking Israel, and had been for years prior to Cast Lead. Try to stick to facts, not your fantasy.

    Your last paragraph is even more complete rubbish than the one preceding it, and typical of your style.

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  • 328. At 11:12pm on 27 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    321. At 10:11pm on 27 Jul 2009, TrueToo wrote:
    251. KhassimAManyoukeh,

    "Thanks for your even-tempered comment. Makes a refreshing change. You wrote:

    Can you be unaware that Arbas of the Middle East are Semitic, too?

    We had this debate last year on this blog. Anti-Semitism has never referred to Arabs and probably never will."


    Yes it has and has done for 20 years. Arabs are semites end of story.

    You're own views about "arabs" are not very common.


    " From the very beginning it applied to Jews and only Jews."


    It was an invented term by a European. It now applies to arabs.


    " I take your point that there's a difficulty with describing critics of a country as anti-Semitic. But when people make a hobby out of bashing Israel, virtually to the exclusion of any other country, then that is certainly anti-Semitic"



    How 25% of Israel is not jewish.

    SO you contradict your own point about anri-semetism.

    Game set and match!

    Like most fanatical Israeli defenders - no ability to argue.



    "especially when there are so many countries really deserving of the venom, contempt and ridicule reserved for Israel."


    SO its all right to rob someone if others do it too? Rascism is OK if others do it?

    What morality is this.

    "58. Interestedforeigner,

    If Israel's supporters adopt an exasperated tone at times that should be understandable. No country, with the exception of the US, comes under attack as does Israel. "


    Oh dear. Did you defend stalinist russia roo, that got criticised as well (sob)

    And Poor Germany, can you beleive some of the nasty nasty remarks!

    COuntries that commit atrocities and encourage ethnic cleansing elect coplicit war criminals to power should be criticised until they stop.

    " One settler just has to add a bedroom to his house and the well-oiled Arab lobby swings into action with the raucous support of a motley assortment of Israel-haters from Galloway to the gesticulating hordes of Israel-obsessed lefty media organisations like the BBC."



    One Palestinian has ti be int he worng place and she is beaten with clubs. One settler is removed by Israel and his friends murder two Paliestinians in revenge (in a "pogrom").

    " And of course the blogosphere is riddled with people who instantly form packs and bay for the blood of anyone who shows support for Israel. Like this blog of course, where the Israel-bashers shy away from coherent, rational argument and simply fling insults around. "

    Is it rational to want to honor a complicit was criminal and bash old women for being gthe wrong type of semite.

    You really need to get over the fall of the old RSA mate, it isn't coming back, not in Israel not anywhere.

    But you may still sing the old Boer songs - and form your own laager.



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  • 329. At 11:24pm on 27 Jul 2009, seanspa wrote:

    From #327. "Your last paragraph is even more complete rubbish than the one preceding it, and typical of your style."

    Yep, TT was right. There are those that debate and those that simply fling insults around.

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  • 330. At 11:29pm on 27 Jul 2009, seanspa wrote:

    KhassimAManyoukeh,

    You will now have seen that those complaining about insults are those that fling them around. You will see that those who peddle distortions make a point of ignoring posts pointing out those distortions. They tolerate no 'debate'. Anyone daring to hold a different opinion, based upon such things as facts, are considered hate-mongers with an agenda. You will come to appreciate that irony.

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  • 331. At 00:05am on 28 Jul 2009, KhassimAManyoukeh wrote:

    330 Seanspa:

    You are courteous, and perhaps that would not surprise me. If we were all respectful of learning, and gaining knowledge from others, the library at Timbuktu would not now be dissolving into dust.

    However, it is late for me and I have had not the opportunity to read over what has been written. I will do so tomorrow. In the meantime, though I do not myself practise Islam, in the common phrase I would wish all peace upon their house.

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  • 332. At 00:26am on 28 Jul 2009, U14074320 wrote:

    The three wise monkeys: "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil"
    Sometimes there is a fourth monkey depicted with the three others; the last one, symbolizes the principle of "do no evil". He may be shown covering his abdomen or crotch, or crossing his arms. Literally "don't see, don't hear, don't speak" and "don't do".
    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
    guess who are the real monkeys,
    mix up with blog member names,
    cup of tea, cup of coffee, or beer
    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

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  • 333. At 00:53am on 28 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    327. At 11:00pm on 27 Jul 2009, TrueToo wrote:
    322. dceilar wrote:

    You can try to distort and twist history as much as you like but you can't change the historical record. It's there for anyone who wants to look at it. Egypt's closing of the Straits of Tiran was an act of war,"



    No it was not, simple mistruth and falsehood. Israel had threatened Egypt and had long wanted teh Sinai. It had concluded plans with France and Britain (France gave it its airforce) to conquer the region.

    This information is in open court.

    Your justification reads like Germany's accusing Poland of starting World War II. There too a campaign of lies and mistruths was used to pretend that Poland was preparing to attack the German border.

    US correspondents were even taken to see several posts.

    Ironically some of the dead Polish "soldiers" are assumed to have been jews and political prisoners dressed up in polish uniforms.


    "along with massing troops and tanks in the Sinai, hysterically calling for the annihilation of Israel and sending terrorists in to murder Israeli civilians - which Egypt and other Arab countries had been doing since the creation of Israel."

    Proof of this statement? If Egypt was readying for war how come it left its airforce to be destroyed by Israel

    Conclusion: It was obviously not massing for war.

    Sorry the contradiction blows your whole argument out of the water.


    "If any country but Israel had been on the receiving end of these combined actions nobody would have doubted that country had the right to strike first and strike hard."


    So Pakistan has the right to nuke India? This is what you believe - don't like the rhetoric - kill people.

    Wow. The truth is that dominating the area was part of the reason the British (according to Dayan) and french helped set Israel up and overlooked its crimes. The French have admitted giving Israel a brand new airforce.

    The aim was to control the cannal and control the oil (at that time)the Egyptians were simplay a bunch of "arabs" (possibly socialist ones, horror!) who must not be allowed to control their own country.


    A similar farce was perpetuated in RSA to prevent the "wind of change" effecting an important country.

    It is no coincidence that that aparthied RSA and Israel started at about the same time - the last evil throws of old white imperialist dice which has cost so many lives, ultimately to so little purpose.


    "Wiping virtually the entire Egyptian air force out on the ground was a brilliant and highly effective move."


    But an odd one of the Egyptians were expecting it. As I say game set and match and you have contradicted yourself. Again

    Which is why one cannot really debate with one of your er intellect. You defeat your own arguments


    "It not only almost guaranteed Israel's victory there and then but saved lives on both sides through avoiding a long war."


    So you approve of Blitzkrieg? That also prevented a "long war" but ultimately didn't save many lives.

    And how many Israeli lives have been lost since this "brilliant victory" - lots.

    "Israel was not attacking Egypt prior to '56 and '67. Gaza was attacking Israel, and had been for years prior to Cast Lead. Try to stick to facts, not your fantasy."


    SOrry is there a fact here? Ben Gurion admitted to wanting to conquer gaza et all. Sorry facts do not support you.

    Ben Gurion was the first Israeli PM. Not his real name of course.

    Sorry but no justification can be made for the setting up of Israel and assisting a bunch of white Europeans to attack, murder and destroy the original inhabitants to assuage European consciences. Even Clive James concedes this.

    The only way out of this sorry mess is the SA solution nd a declaration by the UN etc of an end to ethnic/religious states which discriminate between their inhabitants.


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  • 334. At 00:55am on 28 Jul 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    325. Grey.
    "To equate lingering gender bias in the US and UK to the persecution of women in the Muslim world is not only a gross exaggeration, it's insulting."

    For such a statement to have any validity you would have to be intimately familiar with both cultures and with their treatment of women. Given your assumption of "persecution" it is obvious you are not.

    For a single example of women"s accepted role in the West, please observe the demeaning behavior of the wives of politicos who have been caught in sex scandals. In these particular cases, I blame the women. They are complicit in their own degredation.

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  • 335. At 00:58am on 28 Jul 2009, parityisbetterthancharity wrote:

    Simon21--Your long posts clog up the blog.

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  • 336. At 01:09am on 28 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    335. At 00:58am on 28 Jul 2009, trueconservative wrote:
    Simon21--Your long posts clog up the blog.

    No one could accuse you of that sin. I will try to cut them down but when you get a posting in which practically everything said is taken from some party press release (usually the Likud party) then it takes a while to point out the idiocies therein

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  • 337. At 01:09am on 28 Jul 2009, psage7 wrote:

    Dear Justin,

    I would like to say thanks for the Slam. To use an American expression. But you have it totally wrong. The United States is the size of most of Western Europe and as such we have a National culture and then we have regional cultures. It would be like saying if I visited Ireland that I understood the rest of Europe. You are unfortunately a narrow-minded bigot. Please dont keep fostering the most negative American stereotypes. Just like in Europe you have a rich diversity of cultures that blend into a larger European culture. We in the US have a rich diversity of cultures. Please Foster friendship not division. Plus to all who read this faith is different then Religion and should be respected.

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  • 338. At 01:10am on 28 Jul 2009, seanspa wrote:

    #335, it's a relatively short post this time. He's managed much longer with his copy and paste. Be thankful for small mercies.

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  • 339. At 01:11am on 28 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    334. At 00:55am on 28 Jul 2009, allmymarbles wrote:
    325. Grey.
    "To equate lingering gender bias in the US and UK to the persecution of women in the Muslim world is not only a gross exaggeration, it's insulting."

    "For a single example of women"s accepted role in the West, please observe the demeaning behavior of the wives of politicos who have been caught in sex scandals. In these particular cases, I blame the women. They are complicit in their own degredation."


    There is also the matter of the enormous western Porn industry which is geenrally held to degrade women. And that is before we get to sex traffickers.

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  • 340. At 01:23am on 28 Jul 2009, zoyla_rip_2000 wrote:

    #336, Simon21:

    The idiocies in the post you were responding to were really quite evident and it seems entirely unnecessary for you to point them out at such great length. Your doing so implies that you think most others on here will not realize it unless you do point it out. It is really quite tiresome.

    #337, psage7:

    It appears to me to be senseless to order others to respect "faith" unless it can be proved that whatever faith you happen to be referring to is worthy of respect.

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  • 341. At 02:00am on 28 Jul 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #210

    David,

    Then you have placed your bets and must let the chips fall. I'm off to bash a Bible or two.

    I'd quote Caesar but since he spoke Latin I would probably get moderated.

    English speaking Sam

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  • 342. At 02:06am on 28 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Those who assert that the term "anti-Semitic" (however written) refers to Semitic people other than Jews, as well as to them, must ignore not only the origin of the term, which has been documented in earlier threads, but must also discount authoritative references such as the Oxford English Dictionary: http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/antisemitism?view=uk

    That link is to the concise edition. There is a longer entry in the full edition, but it says the same thing.

    There are countless examples available on the web of the term being used to describe hostility to Jews. If there is an example of its being applied to other Semitic peoples, neither of the two contributors here who support that interpretation have ever posted a link to it. (The opinions of pedants on blogs don't count; I mean an example in a newspaper, a speech by a noted authority, and so forth.)

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  • 343. At 02:08am on 28 Jul 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Most people who post or talk about the Palestinians don't really give a damn about them, for example, you never hear them talk about the 2.2 million victims of Sudanese genocide in the same way. Over 200,000 black Sudanese are dead already and the rest have been driven from their homes in what the US calls genocide. What those who speak about the Palestinians really want to do is express their antisemitic hatred of Jews. Hatred of Jews is alive and well in Europe, one more reason for me to detest the place as intensely as I do and BBC provides a willing platform for them to spout their hatred. One more reason for me to condemn BBC too. Antisemitism isn't faring so well in the United States anymore though. Israel is very popular here among those from the entire political spectrum from left to right with rare exceptions. It has become extremely popular among the Christian right. The US is closer to Israel than it is to any other country including the UK. Not just my words but those of Sir Christopher Meyers in his interview with Owen Bennet-Jones probably available in BBC's archives. One more reason why Europe resents America and why it chose to become America's enemy.

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  • 344. At 02:12am on 28 Jul 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    341, Sam.
    "I's quote Caesar but since he spoke Latin I would probably get moderated."

    For foreign phrases I put them in quotes and the moderators pass them.

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  • 345. At 02:13am on 28 Jul 2009, seanspa wrote:

    IF, sorry, you asked me a question earlier. You should follow the nut collector's advice about ending the iranian dilemma.

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  • 346. At 02:14am on 28 Jul 2009, seanspa wrote:

    "The opinions of pedants on blogs don't count". Priceless!

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  • 347. At 02:18am on 28 Jul 2009, cassandratribe wrote:

    America is a very large place full of a multitude of opinions, cultures and languages. I have been traveling the states for a number of years and what has struck me most is how what is perceived and promoted through Media, or through the venue of the Internet barely represents a 1/8th of the types of views, opinions and habits that exist in this country. The Internet, yes even youtube, is not a representative slice of life of any country, just the most easily found. It can give the illusion of importance to anyone or thing. Reality is, life in America can not be discovered through the comparison of just two places. Just as Europe cannot be explained after having only seen London and Paris and stayed in a hotel or tourist apartment while doing so.

    We find what we are looking for and I do believe Mr. Webb has found the America he sought rather than the one he has been staying in.

