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How Carolinians see the race row

Mark Mardell | 23:41 UK time, Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Columbia, South Carolina: On the face of it, the president is more of a "Piggy Park" sort of guy than a "Mac's on Main Street" man, which is rather odd.

The two restaurants in South Carolina's capital have similar menus of Southern fare - hush puppies and BBQ ribs. But their customers' tastes differ when it comes to President Carter's claim that the anger directed towards President Obama is "based on racism".

Mr Obama's spokesman says the president does not believe the protests against him are anything to do with the colour of his skin - and that opinion would strike a chord with the (mainly white) diners at the Piggy Park.

A Confederate flag flutters outside the restaurant, which boasts that it serves the best BBQ in town. Before you get to the counter there are a couple of tables piled with confederate memorabilia, novels about the End of Days, and right-wing tracts.

But the lunch-time customers go ahead and order their "middle pig dinner" without glancing at the literature.

My colleagues Matt and Justin have repeatedly told me that one of the joys of reporting from the USA is the way people are so eager to speak to reporters, and do so in radio- and TV-friendly soundbites.

It must be me, then, because most people here are pretty camera-shy or monosyllabic.

One large man, bull-necked, shaven-headen, with old fashioned braces (or suspenders, to use the American term) holding up his suit trousers, looks like an oppressive law-man from a liberal movie about the Deep South.

How is that for stereotyping? He might be a life-long, zealous campaigner against discrimination, but I will never know. He shakes his head and moves on.

Those who do talk are nearly all adamant that while they may not like the president, it is not about race - that is in the past.

And they are divided over whether their congressman, Joe Wilson, was right to call him a liar.

Some agree with the sentiment but not the rudeness. One expresses well the frustration of conservatives and makes what I think is a rather good point. He calls President Carter's allegation "arrogant" and asks how the president can peer inside his head, and judge why he feels the way he feels about Mr Obama.

It is one of the frustrations of reporting this story: how do you judge what motivates people?

Over at Macs on Main Street, Barry "Fatback" Walker, a big black man in a voluminous purple satin shirt, shows me the pictures lining his walls of the blues and jazzmen who have performed at his restaurant.

Famous politicians too. Barack Obama has been here, and so has the Vice-President, who adds a special handwritten note underneath his photo in praise of the restaurant's speciality dessert, the peach cobbler.

The menu here is very similar to that at the Piggy Park: Mr Walker says the cuisine is something that unites the races.

One of the photos is of him and his family with Congressman Joe Wilson.

"He's a good friend," says Mr Walker, "and he's not a racist."

But the restaurant-owner is delighted that Jimmy Carter has spoken out, and says this is a turning point.

The former president, he tells me, is merely saying what the people in the barber-shops and the bars are saying: that Mr Obama is getting it in the neck because he is a black man.

Mr Walker's analysis is interesting too. Social equality, he says, has been achieved - a black man with money can walk in anywhere - but Mr Obama is looking to promote economic equality, and that is what some whites cannot stand, and call socialism.

Just outside his restaurant, I chat to some African-American women and mention what we are doing.

"Woah woah for Carter," one says, raising her hands above her head. "He tells it like it is."

She cannot peer into the soul of the protesters, any more than President Carter can.

But many African-Americans may feel as though a subterranean stream has burst above ground, even if the president would rather not get caught in the spray.

Comments

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  • 1. At 01:30am on 17 Sep 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    More on the race controversy? I thought that was beat to death. Mr. Carter can take responsibility for his remarks; I don't see any value in discussing them further. President Obama is taking the high road, whatever truth he may think privately there is in Mr. Carter's statement.

    I would rather read substantive discussion of the Baucus health care proposal.

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  • 2. At 01:35am on 17 Sep 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    And by the way, it is not proper protocol to refer to Mr. Carter as "President Carter." He is "former president Carter" or "Mr. Carter."

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  • 3. At 02:23am on 17 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    1. At 01:30am on 17 Sep 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    "More on the race controversy? I thought that was beat to death."

    Would you, perhaps, maybe, reconsider that sentence?

    Perhaps it is not quite beaten into submission ("Woah woah for [former President Mr] Carter! He tells it like it is") yet.

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  • 4. At 02:46am on 17 Sep 2009, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 5. At 03:07am on 17 Sep 2009, Andy Post wrote:

    Well done, Mark, nice piece. You're dealing with a community that's having every action it takes suddenly being examined for racism by the rest of the country. That's a lot of pressure. Americans have a way of expressing their disapproval of a community in its midst that is unofficial but heard loud and clear.

    Even if racism is a part of this, that's not the argument the right wing is making. This is about freedom, freedom from a distant, powerful government. Now, I think that this is too narrow an argument to win the day, but I have to admit that it holds water. The concerns of people holding this view need to be addressed. We can't just close our ears. If we wish to be a democracy, we have to listen and respond the points made by those we disagree with.

    Anyway, this is not about race. Don't get me wrong. Race is certainly an issue for America. There's no denying that.

    It's just that it's not _this_ issue.

    This an ad hominem attack by the left (to whom I am typically sympathetic).

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  • 6. At 03:14am on 17 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    4. A SuffolkBoy2:

    Try any of the News Blogs: Today, Newsnight, PM, World Tonight, Mark Easton maybe. And take your complaint about there being no Euro blog to the BBC Internet Blog. Or, if yo have no relevant comment to make here, possess yourself in patience until the BBC's new man in Brussels gets settled in. Please.

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  • 7. At 03:25am on 17 Sep 2009, TerryDugan wrote:

    Wow, part of this blog really made me think that all of us in the southern part of the U.S. are rednecks and racist. If this guy make this kind of broad paint strokes then he should say all the people in England have bad teeth.

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  • 8. At 03:42am on 17 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:

    This is just as much about what's in the souls of people who see racism in others' words, whether it exists or not?

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  • 9. At 04:44am on 17 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    8. At 03:42am on 17 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:

    "This is just as much about what's in the souls of people who see racism in others' words"

    Since I do not believe in the existence of souls, I tend to make my judgement on people's words, actions and behaviours.

    Very, very few people who even have believed they have a soul have ever managed to avoid expressing their innermost beliefs outwardly in at least one of those three ways.

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  • 10. At 06:03am on 17 Sep 2009, Elessar1733 wrote:

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

  • 11. At 06:18am on 17 Sep 2009, Morgan wrote:

    Funny that a man who can barely hold his own against a rabbit has suddenly decided that he can divine the thoughts and feelings of people he has never met. I will readily admit that my party has not done much to help (I'm right there with McCain wondering why so many in the Republican party have decided Obama is the devil and trying to find a way to insert some reason). That being said, it is no more right for former president Carter to stereotype us any more than it would be right to stereotype any other group. I'm well aware there is still racism, there probably always will be to some extent, but that unhappy fact should not be used as a shield against intelligent debate over something people are clearly uncomfortable with.

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  • 12. At 06:27am on 17 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    terrydugan.lol
    we certainly spend a lt less on dental care but then we don't need to have braces for fashion;)


    2. At 01:35am on 17 Sep 2009, GH1618 wrote:
    And by the way, it is not proper protocol to refer to Mr. Carter as "President Carter." He is "former president Carter" or "Mr. Carter."

    every other ex president is called president.
    . I think you made a slip here on this one. it is confusing but it is pretty much the norm if not the proper protocol

    adrienny. given the last thread your comment is not unexpected.


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  • 13. At 06:31am on 17 Sep 2009, henatwin wrote:

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

  • 14. At 06:40am on 17 Sep 2009, zendigger wrote:

    Welcome to the U.S., Mr. Mardell.

    I think your informant Mr. Walker hit it on the nail with his comment about economic equality. This country has moved far enough from racism that few citizens would admit to it without confessional guilt. Our continuing divide, the one cropping out in this debate, is between the economically secure Haves who possess a marketable education, health insurance, and enough surplus income to afford vacations; and the HaveNots whose financial insecurity gets equated with being of low, lazy, or dissolute character. Decent health insurance is a class marker. The Haves don't want to be forced to pay for the HaveNots (although, in fact, they already do). The word "socialist" is lobbed as an epithet against those who would force the sharing of responsibility, even though it would lower costs for everyone, and even though socialized services already exist here - police and fire departments and public schools for example.
    Let's move away from incendiary words like racist and socialist and focus on what's really at stake.

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  • 15. At 06:41am on 17 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    11 to you and all you that say racism is not the issue.
    next time you see them at a protest . do not stand with them.
    if you stand there with your poster next to the birthers or the hussainees then you are condoning their racism. and that would make you a racist. just one without testicular fortitude (as dear old Ed would oft say before he was culled for being too liberal).

    Stand apart not amongst. Let us see that the birthers and the hussainees are the minority of the objectors.

    Show some commitment and harass them . get rid of them then go on protesting the health care plan.
    while you stand there and do noting you are just the sort that is often quoted about.
    Those that let evil happen because they do nothing.
    IF the GOP wants to clean up. Then get to work. We cannot clean up the dirt in your house. that is your job.
    if You say they have their right then say yes but don't tar us with your brush
    they are racists but not you. so let the world know that. or the world will think you are. including your fellow americans.

    And all those that insist on defending the party and pulling these out lies that interestedforeigner did so eloquently describe before condemning those blatant racist comments are ignoring their problem or they are weak but more likely they are racist.

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  • 16. At 06:53am on 17 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    10 ellesar. interesting post.

    I agree money is always the biggest talker.
    you watch most of those that re racist when a multi milliondollar deal comes their way from a arab prince.

    I bet they don't run. but I won't bet on the chances they make a comment to their buddy.

    I'll note that the bar owner was a racist .
    It is hard to take that someone like that isn't effected in their descision by their past views unless they have made it clear that they had it all wrong.

    I do find the spots are hard to washout it can be done but normally it takes chemical means.

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  • 17. At 07:07am on 17 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    14. At 06:40am on 17 Sep 2009, zendigger wrote:

    "I think your informant Mr. Walker hit it on the nail with his comment about economic equality"

    According to the US Census Bureau the median US income in 2008 was more than 2,000 dollars less than it was in 1999 (expressed in 2008 dollars). At the same time (I can't find the original article from a couple of days ago) the income of the wealthiest few per cent of the population has increased hugely.

    Obviously, this substantial reduction in real income and therefore living standards must be one of the causes of the fears being expressed in the so-called 'tea-parties' and marches.

    However, when incomes are reduced so markedly over a decade, the impact on the poorest, who are almost always over-represented among ethnic minorities, is usually the most severe. And it leads inevitably to antagonisms.

    Of what kind, I will leave others to speculate, I think.

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  • 18. At 07:57am on 17 Sep 2009, beadyeyedmonster wrote:

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

  • 19. At 08:02am on 17 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Jimmy Carter has almost never been right, but almost always been wrong.

    As his amply documented public record clearly shows.

    [I say 'has been' because is a 'has been']

    His ineptness and passivity as president were to a large extent responsible for both: Islamic Revolution in Iran and Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

    [I won't even mention the American hostages rescue pathetic fiasco]

    There's a very good reason why pres. Obama's White House has soundly rejected Carter's allegation.

    Every Democratic Party activist knows that having Carter support on any issue is a kiss of death.

    For a very long time DNC has been trying to deny that Jummy Carter has ever existed, remembering very well that his disastrous presidency had made Democrats unelectable for the next 12 years.

    Embittered old Jimmy, trying to hog the limelight again.

    Actually I feel sorry for the poor sod.

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  • 20. At 08:17am on 17 Sep 2009, David wrote:

    If Carter had said "prejudiced" he may have been believed. Prejudging a person before a word comes out of their mouth does still occur ..probably outside the USA, as well.

    Maybe the word "racist" has outlived its meaning or it goes too far-- suggesting the KKK. But, Carter definitely put his finger on something...one can see all the anger/rage pouring out from the right wingers--this will make them incoherant with rage. (they "doth protest too much")

    But, Obama has seemed almost to cringe from the idea--perfect.

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  • 21. At 08:27am on 17 Sep 2009, David wrote:

    #No. 18:

    How is Obama a racist? Is he hateful towards non-mixed raced people? I hadn't noticed that...thank you so much.

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  • 22. At 08:58am on 17 Sep 2009, MostonHead wrote:

    The act of a racist is not to be so blunt and come out with it, but to claim not being racists and find peripheral arguments against black people, we have a party here that claims to be not racists and wants to look after indigenous peoples rights by taking away non whites rights. Its called the BNP and they do it so well that this country has sent them to represent them in europe. While they are underlying white extremists with links to even more extremists groups such as Combat 18 and some of those that domicile in the US. So yes it is about race and always will be when the racists cowards hide their true intentions!

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  • 23. At 09:01am on 17 Sep 2009, MostonHead wrote:

    True racist hide their real intentions, unfortunately for any black or asian it is very hard to know who is and who isnt, it could be your teacher, policeman or even your MP, but if you ask them outright they will always deny it! And what do we have here a guy with links to racists saying he isnt, well forgive me for not believing him!

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  • 24. At 09:02am on 17 Sep 2009, liamardo_007 wrote:

    President Obama is extremely good for America at the moment and we need to give him a chance to find his feet on this big stage. Carter has maybe shot himself in the foot, which is a shame because he's a great man, with wise diplomatic experience who may now lose all respect for speaking out of turn!
    Anyway.. i believe it all comes down to Capitalism, as usuall. It's always the same thing over and over. Keep the poor masses oppressed so they won't be able to understand why they feel the way they do!
    I think the main problems with all our misguided judgements can be explained by psychology. The inherent fears and animal instincs we tend to surpress can confuse our better evaluation. Most anger toward different races, peoples colour and culture goes back to neanderthal man. We are all born with our basic survival animal instinct strongly intact. (lord of the flies?) Leave children to their own devices and they will kill or maim for fun!! It happens! It all comes down to social awareness. To educate and help the poor, who are suffering in society.
    Deny people basic rights to life and they will fall into this ignorant animal way of behaving. But different religions will never allow us to come together. By design, it will naturally keep us all divided and impatient with each other. (I digress.. Sorry!)
    My personal view is, the south is rearing it's ugly head again trying to disguise itself as a relevant point of view.

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  • 25. At 09:06am on 17 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    20. At 08:17am on 17 Sep 2009, stellarBeloved wrote:

    "Maybe the word "racist" has outlived its meaning or it goes too far-- suggesting the KKK."

    The KKK were 'white supremacists', weren't they? (As well.) But that phrase has not outlived its meaning yet, either, I think.

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  • 26. At 09:08am on 17 Sep 2009, VenomPD wrote:

    Nothing like a race debate to bring out the closet racists and the slavering liberals.

    Surely whether Mr. Wilson is a racist or not has no bearing on him shouting "You lie" out in congress. Even if he is a racist; he voiced his opinion on a healthcare debate and said nothing derogatory or in any way racist about President Obama.

    What Mr. Wilson did was not in the etiquette of the U.S Congress or really acceptable in any polite society. However to brand the man racist for shouting the words "You lie" is ridiculous.

    A storm in a teacup is all this is. The saddest thing about this is that it gives voice to real racists and gives them a reluctant hero in Mr. Wilson.

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  • 27. At 09:12am on 17 Sep 2009, serialcoins wrote:

    When many black people in America were asked why they were voting for Obama, they said it was because he was black. Now, and when the TARP measures were being pushed through, critics of Obama and the stimulus package were labelled racist. Obama can't really win here and I think it is best if he just ignores all the side issues and try to push through the health reforms as best he can. I think Obama is clever enough to realise that the side issues may be the very thing which means the bill eventually is passed, and he is using them to his advantage.

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  • 28. At 09:22am on 17 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

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

  • 29. At 09:25am on 17 Sep 2009, yellowdread wrote:

    Who in their right mind would admit racism as a motivating factor in their criticism of President Obama? Only the staunchest of Dixie supporters, those true blue Confederate flag waving fools have the nerve and the decency to admit their true feelings for the American President. Most white southerners will never show their true colours. The fact that former President Carter's words have struck a chord points to a deep rooted cynicism in many white Americans. Most of them are in denial regarding their own feelings. There is no doubt in my mind that had this whole issue of health care been presented by say, Mr. McCain (had he won) their might still be a great deal of anger, but certainly no accusations of lying and tyranny, and what amount to calls for revolution. American beware: the south may still rise again.

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  • 30. At 09:26am on 17 Sep 2009, Colin Wright wrote:

    It's a stray comment -- but one thing I have to note is the perpetuation in this piece of the prevailing assumption that there is more racism in the South than elsewhere in the country.

    If anything, it's the reverse. I used to share this belief -- but then I spent about twelve years self-employed as a long distance mover. Went EVERYWHERE, and repeatedly.

    In my experience, racial hostility is definitely greatest in the Northeast -- by which I mean everything in the triangle bound by Chicago, Boston, and Washington DC. It's hard to compare the West and the South, as people just aren't as ridiculously outgoing in the West as they are in the South -- but allowing for that, it would be about the same.

    Generally speaking, Blacks and Whites manage to get along in the West and South. There're certainly problems, but day to day -- it's okay. In the Northeast on the other hand...you could cut the air of hostility with a knife. I can think of several scenes of integration in everyday life in the South that you would NEVER see in the Northeast.

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  • 31. At 09:27am on 17 Sep 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    The health care reform measures being debated at this time in Washington, DC, are by no means uniquely President Obama's. Even more radical ("generous") measures were initially proposed by John Edwards when he was running for the Democratic nomination. Similar measures were also included in the program Hillary Clinton put forth, in her campaign. (And there were other candidates also in the 2007-2008 race who brought up proposals that included concepts along similar lines.) All these ideas have been thoroughly documented in the materials the various campaigns posted on their websites.

    President Obama is right to dismiss Jimmy Carter's comments, even though those comments are not entirely without foundation. President Obama has scrupulously pointed out that his health reform proposals have indeed been influenced by some of the ideas articulated by his rivals in the race. David Axelrod, his senior advisor, has been famously associated with both Edwards and the Clintons in their aspirations.

    Furthermore, there is really not much novelty in any of the suggestions being bandied about. Americans have been begging for, and arguing over, a more straightforward and less costly health care delivery system for many decades. After all, it was already a burning issue when Ted Kennedy last ran in 1980.

    Were anyone but Mr Obama the President today, would the Republicans be attacking proposed health care reforms as vehemently? Of course -- and possibly even more gracelessly.

    Wilson's ridiculous, sophomoric outburst during the President's speech owes more to boorishness and playing to the galleries than racism.

    American politics at the federal level is a combat sport. That is hardly a secret. The stakes are high; tempers are overheated; opinions differ over who will gain more votes how -- Democratic candidates by ramming through any kind of "visionary" reform, or Republicans by "standing up for the American way of life" (e.g. preserving the untenable status quo).

    We are still dealing with the aftermath of Bush-Cheney extremism that culminated in the global financial meltdown. Shamefully, shamelessly, Republicans have rallied behind the bogus achievements (as they perceive them to be) of the Bush era and are attempting to shield the people most responsible for financial abuse (including the grotesquely bloated insurance sector) from any serious attempts to impose limits, accountability, reasonable practices.

    One of the reasons so many American households, my own included, continue to sink deeper into difficulty has been that the financial systems of the US have forgotten the lesson about not biting the hands that feed them. Their insatiable greed has impoverished the very populace it most depends on, and now, rather than accept the reality -- Americans need a break from being ripped-off by banks, lenders & insurers -- they have harnessed the least reasonable elements in the Republican Party and are driving them hard, whipping them up in a desperate attempt to prevent the very changes without which the broad economic recovery that they themselves need so they can carry on, becomes impossible.

    Even the recent statements from various corners "predicting" slow rather than swift recovery are no more than prescriptions (rather than actual forecasts) from the affluent elites who are terrified that things might improve before they have finished their bargain-hunting spree. Nothing suits them quite so much as the fire sale taking place worldwide; a quicker pace of recovery would introduce competitive bidders for the assets they hope to continue snapping up on the cheap. Fascinating, how the most eloquent proponents of market capitalism free from any oversight -- in the name of open competition -- generally tend to band together to resist attempts at broadening the playing field by allowing more people to ascend into affluence. That is one kind of competition they cannot endorse.

    So it is in this case. The real reason Mr Wilson's camp doesn't want more Americans to have more discretionary income available to them, along with better health, is that they like things just as they are -- working in their own favour, and limiting access to their privileged circumstances.

    This has more to do with thickness of wallet than colour of skin, however.

    Mr Carter gives a name to their resistance to Mr Obama's efforts, and calls it "racism." The wrenching legacy of the horrific history shared by the vast majority of Americans of African descent is still a very potent poison. Unfortunately, it has become almost impossible to convince millions of Americans of all races that there are many more millions of Americans who, like myself, having had no part of that bitter & shameful history, have no part whatsoever in the racism shouting match.

    When Newsweek runs a cover with a close-up of an infant with the ominous caption "!s Your Baby Racist?" it is safe to say that basic decency and common sense have taken a hit in the American self-concept.

    Ultimately, the people whose worldview is so completely bound up in the history of their own private demons are the selfsame elite Americans, the descendants of slave owners and slave traders, who find it difficult to imagine that there are identities, families, societies, nations on this planet whose concerns, beliefs and experiences have never in any way been touched or shaped by thoughts about "racial supremacy" or correlating skin hue to any destiny, quality or trait.

    Thank you, Mr Obama, for reminding people that indeed not everyone, even in America, is consumed with obsessions about race -- even though some on all sides will, disgracefully, still stoop to using race as a point of some kind in an argument they are losing.

    The real trouble with Wilson's comment has to do with that other huge dilemma all Americans today confront: what to do about illegal immigration and its underground, off-the-books economy that operates on the fringes of US society, in defiance of the tax code, and now demands amnesty, e.g. via the loosening of statutes criminalising drugs or brothels (which we know employ undocumented and even enslaved wretches); what to do about counterfeit Social Security (and other) documents, about unscrupulous doctors and storefronts that deal in counterfeit medical services or false billing. These are legitimate concerns. The folks like the astronaut who plead, "There are no borders visible when viewing the planet from outer space," are being hopelessly naive if they imagine an increasingly impoverished America can afford to pay for the health needs of a mushrooming population of destitute gate-crashers (as it were) whose actual numbers can only be vaguely estimated. Compassion for the suffering of people who arrive in America by mistake, one way or another, or through the exertions of networks of smugglers and human traffickers, has to go hand in hand with some kind of method for making them somehow contribute to the economic viability of the system. Anything else is abuse of a credulous, gullible public.

    Even though President Obama was not my first choice as a candidate, there is no doubt in my mind that he and his people are indeed trying to do a good job addressing some seriously neglected, difficult & pressing needs that most Americans do wish to see addressed & resolved. Wilson and his Republican coterie are posturing and being unhelpful. They need to shove their egos aside and work on helping hammer out the mechanisms that would prevent & prosecute abuse, instead of simply shouting out insults.

    Because it would not be fair to levy a fine on a single American family that cannot afford to buy insurance even with whatever "fair" price scheme Congress arrives at (how well do Congressmen & women understand what it is like to attempt to live on say $3000/month in America today?) -- before there has been any kind of concerted, coordinated effort to recover assets and penalties from all kinds of medical corporations and medical offices all over the US that have enriched themselves obscenely falsifying charges billable to the US Treasury via Medicare. Clean up the existing mess before you increase opportunities for fraud.

    That would be a fair argument to make against broadening government promises to pay. But few Republicans are making it: laissez-faire capitalism is after all not averse to ill-gotten wealth.

    The only US political leader who has publicly spoken out against medical billing fraud has been President Obama. The details of how he intends to go after the thieves remain to be laid out. The best, believe me, is yet to come -- because the monumentality of medical fraud in America eclipses even Enron, and Madoff.

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  • 32. At 09:29am on 17 Sep 2009, U14138637 wrote:

    The US Republican party could describe itself as a 'broad church', a term used by the UK Conservatives. There is a wide spectrum of views within it. President Carter has highlighted one part of that spectrum. The Carolinas gave the world Senators Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms, so it's hardly a surprise that the Democrats (who don't have a spotless record on racial issues in the South) see an undercurrent, not just to Senator Wilson's outburst, but to the hyperbole and rage being whipped up currently.

    There is an element within the Republicans for which race does play a part. No doubt about that. If you seriously think that's untrue, I'd be interested in selling you a bridge across the Thames - very attractive, tower at either end.

    However, there's a far larger element for which healthcare, and what they call 'socialism', stands on its own as an issue of ideology. They see this as big government. As a Brit, I think they're wrong in their resistance to something that most developed countries take for granted, and I suspect eventually they will (not to mention probably denying they were ever against it in the first place). But I don't doubt that for the majority of repubs, this is an ideological, not racial, issue.

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  • 33. At 09:50am on 17 Sep 2009, liamardo_007 wrote:

    Mostynhead:
    It's easy enough to blame any situation on rascism. All opinions come 'loaded' with peoples experience and ideas..
    This arguement is not about that. Chill out with that rasp.
    Every finger you point has 3 pointing back at yourself.

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  • 34. At 10:42am on 17 Sep 2009, verycynicalskeptic wrote:

    It’s not about race it’s about stupidity. Anyone who thinks that Insurance companies have their best interests in mind is frankly an idiot (or a stock holder). This reinforces my contempt for the USA, as if that could get any worse, leaving me with the question why are we engaging with these fools and how can we disentangle ourselves from their influence?