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  • 348. At 03:03am on 28 Jul 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    What is America? Can we describe something that is typically American? I have been accused of generalizing too broadly on this list - and fairly so.

    I suppose that if you profiled a thousand Americans, you would find at least a few whose profiles would match the typical European profile, to the extent that there would be an European type.

    From what I have read, Justin is quite aware of our diversity, and so his blog should be understood in the light of this awareness. For the good editor, President Carter's article sparked a light-and-shadows vision of the strong contrasts within the American nation. San Francisco on the one hand, Kansas and the Southern Baptist Conference, on the other. These images are in stark contrast with each other. And yet the greater number of Americans in either place would probably look more like their counterparts in the other place than they would be like their more radical fellows at home.

    Choosing to focus on the more radical, more exciting (for better or more often for the worse) minorities does a disservice to the majority in either place, and to the truth. But we are boring, those of us in the middle.

    America's size and liberal traditions have allowed us the freedom, and it is our freedom, to preserve traditional values in some places, to develop and try out new values in other places, and to be left jolly well to our own designs in most places. Our tradition is diversity, after all, since at least the revolution (glorious is its name!) Efforts to quash diversification here have resulted only in the proliferation of many more new and old types.

    Re the Origin of Species - there are places I could name here where one might keep it wrapped in a paper bag, or see serious eyebrows raised. There are places where carrying a Bible in plain sight would also raise eyebrows and scornful looks. From most Americans' point of view, only a bigot would say one place was more open minded or honest than the other.

    A curmudgeon in Kansas

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  • 349. At 03:16am on 28 Jul 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    340. At 01:23am on 28 Jul 2009, zoyla_rip_2000 wrote:

    'It appears to me to be senseless to order others to respect "faith" unless it can be proved that whatever faith you happen to be referring to is worthy of respect.'

    Good Zoyla -

    Do you respect people? Do you respect their right to hold their own opinion without being coerced because of it? Do you have a right to your own opinions, and should your right to hold them be respected, or should they be deprecated by those who hold other opinions? Should you endure disrespect because others think differently from you? Isn't mutual respect what protects you from the self-righteous?

    I am your friend
    KScurmudgeon

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  • 350. At 03:33am on 28 Jul 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    334. At 00:55am on 28 Jul 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    'For a single example of women"s accepted role in the West, please observe the demeaning behavior of the wives of politicos who have been caught in sex scandals. In these particular cases, I blame the women. They are complicit in their own degredation.'

    I suppose that includes Mrs. Clinton's performance a few years ago? Do you think it helped or hindered her own run for the presidency? The American voters being what they are -

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 351. At 03:48am on 28 Jul 2009, zoyla_rip_2000 wrote:

    #349, KScurmudgeon:

    I do not order others to respect me or my opinion. I expect to earn that respect by my behavior and my form of expression. What I was objecting to was that other person's ordering others to respect "faith," whatever he or she meant by that. You sound like a kind person, and most probably are worthy of respect. I doubt you would attempt to gain it by fiat.

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  • 352. At 04:08am on 28 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    seanspa (#346), if you will go back and read that post more carefully, you will see that the point was that an individual posting an opinion on a blog is not to be counted as an authoritative reference to support the assertion that "antisemitism" is sometimes used to refer to hostility towards Semitic peoples other than Jews. There are two posters in this forum who have made that assertion but they may not cite each other to prove thir point.

    Think about it and I believe you will understand that it is quite a reasonable condition to set. I'm guessing you are smart enough to figure it out, if you try.

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  • 353. At 04:13am on 28 Jul 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #335. trueconservative: "Simon21--Your long posts clog up the blog"

    Nonsense - just scroll on down. You're not obliged to read every word.

    #341. SamTyler1969: "David, Then you have placed your bets and must let the chips fall. I'm off to bash a Bible or two."

    I'll be in very good company since I'll be joining billions of people from older civilisations who, having been born long before he was, never heard of Christ. The problem with Christians such as yourself is that they never explain what happens to all those who are in that position - you're a bright man, so tell us where does everyone else go? Not only the ancient Egyptians or Chinese, but those of more recent times, the last couple of millennia, before "the word" spread.

    #343. MarcusAureliusII: "Hatred of Jews is alive and well in Europe, one more reason for me to detest the place as intensely as I do and BBC provides a willing platform for them to spout their hatred."

    I see no evidence of the former but the BBC also provides a platform for you to publish your frequently disturbing and reactionary opinions. What would you do without it?

    "The US is closer to Israel than it is to any other country including the UK. Not just my words but those of Sir Christopher Meyers"

    Not quite so, Sir Christopher was asked "Which foreign government has the most influence on Washington?" not which was closest. Rather different wouldn't you agree? (BTW, it's Meyer, singular, but then accuracy was never your strong suit.)

    "One more reason why Europe resents America and why it chose to become America's enemy."

    At the Chateau Whatever again? I hope you enjoyed your dead cow with it. Write in the morning when you're more rational.

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  • 354. At 04:18am on 28 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    zoyla..: "I expect to earn that respect by my behavior and my form of expression."

    Careful reviewing of zoyla's posts in this thread alone suggests that his "form of expression" could use a little work if he expects to be respected for it.

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  • 355. At 04:32am on 28 Jul 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    351. At 03:48am on 28 Jul 2009, zoyla_rip_2000 wrote:

    'I do not order others to respect me or my opinion. I expect to earn that respect by my behavior and my form of expression. What I was objecting to was that other person's ordering others to respect "faith," whatever he or she meant by that. You sound like a kind person, and most probably are worthy of respect. I doubt you would attempt to gain it by fiat.'

    This is interesting - Do you suspend judgement in everything? Do you have any principles? Perhaps this is one - to have no fundamental principles?

    KScurmudgeon
    asking, not telling

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  • 356. At 04:37am on 28 Jul 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #344

    Marby,

    When Caesar crossed the Rubicon, breaking Roman law and starting a civil war, he allegedly cried 'Allia iacta est'. A literal quote from a soldiers game it is often quoted as 'The die is cast' but translates in slang to 'Let the die fly high'. Simply put, I placed my bet.

    I could get moderated. The Latin.

    Historian Sam

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  • 357. At 04:39am on 28 Jul 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Canard, still jealous of all that great Bordeaux in my cellar I see. If you only knew how many bottles there are down there some people would kill for. Ever hear of 1990 Beausejour Duffau Lagarosse? Got an unopened case of it. Only mistake I made was not buying out the entire store when I saw it. Whatever was I thinking?

    Who swallowed the cow that ate the alfalfa. What do you drink with your alfalfa salads Canard, green tea? How California...for a transplant from the UK. I'll bet you drink bottled water too.

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  • 358. At 04:52am on 28 Jul 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    354 Gary:

    Isn't Zoyla a woman ?

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  • 359. At 04:56am on 28 Jul 2009, zoyla_rip_2000 wrote:

    #355 - KScurmudgeon

    I cannot for the life of me understand how you made the leap from my objecting to being ordered to respect something to assuming I have no fundamental principles. This leads me to believe that you are not in fact a kind person after all, but merely another of those of "faith" who takes umbrage because someone else will not automatically, without reason, respect that faith. I have not abused your faith. Why do you abuse me? I find your response astonishing. It is very unprincipled.

    And Mr. Hill at #354 is another one who chooses to misunderstand my comment. This is probably because I informed him earlier that he has no sense of humor. He once again proves this by completely missing the little joke made by seanspa at #346.

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  • 360. At 04:57am on 28 Jul 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #353

    David,

    The number of humans pre Christ is surprisingly small, in the hundreds of thousands to low millions depending on which speciation event you count. Homo Sapiens are in the low hundred thousands best we can tell. Not billions, those are modern numbers.

    That aside, every major religion has an 'out' for good folks who came before. The Mormons are a great example.

    I would simply observe that a lot of folks belive in small things. Themselves, money,etc. You may want to choose something a little higher. It is your choice. Choose what you want, I will only be supportive.

    Basher Sam

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  • 361. At 05:07am on 28 Jul 2009, bere54 wrote:

    Interestedforeigner:

    For tea and scones, go to #864 in Dilemma. Follow the crumbs where they may lead.

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  • 362. At 05:17am on 28 Jul 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    350, KS.
    "I suppose that includes Mrs. Clinton's performance a few years ago? Do you think it helped or hindered her own run for the presidency?"

    I would never have voted for her in a million years, with or without her character-deficient "stand by my man" routine.

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  • 363. At 05:20am on 28 Jul 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    359. At 04:56am on 28 Jul 2009, zoyla_rip_2000 wrote:

    '#355 - KScurmudgeon
    I cannot for the life of me understand how you made the leap from my objecting to being ordered to respect something to assuming I have no fundamental principles.'

    Not at all - I did not assert, or assume, I asked. As I said, 'asking, not telling'. I asked what your fundamentals are; From what you had said, I wondered where you begin? One of my principle rules is to respect each person as they are, and to grant them the same rights I claim for myself as a person. One of these is a right to form and keep their own opinions. Do you claim this right for your own opinion, or do you believe you should suspend an opinion, and that others should do the same?

    KScurmudgeon
    intrigued

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  • 364. At 05:32am on 28 Jul 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    Bravo, Mr Carter, and thank you, Mr Webb (and friend) for calling this declaration by the former President to our attention.

    Reverence for the Bible does not require that all parts of Holy Scripture are given equal weight. For Christians, the New Testament is obviously more relevant than the Old Testament. It is also a great deal closer to us in time.

    Most believers of whatever tradition are fully capable of discerning between the elements of Holy Writ that are inextricably bound to the time, climate and society where certain events take place, and the MORAL TEACHINGS, precepts, or theological truths that are revealed within the contextual framework.

    "Thou shalt not kill" is quite obviously an instruction. Writing on stone is not.

    Since the time Moses brought forth stone tablets with inscribed Commandments, human beings have mastered many different ways of writing not requiring etching in stone. The human race has also systematically, unhesitatingly and broadly violated this commandment scores of millions of times. We all deplore murder. And life goes on. So does the struggle for moral improvement.

    People who obsess about "not deviating ever" from any detail of what has been recorded in the Torah, in the New Testament or for that matter the Qu'ran are people who fail to grasp the first principle of reading and in fact embracing a Text so as to allow it to become a part of their personal heritage. They should be writing in stone, dressing like Moses and generally limiting their professional occupations to those available to Abraham, or his contemporaries.

    Obviously, that is an absurd limitation.

    In Biblical times, in the regions the Bible describes (and many others) women were regarded as property of the senior male in their clan, and led extremely difficult lives of subjugation. During these same times, and for long after, slavery was considered "normal." Citizens were also at the mercy of their rulers. Limitations on social mobility and personal ambition were also commonplace.

    Worldwide, even as abuses continue, humanity has rejected slavery. And no Bible-thumpers would dare suggest we bring back slavery because "it was normal in Jesus's time" or because "Abraham owned slaves."

    People who will not themselves dress or live or serve or earn an income according to the norms of a society
    quite a number of millenia removed from our own really need to stop invoking the Torah, New Testament (or Qu'ran) as "proof" God wants females "kept down" or "kept in their place."

    That is an unspeakable slur against God. Quite obviously, girls and women as a group are endowed with every single attribute necessary to ensure their ability to contribute to society, to their faith and their families just as much precious content and input as any non-female.

    Even within the limiting conditions of their own epoch, most of the women who populate the Bible are in fact heroic and worthy of emulation. In Islam, also, even during the lifetime of its first generation of leadership, there were prominent women who played decisive roles.

    Any way you look at it, a rational person cannot deny that God created the two halves of humanity to work together hand and glove -- not for one to dominate the other; not for either to oppress, or serve.

    The human body has a right side and a left side. The human race has a male side and a female side. In every case, the relative distribution of strength, ability, health, dominance varies on a case by case basis. We do not encourage one arm to tie up the other in order to feel stronger, or "not interfered with."

    A healthy organism operates with both hemispheres of the brain working together. Anything different would be an anomaly. It is not at all surprising that in earlier times, when people knew less and had spent less total time studying God and interacting with God, our ancestors were less informed about the best way to order their society. Today, we do not have slaves; we do not allow rulers to summarily enslave or slaughter human subjects of "lesser rank" (we even have an International War Crimes Tribunal); we no longer believe it is acceptable for minors to be married and procreating as juveniles. We don't fight with spears and we have central heating, plumbing and all those other conveniences. Everyone is expected to go to school. NO ONE alive in Biblical times (except for God of course) expected any of these developments to come about.

    There is NO GOOD REASON WHATSOEVER to expect females to wear special, cumbersome garments "for the sake of modesty" because such clothes were worn thousands of years ago. Modesty comes from within. A woman can be modest in a bikini, and immodest bundled in a burka, because true modesty is not in the amount of fabric, but in demeanour, thoughts, words, deeds.

    Imposing extra clothing on girls and women, as certain Christians as well as Muslims and some Jews do, creates unnecessary burdens. Each item or garment must be bought, cleaned, maintained. Men from traditional homes who generally do not do this kind of chore simply prefer to be blind to the burden they are adding to the long laundry list of an already burdened, harried, underfunded, overworked mother or daughter.

    The Middle East in Scriptural times posed special problems that no longer apply. Water was more scarce; dust storms posed a huge cleaning and skin care challenge; hair was always long & grooming more difficult. Marauders abducted children and women at will. Most if not all the customs of attire in Scriptural times originate in practical considerations that simply no longer apply.