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  • 35. At 10:50am on 17 Sep 2009, Oakstreams wrote:

    Dear Mark - just to say that you are an excellent blogger. I already enjoyed your posts on Europe and now I am following with great interest your explorations of the US.

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  • 36. At 11:00am on 17 Sep 2009, chrisasmith wrote:

    Right wing extremists have taken over the Republican Party. Their leaders are hate-talkers like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity & Bill O'Reilly. Republican congressmen are just articulating the hatred which has been engendered amongst the Teabaggers, Birthers and Deathers.

    Racists in the US have plenty of cover behind the corrosive and virulent political partisanship, which wraps itself in the flag and carries a cross.

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  • 37. At 11:04am on 17 Sep 2009, spannerdan4 wrote:

    I think President Carter probably knows more about the underlying attitudes of US politicians than most people, certainly anyone in the UK. Perhaps it's simply that he can tell it how it is for the first time. It's easy to brand Wilson a racist. Just as easy to disguise your racism behing party political issues. The BNP will tell you they have a rational economic argument against immigration.

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  • 38. At 11:13am on 17 Sep 2009, Stoichio wrote:

    Most Republicans proabably think that Obama should be spending those tax dollars on a new war instead of trying to do something as idealistic as more equal access to health care.

    How much did the health insurance industry in America contriube to Republican and Democrat campaign coffers during the last election?

    How many Republican and Democrat congressman sit on the boards of health insurance companies?

    How many vested interests do Republican and Democrat congessman have in the health insurance industry?

    Does anyone know?

    It's probably not just about ideology, just as much about who fills thier campaign coffers.


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  • 39. At 11:18am on 17 Sep 2009, brian1121 wrote:

    @19

    The Christian Science Monitor had a nice reevaluation of Carter's presidency back in January: http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0105/p09s03-coop.html

    I think Obama disagrees with Carter just because he doesn't want his presidency to be mired in racism claims. I think the best of Carter's comments was how equating the president to Hitler was not part of debate on health care. Even with Democrats bending pretty soundly to give Republicans what they want on the bill, they still refuse to have anything to do with it.

    For a nation that many people like to claim is Christian, I am always troubled by people who don't want to help people or forgive them of anything ever.

    If any more progress is going to be made on any of these issues, some people are going to have to take a long hard look in the mirror and decide to either be a force for moving forward or a force for moving backward.

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  • 40. At 11:19am on 17 Sep 2009, TheFirstRalph wrote:

    People don't like Obama's policies, his numbers go down in the polls, then up pops a senior Democrat to call his opponents racist. Sad but predictable as is how so many journalists either can't or don't want to see this for what it is.

    32: Both the Democrats and the Republicans have attracted their fair share of racists so it's not one sided. It's easy of course for those in the media to find those fringes and tar a whole party with their views. The Bush administration was very diverse racially, ironically more so than Obama's yet called racist by some. Sadly empty wagons often make the most noise.

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  • 41. At 11:26am on 17 Sep 2009, teeber1 wrote:

    The title of this piece is inaccurate:
    There are two Carolinas. They are very different places
    geographically, economically and politically.
    And of course much of the nasty, uncivil anti-Obama
    behavior is based in racism. Read the comments of Glenn Beck,
    Pat Buchanan and Rush Limbaugh. The good old days,
    when white folks -- even those with nothing else -- still had
    power over black folks, are over. They don't
    like it.

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  • 42. At 11:47am on 17 Sep 2009, acceptableconorf wrote:

    Are we living in a post-racist world? In a way it's almost refreshing. I've had bar stool conversations with republicans who despise Obama and utterly distrust Hilary Clinton but it genuinely has nothing to do with race or gender. The same people would very happily vote for someone like Condaleesa Rice or Colin Powell. Much as I respect former President Carter I think he was wrong to call Obama's critics racist - it's a very nasty accusation for any decent minded person.

    The US health care debate has more to do with atavistic distrust of 'big government'. To European eyes it seems excessive, even absurd, but it was one of the original raisons d'etre for the American Revolution and seems stitched into the DNA of the average american.

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  • 43. At 11:52am on 17 Sep 2009, constantchange wrote:

    It might not be the majority, but I am sure a lot of u.s. citizens are actually thinking something the likes of "why should I pay for black and hispanic healthcare".
    But I agree, race is not (at all?) the main issue here.

    The question is why those americans who dare to call themselves patriots happily and quickly agree to spend billions on a war and rebuilding a country (all that money goes into the pockets of: Weapon Manufaturers, Banks, Foreign (Iraqui) companies, ..), are so unbelievably unhappy and reluctant to pay for their fellow citizens well being.

    Its a shame, and not for any moral reasons (thats left to each indivdual), but clearly a society with these kind of values is not sustainable.

    I am happy and proud I grew up in a country with free medical (and educational) access for everybody, and fact without that I might not be here, and if with loads of bad teeht and as a result - maybe no job.

    That this has to be discussed in a "civilised" country like the US that used to boast about being the "good guys", ist just a big sad shame. Even more so baring in mind, that the US holds a few billionaers who could pay for the whole lot out of their private pocket (and we all know that money was not printed by those billionaers. It was formerly owned by a lot of normal people, and "somehow" ended up where it is now).

    Good luck though, I really hope (and somehow believe) that I have a wrong impression here, and the majority of americans are actually interested in peace and a certain standard of living.

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  • 44. At 11:54am on 17 Sep 2009, Sea Hoke Drama wrote:

    As an Englishman who lives in Columbia, South Carolina I can tell you that racism still exists- but not always in the form that you would imagine and it seems to be strongly based on wealth.

    Poorer and less-educated people of all races (including blacks) have terrible race problems. (of course I'm generalising it isn't true for all people). There is an awfull lot of poverty here still in South Carolina. For some reason- being in poor or in poverty makes one more resentfull of other races.

    More prosperous people of both races and those more educated seem to get along fine. Many of the more educated and successfull blacks I know think the whole race issue is rediculous and an excuse.


    Racism goes both ways here in the US: I moved to the US during high school- and in a "home room" class (think Tutorial back in England) I was first to arrive on my first day and sat down at a desk... as others started filing in I noticed the room start to self-segregate and one black student glared at me and asked "why you on our side whitey?"

    Another ironic statement that made me surprised was when a black neighbour commented that he didn't like the Mexican's moving into the area because they lowered property value. Ironic because that is what white-racists used to say about blacks.


    Obviously racism is still in existance here- but it exists amongst all the races- and seems to prosper best amongst those that prosper least.

    For those that do well for themselves the races live in harmony- it for those who are on the otherside of the divide (and there are lots of them) that hostile thoughts still occur.

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  • 45. At 12:01pm on 17 Sep 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    I readily admit an affinity to BBQ, particularly baby back ribs, baked beans, corn on the cob, and a healthy serving of grits, but as a resident of a southern state I vehemently disagree with the insinuation that this part of the country is the only area where racism still exists.

    When I asked one of my neighbors, who is from NYC, why he was a registered Republican considering that he encourages both of his two children to collect welfare (both are in their late 20s and are, allegedly, bi-polar) his response was crystal clear: because the Democratic party was the party of blacks. This is the same guy that insists that my ancestry can not be from Spain and that they were probably born in Portugal!

    Ignorance and racism can be found everywhere. It is not limited to the South. and a cursory review of history and current events clearly prove that it is not limited to the USA.

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  • 46. At 12:06pm on 17 Sep 2009, AntoCapra wrote:

    And by the way, it is not proper protocol to refer to Mr. Carter as "President Carter." He is "former president Carter" or "Mr. Carter."

    it is proper protocol to refer to any former president of the USA simply as 'President' actually. Once the title has been elected to an individual it is permanent. I have read other BBC articles where 'former' or simply 'Mr.' have been used, and always found that to be rude.

    Mr. Obama happens to be our 'Current President'

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  • 47. At 12:07pm on 17 Sep 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Former President Carter is entitled to his opinion, and while I agree that race is a factor, I am convinced that it is not the main reason for the protests and overt hatred we have seen recently. Race is being used as a bait to energize the most radical elements of our society, but most of the protesters are not racists and are expressing their views or opposition because of legitimate concerns, questions that have not been answered properly, ideology and, yes, ignorance.

    From a political strategy perspective raising the healthcare reform issue during his first term in office was a huge mistake for Obama and the Democratic party will pay the price in 2010. Hopefully he will not touch illegal immigration next year or he can say goodbye to his re-election chances...

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  • 48. At 12:17pm on 17 Sep 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    I am sure that race has a part to play in some people’s response to the proposals, from talking to some Americans I know that some of them dislike Obama because of the colour of his skin, more than because of his opinions and ideas. Luckily for most of those Americans Obama’s opinions and ideas only go to reinforce these people’s dislike.

    I have read this and related discussions with interest and a growing sense of horror. I have discussed my opinions with fellow Brits whose ideologies differ severely from my own (am rather left leaning, my work colleagues are all for more right wing sympathetic) and we all agree large chunks of the American population seem to be slightly nuts. I work in a very well paid job, I have private health insurance, but I have no issue with subsidising the British NHS, even my most right-wing of work mates feels the same, though he will continually moan about the ‘human dross’ that ‘sponge’ of the health service.

    The semi-Malthusian mind set displayed by some of US posters literally sends shudders of horror through my system. The idea that people get the level of health service they deserve, based solely on what they can afford is personally abhorrent. I have no issue with people paying extra to get more, hey that’s what I do, but the idea that some people get nothing, because they work in a poorly paid job and that’s okay is just morally wrong.

    I have a reasonable amount of respect for the American population and normally far less for its semi-imperialist government, I find it odd that this time my opinion is reversed.

    Also it is slightly funny to see that some Americans think that Obama is a Socialist, meaning that they obviously have never actually met one! One last thing Powermeerkat, if you are going to harp on about a certain Democrat have the guts to name them. As for what would Jesus say? Feh, couldn’t care less really.

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  • 49. At 12:20pm on 17 Sep 2009, American Sport Fan wrote:

    Ummm Mark, I hate to tell you this but the confederate flag is a symbol of hatred. Or atleast it should be recognized as a symbol of hate. That flag represents a system of racial repression and a time when African Americans were kept in chains, and forced to work the cotton fields while their white owners sat around the Plantation House and drank Mint Julips. The Confederacy was founded in part because Southern States believed that Abraham Lincoln, the duly elected President of the United States was going to end Slavery.

    If those largely white citixens in BBQ reesturant do not believe that race has anything to do with the criticisms of President Obama, I believe they should take a good look at themselves. They will not like what they see. There is an old saying here in the states that goes something like this: If you are not part of the Solution, you are part of the problem. These people who proudly fly the Confederate Battle Flag, and praise Jefferson DAvis as a "Good Man who stood for the South" are a part of the Problem. I have news for the people of South Carolina, Georgia, and the rest of the eleven states that tried to secceed from the Union. They lost the Civil war. The cause that the confederacy fought for was neither just nor honorable. Why don't they just admit the fact that they lost and move on. The sooner these people can do that, the better off this country will be.

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  • 50. At 12:26pm on 17 Sep 2009, blogMasoud wrote:

    Dear Mark
    Forget the race row now that VP Biden is in Iraq we should ask what went wrong in Iraq? Why we are giving Iraq to Iran after so many British and American lives were lost to make it "democratic". There are several people on hunger strike in front of he White House and more in front of US embassy in London for 50 days now. They are suffering seriously and risking their health and their lives in order to save the lives of their loved ones in Ashraf.
    As a result of a raid against the camp on 28 and 29th of July 2009, 11 people are dead and 450 seriously injured and 36 kidnapped by Iraqi security forces on the order of Nori Al Maleki, Iraqi PM who was following order of Iran's Supreme leader Ali Khamenei. All this happened when US forces were watching and did nothing to stop it. Amnesty International has issued 9 urgent calls on this subject. You can see the latest here: http://www.amnesty.org.au/news/comments/21676/
    As Lord Carlile said in a recent meeting in Parliament: "I am bemused that this is being whispered amongst journalists but does not feature as a major humanitarian scandal in British media".
    So far there has been no official condemnation by American or British officials, while as partners to coalition in Iraq they are both legally and morally responsible. The Americans are dragging their feet too. Obama is hell-bent for shaking the bloody hand of Ahmadinejad and is reluctant to do more than "monitoring" the situation. We need more action. The 36 abducted residents of Ashraf are on hunger strike too along with hundreds of other people around the globe.
    I beg you for the sake of the lives that are going to be lost, if this ordeal continues a few more days, to act and bring this scandal to the attention of British people.

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  • 51. At 12:28pm on 17 Sep 2009, CJ Vasani wrote:

    You know what I don't get? It's the fact that Obama is half-white, raised by a white mother and grandmother with white relatives. Relatively smart dude compared to you and me and realized that he can advantage of his black appearance by marrying into black (although, i don't blame him, Michelle is stunning!). To me, he remains more white than black. Idiots will always discriminate based on looks. Exactly how they discriminate Hindus/Sikhs thinking they are muslims. To add - discrimination based on looks is wrong. If you want to hate, hate the stupidity and ignorance. Hate the selfishness and negligence for humanity. You'll find plenty of that in all communities. Give it a start.

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  • 52. At 12:44pm on 17 Sep 2009, _marko wrote:

    To powermeerkat #28

    RE: The world of unanswered questions

    Can I humbly request you attempt to answer those posed by Stoichio in post #38?

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  • 53. At 12:45pm on 17 Sep 2009, becesteve wrote:

    Racism is the belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities,
    I am white, I criticise this president
    Carter and others say that I must be racist.
    So who is truely racist in this discussion?

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  • 54. At 12:53pm on 17 Sep 2009, fwsober wrote:

    You're still showing as Mark Mardell's Euroblog in the navigation, did you know?

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  • 55. At 12:55pm on 17 Sep 2009, louisenj wrote:

    Piggy Park diners have every reason to deny that "racism," as they would define it, still exists. Ask them what they think racism means and how racist people act - and then compare *that* answer to what your Mac's on Main Street diners have to say.
    It's easy to deny that the white hoods and refusal to serve, or even out-and-out hatred based on race still occurs. But immediate bigotry based on an assumption of what skin color means is still aplenty, all over this country. A certain color is associated with criminality, with lower educational standards, with levels of cleanliness, deference, punctuality, and even preferences in food, music, and churches.
    Ask your diners how the blacks and whites in America live differently; it will be spelled out clearly. But the whites will say that the economic and residential differences are by choice; the blacks will say it's by silent coercion.
    Of course your white diners say there is no racism; that way, they can have their cake and eat it too. That's because the black diners have to pay for it.

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  • 56. At 1:01pm on 17 Sep 2009, ann arbor wrote:

    Sorry, I protest against Obama's policies because of the policies. Obama is no different than any other career Chicago politician, except his deception, theft, and graft have tapped into the Federal Treasury.

    Obama is a lawyer and well-articulated wordsmith. His words are meaningless if they are not congruent with his actions and demonstrated attitudes.

    Obama taught and enabled ACORN to disrupt a bank's operations in Chicago until they (ACORN) received their "parity" or "consideration". (AKA extortion).

    Obama talked of "transparancy", but resorted to secrecy and "czars" when so many of his "acquaintances" and "appointments" proved to be criminals, tax evaders, convicted active domestics terrorists, racists (reverse discrimination). (names withheld so the posting is not rejected)

    Obama talks of fiscal responsibility while he is well on his way to add the equivalent of 4 Bush years or debt in his first year. Nevermind the "transparency" while Geithner creates and distributes money from our treasury without Congressional (or any other) oversight.

    Obama talks of "fairness" and "rights" with regards to monetary distribution and healthcare. No doubt, the recipients find this very fair. In this regard, Obama has done NOTHING to increase the nation's ability to produce goods and services and contribute to the Gross National Product. (The only jobs created are government, which are a distraction to wealth.)

    "Entitlement without production requires EXTORTION from the productive."

    This extortion, disregard for personal property, disregard for fiscal responsibility, disregard for accountability, disregard for the right to conduct business, ..., is the reason I protest.

    I am protesting again the triad of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid. It is not a race issue. It is not a Republican issue. I am quite educated and informed and do not use partisan media (on either side) as the basis of my opinion or information.

    Obama lied when presenting his HealthCare to Congress. My friends, peers, and I have read the bills before Congress. As a wordsmith, Obama lied regarding the covering of illegal aliens. By its very nature, unless it is specifically excluded, a lawyer (ACLU) can argue it is implicitly included. The bill was carefully crafted to make this possible.

    To bring up "race" as a basis of dissent is simply distracting from the issues that are brought before us. In a debate, it is what you do when you are caught and can not defend your position or actions.

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  • 57. At 1:13pm on 17 Sep 2009, hackinfrance wrote:

    "Mr Obama is looking to promote economic equality, and that is what some whites cannot stand, and call socialism."

    And they're probably quite right.

    Capitalism, and thus the "American Dream", relies heavily in economic inequality, otherwise there would be no dream to chase.

    For wealth to be definable, it must be juxtaposed against poverty, otherwise what would be the point?

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  • 58. At 1:26pm on 17 Sep 2009, StrongJohn10856 wrote:

    As someone who returned to the America South after living for over 30 years in other parts of the county, it's my observation that overt racism is largely, if not completely, a thing of the past. However, there is an ongoing conflict between the races over the control of civic life that is subtle and pervasive and includes such things as the naming of schools and roads, what statutes will stand in what public spaces, and similar issues.

    Is Rep. Wilson a racist? Probably not. Does he reflect middle class white southerners frustrations with the loss of control of the civic realm? I think so, and with their loss of income as well as others have noted.

    Right now undocumented people receive health care by waiting until a condition becomes life-threatening and then going to the emergency room where they must be treated. They are billed, but are unable to pay, and the system passes the costs on to those with insurance but even more so to the uninsured who do manage to pay for the services that they receive. This state of affairs will not change under any of the plans being discussed in Congress. The undocumented will not be eligible for coverage under any plan, but will continue to get treatment they way that they do now in emergency room and at a much higher cost than if treated early.

    Did the President lie? No. Will the undocumented get health coverage? Sort of.

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  • 59. At 1:33pm on 17 Sep 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #47

    You are right that former President carter has the right to his oppinion. As we have the right to criticize for his bigotry and many errors.

    He did President Obama no favors, because a Rasmuson poll said an overwhelming majority of American have a negative opinion of jimmy Carter.

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  • 60. At 1:34pm on 17 Sep 2009, American Sport Fan wrote:

    To deny that race is a factor in any criticism of President Obama is to deny that the earth is round. There is an element of racism involved in this debate whether we choose to admit it or not. President Carter was absolutely spot on when he made his comments.

    Part of the reason for this is the fact that for years the Republican party has never really been vocal in speaking out against racism. Atleast not as vocal as the Democratic Party has been. Infact, to a certain degree the Republican Party has used the fears of whites in this country to gain votes. It's really said.

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  • 61. At 1:35pm on 17 Sep 2009, Glenn Correya wrote:

    The bottom line is that there is a significant section of American citizens that do not want to see President Obama succeed in the mammoth tasks at hand, including re-building the Economy, Healthcare reform, Climate change, Iraq & Afghanistan, to name just a few.

    The fact that Obama has so far proved to be among the better presidents the US has had in the recent past is not helping at all!!

    Another point: I find it pretty strange and amusing that America regards socialism as such a dirty word despite the fact that the Government virtually owns almost everything of value thanks to the huge tax dollars that have gone into propping up the crumbling economy!

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  • 62. At 1:44pm on 17 Sep 2009, TellMeLies wrote:

    Honey, the people in the barber shops are the real racists in this whole story. These are the people who most likely voted for Obama for the sole reason that he is black, as evidenced by the fact that they are incapable of accepting any other reason as to why the President would have so much anger leveled at him. Most of them never voted before in their lives for that very reason in spite of the fact that if "whitey" really was half as bigoted as they themselves are, then they would still be slaves today, they would not have the right to vote today, the right and ability to attend college today, or have the right and ability to walk into any mall, workplace, or big box store without harassment. I'm sick and tired of hearing about this social inequality "manure" as well. Plenty of other kids of all the other races are growing up in abusive homes with absentee parents in bad neighborhoods, but you don't hear them using it as an excuse. Friends who have given up on teaching in bad neighborhoods have said they just don't want to listen and advance. Black friends of mine have been beaten and threatened by their fellow black students for doing well in school. Colleges across the country have sat with empty slots and scholarships waiting for black students to fill the holes being left open for them when qualified students of other races are being sent away. How do I know? I'm one "African-American" who decided to hell with my own and I walked through those open doors. I didn't go around killing dogs in fights, getting the neighborhood kids hooked on drugs, getting knocked up, or running around shooting up my 'hood just because someone said something about someone else or wore the wrong stupid color. I pulled myself up out of homelessness with no public assistance, no welfare, no food stamps, and now I have a job that pays enough to support my family, a house of my own that I bought, health insurance I paid for, and I'm trying to reduce my debts and build my retirement as we speak. So these people only have themselves to blame and it makes me angry that they still blame "whitey" for their problems when their problems come from a culture of drugs, sex, liquor, rap, and basketball and holding each other down. I don't want a dime of my hard-earned money to pay for their laziness and their poor choices in life. If any 3rd world immigrant can come here and make it on their own, if I can make it as I did, then they can get off it and stop shoveling the poop. I don't blame my white neighbors for being nervous at first when I moved into their neighborhood because it seems every time someone from my own race moves in, they move some ignorant fool cousin or grandson in with them who starts shooting up the place, dragging up their scrubs, cranking their rap, selling drugs, and acting a fool. My neighbors love me now because I don't let my odorous cousins anywhere near my neighborhood and I expect my kids to be well-behaved Americans, not gangsta thugs. I vote Republican, and I don't think what Obama is doing is right for those of us who deserve what we have because we earned it. I don't want my leg up to come on the back of someone who deserves to keep what they worked hard to get.

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  • 63. At 1:44pm on 17 Sep 2009, UNCtarheel1977 wrote:

    King was right in 1968 in Memphis, it is NOT about race, it is about poverty. One of the comments from the black BBQ store owner seems directly to the point and reflects King's position from 40+ years ago in Memphis:
    "Mr Walker's analysis is interesting too. Social equality, he says, has been achieved - a black man with money can walk in anywhere - but Mr Obama is looking to promote economic equality, and that is what some whites cannot stand, and call socialism."

    Those who exploit the poor, want to keep them ignorant and fearful, use xenophobia, in this case the race card, to do so. Other such cards are the immigrant card (hardly a new idea, the people already here have always looked down upon the new arrivals since the 1600's. Nor is this limited to the USA.)

    The real issue is now, as it has been, at its heart an economic issue. The line for the Civil War era movie The Gangs of New York, shows the sentiment then and now, "We can always get one half of the poor to kill the other half."

    So, what is my point here? The current attack by the GOP on public education is just the most recent evolution of this policy. The emphasis on rote learning required by over testing, diminishes critical thinking. (One could say it diminishes thinking of any kind.)

    A prime example of this occurred recently at Congressman John Linder's town hall meeting. The "Tea Party" crowd was out in full voice in an overflow audience. Much cheering at the usual right wing jingoism by the Rush Limbaugh "Dittoheads". Feeding this frenzy, Linder said, within a 2 minute period, that the "Obamacare" public option was a bad idea and that the government was incapable of running a healthcare system. He then was asked about protecting Medicare by a woman who said she was 90, to which he replied that he was all for protecting Medicare and "I am on Medicare myself." Both comments were greeted by the Dittoheads with shouts and applause while the few people who were actually listening where looking around with the "Huh?" look on their faces.

    Ignorance is the currency of the oppressor and exploiter. That is why the job of those supporting public education is so difficult in the USA.

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  • 64. At 1:45pm on 17 Sep 2009, Sea Hoke Drama wrote:

    AmericanSportsFan,

    Regarding the Confederate Battle Flag and succession. Yes, for many it is a rallying symbol and a mark of racism. However, for many it's just a symbol of regional pride. (you see lots of car bumper stickers with the flag and 'Heritage not hate' written on it).

    The Confederate Battle Flag has different meanings for different people. For many in the South, whether it be denial or a differnt view I know not, but they consider slavery to be just one issue amongst many that led to the civil war. Some of the reasons for war, can be seen as justified- although certainly slavery was not. I, for one, would not like to know what the world would be like if the US were not one country today... one more continent forever at war no doubt. I'm sure over time other states would have split away.

    People in South Carolina (black and white) are forever arguing about the Confederate Battle Flag flying above the confederate memorial on State grounds.

    It does seem odd to me after learning that South Carolina never used the Confederate Battle Flag for any of their armies, instead various other flags were used during the war. Perhaps one of those flags with less of a controversial sentiment behind them would make a good compromise. Why fly a flag honouring your state's dead when none of your soldiers ever fought under that flag?


    Incidentally the confederate flag and the confederate battle flag are two differnt flags- the former looking more like the current US flag with fewer stars/bars. I'm sure the author meant the confederate battle flag- (having seen it flying from several local BBQ restaurants).


    BBQ restaurants as a choice of theme for this article is an interesting one- there is one local BBQ restaurant owner who is well known for his admiration of the KKK. I wonder if the author knew this and if so why it was not mentioned.

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  • 65. At 1:46pm on 17 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    So now we know: if a highly popular white president from the South, such as, e.g., Bill Clinton, would have presented a smilar health care reform bill it would have sailed through Congress.

    Ooops, Bill Clinton actually DID present such a bill and he and his wife worked very hard to have it passed.

    And yet it was soundly rejected by the Congress, in which Democrats were in the majority.

    Ditto, by the American public, which is a matter of a public record.

    What do rasists, who seem to hate American ethnic group called erroneously Caucasians, have to say about that?

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  • 66. At 1:48pm on 17 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:

    9. squirrellist:

    8. At 03:42am on 17 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:

    "This is just as much about what's in the souls of people who see racism in others' words"

    Since I do not believe in the existence of souls, I tend to make my judgement on people's words, actions and behaviours.

    Very, very few people who even have believed they have a soul have ever managed to avoid expressing their innermost beliefs outwardly in at least one of those three ways.

    ************************

    Yes, but words can be interpreted differently, no? "You lie" became "You lie, boy" to the NYT's Maureen Dowd. Did Ms. Dowd have a prediliction for seeing racism in the words of a white male Republican?

    And what of the constant stream of accusations and generalization that Republicans are racists? And what of the Black members of Congress' seeing it as a race-based comment from Wilson? And what of the Black citizens who are happy to see former President Carter calling out a southern White Republican for being racist? And of the Whites who object to what Carter said because they are tired of being called "racist"?

    What lies in the minds of all these people play a role in this incident and contribute to the state of race relations in this country.

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  • 67. At 1:49pm on 17 Sep 2009, sarahjward wrote:

    Cheers to President Carter for saying what many are thinking! And cheers to President Obama for choosing to focus in other areas. Such class these two men have, eh? I'm an American citizen and I'm a Canadian citizen, transplanted to Canada by choice. I voted successfully for President Obama (and for President Carter) and I am proud to watch from afar the hopeful changes to healthcare that are going on. I hope my country of birth will be able to take care of all of its citizens much the same way Canada does. Our healthcare system here is magnificent. Pattern it after ours and all will be cared for equally. Keep up the valiant work, Mr. President's.

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  • 68. At 2:00pm on 17 Sep 2009, earlthorpe wrote:

    As a resident of the Deep South, I would say more people down here are for the president than against. The old ways are long gone give white people a break.

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  • 69. At 2:10pm on 17 Sep 2009, KeithFromUS wrote:

    # 44. Sea-hoke... Drama!!!!! (response)

    Wow, I think you hit the nail on the head! My father once told me, "there is nothing a white man with a nickel hates more than a black man with a dime." when I asked why racism exists.

    I served in the military, US Air Force, and race was such a rare issue, but then again we where all equal both economically and as airmen.

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  • 70. At 2:23pm on 17 Sep 2009, Mrbowtie wrote:

    I was called a racist when I said I was for tax cuts. I was called a racist when I questioned the need for additional gun control. I am now being called a racist because I oppose a very poorly written health care bill. (By the way, because the bill has no provision for demonstrating citizenship before participating in the health care program, it will insure illegal aliens. Unlike Great Britain, our borders are wide open.) Although racism is a very serious crime, the word itself has lost its meaning. It now seems to mean that one does not agree completely with every dingbat idea the left proposes. This fact makes Mr. Bush's "You are either with us or against us." seem mild. The current Democrat sentiment seems to be, "You are either with us or you are a racist."

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  • 71. At 2:26pm on 17 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:

    34. verycynicalskeptic: "It’s not about race it’s about stupidity. Anyone who thinks that Insurance companies have their best interests in mind is frankly an idiot (or a stock holder)."

    *********************
    I don't know of anyone who has said they believe the insurance companies have their best interests in mind. Where have you heard this?

    What I have heard is that they don't believe the government, by virtue of its size and incapability, will serve their best interests.

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  • 72. At 2:31pm on 17 Sep 2009, pcastine wrote:

    I'm sorry, but when I see signs at protests using the word "N"-word to describe anyone, let alone the President; when I see lynch mob atmosphere, with pictures of hangings; when I see people carrying guns to public demonstrations… explain to me how this is not racist.

    No, not everyone protesting is racist. But I don't see how anyone can pretend there were no racial motivation whatsoever in these protests.

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  • 73. At 2:35pm on 17 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    There is little or no evidence that the current protests against Pesident Obama are motivated by racism. This is pure political puffery to divert attention away from the real issues and de-legitimize the criticisms of his performance that have both validity and credibility.

    The socialist medical insurance plan is the last straw that has lanced a boil of seething anger among much of the American public. That anger is not confined to President Obama but to Congress too. This is the result of the poor performace of the economy, the bail out of large banks and other mega corporations often with CEOs getting huge bonuses at taxpayer expense while the average American has lost or is in jeopardy of losing his job, his home, all the things he worked for all his life. The medical insurance plan looks to be one more very expensive new government program that will result in a large increase in taxes on the middle class. This is what Americans are demonstrating about and they are right. President Obama did lie. The top 5% of income earners in the US can't possibly be taxed enough to pay for his program. He is long on rhetoric and short on details about how he can pull this off and still keep his campaign promises not to raise taxes on the majority of Americans.

    The accusations of racism being a serious factor in this is ludicrous. This would have happened under the same circumstances no matter what the President's color is. Was it racism when there were street demonstrations against Presidents Johnson and Nixon? This IS the American way. Get used to it Mr. Mardell. You will likely see more of it and if you talk to the protestors, you may find that many of them supported and voted for President Obama.

    As for President Carter, as I said in the last thread, he's America's crazy old uncle who many of us wish would stay shut up in his room and not embarass us in public. He'd never have been elected in the first place if the American public hadn't been so angry at President Ford's pardon of President Nixon after he resigned.

    The revelatoins about Acorn will be used by conservative Republicans the same way they used Whitewater, file gate, travel gate, Monica Lewinski get to attack President Clinton. This time they may have a real shot at destroying a president depending on what other revelations come out and how the President reacts to them.

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  • 74. At 2:40pm on 17 Sep 2009, carolinalady wrote:

    Y'all: Not that my comments are the final, definitive ones, but I do live in the South, am white, am a liberal Democrat and support all sorts of progressive causes. I've mentioned before in this forum that there is nothing so humbling as having one's preconceived notions about one's liberal values upset by running head-on into one's own lack of sensitivity in the casual use of language. If one says something "innocuous," like wanting to see a statement made in "black and white"...even that has racial overtones among the community at large the South. The point is that WE DON'T EVEN SEE IT (or hear it)for the most part. Hence, the movement -- once we have our conciousness raised -- toward political correctness. That is why you'll see white Southerners say they're NOT RACISTS and black Southerners snort derisively in response. That is why so many white Southerners are upset with President Carter (oh, btw, it is, indeed, how he is addressed...former officials are given the title) for speaking the ugly truth. A brave man, the former President...he continues to serve his country well and with distinction.

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  • 75. At 2:40pm on 17 Sep 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    56. youngasterix wrote:
    "Obama is no different than any other career Chicago politician, except his deception, theft, and graft have tapped into the Federal Treasury."


    You do know Obama is a lawyer, don't you?
    I would hope that you have some sort of evidence of "theft, graft and deception" to back up your assertations.

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  • 76. At 2:47pm on 17 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    "Still waiting for any comments from those playing race card here about reports that a well known Congreswoman (a Democrat from California) has co-owned (with her husband) a golf club which has not admitted blacks."

    Power. OK You are the one saying playing the race card.

    and ahving once way back made some really offensive comments that is a laugh.
    but just to answer your question.

    So there is a racist in the dems.
    If you could read you might have noticed I slagged of Hillery several times. indeed I spell her name with an ER.

    and I slagged her off for starting the racism's acceptance.

    So stop trying to pretend that we cannot see the splinter in our eye when your plank is hitting everything in the room.



    28 is spam isn't it.
    I already answered your steel question. do you want all to report in and tell you what they think.
    Why suggest no one did respond?

    Not that you are a liar is it?




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  • 77. At 2:50pm on 17 Sep 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    Sadly the race issue has taken everyone's eye off the ball .... which is supposed to be health care.

    I'm disappointed that Carter threw this race comment out, not because I necessarily disagree, but because he should have realised that it would just create more entrenched closed-mindedness on both sides.

    Sadly racism will always be with us in it's various forms - political correctness in some ways has pushed it "underground".

    In this case I don't believe that Wilson's comment was necessarily racist - his extreme political differences probably trumped any racism he may (or may not) have. However there are certainly many people who oppose Obama's ideas for racist reasons, just as many didn't vote for him for the same reasons. This cannot be legislated against .... or shall we have "thoughtcrime" ? It is pointless to throw these accusations around as they simply add fuel to the flames on both sides, when what is needed is a rational bi-partisan aproach to solving the problem of the bloated and unfair US healthcare system.

    This is just another example of how politics gets distracted from the real issues by populist flashpoints.

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  • 78. At 3:01pm on 17 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    It is very clear that the racists amoungst the right are complete utter morons.
    but get this you goppers.
    the racists on the left are also complete utter morons.

    As for those that go on about black racism against whites.
    They should remember that those being oppressed are entitled to feel anger.
    If you were a jew in a concentration camp you ,IN MY OPINION would be fully entitled to total unabashed hatred of Nazi's.

    It seems many here would say they were being racist for that hate and contempt.

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  • 79. At 3:06pm on 17 Sep 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    60. AmericanSportFan wrote:
    "To deny that race is a factor in any criticism of President Obama is to deny that the earth is round."


    At the risk of being pedantic, you undermine your own argument, for the world is in fact spherical (roughly). Or are you a "flat earther"?


    Aside from that I agree with you!

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  • 80. At 3:17pm on 17 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Right now undocumented people receive health care by waiting until a condition becomes life-threatening and then going to the emergency room where they must be treated. They are billed, but are unable to pay, and the system passes the costs on to those with insurance but even more so to the uninsured who do manage to pay for the services that they receive. This state of affairs will not change under any of the plans being discussed in Congress.
    -------------------

    This is also the case for many americans.

    Now I'm not saying you are racist but how do you know the immigration status of those in the waiting room?
    surely they do not walk around with a 4 ft banner saying "i'm illegal and after your health care."

    The assumption that they are Hispanic and therefore illegal is something that would be considered racist.

    Just so you know to look out for that behaviour.


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  • 81. At 3:21pm on 17 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    oh laugh here's another old racist that gave it up when Obama got elected .

    young asterix


    60 asf

    that refusal to accept that some comments are racist and to accept the votes gladly from racists and look for them (like hillery did) is why I call them racists.

    but they still call me a liar.

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  • 82. At 3:28pm on 17 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    64 I think you might have left an opening that was unintended with
    " Some of the reasons for war, can be seen as justified- although certainly slavery was not. "
    Just to clarify I assume you mean the south should not have gone to war to protect slavery.
    cheers

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  • 83. At 3:33pm on 17 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    66 well they are probably racists.

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  • 84. At 3:35pm on 17 Sep 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #60

    AmericanSportFan wrote:
    To deny that race is a factor in any criticism of President Obama is to deny that the earth is round. There is an element of racism involved in this debate whether we choose to admit it or not. President Carter was absolutely spot on when he made his comments.


    To deny that Cater and other extermists on the left are playing the race card is to deny the earth is round. Those supporters don't want anything but obediance.

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  • 85. At 3:37pm on 17 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    68. At 2:00pm on 17 Sep 2009, earlthorpe wrote:
    As a resident of the Deep South, I would say more people down here are for the president than against. The old ways are long gone give white people a break.
    ------------

    earl. I have consistently said through all these posts that I have faith the majority of americans are outraged by the racism shown recently.
    I pointed to Hillery and palin both being so bigoted that they didn't make it.
    The only people bashing whites here are those that keep insisting that the tea party racists are not racists.
    those same people that do not stand up to racism are racists.
    or scared .

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  • 86. At 3:39pm on 17 Sep 2009, moderate_observer wrote:

    if their wasnt a grain of truth to Carter's statement's it would have been dismissed and nobody would be trying so hard to defend against it. More inflammatory things have been said by Carter and others in influential positions, but did not receive such attention.

    The point is that their are racists coming to these protests and they march among the protestors who are protesting only against policy. The fact that the republicans are not denouncing this sort of behavior is what makes it bad.

    Rush Limbaugh, is an influential conservative, but not a policy maker, he is so important , that the chairman of the republican party apologized to him for criticizing his views, the pressure to apologize came from within his party and from the party's supporters. You have rush limbaugh saying that in Obama's america it is Ok for a black child to beat on a white child while black children cheer them on. He says all this and the republicans are mute and now saying 'oh rush is just an entertainer' . The problem with this is that their are viewers who listn and believe what he says and are stricken with fear when they hear these things. especially since they are mainly white.

    To allow these messages to be conveyed to your party base and not denounce it is the same as being the ones directly conveying these messages.

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  • 87. At 3:40pm on 17 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    69. I have to say the military seems to do a lot to keep racism away.
    many of the least racist people I know were military.
    I supposed fighting with someone tends to get one over the issue.

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  • 88. At 3:43pm on 17 Sep 2009, ironfranco wrote:

    * Mr Walker's analysis is interesting too. Social equality, he says, has been achieved - a black man with money can walk in anywhere - but Mr Obama is looking to promote economic equality, and that is what some whites cannot stand, and call socialism.*
    Marks, all my active life was under the communist rule. In the old days I was, thank to my late father, assigned to a special job in the Central Audit Committee which was held to report directly to the general secretary of the communist party. When reading all these accusations that would come from the Republican camp, I hardly keep a straight face. These fellows are either very, very badly informed about what real socialism is like, either deliberately try to discredit President Obama, or both. May I remind to the BBC audience that socialism is possible only in countries with one sole party/ideology in power, with centrally planned economy where the market and the market institutions like the stock exchange are simply substituted by government ruled establishments which are FORCED to contract the selling/purchase of commodities/services at FIXED prices, FIXED interest rates, and FIXED taxes. America is so far away from Socialism as Earth is from Mars.
    Generalissimo Franco
    Sofia, sept.17 2009

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  • 89. At 3:51pm on 17 Sep 2009, KeithFromUS wrote:

    Many posts reference poverty as a large contributor to racism and I think that is the case both white towards black and yes black towards white. Education and intelligence seem to play into it as well and I have seen both first hand not only in the Southern states but everywhere I have been in this country, which is 33 of the 50 states.

    I think one other thing is that this is a capitalist society and there is very much a "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" mentality that does not leave people that have done so to happy about having to provide their earnings for those who have not. Hence the "lazy" association that tends to go along with racism.

    My father worked very hard but we had little when I was a child, but I remember my father telling me, "you can hope in one hand and crap in the other and what do you get?" "A handful of crap!" In other words if you want something work hard to make it happen and don't wait for anything to be handed to you. This crass statement has always stuck with me and financially I have been able to exceed where I came from and provide very well for my family.

    The dilemma is I believe in being compassionate, in fact I now work at a public (county) not for profit hospital as opposed to earning more at a for-profit hospital. At the same time no one like to think that they are being taken advantage of and certainly there are those that "work the system" and go through life without contributing much to society by doing this.

    I guess if there where easy answers we would have already implemented them.

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  • 90. At 3:56pm on 17 Sep 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    71 Andrea
    "What I have heard is that they don't believe the government, by virtue of its size and incapability, will serve their best interests."


    I'm trying to understand this reasoning ....Let me see ... because the people don't believe that the government (whom they elect) will serve their best interests .... they prefer to support an unfair system where insurance companies (which exist primarily to make profit for their shareholders) make the decisions, in the sure and certain knowledge that these companies will not serve their best interests.

    Strikes me as paranoia of a serious level. We think the govt may not do it well, so we go with the big corporation who will then take our money, and maybe exclude our condition, or refuse to the treat the same symptoms twice .....


    Oh, and I never understood the idea that socialised medicine would bring in "death panels", when the faceless insurance clerk who decides your condition s excluded is doing such a good job of it already.

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  • 91. At 4:00pm on 17 Sep 2009, moderate_observer wrote:

    #63 well said , the issue deep down is not about race. In washington it is not about race, but race is just another tactic used to bring people together against obama. fear and race. Rush Limbaugh , with his black kids vs white kids comment is a perfect example. He knows better than to believe this statement to be true, but he willingly spout lies to his listeners so they will run to their destruction and destroy everything close to them because they believe the lies he tells. Making his listeners paranoid so that they will turn against anyone who he says is bad. This is the lowest form of human being because he knows better. Just another pupper master pulling the puppet strings of an uneducated mass.

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  • 92. At 4:07pm on 17 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    After almost 9 months of president Obama's rule, I cannot say that I'm displeased by seeing former president Carter coming to his rescue.

    [Particularly knowing very well history and 'accomplishments' of the Democratic Party in the South, including Georgia.]

    Anybody who knows anything about Washington politics in the last 30 years knows it is a kiss of death.

    Now, here's hoping that Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton and Louis Farakhan will help to round Democratic (band)wagons, as well.

    That should do it.

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  • 93. At 4:11pm on 17 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    56. youngasterix wrote:
    "Obama is no different than any other career Chicago politician, except his deception, theft, and graft have tapped into the Federal Treasury."


    You do know Obama is a lawyer, don't you?
    I would hope that you have some sort of evidence of "theft, graft and deception" to back up your assertations.




    "He was a thief, and a crook. He was also a politician.

    But then, I'm repeating myself"

    (Mark Twain)

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  • 94. At 4:16pm on 17 Sep 2009, diverticulosis wrote:

    80. At 3:17pm on 17 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Right now undocumented people receive health care by waiting until a condition becomes life-threatening and then going to the emergency room where they must be treated. They are billed, but are unable to pay, and the system passes the costs on to those with insurance but even more so to the uninsured who do manage to pay for the services that they receive. This state of affairs will not change under any of the plans being discussed in Congress.
    -------------------

    This is also the case for many americans.

    Now I'm not saying you are racist but how do you know the immigration status of those in the waiting room?
    surely they do not walk around with a 4 ft banner saying "i'm illegal and after your health care."

    The assumption that they are Hispanic and therefore illegal is something that would be considered racist.

    Just so you know to look out for that behaviour.
    ________________________________________________-

    Now I'm not saying that you are racist, but how do you know that he was referring to Hispanics.
    The assumption that all Hispanics are illegal is something that would be considered racist.
    There are many illegals in the US, including Canadians and Brits.

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  • 95. At 4:25pm on 17 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

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

  • 96. At 4:29pm on 17 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    71. At 2:26pm on 17 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:
    34. verycynicalskeptic: "It’s not about race it’s about stupidity. Anyone who thinks that Insurance companies have their best interests in mind is frankly an idiot (or a stock holder)."

    *********************
    I don't know of anyone who has said they believe the insurance companies have their best interests in mind. Where have you heard this?

    What I have heard is that they don't believe the government, by virtue of its size and incapability, will serve their best interests.


    But vast insurance companies will serve their interests because they are so efficient at giving their CEOs bonuses and privileges.

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  • 97. At 4:40pm on 17 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

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

  • 98. At 5:06pm on 17 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    72
    "But I don't see how anyone can pretend there were no racial motivation whatsoever in these protests."

    because they are racists.

    ninny .
    You keep going on the same tired point.

    Moderate observer got it.
    "The point is that their are racists coming to these protests and they march among the protestors who are protesting only against policy. The fact that the republicans are not denouncing this sort of behavior is what makes it bad. "


    You ninny I suspect would say nothign. that is how you have behaved here.
    so just accept that the racists are the ones that make it ugly and stop trying to defend the indefensible.


    Go bash a racist and get your party back if it is meant to be a party of non racists and you are also non racist.
    get on with it instead of bloogging incessantly that racists have rights too.
    Like I said the end result of your argument is letting all the pedophiles out .


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  • 99. At 5:10pm on 17 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:

    90. RomeStu:

    71 Andrea
    "What I have heard is that they don't believe the government, by virtue of its size and incapability, will serve their best interests."


    I'm trying to understand this reasoning ....Let me see ... because the people don't believe that the government (whom they elect) will serve their best interests .... they prefer to support an unfair system where insurance companies (which exist primarily to make profit for their shareholders) make the decisions, in the sure and certain knowledge that these companies will not serve their best interests.

    ******************

    Noooo. All those people who support health care reform but not the public option don't "prefer to support an unfair system...". This is your opintion. Your argument that if you don't support the democratic plans you are choosing, and support, an unfair system is specious.

    I support reform and increased spending. I'd like to see the states get block grants. They're the ones innovating. Every success story is from either one hospital or one state. Governors are about the only ones in whom I have confidence at this point.

    Substituting a large government bureaucracy for a private insurance company is a stupid move in my opinion.


    96. Simon21: Same response.



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  • 100. At 5:17pm on 17 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    94. At 4:16pm on 17 Sep 2009, diverticulosis wrote:
    80. At 3:17pm on 17 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Right now undocumented people receive health care by waiting until a condition becomes life-threatening and then going to the emergency room where they must be treated. They are billed, but are unable to pay, and the system passes the costs on to those with insurance but even more so to the uninsured who do manage to pay for the services that they receive. This state of affairs will not change under any of the plans being discussed in Congress.
    -------------------

    This is also the case for many americans.

    Now I'm not saying you are racist but how do you know the immigration status of those in the waiting room?
    surely they do not walk around with a 4 ft banner saying "i'm illegal and after your health care."

    The assumption that they are Hispanic and therefore illegal is something that would be considered racist.

    Just so you know to look out for that behaviour.
    ________________________________________________-

    Now I'm not saying that you are racist, but how do you know that he was referring to Hispanics.
    The assumption that all Hispanics are illegal is something that would be considered racist.
    There are many illegals in the US, including Canadians and Brits.


    0000000000000000 DUDE
    "The assumption that all Hispanics are illegal is something that would be considered racist."

    OK so look at this line
    "The assumption that they are Hispanic and therefore illegal is something that would be considered racist."

    "Now I'm not saying you are racist but how do you know the immigration status of those in the waiting room?"

    Please do read the whole rather short post next time.

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  • 101. At 5:22pm on 17 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    PS "how do I know he was referring to hispanics"
    because he was.
    It's bloody obvious, just as it's bloody obvious Adrienny has no concept of the difference between hating people because of their Ideas and hating them because of their colour.

    there's a lot of very obvious people here.

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  • 102. At 5:25pm on 17 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    OH and I was warning him/her of possible interpretation as being racist.
    and clearly said he wasn't.

    I see your posts leaning to hte left (from americas pov) but wonder why you almost quote my post in your responce?

    see we have had a few that join this blog all "i'm a lefty" then go right to where they really were coming from. the hard right.
    I won't assume you are one and will assume you just totally misread the comment

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  • 103. At 5:29pm on 17 Sep 2009, louisenj wrote:

    @89 "I guess if there where easy answers we would have already implemented them."

    Yes, that's us Americans for you! We have no trouble implementing the easy answers. It's the tough ones we can't deal with. Racism, health care, and inequality of opportunity are three really tough issues. So we have played "kick the can" with them for decades, hoping that someone smarter, Mr Future American, will have figured out an easier way to deal with them.

    And, hey, maybe the Second Coming will occur. The hard problems will no longer matter, and we will be shown to have been smart to not waste out time solving those difficult issues!

    Maybe the problem is not that Americans are unwilling to do hard work; it is not sheer laziness that keeps us from solving tough issues.

    It is just that we don't like *thinking* that much. It is viewed as suspect and elitist. Feeling stuff is much more popular. Simple nostrums are so much less complicated to remember. Patriotism! Our proud soldiers! The flag! Our majestic mountains! These colors don't run! Live free or die! Small government is the best government! Lower taxes, greater prosperity!

    And so on.

    A mess of feel-good slogans peddled by cable tv and radio windbags may make people feel plenty of emotion, whether it's anger, sentimentality, or pride, but those slogans never solved one problem, merely made more. Remember Iraq? A lot of people felt really great when that started!

    We've "kicked the can" on health care long enough. Maybe it's time that we faced up to doing the difficult work of reaching across the racial divide and actually hearing what the other side is saying, rather than simply shrugging and saying, "Oh well, if it were easy, we would have done it."

    Fixing the roof isn't easy either, but it has to get done if you want the house to stand. Oh, I forgot! We can hire some Mexicans to fix it for us at pennies on the dollar. That will be easy - until they fall off the roof, and need to go to the Emergency Room to get treated.

    But then we can complain about the health care system covering illegal aliens.

    Geesh.

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  • 104. At 5:56pm on 17 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:

    101. fluffytale:

    PS "how do I know he was referring to hispanics"
    because he was.
    It's bloody obvious, just as it's bloody obvious Adrienny has no concept of the difference between hating people because of their Ideas and hating them because of their colour.

    ******************
    Now, now, you know that's not true. You have lots of hatred based on lots of things. You hate me because I "lie".

    I just haven't categorized your hatred based on whether it is justified because (1) the person you hate discriminates or (2) you hate what the other person said, or they annoy you, or because you think they're idiots.