    Yet the obsession with keeping women down begins precisely in the obsession with what girls and women are allowed to wear. No male is ever subjected to comparable scrutiny.

    It is time for this absurdity to stop, and with it all the nonsense & control-freakism about "acceptable women's roles".

    All the saints and prophets and holy teachers of all traditions ultimately teach one thing: FOCUS ON YOUR OWN PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, if it matters to you to have one. And then, MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS. People of faith are called consistently to concentrate on their own PERSONAL moral & spiritual improvement: not on keeping score of how others are dressed, living, sinning, praying, striving.

    No human being has any authority to second-guess God on why God chooses to endow a girl child with intelligence, strength, dignity, curiosity, health and a desire to fulfill her own intrinsic, divinely instilled sense of rights and purpose. God hears the prayers of girls and women just as clearly as the prayers of boys and men.

    For your information, gentlemen, more girls and women pray... more. So in the final analysis their prayers outnumber yours.

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  • 365. At 05:41am on 28 Jul 2009, zoyla_rip_2000 wrote:

    #363 - KScurmudgeon

    I am willing to grant anyone any rights that do not interfere with those of others, although that is an imprecise way to express it, as I am not (and I would wager neither are you) in a position to grant rights.

    It is far too late for me to get involved in a discussion of the depth you seem to seek. Suffice it to say, I was merely addressing another person's wish to order people around. Ordering someone to respect you or your faith is certainly not the way to gain that respect.

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  • 366. At 05:44am on 28 Jul 2009, jerry70732 wrote:

    You won't catch a New York politician touting his religious beliefs as the guiding force behind his political life. In a fair portion of the northeast that would be detrimental to his political health. A New York Republican, compared in terms of a Texas Republican, is a big fat lefty. Though trying to get one to admit that would require some intestinal fortiude and a degree of intrepidity that is seldom encountered. Here in the north a religious symbol is seldom encountered except on a religious building, in Nashville, the only southern city I have been to recently. They are everywhere. Even built into the side of one of the buildings downtown.
    All of america isn't deeply religous. Being deeply religous is not a great virtue, individually or as a nation, and should not be admired. It often enhances ignorance, stifles creative thought, and promotes intolerance. It is, religiosity, piusness, thought without reason, conclusion without evidence.
    However, on on epoint I would agree with Mr. Webb, American culture is very often brutal.

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  • 367. At 06:10am on 28 Jul 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    365. At 05:41am on 28 Jul 2009, zoyla_rip_2000 wrote:

    'It is far too late for me to get involved in a discussion of the depth you seem to seek'

    Good night, then. Thank you for your patience.

    366. At 05:44am on 28 Jul 2009, jerry70732 wrote:

    'All of america isn't deeply religous. Being deeply religous is not a great virtue, individually or as a nation, and should not be admired. It often enhances ignorance, stifles creative thought, and promotes intolerance. It is, religiosity, piusness, thought without reason, conclusion without evidence.
    However, on one point I would agree with Mr. Webb, American culture is very often brutal.'

    Jerry,

    However you have been taught, it was not with gentleness, understanding, creative thought, or tolerance. As for brutality, I think you see what you are looking for. America is also often very generous and yes, even gentle.

    sadly,
    KScurmudgeon

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  • 368. At 06:12am on 28 Jul 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    364. At 05:32am on 28 Jul 2009, maria-ashot wrote:

    'For your information, gentlemen, more girls and women pray... more. So in the final analysis their prayers outnumber yours.'

    Yes, they always have outnumbered ours. Thank you for an excellent post.

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 369. At 06:31am on 28 Jul 2009, KhassimAManyoukeh wrote:

    343. At 02:08am on 28 Jul 2009, MarcusAureliusII

    You write:

    "Most people who post or talk about the Palestinians don't really give a damn about them, for example, you never hear them talk about the 2.2 million victims of Sudanese genocide in the same way."

    I think you may be mistaken. Many people who protest about abuses, misfortunes or evils that befall nations, whether it be wars or earthquakes or punitive and unjust sanctions, or even walls, do not do so on the grounds of race, ethnicity or creed as you seem to imply. We are one humanity are we not?

    "What those who speak about the Palestinians really want to do is express their antisemitic hatred of Jews."

    A view I have seen expressed elsewhere on this blog. Are those who support the Palestinian cause for a nation state such as your own current President and his predecessor thus expressing "their antisemitic hatred of Jews"? This seems unlikely, since you further write:

    "Israel is very popular here among those from the entire political spectrum from left to right with rare exceptions. It has become extremely popular among the Christian right."

    But, as I understand it, much of what is called the Christian Right believes that Jerusalem and Israel will be destroyed so that they alone will experience "the rapture". You are suggesting yourself that the State of Israel should be destroyed in approving that are you not? And surely that would be, as you describe it, a most severe example of anti-semitism and hatred of Jews?


    .

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  • 370. At 06:47am on 28 Jul 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #360. SamTyler1969: The number of humans pre Christ is surprisingly small, in the hundreds of thousands to low millions depending on which speciation event you count. Homo Sapiens are in the low hundred thousands best we can tell. Not billions, those are modern numbers."

    Billions, millions or as low as hundreds, you still don't say what happens to those who have never heard of Christ, even to this day. That's the problem: no-one knows, so why bother with one divinity? I might as well go for the whole array of Greek and Roman gods, not to mention Egyptian, South American, &c., &c. Twenty-eight Egyptian gods should surely guarantee life in the hereafter equally as much as do the Trinity or believing in the Immaculate Conception and the intercession of the Virgin Mary.

    All things considered, I'll take my chances. If I'm wrong and sent back for another spell on Earth, possibly I shall achieve different things; I rather fancy being a bodybuilding ice skater or possibly a Pope. Both very theatrical, but then, next time around I could be dull as dishwater. I might not like that and turn out to be as miserable as some posting here. There are no guarantees in this life or, should it exist, another.

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  • 371. At 07:04am on 28 Jul 2009, seanspa wrote:

    David, should you return as MAIII then you will know that, not only is there a god, there is a god with a sense of humour. A very british one. Of course, MAII will be a frog. Vive l'escargots!

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  • 372. At 07:26am on 28 Jul 2009, seanspa wrote:

    David, sorry, I missed your last sentence.

    "There are no guarantees in this life or, should it exist, another". You will disappoint all those weekend churchgoers who think that this weekly visit absolves them of everything they did during the week. And all the democrats. Leaves only us sensible fiscal conservatives then.

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  • 373. At 07:37am on 28 Jul 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    340. zoyla_rip_2000,

    Like so many on this blog you are evidently unable to debate a point or present a logical argument, so you put your nose in the air and take refuge in pompous dismissal of any facts you don't like. You are quite transparent.

    Simon21's no. 333 is his usual mix of inaccuracies, distortions and wishful thinking. He's still flogging his dead horses, i.e. the idea that anti-Semitism is against Arabs. It isn't, and that's why nobody knows what he is on about when he flogs that horse. And the idea that Israel was somehow at the centre of a conspiracy to grab Arab oil is a fantasy of truly staggering proportions. Yes, France had previously assisted Israel but on June 2nd 1967, Charles de Gaulle declared an arms embargo against Israel. Britain, of course, had sided with the Arabs against the Jews from long before 1948, and British officers had led Jordanian forces during Israel's war of Independence. Britain was heavily involved in oil exploitation in countries like Iraq.

    There's no end to the historical revisionism Simon21 and crew will come up with on this blog.


    342. Gary_A_Hill,

    I recall that Simon21 plucked that particular misconception out of thin air, was delighted with it and has been running with it ever since, despite all evidence to the contrary.


    353. David_Cunard wrote:

    - just scroll on down. You're not obliged to read every word.

    Well, quite. As an example, I don't read every word you write with rapt attention. You were making some point the other day about America, Britain and the Holocaust and were most insulted, and insulting, later when I didn't immediately respond. I was unclear, and still am, as to your assertion. Do try to be a little less pompous.

    359. zoyla_rip_2000,

    Seanspa sneers rather than jokes, along with a number of others here. It doesn't surprise me that you can't tell the difference.

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  • 374. At 07:46am on 28 Jul 2009, dceilar wrote:

    #327 TT

    Did I touch a raw nerve?

    Instead of flinging insults around it is you who needs to read up upon the 1967 war. Eygpt had no intention of invading Israel (look up the six-day war in Wikipedia if you don't believe me). Rabin is noted to have said that "I do not believe that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent into Sinai on May 14 would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it." Begin is also noted to have said: "The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him." Ben-Gurion also doubted that Nasser wanted war.

    There was no rubbish in my last paragraph at #322, what I said is true too!

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  • 375. At 07:59am on 28 Jul 2009, seanspa wrote:

    dceilar, your timing is perfect. TT is shown to be the comic.

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  • 376. At 08:02am on 28 Jul 2009, U14078849 wrote:



    Wow !

    I have seldom seen such a fantastical reworking of British foreign policy during the 20th century as TT treats us to this morning. And before he starts complaining about brief posts pointing out that he spouts a load of rubbish, can I say that we are now on the school holidays in the UK, and teachers are taking a break from responding to the nonsense of stroppy ten year olds.

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  • 377. At 08:28am on 28 Jul 2009, KhassimAManyoukeh wrote:

    373. At 07:37am on 28 Jul 2009, TrueToo

    You were, I think, kind enough to refer to my posting as measured. I have had the opportunity to look over some contributions, and it appears that the contributor zoyla_rip2000 has previously explained that he or she is of the Jewish faith.

    But you imply that those who do not profess support for the State of Israel are anti-semitic. It is paradoxical, is it not, to appear to be applying that definition to a person who is Jewish?

    Time presses, and I do not have the leisure to spend very much of it in blogging, But I see that the contributor "Hesiodos" has posted some links to material which may further inform your knowledge on the current and historical situation in the part of the Middle East which was once called Palestine.

    I deplore, I believe as much as you do, the regrettable tendency in some to "revise history" to be appropriate to an agenda that does not take proper account of it.

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  • 378. At 09:06am on 28 Jul 2009, KhassimAManyoukeh wrote:

    342. At 02:06am on 28 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill


    Mr Hill, I believe in English, whether 'American English' or "British English', a dictionary does not prescribe or proscribe the way a word is used. Perhaps you have misundestood my intention. I see the words used so much to describe a political view, even opposition, which the words should surely not be made to bear. It leads to confusion in the mind and confusion of thought leads all too often to unnecessary antagonism and violence.

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  • 379. At 09:06am on 28 Jul 2009, collegeguy1776 wrote:

    Hello all,

    It saddens me to read this post. As a born and raised American, I understand to an extent what this author means about xenophobia, religious zealotry etc etc.

    But what surprises me is the notion that some Europeans can honestly believe we are (at least in terms of majority sense) primarily right-wing nutters.

    Permit me then to offer a different viewpoint: Do we have such crazy conservatives? Yes, of course.

    We make fun of these people as the lunatics they are. The true majority of America is the center right/left, but that does not make for interesting news... so all one sees is the extremes in the telly.

    To put more into Euro perspective: We could say "all English are like Gordon Brown" or "all Italians after Berlusconi hate immigrants" or "all French refuse to speak any other language" etc etc. And while I am certain that somewhere in each country one can find truth in these statements, it by no means should be used to describe an entire nation!

    And I mean no offence to anyone, my intention is simply to show the fallacies inherent in this particular article.

    -Joe, the secular thinker from America (we do exist!)

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  • 380. At 09:16am on 28 Jul 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #373.TrueToo: "David_Cunard . . . You were making some point the other day about America, Britain and the Holocaust and were most insulted, and insulting, later when I didn't immediately respond. I was unclear, and still am, as to your assertion."

    And you haven't responded since have you? If so, do point me to the posts concerned. I'll not hold my breath.

    "Do try to be a little less pompous."

    Why? Unlike you I am a very special person; it's part of the package. I do not tolerate little people such as yourself who are quite below my dignity. A man like Alfred Doolittle is more interesting by far.

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  • 381. At 10:05am on 28 Jul 2009, U14078849 wrote:



    Joe the Secular Thinker,

    To reassure you, most Europeans who read this blog know America well and know that it is not entirely populated by windbag wingnuts. In fact, many people who live outside America (and inside too) try to defend the US from the extremist talk which shows up here far too frequently.

    Sadly, the need to stand up to some pretty irrational views all too often drowns out any intelligent observations or discussions.

    Regarding the current thread, there is some fear that the green ink brigade may have damaged the required BBC impartiality of our Chief American Correspondent.

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  • 382. At 10:33am on 28 Jul 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    374. dceilar,

    I take nothing you write at face value. But even if Begin and Rabin did say that, thank goodness sanity prevailed and Israel went ahead with the pre-emptive strike. The Egyptians would never have attacked? What do you imagine happened in '48 and '73?


    376. Svetlana wrote:

    I have seldom seen such a fantastical reworking of British foreign policy during the 20th century as TT treats us to this morning.

    Do explain and point out where what I have said is inaccurate and why. If you have nothing to contribute, why comment?


    377. KhassimAManyoukeh,

    Yes, I appreciate your reasonable and civil tone on this forum. I have no explanation for the Jew who turns against Israel, except to note that it's not unusual to find people turning against their own. They have their reasons for doing so. Unfortunately they don't seem to realise the company they are in.

    I have accessed a number of links from Hesiodos, but not lately. They should be treated with extreme caution. I also find myself with very little time lately.

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  • 383. At 10:52am on 28 Jul 2009, bethanywp wrote:

    As an American myself, I am utterly dumbfounded and truly disappointed in many British citizens by this post and its comments. Not only are Justin Webb's ironically short-sided, audacious and ignorant general statements of the US simply bafflingly wrong on many levels: one cannot judge the whole of a nation by a relatively short stint as foreign correspondent there anymore than one can accurately judge the number of beans in a bottle; what is most concerning is his wholehearted promotion of a perpetuating ignorance for America, its cultures (yes, cultures) and his views' warm home here on the BBC, a 'distinguished' site so nationally representative of the United Kingdom and its own citizens.

    Coming to the UK , I had hoped (perhaps wrongly) to find this 'European mentality' of tolerance for other cultures and lifestyles prove itself over those areas of America that are still, sadly, provincial pockets of ignorance. It seems to me that these 'evils' of ignorance one can never truly escape (even in the UK) as I am finding them splashed all over as the BBC by the British in their own unexamined ignorance again so ironic unto itself I find it hard to mentally digest.

    Just as Great Britain has a long and complicated history which has spawned corresponding complicated belief systems, so too, has the United States. Though we are a young nation, one still attempting to get on our own feet in many aspects, we are nevertheless one with our own tangled story, one equally as complex and equally as personal to the American people in these tumultuous times.

    It's unfortunate that instead of looking to where my nation has come, there are many individuals out there beyond the shores of the Atlantic who still only care to unjustly condemn those who dare be proud of their American roots and the opportunities for greatness their nation has inspired.

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  • 384. At 11:58am on 28 Jul 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    KAM;

    "Are those who support the Palestinian cause for a nation state such as your own current President and his predecessor thus expressing "their antisemitic hatred of Jews"?

    No, theirs is an expression of ignorance, naivete, and of a propensity of those on the left to force some kind of equivalence between things that have no equivalence, a warped sense of fairness. There is historical precedent for a Jewish state in the middle east. There is no comparable precedent for a "Palestinian state" because until after the 1967 war, there was no such thing as a Palestinian people. There was no talk about secession of Gaza from control of Egypt or of breakaway of the West Bank of the Jordan River from Jordan and their union as a single state because of prior ties that would define them as a unity. This is why it would of necessity be composed of two geographical areas which are not even contiguous presenting the same kind of insurmountable problem as East and West Pakistan had among other problems. It is merely one more ploy in the effort to achieve the ultimate destruction of Israel and the killing of the Jews after it was clear that outside military intervention by Arab nations would fail to do it. "We will throw the Jews into the sea" was the Arab battle cry. Only the rhetoric and tactics have changed. And every action the so called Palestinian people have taken since 1967 proves that is their real aim...including electing Hamas whose sole unified program is to destroy Israel. The facts are clear. America's efforts to legitimize this goal by ignoring is true nature and the consequences such an artificial entity would have are dangerously misguided. Agreement to such an arrangement by Israeli leaders is the result of bowing to decades of American political pressure and is equally dangerous. If the world is lucky, no such entity will ever come into existance.

    "Israel is very popular here among those from the entire political spectrum from left to right with rare exceptions. It has become extremely popular among the Christian right."

    "But, as I understand it, much of what is called the Christian Right believes that Jerusalem and Israel will be destroyed so that they alone will experience "the rapture". You are suggesting yourself that the State of Israel should be destroyed in approving that are you not? "

    No, all I am saying is that anti-semitism, that is hatred of Jews that was once fairly widespread in the US has greatly diminished and is confined to a small radical insane minority of people who typically use scapegoating and ethnic hatred to rationalize their own shortcomings in life, just as it always has been. Why it has disappeared for some, those on the Christian right is besides the point. At any event, they believe that it is god that will bring about the end of Israel accoreding to biblical prophecy and contrary to the teachings of militant Islam, they do not see mass murder to fulfill religious prophesy as their task to do god's work, at least not in this regard.

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  • 385. At 12:38pm on 28 Jul 2009, dantrotta wrote:

    'Being European in outlook'...you mean like not allowing women with bare shoulders into churches? Or the blatant racism of almost ALL EU nations? Or perhaps you're referring to the Spanish Inquisition...
    Your comments are a shortcut to actual journalism I'm afraid.

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  • 386. At 12:57pm on 28 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 381, Svetlana

    "To reassure you, most Europeans who read this blog know America well and know that it is not entirely populated by windbag wingnuts."

    I hope you are right because what emerges from some of the comments on this and other blogs is a level of cultural intolerance, fanatism, and inhumanity comparable to what motivated some of the worst atrocities in the history of mankind.

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  • 387. At 1:17pm on 28 Jul 2009, Bix2012 wrote:

    To say S.F. isn't an accurate representation of America is sheer nonsense! San Francisco is 100% American, just as Des Moines is, or St. Paul, or Denver, or Atlanta, etc., etc. America is a veritable cornucopia of people and ideas, and as multi-faceted as a diamond. There is no one singular America...on the contrary, there are many, and out of the many, we are one.

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  • 388. At 1:26pm on 28 Jul 2009, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 370 David_Cunard wrote:

    "If I'm wrong and sent back for another spell on Earth, possibly I shall achieve different things; I rather fancy being a bodybuilding ice skater or possibly a Pope."

    Why 'or'? Why not 'and'?

    [As I recall, the last Pope was at various times a skier, a swimmer, a footballer and an actor - inter alia.

    And after all, if a bodybuilder can become an actor, and then a Governor...]

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  • 389. At 1:37pm on 28 Jul 2009, john-In-Dublin wrote:

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

  • 390. At 1:39pm on 28 Jul 2009, U14078849 wrote:

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  • 391. At 1:41pm on 28 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 373. TrueToo


    He's still flogging his dead horses, i.e. the idea that anti-Semitism is against Arabs.

    Semites : members of any peoples descended from Shem, including Assyrians, Jews, Arabs, Phoenicians, Akkadians, Canaanites. Semitic family of languages include Hebrew and Arabic; the common tongue is semitic.

    Anti : opposed to, opposite, against, preventing.

    When I walk on the streets of London, New York, Paris, I have no idea who is Jewish (orthodox jews excepted). I shared a house in London with three others. All in our twenties, it was several weeks before I was aware Bryan was jewish. It made no difference. He had a girlfriend who wasn't jewish; she converted before they got married. How can anyone tell what faith she is? My grandparents were close friends with a family who had converted to the jewish faith after they'd been involved in the homing of refugee jewish children in the 1930's. At least two of the grandchildren of that family moved to Israel, presumably as 'settlers.' If they've shown continual aggression towards Palestinians, that is being 'anti-semitic.'


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  • 392. At 1:44pm on 28 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 335. trueconservative


    Trueconservative wrote: "Your long posts clog up the blog."

    How does it "clog up the blog?" BBC don't report any problems. Are you a moderator?

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  • 393. At 1:44pm on 28 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 340. zoyla_rip_2000

    Are you a moderator?

    Do you find the number of books in a library 'tiresome' as well?

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  • 394. At 1:52pm on 28 Jul 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #382. TrueToo: "If you have nothing to contribute, why comment? "

    Your contributions are singularly one-sided, so why do you continue to comment? Enough is enough!

    #384. MarcusAureliusII: "There is no comparable precedent for a "Palestinian state" because until after the 1967 war, there was no such thing as a Palestinian people."

    Without wishing to get into the "debate" about it, clearly the New Testament recognises that at least two thousand years ago there was such a place. I don't have it to hand, but I do have an edition, given to me as a child, which shows the historic lands of biblical times -and there most certainly is a Palestine shown. And of course, the British Mandate was known as Palestine, so the notion hardly goes back only forty years or so. Since there was, historically and from ancient times, a Palestine, it stands to reason that there are Palestinians.

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  • 395. At 2:04pm on 28 Jul 2009, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    My posting at # 389 has apparently been "referred to the moderators".

    Essentially I took MA II's comment on anti-Semitism, in the last paragraph of his posting at #384 - ie " is confined to a small radical insane minority of people who typically use scapegoating and ethnic hatred to rationalize their own shortcomings in life, just as it always has been". And I queried whether the same might not also be said of someone with a fanatical hatred of Europe and Europeans.

    I naturally assume that the Mods, who are - allegedly - as Gods, are not banning a posting because it quotes from another [unbanned] posting. That would defy logic.

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  • 396. At 2:07pm on 28 Jul 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    Gary,

    • "authoritative references such as the Oxford English Dictionary: http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/antisemitism?view=uk

      That link is to the concise edition. There is a longer entry in the full edition, but it says the same thing.

      ... (The opinions of pedants on blogs don't count; I mean an example in a newspaper, a speech by a noted authority, and so forth.)"
    And they say us Americans don't do irony

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  • 397. At 2:11pm on 28 Jul 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    Curmudgeon, old pal, Namaste.

    • "I suppose that if you profiled a thousand Americans, you would find at least a few whose profiles would match the typical European profile, to the extent that there would be an European type."
    And, if you profiled a thousand representative Earthlings, You would find...

    Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Peace


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  • 398. At 2:17pm on 28 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 384. MarcusAureliusII

    "There is no comparable precedent for a "Palestinian state" because until after the 1967 war, there was no such thing as a Palestinian people."

    You made this claim just a month ago. I provided you with the evidence proving your belief was wrong. You then accepted there was an area known as Palestine and a Palestinian people.

    So as you've reverted to your earlier false belief, here's what I wrote to you a month ago:

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

    Anyone who has visited the Palace of Westminster in London will have seen the large wall hanging of a hand drawn map. It goes back to The Crusades, is dated around 1200 and is titled "P A L E S T I N E."

    Here's another map from France by Pierre Du Val (1618-1683), a 17th century mapmaker. He also compiled atlases, map games & town plans. It's a old hand drawn map of the area called PALESTINE.

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  • 399. At 2:20pm on 28 Jul 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    KSc,

    • "I suppose that includes Mrs. Clinton's performance a few years ago? Do you think it helped or hindered her own run for the presidency? The American voters being what they are -"
    Includes Indeed, and is exemplary of the problem. Her "meek" behaviour in the former case, in her own view (and probably of her advisors) necessitated the weird mixture of "femininity" and macho we observed during the campaign. Obama was far more successful in bridging the divide, as noted here.

    In the final analysis, it's hard to imagine it helped.

    ;-)

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  • 400. At 2:23pm on 28 Jul 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    John 195, Namaste

    • "I naturally assume that the Mods, who are - allegedly - as Gods, are not banning a posting because it quotes from another [unbanned] posting. That would defy logic."

    Which would support their diety, as Gods are not constrained by logic.

    Salaam, etc.

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  • 401. At 2:24pm on 28 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    There was an anti-US rally held in Israel yesterday. They are calling Obama 'racist.' It was on Israeli TV.

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  • 402. At 2:26pm on 28 Jul 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    Gary,

    • "seanspa (#346), if you will go back and read that post more carefully, you will see that the point was that an individual posting an opinion on a blog is not to be counted as an authoritative reference to s......."
    When you're in a hole....

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  • 403. At 2:27pm on 28 Jul 2009, U14078849 wrote:



    TT has asked for further comment on my objection to his sweeping earlier comment "Britain, of course, had sided with the Arabs against the Jews from long before 1948".

    I could ask TT for justification of his erroneous claim but I reckon that it is wishful thinking on his part or, probably more accurately, cutting off his nose to spite his face in order to have a good row.

    He knows little of Britain and should take care before re-writing British foreign policy in front of a BBC audience. He takes little account of the significant part that has been played by Jews in British public life at the highest level since Disraeli - through to our current Foreign Secretary and his brother who is also a cabinet member (not to mention the influential Lord Mandelson, now designated, I believe, First Minister).

    Our previous Prime Minister, Tony Blair, elevated the orthodox Michael Levy to the peerage and appointed him his envoy to the Middle East. Blair fought an election against the Jewish Michael Howard who led the Tory Party and is a previous Home Secretary.

    Nigel Lawson was a famous Chancellor of the Exchequer under Thatcher, and his cabinet colleague Leon Brittain was appointed one of Britain's Commissioners to Europe.

    If TT wishes to complain about policy towards Israel, he should address his comments to one of these influential people. Or maybe he could approach Emanuel or Axelrod who are at the top of policy-making in the Obama administration. I can think of no single person with an Arab background who has achieved anything like the same level of power.

    If Britain currently has any concerns about Israel, it is because of concerns about the intransigence of Likudniks and the abuse she has been receiving from extreme elements on her public broadcasting airwaves.

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  • 404. At 2:35pm on 28 Jul 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    Zoyla, Shalom Haver!

    • "Mr. Hill at #354 is another one who chooses to misunderstand my comment. This is probably because I informed him earlier that he has no sense of humor. He once again proves this by completely missing the little joke made by seanspa at #346."
    Indeed, but, I believe I have been less subtle than Sean's dad a couple of posts above (still in the hands of the Gods - sorry- Mods).

    There is an old saying in Yiddish - I translate - "Two Jews, three opinions!"

    Glad you've joined the fray!
    Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Peace

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  • 405. At 2:42pm on 28 Jul 2009, parityisbetterthancharity wrote:

    #392--No, I'm not a moderator (and I think if you see my writing style long enough you will know I'm not British, either). I just dislike it when people write long posts responding to posts that lacked clarity and coherence in the first place. I don't have a problem with people who write long, good arguments, even if I disagree with the person.