    If all this hatred of Republicans were solely because Republicans discriminated, I could understand your argument. But it isn't.

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  • 105. At 6:02pm on 17 Sep 2009, diverticulosis wrote:

    fluffytale

    Meethinks doth protest too much.

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  • 106. At 6:14pm on 17 Sep 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 103, Louise

    Great post!

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  • 107. At 6:21pm on 17 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:

    103. louisenj: "But then we can complain about the health care system covering illegal aliens.

    Geesh."

    ******************

    Well, the illegal issue is not quite so simple. Yes, we have an imperative to care for our sick, but we also have an imperative to enforce immigration laws and our borders.

    And this latest Wilson incident, now in its racism iteration, was also about Obama's adamence that the bill would do one thing when the bill's contents did not necessarily support his words.

    I think many Americans would be much more supportive of caring for illegal immigrants if the borders weren't perceived as lawless and wide open.

    This is one reason why I believe governors would be best suited to deal with their coverage. They're going to pay for it anyway. Better to let them figure out how best to do it.

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  • 108. At 6:26pm on 17 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    104. At 5:56pm on 17 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:
    101. fluffytale:

    PS "how do I know he was referring to hispanics"
    because he was.
    It's bloody obvious, just as it's bloody obvious Adrienny has no concept of the difference between hating people because of their Ideas and hating them because of their colour.

    ******************
    Now, now, you know that's not true. You have lots of hatred based on lots of things. You hate me because I "lie".

    I just haven't categorized your hatred based on whether it is justified because (1) the person you hate discriminates or (2) you hate what the other person said, or they annoy you, or because you think they're idiots.

    If all this hatred of Republicans were solely because Republicans discriminated, I could understand your argument. But it isn't. "


    You plainly do not understand rascism so perhaps you should not comment?
    The issue isn't the nebulous term "hatred" but rascism which has a clear meaning.

    Rascism is an unmitigated evil which has cost the world millions of dead and millions more of ruined lives.


    You seem to think rascism and anti-rascism are the same thing. That is buffoonish.

    Republicans are using rascism to stir opposition to a black president (including his wife and any of their supporters) that is hardly to be admired is it?

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  • 109. At 6:29pm on 17 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    99. At 5:10pm on 17 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:
    90. RomeStu:

    71 Andrea
    "What I have heard is that they don't believe the government, by virtue of its size and incapability, will serve their best interests."


    "Noooo. All those people who support health care reform but not the public option don't "prefer to support an unfair system...". This is your opintion. Your argument that if you don't support the democratic plans you are choosing, and support, an unfair system is specious."


    Hardly unless you are claiming the current system is fair.

    "I support reform and increased spending. I'd like to see the states get block grants. They're the ones innovating. Every success story is from either one hospital or one state. Governors are about the only ones in whom I have confidence at this point."

    Local politics are always vastly more corrupt than national eg Texas

    "Substituting a large government bureaucracy for a private insurance company is a stupid move in my opinion."

    But you can remove a government can't you. You cannot remove a vastly well heeled and bonused Insurance CEO.




    96. Simon21: Same response.

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  • 110. At 6:33pm on 17 Sep 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 94, Diverticulosis

    "Now I'm not saying you are racist but how do you know the immigration status of those in the waiting room?
    surely they do not walk around with a 4 ft banner saying "i'm illegal and after your health care."

    The overwhelming majority of "Hispanics" living and working in the USA are here legally and most were born in this country. The ancestors of many of them lived in places like Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California since before those states joined the Union. Unfortunately, the irrational cultural antipathy that many white Americans feel towards Hispanics often results in stereotyping and abuse of citizens that have as much right as everyone else to be in this country.

    Illegal alliens is a term that is usually applied exclusively to Hispanics, the tens of thousands of Eastern Europeans that enter the USA illegally via the Canadian border are free to live and work as they please and if they don't speak English that's OK.

    The idea that Hispanic illegal immigrants are lining up to get healthcare in the USA is as absurd as the claims that they plan to change the USA into a replica of the countries they left behind. Most of them live in fear of being arrested and more often than not they try to avoid attracting attention.

    Most importantly, most of the proposals being discussed include language that specifically deny them access to healthcare, in contrast with what most civilized nations do under similar circumstances. I guess that's the result of our Christian values being hard at work.

    Ref 99, Andrea

    "I support reform and increased spending. I'd like to see the states get block grants. They're the ones innovating."

    I support reform as well, and would not mind paying for it if it includes universal healthcare, but I don't think State governments are the best suited for such an ambitious, large and complex program. Contrary to popular opinion, I believe Social Security, MEDICARE, the VA and the Federal employees insurance programs work very well. The problem with some of these government-run program is that politicians often use them as political footballs to achieve their goals and in the case of SS they have been draining its trust fund for year to give the illusion that our deficits are not as large as they are.

    Giving the money to the States could very well result in getting IOUs in return...

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  • 111. At 6:34pm on 17 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    84. At 3:35pm on 17 Sep 2009, MagicKirin wrote:
    ref #60

    AmericanSportFan wrote:
    To deny that race is a factor in any criticism of President Obama is to deny that the earth is round. There is an element of racism involved in this debate whether we choose to admit it or not. President Carter was absolutely spot on when he made his comments.


    To deny that Cater and other extermists on the left are playing the race card is to deny the earth is round. Those supporters don't want anything but obediance."


    Like israelies? At least Carter doesn't use F16s to get it.

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  • 112. At 6:41pm on 17 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    92. At 4:07pm on 17 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:
    After almost 9 months of president Obama's rule, I cannot say that I'm displeased by seeing former president Carter coming to his rescue.

    [Particularly knowing very well history and 'accomplishments' of the Democratic Party in the South, including Georgia.]

    Anybody who knows anything about Washington politics in the last 30 years knows it is a kiss of death."

    Really? So what are people discussing? Carter has put the issue squarely on the agenda.

    Didn't notice that did we?

    "Now, here's hoping that Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton and Louis Farakhan will help to round Democratic (band)wagons, as well."

    Hmmm all black men. What were you saying about rascism again? Maybe MLK could get involved? Opps he was shot dead wasn't he, by a white man.



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  • 113. At 6:41pm on 17 Sep 2009, washuotaku wrote:

    Mark, I'm sure your going to realize the goose chase you have been put on by your bosses looking for racism. Though some still exists today, it is nowhere the extent it was 40 years ago. I doubt congressman Joe Wilson is a racist, and hopefully your results will prove that fact. I'm finding that the sudden question about racism in America very questionable considering it turns people's attention away from the Healthcare debate. Maybe liberals planted this notion so people would think twice (or guilt them) about joining "tea-bag parties" and other protest groups if they might be labled a racist.

    President Carter is just a bitter old man that wishes he got the same respect other Former Presidents get. He can build a 100 new homes without a headline while President Clinton can go down to McDonalds and be swarmed by many people and reporters reporting what burger he ordered.

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  • 114. At 7:01pm on 17 Sep 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

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

  • 115. At 7:20pm on 17 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:

    108. Simon21: "You plainly do not understand rascism so perhaps you should not comment? The issue isn't the nebulous term "hatred" but rascism which has a clear meaning. "

    ******************
    No, I was discussing hatred -- more specifically, the hatred of posters here, of Republicans, especially white males but sometimes all Republicans. All the while criticizing these white male Republicans for their hatred and extremism.

    And so were you until it became too difficult and morphed into "discrimination" and now "racism".



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  • 116. At 7:23pm on 17 Sep 2009, KeithFromUS wrote:

    # 103. louisenj (response)

    lousienj - I think you missed my point totally when I stated, "I guess if there where easy answers we would have already implemented them."

    My point was that "an" answer is not necessarily the best answer or even a good answer for that matter. So yes, if there where an easy answer it would have been implemented.

    I said nothing about pushing it off on Mr Future America, why do you think the ongoing debates are occurring? I also think rushing to a proposed solution without properly understanding it and debating the long term repercussions of it is foolish.

    But you go ahead and solve Racism, health care, and inequality of opportunity in a witty 5 paragraph blog response my friend. Ill take careful thought, many inputs of information, healthy debase and mitigating risks anytime.

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  • 117. At 7:27pm on 17 Sep 2009, thuning wrote:

    Of course it's not about racism. The birthers went after John McCain even more than Obama as he was in fact not born in the United States....

    What could possibly be the reason they care so much about where one man was born but not the other if not race?

    As to the "Confederate flag" (which as some have pointed out is not the Stars and Bars of the first Confederate national flag but most closely follows the design of the 2nd Confederate navy jack as derived from the 2nd Confederate national flag which was in turn derived from the battle flag of the Confederacy) not being a symbol of racism because slavery was only one aspect of what inspired Confederate traitors to rebel is nonsense. It would be like saying the Hakenkreuz is mainly a symbol of German pride and resistance to the Treaty of Versailles and not really about being antisemitic.

    When the people of Iowa first heard Obama speak, we heard a Kansas accent and saw a mid-western man who did good things for the people of Chicago and helped the poor in accordance to Christian values. Those who deny his American identity did so before even listening to him and continue to do so despite evidence.

    What makes racism bad is that it is a form of irrational blind hatred. It may be argued that this blind hatred is not a specific type called "racism" but it is blind hatred none the less.

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  • 118. At 7:36pm on 17 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:

    108. Simon21: "Republicans are using rascism to stir opposition to a black president (including his wife and any of their supporters) that is hardly to be admired is it?"

    ********************

    So now it's Republicans who are "using" racism to stir opposition? Who are these Republicans who are stoking the flames of racist opposition? Elected Republicans or media types, like Rush Limbaugh?

    Or are you calling the protesters racists? If so, what percentage of those protester are you calling racist? The ones with the nasty signs? And do we eliminate the signs that are identical to those used to depict Bush? So, what percentage of protestors had nasty signs that were unique to Obama?


    Other than by virture of the intense opposition to Obama's positions (your claim, not mine) where has he been the object of racism?

    If you're going to accuse Republicans of being racist, hadn't you better have some basis for making this claim? Other than the fact that you believe Republicans to be racist.

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  • 119. At 7:48pm on 17 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #112 poweremeerkat wrote: Now, here's hoping that Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton and Louis Farakhan will help to round Democratic (band)wagons, as well."


    Simon says: "Hmmm all black men."



    Are you saying that those 3 honorable gentlemen shouldn't defend Obama against hordes of abominable whitehoods? What's WRONG with them?

    After all: in almost every post you insinuate that this is all about race, really.

    So why Messrs. Jackson, Sharpton and Farakhan SHOULDN'T support Mr. Obama? Only whites from the South, like Jimmy Carter have the right to support and defend him in time of dire need?

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  • 120. At 7:49pm on 17 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:

    110. saintDominick: "I support reform as well, and would not mind paying for it if it includes universal healthcare, but I don't think State governments are the best suited for such an ambitious, large and complex program."

    *********************

    It doesn't have to be large and complex. That's what would make it unworkable, in my opinion.

    You have to admit that the innovation is taking place at the local and state levels.

    Governors bear the responsibility not Congress, which takes care of large constituent groups (ex., union workers and professional groups). Congress' solutions aren't necessarily workable or even affordable for the states.

    States' needs vary widely. California's needs are quite different from Maine's. This is why there's so much difficulty getting a bill together. Each state is considering its own, individual needs. When the Senators and Congressmen express concerns, the concerns are usually from the governors.

    I find it's usually the governors who have the most reasonable objections, often based on funding. So give them the funding. And conditions to make it fair.

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  • 121. At 8:14pm on 17 Sep 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    Simon21 wrote:
    84. At 3:35pm on 17 Sep 2009, MagicKirin wrote:
    ref #60

    AmericanSportFan wrote:
    To deny that race is a factor in any criticism of President Obama is to deny that the earth is round. There is an element of racism involved in this debate whether we choose to admit it or not. President Carter was absolutely spot on when he made his comments.


    To deny that Cater and other extermists on the left are playing the race card is to deny the earth is round. Those supporters don't want anything but obediance."


    Like israelies? At least Carter doesn't use F16s to get it.


    Anyone else notice how simon 21 has to bring in Israel into every thread?

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  • 122. At 8:57pm on 17 Sep 2009, PaulaGinSC wrote:

    I am from the west coast and now live in South Carolina. Last week I had the misfortune to meet a native Carolinian who within 60 seconds of meeting me launched into a tirade against my home state and Democrats and topped it off with a racial slur against President Obama. Anyone who thinks race plays no role whatsoever in the intense criticism of the president probably still believes in Santa Claus. That said, plenty of people, the large majority I imagine, oppose Obama’s policies because of those policies, not because of his race.

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  • 123. At 9:22pm on 17 Sep 2009, sbukosky wrote:

    Once the merits of the argument cannot be made, the left resorts to accusations of racism to distract from the issue. Clarence Thomas, J.C. Watts and other conservative black people would then be racist too. Use your heads people!

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  • 124. At 9:35pm on 17 Sep 2009, American Sport Fan wrote:

    RE 64,

    I have to confess that I have never seen a bumper stickers that have read "Heritage not hate" I am not doubting they exist, but I can not honestly say that I have seen them.

    Re 84

    Carter is not an extremist.

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  • 125. At 9:39pm on 17 Sep 2009, contentedInTheUS wrote:

    Nice work Mark... honest, fair and insightful observations. Look forward to following your blogs. How about delving into the culture of Texas some day? There are a lot of european misconceptions about 'cowboy culture' in the US. They might be amazed by the truth. One small matter about the title 'How Carolinians See Race'; in colonial times there was just a Carolina, but N.Carolina(which voted for Obama)is no longer related and views S.Carolina kind of like a sketchy distant relative you never invite to family gatherings.

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  • 126. At 10:29pm on 17 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    PaulaGinSC

    Paula, people in South Carolina live life at a little slower pace so you will have to take that into account when you judge and discuss the natives there. Rest assured that being originally from a much faster place, New York City, I would not have waited 60 seconds to lambast California, I'd have started in immediately.

    31 years ago when I moved to California, the state government had a 15 billion dollar surplus in its coffers, at least that was as much as it couldn't hide. That was the year Prop 13 was passed to give real estate tax relief to Californians who had bought their homes by 1975. As of last year California had a 40 billion dollar debt. That means on average it spent nearly 2 billion a year more than it took in every year for 30 years. Now it wants the rest of the country to pay its freight through federal bailouts. No way Jose'. California should learn to manage money like everyone else. Much of that 2 billion was paid as benefits to illegal aliens. Yes I know how much they contribute to California's economy, much less than it costs to take care of them. A relative handful of people make a killing on their slave wage jobs while the rest of the state pays for their medical costs, police, teaching their children, and a lot more. This year California's budget had a 24 billion dollar deficit. They cut it in half and they think they've done somethiing. I suppose all this makes me a racist in your mind. Who cares what you call me, sticks and stones Paula.

    California also invented creative financing and other schemes that were responsible for the housing bubble and subprime mortgage fiasco that bankrupted the world. On one documentary they showed the very building in Irvine where it was all hatched.

    I like President Obama. I think he is a very intelligent man, a great speaker, has a winning friendly manner. I also think he is completely unqualified to be President even in good times. I suppose you'd call me a racist for that too. The fact that I thought McCain and Palin let alone Biden were also unqualified I suppose changes nothing. I didn't vote for any of them.

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  • 127. At 11:46pm on 17 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

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

  • 128. At 11:59pm on 17 Sep 2009, Lincoln Hawk-s wrote:

    I can't believe the claims that the Obama administration are using racism as a means of diverting attention from meaningful discussions about their "flawed" healthcare reform. From what I have seen through various media outlets, both "right" wing and "left" wing, the democrats want to discuss it but are continually met with disruptions, distractions and 'smoke & mirrors' protests.

    I have yet to see a meaningful q&a or discussion. Sometimes the 1st ammendment is given precedence contrary to the best interests of its citizens. Get the laymen to shut up, sit down and let the people employed to sort this stuff out do their jobs (unless, as i suspect of many Republicans, they are quite happy for all this heat and little light from their "grassroots" protesters)

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  • 129. At 00:01am on 18 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

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

  • 130. At 00:02am on 18 Sep 2009, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

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

  • 131. At 00:06am on 18 Sep 2009, Dennycarty wrote:

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

  • 132. At 00:15am on 18 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    118. At 7:36pm on 17 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:
    108. Simon21: "Republicans are using rascism to stir opposition to a black president (including his wife and any of their supporters) that is hardly to be admired is it?"

    ********************

    "So now it's Republicans who are "using" racism to stir opposition? Who are these Republicans who are stoking the flames of racist opposition? Elected Republicans or media types, like Rush Limbaugh?"

    Well Mr Wilson was elected, as was the COngressman who referred to Obama as uppitty.

    And it is openly admitted that Mr Limbaugh acts as a touchstone for the Republicans.

    Is it he who has the no-way rascist Obama the "magic negro" section.

    "Or are you calling the protesters racists? If so, what percentage of those protester are you calling racist? The ones with the nasty signs? And do we eliminate the signs that are identical to those used to depict Bush? So, what percentage of protestors had nasty signs that were unique to Obama?"

    Really I can't remember Bush's wife being attacked, his speech to schools being compared to Hitler, a medical insurance bill (of all things) being compared to Stalin?

    And Bush invaded two countries, refused to accept the severest environmental crisis faced by the world (and discovered by Americans ironically enough) and oversaw the ruin of the national economy. Oh and made a fist of the flooding of New Orleans.

    Bit more to protest here than a bill on medical insurance. Medical insurance is important - but does it compare to the killing and injuring of over 100,000 men women and children due to misrepresentation and outright lies?

    The scale and the vitriol is out of all proportion. And you know it is. So do not be faux naive.

    "Other than by virture of the intense opposition to Obama's positions (your claim, not mine) where has he been the object of racism?"

    All of his positions and his wife.

    "If you're going to accuse Republicans of being racist, hadn't you better have some basis for making this claim? Other than the fact that you believe Republicans to be racist."

    And if you are going to claim Republican opposition is not fueled by rascism hadn't you better find out what it actually is and stop making idiotic comparisons as if Bush and Obama run the same government?

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  • 133. At 00:21am on 18 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    86. At 3:39pm on 17 Sep 2009, moderate_observer wrote:


    "Rush Limbaugh, is an influential conservative, but not a policy maker, he is so important , that the chairman of the republican party apologized to him for criticizing his views, the pressure to apologize came from within his party and from the party's supporters. You have rush limbaugh saying that in Obama's america it is Ok for a black child to beat on a white child while black children cheer them on. He says all this and the republicans are mute and now saying 'oh rush is just an entertainer'"

    Carter hit the nail on the head. SOme of those scrabbling to claim they are not rascists remind one of the old Afikaaner (they were not rascists either of course) "I'm not rascist man, I ate rascism! K....s are wonderful people! They are just not as developed as we are, its just a fact."


    If Limbaugh had used jewish kids instead of black ones, would that have been found to be "entertaining"?

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  • 134. At 00:27am on 18 Sep 2009, rednekliberal wrote:

    i agree with what jimmy carter said, i have thought the same thing for several months. here in northern california, people use the word 'socialist' and similiar words in reference to president obama with the same demeanor and tone of voice which 20 or 30 yrs ago would be used while speaking certain well known racial epithets. btw, northern california is rightwing terrorist country according to our congressional representative, i suppose he would know [i didnt vote for the dumbass]

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  • 135. At 00:35am on 18 Sep 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Carter has struck a nerve, and those in denial can't handle it. They're still trying to make sense of the world. Its been one thing after another. The policies of their beloved Bush collapsed. Actually, their whole economic philosophy collapsed right before their eyes. Its no wonder they are so disorientated. They even witnessed Bush 'dealing with devil' when he resorted to bail outs and stimulus packages in his final days. Some of them stocked up on guns and ammo last year, but they don't know why. Since then, Obama has walked into the White House and they wonder if life will ever be the same. Guantanamo to close. Sotomayor's been appointed. Healthcare for all is looming. And now plans for 'Missill' defence shields are to be shelved. Its arguable who has PTSD more: the troops arriving back home; or the neo-cons meeting them. They don't know who to direct their anger at anymore: Blacks, Hispanics, Europeans, Brits, Cubans, Arabs, Russians, Venezuelans, Iranians. Somebody has got to be to blame. Somebody has got to be the focus of their anger. When will they realise? They're angry with themselves.

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  • 136. At 00:42am on 18 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    126. At 10:29pm on 17 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:
    PaulaGinSC

    Paula, people in South Carolina live life at a little slower pace so you will have to take that into account when you judge and discuss the natives there. Rest assured that being originally from a much faster place, New York City, I would not have waited 60 seconds to lambast California, I'd have started in immediately. "


    Yeah and they all sit on their porches eating peanuts in rocking chairs and sipping Mint Juleps.
    a 40 billion dollar debt. That means on average it spent nearly 2 billion a year more than it took in every year for 30 years. Now it wants the rest of the country to pay its freight through federal bailouts. No way Jose'.


    Except the black ones who pick cotton and sing songs.

    " Much of that 2 billion was paid as benefits to illegal aliens. Yes I know how much they contribute to California's economy, much less than it costs to take care of them."


    DO you? Why not give us the figures instead of making this comment.

    You in fact have no idea how much the illegals generate for legal Americans, but given the size of the industries they work in we can be sure it is more an two billion.

    " A relative handful of people make a killing on their slave wage jobs while the rest of the state pays for their medical costs, police, teaching their children, and a lot more."

    Really how big is this handfull? And the money generated by the products they make and the crops they process?

    Any idea?


    "This year California's budget had a 24 billion dollar deficit. They cut it in half and they think they've done somethiing. I suppose all this makes me a racist in your mind. Who cares what you call me, sticks and stones Paula. "

    So California's deficit is all the fault of "illegal aliens" sure it is not the fault of jews, communists, catholics or blacks?

    Bit odd that illegal immigrants also work in other states, which have nowhere near such deficits.





    "I like President Obama. I think he is a very intelligent man, a great speaker, has a winning friendly manner. I also think he is completely unqualified to be President even in good times. I suppose you'd call me a racist for that too."


    Well he is not "completely unqualified" is he. He has had a good education, been a senator, taken a deep interest in politics. Those are simple facts. He is vastly better qualified than you for example.

    The only way he is "completely unqualified" (your words) is because of his skin colour.


    "The fact that I thought McCain and Palin let alone Biden were also unqualified I suppose changes nothing"

    "completely unqualified" is what you said. ANd you applied that to Obama.

    (Though how Biden a vastly experienced US senator and confidant of several Presidents and administrations could be better qualified is impossible to fathom, like so much of what you say, its probably the bad englsih again)



    "I didn't vote for any of them."

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  • 137. At 00:46am on 18 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    135. At 00:35am on 18 Sep 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    Carter has struck a nerve, and those in denial can't handle it. They're still trying to make sense of the world. Its been one thing after another. The policies of their beloved Bush collapsed."


    Very True. It is conveniently forgotten that Bush came in with a a deeply dogmatic and ideological gang, everyone of whose predictions and major policies have proved disastorous failures.

    And now a black man is in the Oval office and all the wonderful schemes have collapsed.

    You can imagine the trauma.

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  • 138. At 00:51am on 18 Sep 2009, PaulaGinSC wrote:

    RE: 122 and 126

    MarcusAureliusII, nice of you to assume that California is the entire “west coast,” which is where I stated I’m from. I think I know a little more about how long I’ve been in South Carolina, what the pace of life around here is, and the local attitudes about President Obama than you do. As I wrote before “plenty of people, the large majority I imagine, oppose Obama’s policies because of those policies, not because of his race.” The man I met last week used a racial slur about the president. Race IS a factor for him. Nothing you say will change that.

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  • 139. At 01:44am on 18 Sep 2009, David Cunard wrote:

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

  • 140. At 01:50am on 18 Sep 2009, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 14 zendigger

    Our continuing divide, the one cropping out in this debate, is between the economically secure Haves who possess a marketable education, health insurance, and enough surplus income to afford vacations; and the HaveNots whose financial insecurity gets equated with being of low, lazy, or dissolute character.

    Thanks for your comment.

    I agree with this analysis. I would add, however, that the negative characteristics associated with poverty are all too often associated with race. Thus to be scorned as a poor, ignorant, lazy, etc. 'hillbilly' or the like is bad, but to be a poor, ignorant, lazy, etc. person of colour is to be doubly damned.

    But I think you are right, address the economic inequality, and you by default address the racial issue. This is, it seems to me, Obama's strategy. As you can see from many of the comments here, race is an explosive issue.

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  • 141. At 02:07am on 18 Sep 2009, Reuben wrote:

    In the political climate of the 1850s that led up to the civil war, there were two opposing political views, so polarized that each side hated the other. They could not think rationally of the other’s arguments or views, they could find no middle ground & only avoided open warfare (for a while) by staying in different states in different regions.

    Those who saw that war coming and tried to stop it with well reasoned debate, could not get through the hard-headed partisan politics of the day. Sam Houston was one such person, and for his efforts he was impeached as governor of Texas, only his high standing as a hero of the Mexican-American war kept his fellow Texans from hanging him as traitor.

    The politics of today are polarized in much the same way, although the issues have changed. How is that Statesmen like John McCain and Joseph Lieberman could reach across the Isle to men of the other party and find common ground and bi-partisan support for well written legislation, while Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi cannot? Why can't we discuss the issues logically and dispassionately without resorting to libelous accusations and demonizing stereotypes?

    "You are a white republican and therefore a racist."
    How much more prejudiced than that can you get?

    Those are fighting words. You're not looking to win over anyone to your particular political philosophy. You just want to denigrate and demean, as if one should be ashamed to be white or hold onto the principles of liberty and limited government that kept this nation free.

    I fear that the time of our elder statesmen is over. The ability to see beyond our differences and find common ground is gone. All that's left is blind hatred that denies the humanity of your political opponent. Have we have forgotten the lessons of history?

    Only a few short years ago when Democrats and Republicans of the Senate stood upon the steps together and sang: God Bless America. Will that ever happen again?

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  • 142. At 02:23am on 18 Sep 2009, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 66 AndreainNY What lies in the minds of all these people play a role in this incident and contribute to the state of race relations in this country.

    So 'these people' (anti-racists) are actually persecuting white people? White conservatives are persecuted group in the US? That's really, really funny. I wonder if there are any black only sundown towns?

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  • 143. At 02:39am on 18 Sep 2009, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 141 GreySquirrel1867

    "You are a white republican and therefore a racist."
    How much more prejudiced than that can you get?


    We are all racists, sometimes. We all harbour deep prejudices regarding the hierarchy of races. We partake, everyday, in racial mythologies. Most of us, when dealing person to person, are able to see through these mythologies and engage each other as individuals, not as racial types.

    The charge that there is a racial bias in the tea party protests comes from the idea (which I share) that there are structural racial inequalities which are supported by many of the mythologies which you may hold dear. For me to be critical of those mythologies is not a denigration of your race. It is a criticism of your beliefs.

    Speaking for myself, it is also an invitation for dialogue. Let us now compare mythologies.

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  • 144. At 03:24am on 18 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:

    142. chronophobe:

    re: 66 AndreainNY What lies in the minds of all these people play a role in this incident and contribute to the state of race relations in this country.

    So 'these people' (anti-racists) are actually persecuting white people? White conservatives are persecuted group in the US? That's really, really funny. I wonder if there are any black only sundown towns?

    **************

    No, "these people" are not anti-racists or persecuting white people. You missed the point.

    Each player comes to the incident with his/her own perspective and sees (or doesn't see) racism.

    The players, once again, were:

    *Those calling Republicans racist
    *Black members of Congress who saw disrespect and racism as its cause
    *Black citizen who was happy to see Carter accuse a southern white Republican of racism
    *White citizen who is tired of being accused of racism

    Each sees the Wilson incident through his/her own lense. Each has a history, attitude or even bias that shapes his/her interpretation of it.

    This is basic stuff. It shouldn't be news to you that people view things through their own emotional lense.

    At least if you're going to accuse someone of being racist, you should, at a minimum, understand the motivation of those making the claim.

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  • 145. At 03:28am on 18 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:

    142. chronophobe: Re: your link

    Were you accusing me of being a racist? Or did you just add the link to an article on discrimination for effect?

    If that's your attempt at "dialogue", you're not off to a good start.

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  • 146. At 03:46am on 18 Sep 2009, Lincoln Hawk-s wrote:

    I have seen a few comments here claiming Obamas drive towards "socialism" via enforced financial equality is meeting resistance beacause capitalism requires financial inequality to exist and without it there would be no "American Dream" to actually dream (wealth is defined by its corelation to poverty or something along those lines).
    I agree with that comment to an extent, but does the financial equality need to be so extreme? Do the haves really need this much more than the have-nots, is a (relatively small) increase in taxes so that the poorest of the population can have some basic healthcare really going to bring about the end of capitalism, freedom, liberty and all those other buzz words? In my opinion greed is so deeply ingrained in the American psyche that a few reforms and bills won't stop a system that allows people to make billions of dollars while others barely manage to scrape by.

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  • 147. At 03:52am on 18 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:

    Mark Mardell: "It is one of the frustrations of reporting this story: how do you judge what motivates people?"

    ***********************

    Well, after too many posts, I surrender.

    The answer is that you don't have to ever even know what motivates people. You only have to know their political party, gender and race to know that they're racists.

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  • 148. At 04:10am on 18 Sep 2009, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 144 AndreainNY

    Mea culpa. I oversimplified your response.

    "Each sees the Wilson incident through his/her own lense. Each has a history, attitude or even bias that shapes his/her interpretation of it."

    I can agree with that. What is interesting is teasing out the details of the histories, attitudes, and biases. These are our mythologies. Some justify inequality, others validate equality. I seek to see the world through the lens of the latter (and often fail). But should we discuss what we mean by equality?

    "At least if you're going to accuse someone of being racist, you should, at a minimum, understand the motivation of those making the claim."

    Now here you lose me. I have no idea what this means.

    And the link to the Loewen review was not an accusation of racism against you, nor simply 'for effect.' It was to contrast the conditions faced by people of colour to the notion of persecuted white Republicans.

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  • 149. At 06:14am on 18 Sep 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    130. At 00:02am on 18 Sep 2009, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    an excellent post, ending with...

    Personally, I don't believe race is entirely behind the attacks on Obama.I believe it is simply the same clash of political ideals that's been going on since the late 19th/early 20th century. Workers versus corporations, typified by the Marxism/Socialism versus Capitalism paradigm. Which is really just an extension of the rule of the common man versus the rule of the aristocracy/church argument. There will always be those who prefer the status quo and, sometimes, in the heat of the debate will resort to below the belt tactics like calling someone a liar or hurling racial epithets. As Jefferson said in the Declaration of Independence, "...all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."

    Change is scary. And people who are just holding onto what they have by their fingertips are terrified they'll be pushed over the edge. They shout a lot of angry words they don't really mean, but that they know will hurt, because unrelieved tension and fear always leads to anger. The right wing noise machine (Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, et al) are merely exploiting this naturally ocurring anger and targeting it in a direction that suits their own political agenda."

    I couldn't have put it better.


    "You are a white republican and therefore a racist."
    How much more prejudiced than that can you get?
    Those are fighting words. You're not looking to win over anyone to your particular political philosophy. You just want to denigrate and demean, as if one should be ashamed to be white or hold onto the principles of liberty and limited government that kept this nation free.
    I fear that the time of our elder statesmen is over. The ability to see beyond our differences and find common ground is gone. All that's left is blind hatred that denies the humanity of your political opponent. Have we have forgotten the lessons of history?
    Only a few short years ago when Democrats and Republicans of the Senate stood upon the steps together and sang: God Bless America. Will that ever happen again?"

    And I am shoulder to shoulder with this exasperated poster.

    142. At 02:23am on 18 Sep 2009, chronophobe wrote:
    re: 66 AndreainNY What lies in the minds of all these people play a role in this incident and contribute to the state of race relations in this country.
    So 'these people' (anti-racists) are actually persecuting white people? White conservatives are persecuted group in the US? That's really, really funny. I wonder if there are any black only sundown towns?"

    Yes, there are - I live not two miles from a neighborhood where whites are lucky if they first meet a stern black woman, who scowls them out of the neighborhood, rather than the bangers who might not let them out at all. Personal experience. - I don't want to get into why it is so at the moment.

    As has been said, the period before the Civil War must be given serious study if someone in the 21st century hopes to grasp America today.

    We have become more and more polarized - over the past forty years or so, and like our ancestors are finding greater and greater difficulty resolving our differences. The economic analysis doesn't begin to address it all, but it is very useful - the rich get richer, the rest stagnate or get poorer. These are measurable facts. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, stresses caused by technological innovation are accelerating the divisions - look at health care, where miracle cures, miracle drugs, are being developed, but only at costs that threaten to bankrupt all but the very rich.

    The Republicans suffered a stunning defeat last year, comparable to the one suffered by the Democrats in 1994, which left the liberals stunned, breathless, incredulous. Until they found a voice at the grass roots (the only segment that could have any credibility at that time), they could only dither about hopelessly. It is a raunchy, ill mannered, and irrational voice that cares not a whit for the truth, but it has become a loud voice, loud enough to stall Obama's momentum.

    On the other side, many groups with many different motives coalesced to bring this political youth to the front. Obama appealed to hope, for national unity as much as anything, and it was undoubtedly this hope to put divisions behind us - to look the old bogey Race in the eye and stare him down, to reenergize us as a nation, that won him a broad base of support and set a black man in the presidency.

    The challenge to us as a nation is enormous - great changes lie in our immediate future. Good, bad, and most likely mixed, we will see them come soon. Will we be a people, or will we first tear each other to shreds? Is it too much that we have to deal with a black man as our leader, or is it just in time?

    KScurmudgeon
    a mouth full of history - chew and swallow or spit it out?

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  • 150. At 07:17am on 18 Sep 2009, ironfranco wrote:

    *But many African-Americans may feel as though a subterranean stream has burst above ground, even if the president would rather not get caught in the spray.*
    As far as I can see, the stream has already burst. Congratulations Mark. This time you have hit the bull’s eye (like in the old days, when you were still in London).

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  • 151. At 09:34am on 18 Sep 2009, Sam Wanjere wrote:

    Unsure about my observation's relevance but I still think it captures the essence of such debates. I've observed that humans tend to act opposite of what regulations say, an example being numerous notices I've seen placed here in Nairobi asking people not to urinate or dump items at particular places. It's where one tends to see most evidence of what's prohibited. One problem I see in the US is tendency to overread innuendoes, statements, comments, etc. Granted, it's totally human to try and glean meaning, and even the meaning behind the superficial, but it can be overdone too.

    What did Carter really say? Is it comparable to Obama's calling Cambridge Police officer, Sgt. James Crowley, stupid, on arresting the president's friend,Henry Louis Gates Jr? There's oversensitivity to the issue of race. While sensitive, and even as a non-American who's aware of why the US Civil War was fought, viz. the North-South divide (racism being at the heart), there's something called overkill. When people hear too much of anything it tends to innoculate their minds to such topics. Whenever we're guaranteed that some civil group will react, such predictability becomes trite and misses the point altogether.

    It's a bit too much to ask, but why not inculcate the value of human life and dignity from childhood, alongside such virtues as respect, courtesy and honesty? At the most simplistic level, this won't happen because the human organism is inherently selfish and carnal (to borrow from the Bible), needing constant reminders of good. Legislation isn't the way forward or such debates. Going back to my query about Obama's reference to Sgt Crowley as stupid, isn't that racist in itself, or if not, at least disrespectful of his fellow man (of whatever colour)? It's not a call for vengeance, just what I feel is a valid observation.

    It is such values that will help us overcome such "insults" to us. Something else, alongside all virtues that help us relate and live well with our neighbors, we ought to practice forgiveness and an ability to overlook any labels, and more so when the same are untrue or uncalled for. Who took more undeserved crap than the Christ, God in human flesh who'd not done anything remotely close to what was heaped on His reputation?

    Kudos to the President for not making more of a meal than it is. If Carter's remarks were indeed racist, it's a shame that an elder statesman would be a divisive figure other than a conciliator. Let's move on from this topic. Respect for fellow man, and especially the differences you share is paramount and beyond compromise.

    Remember both the Golden Rule and the fact that you're special, and so is everyone else!

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  • 152. At 09:48am on 18 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re#141 GreySquirrel1867

    "You just want to denigrate and demean, as if one should be ashamed to be white or hold onto the principles of liberty and limited government that kept this nation free."



    Relax, liberal leftists have turned out to be not so liberal, after all.

    And since they don't want (cannot?) debate advantages and disadvantages of pres. Obama's scheme as such, they resort to personal attacks and name calling to turn attention away from the scheme itself.

    It doesn't seem to work, since their posted slurs (the best indication that they lose their nerve) have, I've noticed, a tendency do disappear rather quickly, and their 'authors', I suspect, will have to change nicks and re-register yet again.

    Sticks and stones, GreySquirrel, stick and stones...

    No pasaran! :-)

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  • 153. At 09:55am on 18 Sep 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    Its nice to see that this has not degenerated into a playground debate of ‘you’re racist because you say this’ countered with ‘no, you’re racist because you say this!’ Personally I am unconvinced that the ‘you lie’ statement was racist, rather a boorish outburst from a man who is paid to know better. The Americans are right to look down on the schoolboy debates of the British Houses of Parliament, which most of the time is more about playing up to your own party and scoring points than actually trying to progress a meaningful dialogue. Then again the S. Carolinian gentleman should have be castigated by his own party and told to make a public and grovelling apology. I assume this man is paid a reasonable amount of money to represent the people of his state, not to get himself fifteen minutes of news time.

    He may well have strong views on the matter, but surely he should know the correct and respectful way to voice these views. An ignorant bully shouting someone down with abuse does not deserve to be listened to.

    I must admit the idea that the modern US is still not dominated by the race issue rings hollow. Most groups of Americans seem to be forced to add race to their description, you have African Americans, Chinese American, Irish Americans etc, if race and racial identity was not important then surely they would simply be Americans? While overt racism may be thankfully on the decline (though I am cautious about how significant this decline is) it seems intrinsic racism is still at the heart of the American psyche.

    If it wasn’t then Obama would be recognised as the first mixed race president, rather incorrectly as the first black president. Personally I would have thought that a president that symbolises the racial homogenalisation of the modern US would have been a far more powerful image. Yes, I have read some comments along the lines of he’s black because he’s not white, but that is just cods.

    But please continue twisting each other arguments to try and make each other sound the greater racist, seems like the mature thing to do!

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  • 154. At 10:07am on 18 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    By the way... I'm still waiting for an answer in this forum, why, when highly popular WHITE president Bill Clinton, had presented a health care reform bill not dissimilar to that of pres. Obama's, it didn't sail through U.S. Congress in which Democrats had a sizeable majority?

    Au contraire, it was soundly rejected by both: big majority of US legislators AND big majority of the American public.

    The same public, btw., which elected Clinton by a big majority.


    P.S. I refused to vote for Jimmy Carter not because he was a rich white peanut farmer from the South. So please, try not to call me a rasist. :-)

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  • 155. At 10:37am on 18 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    152.powermeerkat:

    "Liberals" do not want to debate the health care plan? "Liberals" are being (you hope, obviously) being banned from this blog because they "cast slurs"?

    I think you need to get your world the right way up again. You're obviously standing on your head.

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  • 156. At 10:37am on 18 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re#153 DavidRMurrel wrote:

    If it wasn’t then Obama would be recognised as the first mixed race president, rather incorrectly as the first black president. Personally I would have thought that a president that symbolises the racial homogenalisation of the modern US would have been a far more powerful image. Yes, I have read some comments along the lines of he’s black because he’s not white, but that is just cods.




    You're absolutely correct that it was incorrect.

    BTW. Tiger Woods has been harshly criticised few years back by some members of some ethic groups when he bluntly refused to be labelled as black, Asian, or whatever else, including 'white' pointing out that he was simply "AMERICAN".

    And on a personal note... I had a girlfriend who was a very pretty mixture (partly because of the mix) of Norwegian, Italian, Chilean and Cherokee.

    I recall her getting livid each time she had to choose some racial label on a federal or state form (let alone census).

    "I'm not Caucasian! I'm not Hispanic! I'm not Native American!" -she raved, while liberally interspersing those labels with an 'f' word.

    I still remember those highly politically incorrect outbursts coming from that lovely embodiment of a 'melting pot' concept.

    Now, somebody tell me, what's wrong with that concept?

    And why would anybody want to smash that melting pot?

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  • 157. At 10:46am on 18 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    144. At 03:24am on 18 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:

    At least if you're going to accuse someone of being racist, you should, at a minimum, understand the motivation of those making the claim.

    The players, once again, were:


    *Those calling Republicans racist
    
*Black members of Congress who saw disrespect and racism as its cause
    
*Black citizen who was happy to see Carter accuse a southern white Republican of racism
*White citizen who is tired of being accused of racism


    It is not Chronophobe (or I, or many others on this blog who one might describe as having 'liberal'--in the old-fashioned European sense-- views) who have so neatly divided the issue into black v. white, is it?

    Let me quote Michael Tomasky, who wrote in The Guardian recently:

    I've seen a thousand of these kinds of situations over the years, especially when I covered politics in New York City. Whenever a liberal tosses out a charge of racism, the other side demands "proof". And since everyone has learned by now how to code and calibrate their language so as to stop just at racism's water's edge, there almost never quite is proof, even in extreme cases.
    And something else happens. Conservatives, ironically, are the ones who get to say that liberals "injected race" into the discourse. This is insane because today's American conservative coalition was built around the very idea of racial mistrust and fear. After low taxes and a strong military, it's probably the third leg of the stool going back to Goldwater, Nixon and Reagan, even though Republicans will never of course acknowledge this.
    But conservatives get to claim the high ground when a liberal charges racism without stone-cold proof.




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  • 158. At 10:57am on 18 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    149. KScurmudgeon:

    It seems, though I for one am not as surprised as Powermeerkat, AndreainNY or some others no doubt will be, that it is perfectly possible for people like you and I, clearly from quite opposite political poles, and I from one that many here seem to characterise as extreme in US political terms, can agree on some things.

    (I would like to say I am happy to stand by Chronophobe's other shoulder.)

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  • 159. At 11:09am on 18 Sep 2009, American Sport Fan wrote:

    Here is what gets me about some people in the South, and those who fly the Confederate battle flag in particular. They don't seem to want to stop fighting the Civil War, even though it ended 144 years ago and the South lost. To this day, there are people who can not refuse to accept the fact that the south lost.

    These are the people who believe that States have the right to suceed from the Union. They refuse to believe that this issue was decided on the battlefield and in the courts. AFter the War, the Supreme Court ruled that States Do Not have the right to leave the Union, unless they had concent of the other states. In essence, the United States is a bit like the Hotel California in that you can check out any time you like but you can never leave. Sadly, there are those people in this country who do not want to believe this. They are those who wish to turn the clock back to 1855.

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  • 160. At 11:09am on 18 Sep 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    I have the sometimes inconvenient pleasure of looking mixed race or foreign when I’m not. People always assume that I am foreign or that one of my parents is. I have a strong Mediterranean look, with rather thick lips and people assume that I have Spanish or further south ancestry. From checking the closest non-British relative would be my great-great grandmother who came from what has since become Ireland.

    When I went to Mexico a couple of years ago the locals repeatedly thought I was a local and spoke to me in Spanish. My Father had the same problem in the 60’s when he went to San Francisco, not knowing where to go he ended up in the wrong bar and was warned about the dirty ‘gringos’ again in Spanish, a language neither of us speak.

    Things aren’t too bad these days, one of the reasons I like all these blooming immigrants (that and a slight fetish for accents), but back in the 70’s in an almost all white community I got quite a lot of undeserved racism. It has given me a good perception of racism for a middle class WASP. I think (Former) President Carter made an error playing the race card, though for some I do believe it is a factor. It has clearly de-railed the main debate and has helped polarise the pro and against groups. I say accept that race is always a factor (on both sides), but only one factor, and move on.

    I still say while you Americans are on the whole a pretty good bunch you are all just a little bit strange!

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  • 161. At 11:17am on 18 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    156. At 10:37am on 18 Sep 2009, powermeerkat:

    There is nothing at all wrong with the concept, though if you have clearly African, Asian, Hispanic, Caucasian or Chinese physical characteristics, you cannot tell me that any individual is going to be seen primarily and only as 'American' before they open their mouths, are you? Or even in some cases, without speaking, as their name is read on a form?

    If that were so, why would your friend have to rail about it? My own 'race' (or ethnic origin if you prefer) is often mistaken by people who don't know my name or my background. That's their problem. (It's when they make assumptions based on stereotypes I get irritated.)

    And clearly, stereotypes are still with us.

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  • 162. At 11:26am on 18 Sep 2009, ironfranco wrote:

    *It is just that we don't like *thinking* that much. It is viewed as suspect and elitist. Feeling stuff is much more popular. Simple nostrums are so much less complicated to remember. Patriotism! Our proud soldiers! The flag! Our majestic mountains! These colours don't run! Live free or die! Small government is the best government! Lower taxes, greater prosperity! *
    I should say that your sincere and clever approach to reach the core of the problem proved to be successful and instructive at the same time. The real problem is that all that comfortable way of accepting each new challenge is not *made in USA*. In Eastern Europe we still suffer the consequences of the same brainwashing that lasted for nearly half a century, though with one particular feature: all our failures would come from America (as if Uncle Sam was some almighty devil who was really able to poke his nose into every kitchen). Thank you for the revelation.
    Generalissimo Franco

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  • 163. At 11:55am on 18 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re#155 "I think you need to get your world the right way up again. You're obviously standing on your head."



    Gee, thanks. I wouldn't expect anything less from somebody who claims to be a different kind of Socialist than Socialists who ruled Socialist countries of Eastern Europe under the protection of Socialist Russia subjugating and pauperising the region's peoples for half a century.

    As Max Plank has famously observed:

    "It's not that opponents of new theories eventually accept them.
    It's rather than their opponents eventually die out, and the following generation treats new theories as something obvious" [Selbsverstanding]

    Which category, squirrelist, do you belong, in your own opinion?

    BTW. I'm still waiting for explanation why WESTERN-style Socialists have been so soundly defeated by the voters in both: France and Germany.

    [Even Social Democrats (e.g., SPD) aren't doing so great. :-)]

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  • 164. At 11:57am on 18 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    160. DavidRMurrell:

    I have a similar 'problem' except that in my case I know where it comes from. . .Though I've noticed over the years immigration officers no longer spend time looking at my passport photo, then my name and place of birth, then me, then back again, as they once did. Though only a couple of years ago I was very subtly questioned about what I knew about the part of the country I was born in. . .

    The problem, though, with 'moving on' is the first part, which is you have to accept or recognise a problem exists before you can get beyond it, and we are constantly being told here that it doesn't, or that in reality it's all sorts of other 'problems'.

    Or that anyone who points out a problem's existence is actually the only one suffering it.




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  • 165. At 12:17pm on 18 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re 159

    "These are the people who believe that States have the right to succeed from the Union."




    I think you mean people who'd like to secede from U.S. and did not succeed.

    BTW. there were quite a few peoples who wanted to secede from the then Soviet Union and paid with their lives for it.

    Ironic, since USSR Constitution ALLOWED a scession, unlike the U.S. one.

    Incidentally, quite a few peoples would like to secede from "new, improved" putinesque Russia today (Balkars, Chechens, Dagestanis, Ingushes, Kabardins, etc.) And they're still paying with their lives (as we speak) for having such outragous aspirations.

    Ironially, they are the ONLY ones who can legitimately be called Caucasians.

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  • 166. At 12:28pm on 18 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    163.powermeerkat:

    Suit yourself.

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  • 167. At 12:31pm on 18 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #160 WASP...

    I've always found that label funny, since I've never met a BLACK Anglo-Saxon Protestant.

    Incidentally, since it's a beautiful day I've just walked out on my patio and looked at my skin in natural light.

    And guess what! Im' defitely not WHITE (I can't be called a Cacausian either, since I don't have Caucasian roots), but light PINK!

    So those liberal leftist racists who use the race card here so liberally may call me a 'pinko'.[Although somehow I don't think they would :-)]


    And even if they called me a pool-side pinko I would't yell "you're lying!". Although I don't hail from Beverly Hills or even Hollywood.

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  • 168. At 12:38pm on 18 Sep 2009, ironfranco wrote:

    @103 louisenj
    *It is just that we don't like *thinking* that much. It is viewed as suspect and elitist. Feeling stuff is much more popular. Simple nostrums are so much less complicated to remember. Patriotism! Our proud soldiers! The flag! Our majestic mountains! These colours don't run! Live free or die! Small government is the best government! Lower taxes, greater prosperity! *
    I should say that your sincere and clever approach to reach the core of the problem proved to be successful and instructive at the same time. The real problem is that all that comfortable way of accepting each new challenge is not *made in USA*. In Eastern Europe we still suffer the consequences of the same brainwashing that lasted for nearly half a century, though with one particular feature: all our failures would come from America (as if Uncle Sam was some almighty devil who was really able to poke his nose into every kitchen). Thank you for the revelation.
    Generalissimo Franco

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  • 169. At 12:47pm on 18 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    I guess we're in for 3 1/2 more years of whining every time Americans protest President Obama's ultra left liberal policies that the criticism is motivated by racism. That gets pretty tiresome rather quickly. Just the way the argument that all of the nation's problems are due to mistakes by the previous administration gets tiresome. Only in Britain could someone like Tony Blair get away with that for ten years. But then British politics is a gray business. Just look at Gordon Brown. He's so gray he makes the bleakest day look sunny by comparison.

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  • 170. At 12:47pm on 18 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    163. At 11:55am on 18 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    "As Max Plank has famously observed:

    "It's not that opponents of new theories eventually accept them.
    It's rather than their opponents eventually die out, and the following generation treats new theories as something obvious" [Selbsverstanding]"

    Anyway, Max Planck (if you're going to quote someone, at least get the spelling right, of paste it properly) I think was talking about scientific theories. And judging by the Darwin/Creationist controversy on your side of the Atlantic, some opposition has an extraordinarily long lifespan. Unless private medicine has advanced so much through a capitalist system in the USA they are all getting into their 15th decade.