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  • 406. At 2:44pm on 28 Jul 2009, U14074320 wrote:

    To:True2
    There are dozen fallacies concealed by the ubiquitous metaphors you use to give a veneer of nobility. If civilization has it's opposite, it is war. Of the two things, you have either one or the other. Not both. You can not force the people to change the choice their country makes by fear or persuasion. The time is right for progress.

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  • 407. At 2:44pm on 28 Jul 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    Richard 398,

    Thank you for that French map.
    Here is a Gazeteer entry
    And a map (signed by Moshe Dayan, as it happens)
    Another map
    And another map

    Maps tell stories
    Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Peace


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  • 408. At 2:46pm on 28 Jul 2009, Degenfechter wrote:

    Good Lord, Justin. For a North America editor, don't you think you're a tad, well... eurocentric?!

    The notion that the Origin of Species can only be bought in brown paper bags in "American" regions of America is so provincial and retro, it makes the Mennonites look like with-it hipsters. Plays well to European stereotypes, I guess.

    And the notion that America is about keeping women down?? You've gotta be kidding?

    Where do you pick up this nonsense?

    Maybe you should travel more. And actually talk to people.

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  • 409. At 2:48pm on 28 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 391, Richard

    Nice try, but it is not going to work. The origin of the Palestinians is well documented and has been brought up several times before on this blog to no avail. The same goes for Palestine, which appears in the Old Testament as Plesheth.

    Bear in mind that those who are intent on denying the Palestinian people their heritage and history do so, not because of ignorance, but as part of a deliberate strategy to deny them the right to a sovereign state. In effect, people without roots and a history are nothing more than an inconvenient truth (I hope our President forgives the plagiarism, but I couldn't think of a more appropriate way to describe the indescribable).

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  • 410. At 3:00pm on 28 Jul 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    403, Svetlana! Shalom Haver! Welcome Sister! Well said indeed.

    An item from Haaretz confirms the level of achievement by Jews worldwide.

    No one should be misled into believing that those who so vehemently defend the indefensible behaviour of Israel on this blog and elsewhere are in any way representative of Jews in general. On the contrary, they are an embarrassment and their behaviour fuels antiSemitism in much the same way American (and European) foreign behaviour has fueled resentment.

    Peace and blessings. You, and Zoyla too, are bringing some True humanity to these pages (and pages, and pages...)

    Salaaaaaaaam/Shalooooom

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  • 411. At 3:05pm on 28 Jul 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    #394 and 398,

    David_Cunard and Richard_SM,

    I have been following this thread with interest, but I must say that I do not quite understand what precisely you mean when referring to the Bible or maps from the Crusades as evidence for the existence of a country called Pallestine. If the fact that a Roman province was called Pallestine is justification for the existance of a modern day Pallestine, then I do not understand why you do not take your argument further and start supporting the rights of Mercia, Nubia and Cappadocia to exist as separate countries?

    I believe that a two-state sollution for the Pallestinians and the Isrealis must be agreed upon, but finding from Wikipedia some irrelevant facts dating thousands of years ago, and claiming they are the answer to all opposing claims is hardly taking the discussion forward.

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  • 412. At 3:08pm on 28 Jul 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    Dad, 371,

    • "Of course, MAII will be a frog. Vive l'escargots!"
    Toad, surely, and you can keep those legs, too. What do snails have to do with it?

    ;-)

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  • 413. At 3:14pm on 28 Jul 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    TT,

    • "Like so many on this blog you are evidently unable to debate a point or present a logical argument, so you put your nose in the air and take refuge in pompous dismissal of any facts you don't like. You are quite transparent."
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us
    To see oursels as ithers see us!

    Inability to debate? Check!
    Absence of logic? Check!
    Pompous? Check!
    Dismissal of others' facts? Check!
    Transparent? Double Check!


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  • 414. At 3:17pm on 28 Jul 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    Azazello 406, Well met!

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  • 415. At 3:51pm on 28 Jul 2009, Shawn wrote:

    This is kind of silly. There are obviously large parts of America that are more liberal than large swaths of Europe.

    Most of Europe is NOT ready to elect non-white heads of state or even MPs, large parts of Europe are YEARS behind New England on gay rights (where gay marriage is legal...unlike the UK's cowardly way out with "civil unions"), parts of Europe are obviously more religious than parts of America (see Ireland, Poland or Italy vs. New England, the Pacific Northwest, etc.)

    I think, Justin that it's YOU who needs to see more of America. I spent years in Europe and as a social progressive, I feel more comfortable in Maine than I did in Greece or Lithuania. Drop the superior attitude and goofy stereotypes.

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  • 416. At 4:09pm on 28 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #401

    I did not see the racist plackard on the reports.

    I did see a clevar one mocking Obama"No you Can't!"
    The problem is that Obama has put no pressure on the Palestinians and their supporters.

    From an Israeli prespective they have recieved no benfits for any concessions made.

    Giving up the Sinai did lead to sustainable peace with Egypt. But the Palestinians have shown no evidence that they will follow the Egypitian example.

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  • 417. At 4:13pm on 28 Jul 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    St Dom 386,

    • "a level of cultural intolerance, fanatism, and inhumanity comparable to what motivated some of the worst atrocities in the history of mankind."
    Never knowingly understated, eh?

    Pax

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  • 418. At 4:21pm on 28 Jul 2009, Bombero wrote:

    Boy, this has degenerated. A couple of points, I'm not sure if they've been made already. A) I am always amazed at the English ability to consider themselves "European" as it suits them. As an "American" (from San Francisco) who's lived in the UK for over 10 years as well as "Europe" for a further 12 I can assure you most Europeans do not find the Brits (English in particular) terribly European and the recent Euro elections tell you pretty much all you need to know about Britain's attitude toward Europe. FInally, the tediousness of Brits landing in SF and going on and on about how it's "not like the rest of America; so much more European" cannot be overstated. Most Brits' experience of the US is one fortnight's fly-drive to one corner. Fine in itself but not enough to expand on the state of the nation.

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  • 419. At 4:32pm on 28 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 415. shawnbb

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

    This is kind of silly. There are obviously large parts of Europe that are more liberal than large swaths of America.

    Most of America is NOT ready to elect a female head of state

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

    You're right. This is kind of silly. Why did you start?

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  • 420. At 4:37pm on 28 Jul 2009, lochraven wrote:

    #383 bethanywp

    Run for your life, this is not a happy place to be. You will make no difference what so ever. For your own peace of mind, stay away. I intend to follow my own advice.

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  • 421. At 4:38pm on 28 Jul 2009, U14074320 wrote:

    The Left Hand of Darkness
    Tucked away in a remote corner of the universe, they have no knowledge of travel or of life beyond their own world. And when a strange envoy brings news of a vast coalition which they are invited to join, he is met with fear, mistrust and disbelief..

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  • 422. At 4:45pm on 28 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 411. Isenhorn

    "I have been following this thread with interest,"

    But not very closely.


    ... "but I must say that I do not quite understand what precisely you mean ..."

    Then I suggest you read it through again.


    I specifically wrote that the map of Palestine is hanging in the Palace of Westminster, and anyone who has visited can't miss it, it's huge. The work by Pierre du Val I first saw in the reference section of my nearest central library. I made no mention of Wikipedia. Neither do I have any control over your imagination.


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  • 423. At 4:45pm on 28 Jul 2009, alphamiguel wrote:


    Maria-ashot.

    Good post.But you see the problem is, for the last 5000 years we have been living under a Patriarchal system,and not a Matriarchal one. Hence the corresponding imbalance and result.There he sits, at the top of the pyramid,with all those people under him throwing away their own freedom whilst trying to please him.
    Of course Matriarchy has little to do with feminism,but rather celebrates the differences between genders.Why would a woman want to be like a man anyway? But thankfully more and more see that there is error in that.The last poll in the UK confirmed that over 80% of working women wanted to opt out and work part-time,and before someone shouts, what about Maggie Thatcher then,you must understand that she was of the Patriarchs for the Patriarchs and besides other things, was the person who, when she was education minister, stopped free school milk.Some nurturing that was.So,gentlemen lets pull the Patriarch off his throne and claim our freedom back!

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  • 424. At 4:48pm on 28 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    KhassimAManyoukeh (#378) "Mr Hill, I believe in English, whether 'American English' or "British English', a dictionary does not prescribe or proscribe the way a word is used. Perhaps you have misundestood my intention."

    My reference to the OED was not motivated by any of your posts, so I have not misunderstood your intention.

    The full edition of the Oxford English Dictionary is descriptive, not pre(pro)scriptive. It strives to document actual English usage completely. It does not recognize the term "anti-Semitic" as meaning anything but hostility toward Jews. Unfortunately, the full edition is a subscription site, so I cannot link to it. I have seen the entry, but have been unable to find it again.

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  • 425. At 4:51pm on 28 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 407. Hesiodos

    If a picture's worth a thousand words.....

    Then what of maps?


    (I liked the autographed one. No 'smileys' though.)

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  • 426. At 4:53pm on 28 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    TrueToo (#373) "Seanspa sneers rather than jokes, along with a number of others here. It doesn't surprise me that you can't tell the difference."

    That's a nice distinction which gets to the heart of the problem. Sarcasm is not a particularly effective form of communication, particularly when ambiguous. People who seek to communicate effectively say what they mean, whether wittily or not.

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  • 427. At 4:54pm on 28 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 409. saintDominick


    "Nice try, but it is not going to work"

    I'm not trying to make anything work!

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  • 428. At 5:03pm on 28 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Correction: There are three posters (or at least three names) who insist on a broader meaning of "anti-Semitic" than given by the OED without providing a link to a single authoritative source to support their opinion.

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  • 429. At 5:24pm on 28 Jul 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #411. Isenhorn: "David_Cunard . . . If the fact that a Roman province was called Pallestine (sic) is justification for the existance of a modern day Pallestine (sic), then I do not understand why you do not take your argument further and start supporting the rights of Mercia, Nubia and Cappadocia to exist as separate countries?"

    Have they asked to do so?

    "finding from Wikipedia some irrelevant facts dating thousands of years ago, and claiming they are the answer to all opposing claims is hardly taking the discussion forward."

    If you had read my post you would have seen that I referred to knowledge received in my childhood - which was half a century before Wikipedia was developed, and probably before you were born. The Crusades did not start until 1096, hardly "thousands" of years ago.

    And if you're going to discuss the issue (a pointless exercise in fact) please spell correctly.

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  • 430. At 5:30pm on 28 Jul 2009, dianaatkin wrote:

    "...Americans can learn things from Europeans but the essence of America - even if it involves weird notions of Biblical denial of women's rights - is somehow more brutally vivacious than the jaded options over the Atlantic..."

    I should imagine those weird polygamy sects with huge privately owned land camps in the US are, er, 'brutally vivacious' (love the outfits) - where else but America. Americans can learn things from Europeans, they just don't want to. If they do 'learn things' it gets monkeyed around with US style and turned into an inferior version.

    In all the time I lived in the US I could never find a true Italian Bolognese sauce in Italian restaurants. It was just too tomato-ey for words. No wonder Dorothy had a nightmare in Kansas and went off on the yellow brick road to find a wizard to fix everything...

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  • 431. At 5:35pm on 28 Jul 2009, Shawn wrote:

    Richard_SM (419) cried: "Most of America is NOT ready to elect a female head of state. You're right. This is kind of silly. Why did you start?"
    ______________________

    Most of Europe is also not ready to elect a female head of state. Of course it's difficult to compare Europe to America, but a more appopriate comparison between the two is probably the election of female US governors since the US is a federation of states like Europe has become a federation of countries. The US has elected far more female governors (31) than Europe has elected female PMs or presidents.

    Most of Europe is at least a generation behind America in breaking down the white supremacy of culture, business and politics. There is no question about that. I don't care if this fact offends you.

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  • 432. At 5:43pm on 28 Jul 2009, _marko wrote:

    RE Palestine with reference to Richard_SM in #398, saintDominick in #409, Hesiodos in #407 (and even Gary_A_Hill can probably find "Palestine" in an old dictionary)

    To MAII: Can you confirm why you keep repeating something that was proven false?

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  • 433. At 5:50pm on 28 Jul 2009, Shawn wrote:

    dianaatkin whined: "I should imagine those weird polygamy sects with huge privately owned land camps in the US are, er, 'brutally vivacious' (love the outfits) - where else but America. Americans can learn things from Europeans, they just don't want to. If they do 'learn things' it gets monkeyed around with US style and turned into an inferior version. In all the time I lived in the US I could never find a true Italian Bolognese sauce in Italian restaurants."
    ________________________

    Oh, grow up Diana. You are only exposing your own inferiority complex vis-a-vis America. I have never had a true, decent burrito in Europe. Does that mean all of Europe is a cultural wasteland? Apparently so.

    A great deal of the world's cultural, scientific, medical and artistic achievements over the past couple hundreds of years has come from America. You're welcome, by the way. Thanks for reminding me why I prefer living in America.

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  • 434. At 5:59pm on 28 Jul 2009, dianaatkin wrote:

    364. At 05:32am on 28 Jul 2009, maria-ashot wrote:


    ..."Reverence for the Bible does not require that all parts of Holy Scripture are given equal weight. For Christians, the New Testament is obviously more relevant than the Old Testament. It is also a great deal closer to us in time.