    My kind of socialism, which, btw, emphasises 'equality' rather like a certain constitution, ain't dead yet, and nor are its adherents, so tough. But mercantilism, 'economic liberalism' and the ideas of Milton Friedman haven't been doing too well of late, have they?

    Nor, I am glad to see, have the opponents of certain racial theories yet died out, though their proponents seem to be continually enjoying new leases of life, especially on one continent.

    Your quote cuts both ways.

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  • 171. At 12:50pm on 18 Sep 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #157

    Let me quote Michael Tomasky, who wrote in The Guardian recently:

    I've seen a thousand of these kinds of situations over the years, especially when I covered politics in New York City. Whenever a liberal tosses out a charge of racism, the other side demands "proof". And since everyone has learned by now how to code and calibrate their language so as to stop just at racism's water's edge, there almost never quite is proof, even in extreme cases.
    And something else happens. Conservatives, ironically, are the ones who get to say that liberals "injected race" into the discourse. This is insane because today's American conservative coalition was built around the very idea of racial mistrust and fear. After low taxes and a strong military, it's probably the third leg of the stool going back to Goldwater, Nixon and Reagan, even though Republicans will never of course acknowledge this.
    But conservatives get to claim the high ground when a liberal charges racism without stone-cold proof.


    Well first yes an accusation of racism should require stone cold proof. Especially when people like Carter and Wright throw it around so matter of factly

    Second I would argue as a moderate the third leg of a conservative platform is less goverment

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  • 172. At 1:09pm on 18 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    167. At 12:31pm on 18 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    "And guess what! Im' defitely not WHITE (I can't be called a Cacausian either, since I don't have Caucasian roots), but light PINK!"

    In my experience, the only people who can certainly be described as 'pink' are those with blond(e) hair and pale skins who've over-indulged in the sun, have high blood pressure, or over-indulge in alcohol.

    Most 'whites' seem to me a shade of brown, but maybe I'm prejudiced or something. Are you by any chance telling us you think degrees of 'whiteness' is some kind of yardstick? And, btw, the use of the word 'Caucasian' is generally to define certain physical features, usually those shared by people also commonly described as 'white', not ancestry from a geographical area, let's not get confused here.

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  • 173. At 1:18pm on 18 Sep 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    163 meerkat
    "BTW. I'm still waiting for explanation why WESTERN-style Socialists have been so soundly defeated by the voters in both: France and Germany."


    I don't think you'll like the answer, but most Western Europeans are not socialist, nor are their left-of-centre parties. There are no significant parties who would nationalise industry for examplle.

    What we have are centre-left socially democratic parties, who you rightly point out are losing ground badly. Why?

    Well, it's mainly because the centre-right is moving left, accepting traditional left-wing ideas like gay rights, womens equality, race issues and social wlefare as non-negotiable parts of civilised life.

    This subtle shift of policy creates an impression that the left is losing out, when in fact the mainstream centre-right parties are adaptingt o survive, and leaving the lunatic fringe (eg BNP) as the hard right.
    This is a lesson that would serve the GOP well (although personnally I hope they never learn it ;-)

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  • 174. At 1:39pm on 18 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    173. At 1:18pm on 18 Sep 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    "This is a lesson that would serve the GOP well "

    One that the Democrats could do with too, in my opinion, though I come at it from a very different angle of vision to many here, obviously, since (like many Europeans) I view that party as right of centre.

    If you look at the latest German polls, the whole 'centre-right' has just over a third of the support of the electiorate, the whole of the centre-left (well left of the Democrats) about a third, the 'real' right (nearest equivalent to the Republicans, I suppose) plus the far right about 14 per cent, and the Greens eleven.

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  • 175. At 1:47pm on 18 Sep 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    I must say as a very liberal, quite left-wing European I have never identified with aims or ideas of the Communist Eastern block, primarily because they were never that liberal, being as they were of an authoritarian mindset. Then again I don’t expect the mainstream parties in Western Europe to follow what I feel are reasonable policies, I find it saves on disappointment. I do find I have a lot time for the ideologies of many of the Scandinavian nations, likewise New Zealand seems to have some good ideas.

    I also ways find it amusing when those of a conservative mindset, both in the UK and US tell me that the socialist dream is over, because of the fall of Communism. The whole idea that all socialists worshiped at the feet of Marx and Lenin is as ridiculous as stating that all Republicans are Bible bashing rednecks or all Conservatives are public school educated chinless wonders.

    Those who think that the Republicans are a broad church should realise that socialism makes them look like a very select ministry in the Appalachian Mountains by comparison!

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  • 176. At 1:58pm on 18 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Planck, Tomsky, Chomsky, Obamsky, what the hell do they know? Let me quote a real philosopher who actually had some insight into life, Pogo.

    "We have met the enemy and he is us."

    Real American Conservatism isn't built on a three legged stool or any kind of stool. It is built on a pedistal called The Constitution of the United States of America. Many who would be conservatives betray their infidelity to it when they try to bring religion into government. For a true American conservative, religion is strictly a private matter.

    "To protect and defend" means just that, the United States, not the world, not overseas transnational corporate interests but America and Americans only no matter what it takes, no matter who else it hurts or how badly. "Promote the general welfare" does not mean a welfare state where there is socialized medicine. America was never conceived of as a nanny state for ninnies. I doesn't work anywhere else and it won't work here either.

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  • 177. At 2:01pm on 18 Sep 2009, American Sport Fan wrote:

    Re 168


    Sorry but I had to say it. In the words of the immortal Chevy Chase: Generalismo Fransico Franco is Still DEAD.

    RE 165

    I get what you're saying about Russia wanting to suceed. However, the problem here in America is that you have conservative politians who are still trying to proclaim the Right to sussession. Govenor Rick Perry of Texas has openly courted sussessionists in his bid for re-election. Forget about the start up costs for a proposed Republic of TExas would be prohibitive, especially when it came to defense. The other problem Perry's Republic would be the desire of the Latino Community voted to become a part of the Republic of Mexico?

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  • 178. At 2:11pm on 18 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    175. DavidRMurrell:

    Exactly. But some of us seem to have inordinate difficulty getting that across to some people. You'd think that 'socialist' or 'communist' ideas didn't predate Marx and their only implementation anywhere was by Stalin. And not the Co-operative Society (of which I am now a member thanks to a recent alliance between my Building Society and the Co-op.)

    (I keep wondering when some here are going to tell us because French local administrative areas are called 'Communes' that in France there is no private property, all means of production and distribution are held in common, and dissidents are packed off to the local psychiatric hospital. Any takers?)

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  • 179. At 2:12pm on 18 Sep 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #173,174 and 175

    If you are looking at the recent elections worldwide,(legitimate ones not phony ones in Iran or Venezuela) I think people should stop looking at change in philosphy for a more basic reason:

    Throw the Bums Out!

    Because right now David Cameron will probaly be the next PM

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  • 180. At 2:29pm on 18 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    I must say I am increasingly exasperated by the numerous attempts displayed here (and always, it seems, from the right of the American political spectrum) to redefine 'racism' into 'opposition to a political party'.

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  • 181. At 2:34pm on 18 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #168

    Chave Chase reported in one of its famous 'newscasts' on "Saturday Night Live": "this just in: Generalissimus Francisco Franco is still dead!"

    And as for "all our failures would come from America (as if Uncle Sam was some almighty devil who was really able to poke his nose into every kitchen). Thank you for the revelation."


    How is Bulgarian lottery doing?

    The same numbers are going to come up for the THIRD time in the row?

    [As somebody not exactly ignorant of Ulam's Monte Carlo Method, let alone probability theory, I'm midly amused; although not shocked.]

    How does that anthem go: Rule Bulgaria, Bulgaria waves the rules"? :-)

    P.S. I have some fond memories from Neseber. Lovely place.

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  • 182. At 2:42pm on 18 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    MK

    It doesn't matter who the next PM of the UK is. In their inherently flawed system he is doomed to fail. For example, they do not have the seperation of powers that affords checks and balances we have. This allows the PM such as Gordon Brown to sign away their sovereignty to Brussels by fiat with the stroke of a pen without so much as a debate in Parliament let alone a plebecite. Here we'd have another revolution but in the UK there is little more than occasional muted grumbling. They are accostomed to being cowed. So they have in effect an elected king instead of a hereditary one. It is not a real change, in the end a king is a king. A dictator is a dictator. That is not the way I view democracy and not the way the founders of the United States viewed it either I think. It is conceptually very different from the way we see things.

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  • 183. At 3:03pm on 18 Sep 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    179 magic
    "throw the bums out"


    That's great advice for the rest of the world.
    Once again the USA was ahead of the field in Nov 2008.

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  • 184. At 3:06pm on 18 Sep 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    With all due respect MagicKirin, what does your post have to with the price of haddock compared with what I wrote? Again I don’t expect the main parties in Britain to reflect my political views. At the next GE I will probably vote Conservative, not because I agree with their policies any more than New Labour, since other than semantics there is little real difference, but because I feel NL have been in power for too long. I believe that all the political energy has left the current government and new blood is needed. Of all the British parties the Lib Dems come closest to my idea of ood politics, but the realist in me realises that they have a snow balls chance of getting into power.

    The bums you would like to see out were the friends of the Republicans, Blair was Bush’s little poodle in Europe. Obama seems on friendlier terms with Cameron than Brown, which sort of undermines his ‘socialist’ credentials somewhat.

    I have quite a lot of time for Marx’s writings, but then again I like many German philosophers especially Marx and Nietzsche. That being said I have no more wish to live under a political system based on the bastardised ideologies of either of the German masters.

    Then again my political views have nothing do to do with any political election, such as the Japanese changing from a right-wing to a relatively left-wing government after fifty years. Oh wait I guess that momentous change must be one of your discounted ‘funny’ elections!

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  • 185. At 3:08pm on 18 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    If the tea parties are racist, were the town hall meetings which preceded them run and attended by racists too? Was the anger that poured out and surprised so many the result of racism? This is direct participatory democracy in action. This is how Americans tell their elected representatives what they think and how they want them to vote. This is how the Kennedy McCain give away the country to illegal aliens bill was defeated. People who do not like it because they want to ramrod their ideas down everyone's throats have no response except to call it pejorative names. Just like the Mullahs in Iran had no response to the street protesters there. It's the same thing.

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  • 186. At 3:11pm on 18 Sep 2009, American Sport Fan wrote:

    Re 181

    Chase was able keep that bit going for awhile, he even said on Weekend Update that Franco competing in the Olympics after his death.


    As for the Bulgarian lottery, three weeks? Does anybody here suspect something fishy?

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  • 187. At 3:11pm on 18 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #173 powermeerkat asked: "What we have are centre-left socially democratic parties, who you rightly point out are losing ground badly. Why?

    RomeStue replied: "Well, it's mainly because the centre-right is moving left, accepting traditional left-wing ideas like gay rights, womens equality, race issues and social wlefare as non-negotiable parts of civilised life."


    Wow! Nick Sarkozy had started to support social welfare and Muslim V-th Column's [his words] rights when I was asleep? And that's why he so soundly defeated his Socialist opponent with a v. appropriate surname 'Royal'?

    Could you please, explain?

    And, pray, tell me, once at it, why all-powerful SPD and its "Chancellor from GAZPROM" had been so soundly defeated?

    Despite German populaton fully supporting the idea of 'welfare state'?

    And speaking 'bout welfare state...

    Could we possibly, just possibly, return to the starting point, id est, pres. Obama's health care scheme's MERITS?

    [An uncomfortable subject, I guess, if you look at its details]

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  • 188. At 3:11pm on 18 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    President Obama recorded a greeting to Jews around the world who will celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, beginning at sundown Friday." [HuffPo, today.]

    Now I am curious as to what those who were so vehement about his entertaining Muslims at the White House, speaking in Cairo, or speaking to schoolchildren will say. For to criticise him will, to some of those same people, be 'anti-semitic', even maybe 'racist' will it not?

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  • 189. At 3:21pm on 18 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    182 MarcusAureliusII

    So if a country (and the majority of democracies around the world actually operate on a parliamentary system, not the American example) does not have elections just like ones in the USA, the election doesn't count?

    (I'd kind of noticed that, the way the USA treats some other countries around the world.)




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  • 190. At 3:22pm on 18 Sep 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    Marcus (strange to name yourself after the Emperor that is credited with destroying the Pax Romana), yes that’s right we British have an elected monarch, just like our elite military forces are made up of crack Easter Bunnies! The British a history of being cowed, crikey some parts of the US education system really cannot teach history for toffee, you would have thought your family’s money could have paid for better!

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  • 191. At 3:25pm on 18 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    Sorry, both 182 and my answer (189 I think it was) are obviously off-topic. Will someone kindly mention that to the mods?

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  • 192. At 3:28pm on 18 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #172 squirellist claimed:

    "And, btw, the use of the word 'Caucasian' is generally to define certain physical features, usually those shared by people also commonly described as 'white', not ancestry from a geographical area, let's not get confused here."





    I think thou art confuseth, as Chevy Chase used to say.

    'Caucasian' is a category which, unfortunately, all so called 'white' Americans (me included) have to mark (check) on every and each federal and state form.

    Unless they want to be qualified as Hispanics, Asians, etc.

    REGARDLESS of their features. [sic]

    Yet another example what political correctness can do to governments.

    BTW. I don't think Mr. Obama is black, white, Polynesian or anything in between.

    In my humble opinion he's simply very, very GREEN. As a president.

    And even more so, as a Commander-in-Chief.

    [that's why, incidentally, he retained Bob Gates as Defense Secretary.]

    "It's not easy to be green".

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  • 193. At 3:30pm on 18 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    185. MarcusAureliusII:

    See my 180. Only some (as you do) are determined to confuse a part with a whole to avoid addressing the underlying issues.

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  • 194. At 3:31pm on 18 Sep 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 177, ASF

    "The other problem Perry's Republic would be the desire of the Latino Community voted to become a part of the Republic of Mexico?"

    Don't bet on that! The last thing "Latinos" want to do is turn the USA or Canada into replicas of the places the ran away from. I realize that is one of the trump cards used by vigilantes and the far right to demonize "Hispanic" immigrants, but it is simply not true.

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  • 195. At 3:40pm on 18 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    185. At 3:08pm on 18 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "This is direct participatory democracy in action. This is how Americans tell their elected representatives what they think and how they want them to vote."

    So your idea of 'direct participatory democracy' is that (at the highest estimate) less than half a per cent of American voters should decide every government policy without the opinions of the others taken into account at all?

    In any case, there have been many 'Town Halls' attended by more supporters than opposers, at least one in Vermont, for example. (One I choose because I happen to have heard of it, though those where no-one shouts and screams hardly ever seem to be reported.)

    I don't call that democracy, I call it mob rule. That's the same as claiming 'Kristallnacht' was a valid democratic expression of the majority of German voters.



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  • 196. At 3:45pm on 18 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    121. At 8:14pm on 17 Sep 2009, MagicKirin wrote:
    Simon21 wrote:
    84. At 3:35pm on 17 Sep 2009, MagicKirin wrote:
    ref #60

    AmericanSportFan wrote:
    To deny that race is a factor in any criticism of President Obama is to deny
    that the earth is round. There is an element of racism involved in this debate
    whether we choose to admit it or not. President Carter was absolutely spot on
    when he made his comments.


    To deny that Cater and other extermists on the left are playing the race card is
    to deny the earth is round. Those supporters don't want anything but
    obediance."


    Like israelies? At least Carter doesn't use F16s to get it.


    Anyone else notice how simon 21 has to bring in Israel into every thread?"


    Well stop using the Israelie far right as a touchstone for judging people then

    Your "views" of Carter, Desmond Tutu, Mother Theresa some of he world's greatest humanitarians is bases aolely on whether they approve of Israeli extremists.

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  • 197. At 3:52pm on 18 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    192. At 3:28pm on 18 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    'Caucasian' is a category which, unfortunately, all so called 'white' Americans (me included) have to mark (check) on every and each federal and state form. Unless they want to be qualified as Hispanics, Asians, etc."


    If you look at the US Census categories, you will find there are (I think) 56 possible combinations. Which is why it is extraordinarily difficult to make sense of some of their figures, since in many of their breakdowns, the same individual ends up often being counted twice.

    Depending on your parentage, it is perfectly possible to be counted, certainly in two, but quite possibly three, even four categories. One can be both 'white' and 'Hispanic', 'Black and Hispanic', 'white and Native American', etc. etc.

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  • 198. At 3:54pm on 18 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    Posting:
    119. At 7:48pm on 17 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re #112 poweremeerkat wrote: Now, here's hoping that Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton and Louis Farakhan will help to round Democratic (band)wagons, as well."


    Simon says: "Hmmm all black men."



    Are you saying that those 3 honorable gentlemen shouldn't defend Obama against hordes of abominable whitehoods? What's WRONG with them?"


    What's wrong with you is the issue. And I think everyone can see that fairly
    clearly.

    "After all: in almost every post you insinuate that this is all about race,really."

    You prove Pesident Carter's point with most of the posts you make.

    Unless you are now asserting one of the above gentleman is white.

    Apart from civil rights and the fact they are American the only thing that unites these people is their colour - Farrakahn is, I think, a moslem.

    Very instructive.

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  • 199. At 3:56pm on 18 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    Posting:
    73. At 2:35pm on 17 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:
    There is little or no evidence that the current protests against Pesident Obama are motivated by racism. This is pure political puffery to divert attention away from the real issues and de-legitimize the criticisms of his performance that have both validity and credibility."

    Hmmm but evidence didn't worry you about Acorn did it? As long as it suits your "views" evidence isn't needed.

    Much of the criticism of Obama is obviously racially motivated and it is futile to say otherwise. Carter is completely correct.

    Obama has been criticised over his wife, his school speech as well as his past where his associates, on no evidence, have been described as criminals.

    That in itself is curious but it is the level of the vitriol which gives the truth to this view.

    The sense of "how dare he" is very clear.

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  • 200. At 4:01pm on 18 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    197:

    On that point, I have noticed several commentators in the US media revising the 'uninsured Americans' down to as low as 9 million by careful subtractions based on the US Census's 2008 figures. Usually those who wish to give the impression that the majority of those uninsured in the US are both illegal immigrants, and largely Hispanic, though this is usually implied rather than directly stated. Using one table, I found myself with a total of 59 million before I realised that counted some people twice.

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  • 201. At 4:02pm on 18 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

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

  • 202. At 4:07pm on 18 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    187. At 3:11pm on 18 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re #173 powermeerkat asked: "What we have are centre-left socially democratic parties, who you rightly point out are losing ground badly. Why?

    RomeStue replied: "Well, it's mainly because the centre-right is moving left, accepting traditional left-wing ideas like gay rights, womens equality, race issues and social wlefare as non-negotiable parts of civilised life."


    Wow! Nick Sarkozy had started to support social welfare and Muslim V-th Column's [his words] rights when I was asleep? And that's why he so soundly defeated his Socialist opponent with a v. appropriate surname 'Royal'?"

    Yes. You were not aware Sarkozy rolled back in social welfare?
    Read more about France. Or sleep less


    "And, pray, tell me, once at it, why all-powerful SPD and its "Chancellor from GAZPROM" had been so soundly defeated?

    Despite German populaton fully supporting the idea of 'welfare state'?"


    Because of the economy. But are you saying the Germans oppose the welfare state.

    Wow when did that occur?

    "And speaking 'bout welfare state...

    Could we possibly, just possibly, return to the starting point, id est, pres. Obama's health care scheme's MERITS?

    [An uncomfortable subject, I guess, if you look at its details]"


    Difficult when his colour causes such a fury. As Carter says.

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  • 203. At 4:11pm on 18 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    190. At 3:22pm on 18 Sep 2009, DavidRMurrell wrote:

    "Marcus (strange to name yourself after the Emperor that is credited with destroying the Pax Romana)"

    Not at all strange if you look at some of the stuff he's posted in the past. (Not recommended however in the interest of preserving general human sanity.) The only Roman principle he has been known to credit is Cicero and his 'Carthago delenda est' except that he substitutes 'every country but the USA' for Carthage. . .

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  • 204. At 4:13pm on 18 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    110. At 6:33pm on 17 Sep 2009, saintDominick wrote:
    Ref 94, Diverticulosis

    "Now I'm not saying you are racist but how do you know the immigration status of those in the waiting room?
    surely they do not walk around with a 4 ft banner saying "i'm illegal and after your health care."

    The overwhelming majority of "Hispanics" living and working in the USA are here legally and most were born in this country. The ancestors of many of them lived in places like Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California since before those states joined the Union. Unfortunately, the irrational cultural antipathy that many white Americans feel towards Hispanics often results in stereotyping and abuse of citizens that have as much right as everyone else to be in this country.

    Illegal alliens is a term that is usually applied exclusively to Hispanics, the tens of thousands of Eastern Europeans that enter the USA illegally via the Canadian border are free to live and work as they please and if they don't speak English that's OK."

    This type of racial abuse is very common. When "illegal immigrants" are referred to in the UK it means generally black or Asian people.

    It doesn't mean Australians who have overstayed their visas or White SAs Americans or Canadians.

    In OZ it refers almost exclusively to Asians, again not Americans, SAs or anybody white.



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  • 205. At 4:16pm on 18 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    59. At 1:33pm on 17 Sep 2009, MagicKirin wrote:
    ref #47

    You are right that former President carter has the right to his oppinion. As we have the right to criticize for his bigotry and many errors."

    Such as negotiating peace between Israel and Egypt, helping to negotiate peace in SA.

    And becoming a towering humane figure.

    "He did President Obama no favors, because a Rasmuson poll said an overwhelming majority of American have a negative opinion of jimmy Carter"

    Really less popular than Dick Cheyney?

    Carter has let the cat out the bag (he may have been asked to do this by Obama I am betting he proably was) and it is hilarious to watch the howling.

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  • 206. At 4:21pm on 18 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    152. At 09:48am on 18 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re#141 GreySquirrel1867

    "You just want to denigrate and demean, as if one should be ashamed to be white or hold onto the principles of liberty and limited government that kept this nation free."


    Relax, liberal leftists have turned out to be not so liberal, after all."


    Hmm but you don't like liberalism? SO you should be pleased :-(

    "And since they don't want (cannot?) debate advantages and disadvantages of pres. Obama's scheme as such, they resort to personal attacks and name calling to turn attention away from the scheme itself."

    Hmmm there is no scheme, has that escaped you? Oh dear maybe you were asleep again.

    And does Pes Obama give away pictures of himself as Hitler? As do some of his opponents

    "It doesn't seem to work, since their posted slurs (the best indication that they lose their nerve) have, I've noticed, a tendency do disappear rather quickly, and their 'authors', I suspect, will have to change nicks and re-register yet again."

    What are you talking about. You have had so many postings disaapear you will soon be banned again.

    Sticks and stones, GreySquirrel, stick and stones..."

    Be a good idea to learn how to use them.

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  • 207. At 4:32pm on 18 Sep 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #19. powermeerkat: "Jimmy Carter has almost never been right, but almost always been wrong. . . . [I say 'has been' because is a 'has been']"

    Better a "has been" rather than a "never was" - like certain posters here. The former President has devoted his life to public service and good works - what have you ever done other than adversely criticise?

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  • 208. At 4:33pm on 18 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    n144. At 03:24am on 18 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:

    **************

    No, "these people" are not anti-racists or persecuting white people. You missed the point.

    Each player comes to the incident with his/her own perspective and sees (or doesn't see) racism."

    But that does not mean rascism does not exist.

    "The players, once again, were:

    *Those calling Republicans racist
    *Black members of Congress who saw disrespect and racism as its cause
    *Black citizen who was happy to see Carter accuse a southern white Republican of racism
    *White citizen who is tired of being accused of racism"

    * "hite citizens who have a rascist problem with a black president.

    "Each sees the Wilson incident through his/her own lense. Each has a history, attitude or even bias that shapes his/her interpretation of it."

    Wow. Ditto the Kennedy assassination, but that does not mean it did not take place.

    "This is basic stuff. It shouldn't be news to you that people view things through their own emotional lense."

    Wacky do but when we try a person for rape we don't shrug shoulders and say well its all a matter of individual perception.

    This is very basic can you not grasp this?

    "At least if you're going to accuse someone of being racist, you should, at a minimum, understand the motivation of those making the claim."

    What has that got to do with it? If someone is rascist the motivation of the person making the point has nothing to do with it, it is either rascist or it is not.
    144. At 03:24am on 18 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:
    142. chronophobe:

    re: 66 AndreainNY What lies in the minds of all these people play a role in this incident and contribute to the state of race relations in this country.

    So 'these people' (anti-racists) are actually persecuting white people? White conservatives are persecuted group in the US? That's really, really funny. I wonder if there are any black only sundown towns?

    **************

    No, "these people" are not anti-racists or persecuting white people. You missed the point.

    Each player comes to the incident with his/her own perspective and sees (or doesn't see) racism.

    The players, once again, were:

    *Those calling Republicans racist
    *Black members of Congress who saw disrespect and racism as its cause
    *Black citizen who was happy to see Carter accuse a southern white Republican of racism
    *White citizen who is tired of being accused of racism


    Oh no rascists then, they do not exist? Surely they are players?