    Most believers of whatever tradition are fully capable of discerning between the elements of Holy Writ that are inextricably bound to the time, climate and society where certain events take place, and the MORAL TEACHINGS, precepts, or theological truths that are revealed within the contextual framework."

    I disagree that believers are fully capable of discerning between the elements of Holy Writ etc. because it has to date been a male dominated world which has included the male perception and teaching of the Bible which has influenced the perpetual growth of humankind.

    For instance let's take the story of Adam & Even. For eons it was received wisdom that Eve was the first sinner. This effected domination of women and the elevation of man's perception of himself as entitled to do so.

    However, if one looks closely at the King James version of the story, nowhere does it say that God spoke to both Adam AND Eve regarding not taking from the tree of knowledge and of good and evil. Such knowledge is a good thing is it not. It does, in fact, make one wise and well able to run things in a better informed fashion than if one were ignorant.

    God told Adam definitely not to go near the tree. Eve came along in the story after this. Adam in his ignorance which has permeated men's thinking assumed he created Eve from one of his ribs. So, why has everyone assumed the serpent was a bad creature? Could God not have had more knowledge about Adam than Adam did? Could not the serpent have been sent by God for Eve and that in God's eyes Eve would have been the better choice for Mother Earth running the show? Eve demonstrated something that men have failed to do down through the ages. She offered Adam equality by sharing the fruit with him. Historically I perceive this as her mistake but the gesture was there. God comes along and says, "Eve what have you done?" God knew better. And indeed we've been in a certain hell on earth 'ever since'. Think deeply how if this story had played out correctly in its interpretation how perhaps women could have played an equal part in running the world show. But oh no, men were unable to read the text with a legal brain and instead shunted their own sin onto Eve. I don't think Adam has ever really apologised to the world or God. His 'knowledge' has perpetuated most definitely a knowledge, and particularly of good and evil yet it has never conquered evil. Adam & Eve was probably the first women's lib story that has been surpressed by men.

    Personally I think Eve was the first entity joined in a single cell with Adam. When he impregnated her she cut him loose and became the real future of the world, with, in fact a more superior body - it sustains life, Adam's only gives to the process and you only needed a few go's at it to start the whole she-bang... I mean, it's only recently that Eve being the first sinner has exited public consciousness but its manifestation has not.

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  • 435. At 5:59pm on 28 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Hesiodus (#396) "And they say us [sic] Americans don't do irony."

    What Hesiodos means, I suppose, is that I, too, am a pedant. While there may be some truth to that, it does not apply here. The real irony is that, initially, I was also inclined to think that because the Semitic peoples include some who are not Jewish, therefore "antisemitic" logically should apply to discrimination against any of them. Then I looked up the origin of the term, several definitions including the comprehensive OED definition, and various other sources, and changed my mind, on the principle that actual usage is what matters and there seems to be no usage of the term for hostility toward non-Jewish people except among the occasional pedants on blogs who like to argue these arcane points.

    It is the appeal to book learning (i.e. knowledge of the origin of the Semitic peoples) as against common sense (i.e. how people actually communicate in English) that is pedantry.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pedant

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  • 436. At 6:03pm on 28 Jul 2009, _marko wrote:

    RE seanspa's description in #330: Anyone disagree that TT fits that profile?

    Maybe the only solution to paid propagandists is to keep pointing out those distortions and to repeatedly present facts. Here's hoping the general enthusiasm to expand human knowledge totally swamps individual efforts at disinformation and a reduction in knowledge.

    Anyone feel TT has successfully advanced Israel's interests?


    "typical of your style"

    What clearly marks them out is the continued one-note subject regardless of the subject of the thread,

    the inability:
    to remember that the last time they repeated the same thing it was disproved,
    or reluctance to answer questions or interact,
    to acknowledge facts that contradict their agenda,
    to describe any of their background or relevant personal experience that might provide context for their views,
    to reference any other web presence showing their views,

    a lack of openness and sensitivity,

    no interest in encouraging different perspectives,

    an ability to re-write history,

    lack of basic human qualities in style e.g very committee-like or like quoting from a rule book or lack of humour.

    repeating like an advert,

    motivated mainly by limited information or tribal behaviour,

    have no interest in expanding human knowledge

    There are probably more characteristics. I'm not surprised people are discouraged from freely contributing their views.


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  • 437. At 6:10pm on 28 Jul 2009, U14078849 wrote:


    Shawnbb ~ 431

    When a strong determined woman politician comes along she will be elected on the same criteria as a man.

    The steady Angela Merkle and the fiesty Marget Thatcher are but cases in point. Leadership is not a male/female issue, but an assessment by an electorate as to who is the best potential leader under whatever circumstances the country may be facing at the time.

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  • 438. At 6:10pm on 28 Jul 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #342. Gary_A_Hill: "Those who assert that the term "anti-Semitic" (however written) refers to Semitic people other than Jews, as well as to them, must ignore not only the origin of the term, which has been documented in earlier threads, but must also discount authoritative references such as the Oxford English Dictionary

    Ah! But I do have the Greater Oxford English Dictionary to verify such things, and of Semitic, it states
    Of or pertaining to the Semites

    and of Semite, it further states

    A person belonging to the race of mankind which included most of the people mentioned in Gen, as descended from Shem son of Noah, as the Hebrews, Arabs, Assyrians and Armenians. Also a person speaking a Semitic language as his native tongue.

    There is no entry whatsoever for "anti-Semitic", with or without the hyphen. A visit to any good public library will show the same.

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  • 439. At 6:11pm on 28 Jul 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    ref 383 bethanywp,

    I took a peep at the blog and just read 1 or 2 posts.
    Yours was no 2 it is a very good post.I am British and would not want to be any thing else.You be an American & hold your head high.William Blake,
    poet, painter & visionary,said "To generalise is to be an idiot".Far to many folk generalise here.If to generalise is to be an idiot,To totaly generalise is to be a total idiot.Just read any of MarcusAurelius & see what I mean,but no!!Lochraven on 420 has given you very very good advise.

    Regards...

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  • 440. At 6:17pm on 28 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    428. At 5:03pm on 28 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:
    Correction: There are three posters (or at least three names) who insist on a broader meaning of "anti-Semitic" than given by the OED without providing a link to a single authoritative source to support their opinion."


    The authoratative source is the English language.

    Anti-Semetic was term invented by a Europeans to describe anti-jewish prejudice because jews were the only semites most Europeans encountered.

    However the Palestinians and arabs are semites, they speak a semetic language and generally follow a semitic religion.

    If you dispute any of this I would be interested in your evidence.

    Threfore racial and prejudicial comments about them are anti-Semetic.

    Of course the whole idea of "semites" can be challenged as it is near certain that as most European jews are converts etc they are no more descended from ancient Sumerians, then everyone called O'Brien is a literal descendant of Brian Boru.



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  • 441. At 6:21pm on 28 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    424. At 4:48pm on 28 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    "The full edition of the Oxford English Dictionary is descriptive, not pre(pro)scriptive. It strives to document actual English usage completely. It does not recognize the term "anti-Semitic" as meaning anything but hostility toward Jews. Unfortunately, the full edition is a subscription site, so I cannot link to it. I have seen the entry, but have been unable to find it again."




    True as is the salient fact that the OED never describes language as it evolves but some time afterwards.

    If you want a lesson in the evolution of English I am afraid I cannot supply you with one (for free) but I suggest you read works by David Crystal as an intro.

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  • 442. At 6:27pm on 28 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    #423

    Regarding this dispute about the U.S not having a female leader. It could be pointed out that except for the strange way the Democratic primary and caucus are done Hillary Clinton would have been the Democratic nominee.

    then some of you would have said that American is not ready to elect an african American canidate.

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  • 443. At 6:27pm on 28 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    416. At 4:09pm on 28 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:
    ref #401

    I did not see the racist plackard on the reports."



    Hmmm why is that not a surprise.



    "I did see a clevar one mocking Obama"No you Can't!"
    The problem is that Obama has put no pressure on the Palestinians and their supporters."


    What apart from letting them starve,lack medical care and their children die?

    And not arresting the Israeli foreign minister?

    "From an Israeli prespective they have recieved no benfits for any concessions made."


    Neither did Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia. The benefit would be it becomes a civilised country.

    "Giving up the Sinai did lead to sustainable peace with Egypt."

    So you contradict yourself! You just said Israel got no benefit and then you immediately show Israel got a benefit?. God you are like TT, why argue with yourself?

    This is why you lose arguemnts all the time, you cannot debate coherently.

    "But the Palestinians have shown no evidence that they will follow the Egypitian example."

    Israel has continued to kill Palestinians and take their land.

    Is it planning to reconquer Sinai?

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  • 444. At 6:30pm on 28 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    373. At 07:37am on 28 Jul 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    342. Gary_A_Hill,

    I recall that Simon21 plucked that particular misconception out of thin air, was delighted with it and has been running with it ever since, despite all evidence to the contrary."

    Haven't seen any evidence from you at all.

    Its always amusing when you do as you end up contradicting yourself.

    Never mind


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  • 445. At 6:33pm on 28 Jul 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    426. Gary_A_Hill,

    Thanks for that. I'm quite prepared to debate without insult but at times I find myself responding in kind. The sneering is pointless and childish but is rife throughout the Internet, much like a virus. If I were moderating this blog I'd make a simple rule: If you must sneer, at least accompany your sneering with a debatable point or two so that people can respond with something more than a sneer in return.

    Re the history of Palestine, people can point to as many maps as they like, but a named area does not a country make. The post by Isenhorn at no. 411 puts it in a nutshell.

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  • 446. At 6:33pm on 28 Jul 2009, Shawn wrote:

    To Svetlana (437):

    Yes, I admire countries that break with traditional male-dominated government by electing female candidates on their merits. For what it's worth I think Hillary Clinton would almost certainly have been elected President of the USA had she won the Democratic nomination.

    Many European countries also have far better female representation in their parliaments which is something we in the USA should strive for.

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  • 447. At 6:33pm on 28 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    384. At 11:58am on 28 Jul 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:
    KAM;

    "Are those who support the Palestinian cause for a nation state such as your own current President and his predecessor thus expressing "their antisemitic hatred of Jews"?

    No, theirs is an expression of ignorance, naivete, and of a propensity of those on the left to force some kind of equivalence between things that have no equivalence, a warped sense of fairness. There is historical precedent for a Jewish state in the middle east. There is no comparable precedent for a "Palestinian state" because until after the 1967 war, there was no such thing as a Palestinian people."



    No such thing as a United states before 1778, no such thing as a Bangladesh before the 1970s.

    There was no European colonised state called Israel ever until 1949, when the anme was adopted.

    The bible is not history Marcus and only a halfwit would assume it was

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  • 448. At 6:34pm on 28 Jul 2009, TexasPOV wrote:

    Methinks TimothyR444 needs to visit Texas. He may then wish to alter his posting.

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  • 449. At 6:44pm on 28 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    356. At 04:37am on 28 Jul 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:
    #344

    Marby,

    When Caesar crossed the Rubicon, breaking Roman law and starting a civil war, he allegedly cried 'Allia iacta est'. A literal quote from a soldiers game it is often quoted as 'The die is cast' but translates in slang to 'Let the die fly high'. Simply put, I placed my bet.

    I could get moderated. The Latin.

    Historian Sam

    Garbage you have just been reading Asterix the Gaul. Caesar is always saying this.

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  • 450. At 6:48pm on 28 Jul 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    401, Richard.
    "There was an anti-US rally held in Israel yesterday. They are calling Obama 'racist.' It was on Israeli TV."

    Looks very like a ploy to gain support for a plan to defy the U.S.

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  • 451. At 6:56pm on 28 Jul 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    415, shaw.
    "...parts of Europe are obviously more religious than parts of America (see Ireland, Poland or Italy..."

    You had best leave Italy out of the equation. Italians may class themselves as Catholic but have so developed the art of rationalization that they do whatever they please in contravention of church dicta. The first condom was devised by an Italian Catholic.

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  • 452. At 6:58pm on 28 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 419, Richard

    "Most of America is NOT ready to elect a female head of state"

    I disagree with you on this one. I believe that had Sen. Clinton been the Democratic nominee she would have defeated Sen. McCain handily. In fact, had the nomination process lasted a few more weeks, she may have been the Democratic nominee. Obama was losing steam towards the end of the race.

    The problem is that most of the female candidates selected as running mates by lackluster politicians were unqualified tokens chosen to, ostensibly, attract female votes. Not surprisingly, the tactic did not work and, I believe, it backfired when many women rejected a political tactic they found offensive. There are several highly qualified female politicians from both parties who would do very well if they decide to run.

    I find it embarrassing that a country that boasts of being a bastion of freedom, democracy, and equality has not yet elected a female President, but it will not be long before that happens.

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  • 453. At 7:02pm on 28 Jul 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    431, shaw.
    "Most of Europe is at least a generation behind America in breaking down the white supremacy of culture, business and politics."

    What you have not taken into account is that we have a massive black population. It is perfectly natural that blacks would have more prominance here than in Europe.

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  • 454. At 7:07pm on 28 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 442, Magic

    Alas, I just realized that we both have the same opinion about why we have not yet elected a female President and on Hillary's chances. Time for a Bud (I can't afford expensive French wines, or even some pretty good ones produced not far from San Francisco).