    "Each sees the Wilson incident through his/her own lense. Each has a history, attitude or even bias that shapes his/her interpretation of it."

    Actually no, a large number of people have the same opinion of it, don't they?


    "This is basic stuff. It shouldn't be news to you that people view things through their own emotional lense."

    Irrelevant. Wilson is not being accused by one person is he? Or are you saying human beings cannot reach a collective view?

    "At least if you're going to accuse someone of being racist, you should, at a minimum, understand the motivation of those making the claim."


    Motivation has nothing to do with it, save in this regard Wilson's motivation would be interesting to discover.

    Whatever the motivation the facts remain.

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  • 209. At 5:17pm on 18 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #190

    Please, remind me what was the REAL name of the German family which has been ruling Britannia for quite some time? Wasn't it Coburg und Gotha?

    And that fellow, Edward, whatchamacallit, who greeted certain Adolf H. with a Nazi salut; wasn't he at some point a British monarch?

    [led astray by an American, of course. :-)]

    But led bygones be bygones. Peace be with you.

    Peace (as defined by our Commander in Chief yesterday) for our time. ;-)

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  • 210. At 5:24pm on 18 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    207. At 4:32pm on 18 Sep 2009, David_Cunard wrote:
    #19. powermeerkat: "Jimmy Carter has almost never been right, but almost always been wrong. . . . [I say 'has been' because is a 'has been']"

    Better a "has been" rather than a "never was" - like certain posters here. The former President has devoted his life to public service and good works - what have you ever done other than adversely criticise?"


    It says something for the very low level of political debate in the US that a man who has been internationally hailed for his humanitarianism and his services to peace is abused by some in the US for precisely this reason.

    Any man who can count Mandela, Tutu and numerous other peace makers among his close friends is worthy of great respect.

    Especially when you consider the actitivities of most other US ex presidents - Nixon, whining, Ford, nothing, Bush senior, nothing Reagan, mentally infirm, Clinton, does work hard but not as much, and now Bush

    Can't see this latter helping to peacefully overthrow oneof the most disgusting regimes in the world.


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  • 211. At 5:41pm on 18 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    203. At 4:11pm on 18 Sep 2009, squirrellist wrote:
    190. At 3:22pm on 18 Sep 2009, DavidRMurrell wrote:

    "Marcus (strange to name yourself after the Emperor that is credited with destroying the Pax Romana)"

    Not at all strange if you look at some of the stuff he's posted in the past. (Not recommended however in the interest of preserving general human sanity.) The only Roman principle he has been known to credit is Cicero and his 'Carthago delenda est' except that he substitutes 'every country but the USA' for Carthage. . ."

    I find his positings quite amusing. He thinks he is "defending the US" but it swiftly becomes clear that he is only interested in certain people in the US, people like himself.

    And he inevitably ends up contradicting himself.

    As do fanatical Israeli defenders.

    The simple fact is that it is near impossible to champion any country unreservedly as it is any human being.

    I think it was Chesterton who once wrote "my country right or wrong is the same as my mother, drunk or sober".

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  • 212. At 5:48pm on 18 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    209. At 5:17pm on 18 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re #190

    Please, remind me what was the REAL name of the German family which has been ruling Britannia for quite some time? Wasn't it Coburg und Gotha?"


    No it wasn't. Oh dear there is no family called Coburg und Gotha.

    Wrong again.

    "And that fellow, Edward, whatchamacallit, who greeted certain Adolf H. with a Nazi salut; wasn't he at some point a British monarch?"

    What was that country across the Atlantic that traded with the Nazis after 1939 - ah yes! Who was that US National Hero who openly supported the Nazi government, Limbergh, Lindbueg?

    When did WWII begin 1939. When did the US decide the Nazis were not nice, that's right 1941. How many jews, disabled etc had been killed by then?

    Oh dear again :-(

    See what happens when you try history? Try something else:-)

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  • 213. At 5:51pm on 18 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Simon says: Illegal alliens is a term that is usually applied exclusively to Hispanics, the tens of thousands of Eastern Europeans that enter the USA illegally via the Canadian border are free to live and work as they please and if they don't speak English that's OK."



    Although Not in U.K., Simon. Not in the U.K.

    Post again, if you have to hire a proverbial Polish plumber. :-)

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  • 214. At 6:03pm on 18 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:


    192. At 3:28pm on 18 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re #172 squirellist claimed:

    "And, btw, the use of the word 'Caucasian' is generally to define certain
    physical features, usually those shared by people also commonly described as 'white', not ancestry from a geographical area, let's not get confused here."





    "I think thou art confuseth, as Chevy Chase used to say.

    'Caucasian' is a category which, unfortunately, all so called 'white' Americans (me included) have to mark (check) on every and each federal and state form.

    Unless they want to be qualified as Hispanics, Asians, etc.

    REGARDLESS of their features. [sic]"


    Regardless of skin colour? Ot is that not a feature?


    "Yet another example what political correctness can do to governments.

    BTW. I don't think Mr. Obama is black, white, Polynesian or anything in
    between."


    Hmm odd comment. Mr Obama is black and describes himself as such.


    "In my humble opinion he's simply very, very GREEN. As a president.

    And even more so, as a Commander-in-Chief."

    As compared to who since no one is experienced as US CiC until they become president.

    What experience did Bush have exactly?

    "[that's why, incidentally, he retained Bob Gates as Defense
    Secretary.]"

    As opposed to Bush's appointment of Rumsfeld who proceeded to emasculate the armed forces, before fighting two wars? Possibly the worst defence secretary for the lost 30 years.

    But he was experienced at Proctor and Gamble

    "It's not easy to be green".

    Not easy being so ignorant either but Bush managed it

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  • 215. At 6:05pm on 18 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    105. At 6:02pm on 17 Sep 2009, diverticulosis wrote:

    fluffytale

    Meethinks doth protest too much.

    Look dude I was willing to think you might have misread now I know you are a fake.


    You cannot read obviously.
    I could have put all the replies on one post.
    but i didn't big deal.

    first do try to write a comment to back your argument up .

    the way you attack me with such a fabricated responce of rubbish is rather telling.
    I think you doth protest.
    Your attempt to sound reasonable before turning into a rabid right wing racist was called out before you had time to fire more than an initial salvo.

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  • 216. At 6:05pm on 18 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 217. At 6:06pm on 18 Sep 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #209. powermeerkat: "Please, remind me what was the REAL name of the German family which has been ruling Britannia for quite some time? Wasn't it Coburg und Gotha?"

    Queen Victoria was of the House of Hanover, her son, Edward VII was of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. There have been nine generations since the birth of Queen Victoria (which was in London) and so it can hardly be claimed that the Royal Family are German; since 1917 the family name has been Windsor. Born on British soil means one is British, born in Germany means one is German. The two are not to be confused. The real name of the British Royal Family is actually Mountbatten-Windsor - and the Monarch in Britain (Australia, Canada, New Zealand &c.) reigns, not rules.

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  • 218. At 6:17pm on 18 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    103 great post.

    NINNY SEEING AS YOU CANT COMPREHEND RACISM DO SHUT UP.
    sorry you go on about hate while for over a year you exclude all but white americans from having rights.
    I was not the one obsessed by white americans . I do hate people that behave in a way that causes others to suffer for their own selfishness.
    Sorry. I will not agree with you that all should respect the nazi party. or that I should go have dinner with a rapist. or that I should find some nice peadophile to live with.
    Sorry.
    I won't so get off it.
    You have a basic problem between disliking peoples life style choices (IE political party) and their life (without any choice).
    You keep failing to understand the basis of the word you debate.
    Yes I hate republicans that deny care to all on an equal basis becauuse their constitution prevents care. because they are preventing others having their welfare for a lie.
    and so on. you really can tar me with the brush as you wish.

    it will not change that you have opposed Obama before he made any policies, before you knew anything about him and have not changed one bit.


    You say I hate all. but I have been very specific in those I hate. and they are normally what I would just call (well I don't think the mods will allow it) .
    but none the less if you carry on do go back. I have answered your questions so please go back and answer some yourself.

    I will not excuse you for being racist because of your upbringing. I will say that a refusal to do anything about it is your problem.

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  • 219. At 6:24pm on 18 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    I hate shrimp.
    I hate "comon Eileen"
    I hate dumb republicans

    see I hate OK but you don't?
    now who do you hate.
    I have even said I don't hate all republicans.
    But screw it. I'm just going to write loads saying how I hate all americans then.
    (despite as ranter the unread didn't notice that I live in the USA and am american;)

    You tar all with your comments about americans.
    You do a disservice to the republicans I know who never voted for bush and are ashamed by the racism that has taken the party.
    They hate your type .
    You have made it so they feel there is no way they can make a decent point.
    YOU did that.
    by refusing to stand up against the racists in your party.
    I did stand up to Hillery as best as I could here and in my life whhen she pulled the race baiting out. I have called her out several times in this thread. I do look to the party that I voted for and say.
    Dems get the racists out.
    (shame about hillery).
    You say.
    sorry racists let me just attack this democrat.
    Pathetic

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  • 220. At 6:29pm on 18 Sep 2009, caicos wrote:

    My hairdresser, an ardent life long Democrat voted Republican rather than accept a "foreigner" as president. My gym partner told me he was bought up in New York and knows what "those people" are like and my girlfriend told me Obama should go back where he belongs to, Kenya. These views are not from activist protestors, just normal hardworking people who obviously spoke freely in the belief that everyone shared their views. I can't speak for all America but in our little corner of Florida, I would say Racism underpins many misgivings currently expressed against President Obama, a fact which I am sure he is aware of. As there is nothing he can do to change such inbred prejudices, he might as well ignore them.

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  • 221. At 6:35pm on 18 Sep 2009, LucyJ wrote:

    If Mr. Mardell goes to different sections of the country, he will see how Americans vary in their beliefs and races. NY and Cali are the most diverse states of race. There, races have already integrated and you can find anything and everything. Of course, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas are not far behind, as they are getting more and more illegal immigrants every year there. As for the middle of the country (the Heartland), the cities such as Chicago and Detroit are pretty diverse. But if you come out to little towns, which most ignore, we are mostly Caucasian and old-fashioned, remnants of how America used to be (the immigrants before the immigrants.) Then, there is the Deep South, where tensions remain high and suspicious. I have a cousin from Louisiana, and I remember him asking before the election (on a family vacation), "Do you really think a black man can be President?" I said, "Yes, I do," with honesty. Of course, I never thought Obama would have his spending stimulus (which has only helped bankers and hurt the middle class), or tried to pass a health care bill (requiring mandatory insurance for all, and having to pay a fine- Mr. Obama said he would not do that in his speeches before the election, but he did lie about that, for now he claims he will fine people.) I do think Obama is better than Palin. I liked McCain, but not Palin, she was too insane for me. After Obama and Congress's choices of how to help America, I now am embarrased to call myself a Democrat. From now on, I am going to call myself Independent, because both parties refuse to help the middle class find jobs and reasonable health care costs. It seems both sides are corrupt anymore. Neither is better than the other. But the only thing both sides can agree on is that we love America and do not want to see our country succumb to terrorists or Islamic fanatics. Islamic terrorists are our biggest enemy, no matter what side you are on, because they want to kill people if they do not believe in Islam. Islamic terrorist are a pretty sad religion. They may as well call themselves murderers and devil's worshippers.

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  • 222. At 6:37pm on 18 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Ninny Bull.
    You object to the fact that we call you racist for sounding like a racist,
    do try just for once some honesty with yourself. Just a bit.


    ALL YOU RACIST REPUBLICANS do accept that if you are not the racist republican the comment racist republican does not apply to you , but it does apply to the racist republicans.

    Have a hard time understanding. Get more prozac and don't worry about it.

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  • 223. At 6:55pm on 18 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #217


    According to Wikipedia (among other sources) The House of Windsor is the current Royal House of the United Kingdom and each of the other Commonwealth realms. It is a branch of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (German: Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha), which adopted the name Windsor by a royal proclamation of George V in 1917."

    In the reaction to a strong wave of anti German sentiments in Britain at the time, may I respecfully add.

    But forget it. More importantly:

    When are you going to elect prince Charles as a next monarch of your democracy?

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  • 224. At 7:10pm on 18 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    "It doesn't seem to work, since their posted slurs (the best indication that they lose their nerve) have, I've noticed, a tendency do disappear rather quickly, and their 'authors', I suspect, will have to change nicks and re-register yet again."


    and all the while you guys claim you don't engage in that getting people banned.
    shame of the matter is.
    it is pretty obvious what has gone on. I suspect that the new management will not be so pleased to see the likes of the JW U boating happening in such a bias manner.
    Sorry to inform you of this.

    Thing is there has been ample evidence you are all racists so you fight back like the kids you are.

    getting the legion together gain?
    No worries.


    How is it that some get banned.
    you bring this up.
    But happylaze got banned for making a factually correct staement.
    because someone complained.
    How was it that complaint was taken seriously and a simple statement of fact was enough to get happylaze banned.
    It would have been like being banned for saying "the american flag is red white and blue"

    so do not talk of others getting banned so glibly.
    You posted posts saying blacks were lazy.


    so do watch your comments.

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  • 225. At 7:32pm on 18 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Squirreliest;

    "...the election doesn't count?"

    You got it. The USA may be the only true democracy in the world. It's government was stuctured by the best minds who ever tried to devise a system where diverse people's with diverse views and interests could co-exist peacefully with each other...and it worked....except for just one brief spell around 150 years ago.

    "I don't call that democracy, I call it mob rule."

    That is exactly what the British aristocrats and Monarch called it 233 years ago when the American colonists told them to pack up and leave and that they would invent a way to govern themselves. Some things never change.

    DavidRSquirrel

    "some parts of the US education system really cannot teach history for toffee, you would have thought your family’s money could have paid for better!"

    They couldn't afford to. Their taxes were too high for a private school because it had to support a socialist system of public education. That's what this protest is about. When Obama's gang is done if they get their way, our medical care system will be no better than our education system...or their counterparts in socialist Britain.

    Simple Simian

    Your perpetual accusations of racism against me and anyone else who doesn't agree with your extreme left wing views is as always baseless and groundless. I can't imagine that even you believe your own lies.

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  • 226. At 7:48pm on 18 Sep 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #223. powermeerkat: "Re #217 According to Wikipedia (among other sources) . . . "

    Hardly a reliable source of information - and the article notes there is no verification of what follows. In recognition of her husband, Her Majesty changed the family name to Mountbatten-Windsor.

    "When are you going to elect prince Charles as a next monarch of your democracy?"

    Don't be fatuous. The Monarch isn't elected, but Parliament is. The United Kingdom has a Constitutional Monarchy. The former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, tried to operate a "presidential-style" premiership, but was roundly criticised for so doing. Mrs Thatcher thought she was equal to The Queen when she wasn't. Any other questions?

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  • 227. At 8:01pm on 18 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    "our medical care system will be no better than our education system..."

    just going to prove what I have always said MA.
    Americans are a pathetic bunch of no hoper's who couldn't organise a drinking party in a brewery .

    well done.


    Like that ninny I included all americans but left out Racist

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  • 228. At 8:02pm on 18 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    see ninny now I 'm self loathing so have at it.

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  • 229. At 8:15pm on 18 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 230. At 8:42pm on 18 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 231. At 8:57pm on 18 Sep 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 232. At 9:00pm on 18 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 233. At 9:32pm on 18 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    232 they would have lost to J mc Cain

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  • 234. At 9:34pm on 18 Sep 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 235. At 9:39pm on 18 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 236. At 9:42pm on 18 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

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

  • 237. At 9:44pm on 18 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Marcus given the amount you go on about your whine seller I am surprised you go on so much about the Brits drinking.

    Now I commented on the ability to throw a party in a brewery. you mr maybe not a regular drinker jumped to alcoholics.

    AA meetings not going well?

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  • 238. At 9:45pm on 18 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    230. At 8:42pm on 18 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re #226 "Any other questions?"



    Yes, 2 unanswered ones.

    1.Is "premier from BP" (as many Brits call im on HYS) going to be reelected
    (oops, I meant his Labour Party)?"


    Who knows but there is no doubt going on current chaos that Obama is going to be (barring the LHO solution of course)

    2.When is a referendum on British membership in European Disunion going to be held?"

    Oh in the 1970s. Did you miss it? Must have been asleep again.


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  • 239. At 9:53pm on 18 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 240. At 9:57pm on 18 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 241. At 9:59pm on 18 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    195. At 3:40pm on 18 Sep 2009, squirrellist wrote:
    185. At 3:08pm on 18 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "This is direct participatory democracy in action. This is how Americans tell their elected representatives what they think and how they want them to vote."

    So your idea of 'direct participatory democracy' is that (at the highest estimate) less than half a per cent of American voters should decide every government policy without the opinions of the others taken into account at all?"


    And those wearing the white hoods and burning the crosses should be taken the most seriously of all.

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  • 242. At 10:14pm on 18 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Stu Viva le pint

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  • 243. At 11:18pm on 18 Sep 2009, Martin wrote:

    31. At 09:27am on 17 Sep 2009, maria-ashot wrote:

    I agree. An excellent explanation but with fog factor a little on the high side. I thought Hilary would get it but alas America is not yet ready for a woman president....

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  • 244. At 11:27pm on 18 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    243 you are not alone

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  • 245. At 11:49pm on 18 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

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

  • 246. At 00:07am on 19 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 247. At 00:26am on 19 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 248. At 00:30am on 19 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    We see the limits of freedom of speech on a blog site ultimately owned and controlled by the British government. You can make any disparaging remarks about America, Iran, China, Russia or any other nation with impunity, your comment will not be deleted for that alone but say anything that hits the bullseye critical of Britain and whamo, gone in a flash. That's Britain's double standard for you. One of the many reasons but hardly the only one to be extremely critical of it. Hail Britania, Britania rules the ?????....Falkland Islands.

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  • 249. At 01:04am on 19 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 250. At 01:09am on 19 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    248. At 00:30am on 19 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:
    We see the limits of freedom of speech on a blog site ultimately owned and controlled by the British government."

    Can we, yawn!

    You can make any disparaging remarks about America, Iran, China, Russia or any other nation with impunity, your comment will not be deleted for that alone but say anything that hits the bullseye critical of Britain and whamo, gone in a flash."


    Well if its controlled by the British government that makes kinda sense dontcha think?

    I mean Coca Cola's site is not going to let you post praising Pepsi is it?

    What part of this logic escapes you?


    "That's Britain's double standard for you. One of the many reasons but hardly the only one to be extremely critical of it. Hail Britania, Britania rules the ?????....Falkland Islands. "

    Wacky do. Better find a Chinese site to post on then eh.



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  • 251. At 02:07am on 19 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Simian;

    "I mean Coca Cola's site is not going to let you post praising Pepsi is it?

    What part of this logic escapes you?"

    None. Freedom of speech in expressing one's opinion no matter how discordant or disturbing is characteristic only of democratic nations. Only a real democracy fully trusts its people because only a real democracy is controlled by its people. Does the UK government trust its people to the point of allowing a plebecite on the EU? Coca Cola isn't a democracy either. Their propaganda is called advertising.

    "Better find a Chinese site to post on then eh."

    As I posted earlier, America may be the only true democracy in the world.

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  • 252. At 02:08am on 19 Sep 2009, ranter22 wrote:

    Fluffy
    "viva le stu pint"
    Hope you know I am going to sign up for senator in 2010. I look to your vote.
    I will be on the independent ticket.

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  • 253. At 02:10am on 19 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    248. MarcusAureliusII

    If you did not so often post off-topic, as you have just been doing, your posts would perhaps not be referred.

    You can call that censorship, if you wish; I would call it a sensible way of maintaining debate and discussion without continually being disrupted and distracted by your frequent attempts to sabotage just that open debate and discussion.


    Whatever you may think, youdo not choose the topic.

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  • 254. At 02:10am on 19 Sep 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    "Would you, perhaps, maybe, reconsider that sentence?" (from squirrelist at post #3)

    This remark goes beyond pedantry; it is prissiness.

    The answer is no. I wrote it exactly as I intended it. That usage of "beat" is common in casual American, particularly when followed by "to death." For an example from the literature, search for the musical composition Beat to Death like a Dog by Rhino Bucket.

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  • 255. At 03:39am on 19 Sep 2009, exsulego wrote:

    I caught Mark Mardell's comments about racism on the world service a couple of nights ago and was automatically insensed. Like a lot of people I know I loathe President Obama - but we also loathe Nancy Pelosi and Jimmy Carter - while loving Condoleeza Rice. Racism is not the issue and to suggest it is smacks to my mind of intellectual sloppiness.

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  • 256. At 03:44am on 19 Sep 2009, pkimble wrote:

    Racism is far from dead in the USA. The same people that make degrading reference about the colour of President Obama's skin are the same ones that are very quick to point out that Lincoln was, like them a Republican and he "freed the slaves". But then, I have heard that that was not his actual intention!! He wanted rather to contain the ownership rights of one human over another to certain areas of our country.

    Another point that I have seen and heard a lot of is "It wasn't in the Constitution", but then there is that phrase "promote the general welfare". Of course, we are to believe that they meant the general welfare of those that have, not those that have not.

    I grew up as white in a predominantly black small town in mid-west USA. My classmates were many different ancestries, English, Irish, black, Slovakian, Italian, we treated each other the same. Now we have aged and I see and hear them speak and we are still classmates, but in this country there is a caste system that even overrides the racism.

    When participating in an online debate about health care reform, I posed this scenario:
    "My health insurance is through my husband's employer. I have inherited my grandmother's diabetes. If my husband's heart were to give out and I lost my health insurance, I would not be able to get private insurance because of a pre-existing condition. I work and make too much money for Medicaid, the "government supplied health care for low incomes", so do I get a cardboard box and sell my house to pay for my meds?"
    I was told by one poster "God has a plan for all of us, you reap what you sow". Another deplorable comment that I have seen is "it is not my fault if they were too lazy to take advantage of the free public education that they were offered and can't make enough to buy their own insurance at any price.
    There are frequent references to President Obama being Muslim. This country was founded on Freedom of Religion. The First Amendment is referred to often by many Republicans as the Freedom of Speech, it also guarantees the Freedom of Religion, ANY religion. I find it somewhat laughable that those that constantly parrot "It's not in the Constitution" also, claim their First and Second (right to bear arms) Amendment Rights. The Amendments were things that they realized they had not thouroughly spelled out in the Constitution and drafted after the fact.

    I, foolishly, did not vote for President Obama as I did not think that after over 200 years this country was ready for a president of color. Or should I say, that some of the citizens of this country were not ready for it. I am not a religious person as some, I don't go to church every Sunday, but I consider myself Christian in so much as I believe that everyone is equal. Oh, wait, that is what it says in our Constitution, but you will get the arguments that the Founding Fathers left out blacks, women and indentured servants when they were forming this great nation.
    I pray that this country can manage to pull themselves out of the dark ages and get healthcare for everyone, I pray for the safety of our President and his family, I pray that those that have will wake up and realize that not all those low income people that need any kind of healthcare are lazy, Welfare recipients. Some of them work and make too much for Medicaid and not enough to pay for healthcare insurance.

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  • 257. At 03:45am on 19 Sep 2009, i_amBritinUSA wrote:

    Having lived in Columbia, South Carolina for the last 10 years it is very clear to me who the racists are. They are in basically two groups. One is on the right, old guard, bitter old southern democrats, former colonial families and large land owners notably currently in positions of power in County Councils. On the left, old guard, bitter African Americans who want eternal recompense for former slavery, mostly now in political positions and slowly replacing the colonial families on the County Councils. Add to this a large group of Europe looking young "progressives" and "Independents" and you have the reasons for the current Presidents rise to fame. I for one find virtually no racism in daily life here working in a small people related small business and can honestly say that it is publically used far more by African Americans than any other group here as the "big excuse" for whatever ails them.

    A small note. It is about time that the use of the terms Irish American and African American were dropped from common use. You are either an American or you are not, the racial modifiers are extremely divisive and in my view totally unnecessary.

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  • 258. At 04:30am on 19 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

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

  • 259. At 07:10am on 19 Sep 2009, HistoryJumper wrote:

    Mr. Mardell,
    When this issue came up on Have Your Say, I wrote the following,"In June, a former South Carolina Republican official said Obama's wife was related to a gorilla. In Tennessee, a racist Obama picture was sent from a government office. In March 2008, a black S.C.news reporter was attacked by whites at a murder investigation.

    In fearful times, people lash out at symbols of their fear as they were taught. Racism isn't inherent. Racism is taught. Carter is accurate. We all, US, UK and Canada, must nurture communities less fear-torn ... the US most of all."

    I live in Columbia,South Carolina. Do I sound like someone with a shaved head speaking in mono-syllables eating at Maurice's BBQ, a place so offensive that South Carolina grocery stores stopped carrying their BBQ sauce?

    What you have done here is the equivalent of interviewing Liam McKane, one of the earlier and most diverse trebles singing for Libera, who now has a band called Jimmy the Squirrel and is doing fascinating work with three different genre. Then after the interview, you claim to be reporting about Libera. If you don't know what I'm talking about, we do have our work cut out.