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  • 455. At 7:24pm on 28 Jul 2009, dceilar wrote:

    #445 TT

    I'm quite prepared to debate without insult but at times I find myself responding in kind.

    Care to apologise for insulting me then? I made a post which was not insulting and you replied with a rude diatribe! One of your diatribes were (#327): Your last paragraph is even more complete rubbish than the one preceding it, and typical of your style.

    All I said was that the IDF invasion into Gaza occurred on the Sabbath during the busiest time of day to maximise civilian death. And that a couple of weeks later the IDF refused entry for humanitarian aid to help innocent civilians because of the Sabbath? I said nothing controversial. My conclusion, An un-holy land indeed! is justified. BTW did the so called 'left wing anti-Semite' media report on this contradiction? No! Care to explain why without insults? Or is SeansPa correct in saying @329 Yep, TT was right. There are those that debate and those that simply fling insults around.

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  • 456. At 7:25pm on 28 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    "To generalise is to be an idiot". from ukwales in post #439.

    Is that not itself a generalization? Generalizations are sometimes useful; the catch is to recognize their limitations.

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  • 457. At 7:32pm on 28 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    "Giving up the Sinai did lead to sustainable peace with Egypt."

    So you contradict yourself! You just said Israel got no benefit and then you immediately show Israel got a benefit?. God you are like TT, why argue with yourself?

    This is why you lose arguemnts all the time, you cannot debate coherently.

    "But the Palestinians have shown no evidence that they will follow the Egypitian example."


    Asusual Simple simon you do not comrehend. Egypt did not fire missles into Israel after the treaty. The Palestinians did. You expect Israel to trust the Palestinians when there is no evidence they will honor the treaties.

    Israel has the track record no wars with Egypt and Jordan since the treaty.

    So is is the Palestinians who have to prove their word is good. But they do not have the courage to try for peace.

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  • 458. At 7:38pm on 28 Jul 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #445. TrueToo: "Re the history of Palestine, people can point to as many maps as they like, but a named area does not a country make."

    Then what does? Do you think cartographers of old made it up? No-one recognised the United States of America until the French did in December 1777, but to say it didn't exist before that is nonsensical. If it were not so, July 4th would not be celebrated as Independence Day. By using the date of formal recognition would put it in the depths of winter. And unless you haven't noticed, Independence Day is in July. Perhaps you're not American after all.

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  • 459. At 7:40pm on 28 Jul 2009, dceilar wrote:

    #452 StDom

    To be honest with you I thought Clinton lost the nomination because she took victory for granted and assumed the DNC would realise that a Black man would lose votes not that she was a woman.

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  • 460. At 7:47pm on 28 Jul 2009, seanspa wrote:

    deceilar, I agree about hrc. She came across as entitled, just going through the process before coronation. Although bill was both a help and a hindrance, sometimes seeming to go out of his way to cause trouble for her.

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  • 461. At 7:48pm on 28 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    This would be good advice for Obama and also worthwile for the Pro Palestinian posters to read.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/28/opinion/28benn.html?th&emc=th

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  • 462. At 7:50pm on 28 Jul 2009, dianaatkin wrote:

    433. At 5:50pm on 28 Jul 2009, shawnbb wrote:
    dianaatkin whined: "I should imagine those weird polygamy sects with huge privately owned land camps in the US are, er, 'brutally vivacious' (love the outfits) - where else but America. Americans can learn things from Europeans, they just don't want to. If they do 'learn things' it gets monkeyed around with US style and turned into an inferior version. In all the time I lived in the US I could never find a true Italian Bolognese sauce in Italian restaurants."
    ________________________

    Oh, grow up Diana. You are only exposing your own inferiority complex vis-a-vis America. I have never had a true, decent burrito in Europe. Does that mean all of Europe is a cultural wasteland? Apparently so.

    A great deal of the world's cultural, scientific, medical and artistic achievements over the past couple hundreds of years has come from America. You're welcome, by the way. Thanks for reminding me why I prefer living in America.


    ---

    Hardly a 'whine', merely a comment. I beg to differ, I was not exposing my inferiority complex at all. Quite the reverse in fact. And, it is more than equal to your superiority complex.

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  • 463. At 7:57pm on 28 Jul 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    452, saintD.
    "In fact, had the nomination process lasted a few more weeks, she may have been the Democratic nominee. Obama was losing steam towards the end of the race."

    Obama was not losing steam. He calculated that he had the nomination sewed up and basically ignored the remaining races to put his attention elsewhere. He was a very crafty candidate.

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  • 464. At 7:57pm on 28 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Now I understand David_Cunard's problem (post #438). If his OED does not have a separate entry for "anti-Semitic," it must be an older edition. The term was first used in the 1870s, but in German. It probably did not make it into the Oxford dictionaries until much later.

    There is all the background on the term one could want at http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O101-Antisemitism.html [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 465. At 8:00pm on 28 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    461. At 7:48pm on 28 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:
    This would be good advice for Obama and also worthwile for the Pro Palestinian posters to read.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/28/opinion/28benn.html?th&emc=th



    Did you actually read this?


    " his strong rejection of Holocaust denial, immediately after his Cairo speech, appealed to American Jews but fell flat in Israel. Here we are taught that Zionist determination and struggle not guilt over the Holocaust brought Jews a homeland. Mr. Obamas speech, which linked Israels existence to the Jewish tragedy, infuriated many Israelis who sensed its closeness to the narrative of enemies like Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. "


    That tells you all you need to know about this piece.


    What sort of fool urges people to read something when they have plainly not read it themselves.

    Stop digging and just tell us why you think being complicit in war crimes is worth honoring (your words).

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  • 466. At 8:00pm on 28 Jul 2009, seanspa wrote:

    magic, if you let us know your email address and password we'd be able to read the nyt article.

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  • 467. At 8:04pm on 28 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    457. At 7:32pm on 28 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:
    "Giving up the Sinai did lead to sustainable peace with Egypt."

    So you contradict yourself! You just said Israel got no benefit and then you immediately show Israel got a benefit?. God you are like TT, why argue with yourself?

    This is why you lose arguemnts all the time, you cannot debate coherently.

    "But the Palestinians have shown no evidence that they will follow the Egypitian example."


    "Asusual Simple simon you do not comrehend. Egypt did not fire missles into Israel after the treaty. The Palestinians did. You expect Israel to trust the Palestinians when there is no evidence they will honor the treaties. "


    Sorry you contradict yuourself again. Israel signed no treaty with the Palestinians, none. SO they can't have broken any treaty that does not exist.

    Can they.

    Wonder why you get so fustrated. Think before posting.

    "Israel has the track record no wars with Egypt and Jordan since the treaty."

    So dealing with "arabs" brings benefits.

    Totally opposed to your point. Thanks for making my arguments.


    "So is is the Palestinians who have to prove their word is good. But they do not have the courage to try for peace."


    Sorry are you saying all palestinians are terrorist or cowards?


    Straight answer please.

    Israel has no treaty with the Plaestinians, none.

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  • 468. At 8:15pm on 28 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    TrueToo (#445) " ... a named area does not a country make."

    Yes, but when one uses the term "Palestine," everybody knows to what part of the world it refers. Therefore it is a useful term. There is also a term "Palestinian refugee," which has a precise meaning defined by the United Nations:

    http://www.un.org/unrwa//refugees/whois.html

    An argument about semantics is unhelpful. The substantive question is: what should be done about the plight of the refugees? Is there a solution to the problem which will allow everyone in the area we call Palestine to live in peace and with a sense that justice has been done?

    I am not taking sides on what form a solution should take.

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  • 469. At 8:15pm on 28 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    445. At 6:33pm on 28 Jul 2009, TrueToo wrote:
    426. Gary_A_Hill,

    Thanks for that. I'm quite prepared to debate without insult but at times I find myself responding in kind. The sneering is pointless and childish but is rife throughout the Internet, much like a virus. If I were moderating this blog I'd make a simple rule: If you must sneer, at least accompany your sneering with a debatable point or two so that people can respond with something more than a sneer in return. "

    From someone who sneers at all "arabs" and Palestinians that is rich.

    "Re the history of Palestine, people can point to as many maps as they like, but a named area does not a country make."


    Which means you agree that simply calling a country Israel does not mean it is connected to a biblical monarchy.


    Again the slef contradiction and hopeless attempt to make an argument.

    Let's try and help you.

    If you want to debate with people it is necessary to supply evidence (reference to docs etc) that supports your argument not your opponents.

    If you claim to be innocent of pick pocketing in crt for example you do not advance your case by releiving the judge of his watch in full view of everyone.

    You do not convince people you are not a rascist if you then join the Broaderbund or the KKK

    This simply makes you look a fool.

    Take magic's laughable statement that israel has got no benefit s from dealing with "arabs", but then goes on to state the beenfits Israel has got from dealing with "arabs".

    Unless he is a child this is evidence of a fondness for liquid refreshment (as in Marcu's case where he goes completely off the rails) or an inability to focus, perhaps dies to a learning condition.

    In your case it probably comes from being raised in a society that was a contradiction in itself - and whihc, of course, caused it ultimately to collapse, as Israeli society will eventually do.

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  • 470. At 8:16pm on 28 Jul 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #360

    David,

    There are many teachings and interpretations of what happens to the folks who predate Jesus resurrection. The most common is that those who died in Friendship with God (lived a moral life)remain in Limbo until Jesus opens the Gates of Heaven. Hence entrance to the Kingdom of Heaven is only through Jesus Christ but we have those cave men covered.

    As for everyone else, one of our great moralists had a few words to say about their likely fate:

    Where do bad folks go when they die
    They don't go to heaven where the angels fly
    Go to a lake of fire and fry
    Don't see them again 'till the Fourth of July

    But however you live your life, Jesus loves you.

    Devout Sam

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  • 471. At 8:17pm on 28 Jul 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    458. David_Cunard wrote:

    #445. TrueToo: "Re the history of Palestine, people can point to as many maps as they like, but a named area does not a country make."

    Then what does?


    For a start, a capital, a currency, a leader, a government - you know, little things like that. If the Romans wanted to name one of their conquered provinces Palestina or whatever, how is that relevant to a Palestinian state?


    455. dceilar,

    Simply put, you are lying when you talk about a deliberate IDF policy to maximise civilian deaths. That's the Palestinian terrorists' style. You are obviously seriously mixed up.

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  • 472. At 8:31pm on 28 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:


    464. At 7:57pm on 28 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:
    Now I understand David_Cunard's problem (post #438). If his OED does not have a separate entry for "anti-Semitic," it must be an older edition. The term was first used in the 1870s, but in German. It probably did not make it into the Oxford dictionaries until much later.

    There is all the background on the term one could want at http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O101-Antisemitism.html [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]"

    I'm sorry to burst your bubble but if you think this is of any valaue then you need your mind read.

    It is just a series of silly schoolboy assumptions.

    I had to laugh when I read this before the article:

    Auschwitz Tour
    Best Price & Quality Guaranteed Price incl. fees, guide & transport.

    Wow sounds like fun! What do you reckon the "quality guranteed" moniker means.

    Spike Milligan could not had written it better

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  • 473. At 8:35pm on 28 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    471. At 8:17pm on 28 Jul 2009, TrueToo wrote:
    458. David_Cunard wrote:

    #445. TrueToo: "Re the history of Palestine, people can point to as many maps as they like, but a named area does not a country make."

    Then what does?

    For a start, a capital, a currency, a leader, a government - you know, little things like that. If the Romans wanted to name one of their conquered provinces Palestina or whatever, how is that relevant to a Palestinian state?



    So Israel was independent under the Romans? Hmmmm do you know anything about jewish observances?

    You should trust this revelation to the authorities, everyone else says othwerwise.

    The romans issued a coin showing Iudea Capta, what did this mean.

    As I say arguing with you is always a laugh.

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  • 474. At 8:36pm on 28 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #469

    I have never said Israel can't deal with Arab nations.

    But becuase they defend themselves against the terrorists enabled by the Palestinians and the Lebanese I differentiate.

    Egypt and Israel honored its treaty
    Jordan and Israel honored it's treaty

    Lebanon broke it's agreement with Israel about disarming Hezbollah
    Palestinians broke their agreement about stopping missle attacks.

    Simple enought for you Simon?

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  • 475. At 8:38pm on 28 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    S21 seems to be referring to advertisements or some other extraneous material on the linked site, rather than to the Oxford definition. The definition is all that matters.

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  • 476. At 8:40pm on 28 Jul 2009, Dark Side of the Goon wrote:

    @433
    "A great deal of the world's cultural, scientific, medical and artistic achievements over the past couple hundreds of years has come from America. You're welcome, by the way. Thanks for reminding me why I prefer living in America."
    I was going to raise an eyebrow at this, but the list is far too impressive and, frankly, when you remember that Jazz, Blues and Rock'n'Roll were all born in America it really gives the country a pass on the realtively minor hiccups of Fast Food, Soap Opera and MAII.

    Some things demand initial conditions that are only present in America, that could never have happened in Europe.

    And vice versa.

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  • 477. At 8:44pm on 28 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #452

    If I gave the impression that I thought clinton would have lost to McCain it was unintentional.

    Although I think one of the main reasons Obama won was the Oct financial collapse. McCain and Obama were running even if you take into account margin of error.