    If you're still in Columbia, contact Brooks Garner, the storm meteorologist at WIS TV. Tell him who you are and ask him to put you in contact with Jumper. I'll be glad to introduce you to a broad range of South Carolinian people, some fairly senior, including a black gentleman with whom I work who will be glad to teach you, as he taught me, how the black community survived during the worst of the segregationist years. I'll introduce you to my son, an Army veteran who is now a sophomore at the University of South Carolina. He can introduce you to the wide range of liberal, some extreme and some moderate, younger people in the community. One of their favorite organizations is called Drinking Liberally.

    Does racism exist? Of course. Is it in the hearts of those in South Carolina to be racist? No, absolutely not. Do we have problems? Sure, but they are no worse than the rebuilding problems that existed in Yorkshire after the Thatcher folks bowled the area over that led to the '85 union issues and decades of relocation and rebuilding. Do we have police problems? Sure, but they are much fewer than those in South London. I'd be pleased to arrange for you to meet one of the finest, most modern sheriffs in the United States. He, and the Columbia Chief of Police, might have some insights about how to handle the London problems. I can introduce you to a university professor who can outline your problems with crime in south London and suggest solutions, too.

    We're about to have our State Fair. It's one of the last of it's type in the U.S. Want to see what an agricultural State Fair was like in the 1950s and later? Come visit. That's not a put down to our state fair. Not everything that has modern PR glitz feels satisfactory after a season of labor.

    I'm not from South Carolina. I'd a million, thousand times rather be running a dog sled team across a frozen lake under the pitch black of night with blankets of northern lights waving above me, a few twinkling stars and good friends running their sleds along side mine, kilometer after kilometer. However, I have interesting work and one of the most knowledgeable engineers of his type in the U.S., for whom to work. He was educated in the Soviet System. You might enjoy meeting with him, too.

    Drop by, I'll treat you to supper at an authentic South Carolinian restaurant with great southern music and make sure you see a broad range of people and places. Then you write for the UK what you think is a fair understanding of the middle part of South Carolina. Some of it will not be flattering; perhaps ugly. Some of it will demonstrate that South Carolina is also populated by people bright enough to look for a better future rather than continuing with the poisons of the past.

    Best wishes in your new assignment.

    Jumper

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  • 260. At 07:30am on 19 Sep 2009, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    Reposted.

    First, Mark, I'd like to say that I don't think you were the reason no one wanted to talk. It was more likely the subject matter, which makes most everyone here uncomfortable. And, for the most part, it's not something that will get you a sound bite comment. The topic is far too complex to be so easily dealt with even by the least critical thinkers.

    As for race constantly being injected into every debate, it was bound to happen. America hasn't recently discussed the issue as a nation. Not since the 1970s when desegregating schools by means of busing children outside their neighborhoods became the hot button topic.

    But this is how conversations on important subjects sometimes start here. The media, which I believe is actually fanning the fire, is probably doing the country a great service. By provoking a discussion, even if the vast majority of protests aren't fueled by racial tensions, they are forcing people to examine their beliefs, and that is a good thing. It's an ugly discussion, certainly. But a very necessary one.

    In any case, please bear in mind that America is not a monolithic nation, though you will often find individuals who make sweeping statements about large swathes of the American population based on regional history. For example, while South Carolina has the dubious history of being the home of Secession, that is not the defining character of the state. More white South Carolinians were politically disenfranchised and impoverished by the planter prince slave owners than even most Americans are probably aware, and they made up a sizable (if politically powerless) anti-slavery population. So it's important, especially when exploring the politics of each state in the Union, to do some background research on how and why its residents come to hold their particular views. I'd recommend looking through the offerings of various university publishers within each state where little known but fascinating research on states' political history is constantly being done.

    Personally, I don't believe race is entirely behind the attacks on Obama.I believe it is simply the same clash of political ideals that's been going on since the late 19th/early 20th century. Workers versus corporations, typified by the Marxism/Socialism versus Capitalism paradigm. Which is really just an extension of the rule of the common man versus the rule of the aristocracy/church argument. There will always be those who prefer the status quo and, sometimes, in the heat of the debate will resort to below the belt tactics like calling someone a liar or hurling racial epithets. As Jefferson said in the Declaration of Independence, "...all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."

    Change is scary. And people who are just holding onto what they have by their fingertips are terrified they'll be pushed over the edge. They shout a lot of angry words they don't really mean, but that they know will hurt, because unrelieved tension and fear always leads to anger. The right wing noise machine (Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, et al) are merely exploiting this naturally occurring anger and targeting it in a direction that suits their own political agenda.

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  • 261. At 09:06am on 19 Sep 2009, Nzie wrote:

    The comments of Mr. Walker are perceptive, but only to a point I think. I imagine there are people who don't want social inequality, but I would say there are a lot of people on the conservative side who think government is responsible for a lot of social inequality. Over the last fifty years, years of increased government involvement and goverment programs and government spending, the gap between rich and poor has gotten larger, not smaller, and we've had lots of other social problems (poor family structures, more dropping out of school, gangs, etc.).

    NOW, before I get blasted, I'm not actually arguing a causality here, I'm just pointing out that it is possible someone would consider government a culprit - and for humanitarian reasons. A conservative might say that long-term government assistance handicaps individuals (we're not talking about making sure children eat, disability, etc., but programs that tend to either just be a handout or push people into the workforce without actually giving them the support they need to succeed there) rather than help them achieve self-sufficiency. He might also say that the government takes away the profits of labor through high tax rates (the income tax was actually considered unconstitutional until it was added by Amendment)-- which disincentivises innovation and creating new businesses, which in turn means that it is the wealthy who can do it (which is why entrepreneurs seek out wealthy investors, not just for their expertise but because they need the cash).

    In short, a conservative would say, get your hand out of our pockets, and poor people will see that work really does pay and they'll improve their own lives, which is more respectful of their personal dignity than keeping them as landowners. One conservative African American YouTuber likens it to not being a sharecropper or 'getting off the plantation.'

    I think I'll duck now...

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  • 262. At 09:16am on 19 Sep 2009, creativepuma06 wrote:

    ref Colin #30
    That's an interesting observation about the Northeast. I feel that depending where you are, the racism tends to be a bit more subtle. I lived in NYC for five years and coming from Maryland, I was surprised at how much tension occurred between different ethnic groups although they were living side by side. With a city as big and diverse as New York, you have people coming from all over the world and different states who also bring their preconceived notions of other cultures with them.

    Currently I live in Los Angeles and what I find interesting is that unlike New York, people always refer to my race. A few days ago as I was walking down the street, this guy approached me and said he wanted to take me out to dinner and I told him no thanks, to which he replied "What, I'm not white enough for you?" (I'm black)At a party when this white guy asked to dance with me, the first thing out of his mouth was, "Sorry, if I don't have any rhythm, I'm just a white guy." In that case, I'm wondering who's pulling the race card, when I'm not even thinking about it!


    ref maria-ashot #31

    You are absolutely correct. There are some that say the President shouldn't have "denied" anything, but honestly I feel that he handled the situation correctly. If he "agreed" then the media would have jumped at the chance. Just look at the comment that he made in the case about the officer and the Harvard professor--a whole week was wasted and taken away from the healthcare debate. The American media loves to report stories that are sensational and that they know will bring in the ratings. Unfortunately, those who do disagree with the president's policies, not related to race, become blurred with those who do have a racially motivated agenda. Also, many are quick to say that the 'left' is playing the race card, but the 'right' is not completely innocent of this as you have commentators like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck who proclaim "He has a deep seated hatred for white people."

    The 1% controlling most of the wealth are happy to keep us in chaos as they continue their dirty deeds. Let's just hope that it doesn't escalate into a civil war. I'm ashamed to say that some of us have gotten a bit lazy intellectually--we don't question things as we should, we're always looking for shortcuts, and we have the ME complex. I think that over the years the system has twisted the concept of capitalism to benefit a few, while screwing over the rest of us.

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  • 263. At 09:29am on 19 Sep 2009, Robert Bennett wrote:

    We are all of some race. and we are all "racist" in many ways. What has happened in America is that folks of white northern European stock have been singled out for promoting and defending our race, while groups like Hispanics, Jews and Blacks get away with racism by calling it politics and pride. We each need to see how our own views are racist, good or bad and how to live together as one nation in one world.

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  • 264. At 10:44am on 19 Sep 2009, KayBelieveMe wrote:

    Please can anybody do a story on South Carolina without chasing down a fluttering Confederate flag, and then pushing the idea that this is the norm. For good barbeque, a Southerner will ignore any slogan, pamphlet, or display in a restaurant, except for a bad health rating sign. This is a colorful story, but complete garbage.
    The current debate is Big Federal Government vs Limited Federal Government. Government Managed Healthcare, Cap & Trade, More Taxes, Growing Deficit, Government ownership of Banks and Industry, etc. These are the issues. Accusations of Racism and Violence are smokescreens.

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  • 265. At 12:08pm on 19 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Well what a surprise. IambritinUSA actually may be someone from Britain who knows the facts and tells the truth.

    "I for one find virtually no racism in daily life here working in a small people related small business and can honestly say that it is publically used far more by African Americans than any other group here as the "big excuse" for whatever ails them."

    It's called scapegoating, blaming someone else for your own problems and it is as dangerous and hateful as racism. BTW, President Obama agrees with you as he expressed in his talk yesterday.

    More surprising is that your posting has not been "referred to the moderators" or even more likely removed because it broke the house rules. Telling the truth that does not insult the United States or its People is invariably a violation of BBC rules and its corporate culture.

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  • 266. At 12:54pm on 19 Sep 2009, Ysmann wrote:

    I suppose it wouldn't do any good on a forum like this to point out that there are no human races, and that this is a vie of scientists working on the human genome and of many anthropologists , & others, who have tracked the origin of H.sapiens from the African Rift Valley to Asia and Europe. If this is true, it means that "racism" merely means intra-species aggression, and where did this neccessary survival trait come from? well , not to put too fine a point on it , from lizards and crocodiles.Humans have three major brain divisions -the most powerful and oldest being the reptilian complex[brain stem] which promotes the behavioural aggressive traits inherited from the old reptiles; this drives our aggressive social behaviours among EVERY human social group, even today. So in a way, it is sheer stupidity , or self-delusion to deny "racism" ,so-called, is involved in a state whose very social structure was defined by human in-group vs out-group brutality and differential status.Obama's stance is wise, he is looking at the upside, because , to be fair, millions of 'whites' voted for him. The 'racists' can also deny racism since to Carolinans that once meant up to the early 20th century, lynching ad lib , namely, dragging a man out of his bed at midnight cutting off his genetalia and roasting him alive for, alledgedly, whistling at a white woman.People's Court in session:"Jim here says he heard from Fred , who got it from Joe, that somebody told him this here boy whistled at Ellen. Good enuff evidence for me boys!".Now THAT's no longer happenning , hence no 'racism'. Thank God, hey!!!

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  • 267. At 12:55pm on 19 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #238

    Judging by hundreds of angry comments by British subjects on HYS [check]
    they did not vote for EUSSR superstate.

    They voted for a Common Market.


    Whether majority of Britons would actually reject EUSSR or not we'll probably never find out, since they've been denied a referendum on a membership in it by authorities suspecting (I suspect) that they would reject it.

    So it's back to CAP, permissible curvature of bananas from former French colonies and Brussels' subsidies for non-existing olive groves in Greece.

    No wonder some people prefer to discuss real and imagined shortcomings of American political system,U.S. economy and, of course, American racism.

    Speaking of which, who were those 'British subjects' just recently sentenced to life for plotting massive terrorist attacks?

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  • 268. At 2:10pm on 19 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    squirreliest;

    "248. MarcusAureliusII

    If you did not so often post off-topic, as you have just been doing, your posts would perhaps not be referred."

    First of all, it does not surprise me that the European mind cannot connect two closely related subject and add 2 plus 2 to get four unless it is bludgeoned into it. For example, in one breath they will talk about global warming and the need to cut back on the consumption of fossil fuel and in the next they will talk about where they will get an adequate supply of fossil fuel due to their dependence on imports never connecting the two. I call it Eurothink.

    "You can call that censorship, if you wish; I would call it a sensible way of maintaining debate and discussion without continually being disrupted and distracted by your frequent attempts to sabotage just that open debate and discussion."

    Since they won't tell you why your posting was referred or not posted you have no way of knowing where the truth lies. In all likelihood it is not the subject but the opinion which is being censored because they don't like it. No one can "sabotage" a debate in a forum like this one. How could they when their postings can just be ignored. Considering how many responses there are to my postings, that is not happening. What is happening I think is that I am touching some very raw nerves which is exactly what I intended to do. By censoring those comments, BBC demonstrates that they place limits not based on uncivility but on opinions they do not want expressed. This does not surprise me since Britain's culture like that of its European neighbors is anything but democratic. It is despotic.

    "Whatever you may think, youdo not choose the topic."

    That is true but the discussion can lead in directions based on the views and interests of the participants unless the blog owner stifles debate and discussion. Where I come from that is called censorship and is one of the hallmarks of dictatorship.

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  • 269. At 4:03pm on 19 Sep 2009, OwlsandDoughnuts wrote:

    Racism stems from ignorance, meaning it is the default position (especially in times of crisis) and where it is easier to revert to your primal ways. This is opposed to education/tolerance/respect, which has to be learned - something that requires effort. Not something you do when you feel emotional over something.

    Another factor concerning protests (in general, not just with healthcare reform) is that Republicans and Democrats do it in different ways. The latter tend to approach things with a "fighting for progress" attitude, wrapping things up with a "feel good" element. Conversely, Republicans take a more militaristic stance, seeing the protest as a case of "do or die" - as if their very lives depended on it. You also see this in counter protests - when a Democrat rally is being held, the Republican response has a lynch-mob mentality feel to it, taking advantage of personal attacks, dirty tactics etc. whilst a Democratic reponse would be far more tame and civil by comparison.

    And for those commentators, especially the one whose hairdresser said they didn't want a foreigner as a president, and whose girlfriend said Obama should go "back" to Kenya... standing idly by, letting their comments go by without retaliation is just as bad as the racism itself... why did you not correct them on such matters? That everyone in America now is a foreigner (white, black, asian, latino) except the NATIVE Americans? The name does give it away. Or that maybe his girlfriend should go back to Europe.

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  • 270. At 4:10pm on 19 Sep 2009, OwlsandDoughnuts wrote:

    @MarcusAureliusII

    Your comments equally apply to American news websites as well. I have made several comments as an "outsider", hopefully presenting a fresh view on things - all of them rejected. Not insular enough, I guess.

    You forget that each website has moderators, all of whom have their own stance on what goes.

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  • 271. At 4:24pm on 19 Sep 2009, ghandigee wrote:

    Carter hit the nail on the head. For months, people I know have felt that the Tea Party protests have an element of racism.
    The image of Obama as a witch doctor, as well as, the Joker (a reverse of the minstral show black) are blatantly racist. These images are coupled with posters claiming Obama to be a fascist,socialist, communist and no reference to his presidency. The latter implies that Obama cannot be an American president. This is all disturbing and inflammatory, appealing to the most basic of fears in a fringe element.
    In addition, there is a strong current of veiled racism among talk show hosts which appeal to this crowd. Quote..."THESE people are ruining our country. THESE people just want their welfare checks and Obama's going to make sure they get them." One only has to listen to the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage,Glenn Beck et al. long enough and you will get the message.
    As we become a more racially and ethnically diverse country, some people will feel threatened by the change and will react, responding to their fears and prejudice.

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  • 272. At 8:15pm on 19 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 273. At 9:20pm on 19 Sep 2009, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 248 MachoAutisticusII

    "We see the limits of freedom of speech on a blog site ultimately owned and controlled by the British government. You can make any disparaging remarks about America, Iran, China, Russia or any other nation with impunity, your comment will not be deleted for that alone but say anything that hits the bullseye critical of Britain and whamo, gone in a flash. That's Britain's double standard for you."

    Yet more tedious and defamatory mendacity from Macho. At # 268, as well as dubbing the UK as despotic and a dictatorship, he also slurs some three quarter of a billion Europeans for the umpteenth time - "First of all, it does not surprise me that the European mind cannot connect two closely related subject and add 2 plus 2 to get four unless it is bludgeoned into it." Slurs about whole racial groups - I think that qualifies as racism.

    Then he repeats the dictatorship lie at # 272. And yet, proving his pathetic bleating about censorship to be false, his postings remain.

    And Macho - this is a European blog. If you don't like it - I think there's an American expression along the lines of 'don't let the door hit you in the gluteus maximus on the way out'. You won't be missed.

    Or better yet, why not follow the Biblical exhortation - 'go forth and multiply'? [Or words to that effect.]

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  • 274. At 10:02pm on 19 Sep 2009, philosophicalAndrewM wrote:

    As an actual voting resident of South Carolina, the folks I know that disagree with Mr. Obama do so strictly because of his politics! I too disagree with Mr. Obama; large government bureaucracies rarely serve the average citizen well. We can certainly look in areas of the United Kingdom where the welfare mentality has destroyed the community. I well remember working in Northern Ireland and a good friend who worked in the NHS warning me about "Mad-Cow" Disease while at the same time the British government was stating that there was nothing wrong with British beef.

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  • 275. At 11:29pm on 19 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Bartender gimmie 'nother double in Dublin;

    "And Macho - this is a European blog. If you don't like it -..."

    Oh how typically European and how predictable. They can dish it out endlessly bashing something they know almost nothing about, the USA but let just one American tell them what he thinks of them and they are in an uproar over it. And they can't take it. If I bashed Europe every minute for the rest of my life, I wouldn't accumulate one one milliionth of the number of insults Europeans have said and written about America. The main difference...theirs are lies and mine are not. And the reason they can't take it...because deep down in their guts they know I'm right and they are wrong. It's the reason so many Europeans left Europe to come to America for their rest of their lives and became Americans but the flow in the opposite direction for anthing more than a visit is a mere trickle.

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  • 276. At 4:05pm on 20 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    I've been wondering for a while why so many Brits are so vehemently opposed to tea parties.

    And then, I remembered, belatedly. Of course: It's because those pesky Native Americans dumped in the Boston waters a big tea shipment your ancestors had hoped to collect a hefty tax on.

    Well, sorry, 'bout that. BTW. Most of us still don't like hefty taxes.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "My daddy, he made whiskey
    May granddaddy, he made too
    We ain't pay no Whiskey Tax
    since 1792

    We just lie there by the juniper
    when the moon is high
    whatch them jugs a fillin'
    in the pale moonlight"

    [this anonymous song from Kentucky is being dedicated to the well known aficionado of Britain, ambassador to U.K.-and a bootlegger- Joe Kennedy]

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  • 277. At 7:21pm on 20 Sep 2009, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    #275 MachoAutisticusII

    "Oh how typically European and how predictable. They can dish it out endlessly bashing something they know almost nothing about, the USA but let just one American tell them what he thinks of them and they are in an uproar over it. And they can't take it. If I bashed Europe every minute for the rest of my life, I wouldn't accumulate one one milliionth of the number of insults Europeans have said and written about America. The main difference...theirs are lies and mine are not."

    Etc etc ad nauseam

    Yet more typically unfounded and mendacious drivel.

    I don't recall ever 'bashing' the USA on this blog. If you can find an example, do surprise me.

    The reason people here don't like you, Macho, is not because rudeness, arrogance, racism and mendacity are typical of Americans, but because they are typical of you.

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  • 278. At 02:28am on 21 Sep 2009, turningblueandgrey wrote:

    276 - thanks for pointing out one of our great national pastimes -- cheating.

    We keep reaching back to the founders, so I think the example about moonshine and tax dodging in general is Washington's decisive response to the Whiskey Rebellion (~ 1794 or 95?).

    But we are a nation of big-time and small-time tax dodgers and law breakers. Overseas banks and funds; a SW USA case of paying in gold coin to dodge taxes; undeclared cash-hired help; radar detectors; illegal drugs; and so on, always with a willingness to rationalize why each decision is right and the one who decides so is above the law and by extension, above everyone else.

    This willingness to rationalize spills over a little into the oddball antics playing out now by folks who didn't necessarily vote at each election.

    I think it's more patriotic to take the legal deductions on my taxes, and work to change our laws within the system, but many on right and left seem to believe otherwise as it suits them...

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  • 279. At 2:47pm on 21 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    "I well remember working in Northern Ireland and a good friend who worked in the NHS warning me about "Mad-Cow" Disease while at the same time the British government was stating that there was nothing wrong with British beef."


    So why didn't you stop eating it?

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  • 280. At 4:47pm on 21 Sep 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    276 meerkat
    "It's because those pesky Native Americans dumped in the Boston waters a big tea shipment"


    Native Americans ???? Really. I didn't know that.


    It might upset you to realise that most Britons probably wouldn't know the Boston Tea Party from the Teddy Bears' Picnic - our history teaching is in a parlous state.

    The reason mant Britons and many other Europeans don't like/understand the current US penchant for tea-parties is that we don't really get why a segment of your country is so opposed to any sort of universal healthcare, when on ethical and practical grounds a healthy populace creates a happier and more productive (=wealth) society.

    We love tea parties, but their meaning has been hijacked ... and I bet they don't even have hob-nobs!

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  • 281. At 4:51pm on 21 Sep 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    John-in-Dublin

    Marcus is an agent provocateur. The easiest way is to ignore him.
    He's probably getting an indecent thrill each time someone respondsto one of his diatribes - don't give him his fix.

    If no one responds to his ranting he may have to resort to rational debate. He is capable of it - on rare occasions. I even agreed with him once on something.

    Slainte

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  • 282. At 6:22pm on 22 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re#280

    Well, all right. They were Colonists who disguised themselves as Native Americans [them being racists of course as every and each od us.]

    I was simply being facetious.



    BTW I don't' understand why some American would subsidize Acorn, either.

    Even if they need legal support and money loans to open brothels in D.C. and Baltimore.

    [as reported by staunchly pro-Democrat, liberal Washington Post].


    But then, I don't speak for America.

    Merely for racist, fascist rednecky minority of one who doesn't know what's good for him even if he sees MANE TEKEL FARES letters on the wall.

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  • 283. At 6:34pm on 22 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    281 And a rather dense one at that.

    well said.

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  • 284. At 04:21am on 24 Sep 2009, falmerian wrote:

    You wrote "it must be me, then, because most people here are pretty camera-shy or monosyllabic" but their unwillingness to talk might be related to the particular history behind Piggie Park. Or to call it by its full name, Maurice Bessinger's Piggie Park. That's because its owner, Maurice Bessinger, has had a high-profile past in Southern race relations, as a segregationist. Take a look, for example, at the 1967 case Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises (377 F2d 433), part of Bessinger's challenge to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If I remember correctly, Bessinger's was also the South Carolina chairman of Governor Wallace's third-party campaign for the presidency.

    The confederate flag you saw flying is actually a response to a more recent event. After the confederate flag was removed from the South Carolina State House in 2000, Bessinger started flying it at all of his restaurants, then wrote and published a book called "Defending My Heritage." Look up the product description of his book on amazon.com and you'll see how he mixes together ideas from his overt segregationist past with some of the ideas of the modern Republican party.

    The point is, when you chose Piggie Park as one of the places to go, you ended up somewhere where it was going to be hard to get people to do much talking.

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  • 285. At 2:07pm on 24 Sep 2009, Welladjustedreader wrote:

    In answer to the question about the health care system treating aliens, and that the United Kingdom is not as open as the US, please can I just say that we have a huge problem with illegal immigrants coming to the UK - just look at those gathering in France just to get here. Our borders are more open that the States. They will come to this country and receive all the benefits without working for them.

    I however feel that health care should not be based on whether people can afford it or not. If Canada can have an excellent health system, then why cannot the US adopt that system there?

    It is very hard to say what people should have and what they should not. However, I am delighted to read that many people are thinking more than just about themselves. Somehow something has to be done to give people access to medical care - I don't have the answer but something has to change.

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  • 286. At 11:52pm on 09 Apr 2010, McJakome wrote:

    160. At 11:09am on 18 Sep 2009, D R Murrell wrote:
    "...I still say while you Americans are on the whole a pretty good bunch you are all just a little bit strange!"

    I love British understatement! My dear Murrell, we are not "just a little bit strange!" My country and its inhabitants [not excluding myself] are quite close to lunacy [from time to time and varying in intensity from person to person]! You like us because of the well-known British affection for the eccentric and outright balmy, and in us you have an entire nation of over 300,000,000 many of whom fit the description.

    Must be off, time to take the meds. Ta,
    McJakome

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  • 287. At 00:07am on 10 Apr 2010, McJakome wrote:

    178. At 2:11pm on 18 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:
    175. DavidRMurrell:

    "Exactly. But some of us seem to have inordinate difficulty getting that across to some people. You'd think that 'socialist' or 'communist' ideas didn't predate Marx and their only implementation anywhere was by Stalin."

    Even more ironic, socialism and communism [though not the Stalinist or Maoist variety] were actually tried out in the US in the early 19th Century. One of the most interesting experiments was the Oneida Community. They were so successful that they became rich, turned capitalist, incorporated and continued to exist as a successful, money-making corporation.

    I am not making it up, give it a read comrades, it'll curl your whiskers.

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