    As far as the two running mates who have been women

    How many people had heard of Geraldine Ferraro before than, Diane Fiestien would have been a better choice than.
    I don't think Palin was qualified for the same reason that Obama has proven not to be qualified lack of a resume.

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  • 478. At 8:49pm on 28 Jul 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #464. At 7:57pm on 28 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill: "If his OED does not have a separate entry for "anti-Semitic," it must be an older edition. The term was first used in the 1870s, but in German."

    Then it wouldn't be in an English dictionary, would it? The Greater OED takes years, possibly decades to update, but I provided what it says. And it's not an "older edition", it's quite current. In any case, the meaning of Semite has not changed. It's use may have, but that's a different matter. I assume you have a decent library near you, I urge you to visit it and not rely solely on web-based information.

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  • 479. At 8:53pm on 28 Jul 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    Ref 456 Gary a hill

    Exactly..

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  • 480. At 8:54pm on 28 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    474. At 8:36pm on 28 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:
    ref #469

    I have never said Israel can't deal with Arab nations."


    Oh you said Israel got no benefit from dealing with arabs

    You agree you made a fool of yourself.

    Don't worry I am used it to it.

    "But becuase they defend themselves against the terrorists enabled by the Palestinians and the Lebanese I differentiate."

    No you contradict yourself. Sorry but if you cannot use English that is not my fault.

    "Egypt and Israel honored its treaty
    Jordan and Israel honored it's treaty"


    Digging again! And again troubles with the English what do these phrases mean? Who honoured the treaties?

    "Lebanon broke it's agreement with Israel about disarming Hezbollah
    Palestinians broke their agreement about stopping missle attacks."


    Sorry Israel signed no treaties with either.

    True or false?

    Answer true.

    Well that was easy

    Care to have another go?





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  • 481. At 8:56pm on 28 Jul 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    #429
    David_Cunard,

    By referencing Mercia and Nubia I merely wanted to point out the fact that the name Palestine as used during the Roman Empire has no relation whatsoever to the current state of affairs and should not be used as justification of the cause of the Palestinians. What was called Palestine then and what is considered Palestine today are two different things, and so are the people who lived and live in that area in the two time periods. Thus any references to maps from the Crusades are irrelevant.

    P.S. The reference to Wikipedia and facts thousands of years old was a figure of speech, there is no need to take it literally. As to the spelling errors- yes, I did misspell Palestine. English is not my first language and I do not claim to have a perfect knowledge of it. Thus you could save yourself the trouble to write [sic] every time I make a spelling error. Instead you could concentrate on showing how the Biblical Palestine is the same as modern Palestine, as this is somewhat missing from your post.


    #422 Richard_SM,

    read your post again- it still does not explain what the link is between an old map and modern day Palestine. Apart from the name, is there anything else that is the same?

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  • 482. At 9:01pm on 28 Jul 2009, dceilar wrote:

    You are obviously being obtuse - again! Hat tip to Chomsky for this:

    Israel calculated that it would be advantageous to appear to "go crazy," causing vastly disproportionate terror, a doctrine that traces back to the 1950s.

    The Palestinians in Gaza got the message on the first day when Israeli warplanes struck numerous targets simultaneously in the middle of a Saturday morning. Some 200 were killed instantly, shocking Hamas and indeed all of Gaza, especially because Israels anti-rocket attacks in previous years had been more measured.Bronner, NYT, Jan. 19, 2009

    The tactic of "going crazy" appears to have been successful, Bronner concluded: there are "limited indications that the people of Gaza felt such pain from this war that they will seek to rein in Hamas," the elected government. Inflicting pain on civilians for political ends is another long-standing doctrine of state terror, in fact its guiding principle. I do not, incidentally, recall the Times retrospective "Parsing Gains of Chechnya War," though the gains were great.

    Do you condone State terror TT?

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  • 483. At 9:02pm on 28 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    475. At 8:38pm on 28 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:
    S21 seems to be referring to advertisements or some other extraneous material on the linked site, rather than to the Oxford definition. The definition is all that matters."

    The definition as I demonstrated is gibberish. Just a series of schoolboy assertions.

    Arabs are semites, you haven't denied this. Therefore anti-semetic is anti-arab. Not really that hard to grasp.

    Indeed given that the almost all jews living in the West have no connection with the ME except through religion and are not semetic is any way, the term is better applied to the native inhabitants of the region.

    And if a site is taking links from "quality guaranteed" tours of Auschwitz (what do you reckon this applies to? The catering?) Then that tells you something about the site, doesn't it.

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  • 484. At 9:07pm on 28 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    David (#478) "I assume you have a decent library near you, I urge you to visit it and not rely solely on web-based information."

    That's a good idea. We do agree on something, after all. I still like traditional libraries, as well.

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  • 485. At 9:09pm on 28 Jul 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    #429,

    Further to my post:

    429. At 5:24pm on 28 Jul 2009, David_Cunard wrote:
    #411. Isenhorn: "David_Cunard . . . If the fact that a Roman province was called Pallestine (sic) is justification for the existance of a modern day Pallestine (sic), then I do not understand why you do not take your argument further and start supporting the rights of Mercia, Nubia and Cappadocia to exist as separate countries?"

    Have they asked to do so?

    **************************

    The answer is no. Because no such countries have existed for hundreds of years, if ever. If anybody demands the restoration of Nubia from Egypt based on a text in the Bible, they will be laughed at. For some reason however, such 'proofs' are considered sufficient when it comes to modern day Palestine.

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  • 486. At 9:11pm on 28 Jul 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #480 the U.N negoiated cease fire in Lebanoon said Lebanon had to disarm Hezbollah. They made no attempt.

    Israel widthdrew and were repaid by Palestinian terrorism.

    Treaty or not that shows that the Lebanese and Palestinian reps havve no desire for peace.

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  • 487. At 9:11pm on 28 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    1. At 8:56pm on 28 Jul 2009, Isenhorn wrote:
    #429
    David_Cunard,

    "By referencing Mercia and Nubia I merely wanted to point out the fact that the name Palestine as used during the Roman Empire has no relation whatsoever to the current state of affairs and should not be used as justification of the cause of the Palestinians. What was called Palestine then and what is considered Palestine today are two different things, and so are the people who lived and live in that area in the two time periods. Thus any references to maps from the Crusades are irrelevant."


    Do you seriously beleive that modern Israel bears any relation to the biblical kingodom of that name?

    Do you beleive modern even observant jews bear any relation to the faith as patchily described in the OT?

    Israel was the name used by zionist colonials to give their new state. They could have used Moab or Judea or Oz, we are dealing in fantasy here.

    You can call a country what you like. The Irish made a national sport of it for many years.

    The name Palestine is certainly ancient and is not a Latin or Hebrew word its precise origins are unknown.

    But anyway it is irelevant. Call the Palestinians hobbits if you want to it alters nothing , they are the original inhabitants of the area and that is indisputable.

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  • 488. At 9:15pm on 28 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 445, TrueToo

    "...the history of Palestine, people can point to as many maps as they like, but a named area does not a country make."

    Obviously, the very existance of the State of Israel gives validity to your statement, but it ignores the point that several persons have made on this blog regarding the right of the Palestinian people to live in the region and the existance of Palestine since ancient times, which some posters deny.

    As I am sure you already known, the area in question was shared by Israelites, Philistines, and Phoenicians for millennia. That circumstance is acknowledged in the Old Testament, the Jewish encyclopedia and history books.

    Egyptian hyropglyphics inscribed during the reign of King Merneptah describe his victories in Philistine. Assyrian emperor Sargon II referred to it as Palashtu. Greek historian and geographer Herodotus called it Palaistine, and Pliny the Elder referred to is as a part of Syria known as Palaestina.

    The basis for the creation of the State of Israel included not only the need to provide a safe-haven for millions of Jews persecuted and abused in Europe, but historical precedent that acknowledged their physical presence in the region since time immemorial. The problem is that the people that shared that land with them since time immemorial are denied the same rights and privileges enjoyed by the citizens of Israel, and for all intents and purposes are people without a country.

    Clearly, Israel is there to stay, not only because of UN resolutions, but because they have one of the most formidable military forces in the world, capable of destroying the entire military apparatus of all Muslim countries combined with little difficulty, not to mention certain weapons that would make the entire region a barren desert where not even roaches could live.

    It is for that reason, that Israel's claims sound so hollow when they portray themselves as the underdog engaged in a do or die struggle for survival against the Palestinians, who do not even have an ARMY, NAVY or Air Force.

    Your claims and opinions would elicit more respect if you simply stated that the policies of Israel will prevail because you have the means to impose your wishes and goals on your neighbors regardless of precedent, international opinion, or the aspirations of your neighbors because you are the most powerful nation in the region.

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  • 489. At 9:17pm on 28 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 477m

    "I don't think Palin was qualified for the same reason that Obama has proven not to be qualified lack of a resume."

    Like I said on a previous occasion, comparing Sarah Palin's education, intellect, and qualifications to Barack Obama's is like comparing Einstein to Joe the Plumber.

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  • 490. At 9:32pm on 28 Jul 2009, Isenhorn wrote:



    487. At 9:11pm on 28 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:
    'Do you seriously beleive that modern Israel bears any relation to the biblical kingodom of that name?

    Do you beleive modern even observant jews bear any relation to the faith as patchily described in the OT?'

    Of course not. That is even more proof that ancient history used as justification of territorial claims is irrelevant today. As I said in my original post, I do think two-state sollutions is necessary. Dusty old maps from centuries ago are not the means to achieve it, though.

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  • 491. At 10:06pm on 28 Jul 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    489. St.D

    Suspect you may have meant that the other way round.

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  • 492. At 10:07pm on 28 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    490. At 9:32pm on 28 Jul 2009, Isenhorn wrote:


    487. At 9:11pm on 28 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:
    'Do you seriously beleive that modern Israel bears any relation to the biblical kingodom of that name?

    Do you beleive modern even observant jews bear any relation to the faith as patchily described in the OT?'

    Of course not. That is even more proof that ancient history used as justification of territorial claims is irrelevant today. As I said in my original post, I do think two-state sollutions is necessary. Dusty old maps from centuries ago are not the means to achieve it, though"


    There will be no two states, that is not going to happen. israel will never allow it.

    If it was serious it would not be building settlements. Britian did not build colonies in Ireland when negotiating with de Valera et al.

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  • 493. At 10:26pm on 28 Jul 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    488. At 9:15pm on 28 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:
    Ref 445, TrueToo


    Well said with your usual eloquence.

    Much of the fanatical devotion to Israel derives from what orwell called power worship.

    The idea that the weak must be despised and that power is virtuous in its own right, regardless of humanity, justice etc.

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  • 494. At 11:15pm on 28 Jul 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 491, IF

    Your suspicion is correct. I also noticed a couple of embarrassing typos in an earlier post. I have not figured out how to use spell check on a blog (haven't tried too hard to figure out how to do it), and I have the bad habit of posting comments without proof reading them first.
    Mea culpa.

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  • 495. At 11:15pm on 28 Jul 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    Gary 435, You still don't get it, do you? Remember the last time you lost this argument,(and several who disagreed with you turned into submarines)?

    Face it. You were a pedant; you are a pedant, and not the brightest of that ilk in my acquaintance.

    Lighten up. At least it's a bitter irony when the Zionists have to identify fellow Semites as the worst Anti-Semites. Can't they just coin a better term?

    Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Peace

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  • 496. At 11:41pm on 28 Jul 2009, vlesovboukar wrote:

    "European" does not mean "liberal" or "tolerant" or "enlightened", it just means white. The only way that one part of America can be more "European" than another is if there are more white people living there. In that case, many rural areas of America are the most European of all.

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  • 497. At 11:53pm on 28 Jul 2009, U14074320 wrote:

    Shut up with your boring War Stories
    They are not True Too
    ex·ag·ger·at·ed·ly : overemphasized

    True Stories
    A Gaza victim speaks of peace
    'Trying to Make Sense of the World'
    Stay Tuned more news at 11

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  • 498. At 11:58pm on 28 Jul 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    Diana 434, Excellent thesis.

    • "435. At 5:59pm on 28 Jul 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

      Hesiodus (#396) "And they say us [sic] Americans don't do irony.""

    And clearly, neither do us pedants ;~{

    Marko 436, Good list.

    • "445. At 6:33pm on 28 Jul 2009, TrueToo wrote:
      Re the history of Palestine, people can point to as many maps as they like, but a named area does not a country make. The post by Isenhorn at no. 411 puts it in a nutshell. "
    A misspelled nutshell? And I just love, "but a named area does not a country make." Israel?

    • MAII: "Are those who support the Palestinian cause for a nation state such as your own current President and his predecessor thus expressing "their antisemitic hatred of Jews"?"
    Tautology? Or are you joining the ranks of those of us who consider "Anti-Semitism/ic" to refer to more than just Jews?

    TT 471,
    • "Simply put, you are lying when you talk about a deliberate IDF policy to maximise civilian deaths. That's the Palestinian terrorists' style. You are obviously seriously mixed up."
    Then the outstanding Israeli success in creating civilian casualties is yet another demonstration of their superiority? Especially when they weren't really trying.

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  • 499. At 00:00am on 29 Jul 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    Next page (if you can be bothered)

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  • 500. At 00:02am on 29 Jul 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    The definition is all that matters.

    Give us a break, Gary.

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